Caracas on the Thames

Sunset near Trafalgar Square, London, UK

So there sits Britain, a bit more than half of the population bestirred themselves to extricate themselves from the EU to a fair amount of excitement on both sides of the pond. An excellent move, but now what? Theodore Dalrymple has a view, and it is a bleak one. It’s one I don’t completely agree with, but I see the same signs. I merely hope and pray that the Britain that has been preserved through the centuries will manage to bestir itself one more time. Whether that will happen is very problematical.

And the economic auguries for Britain are indeed poor, though not only, or even principally, because of the European Union’s hostility. The fact is that Britain is unlikely to be able to take any advantage of life outside the European straitjacket because its own political class is itself in favour of straitjackets that are no better, and quite possibly worse than, the European ones. The present Prime Minister, Theresa May, is very much a statist, indistinguishable from European social democrats, and the leader of the opposition, Mr Corbyn, who might well be the next Prime Minister, is an unapologetic admirer of Hugo Chavez. It is hardly to be expected that foreign investors will place much trust or confidence in an isolated country whose next government might very well weaken property rights, impose capital controls and increase corporate taxation in favour of supposed social justice. It would not take very long to turn Britain into a northern Venezuela: a Venezuela without the oil or the tropical climate.

Here lies the crux of the current problem, in my mind. Mrs. May was an abysmal choice, although she may have been the best on offer, rather like like choosing Hillary because she was the least worst candidate. But that is just how bad the Tories are, and Labour tends to make Stalin look right wing. She’s all that is said here and more, but the worst is that she seems to have no convictions of her own, simply an empty vessel to be filled by whoever last spoke to her. Well except the Vicar’s daughter has absolute faith in the State, God not so much. Sad.

And the power that the parties have is remarkable, our primaries are often more or less corrupt, but the British have no say whatsoever in who is running to ‘represent’ them. And their bureaucracy puts our deep state to shame, that is who really rules Britain. Long ago they stripped the one voice who could speak for the nation, the Queen, of all power. If they had the guts to fight, it would become Thomas Hobbe’s nightmare come to life – “A war of all on all.”

Just a word of warning, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, a UKIP peer, asked the government recently in the House of Lords if talking about Christianity was a ‘hate crime’.

The government refused to answer.

And it is not only Britain, we have the same disease here, although not as markedly. The other day, J.J. Sefton in Ace’s Morning Report said this.

We’ll start of this Thursday with the continuing, and hopefully soon to end, autopsy of Tuesday’s debacle in Alabama. As we all know, Roy Moore was a flawed candidate for a number of reasons. That doesn’t mean I and most of you did not support him; we all wanted him to win. It’s just that our wish-casting and transposing our logic on to the voters vis a vis allowing the alternative to win (which they did) was illusory. Now all that said, much of the blame can be laid squarely on the drooping shoulders of Mitch McConnell. He wanted an Establishment lackey, like Thad Cochran only with a marginally higher brain stem function, and NOT a member of the House Freedom Caucus, represented by Mo Brooks. And so from the get-go he supported Luther Strange, but for whatever reason (I am uninformed about Alabama local politics) Moore threw his Stetson into the ring and the voters chose him in the runoff. And the rest as we all know is history. Now, yes, while Moore as stated was flawed, the combination of the smear campaign against him, his own idiosyncrasies, and the abandonment by the GOP-e until it was essentially too late gave away what should have been a lock to a Democrat.

Yep, that whole mess was flawed, mostly by Mitch McConnel, another Theresa May type, much more concerned about party than country, not to mention preserving their rice bowls, no matter what.

Back to Britain

This explains why Britain has persistently imported labour from Eastern Europe to perform tasks in its service industries that ordinarily one might have expected its large fund of indigenous non-employed people to perform. The fact is, however, that though these tasks require no special skills, they did require certain personal qualities such as reliability, politeness, and willingness to adapt: and these the eligible local population lack entirely. No hotel-keeper, for example, would consider using British labour if he could get foreign.

Perhaps nothing captures the levels of personal incompetence and lack of self-respect in Britain than the fact that young men of the lowest social class are about half as likely to die in prison as they are if left at liberty. In prison, though adult, they are looked after, at least in a basic way, and told what to do. They are no longer free to pursue their dangerous and crudely self-indulgent lifestyle, in which distraction is the main occupation. In prison they receive the health care that, though it is free to them under the National Health Service, they are not responsible enough to seek when at liberty. In short, they do not know, because they have never been taught, how to live in a minimally constructive fashion, though they were certainly not born ineducable.

No doubt other comparable countries have similar problems, but none (at least, none known to me) has them to anything like the same extent. These problems do not originate from Britain’s membership of the European Union, nor will they be solved by exit from the Union. They can be solved only by something more resembling a religious revival than by any likely government action. But expecting a population to bethink itself while simultaneously being offered political solutions that require no effortful cultural change is unreasonably optimistic. And politicians are unlikely to be frank about the problem for two reasons: first because alluding to the deficiencies of their electorate is probably not the best way to get elected, and second because it downgrades the providential role of politics, which politicians are understandable reluctant to do.

As if this were not quite enough, the hold on the country’s intelligentsia of statist solutions to practically all problems is still immensely strong. Nowhere is this more evident than in its attitude to the National Health Service, the establishment of which it almost universally regards as having been a great achievement, perhaps Britain’s only great achievement of the twentieth century.

Yep, if you talk to Brits, even educated ones, nearly every one of them sees the NHS as the ‘one true god’, even though they get crappy service at best, and are probably more likely to die if treated than not. It can only be religious because the facts are easily available.

But that speaks to what I see in my interactions with what is admittedly a sliver of them, and one that is well right of (their) center. Here we quote our founders often and well, almost all American conservatives do because while they were writing over 200 years ago, the principles they bequeathed us are truly timeless, if we are stalwart enough to apply them even close to properly. It is why we have prospered so mightily.

Most of those principles derived from British sources, Locke, Smith, Burke, Blackstone, and others, not all British, of course, but a majority probably were. Our founders took a clear look at the weaknesses of British government and liberty and wrote a constitution to minimize them. It works pretty well still, even with so many trying to subvert it. But we have that firm foundation, written in ink on parchment, the Declaration, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, The Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and so much more.

The Brits have none of that, the core principles were developed there. But there is nothing comparable to our supreme constitution, they have some scrap of paper they refer to as a constitution, but in our sense, it isn’t. All is always in flux. One Parliament cannot bind another. Magna Charta, that we Americans revere so much, was repealed long ago, so was the English Bill of Rights, as was the right to self-defense.

From my seat, what they never developed, either personally or in the Conservative Party is the principled outlook we have. When something comes up, we know almost instinctively whether it accords with the principles the founders gave us. None of that amongst the Tories, it is all pragmatic, tactics to win the next vote in Parliament or election, never a thought as to principle. It is their great weakness, I think, and why spoke a bit of Judge Moore here. While he has priciples, many of them conflict with our history. he is right on many issues, but often for the wrong reasons. That why he was a very imperfect candidate. It’s also why the British government is broken, perhaps beyond repair.

Impositions that in America would have led to a war in the streets, pass with a shrug “What can you do?” The government says jump, most Britons don’t ask “Why should I?” They merely ask, “How high, ma’am?”

Where is Britain going? Unless they figure out something, I think Dalrymple may well be correct. Caracas without the nice weather.

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

3 Responses to Caracas on the Thames

  1. Reblogged this on boudicabpi2015.

    Like

  2. the unit says:

    Probably got to be strung out or strung up before being bestirred this go round.
    It’s probably racist anyhow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Probably so, most things are, these days! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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