Two (Videos) if by Sea

So, an hour with Candace Owens and Douglas Murray from the Candace Owens Show in London. Interesting, Intelligent, and enjoyable. What’s not to like?

Hat tip to Kathy Gyngell at The Conservative Woman.

And Boris Johnson at the Conservative Conference. Always interesting and often fun.

Political Realignment and the Uniparty

Over at American Greatness, Edward Ring says politics is realigning. I say he is correct. Read on.

Just over three years ago, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking at a fundraiser in New York City, characterized half of Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” […]

It might be tempting to return the favor and hate back. That not only would be a tactical mistake—since you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar—but also inaccurate targeting. There are a surprising number of liberals, progressives, and even socialists, who are not only anti-Clinton, but are begrudgingly, and increasingly, capable of seeing the positive side of the Trump presidency.

A very early indication of this came in October 2016, when John Pilger published in the London Progressive Journal an influential article titled, “Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump.” Pilger, notwithstanding his socialist leanings, is a world-renowned journalist and filmmaker of undeniable courage and integrity.

He’s not alone, either in Britain or the US. They’re starting to pop up everywhere, in the trade unions, the leftist parties. There’s a full-on Marxist that is an elected Brexit Party MEP. So what’s going on?

The political universe is realigning, the left-right divide that has sufficed since the French Revolution no longer does.

Many Trump supporters cheered his election not because of his pugnacity (about time), or his policies (also about time), but because when you hate the china shop, you love the bull.

Trump has exposed the Democrat versus Republican, Right versus Left, liberal versus conservative paradigms as, if not obsolete shams, then at least models that have lost most of their dialectic vitality. They remain real and represent important differences, but they are overshadowed by a new political polarity, worthy of urgent and vigorous dialectic—globalism versus nationalism.

Until Trump came along, the globalist agenda crept relentlessly forward under the radar. Issues that now can be framed explicitly as globalist versus nationalist—immigration, trade, foreign policy, even climate change—found deceptive expression when shoehorned into the obsolete paradigms.

It suited the uniparty establishment to engage in phony, ostensibly partisan bickering to keep up appearances. It suited them to pretend that immigration and “free” trade bestowed unambiguous global economic benefits, while claiming that to oppose it was economically ignorant and “racist.” It was convenient to pretend ceaseless foreign interventions were based on moral imperatives, while silencing the opposition as “isolationists.” It was easy to get away with promoting climate change policies based on supposedly indisputable scientific evidence, while stigmatizing opponents as “deniers.”

Suddenly all of that is revealed as almost Ptolemaic in its contrived complexity. Here is Trump’s Copernican breakthrough: if you want open borders, absolutely free movement of capital and jobs, and an aggressive international “climate agenda” enforced by the American military, you are a globalist. If you do not, you are a nationalist.

The impact of the globalist agenda has been felt acutely in America already, but the pain is spreading and intensifying.

Unskilled immigrants are taking jobs away from the most vulnerable Americans, and every year, they continue to arrive by the millions. Manufacturing jobs which are vital to America’s economic vitality are being exported to any nation with cheaper labor, costing Americans still more jobs. Policies that are supposedly designed to save the planet have made it virtually impossible to build anything cost-effectively—houses, roads, reservoirs, power plants. In states where the globalist agenda is well advanced, the gap between rich and poor is at record levels, and the cost-of-living is prohibitive.

I think he’s spot on, and even more than the US, the situation in Britain makes it pretty obvious, does one want to join the globalist empire or not? Could hardly be clearer, and that’s why at least for the moment the old designators don’t work. Most of my British friends refer to LibLabCon, which refers to Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative, a short form meaning they’re all the same. Pretty much true at this point, there and here.

Interesting times, but at least half the battle is recognizing the enemy, and it is becoming clearer by the day. Press on.

Talking at the Talk Shop

The leader’s of the world have been talking at each other in New York. Some have done well  like Boris:

Pretty good stuff. And he’s mostly right, too.

And the President was, again, excellent.

Then there is this, which has much to do with the future. If America,  India, Britain, and Australia can figure it out there is little to fear from China.

