And, Now Again, in London

Well, Londoners, and the British, in general, have form on this, not very different from how they greeted the Blitz. Doesn’t seem to show as often these days, but there are not all that many threats against Britain, or are there? Best writing I’ve seen so far comes from an Englishman living in Romania. Here’s what he says,

We are at war with an idea that kills people

Yesterday several people were murdered just outside the House of Commons. Killing people outside security barriers makes much better sense for a terrorist than trying to pass them, though the murderer did that too in the end, before being shot dead.

Tim Stanley, the British journalist and historian, spoke for many when he called it “A barbaric attack. Monstrous for shedding blood, but impotent because it will not change us or our way of life.” Lots and lots of other people said the same thing.

They may be right. There’s no way of knowing. I hope, though, that they’re wrong and that it does change us and our ideas about immigration.

For some reason, there is a reluctance to discuss the links between terrorism and immigration. Instead we get appeals not to blame Muslims for a few mentally ill people in their midst.

So much mental illness these days.

Next will come candles, a hashtag, someone will pull off a girl’s headscarf and Islamophobia will become the big story.

My first job after university was in the House of Lords. I was 23 and on my first day I was greeted by the policeman on the gate with ‘Hello, my Lord’ and no request for my pass.

In those days (now they seem like the Edwardian era) the peers were mostly hereditary, almost entirely male, all save two were white (one of those an Indian hereditary peer who lived in obscurity in Delhi) and some were in their twenties, but for actuarial reasons very few. I was flattered to be taken for a peer (I was wearing a good suit), but I always thereafter entertained doubts about security at the Palace of Westminster.

Especially since, or despite the fact that, poor Airey Neave M.P. had been murdered by Irish terrorists in the underground car park of the House of Commons, just before Parliament was dissolved for the 1979 general election.

On Monday, the former head of the IRA Martin McGuinness, who became Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, died on Monday after a painful illness and received much praise.

The IRA kept murdering people and, in the end, they got much of what they wanted. This was, I think, worse than a crime. It was a blunder. The IRA were in the process of being not fully but largely defeated by the British security forces, when the ‘peace process’ began.

From: We are at war with an idea that kills people

I don’t disagree with much of what he writes here. At least the perpetrator won’t be out of jail in 5 years, well done, armed police. I’ll have some thoughts about it, perhaps later, but for now, it is time to grieve the dead, comfort the grieving, and start preparing. God bless them all, the long, and the short and the tall.

Happy 100th Birthday to Dame Vera Lynn

Yesterday we regretted the loss of Chuck Berry, whom so many of us loved and enjoyed. Today is a happier occasion for today is the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn, DBE, OStJ, CH, honorary citizen of Nashville Tennessee, holder of the British War medal, and the Burma Star. She is known worldwide as the British Forces Sweetheart. Quite a career for a girl from East Ham, Essex.

And besides, all here know of my weakness for British redheads, so any excuse to feature one is welcome.

Her first recording was Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire, recorded on Crown Records in 1936.

 

Her greatest fame came during the Second World War when she became the Force’s Sweetheart with songs such as these

And this

This

And tonight her image will b projected on those very same white cliffs, by the country she served so well.

This is interesting

But it wasn’t all about loneliness either, especially before the war got so grim, the humour showed itself.

Eventually, it was over

But she kept right on singing, this was the very first #1 on the American charts by a British artist.

And still she goes on, Decca released a new album,  Vera Lynn 100, just three days ago. Here is the trailer

And yes, amazon.co.uk says they will send it out to us Yanks, as well, if we want.

So, how do we end this glorious retrospective? There is only one possible way, in my mind.

And it will truly always be a:

Happy Birthday, Dame Vera!

 

 

 

Paying the Danegeld

I suspect most of you have heard that Chancellor  Merkel has a plan to pay the immigrants she invited to Germany to go away again  Joshuapundit wrote about it here.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing new elections and is not doing at all well in the polls. Quite simply, the Muslim refugees she imported en masse to Germany have turned into a nightmare, with violent crime including sexual assaults at unheard of levels. And most of these refugees, rather than working are enjoying the generous German social welfare benefits, which is exactly why most of them came to Germany in the first place.

Merkel’s new scheme to try and get back into her fellow German’s good graces before elections involves paying migrants millions of Euros to leave.

Merkel is setting aside $95 million (€90m or £76m) in taxpayers’ money to create a fund to try to pay these refugees to withdraw their asylum applications and leave Germany voluntarily.

Germany rejected 170,000 asylum claims in 2016 , according to the Daily Mail, but only 26,000 were repatriated to their home countruies while 55,000 more decided to leave voluntarily and try their luck elsewhere. But that leaves 81,000 rejected applicants who are probably still in Germany!

via Merkel’s Trying To Buy Her Way Out of Germany’s Refugee Crisis ~ J O S H U A P U N D I T

Think about that for a while. She told them all to come and got them welfare while they were there, even forcing property owner to move to give them a place to live. And then we all got to watch as many, many German women were sexually assaulted by these vermin people. So what happens now, when it looks like her people have had enough of this dangerous nonsense? She uses even more taxpayer dollars to get them to go away. Which they likely won’t, after all, the living is easy (for them) in Germany, and even if they do, what exactly is to prevent them taking the money and coming right back with another name? Most of them don’t have reliable documents, anyway.

