Brexit Monday

Brexit’s opponents, including the Prime Minister and the Uncivil Service, have done an amazing job of ignoring what the people voted for while at the very same time telling them that “Brexit means Brexit”

They are skirting near bringing on something not seen since 1642, the English people taking up arms in opposition to their government. Think of how the entire modern world has been built since that date, and largely by the British, as well, without them getting sideways with their government. But now they are.

Dr. David Starkey is an eminent historian, although one I often disagree with, But recently he wrote in the £ Daily Mail and he is entirely correct.

Historians should avoid colourful predictions, however tempting they might seem.

At the moment I’m touring the country with a lecture called Henry VIII And The First Brexit, which compares the king’s eventual clean and triumphant break with the Roman Church with our own messy and humiliating attempts to extricate ourselves from the European Union.

But audiences really want me to talk about the present.

Henry VIII’s First Brexit is a very strong parallel which I draw often as well. And don’t forget that first Brexit led to almost everything in the world today.

‘What do you think is going to happen?’, they ask. I shrug my shoulders and explain that, since history only works by looking backwards, those historians who pose as prophets are charlatans.

My audiences think I’m copping out, of course – and they are right.

I haven’t always been such a purist. Three years ago, I published a book on Magna Carta to mark the founding document of our Parliamentary constitution, that had been sealed 800 years earlier in 1215.

In holding a medieval king accountable to his subjects – or some of them, at least – Magna Carta was a revolutionary step and is rightly celebrated.

But I ended on a note of caution. All is not well with Britain or our politics, I said. ‘Is it silly to think there is a touch of 1215 – a whiff of revolution – in the air?

And it came true in June 2016, with the decisive referendum vote to reshape our politics once again and leave the European Union.

The referendum was a very British revolution. And it’s been followed by a very British counter-revolution, which shows every sign of succeeding.

Don’t be deceived by the lack of violence or the comparative good manners of those now seizing control. This is a coup, and what is at stake is the nature and legitimacy of Parliament itself.

Ruled by comfortable, smug elites, Parliament is choosing to ignore the ordinary British people as they attempt to hold power to account.

It is no exaggeration to say that British democracy, which stands in direct line with Magna Carta, is now unravelling before us.

If today’s self-satisfied MPs and Ministers – I have already described them as a Parliament of Pygmies – have no time for the voters, they have little time for history, either.

Do keep reading, he’s well worth your time.

Along that theme, what they have consistently done all along is preach what we have come to call Project Fear, to attempt to frighten the British (especially the English) people into line. It has never worked, but like Hillary, they persist. Here is MP Peter Shore in 1975, before the vote that sadly took the UK into what was then the EEC.

Some things never change. And lions are not leopards and so have no spots to change.

And this:

I’ve said before, I was born an American, and would be one by choice, but if I had to be something else, It would be English.


 

In a slightly connected story, I was reading on the site of the Museum of the Bloody Hundredth, the 100th Bomb Group of the 8th AAF, which is on their old field, using the buildings, near Diss, Suffolk, England. Two things came to mind. First, who but the English would spend their time, and other resources, to maintain an installation of another country’s armed forces, sure we are friends, maybe cousins, the treatment we have received in East Anglia, from the dark days of 1942, right up to the present is simply amazing. And something else.

First, that’s an American military band, marching and playing in a small English city, and for all concerned, it’s pretty much routine. It’s an all American program as well, Bagley, Sousa, and Glenn Miller. and all old friends. And we are, Bury St. Edmunds isn’t very far from Dickleburg where the  100th’s museum is, and where on September 1, 1944, Glenn Miller and the AEF band played about an hour’s worth of a concert. Of course, Major Miller was lost over the channel that winter, but here’s a funny coincidence.

The band had played Tibenham Airfield, not far away, that afternoon, and another American officer you may have heard of was stationed there, and most likely in the audience, a guy called Jimmy Stewart. Not only would he become Major General Stewart, USAF, but 10 years later, he would play Major Miller in the Glenn Miller Story.

And I just can’t imagine the amount of time, effort, money, and love that goes into the efforts that the British make to commemorate the time when we more or less overran their country. Yes, it was a friendly invasion, but it was an invasion none the less.

