A Turning Point

From The Spectator.

On Tuesday, MPs will face something rare: a Commons motion which really does deserve to be described as momentous. It will set Britain’s place in Europe and in the world for years to come. The vote will place an especially heavy burden on Conservative MPs, for they have the power to inflict a hefty defeat on their own government, an administration which has no majority and which governs thanks only to a confidence and supply agreement with the DUP. It is all too easy to see where defeat on Tuesday could lead: to the collapse of the government, a general election and the arrival of Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street.

Theresa May’s deal has been rejected by MPs on the left and the right, by radicals and moderates. It promises to leave us in a Brexit purgatory, neither in nor out, obliged to accept EU regulations and rules on trade without having any say in the making of those rules. MPs might accept a temporary transition if a free-trade deal was guaranteed to follow. But the reason that her government was the first ever to be found in contempt of Parliament was its refusal to release legal advice that shows there are no guarantees, and no guaranteed exit from a backstop that is described as temporary.

So far, more than a hundred Conservative MPs have said they will vote against the deal. This number will almost certainly shrink by the time of the vote, but all opposition parties say they will oppose the deal — bookmakers are offering odds of four-to-one on the bill passing. Afterwards there will be huge pressure on her to resign, possibly as a price for the DUP agreeing not to bring down the government.

How the rebels behave following the expected defeat will be crucial to the future of the country. It is quite possible that her signature Brexit plan, into which she has vested what remains of her authority, suffers the largest defeat in parliamentary history. If so, she might resign. If a new leader is needed, the process will have to be very rapid — something which is hard, but not impossible, to achieve under the current rules covering Tory leadership elections. It would not be acceptable for the party to indulge in a two-month leadership election campaign while the clock ticks down to a no-deal Brexit on 29 March. The process would have to be condensed into a matter of days.

Mrs. May has got her country into one hell of a mess. There are at least two existential crises involved in the vote on Tuesday. One of them is whether the United Kingdom is an independent country or a colony of the EU. Because as the ratchet tightens, and it will, Britain will become Brittania to the new Rome in Brussels. There is a horrible bit of irony here. I know many Brexiteers, and uniformly their vote in the referendum was cast to regain British sovereignty, not primarily for economic reasons.

Still they, and I, recognize that Britain is by any measure the most dynamic, innovative force in Europe. It always has been. Britain is where the modern world was born, and dragged the rest of Europe out of medievalism. From where I sit, they are the prototype Americans. And do you know what cry echoes around England these days? “No taxation without representation!” Part of the reason we get along so well, they really are our cousins.

The other thing that is connected in here is this. When the Conservative Party (which is far more leftist than the GOPe) stabbed Margaret Thatcher in the back, causing her to resign, they were out of power for close to a quarter century. There are a lot of conservatives in Britain, and essentially they have no party. While we’ve been more or less able to stage a coup in the Republican party, the Tories are much more centrally controlled than any US party. But here is a prediction for you. If May’s plan passes, and it may well, the very fact of it will destroy the Tories. Which may actually be a good thing.

The other thing being voted on Tuesday is nothing less than the legitimacy of Parliament, itself. Like us, the British know that the people are sovereign, delegating the power to rule, in their case, to the executive in parliament. But in the case of Brexit, the people themselves told Parliament what they wanted, and Parliament and the executive are in the process of ignoring those instructions. The majority that voted to leave is not in a very forgiving mood.

In fact, I have heard something I never have before. Englishmen quoting an Englishman, who wrote a document that was adopted in 1776, especially this part:

 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security

Those are radical words. When Jefferson wrote them they created America, essentially ended the First British Empire, and caused a world war. They are just as dangerous today. And now, like then, they are essential to freedom.

The best or maybe least worst outcome? Defeat the bill, fire May, and come out on WTO terms. If the EU doesn’t like it (and they won’t) they can come and negotiate in Westminster. After all, we are talking about the fifth largest economy in the world here – it’s not prudent to treat them like a naughty child, especially when your house is falling apart, and the only people who might help are Britain’s friends.

Our friends in Britain are doing something unusual this weekend, they are protesting publically. Good on them. Something else I noticed in the video yesterday, a symbol that the Canadians have borrowed, and are using correctly, that the British might consider, as well. Even amongst American symbols, it is one that symbolizes the fight against tyranny well.

 

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UK vs the Reich

James Lewis had an article on American Thinker yesterday. In it he does a remarkable thing, he tells the truth. Let’s have a look.

Europe has a neurotic compulsion to repeat the past.  This is bad news, because nobody wants to repeat five (count ’em!) East-West wars exploding out of Europe over the last two centuries.

But – the E.U. now has a better idea.

