Brexit?

featured-brexit

As this blog is offering the ‘view from the Anglosphere’, I thought I’d say something about being back of the line, or is that queue? That, of course, is a reference to the comment from POTUS Obama that were the UK to vote to leave the EU we’d be back of the line in terms of a trade deal. Perhaps he hasn’t noticed that the USA sells us far more stuff than we sell you guys, and perhaps, being so distantly acquainted with economic realities, he feels it won’t much matter – not doubt yet more goods from China can fill the gap? Others better qualified than I have made the point that the UK wasn’t back of any line at D Day or in Desert Storm, but what’s honour when you’re a politician? Like Falstaff, Obama would probably say ‘who has it, he who died a Thursday’.

It’s a shame he took that tone, and it’s a shame that the tone of the debate over Britain’s future in the EU is one of smear and counter-smear and the stirring up of fear. The fact is no one can know what the effect of the UK leaving the EU would be, but it seems perverse to imagine it will have little effect, and so far as I can follow the argument of those who want to leave (Brexiteers) it amounts to saying that in a few years we’d have trade deals with the EU and the USA as good as we have now – gee, thank guys, so why leave?

The leave argument amounts to an emotional one – we’d get sovereignty back. But who, in this global economy has complete sovereignty – North Korea perhaps? The US, by the sheer size and scale of its economy is closer than most, but as the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world, the UK does not begin to compare with that strength. Sure, it could cut deals, but there will be a cost – there always is. The idea that the EU would seek to do us down economically seems a bit illusory – they do more trade with us than we do with them, but then so does the idea that they’d give us the same deal as they do now without our paying in what we pay in now. In short, I think the economic arguments are probably not decisive – except for one aspect – is this the time to give some kind of adverse shock to the global economy?

So it is, in the end, about sovereignty. But we all share aspects of sovereignty now. We can’t run the UK as we could in the mid twentieth century – the world has changed. The EU is, it is true, not the speediest organisation, but it is one of the world’s largest trading blocs, and it has a political as well as an economic aspect to it. It has helped entrench democracy in countries like Spain, Portugal, and even (despite the obvious problems) Greece, which have had, to put it mildly, chequered histories. It has also managed to include some nations formerly in the Soviet bloc. It’s far from perfect, but then as I look at the people running my country now, and those vying to, I’m not sure that they are any better.

Then, for me as a Welsh-born woman living now in Scotland, there is the little matter of the United Kingdom. The land of my birth, Wales, looks as though it is going to vote to remain in, and Scotland is certainly going to do so. If England votes to leave, the Union is bound to unravel. The Scots and the Welsh, and perhaps the Ulstermen, will want to stay ‘in’ and will want to if England leaves. The mess that would follow does not bear thinking about.

The small c conservative position seems to me to be to vote to remain in, with all the problems it is better than the alternative – so this woman of Welsh-German stock living in Scotland is voting to remain in the EU.

The Regressive Left’s ‘Privilege’ Narrative

This showed up in my Twitter feed yesterday, from one of my English friends:

 

Here’s the story Siobhan and I were speaking of:

Rhodes Must Fall activists have become the very thing they hate

A cruel stunt by a group of Rhodes Must Fall activists has exposed just how detached from reality the regressive left’s ‘privilege’ narratives are. Ntokozo Qwabe, one of the most prominent figures of Oxford’s ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ movement, has been publicly gloating on social media about humiliating a white waitress in Cape Town.

Showing a stunning lack of self-awareness, Qwabe, in his recollection of the incident, does not recognise that as a student of law at one of the world’s most prestigious universities, he is probably more privileged than a waitress working a minimum-wage job. Even if she is white and he is black.

Qwabe recounted on his Facebook page how he and a group of fellow RMF activists were eating at a café in the Cape Town suburb of Observatory on Thursday, when a white waitress approached them with the bill and a slip to write down the amount of gratuity they wished to pay. In extremely callous language, Qwabe gleefully describes how he and his dinner companions decided to write on the slip, ‘WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND.’

According to Qwabe, the waitress, upon seeing this, apparently started shaking then burst into tears. To which he responded with the glib comment, ‘like why are you crying when all we’ve done is make a kind request lol’. And with impeccable spite he characterised her crying as, ‘typical white tears’.

From The Spectator

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it is ever appropriate to voice your complaints about a company, let alone a country to some poor inoffensive person who is merely trying to make a living. But’s that’s exactly what these execrable twits thought was a joke. I’m not sure exactly what I would have done if I’d been at the next table, but I’m pretty sure it would have been more than look sheepishly at my hands.