Hell, and Brexit

Law and Liberty has been doing some stellar stuff lately (it’s always good, but lately, Wow!) In this case, Helen Dale, who is a novelist and a law graduate from Oxford, gives the clearest explanation of the Brexit swamp that I have ever read. As you may know, about two days after the referendum this whole mess went out into a weed patch in the swamp that even those of us who have watched Britain for a considerable while, have learned a whole new vocabulary.  Here is some of her Hell Is Fighting Brexit for All Eternity. Enjoy and look in wonderment at the mess the politicians have made for themselves, and the electorate.

On Tuesday evening last week, Parliament filched the order paper from under the Government’s nose in order to provide itself with more time to think about Brexit. As everyone knows, Parliament has had three years to think about Brexit. It has spent that time undertaking the painstaking job of ruling out all the restaurants on Deliveroo, and will now be forced to stand outside in the rain as the local chippie shuts down for the night.

Of course, the logical thing to do when parliament can’t (or won’t) make a decision or change anything is to change the Parliament, but the Parliament is – thus far – refusing to be changed. In a very important sense, we’re no longer in a constitutional crisis, we’re in a constitutional swamp. There’s a Parliamentary majority to ask for an extension to Article 50, which rides on the back of the (long present) parliamentary majority against No Deal. However, there is no parliamentary majority for anything else Brexit-related, and quite possibly no parliamentary majority for anything at all.

As I’ve previously suggested, the Mother of Parliaments is now in geostationary orbit, and MPs on both sides have indeed broken the Big Electric Trainset in SW1.

How did we reach this point?

Boris Johnson rode a popular wave into Number 10, but the poll bounce he produced for the Conservatives (at the expense of both The Brexit Party and Labour) changed the parliamentary arithmetic not a whit. And like Theresa May, his unhappy (and perhaps relieved) predecessor, he has found the numbers both similarly and singularly unyielding.

His response to the parliamentary reality was simplicity itself: proroguing parliament before it could do too much damage. In this, Boris was advised by one of Westminster’s most able Svengalis – Vote Leave’s terror Dominic Cummings (the old gag about Dominicans, domini canes, “the Hounds of God”, comes to mind). Cummings is ranged against another equally gifted Svengali – Jeremy Corbyn’s brains-trust, former Guardianista Seumas Milne. Although the two men are on opposite sides of the political aisle, much of what follows can be sheeted home to their joint and several contempt for the Establishment.

Neither man has hidden his disdain for the workings of Whitehall or its liberal (UK definition) boosters in the press. Milne famously described The Economist as “the Pravda of the neoliberal ascendancy” while Cummings has derided a number of notable Westminster figures. He described former prime minister David Cameron as “a sphinx without a riddle”, and former Brexit minister David Davis as “thick as mince, lazy as a toad, and vain as Narcissus”. His commentary pulls no punches:

[The civil service] keeps out great people, it hoards power to a small number of people who are increasingly crap. And the management of the whole thing is increasingly farcical, like that of any closed bureaucracy keeping its perks. It cannot manage public services, it cannot deal with counter-terrorism. It’s programmed to fail – and it does.

Keep going, there’s quite a bit more, and now I understand better the swamp they have built for themselves. Are they going to Brexit? Only the Lord knows, and he’s no doubt laughing hysterically at the mess that the Lib Dems (most of my friends call them the Illib Dums) with the help of everybody else in SW1, which is the Postal Code (Zip Code to Americans) in which Parliament stands, sits, or runs in circles, screaming and shouting, depending on the day, have made.

What she doesn’t go into, because at the moment it’s not particularly relevant is that much of this has to do with sovereignty. The Brexiteers think (correctly, I believe) that the EU is really nothing more or less than the third time in a century that Germany has tried to create a German empire that encompasses all of Europe. That is directly contrary to the policy that Britain has consistently followed since the end of the Thirty Years War with the Treaty of Westphalia. That is the date that many of the European nations states became such, and the term Balance of Power became appropriate. That is why Britain fought Napolean, Kaiser Wilhelm, and Hitler, and the Cold War. The Remainers seem to either not care or have an interest in the empire.

There is also much underlying this that has to do with the concept of “Somewheres” and “Anywheres”. The people still identifying as British opposed to the more or less stateless elite folks, who seem to actually disdain the local populations. It applies here too when we talk about the “city party” and the “country party” we are commenting on the same phenomenon.

