The Wednesday Compendium

Richard Gere visited that refugee ship that the Italians are preventing form landing its passengers (good for them, in my opinion). Weasel Zippers tells us this.

He [Gere] compared the political situation in Italy, where League leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly refused requests by migrant ships to dock, to that of the U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

“We have our problems with refugees coming from Honduras, Salavador, Nicaragua, Mexico… It’s very similar to what you are going through here,” he said, accusing politicians in both Italy and the United States of demonising migrants.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini came very close to winning the internet with his response.

“Given this generous millionaire is voicing concern for the fate of the Open Arms migrants, we thank him: he can take back to Hollywood, on his private plane, all the people aboard and support them in his villas. Thank you Richard!” he said in a statement.

Well done, Minister Salvini. Sounds like something we’ve all thought, and perhaps said, more than once, doesn’t it?


National Security Advisor John Bolton is currently in London, talking to the British about Brexit and how it will affect our relationship. According to Guido, he said this:

He makes clear the US would “enthusiastically” support the UK if it left with no deal:

“If that is the decision of the British government, we will support it enthusiastically. That is the message I am bringing: we are with you. Britain’s success in successfully exiting the EU is a statement about democratic rule and constitutional government that is important for Britain but for the US too.”

Which is exactly what I’ve wanted ever since British Independence Day back on  23 June 2016. That it has taken over three years to finally get to this point makes it clear that Theresa May was the worst Prime Minister since at least Lord North.  As somebody said, Lord North only lost America, Theresa May did her best to lose Britain itself. Thank God for Boris Johnson, and may he steer a proper course back to independence. Somebody, back in some dangerous time, signaled, “England expects that every man will do his duty” Nothing much has changed in that regard since 23 October 1805.

This is part of the reason it is so important. From Mr. Bolton.

“The fashion in the European Union when the people vote the wrong way from the way the elites want to go, is make the peasants vote again and again until they get it right.”

Bolton, like many in the Trump administration, is an ideological supporter of Brexit as well as a pragmatic one. Remainers can complain all they like but it’s not a bad thing to have in your closest ally at this moment in time…

There are a lot of Americans (including me) who think that way, and some 16.7 million Britons as well.


Over at American Thinker, Eileen F. Toplansky wants to know why blacks are relinquishing their birthright. It’s a good question. Here is some of her article.

The Democrat Party knows only one way to reach the Black population in this country. They race-bait; they lie; they foment change that never actually helps Black people. They engage in covert racism against the very people they claim to want to help.

Cities that are Democratically-controlled have an abysmal record of assisting Black citizens. Yet, when election time comes around, the Democrats swoop in with their promises only to leave when the television cameras cease running.

She then talks about The Freedmen’s Bureau established in the War Department during Reconstruction.

On April 19, 1866, former slaves Benjamin Berry Manson and Sarah Ann Benton White received an official marriage certificate from the Freedmen’s Bureau, officially known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

The Wilson County, Tennessee couple had lived as slave man and wife since October 28, 1843, and for the first time in more than two decades their marriage had finally received legal recognition. The Freedmen’s Bureau — established in the War Department by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865 … provided freed people with food and clothing, medical attention, employment, support for education, help with military claims, and a host of other socially related services — including assisting ex-slave couples in formalizing marriages they had entered into during slavery.

For the Mansons — who had lived intermittently on separate farms — the marriage certificate issued by the Freedmen’s Bureau was more than a document ‘legally’ sealing the sacred bonds of holy matrimony. Listing the names and ages of 9 of their 16 children, it was for them a symbol of freedom and the long-held hope that they and their children would one day live free as a family in the same household.

Benjamin and Sarah Manson were not alone in their quest to put their slave marriage on a legal footing. When freedom came, tens of thousands of former slave men and women — some seeking to marry for the first time and others attempting to solemnize long-standing relationships — sought help from Union Army clergy, provost marshals, northern missionaries, and the Freedmen’s Bureau.

We don’t talk enough about how we tried to help the former slaves and accomplished quite a lot.

