RAF Centenary 1918–2018

This came to me from The Churchill Centre, as it may have to some of you, by Robert Courts

The Mall leading from Buckingham Palace to Admiralty Arch is alive with red, white, and blue. Union Jacks combined with sky-blue RAF ensigns hang from every lamppost. The centenary celebration of the first air force to become a fully independent branch of any nation’s military is underway in London.

On the roof terrace above the House of Commons, the first aircraft appear: a lumbering phalanx of Chinooks, the distinctive rumble from their double rotors beating off the office blocks below. Next come the big stars passing the London Eye, roaring behind the scaffold-clad Elizabeth Tower, and zipping around the Foreign Office and Treasury buildings with their proudly displayed RAF station flags. The audience audibly gasps at the music of nine Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffon engines powering the Lancaster, Spitfires, and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The national DNA stirs within every watching person.

The flypast slowly speeds up. The heavy transports from West Oxfordshire’s RAF Brize Norton lead the secretive intelligence aircraft from the old Bomber County of Lincolnshire before the brand new Anglo-American F-35s roar in to lead the centrepiece: twenty-two Typhoons—the backbone of the RAF’s modern fleet—forming a “100” figure in the sky. And as a finale, the world-famous Red Arrows slide in effortless formation across the grey sky, trailing red, white, and blue smoke as they go.

In Parliament Square, Whitehall, and Trafalgar Square, tens of thousands of people wear RAF roundel rosettes while their eyes search skyward. They clutch the augmented reality app to “collect” aircraft types as they appear. The iPhone app illustrates how far the RAF’s aviation has come. On Horseguards Parade, the RAF have brought a selection of their most famous aircraft for public display. The first—the BE2c, a canvas and wood contraption—is a world away from the digitally inter-connected, supersonic F-35s and Typhoons. Yet these radically different types of machine are separated by only 100 years.

For the RAF personnel of today, flying the plane is a basic skill compared with operating the mission systems on their complicated aircraft and that more akin to operating their iPhones than the “seat of the pants,” stick-and-rudder flight of the First World War.

In just a century, the Royal Air Force has gone from experimental novelty to the heart of British national identity. It has policed an Empire, taken help to the victims of natural disasters worldwide, flown a nuclear deterrent, fought for victory above the trenches, taken the fight to the enemy when no-one else could, and, in the long, hot summer of 1940, saved a nation and the free world before being justly immortalised by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Few may be fewer now than once they were, but they still lead the world, and have a richly-deserved place in the centre of Britain’s national life.

Robert Courts is Member of Parliament for Whitney.

I would have given much to be standing in, say, Trafalgar Square that day. Not least because the music of the Merlin speaks at a very deep level to one’s soul. Think of that, standing in the square honoring one of the greatest heroes of the English Speaking people, while honoring some of the bravest of them, the renowned “Few”.

Mr. Courts gives an accurate, albeit short history of the RAF, little point to adding to it in a general post. But the RAF (especially, but not only) epitomizes the toughness, the doughtiness, dare I say the pluck, of the British forces. It is one of the base causes of the modern world and needs to be more honored.

Part of the reason that this came through to us from The Churchill Centre is, of course, his speech which memorialized the RAF in the Battle of Britain:

The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain…

All true, and perhaps understated, here was the first check on Hitler’s designs, which led him in his hubris to take on the Soviet Union, thus leading to his regimes ignominious end.

The last paragraph of that speech spoke of another matter, one that foretold the future

…Some months ago we came to the conclusion that the interests of the United States and of the British Empire both required that the United States should have facilities for the naval and air defence of the Western Hemisphere against the attack of a Nazi power… We had therefore decided spontaneously, and without being asked or offered any inducement, to inform the Government of the United States that we would be glad to place such defence facilities at their disposal by leasing suitable sites in our Transatlantic possessions for their greater security against the unmeasured dangers of the future.… His Majesty’s Government are entirely willing to accord defence facilities to the United States on a 99 years’ leasehold basis… Undoubtedly this process means that these two great organisations of the English-speaking democracies, the British Empire and the United States, will have to be somewhat mixed up together in some of their affairs for mutual and general advantage. For my own part, looking out upon the future, I do not view the process with any misgivings. I could not stop it if I wished; no one can stop it. Like the Mississippi, it just keeps rolling along. Let it roll. Let it roll on full flood, inexorable, irresistible, benignant, to broader lands and better days

So it has proved, to the benefit of all the world, and that too was on display as the RAF flew over London the other day. Leading the current day warriors in their Typhoons, was the future, in the Anglo-American F35, the aircraft that is the future of air power in all the English speaking world. Unless I miss my guess, the F-35s were from the first squadron of Lightning IIs in the RAF, No 617 Squadron, the justly famed Dambusters. It is fitting that it should make its first ceremonial appearance leading the oldest air force in the world.