I’ve heard things from Brits in the last three years, that you don’t often hear even in America, that the year is 1642, this is equivalent to an American saying, “Welcome to 1861”. It is the date of the start of the English Civil War, which was arguably more costly than World War I. It’s that bad.

Sadly, or maybe not, all we here can do is sit here and root for our team, which for most (American) conservatives is Brexit, and some combination of the Conservative, Brexit, and UKIP parties.

Oh, and buy more popcorn.

Parliament Rebels

And so we are witness to an incredible scene in Britain as the Parliament rebels against the government and most especially the people. Not sure I’ve ever seen this before, a putatively elected representative assembly actively and openly seeking to undo what the people expressly said they wanted it to do, and the government is attempting to do.

Theodore Dalrymple explains more on City Journal:

You would have thought, from the howls of outrage that greeted Boris Johnson’s temporary suspension of Parliament, that he had appointed himself prime minister for life. Our democracy was in danger, said the demonstrators against it, when what they really meant was that Johnson’s maneuver had made it harder for Parliament to obstruct the wishes of the people as expressed in the Brexit referendum. Jacob Rees-Mogg was right when he said that the outrage was bogus: it was that of a spoiled child who doesn’t want to go to bed.

Whether the referendum was a good idea in the first place is another question entirely. I think that it was not. Plebiscitary democracy, in which a government puts questions to the population in the expectation of getting the answer it wants, is dangerous. The modern European tradition is to hold a plebiscite and then take no notice of the result if it is “wrong.” This, of course, is the worst of both worlds, but it is what the demonstrating “defenders” of democracy want.

If they had objected beforehand to the whole procedure of the referendum, for example—to the absurdity of deciding so complex a question on the basis of a single vote decided by 50 percent of the votes plus one—those who now decry what Johnson has done might have had a point, but they did not. They expected to win the referendum and only turned against it because of the unexpected result.

It is obvious to all—except perhaps the demonstrators—that Parliament has conducted a long rearguard action against putting into effect the vote that it, led by former prime minister David Cameron, called. The majority of Members of Parliament were opposed to Brexit: but instead of coming straight out with it, they prevaricated so long and so efficiently that they almost scuppered the whole process.

In normal circumstances, Members of Parliament are not obliged to vote according to what the population wants. They are representatives, not delegates with a clearly laid-down mandate to fulfill, and governments have to make hundreds of decisions without reference to the electorate’s wishes, except in a general way. But, having canvassed public opinion in a supposedly binding referendum on a vital subject, to ignore the result can only strengthen the impression that the political class is a law unto itself.

Do read the rest, as usual, it is outstanding.

Which is exactly my thinking. I’m not much of a fan of referenda, but when the legislature calls one, telling the electorate that it will be binding, it is very bad for the legislature to recant just because the people disagree with them. The Parliament is sovereign only to the point that the people expressly allow, and when you ask the boss what he thinks, you pretty much have to go with his thinking.

What this is, of course, is the members of Parliament rebelling at being required to do their jobs and take responsibility, just like a bunch of snowflake students. Well most probably were a few years ago.

The Remainers and rebels against constitutional government won a measure in the Commons yesterday to usurp the government’s control of the legislative calendar, to put it in terms that are, I hope, reasonably accurate and understandable to Americans.

21 Tory (I refuse to call them Conservative since it is an apparent lie) voted to pass this bill, and have had the whip withdrawn (I don’t really understand what this means either, but they seem to think it important). The government has tabled (which in British usage means introduced) a measure to call an early election, and it is quite likely that those 21 members would be deselected as a candidate by the party, leading to their falling off the gravy train. One hopes.

Today the rebels intend to introduce a bill to forbid a WTO exit from the EU. It could well pass, even though it would directly (I think) contradict another law, having the Queen’s assent, that stipulates that very thing if an agreement cannot be reached with the EU.

And there is apparently a plan, if that measure passes in the Commons, to talk it to death in the Lords.

And yes, I may be completely wrong here, so anybody that knows better, please correct me. This nonsense is about as transparent as a concrete wall.