Regarding education, how is it that so many black students are not excelling in school?  Frederick Douglass innately understood that slavery and education are incompatible because ignorance is one way slave-owners kept their slaves manageable.  Why aren’t black students demanding that they be taught the basics and not a slew of left-wing indoctrination meant to divide people and keep them down?

While no one is in actual iron chains, the Democratic Party keeps black people manageable because they have been denied the tools to succeed in reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic.  If you can barely read, you are ripe for the indoctrination and emotional angst the Democrats whip up.  If you are praised when you speak street talk in an effort to avoid appearing educated, what kind of gift is that?  If Democrats — now diehard leftists — use “white privilege” arguments in order to lure in naïve black students, these students have become useful tools to the left-wing Democratic Party.

As Thomas Sowell has written, “[d]uring the half century following the Civil War, an estimated $57 million was contributed from the North to educate black students in the South and blacks themselves contributed an additional $24 million.  But the Southern states dragged their feet on creating schools — and especially high schools — for black children.”

In fact, it was the Southern Democrats who were determined not to let black children realize their full potential.

Read it all. She is completely, thoroughly, and unequivocally correct. It’s a shame that Johnson and his heirs have so suborned the blacks that they actually do believe that their oppressors are their friends. I suspect than when the scales drop from their eyes, there will be hell to pay. I hope it comes soon because the longer it takes, the worse it will be, both for them now and for us all later.

Not for nothing did President Kennedy say:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

And that applies to all three stories we have here today.

The Special Relationship

Michael Curtis over at American Thinker was musing on the state of the Special Relationship last week. It’s pretty good.

The term “Special Relationship” (SR) between the U.S. and UK was devised by the half-American Winston Churchill. Always conscious of the link between his two countries when he said on February 6, 1944 that it was his “deepest conviction that unless Britain and the United States are joined in a special relationship …another destructive war will come to pass.” In November 1945 he stated, “We should not abandon our special relationship with the United States and Canada about the atomic bomb.”

After World War II, Churchill uttered the phrase a third time when, in his majestic “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946, he asserted that the U.S. stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. Churchill declared that “Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples… a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States.”

Churchill was optimistic about the growing friendship between “our two vast but kindred systems of society.” Included in this were intimate contacts with military advisors, possession of similar weapons, interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges, continuation of present facilities for mutual security.

That is how it officially came to be but there is something else. In that war, almost two million Americans were either stationed in or passed through Great Britain. The East Anglians (where most of the 8th AAF was) sometimes refer to it as “The Friendly Invasion”. They are correct, our peoples found that for the most part, we liked each other. I simply can’t imagine the old joke from that time applying anyplace but Britain. You know the one, about Americans being “overpaid, oversexed, and over here” with the rejoinder that the Brits were “underpaid, undersexed, and under Ike”. Mostly good-natured, except maybe at closing time at the pub. In any case:

The UK, like the Trump administration, wants to avoid military action against Iran, but both uphold the principle of freedom of navigation, and keeping the Strait of Hormuz open to all shipping. The extent of collaboration between the two countries on this and other issues has to be revaluated in view of the Conservative politician Boris Johnson, elected on July 23, 2019 to be leader of the Conservative party, by two to one majority, and in a few days to become prime minister.

By curious coincidence Boris, like Winston Churchill, is half American, since he was born in Manhattan in 1964, until he renounced his American citizenship in 2017, largely over capital gains taxation. Johnson had the comfortable family background, elite educational training — Eton, Balliol College Oxford — and after some years as a journalist, held political positions including M.P., mayor of London, 2008-2016, foreign minister 2016-2018, and is a supporter of Brexit.

In some characteristics he resembles Trump — a brash, entertaining, theatrical manner, somewhat unfocused, unconventional, unpredictable, problems with extra-marital affairs. Like Trump’s aversion from the media, Johnson terms the BBC the “Brexit Bashing Corporation.” Johnson is the life and soul of the party, but you would not want to drive him home. Charismatic, he is, as one friend said, the stardust of British politics.

