Notre Dame’s Near-Destruction Is a Tragedy Which Shames Our Civilisation

Notre Dame’s Near-Destruction Is a Tragedy Which Shames Our Civilisation, by James Delingpole.

Together with the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, Notre Dame was the defining feature of Paris — and the one imbued with by far the most history.

It’s where Henry VI of England was crowned King of France; where Mary Queen of Scots married the Dauphin; where Napoleon I was crowned Emperor. …

Notre Dame was an architectural glory which belonged to the entire world, representing one of the highest pinnacles of human craft and ingenuity.

When Lord Clark made his landmark 1969 documentary series Civilisation and famously asked: “What is civilisation? I don’t know. I can’t define it in abstract terms, yet. But I think I can recognise it when I see it.” Then, turning to Notre Dame behind him, he added: “And I’m looking at it now.”

The enemies of civilisation understand this too. It’s why, amid the tears and heartbreak spreading far beyond Paris to every corner of the world, an ugly minority still found cause to celebrate.

These are the same sort of people who were cheering the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11. They understand, perhaps almost better than we do, the importance of history and culture to our civilisation’s security, wellbeing and sense of purpose.

That’s why, for example, the Taliban went to such lengths to destroy the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Why ISIS, with loving sadism and painstaking care, destroyed the ancient city of Palmyra. Islamic State understood that no matter how many Yazidis you rape, crucify and enslave, no matter how many innocents you decapitate, nor how many prisoners you shoot, torture or burn alive, it will never have quite the same resonance as a cultural masterpiece obliterated from the map.

On this occasion, it seems likely the fire was an accident caused by one of those infuriating accidents which so often seem to occur in historic buildings under renovation.

Is the Notre Dame fire a metaphor for western civilization, or what? If there was a God, and he sent a signal, would it look like this?


As Europe is swamped by Muslims, promising to replace Europeans in their own lands, it is only a matter of time before the great churches are turned into mosques or destroyed. Despite the endless propaganda from our rulers, most people here and there, are well aware of what’s happening. They don’t know how to articulate it or react to it, but they know. Watching the fire, they knew what it meant. …

That anger people feel is not the sort of barbaric rage our rulers assume is in the heart of every white man. There will be no occidental riots or calls for pogroms against the invaders. It’s a slow buzz as the batteries charge up, waiting for the moment somewhere down the line when the circuit is finally closed. That’s how these things go. Decent people are willing to tolerate what seems like an unlimited amount of deprivation from their rulers, but it reaches a point when the batteries are charged and the circuit is closed.

That’s why it is good to watch the footage and follow the coverage of this thing. Many of us have disconnected from the news, because it’s just propaganda. You can be sure the media will first try to wave it all away as an accident, but we know how they would be reacting if it was a dumpy old mosque or a synagogue that burned, rather than a masterpiece of Western civilization. We know. Everyone knows. …

Obviously, we’ll never know what really caused the fire. A black church burns and the usual suspects tell us there is a rash of hate crimes against black churches. Catholic churches all over France have been burning for years and we’re told it is a racist conspiracy theory to see a pattern.

The same will happen here to people who wonder how an unoccupied building that withstood air raids suddenly caught fire in two places. …

Even if the cause was recklessness by some workers, that’s probably worse. Like America, this kind of work in Paris is done by foreigners now. The work crews are no doubt Algerians, Tunisians and maybe some Africans. …

Before the roof collapsed, the authorities were telling us it was not arson and not terrorism. In other words, they were more concerned about the feelings of the foreigners than what this event was doing to their own people.

The clown in charge of France:

Even when your most cherished civilizational masterpieces are burned to the ground, you have no recourse to stop globalism and to restore the cohesion of your nation. In your moment of greatest indignation and moral justification, you still must bend the knees to your effete … masters.


Time columnist Christopher J. Hale set off a firestorm of speculation when he tweeted that a friend who works at the cathedral told him “cathedral staff said the fire was intentionally set”…

Hale deleted the tweet just a few minutes later.

Was he lying about what he had been told? Coming from a professional journalist, that doesn’t seem likely.

Instead, it is much more likely that Hale quickly figured out that he said something that he wasn’t supposed to say. ….

In the coming days, a tremendous effort will be made to get us to feel a certain way about the Notre Dame cathedral fire.

hat-tip Charles