It wants European nations to surrender to the German-French axis without a shot being fired.”Countries must give up their sovereignty and join the one-world government,” German chancellor Angela Merkel remarked generously the other day.  The E.U. Times, of all places, remarked that “[n]o, this isn’t something Adolf Hitler said many years ago.”

Everybody in that part of the world knows who runs the E.U.: the Germans, fronted by the French.  So when the charming Frau Merkel said that, most of her listeners filled in the rest of the story.  But the Brits were not laughing.

Just to keep the historical record straight:

  1. Napoleon beat the German-speaking provinces around 1800, arousing a century of vendetta wars.
  2. Otto von Bismarck used Prussian robo-militarism to invade Paris in 1871.
  3. WWI started as an enormous German-French meat-grinder, finally ended by the United States entering the war.
  4. In the 1920s and ’30s, Hitler arose in revenge for WWI, leading to thirteen years of industrialized massacres of innocent human beings and ending with catastrophic Axis aggression in World War II, including the Japanese Rape of Nanking and all the rest.
  5. But…Europe’s world wars did not end in 1946.  They just moved to the Soviet Empire, which included East Germany.  Korea and Vietnam were proxies for the U.S.-Soviet struggle.

And now we have Reich Number Six, called the “European Union.”  But the only “union” in the E.U. is the unelected ruling caste, which rules with an iron hand, while the left-out voters are getting sick and tired of the scam.

This may be why Emmanuel Macron, the German vassal in Paris, just called for an E.U. army – to use against NATO, of course.  These little voters can’t be allowed to resist Das Sechtse Reich (the sixth! in 200 years!), so we gotta get an army, now.  Because both the U.K. and France have nuclear weapons, the E.U. army is bound to inherit nukes.

Spot on, although many of us refer to it as Das Vierte Reich, because we for whatever reason do not count the proxy wars. He may be correct.

So once again as always, it comes down to that small fog-shrouded island off the coast. Can they once again, prevail? As the did against Napoleon, against the Kaiser, and against Hitler. All of those struggles have hurt them, and the Reich’s fifth column has as well, as it has America. But once again the British people have lined up on freedom’s side, as they always have. This time (as has sometimes happened before) Her Majesty’s Government is not on side. That is a problem, but it is not a new one, the British have solved that before, perhaps they will again.

Because as Britain goes, Europe goes.  Mr. Lewis finishes this way, he is correct.

Or, as Victor Davis Hanson warned about Monsieur Macron:

The French president suffers from the usual dreams of some sort of European “empire” – Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler … Brussels? He probably envisions a new Rome steered by French cultural elites whose wisdom, style, and sophistication would substitute for polluting tanks and bombers, and who would play Greece’s robed philosophers to Europe’s Roman legions: “It’s about Europe having to become a kind of empire, as China is. And how the U.S. is.”

Two years ago, more than 17 million Brits voted to leave the E.U., but the last two years have been an imperialistic E.U. campaign to stop an independent Britain from ever rising again.

The biggest embarrassment is that Britain has allowed its own swamp to be penetrated and bought off by the Franco-German Axis.

In that process, the voters of the U.K. have been lied to and betrayed many times. The allegedly conservative prime minister, Theresa May, is now seen as the biggest back-stabber in the land, and it looks as though Labor will repeat her betrayal as soon as they get a chance.

I know you did not want to hear this. Neither did I. Welcome to the real world.

Tories; Then and Now

Maggie Thatcher left office 28 years ago yesterday, after being stabbed in the back by her own party. It put them out of power for a generation. But what is her legacy? Well, CNS had a look at that.

After tending her resignation to the Queen and heading home to south London, many expected her to fade from the political stage.

More than five years after her death, however, she remains a towering and controversial figure, and some of her policies are shared by young voters – in some cases, perhaps without them even realizing it.

According to research released this month, young voters showed more support for some positions held by the former prime minister than older ones.

As part of a larger research project being finalized in 2019, the Economic and Social Research Council last September commissioned polling of 600 British citizens between 16 and 79, with questions on how they viewed Thatcher.

Sixty percent of those aged between 25 and 34 said they were in favor of what the survey called Thatcher’s “economic tenets of low regulation, less tax and reduced trade union power,” compared to between 40 and 50 percent of older respondents.

Forty-seven percent of young adults shared “Thatcherite values on law, order and authority,” lagging only slightly behind those aged over 35, where between 54 and 61 percent shared those views.

Looks pretty good to me, like the British have their heads on fairly straight.

A YouGov poll of British adults earlier this year found that 49 percent of respondents aged between 25 and 39 said they would never consider voting Conservative in the next general election.