Mostly an interesting story, but there are so many like it that somehow Britain almost seems like home to us, in a way that no where else in Europe does. Be a shame to lose that. And that too is something that Her Majesty’s Government risks.

Sunday Funnies: Varsity Blues

While we’re still keeping our sense of humor (mostly) the Brits are feeling rather overwhelmed. It’s not easy finding memes applying to them, but we keep looking.

 

 

Think I’ll go fishing!

Not to mention that the only reason Mexico exists is that we chose, in 1848, not to make the whole place part of the US, while we were discussing peace terms, in Mexico City, occupied by the US Army.

Troll level: Grand Master of the Universe

If you laughed at that, this may be you!

And of course

Mostly from The Usual Suspects.

Brexit Voted Still Again and Buying Indoctrination

via Victory Girls; Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy/Public Domain

So Teresa May’s (very slightly) modified Withdrawal Agreement failed still again in Parliament yesterday. That’s a very good thing since what it primarily did was sell British sovereignty and the legislative role to the EU. The law says Britain leaves on WTO terms at the end of the month, but the cowardly Parliament and government are openly working to thwart the law. What happens now? I have no clue, if you do, tell me. What should happen is a general election and the replacement of every dishonorable member who has forgotten who he works for and what they told him to do. Most of the government and a fair slice of the (not so) Civil Service would be improved by spending some time at Her Majesty’s Tower of London. Sadly, that is the most unlikely outcome. The swamp in Westminster may be deeper and more viscous than the one in Washington.


In other news, now comes news that some 50 people are at some place in the process of being arrested for bribery. It seems they thought their kids needed some extra help to get into those elite schools that educate swamp creatures, so they paid someone to lie for them. Toni Williams at Victory Girls explains.

About 50 people have had arrest warrants issued, been arrested, are negotiating their arrest or are being pursued in connection with a college cheating scandal code named “Operation Varsity Blues”. Parents paying to get their mouth breathing, drooling spawn into schools the little idiots are not qualified to attend. If you missed the press conference today, it was absolutely jaw dropping. Not shocking or surprising just jaw dropping.

While the rest of us honorable schmucks were paying for college board prep tests (my son wouldn’t go) or at least begging our little cherubs to get a good night’s sleep prior to the test (nope to that one, too), these elitists, who are so much better than we are, schemed with a weasel named William Singer to phony up the test scores for the college boards, create phony elite athlete profiles and get their kids into college as athletes or just plain bribe college officials. And, then as if these elitists didn’t disdain us enough, they claimed the costs as charitable contributions on their tax returns. You cannot make this excrement up.

Actress Lori Loughlin (Aunt Becky on Full House) and her husband, Target fashion designer, Mossimo Gianulli are two of the parents caught in the web of lies. From Deadline Hollywood:

Loughlin and her spouse Mossimo Gianulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” asserts the grand jury indictment.

Gianulli has been charged.

No real surprise, I think, except the prosecutions. And for that matter, anybody think these spawn went to school to learn anything useful, or just to get a meaningless piece of paper for the wall, and a four (or more) year party. So while the illegality should be punished, I don’t see many victims here, the parents had way more money than sense, the schools have long since giving up educating for indoctrinating, and the kids are there for the sex, and drugs, and rock and roll, or whatever it is now. Hard to get too excited.

1972 Redux?

Yesterday, I read articles by Victor Davis Hanson on American Greatness, Dr. Tom Borelli on Conservative Review, David Catron on The American Spectator and Clarice Feldman on American Thinker. They al;l said much the same thing. That was yesterday, I have seen many others in the last fortnight or so, and in fact, they are saying what I am saying here today. I’m going to mostly quote VDH here, but any of them will do, and it’s self-evident to your own eyes anyway.

At the rate the Democrats are going, 2020 = 1972. I don’t know if you remember 1972, but the Democrats crashed and burned, losing 49 states to Nixon. But 2020 may be worse. Let VDH tell you.

[W]hat is strange about the new envisioned progressive agendas for 2020 is that no serious Democratic presidential candidate next year could ever run on them.

Instead, what we will see over the next few months are insidious efforts to ignore, disown, or recant endorsements of Democratic candidates for president. And if not, Democrats will be trapped by their own rhetoric and virtue signaling—and end up going the full McGovern in 2020.