Well, time will tell, but unless Britain succumbs after a millennium to Europe, I think it goes on. Britain needs, I think, to damned well Brexit already, and fix their relationships with the Commonwealth. That’s who really got screwed when they went into the EEC, and I suspect they are still a bit miffed. Probably why some, like Australia, have moved closer to the US in recent years

But in the main, Britain, like the US, is Oceania. We are both worldwide maritime nations. In truth, Britain was the first superpower, able to exert great power anywhere in the world. In the full definition of the world, there are perhaps three, if one counts Imperial Rome, the US is the third. Because there is a lot more to being a superpower than being able to destroy the world. Both Britain and following her, the US have measurably improved the life of the world.

And, if we are honest, the US would have developed much differently if Nelson had not won at Trafalgar. In many ways, the British held the ring, allowing the New World to develop as its people chose, without interference from the Old.

And for us both, one of the keystones of the whole thing is freedom of the seas. I’ve spoken of this many times, perhaps most cogently here. After the 8 years of the Obama misrule, we are short of lots of military stuff, although it is improving. Britain too has had a succession of governments that have starved the military, in addition to persecuting their warriors, as opposed to the malignant neglect much of our elite have shown ours. Remember what Sir Walter Raleigh wrote so long ago:

For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.

Since that day back in 1588 when Sir Francis saw off the Armada, that has been first: England, then Great Britain, and then the United States. The world we live in is the result of that.

And that is what really keeps the special relationship (indeed the entire Anglosphere community) together. It’s in our common interest. For countries, as for us, common interests make for better friendships. But with leaders on both sides who admire Winnie greatly, we should start to get along better, although like all families, the Anglos Saxon tribe will always have our spats.

Hell in a Handcart: The European Report

The British continue their fall from being a free country. Tommy Robinson, their most famous political prisoner, is back in jail, with the establishment no doubt hoping their moslem allies kill him in prison, as has happened to other people railroaded by the government. Bruce Bawer in FrontPage Magazine tells us about it.

Trial by trial, imprisonment by imprisonment, dishonest news report by dishonest news report, the miserable bastards who make up the British establishment are steadily transforming Tommy Robinson, a working-class husband and father from Leeds, into an imperishable symbol of the quiet determination, indomitable courage, and love of liberty for which Britain used to be known but which that selfsame establishment has labored effortfully to stamp out during these opening chapters of the Islamization of that once-great nation.

Even those of us who have been closely following Tommy’s treatment by the British courts during the past couple of years – and who, perusing the charges against him, have recognized just how outrageously he has been treated by a judiciary committed not to justice but to the silencing, and if possible personal destruction, of this latter-day Jeremiah – were stunned by the verdict handed down on Friday after a two-day trial.

This was a rehearing of the same case that last year landed Tommy in prison (more specifically, in what amounted, in violation of the Geneva Convention, to solitary confinement), an ordeal from which he emerged, after two months, looking physically and psychologically all but broken. The charges themselves were absurd to begin with: he was taken into custody near the courthouse in Leeds, where he was doing a live report on Facebook video about an “Asian grooming-gang” (i.e. Muslim child-rape) prosecution that was underway inside. He didn’t do or say anything that any BBC or Guardian journalist in similar circumstances might do; but he was arrested anyway – on the grounds that his reporting from out on the street had somehow threatened to prejudice the trial going on inside the building – and was charged with contempt of court.

The speed with which he was tried, convicted, and incarcerated after his arrest in Leeds – the whole process took just a few hours – shocked observers who still thought of British justice as something serious and worthy of respect. His release from prison two months later came after the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, in an unusually blistering ruling, declared that the court proceedings against him had been illegitimate in a number of ways, and ordered his immediate release.

Keep reading at the link above. This travesty will probably stand long enough to kill a brave man, which is the judge’s intention.

In news from Scotland, a student has been expelled for stating that there are only two genders, which as anybody with any sense at all knows, is plain fact. Here is Sofia Carbone in Human Events to explain.

According to the 17-year-old student known only as Murray, the events unfolded after the teacher pulled up a website in front of the whole class that only gave two gender options.

“If I am [entitled to my own opinion], then why did you kick me out of class? It’s not very inclusive.” – Murray, 17

“[The teacher] basically started going off on a tangent about how bad that was, and how old fashioned it was,” Murray told a YouTube account known as ‘I, Hypocrite’.