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A Summit, Hysteria, and Bovine Excrement

Well, Putin and Trump had a meeting yesterday in Helsinki. Afterwards, Trump said some things that bothered the left. In other words, it was a day ending in Y. I wasn’t all that fond of them, either, really. But then, I never thought Trump was God and never made mistakes. Hannity is as good as anybody on it.

Frankly, I can’t decide whether the left’s goal is to destroy Trump at any cost whatsoever. Or maybe it is to destroy Russia for throwing the communists out, and the United States for winning the cold war. Or both. Apparently, they think a nuclear war is just the way to do that.

I can’t see any particular reason to trust the US Intelligence Community, all my life they’ve always been wrong, from Vietnam to the cold war (whose end they failed to see coming) to Iraq and Afghanistan. And that doesn’t even mention the crap they got up to in the last few years. Now they seem to be in bed with a faction that is at best committing sedition, coming very close to treason itself. On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason to trust the Russians.

So put your earplugs in, it ain’t gonna get much better. Personally, I think we need more streetlights on Constitution Ave, and a whole lot of ¾ in manila rope, yes, some assembly required. Not that anybody asked me. So take an even strain, the adults are in charge but keep your powder dry in any case.

In the meantime, Scott Adams and Dave Rubin.

And VDH on the FBI, Trump, and Russia.

Seven Years

I had a notifier from WordPress yesterday that I had been doing this for seven years now. I sort of knew that but it had slipped my mind. Our lives sort of slip into periods and seven years will work for that. I’m well into the ninth of those and likely will see a couple more, if God is willing.

Here are the very first few paragraphs  we published:

I recently had an opportunity to travel by train back to Nebraska from Philadelphia. As most of you who have ever traveled by train know, it gives you a fair amount of time to reflect on whatever crosses your mind. For some reason this trip (which I actually take roughly every year) caused me to reflect on the industrial powerhouse that was America. If you travel by train, you see a lot of industrial areas new and old.  What struck me this time was coming through Pittsburgh, northern Ohio and northwest Indiana was remembering these areas when I was a kid back in the 60’s, when it was very common still to see the black smoke and flames shoot into the air at the steel mills. These were the mills that industrialized America and made the steel that built the machines that won two World Wars and conquered a continent and fed the world.

It is commonly said that steel built the railroad industry and the railroads built the steel industry and it’s true; if one includes coal in the steel industry. What awesome plants they were, for instance, the main street of Gary, Indiana (itself named for a steel executive) ends at the main gate of US Steel Gary Works. And remember a basic element of US Steel; Carnegie Steel produced more steel than Great Britain in the 1890’s. Pittsburgh was much the same, only possibly more so. Here was the steel produced that made the railroads, which then made the largest common market in the world, and the steel for the agricultural equipment that still feeds the world, and the steel for the American automobiles and the weapons and transportation of the American military that won two World Wars  and the Cold War.

On this trip you pass by the old Pullman Plant in Michigan City, Indiana that built railcars, mostly freight cars in this plant (the passenger cars came out of the plant in Pullman, Illinois). Now it is an outlet mall, and American passenger trains have Canadian built cars. You also pass the ruins of the Studebaker plant in South Bend as well as the old Bendix plant (this one is still operating, now owned by Robert Bosch AG).

Most of the plants are still there, many in ruins, some still operating, that gave this region the nickname of the Rust Belt. There are a lot of reasons why it is now the rust belt; without going into those reasons, it is a melancholy sight for a person that remembers these areas in full operation to see it half shut down and falling into ruin. This may truly symbolize the greatness of America in the future, the country that provided a far better living to the average man than anybody had ever dreamed possible; and provided much of it to the entire world as well.

From Reflections on a Train Trip.