See that’s one of the things we, and the English, and yes, Cecil Rhodes himself stood for, giving each person an even break. Rhodes was for his time one of the least racist men around. You know those scholarships that he provided in his will. Do you know where they go? Here:

Code Will 1903 Description
Aus 6 6 Australia
Ban Bangladesh
Ber 1 1 Bermuda
Cey Ceylon and Sri Lanka
Can 2 2 Canada
Fr France
Ger 5 Germany
Gr Greece
HK Hong Kong
Ind India
Ire Ireland
It Italy
Jam 1 1 Jamaica
Ken Kenya
Mya Malaysia
Mal Malta
NL Netherlands
Nwf 1 1 Newfoundland — initially separate from Canada
NZ 1 1 New Zealand
Rhd 3 3 Rhodesia
Pak Pakistan
SA 5 5 “Southern Africa”
Si Singapore
Sp Spain
Uga Uganda
USA 32 32 USA
Zam Zambia
Zim Zimbabwe
Tot 52 57 Total

From Wikipedia

Doesn’t look all that racist to me. Especially if you compare it to an out and out racist like, oh, I don’t know, maybe his contemporary Woodrow Wilson, who has damaged race relations as much as any American.

By the way, I will complain to a waitress, about bad service, that is the extent of her responsibility, and it’s unfair to blame her for anything else. Complain to the manager, or somebody else in charge. Or in this case, maybe they should complain to President Jacob Zuma, who is about twice as black as, say, President Obama.

Of course, that wouldn’t fit their narrative nearly as well, would it?

Almost, but Not Quite

From the Daily Standard:

The magic number needed to capture the Republican presidential nomination in 1976 was 1,130 delegates, and Ronald Reagan was oh so close as the national convention prepared to convene.

After losing six straight primaries to President Gerald Ford early in the year, Reagan had come roaring back, attacking Ford for his weak foreign policy and deficit spending and winning the crucial North Carolina primary with help from Sen. Jesse Helms. Reagan achieved a political resurrection and posed the most serious challenge to an incumbent Republican president since 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt had taken on William Howard Taft.

After Reagan won the Texas, Indiana, Georgia and Alabama primaries, a nonplussed GOP establishment that favored Ford struggled to understand the former California governor’s appeal. Conservative author Richard Whalen made it easy for them: Reagan was doing well because he was “unsullied by Watergate, untainted by Vietnam, and uncorrupted by a Washington system that isn’t working.”

However, after failing to carry Ohio although easily winning his home state of California, Reagan realized that the political momentum was shifting back to Ford. Something dramatic had to be done. Breaking a long-held precedent, he announced his running mate before the convention: Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, a moderate conservative with a high rating from the AFL-CIO. Schweiker assured Reagan and his aides that he could pry loose delegates from Pennsylvania and other Northern states. […]

Anxious to achieve unity, Ford generously invited Reagan to join him on the platform following his acceptance speech. Reagan gave a rapt convention and tens of millions of viewers a taste of what they would have heard if he had been nominated. Without notes or a teleprompter, he speculated how Americans 100 years from now would look back at this time.

Would they say, “Thank God for those people in 1976 who headed off that loss of freedom; who kept us now a hundred years later free; who kept our world from nuclear destruction?” This was this generation’s challenge, Reagan declared. “Whether [the Americans of 2076] have the freedom that we have known up until now will depend on what we do here.”

via When Reagan Almost Won: The 1976 GOP Convention

And perhaps we shall, once again, have cause to quote the old English ballad that Reagan quoted the next day:

“I’ll lay me down and bleed awhile; although I am wounded, I am not slain. I shall rise and fight again.”

If so, we will know, once again, that it is the truth. And we shall return to the arena.

Spring Cleaning

woman_spring_cleaning1Time to do a bit of spring cleaning. I keep finding far more things that would make good posts than I ever have time to write about, so here are some of them.

You and your monkey brain.

Our friend, and our enemy: Time, itself.

Why is productivity so low?

Why Apple is so annoying.

Do we want high-paying manufacturing job? Maybe we should learn from Indiana.

How the way we teach American History got so screwed up, and how to fix it.

What made Ronald Reagan great.

Mr. Lincoln goes to London, or does he?

David Cameron loses the plot, or did he ever know it?

Love Game of Thrones? Then you must love history whether you know it or not.

Suzannah Lipscomb tells you how it is recycled British history, mostly!