This is when the student stated the scientific fact there are only two genders. In turn, he was removed from class, later given the reason his ‘opinion’ was ‘not inclusive’. However the teacher stated his own opinion, that there are more than two genders, is “acceptable” in contrast.

After sitting outside the classroom for thirty minutes, the teacher finally came out to speak with Murray, who recorded the entire encounter.

“You’re entitled to your opinion,” the teacher told Murray.

“If I am, then why did you kick me out of class? It’s not very inclusive,” Murray inquired.

Meanwhile, in the UK…. pic.twitter.com/9ATvHuUQ1P

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) June 14, 2019

Within a day of the video being posted, it had gone viral.

The school came across the video and called Murray and his mother in for a meeting.

According to Murray, during the meeting the school officials made clear he was not getting in trouble for his comment. Rather because he recorded the teacher which is a direct violation of one of the school’s rules.

The lesson to take from that, I think is that do not ever, tell the British schools the truth, tell them what they want to hear. This is, of course, the country that indoctrinates 5-year-olds with LGBTQWERTY nonsense, after all. And above all, don’t tell the world what these twits are doing. Family? what’s that? The State will raise you so that you too can be a confused twit.

No place left in (formerly great) Britain for honest people.

Noted in passing that the British Ambassador to the United States has been doing a very good job of smearing the President to his government. I thought that was the BBC’s job, but I guess he wanted to help out.

And in Europe, the EU keeps digging. David Wojick writing in PAPundits International tells us about that.

A month ago I predicted political turmoil in EU HQ and here it is. The strong (American like) showings by both the left and right in the parliamentary elections have destabilized the old, comfortable, left wing center.

The issue is who gets the top political positions? It is sort of like who will now be president? Except under the EU’s Byzantine structure there are several presidents, or sort of, I think.

As I understand it there is the President of the EU Commission, the President of the European Parliament, the President of the European Council (whose members are the EU countries), plus some other bigwig posts.

Britain having its own internal turmoil, with May on her way out, has left Germany (with Merkel probably also on her way out) and Macron’s France to defend the liberal center and that defense is decidedly weak, to say the least. Amusingly, Spain is now being cited as a power.

What is happening is actually pretty simple, but the liberal media simply does not want to report it. Trump-like populism is advancing. The old rules gave these top posts to the parties with the most votes but these are not centrist liberal parties so the liberals do not want to give up power.

And so that’s the salient reports from Europe lately. Hell, Handcarts, some easy travel required. After all, it’s downhill from here.

And Looking Across the Ditch

Yesterday we took a look at the status of Brexit, since that post the worst candidate for Tory leader has dropped out, which seems like a good thing. But let’s take a look at Europe.

The European Parliament elections have put an end to the “far right.” From now on, the EU’s ministers and bureaucrats will have a new nationalist right complicating their machinations. The attempt to identify elite preferences with majority rule under the false rubric of centrism has failed. For the first time, the center-left Socialists & Democrats and the center-right European People’s Party have failed to win a majority. Instead, an anti-EU bloc has emerged in the European Parliament, the very institution intended to fix the famous democratic deficit of the EU while sanctioning “centrism” continent-wide.

This immoderate centrism will no longer be able to label populists as undemocratic. These so-called populists in several countries now control the government. They achieved this by democratic decision in free and fair elections: think here of Poland, Hungary, and Italy. Populism is a popular choice for the European Parliament: England, France, and Italy bear this out. Unless elites propose to elect another people, as Bertold Brecht joked, they’ll just have to stop calling it “far right.” […]

We are experiencing a politics of maneuvering between elites that still hold the highest offices in the EU and counter-elites hoping to replace them, change the structure of the EU, and even destroy some EU powers. The command of the high EU offices is still powerful enough to exclude the nationalists from EU coalitions, since there are alternatives on the center and left, but that will expose the center as its own faction or what Pierre Manent has referred to as the “immoderate middle.” Expect the nationalists to make this conflict worse by undermining the legitimacy of the European Parliament. They will work to subvert the European institutional consensus—to expose entrenched corruption and to expose the technocratic consensus as partisan, and to defend each other from Article VII sanctions (loss of voting rights) which the European Parliament threatened against Hungary in 2018.