There is a pathos in that, a kid from the rust belt seeing it now with fresh eyes, in all its declining glory. It would get worse.

Our best year here – so far – was 2012 with all the excitement of hoping that Romney would win the presidency, and the heartbreak when he didn’t, which explains why 2013 was the worst.

But 2012 was also when my former blogging partner turned up, and soon became the dearest friend I ever had. The one person in the world who I could talk about anything with, knowing she would understand. It was she, above all, who brought me back to Christianity, and introduced me to the wonders of Walsingham.

But all good things (and bad things too) pass. We nearly lost her to cancer in 2014, saved only by what was clearly a miracle from God himself, followed by a long recovery with only limited contact. Then something went wrong between us, and almost two years ago, she was gone. Leaving a hole in my life and my heart that is permanent. Every day, I look at her picture, and wonder what she is doing, and wish she would answer my questions, and give me comfort.

She was a key part of how NEO developed and is still read often here. She brought a perspective that broadened mine and has much to do with why we write about the UK these days.

But by then blogging was part of my life. For most of my life, I followed in my dad’s footsteps, working with electricity, and like the industry itself, doing things with it that he wouldn’t have comprehended. Now, in retirement, I follow in Mom’s, an English teacher, and a good one. I don’t know how good a teacher I am, although as I’ve often said, bringing along apprentices to be better than I was, was one of my chief joys in working.

In any case, it is a habit now, and one I have no desire to break. I enjoy the research, the writing, and most of all, the commenters, here and elsewhere. If one isn’t careful, it can easily become a lifestyle, and an enjoyable one, that I have no intention of ending.

But, to go back to the beginning of this article, how different it is today. We have a president that doesn’t think the future is limited and is trying to get the government out of our way.

The numbers tell part of the story, and it is a joy to read them, as it is to see how an American business perspective changes the entire world. But it is not the important part of the story. The important part is that the sleeping (perhaps the word should be comatose) giant is stirring and once again America is becoming optimistic.

This is something that Romney, for all our hopes, couldn’t have provided, good man that he is. This is something that it took a real estate developer from Brooklyn, who understood the working people to make happen.

So maybe, for all the busted dreams, Obama was the medicine, foul tasting though it was, that America needed.

So here’s to many more, my friends, and yes #MAGA

 

The Week

Well, we haven’t made the UK look all that good this week (from the US perspective) but that’s not completely fair. From Fox News.

Fox also says that this chant thundered through the crowd.

Oh Tommy Tommy, Tommy Tommy Tommy Tommy Robinson

As it should and should be cheered to the echo by Americans

I think a pint might be in order.

Even in England

John Hinderaker from PowerLine comments:

The New York Post says that protesters “by the tens of thousands” staged a “massive” demonstration against President Trump today. Perhaps so. But what you see in the photo is Parliament Square. If there were tens of thousands, they must have been somewhere else.

 

We don’t do kittehs here, but all rules have exceptions

From PowerLine and elsewhere

Liberating Europe

So, this week (and a busy one it’s been) has been the Supreme Court, the witchhunt, NATO, and Trump in the UK. They’re all related.

The Court comes down to Constitutional issues, all else is simply a screaming match. The American Spectator puts it well.

Lost is this kind of debate is what should be its proper focus: a debate over governmental structure. In short, we are increasingly losing sight of what our Constitution actually is.

Our federal Constitution is in form a governmental charter (as are state constitutions, but leave them aside here). The Framers of 1787 had studied history intently, and derived lessons from earlier efforts to form a just government, from ancient Greece and Rome to the Articles of Confederation.

Thus, its first three Articles divide powers into legislative, executive, and judicial. Legislators make laws; the executive administers and enforces them; and the judiciary interprets legal/policy terms, their application and (more controversially) in selected cases, their result.

The article is well worth reading.

What we have seen in the last hundred years is that the left, unable to do what they want legislatively, because of both votes and constitutional prohibitions, has taken to legislating from the bench, by nine non-elected robed figures. That is not what the founders envisioned, and the fight to return to that vision will continue.

The witchhunt is a last gasp (hopefully) effort by the elites, the Deep State, whatever term you prefer to continue to rule without reference to the people’s desire. It must be and is likely to be won, but it will be a hard and long slog.

It dovetails into NATO and Trump in Europe quite neatly. Daniel Greenfield explains.