However, that poll, which was commissioned by the Center of Policy Studies – a think-tank co-founded by Thatcher in the 1970s – also found that the largest section of this group, 27 percent, also thought the government taxes too much and spends too much on services.

By a margin of 44 to 36 percent, more younger voters thought the government should aim for equal opportunities for everyone, rather than equal outcomes.

Well, that’s as may be. I know quite a few British conservatives, most over 39, who say adamantly that they will never again vote for the Conservative Party, even though they’ve voted for it all their lives. Why? Because they are convinced that Theresa May’s government with the connivance of the Conservative Party are thwarting the will of the people (as shown in the referendum). And thereby selling Britain’s sovereignty to the EU in a deal that is actually worse than either leaving with a clean break or staying.

I’ve read most of the paperwork over the last few weeks, and those people that say that are entirely correct. It’s a horrendously bad deal. And the worst part of all is that there is no escape clause, once in force, it’s Hotel California time. You can check in, but you can never leave. Essentially a colony of the EU, with less control of anything than we had in 1775.

So there you have it, a political party that was led by the greatest post-war Prime minister and stabbed her in the back and now seeks to stab Britain itself in the back.

I’m convinced if this deal that this dreadful Prime Minister has allowed the ‘deep state’, known in Britain as the Civil Service, goes through, the members will kill, without regret, the Conservative Party.

There are some honorable Tories in the Parliament, but whether there are enough to stave off this catastrophe, is the question of the decade.

Too bad Britain doesn’t have a conservative party.

The Day After….Thanksgiving

Well, Thanksgiving Friday. It’s sort of a weekday, but kinda silly, isn’t it. Not to mention that I ate considerably too much, and even drank little more than necessary. In other words, I got no great thoughts for today. So, here’s Katie Hopkins with a talk entitled Our Final Stand for the West. I agree with her, no surprise.

Party Before Country

Actually, not even that, to my eyes. To me, it looks more like personal arrogance and hubris, as it has for more than a year.

In June 2017, after what may have been one of the silliest elections in British history, my friend and coauthor both here and at his blog, Chalcedon, wrote of The Hubris of Theresa May, saying this:

The background is that 7 weeks ago the Prime Minister, Theresa May, having a 20 point lead in the opinion polls, decided to call a General Election. She had no need to, with a majority of 17 in the Commons, and another 3 years before law would require one. The media was agreed on only one thing, she would win a crushing victory, perhaps over 100 more seats, and the Labour Party, under the Bernie Sanders sound-alike, Jeremy Corbyn, would be crushed. She asked for a mandate and a majority, she got neither. In normal circumstances such a leader would go, and it seems as though her first instinct was to do just that, but as so often, she let her advisers overrule her. Since then her advisers have ‘resigned’ – it is said before members of the Cabinet insisted on their resignation. Having wanted a strong and stable government, she has given us a weak and wobbly one. In a few days negotiations over Britain’s leaving the EU will start, and we are no closer to knowing what sort of deal she wants. The only thing for certain is she is a weakened and diminished figure whose authority dwindles daily.

The only way she can now secure a majority for crucial legislation is via a deal with Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland. As Churchill put it in his memoirs of the Great War, writing about 1922:
“The whole map of Europe has been changed … but as the deluge subsides and the waters fall short we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again.”

Leading to this conclusion

The Conservatives took the electorate for granted. Confident to the point of arrogance, they thought that could offer an uncosted manifesto with some unpopular policies, and make up for that by personal attacks on Corbyn. To his credit, he did not respond in kind, and whilst his own manifesto was full of dubious economics, it at least looked as though there was a message of hope there. The electorate have punished the hubris of Theresa May, and one thing is for certain, she will never be allowed to lead her party into another General Election. Can she carry on? Well, as long as there is no obvious successor, she can survive, but the Tory party has always been good at poleaxing failed leaders and finding new ones, so it will not be long, I suspect.

Do not take the electorate for granted or for fools.

That was good advice, which fell on ears of stone, and so now, here we are.

Where is here? David Kurten at The Conservative Woman tells us.

The whole country will remain in the single market until the end of the transition period, and then the integrity of the country will be broken as Great Britain leaves the single market, but Northern Ireland remains in it, subject to EU regulations on goods, agriculture, VAT, excise duty and state aid.

We will leave the customs union, but remain in a ‘Single Customs Territory’, which is identical in effect to the customs union.

Despite provision in the treaty for negotiating a free trade agreement, there is now no reason for the European Union ever to agree to one. Mrs May has given away £39,000,000,000 of British taxpayers’ money for absolutely nothing in return. There is thus no incentive for the EU to agree a free trade deal, as the transition period may be extended by mutual agreement, on payment of extra financial contributions from the UK for the ‘privilege’.