This is a good moment for the nationalists to size up their adversaries’ ideas about the situation Europe now faces, adrift somewhere between America and China. Europe has neither the economic growth nor the technology to compete with either of the two, but EU officials keep saying they want to be independent of NATO on security and foreign policy even as China is buying its way into the EU and introducing new technologies over which it has a near-monopoly, such as 5G infrastructure. Before the 2008 financial crisis, the EU was not only the future of Europe, but political alternatives were inconceivable—they had no expression. EU politicians and their compliant press applied the epithet Eurosceptic to such views. But the failure to deal with the financial crisis, among other crises, has mainstreamed opposition to the EU on a number of levels in Europe—and it’s now storming into the European Parliament itself.

What champion of the EU consensus will fight it? The self-appointed leader of Europe is French President Emmanuel Macron. His presidency has not exactly been met with great success. The French people in many ways have given him their own vote of no-confidence, from months of street protests (“yellow vests” movement) to the victory of Marine Le Pen in the European Parliament elections, his own party coming in a close second, with only 22% of the votes. His great unpopularity, which plagued both his single-term predecessors, portends problems for the Fifth Republic. But Macron is still an elected president with very considerable powers.

There is quite a lot more, read it all at The European Union and the Fate of Nations.

I think that is true, once again (albeit by quite different means) Great Britain is moving to prevent a single power from dominating Europe. This time, not the government, but the people. It’s a wise move, even though continental Europe is becoming irrelevant, as both China and the United States move well beyond it. It needs Britain far more than it thinks. That I suspect is part of the trouble with Germany and France. Remainers often chide Brexiteer as ‘Little Englanders’. But like so much with the left, it is projection. What I see is little Europe and global Britain.

Britain isn’t the largest power in Europe, nor has it ever been. But, like, and perhaps even more than, the United States, it has a cachet for the rest of the world. It is the foremost font of ‘soft power’ because of who and what it has been in the modern world. I commented last weekend at the Hong Kong demonstrations and the number of the old colonial flag, Union Jack in the canton, and royal arms in the field, 20 years after the colony was ceded back to China. That’s no accident.

Nor is it an accident that all the countries that promote freedom share the Union Jack. Britain, of course, and Australia, and New Zealand, But the old flag of Singapore also does, as does Canada’s Red Ensign. The US also has a historic flag featuring the Union Flag in the canton. In fact, that was the flag raised in Philadelphia on 4 July 1776.

That’s a lot of places that remember the heritage of the British, show me the comparable heritage of the French, or the Germans.

Titus Techera ends his article with this:

As soon as he won the vote in Italy, Salvini moved to talk to other populist victors, having already formed a new European party for nationalists. Is it even possible for nationalists to have an alliance across borders? On what principle of justice? They will invariably have competing, contradictory claims and no institutional arrangements where leaders can pledge their loyalties and arrange to defend each other from the institutional claims of the EU, much less from the enormous influence of the German economy. Whether national politics or the continent-wide arrangement of institutions and economic interests wins will go a long way to deciding the future of Europe.

I’m inclined to say, of course, they can, if they are mature enough to do it. Like the US, Britain, and Canada will give way on minor gripes to each other, so can these countries. Whether they will is a different question.

To conclude, what the nationalists can do is shake the confidence of the centrists and mount a minority assault on decisions in the various EU institutions, since they cannot control EU offices. We will find out whether the various EU institutions are weaker or stronger than they have hitherto seemed. But we will also learn how aggressive the shift from the political center to the Greens and Liberals will make the majority. There is no tranquility or common purpose in sight.

And it is even possible, although unlikely on their own, that they shake the whole edifice down and allow Europe once again to be a group of independent nations trying to look out for their people.

A Brexpanation of the Mess in Westminster

This is, I think, a very good view of Britain as it prepares for what may thankfully be the last phase of Brexit.  It’s from Helen Dale writing in London for Law & Liberty. Let’s take a look.