Venom. The new progressive Democratic Party is prepared for existential war. Vice President Mike Pence cannot be said to be a “decent guy.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is old and in the way. America is not much above “garbage.” Immigrants arrive crushed that the “propaganda” did not match the reality of a pathological America. Yesterday’s condemnations from Jeremiah Wright’s pulpit sound mild today. In such a race to the bottom, expect in the next 22 months that each current slur and smear will be seen as counterrevolutionary within 24 hours. Yet most Americans do not appreciate their country being trashed by those who apparently know little about it.

Green Deals. Much has been written about the “Green New Deal,” specifically its socialist redistribution schemes, and its notorious rapid phasing out of the internal combustion engine, which drew the polite ridicule from Feinstein and even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Sound like anything you’ve seen and heard (unendingly)? Me as well, continuing.

Anti-Semitism. The recent failure to condemn explicit anti-Semitism, as voiced by some new anti-Semitic, anti-Israel left-wing congresswomen, reveals that the Democratic Party is captive to an entirely new manifestation of a tired, old ideology. […]

Abortion. It was an unwritten rule that there were two sure ways to lose voters on the abortion issue. Again, ethics and morality aside, there were a few clearly understood no-go, political red lines.

On the pro-abortion side, the red line was usually defined roughly as infanticide, ostensibly killing the baby as it passed through the birth canal or in fact was already delivered. […]

Reparations. There is no national support for reparations for contemporary African-Americans, nearly 160 years after the Civil War.

The argument is neither coherent nor workable. Do immigrant blacks from Africa or the Caribbean qualify despite no American familial historical experience with slavery or Jim Crow?

Open borders and the end of ICE.

Cancellation of student debt.

And on and on and on it goes, where it stops nobody knows. But I’ll bet a fair amount of money that nobody campaigning on half of those points is going to win the election, especially against a candidate that actually fights for his (and our) vision of America. That’s one thing.

But there is another. As David Catron (link above) reminds us; in 1994, the Democrats lost the House majority they had held since Eisenhower. They didn’t get it back until 2006, and lost it again in 2012, regained it in 2018, and are on track to lose it in 2020. Why? Because they have become increasingly (and vocally) radical, all the things VDH discussed above. This is America, and they would be seen as fairly radical, even in Europe.

Indeed, in the UK, the main reason that Teresa May remains the Prime Minister is that Jeremy Corbin also propounds all the stuff above, as so, as horrific as many conservatives perceive her, she was the best least horrible on offer. Sad when the least bad choice wants to give your country’s sovereignty away and pay somebody with billions of tax money for the privilege. That’s how bad Corbyn is.

Forty years ago Margeret Thatcher explained it thusly, “The one thing about leftwing politicians is that they are always fanatical. They never let go. It’s their religion.” Nothing has changed.

It is going to be a very noisy couple of years, as the idiot stepchildren learn a few facts of life, but they will, or they’ll be forcibly retired and then we’ll get on with it. Or they won’t and we may well see another civil war. But I think the first much more likely, the average American voter may well be lazy, but he isn’t stupid, and when the screeching gets annoying, he’s been known to shut it down.

Probably will again.

Green New Dream and Brexit: the Musical

Well, I think we’ll do a few more videos today.

The Clear Energy Alliance has a series of videos up explaining just how incredibly stupid Occasional Cortex’s (or AOC, if you insist) Green New Deal is.

I’ll post a couple of the series, but more at the link.

and

They are completely right, of course. This whole plan is substandard for college freshmen over a football weekend. But that is fairly standard for Congress.

Or Parliament for that matter, Brexit the Musical is available. It’s not quite up to the standard of Hamilton, but if the F bomb in a posh British accent doesn’t overly bother you, it’s pretty good. But perhaps a bit NSFW

Hat tip to PowerLine for both.

A Stab in the Back: Brexit

Click to embiggen

Samizdata brings us “this twitter thread from Matthew Goodwin.”

