September 30, 2023
Lord Moore and I go back a ways, more than forty-some-odd years. I clearly remember the first time we met at editor Alexander Chancellor’s office at The Spectator. I was called in and Alexander introduced me to a fresh 25-year-old-looking Charles, who had just been named foreign editor. “He went to our old school,” joked Alexander, knowing full well I was not an old Etonian. “I don’t remember you there,” said I. “I think I was there a bit after you,” answered Charles.
Many years later, and after Charles had kept me on despite my four-month graduate studies at Pentonville, I attended a party at his and Caroline’s house. I remember it as if it were yesterday. My Alexandra, who treasures children almost obsessively, noticed twin potties and pulled me aside and pointed them out. The Moores had twins, a boy and a girl, one of whom, William, now slaves away in the Speccie office. Later in the evening I met Charles’ father and we had quite a conversation. My own father had died on July 14,1989, and the gossip columns were speculating about the millions I had inherited. Moore senior was hardly impressed. “How do you know if you have any real friends?” he asked me. Lightning struck for once and I came back with a good one.
“Mr. Moore, the only money I have is what The Spectator pays me every week, 75 pounds, and I make do providing a wife and two children with that. My poor father was a merchant seaman, God rest his soul.” I then explained that it was Alexander Chancellor and Simon Courtauld who had come up with the idea of me posing as a dissolute millionaire Greek shipowner’s son in order to give High Life verisimilitude.
Well, it worked. In fact I have never seen a noble-looking man’s face beam like a football fan after his team’s extra-time winning goal. Moore senior was delighted and offered me a drink. I correctly had gathered that rich playboys who chased women in nightclubs were not his cup of tea. Many, many years later, at Wafic and Rosemary Said’s house in the country, I told the tale to Charles and Caroline and they too were delighted.
I’ve seen the Moores socially off and on throughout the years, but one evening that stands out was when I went into Annabel’s—when it was owned by Mark Birley and wasn’t the vulgar zoo it is today—and saw the couple sitting with a gent who turned out to be a Cambridge don. I was with a couple of young women, Cosima Somerset and the actress Jodie Foster. The don took a shining to Jodie and discreetly asked me for her telephone number. I gave him mine and left it at that.
For the next three weeks, very late on Friday nights, I would get a telephone call asking to speak to Jodie Foster. I never had the heart to tell the caller the truth, that Jodie preferred her own sex and that he was ringing the wrong person. (I think Foster is now happily married to a woman.)
The reason I bring all this up about Charles is because of the column he wrote two weeks ago in the Telegraph. It was about Danny Kruger’s book Covenant, which deals with Christianity and not the “imagined deal between the individual and the state.” The author yearns for an artificial brotherhood, “an unconditional love that can exist between people who are unrelated by blood.”
Nothing nobler than this, after all, as Christian as Christian gets, but it simply ain’t gonna happen. It is only possible when the right of anyone to do and say absolutely anything they feel like doing or saying is reined in. Charles writes that society has cast off the notion of loving thy neighbor as thyself and has retreated to loving thyself only. Hear, hear!
Looking around me, personal autonomy now overrides constraint, and human rights are now used to attack normal social mores. The family disappeared long ago, especially in America. Christianity is denigrated nonstop by filmmakers, and only last week I watched the TV show Billions and the following drew my attention and angry disgust: The father of the main character catches his daughter-in-law praying and goes nuts, threatening to cut her off unless she stops “this God shit.”
I then read an interview in a New York magazine of the trans person that triggered the anti-light-beer reaction, and the writer spoke of the Catholic Church the way I would of a murdering Mafia. So I ask Danny Kruger: How is it possible to feel unconditional love for a fellow human when there’s a definite conspiracy by the left-wing media and entertainment industry to do away with the Christian faith because it teaches us to love our fellow man?
The dishonesty of our leaders is mind-boggling. Example: Young black crime and incarceration is out of control in America, yet no politician has the guts to point out that black kids without fathers—something like 80 percent—is the cause. Instead it’s slavery, abolished in 1865, that is the cause. Victimology, a disease that’s raging both in America and the U.K., has replaced Christianity, and no politician in either country has the guts to point it out. Even poor Meghan Markle is a victim, and come to think of it, I’m a victim too. 75 pounds a week to bring up a family ain’t much.