And the Irish, sensible folk that they are, are building a statue of the Duke, and Maureen O’Hara, as they appeared in our favorite movie: The Quiet Man.

And finally, quit whining, nobody owes you a job or anything else!

 

Lefty bishops rumbled. Thought for the Day is hugely biased against the market economy – The Conservative Woman

BBC_TV_CentreThis is interesting. Yes, it’s about the BBC, and so maybe not directly relevant to us. But then again, I think what Britain (and the world) think of us has at least some relevance. In addition, I wonder if it doesn’t apply full force to NPR also because it seems to me to have much the same set-up, and the same biases as well.

Of the many compelling arguments the respected Institute of Economic Affairsmakes today for privatising the BBC commercially the one that struck me most was the BBC’s bias.

Most TCW readers are more than aware that the BBC is no longer fit for purpose; that its market power – especially in terms of news provision – coupled with its compulsory funding method and its closeness to the political process is hugely problematic.

Many hope that commercial competition will soon render it irrelevant. But that’s not likely as long as it holds onto its licence fee monopoly. That’s why this new evidence from the IEA is so important – proving as it does that BBC no longer deserves its privileged position.

The IEA argues that all media outlets are likely to have biases. However, the BBC’s is more problematic for reason of its trusted reputation, the inability of its customers to withdraw payment and the fact it provides 75 per cent of all televised news and thus has a ‘monopoly’ over  public opinion.

The IEA’s new case studies are a shocking demonstration of  how the BBC fails the public’s trust.

To take just some examples:

Its analysis of Radio 4’s Today programme – from March 2004 to July 2015 – revealed gross bias by omission. One guess as to whose voices were omitted: those favouring Britain’s exit from the EU of course. Over the period the IEA found of the 4,275 guest speakers on EU themes only 3 per cent of these were explicitly in favour of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Seven in ten of these speakers were from Ukip, and over a third were Nigel Farage alone. We can but wonder where John Redwood, Richard North, Owen Paterson, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, John Mills, Jacob Rees Mogg, Dominic Raab, Sir Archie (now Lord) Hamilton, Frank Field and Kate Hoey were – to name but a very few leading Eurosceptics. In hiding? Were they refusing to take Today’s calls?

When it came to the official 2015 General Election campaign, Today fielded 25 business speakers to discuss the EU referendum. What did the IEA uncover? That over three-quarters of these speakers saw the referendum as a worry or a threat to business, despite the contemporaneous polling finding that two thirds of businesses back the holding of a referendum. […]

Of the 167 items that included discussions and opinion on capitalism, markets and business they found only 8 per cent gave any sort of positive perspective. Negative commentary outweighed positive commentary by a factor of more than eight to one. […]

There is more – our worst fears at TCW of the BBC’s biased ‘gender agenda’ were confirmed, demonstrating once more that the BBC in no way deserves its reputation for fair coverage.

The particular example the IEA’s scrutinised was the BBC’s News website coverage of the government’s new measures to try to combat the gender pay gap through imposing new requirements on large companies. It contained neither expert economic opinion on the use of crude average gender pay gap figures nor dissenting opinion on the effectiveness of the policies.

via Kathy Gyngell: Lefty bishops rumbled. Thought for the Day is hugely biased against the market economy – The Conservative Woman

Kathy’s right here, I think, and I think that because I too listen to the BBC (a lot), in fact as I write this I’m listening to BBC Radio Norfolk, which is my favorite office station. I even watch it a good deal, and that is how it sounds to me, as well. Sort of like NPR, but on some really good steroids. And I treat it the same way, in anything but the hardest of news, I simply disbelieve it. Hardly a trusted voice of news, but then few are, and as I’ve said, their biases are predictable, and so one can discount, and revise, and get within shouting distance of the news. But how many do?

They’re right, kick ’em loose, and let them sink or swim.

Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia, and the fiery planet of Mustafar, from "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." (Credit: Michael Lionstar/Salon)

Camille Paglia, and the fiery planet of Mustafar, from “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” (Credit: Michael Lionstar/Salon)

Ella Whelan recently interviewed Camille Paglia for Spiked. As always, a huge amount of common sense is on display.

But turn your brain to high, because there is several hours worth of information here, in a bit over a half hour. Her classes must be fascinating, and also very tiring, but never tiresome.

Her views on Feminism, Lena Dunham, and Hillary Clinton are worth your time, not even to start with campus culture, or lack thereof.

I don’t see how she get to where she goes with her politics, but her premises are almost always correct.

Enjoy!

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