As a concession for a ‘backstop to the backstop’ where the whole UK remains in the customs union, rather than just Northern Ireland, she has given away control of our 200-mile exclusive economic zone, so that EU fishing fleets will continue to have access to our fishing waters in perpetuity and UK fisherman will have to obey jointly agreed quotas.

We will remain shackled to the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy but will have no say in decision-making. Thus our foreign policy and armed forces have been ceded to Brussels, and we will remain entangled in the EU’s defence architecture including the European Defence Agency, European Defence Funding, Permanent Structured Cooperation, EU Procurement and EU Battle Groups.

The UK is required to implement all the measures of the Paris Climate Agreement including carbon pricing, and to participate in the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme. There will be no escape from the scam of climate change alarmism and in the process we will have to continue to implement measures which are actively destructive of primary forests, such as burning wood pellets from North and South America in place of coal in power stations and raising the percentage of biofuel such as palm oil in petrol and diesel. Insane EU rules say that burning biomass is ‘carbon neutral’, even if whole forests are cut down as fodder for power stations.

Here is a link to the full agreement.

Essentially what it does, as near as I can tell, is turn the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland into a colony of the European Union, with no way out. And the British Armed Forces turn into cannon fodder for the Fourth Reich. Mind you with no control. Not to mention their soldiers conduct in batte=le subject to review and punishment by European courts. This is what selling your sovereignty looks like, only worse, they are paying for the privilege of becoming a colony.

Strangely, what may yet save Britain is the hubris of May (or her advisors) in calling that election 18 months ago. Why is that? Because the one group solidly against this plan is the DUP, the Northern Irish party that Chalcedon spoke of.

Jacob Rees Mogg explains

We’ll see if the Conservative Party has enough spine to vote no confidence in the Prime Minister. Frankly, I doubt it, and their cowardice will hurt the population of  Britain.

But, in the last analysis, it is their country, if they want to sell it and their people out, and pay for it besides, well I guess it’s not really any of our business

Hubris, meet Nemesis.

Armistice Day Centenary

You all know that I am a pretty traditional guy, one of the effects of that is that I believe holidays belong on their anniversary’s, not necessarily to provide a three-day weekend. Remembrance Day is a case in point.

It is on St. Martin’s day, the patron saint of the infantry, that the bloodletting of the Great War ended, specifically the 11th hour of the 11th day, of the 11th month, and so for many of you, it is Remembrance Day, for those of us who are Americans it is Veterans Day, only because we already had a holiday, Memorial Day, celebrating our war dead, Veterans Day celebrates the survivors of all our conflicts. Yes, to a great extent, both do both, and that is hardly a bad thing, our, and your soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have done much to build the modern world we inhabit.

An aside to our American readers, today marks, with Pomp and Circumstance (and dancing, and a fair amount of alcohol) and event that occurred 243 years ago in Dun’s tavern in Philadelphia: the birth of the US Marine Corps. Ever since it has lived up to its motto of Semper Fidelis.

All of us here have written something about Remembrance Day on AATW: Chalcedon here, Jessica here,  and I did here, we said most of what there is to say.

Chalcedon made the point, here, that as we get further away from the events, we tend to over-sentimentalize them. He’s right we do, and as he said, not many of the troops were consciously fighting for “Truth, beauty, and the American [or English] way. they were fighting because it was their job, for their buddies, and for their lives. And yes, I do mean that to include those who were our enemies, I don’t think the son of a German farmer was all that different from an English orphan or an American city boy. They had a job to do, and they did it the best they could. Anybody that thinks anybody was fighting for democracy in the Great War is simply a loon. Well, there may have been a few who were fooled by the propaganda, but armies have a great knack at curing people of such foolish beliefs.

1914 in many ways marked the start of the most violent century in, perhaps, forever. It is a major accomplishment that we won all the important ones. the world would be a far darker place if Hitler, Tojo, or Stalin had won. It is a signal accomplishment of the English Speaking Peoples that we gave the world a chance at freedom. We can’t win or keep it for them, but we gave them a chance. And think about that as you look at the Cenotaph, or Bobby Lee’s yard, which the US government pretty much stole to start Arlington Cemetary.

We owe much gratitude to our veteran’s and our war dead, we should get over our old habits, and truly care for those who have eaten the Queen’s biscuit, or have the Eagle on their button, and quit thinking that lip service on one (or two) days a year is all we owe them. You remember this, right? Don’t let it apply to our generation.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
 For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
 But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
 An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
 An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

Abraham Lincoln had something to say to us about this as well in his second inaugural

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

 

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