Swift Injustice: The Case of Tommy RobinsonPosted: May 28, 2018 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice | Tags: British Media, Child grooming, England, Freedom of the press, Gag order, Jihadism, kidnapping, London, Muslim, Rape, Tommy Robinson Leave a comment
- The swiftness with which injustice was meted out to Tommy Robinson is stunning. No, more than that: it is terrifying.
- Without having access to his own lawyer, Robinson was summarily tried and sentenced to 13 months behind bars. He was then transported to Hull Prison.
- Meanwhile, the judge who sentenced Robinson also ordered British media not to report on his case. Newspapers that had already posted reports of his arrest quickly took them down. All this happened on the same day.
- In Britain, rapists enjoy the right to a full and fair trial, the right to the legal representation of their choice, the right to have sufficient time to prepare their cases, and the right to go home on bail between sessions of their trial. No such rights were offered, however, to Tommy Robinson.
“One potentially positive aspect of this ugly turn of events is that it turned heads that should have been turned long ago.”
In recent years, alas, Britain has deviated from its commitment to liberty. Foreign critics of Islam, such as the American scholar Robert Spencer, and for a time, even the Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders have been barred from the country. Now, at least one prominent native critic of Islam, Tommy Robinson, has been repeatedly harassed by the police, railroaded by the courts, and left unprotected by prison officials who have allowed Muslim inmates to beat him senseless. Clearly, British authorities view Robinson as a troublemaker and would like nothing more than to see him give up his fight, leave the country (as Ayaan Hirsi Ali left the Netherlands), or get killed by a jihadist (as happened to the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh).
[Read the full story here, at gatestoneinstitute.org]
On Friday, as reported here yesterday, the saga of Tommy Robinson entered a new chapter. British police officers pulled him off a street in Leeds, where, in his role as a citizen journalist, he was livestreaming a Facebook video from outside a courthouse. Inside that building, several defendants were on trial for allegedly being part of a so-called “grooming gang” — a group of men, almost all Muslim, who systematically rape non-Muslim children, in some cases hundreds of them, over a period of years or decades. Some ten thousand Facebook viewers around the world witnessed Robinson’s arrest live.
The police promptly dragged Robinson in front of a judge, where, without having access to his own lawyer, he was summarily tried and sentenced to 13 months behind bars. He was then transported to Hull Prison.
Meanwhile, the judge who sentenced him also ordered the British media not to report on his case. Newspapers that had already posted reports of his arrest quickly took them down. Even ordinary citizens who had written about the arrest on social media removed their posts, for fear of sharing Robinson’s fate. All this happened on the same day.
A kangaroo court, then a gag order. In the United Kingdom, where rapists enjoy the right to a full and fair trial, the right to the legal representation of their choice, the right to have sufficient time to prepare their cases, and the right to go home on bail between sessions of their trial. No such rights were offered, however, to Tommy Robinson.
The swiftness with which injustice was meted out to Robinson is stunning. No, more than that: it is terrifying. On various occasions over the years, I have been subjected in person to an immediate threat of Islamic violence: I have had a knife pulled on me by a young gang member, and been encircled by a crowd of belligerent men in djellabas outside a radical mosque. But that was not frightening. This is frightening — this utter violation of fundamental British freedoms. Read the rest of this entry »
‘ENOUGH’: New York Post Cover for Monday, June 5, 2017Posted: June 5, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Religion, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Britain, England, ISIS, Islamism, Jihadism, journalism, London Bridge, Manchester, media, New York Post, news, Tabloid 2 Comments
Source: Covers | New York Post
Daily Mail Front Page for Friday March 24, 2017Posted: March 24, 2017 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Terrorism | Tags: Daily Mail, England, Google, London Leave a comment
[PHOTO] Winston ChurchillPosted: February 24, 2017 Filed under: History, War Room | Tags: England, Photography, United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, World War II Leave a comment
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
— Winston Churchill
Brussels: ‘We’ll Make Britain Beg’Posted: September 9, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Britain, Brussels, England, EU, headlines, Magazines, media, news, Newspapers 1 Comment
[VIDEO] Krauthammer: ‘In Ten Years You Could Have a Britain that Is Only Wales and England’Posted: June 26, 2016 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Brexit, Charles Krauthammer, England, EUROPE, Fox News, Great Britain, media, news, The Corner, video Leave a comment
“This is a problem that began long before the immigration wave. This is a result of what you talked about — the origins of the EU and how the idea, a very utopian idea and successful for a while, as corrupted.”