You know Saxon England had this problem with the Scandinavian raiders, back in the day, around 900 AD or so. They learned a lesson from it, although it rather looks as if the elite in Westminster may have forgotten it. I am assured however that the average Englishman remembers, and as Americans share that history, I suspect we do as well. Rudyard Kipling summed it up pretty well, which is probably why the elites have mostly proscribed him.

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: –
“We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: –
“Though we know we should defeat you,
we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: —

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”

 

Times and Seasons

BL Cotton MS Tiberius B I, the C-text of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

BL Cotton MS Tiberius B I, the C-text of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Yesterday, I read some people complaining that Trump hasn’t stopped DACA yet. This is Wednesday, he was inaugurated last Friday, so give me a break. He’s accomplished more in the part of the last week than most presidents do in their first term. Take a deep breath and relax, he’s not going to do everything we want, anyway, but it looks like he’s going to do an incredible part of it.

My friend, The Clerk of Oxford says this in her latest post.

We don’t have to think about history only as a stream of events down which we helplessly drift, talking and fretting solely about the very latest thing to happen, without a moment for reflection or memory. (We’ll call this the ‘social media timeline’ model of history). There are other options, even if they’re not very fashionable ones: paying mindful attention to the details of the natural world, listening to the voices of poets of the past, thinking about patterns and constants and the changeless, instead of being solely fixated on the present.

Yeah, I know, it’s not always easy in our very noisy world, not for any of us. But there are ways. In that post, she’s talking about an old English poem called Menologium, which is bound with a copy of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, along with a copy of a wisdom poem called Maxims II.

All deal with time, but in different ways, The Chronicle starts with the Incarnation of Christ (Cristes geflæscnesse) and traces history by use of the feast days of the church. This version end with the Battle of Stamford Bridge on ‘the Vigil of St Matthew the Apostle’.

[T]he Menologium, though one might more poetically call it ‘The Beauties of the Year’, since that is really its subject. The poem moves through the calendar year, month by month, feast by feast, finding something to praise about every season in the traditional language of Old English poetry. It marks saints’ days, the 12 months, the two solstices and equinoxes, and the beginning of each of the four seasons, which are dated to the days halfway between each solstice and equinox. Every significant date or season receives its own brief lyrical description…

Maxims II  … begins by musing on kings, power, and the passage of the seasons:

Cyning sceal rice healdan. Ceastra beoð feorran gesyne,
orðanc enta geweorc, þa þe on þysse eorðan syndon,
wrætlic weallstana geweorc. Wind byð on lyfte swiftust,
þunar byð þragum hludast. Þrymmas syndan Cristes myccle,
wyrd byð swiðost. Winter byð cealdost,
lencten hrimigost – he byð lengest ceald –
sumor sunwlitegost – swegel byð hatost –
hærfest hreðeadegost, hæleðum bringeð
geres wæstmas, þa þe him god sendeð.
Soð bið switolost, sinc byð deorost,
gold gumena gehwam, and gomol snoterost,
fyrngearum frod, se þe ær feala gebideð.
Weax bið wundrum clibbor. Wolcnu scriðað.

A king should defend a kingdom. Cities are seen from afar,
the skilful work of giants, which are on this earth,
wondrous work of wall-stones. The wind in the sky is swiftest,
thunder is loudest in season. Great are the powers of Christ.
Fate is the most powerful thing, winter is coldest,
spring frostiest – it is the longest cold –
summer sun-brightest – the sun is hottest –
harvest most glory-blessed; it brings to men
the year’s fruits, which God sends them.
Truth is most treacherous, treasure is dearest,
gold to every man, and an old man is most wise,
made wise with years gone by, he who has experienced much.
Sorrow is wondrously clinging. Clouds glide on.

via A Clerk of Oxford: Times and Seasons, do read it all.

And that is important, I think. No matter the pressures of the day, life goes on, much as before. The seasons come, each in their turn, babies are born, people die or move on, but such things move at the older, slower pace, that our ancestors knew so well, living close to the land as they did. Marking off their life by the feast days of the church, which likely was often the only thing that penetrated their life from outside. It would make us crazy, to be without the constant noise, movement, and controversy, for a time. But I suspect, in the end, we would be more peaceful in our lives.

In Beowulf, the poet tells us

Metod eallum weold
gumena cynnes, swa he nu git deð;
forþan bið andgit æghwær selest
ferhðes foreþanc. Fela sceal gebidan
leofes ond laþes se þe longe her
on ðyssum windagum worolde bruceð. (1057-62)

The Measurer governed all for mankind, as he now does yet;
and so understanding is best everywhere,
forethought of mind. Much must he endure
of love and hate, who long here
in these days of strife enjoys the world.