At time of writing, Boris Johnson has opened a commanding lead in the race to be Conservative Party leader and thus Prime Minister, confirming one of my father’s bits of life advice: “always bet on self-interest, Helen; it’s the only horse that’s trying”. Whether Boris will have a country to govern come July 22 is, however, something of a moot point.

Let me tell you about Brexit Britain, which is in the process of breaking the Big Electric Trainset in the Palace of Westminster.

Since the 23rd of June 2016, when the UK voted to “leave” the European Union, colossal fissures — hitherto obscured from view — have opened in the body politic. More Conservatives voted Leave than Labourites, but Labour represents the most passionately pro-Remain constituencies in the country and the most passionately pro-Leave ones. This means both parties have taken to destroying themselves internally rather than dealing with the vote’s implications.

The Tories are more culpable because they formed government during this period. They stuck with Theresa May, a leader who lacks every leadership quality apart from perseverance and who managed to lose a 20 per cent poll lead against an antediluvian Marxist after calling a completely unnecessary general election. This election produced a hung parliament and forced May’s Tories into a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a Northern Irish outfit that is, to put it mildly, full of strange characters.

Thanks in part to the immense distraction of said unnecessary election, May and her Cabinet Office hangers-on made a complete hash of negotiating Brexit. They failed to appreciate — while slow and ponderous and beset with terrible problems of its own (Italy, Greece, Hungary, people in France attempting to re-run 1789, etc.) — the EU must defend itself on Brexit or risk being torn asunder.

There’s a lot in that. Because Mrs. May fiddled around while the Conservative party burned around her, the EU itself is backed into a corner. Back when the referendum passed, it might have been possible to let the UK go without too many repercussions in the EU itself, at least obviously, and like HMG, the people running the EU give no indication of being deep thinkers. But now, they have something of a continent-wide revolt on their hands, caused not least by Brexit, and so now everybody thinks they are fighting in the last ditch.

They may well be correct in that belief. It’s hard to see Britain surviving as a sovereign country if they take May’s Withdrawal Agreement, which to me (and to most of my British friends) looks slightly more harsh than Versailles agreement that ended the Great War did to Germany. It’s also increasingly hard to see the EU surviving the loss of its second largest contributor.

It is not Project Fear to point out that tariffs will make our goods unappealing to buyers in the EU; that is their point. A large number of British businesses will be affected and many of them will go bust. Industries that cannot relocate, such as Welsh lamb farmers — who depend overwhelmingly on exports — will go to the wall and they will not go quietly (nor should they).

On the other hand, shoppers will be free of EU tariffs on imports and will be able to buy generally superior Commonwealth (Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Canada) agricultural produce at a lower price. This is an undoubted benefit of leaving the EU properly but is also a reminder that neither EU nor UK agriculture is remotely competitive with Australian or Canadian agriculture.

That’s very true, and unlike 2016, the United States has a president that believes in Brexit and is willing to do a very good trade agreement, and our agriculture would make for overwhelming pressure on UK farmers, that’s one of the reasons that the EU’s agriculture tariffs are so high. But agriculture isn’t merely another business, aside from the fact that being able to feed yourself (or come close) is a strategic matter, for all of us agriculture is our base, it is how we grew our countries. That’s true for Britain, and France, and Germany, but also Canada and the United States, and Australia. It’s much more important to all of us than business, it’s very deep in our personalities.

One of the reasons the 2016 EU Referendum was so destructive of civil society is because Westminster is a system of representative democracy. We elect MPs to make law, and it is their role to deliberate in Parliament and make decisions on behalf of those they represent, but not at their behest. Over its long development, anything even vaguely populist was drained out of the UK’s constitutional architecture. Politicians are not supposed to keep picking at some electoral scab or another using direct democracy. 2016 was thus a horrible disruption of the constitutional order precisely because referendums are not how one does things.

A referendum became necessary, though, as the UK outsourced so many legislative competencies — most importantly trade and immigration — to the EU. Constitutionally, the electorate entrusts MPs with legislative power, but Parliament had no authority to give that power away; it required a popular mandate. Britain’s greatest constitutional lawyer, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, pointed out that a referendum should have been held in 1993 (before signing the Maastricht Treaty). His advice was ignored. Instead, former Prime Minister David Cameron, Bognanor’s most famous student, was forced by circumstances to lance the national boil in 2016.