Momentum, the anti-Semitic left-wing hate group, Stop the War’s Trotskyists, the UK version of the pro-Farrakhan racist Women’s March, and the freeloaders of the Trades Union Congress will be part of a London mob of an estimated 50,000 preparing to protest President Trump’s existence.

While the leftist mobs have been unleashed, pro-Trump protesters were leashed. A handful of supporters stood outside Blenheim Palace. One wore a clearly homemade “Britain Loves Trump” sign. The scrawled shapeless heart was in sharp contrast to the professionally designed and mass produced “Dump Trump” signs waved by grim-faced leftists on the verge of breaking into Labour’s, “The Red Flag.” […]

The anti-Trump marchers are a minority machine of massive lefty groups and internationally famous QUANGOs while the handful of pro-Trump supporters speak for a silent majority that is losing its country. And to them, Trump, like Brexit, represents the will of the people against the powerful elites.

The intersection between Trump and Brexit has always been a powerful one.

Brexit and Trump were both dismissed as marginal extremism by the media, but had the support of the people. The elites have struck back by accusing both Trump and Brexit of Russian conspiracy theories. The real sin of both the big ‘T’ and the big ‘B’ is that they reverse the leftist course of history which is meant to run away from nations and into mass borderless conglomerations like the EU or NAFTA.

As Prime Minister May stands accused of betraying Brexit, Trump’s visit is an unwelcome reminder that it is possible for leaders to listen to the people, instead of to the smart set and its media monarchies.

President Trump has been accused of attacking Europe by challenging the usefulness and legitimacy of outmoded international groupings like the EU and NATO. But he isn’t attacking Europe; he’s liberating it from its dogmas and bureaucracies, from red flag waving QUANGOs and mandatory government media.

The transatlantic relationship had fossilized into an arrangement where American firepower protected European socialism and the American economy financed European international organizations. The WTO, the IMF and the World Bank were built on the backs of American workers. The multi obsessions of Europe’s leftist elites were embraced by Democrats from FDR to JFK, from Clinton to Obama.

Europe got a free ride, but its individual nations, with the exception of Germany, lost out. Industries collapsed, jobs vanished and the welfare states only bred malaise and misery. By the time the wholesale Islamic invasion of Europe was underway, its working class cities and towns were even worse off than their American Rust Belt counterparts while their farmers had been reduced to tourist attractions.

The pro-Trump marchers come from the same working class as Tommy Robinson. They’re worlds away from the angry students working on degrees in ethnoecology and waving mass produced placards.  The two Britains that collided over Brexit are clashing once again over Trump. One is the borderless Britain of the QUANGO, the transnational red flag and the Muslim migrant. The other is fighting for its life.

Trump is a powerful symbol of people power. And that symbol raises fear and hope in the UK.

All of this is demonstrably true. And you know, the leftists in the streets of London looked just as foolish and childish as they do in the States. And for those of us who have conservative friends in the UK (and especially England), we are seeing the old pattern, the Midlands, the North, and the East are combining to start the process of Making Britain Great Again. This is the very combination that once upon a time, when America was merely a gleam in Freedom’s eye, toppled and executed a King of England and Scotland. One who thought his authority came from God, Himself. For the first time, it was demonstrated that the people are sovereign.

Will that happen again? No, HMQ has been very thoroughly defenestrated, and besides, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she agrees with her people. But the political hacks would be wise to check six. They won’t though, they really do think they are the wave of the future. But they’re not, they are the bad old days, come back to haunt us.

Daniel Greenfield again:

 As Marine One flies over Britain while red-faced reds scream futile insults at the sky, carve obscene crop circles, and beat pots and pans in the street, they know that an unstoppable wave of change is breaking over Britain.

Despite what Bernie Sanders will tell you, socialism has failed in Europe. Its blight isn’t as obvious to American tourists as it is in Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea, but it has, to paraphrase Thatcher, taken the socialists of London, Berlin and Brussels longer to run out of other people’s money. […]

The European nation-state, once the backbone of western civilization, cannot rise again as long as it’s dependent on the United States. The cycle of dependency and loathing expressed at its best and worst between the US and the UK is dysfunctional and cannot last. Trump’s message is that it’s ending.

A nation cannot respect itself or respect others until it is independent of them. Brexit is the first step, but not the last, to the rebirth of the Britain whose new day will light a fresh blaze of national glories.