One critical point about vote for #Brexit is that it marked the first moment when a majority of British people formally asked for something that a majority of their elected representatives did not want to give. It was always destined to lead us here

Contrary to popular claims, we now know from a dozen + studies that Leavers knew what they were voting for. They had a clear sense about how they wanted to change the settlement; they wanted powers returned from the EU & to slow the pace of immigration

We also know that for large chunks of the Leave electorate this vote -a rejection of the status quo- was anchored in high levels of political distrust, exasperation with an unfair economic settlement & a strong desire to be heard & respected

I do not think that it is hard to imagine what could happen if Brexit is delayed, taken off the shelf altogether or evolves into a second referendum that offers Remain vs May’s deal, which Leavers would view as an illegitimate ‘democratic’ exercise

We have evidence. (1) Professor Lauren McLaren has already shown that even before the first referendum people who wanted to reform the existing settlement but who felt politicians were unresponsive became significantly more distrustful of the entire political system

(2) Professor Oliver Heath (& others) have found that as British politics gradually converged on the middle-class at the expense of the working-class the latter gradually withdrew from politics, hunkering down and becoming more apathetic

This is partly why the first referendum was so important, where we saw surprisingly high rates of turnout in blue-collar seats. Because for the first time in years many of these voters felt that they could, finally, bring about change.

And we’d already seen an alliance between middle-class conservatives and blue-collar workers to try and bring about this change when they decamped from mainstream politics in 2012-2015 to vote for a populist outsider

So I think that we do know what the effects of a long/indefinite delay to Brexit, or taking it off the table altogether, will be. Either we will see a return to apathy & ever-rising levels of distrust which will erode our democracy and the social contract from below, or …

Another populist backlash, anchored in the same alliance of disillusioned Tories & angry workers who -as we’ve learned- are very unlikely to just walk quietly into the night. If anything, this will just exacerbate the deeper currents we discuss here

More on that thought later. But yes, this is very close to what I am hearing, almost entirely Brexiteer. Over at Law and Liberty, Samuel Gregg takes a close look at the politics involved and such.

That, however, is not how most of the British political class sees Brexit. As in the lead-up to the referendum, gloom-and-doom is being voiced from across the political spectrum at Westminster. This owes something to the fact that Prime Minister Theresa May’s tenuous hold on the House of Commons—not to mention her own Tory party—means that her government has to negotiate with multiple groups with wildly divergent views of what Brexit should be or if it should even occur. To say that this process has not been going well is an understatement. It’s further complicated by the fact that many government ministers and MPs from all parties, the majority of the civil service and large segments of the press opposed Brexit, have never accepted the referendum result, and resent the entire exercise.

Keep reading but my take is that Britain has the same problem that we do, the bureaucracy has revolted and taken over the joint with the acquiescence (often verging on outright support) of the legislators themselves. The voters no longer matter to many of these.

Dan Mitchell tells us that economically a Hard (I actually prefer WTO) Brexit will be far more beneficial to Britain than any deal, let alone the travesty of May’s withdrawal agreement. He’s right and he’s also where we found the picture that leads this article. More sense and more cartoons in the article.

My views on Brexit haven’t changed since I wrote “The Economic Case for Brexit” back in 2016.

It’s a simple issue of what route is most likely to produce prosperity for the people of the United Kingdom. And that means escaping the dirigiste grasp of the European Union.

And finally, Mark America takes a look at the Brexit situation noted in our first link, in an American historical context.  His conclusion is the same as mine.

What happens when a referendum is held, but three years later, the government responsible for enacting the results of the referendum has failed to comply?  We’re about to learn the answer to that question, as the people of the UK have been betrayed by their government.  The people voted for “Brexit” very nearly three years ago.  Their government promised to carry out their wishes.  They wanted to leave the European Union.  Instead, rather than accede to the lawful demands of the people, the government has conspired to ignore those results, spending most of the intervening time trying to re-litigate the case in order to convince the public that it should not “Brexit.”  At this point, given this coup d’etatagainst the rule of law, the people of the UK would be justified in any action undertaken to forcibly remove the current government, cast off the parliament, and reform government anew.

Keep reading, he makes the case as well as anyone I’ve read. Well, except this guy:

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 of 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 shewn, 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.

With his pen, Thomas Jefferson that day secured for America the support of about a third of Britain’s population. And now again, those same words call Britain itself, to hold itself to the higher standard that the English speaking world has always embraced. Will they? That is up to them. Remaining free, whatever the cost, is a judgment each of us must make for ourselves. But, I know what my decision would be. We shall see what sounds the Gales of April bring to our ears.

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