UK politicians have legislated and governed within such a constrained field for so long they are now literally out of practice. Westminster is no more than a Big Electric Trainset. The concomitant loss of capacity among civil servants is notable. It is difficult, for example, to imagine the Home Office replicating Australia’s points-based immigration system, even if it wanted to.

And that is the baseline, I think. I can remember a very good friend telling me that the reason that every governmental function in Britain is Londoncentric is because there are no competent people in local government. I suspect he is correct. The problem now (that neither of us suspected then) is that there are none in Westminster, either.

Maybe Boris Johnson can find some, or Nigel Garage, or somebody. Because it is important that some develop from somewhere, or the whole thing is gonna fail.

Do read the whole article at Brexplaining the UK’s Future. It’s excellent.

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

On American Greatness, Victor Davis Hanson asks this question. It’s a good one, I think. Because almost all of us of the middling sort are pretty angry about things. So let’s have a look.

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and the stunning recent Australian re-election of conservatives?

Put simply, the middle classes are revolting against Western managerial elites. The latter group includes professional politicians, entrenched bureaucrats, condescending academics, corporate phonies and propagandistic journalists.

What are the popular gripes against them?

One, illegal immigration and open borders have led to chaos. Lax immigration policies have taxed social services and fueled multicultural identity politics, often to the benefit of boutique leftist political agendas.

Two, globalization enriched the cosmopolitan elites who found worldwide markets for their various services. […]

He gives us six, in all. All are, as one would expect, cogent and accurate. So go and read them.

One common gripe framed all these diverse issues: The wealthy had the means and influence not to be bothered by higher taxes and fees or to avoid them altogether. Not so much the middle classes, who lacked the clout of the virtue-signaling rich and the romance of the distant poor.

In other words, elites never suffered the firsthand consequences of their own ideological fiats.

That’s a huge part of it in my estimation. It’s one thing if all these things are good for us, or necessary for the world to survive, or something. It’s an entirely different kettle of fish if you’re telling me how important this trash is, but it doesn’t apply to you and your friends. “Do as I say not as I do” doesn’t work any better leading a company, group, country, civilization, or anything else than it does trying to raise a kid. Never has, never will.

What it does is bring rebels. It did when my high school said we couldn’t wear blue jeans. Suddenly my entire class showed up in them. What are you going to do now, Mr. Principal? Give a quarter of the school detention? Makes you look sort of bad, doesn’t it, that your leadership is so bad?

The same principle applies when you and a few hundred of your closest friends fly their private jets into Davos for a party disguised (badly) as a conference.

Elites masked their hypocrisy by virtue-signaling their disdain for the supposedly xenophobic, racist or nativist middle classes. Yet the non-elite have experienced firsthand the impact on social programs, schools and safety from sudden, massive and often illegal immigration from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia into their communities.

As for trade, few still believe in “free” trade when it remains so unfair. Why didn’t elites extend to China their same tough-love lectures about global warming, or about breaking the rules of trade, copyrights and patents?

Do you know anybody who believes any of this tosh, unless, perhaps, their livelihood depends on it, or the indoctrination they received in school hasn’t been rubbed off yet? I can’t think of one that I do. I know a few trolls who say they do, but I’d bet they’re paid to say that. I do know one person who believes in Global Warming, but he also believes it is beyond the tipping point, so we may as well ‘Rock on’.

If Western nations were really so bad, and so flawed at their founding, why were millions of non-Westerners risking their lives to reach Western soil?

How was it that elites themselves had made so much money, had gained so much influence, and had enjoyed such material bounty and leisure from such a supposedly toxic system—benefits that they were unwilling to give up despite their tired moralizing about selfishness and privilege?

So where does it end?

Because elites have no answers to popular furor, the anger directed at them will only increase until they give up—or finally succeed in their grand agenda of a non-democratic, all-powerful Orwellian state.

Or in an armed revolt, which I discount less each month. The people are not going to go quietly into the night.

 

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