In large measure, the safety of a free people is safeguarded by the sheer messiness and inefficiency of representative government, but the British Parliament is simply making itself a laughingstock, and a watchword of how not to do things. It is close to the point that in the US, would lead to an armed rebellion by the people, but like all governments with authoritarian leanings, the British government, just like Lenin, Hitler, and Mao, long since disarmed their people.

Of course, a lot of this is merely “Run in circles, scream, and shout.” Not a good look though, for the so-called Mother of Parliaments, whether one thinks it useless or senile.

What next? I haven’t a clue, but I think we’ll need more popcorn.

 

Brexit Updated: The Queen Acts for the People

Andrew Cadman has an article up at The Conservative Woman that I want you all to read. Go ahead, even if you read the comments as you should, I’ll wait.

So, you’re back hut? Let’s talk about it.

[S]HHHH . . . don’t tell them, but in fighting the prorogation of Parliament British liberalism is about the make the greatest, most unforced error since its rise to hegemony began more than fifty years ago. By deciding to die in a ditch to defend ‘Parliamentary sovereignty’ – by which they mean EU sovereignty – over our affairs, they will end both, and with it their grip on British politics.

To understand why, it is worth recounting how liberalism became such a completely dominating force in Western politics over the past half century. It started, of course, in the 1960s, the ‘boomer’ generation which idealistically surfed the sexual revolution and the age of mass prosperity. Growing in power as it came of age, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the communications revolution allowed it to become truly international or ‘globalist’ in nature. Its hegemony was due not to a conspiracy hatched in the brain of Antonio Gramsci or Davos Man, but rather the simple, organic consequence of highly connected liberal elites who gradually came to realise that they had more in common with their counterparts in other countries than the majority of their own countrymen. A natural consequence was that liberalism became progressively anti-democratic, as nationally based democratic institutions could not represent the new ‘global’ demos that the elites increasingly felt they belonged to.

I think he is correct, and it is a very stupid ditch to die in. The British people acting through their Queen have acted to take their country back, and in opposing both people and the Monarchy, the anywheres will not win, and even if they did at this point, they will have lost.

Brexit is the British form of Russia, Russia, Russia, and like it has taken on a life of its own. Like putting the ghost of Hillary Clinton forward for president, abrogating the sovereignty of Great Britain was a very foolish idea. It was made worse by the stupid intransigence of the EU itself. If the EU had offered a reasonable exit, the British would have mostly remained aligned with it. But you cannot impose a Carthaginian peace without winning the war.

But they didn’t, and now they can’t, in my opinion. So now we have a new thing to us all, the Monarch acting for the people in proroguing Parliament. An entirely legitimate thing to do, as a couple of quotes will show.

A.V. Dicey wrote in ‘The Law of the Constitution’ (1885): “The House can in accordance with the constitution be deprived of power [when] there is fair reason to suppose that the opinion of the House is not the opinion of the electors.”

Edmund Burke noted: “The virtue, spirit, and essence of an House of Commons consists in its being the express image of the feelings of the nation. It was not instituted to be a controul upon the people, as of late it has been taught, by a doctrine of the most pernicious tendency. It was designed as a controul for the people.”

From The Daily Caller and worth your time.

Parliament has certainly lived down to those conditions.

And when the Americans, taking heart from Brexit, elected Donald Trump, above all a nationalist, as President, the error became fatal. If the Democrats had offered a reasonable candidate, although I can’t remember one, they might have forestalled their defeat in not only the US but in Great Britain. Because whatever they say, the support of the United States for Brexit matters quite a lot. The US is still by a fair margin the largest economy in the world, and an attractive partner for the fifth largest, with which we share almost all our ideals.

This is, in truth, the death warrant of globalism, if Britain comes through as it almost always has, allied once again with the United States, the Anglo-Saxons will once again lead the world, to prosperity, yes, but also to freedom of speech, thought, and action for the individual.

That is the foundation of both the United Kingdom and the United States. The amazing prosperity with which we have bequeathed the world is but one of the outcomes of that freedom.

And so today, as a sign of hope renewed, and faith in our peoples, Britannia and Uncle Sam return to our sidebar.

God Save the Queen, and God Bless America

And as Churchill noted after El Alamein, this is not the beginning of the end, but it may be the end of the beginning. Keep up the skeer.

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