Seems to me, that depending on how you live your life, those may be some of the most comforting, or the most disconcerting words you will ever read.

She ends her post, as I will mine with a quote from Maxims II.

gomol snoterost,
fyrngearum frod, se þe ær feala gebideð.
Weax bið wundrum clibbor. Wolcnu scriðað.

an old man is most wise,
made wise with years gone by, he who has experienced much.
Sorrow is wondrously clinging. Clouds glide on.

Seriously but not Literally

america-vs-englandI again quoted whoever it was that said we take Donald Trump seriously but not literally again last evening. It is true, we do, we voted for him because he looks to us like a real outsider, who is his own man, not an owned man of the progs. It was exactly the same impulse that led to Brexit, I, and many other Americans and Britons think. Here’s more about that impulse and the repercussions, from a British blog, that I found through still another British blog: The Conservative Woman, which has become one of my favorites. Here’s some of what Herbert has to say:

In 2016, after the best part of five decades spent infiltrating our media, our universities, and our pop culture, the radical feminists, racial minorities who see race as their identity, LBGT types, statists, and haters of national pride and free market economics, came out of the shadows in a final act of revolution, confident that the world was theirs for the taking, and it all came to nothing.

Hillary Clinton, the archetypal feminist, was denied the most powerful position in the world, from where she would have wreaked untold havoc on the most basic values that America and the developed world stand for. And we Britons took back control of our national sovereignty from the creeping socialism and the Soros-funded open society, open-borders mentality of the EU.

This was a massive shock to the progressive left, of course, as witness the parade of their weak-minded, slogan chanting, under-achieving, envy-driven, really rather stupid professional grievance-collecting, entitlement-ridden, acolytes, who emitted what amounted to a shriek of anger that their well-laid plans had been foiled by democracy.

The reaction of this rag-bag army of misfits and malcontents finally showed the new left’s true colours to the world. They demonstrated publicly that all they had to offer was slogans: ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘homophobe’, ‘fascist’ – and, of course, ‘climate change denier’ whenever that part of their plan could be slipped into the equation.

During the 2016 US Presidential campaign and the Brexit referendum in the UK, the progressive left threw everything at victory through the arrogant media, the self-satisfied celebrities, and the pc professors – the so-called experts – who came out of the woodwork, confident that they would swing us all to their all-pervading progressive worldview, and that we would submit.  We didn’t. In 2016, in the UK and the US, the silent majority of ordinary people thumbed their noses at all of them.

This was the real revolution – a revolution of common sense and decency – of values and freedom. It amounted to a rejection of identity politics, grievance cultures, climate change hysteria, alleged experts telling people what is right and wrong, politicians trying to take moral authority over the people who elect them levelling accusations that they were racist when all people wanted was to preserve their hard-won culture, and protect it from being swamped by alien cultures intent on hegemony.

Do read the whole thing at 2016: The year the worm finally turned | herbertpurdy.com

He’s right, it is a real revolution, in the same sense that the American Revolution was. It is an effort to restore, to complete the revolution, if you will, to stand things back in their proper place.

Brexit is and was an imperfect tool for this, but it seemed and seems to be fit for purpose, to divide the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Similarly, Donald Trump is not, and was not a perfect candidate, many of us had reservations, and we may be clinging to a frail reed in his cabinet picks. We will see. But then, neither was Stephan Langton, or the barons a very good choice for the freedom of the common man, but they gave us the first of those charters that have marked our history: Magna Charta.

What is not in doubt is that after still another four or eight years of Hillary Clinton as President, it was going to be very unlikely to put this right, and so it was time to act. This was not a communal, collective act, this was a decision reached quietly, inwardly by millions of Americans, as was the Brexit choice in Britain, and for very similar reasons.

There is a reason why the Anglo-Saxon countries have a thousand year long history of increasing freedom, no matter the opposition. Kipling, as always stated it well.

“My son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for share
When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:–

“The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.

“You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your Picardy spears;
But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained serf in the field,
They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise, you will yield.

“But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs and songs.
Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale of their wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they’re saying; let them feel that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear ’em out if it takes you all day.

They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour of the dark.
It’s the sport not the rabbits they’re after (we’ve plenty of game in the park).
Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man- at-arms you can find.

“Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and funerals and feasts.
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish priests.
Say ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ when you’re talking, instead of ‘you fellows’ and ‘I.’
Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell ’em a lie!”

Hopefully, it works, at least temporarily, but if it doesn’t, there is a further leavening in the Anglo-Saxons. It has come down to us known as:

The furor of the Northmen

I don’t think anybody really wants to go there, but we did back in 1688, and in 1776, and once more in 1861. It wasn’t pretty, but as always:

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Johnny Cash in London

Well, it’s Saturday, so let’s lighten up and have some fun.

 

 

If you enjoy when we do these, do let me know.

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