He’s right, spot on right. And once again, on that day, the Anglo-Saxon will still again have saved Europe.

Telling England (and Europe) the Truth

Getty Pool

Well, the President is now in the UK, after lobbing some American truth grenades around in Brussels. They are needed, and he reflects, as usual, the view of the American on the street.

It is tiresome protecting people who disdain to protect themselves, let alone disregard their own vital interests to pander to corporatists and foreign powers. Yes, I am referring to the Nordstream pipeline whereby Germany spends many billions of dollars to import natural gas from Russia bypassing eastern Europe – which they, no less than the US, are pledged to defend. Although it is unclear how that will work with their seven operational aircraft, less than a hundred tanks, and less than 200,000 service people – less than the Weimar Republic was allowed.

It brings to mind an old American adage:

“We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”

But really, why should we? Someone said the other day that if Europe was owned by Disney, the sign would say “Yesterdayland”. It’s pretty much true, Europe as we have known it is a dying continent. It may be beyond help. In population, in economics, and yes, in military force.

The UK too tends that way, but not as much. It retains a robust memory of what it once was, and once one gets away from London, is still is, in large part, the land we all knew.

But its politics are broken, even worse than ours were after Reagan and before Trump. Corbyn’s Labour Party, much like the US Democrats, was once the party of unionized labor, now its politics often make Stalin look conservative. It is anti everything that most of us think good, not to mention anti-Semitic and anti-British, and anti-American. But it has largely put a spoke in the wheel of British governance, not because of what it believes, so much as the fear of the party by everybody else.

The Conservatives have slipped to the left as well. Jess often commented that Maggie moved the so-called Overton window to the right, and she was right. No more. The Tories make the US Republican establishment look positively conservative. Nor does it help that many British cannot seem to tell the difference between corporatist and capitalist.

Earlier this week, we looked at the current Brexit deal (here). In short what it does is make the UK a colony of the European Union – the worst of all possible worlds. It means being subject to the rule of one of the most corrupt groups in the world, without even (an ineffectual) vote in the proceedings.

UKIP (The United Kingdom Independence Party) which was the main driver that brought about the Brexit vote, more or less dissolved upon victory, with its former leader Nigel Farage going into radio and such. It seems to have thought its job was done, and the Tory government would carry out the will of the people clearly expressed. That was so optimistic as to be delusional.

It is now quickly gaining members (and the Tories losing commensurately) as what the May government has done sinks in, but it may be too late. There are two ways to forcibly retire the May government. Michael St. George details them here. Both are fraught with uncertainty.

Into this self-created mess, Donald Trump flew yesterday, doing his truth-telling act. He told the Daily Sun, the last semi conservative paper in Britain, that the Brexit deal outlined in the white paper leaves the UK subject to the EU (thus the BRINO moniker: Brexit in name only) and as such we will have to negotiate with the EU rather than the UK. In other words, the promised US-UK trade deal will likely be off. The obvious truth, but it rocked the island.

The President also said that he, like many British themselves, used to love London, but now avoids it. Sensible, since the current mayor, Sadiq Khan is doing his very best to make it still another multicultural ‘third world shithole’. He makes diBlasio look reasonable.

While this was going on, he had a very nice dinner at Blenheim Palace, where Churchill was born, and the gift of the nation to Sir John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, perhaps the greatest British general since William the Marshal.

Today, he will meet the Queen, which I’d guess he will enjoy, and she just might as well. She’s met every American president since Truman, and some reports say is also a Brexiteer (although as befits her job, a quiet one).

There are protests, of course, in London, encouraged by the Mayor, which have prompted both the US and the Japanese Embassies to advise their nationals to maintain a low profile this weekend. Well justified, yesterday it was reported that the former UK ambassador to the US was badly beaten in the street. The police claim it was a simple robbery attempt.

What Britain needs is a leader that the people can rally around. I, like many others, do like like Jacob Rees-Mogg, but question whether he’s up to the task, or even able to see it in its full dimensions. Trump also said last night that he thinks Boris Johnson would make a great PM. Well, Trump is a pretty good judge, although ‘great’ seems a bit far over the bridge, but in any case, do the Tories have the guts to even try to solve this mess? I have my doubts.

So, today it will be off to Scotland and then on to meet Putin.

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