“The idea was, after the two world wars, the worst in human history, they wanted to create something … that would ultimately reconcile Germany and France. That was what began the European Coal Commission, which had to do with simply commerce. And it grew to encompass 28 countries. And it succeeded in the sense that, for the first time in a thousand years, the idea of intra-European war was inconceivable. Nobody could even imagine Germany, France, Italy at war against each other.”
“The problem is that the institution that was created to achieve that — and it was a great achievement — became a bureaucratic monstrosity, which tried to add on to the economic union a political union that the people were never asked for. And when they had the referenda, it was rejected and the EU would go around it.”
“So it created a super-nationalist institution that suppressed nationalism, which you can only do for so long, and this is the first exit.”
“But the one thing I think is that those who revel in this — and I understand why the British wanted to do it; it suppressed and supplanted their own democracy, the most venerable in the world — is that I think it will lead to the breakup f the United Kingdom. Apart from the EU, which I think will inevitably not survive as a result of this.”
“But Scotland wants out because it wants to be in the European Union. And think of Northern Ireland — it took decades to figure that out, to reconcile them, and as of today, for Northern Ireland, you can walk into the Republic of Ireland without a passport. It’s essentially your country. The minute that Britain leaves the EU, that frontier becomes one where you need a passport. The Northern Irish are going to want to secede and join Ireland.”
“We have — I think, in ten years, you could have a Britain that is only Wales and England. I think those who revel in the recovery of the sovereignty of Great Britain could find that it doesn’t exist in ten years.”
Read more at The Corner
‘POWER to the PEOPLE!’: New York Post Cover for Saturday, June 25, 2016Posted: June 25, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Brexit, Britain, England, EU, EUROPE, journalism, media, New York, New York Post, news, Newspaper, Tabloid Leave a comment
‘U.K. Vote Sets Off Shockwaves’: Front Page of The Wall Street Journal’s Weekend EditionPosted: June 25, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Economics, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Brexit, Britain, England, EU, EUROPE, journalism, media, news, Newspapers, U.K., Wall Street Journal Leave a comment
front page of The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition
Americans Confused By System Of Government In Which Leader Would Resign After Making Terrible DecisionPosted: June 24, 2016 Filed under: Global, Humor, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Brexit, David Cameron, England, EU, satire, UK Leave a comment
WASHINGTON—In the wake of Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that he would leave office following the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union, tens of millions of Americans expressed their confusion to reporters Friday about a system of government in which a leader would resign after making a terrible decision…(read more)
A Message from Margaret ThatcherPosted: June 23, 2016 Filed under: Art & Culture, Breaking News, Diplomacy, Humor, Politics | Tags: Brexit, David Cameron, England, EU, European Union, Great Britain, Ireland, Margaret Thatcher, Scotland, UK, United Kingdom Leave a comment
[VIDEO] Obama on Brexit Right or Wrong? Sarah Churchwell vs Douglas MurrayPosted: April 21, 2016 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Barack Obama, Brexit, Britain, Douglas Murray, England, EU, EUROPE, media, news, Sarah Churchwell Leave a comment
[VIDEO] There’s Something Funny About The Way Lemurs SunbathePosted: April 15, 2016 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Science & Technology | Tags: Atherstone, England, Lemur, New England, Primatology, ring-tailed Lemurs, Sun, Twycross Zoo Leave a comment
It’s now officially spring! These are the funny ring-tailed Lemurs from the Twycross Zoo in Atherstone, England. As soon as just a bit of sun comes, that’s it, arms are stretched out to catch some Sun rays.
‘Criminal Checks Gone Mad’: Daily Telegraph Front Page for Dec 26th, 2015Posted: December 25, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Boxing Day, British Press, Crime, England, Immigration, media, news, Newspapers, Refugees, Tabloid, The Telegraph Leave a comment
History: ‘The Women’s Petition Against Coffee’Posted: December 14, 2015 Filed under: Food & Drink, History | Tags: 1600s, Coffee, England, London, Petition 1 Comment
The Times Front Page: ‘United Against Terror’Posted: November 18, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, France, Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Britain, England, Islamic Extemism, Islamic extremism, Islamism, Jihadism, media, news, Paris Attacks, The Times, UK Leave a comment
Daily Mail: ISIS’s Paris Attack jihadis Sneaked into Europe as Syrian RefugeesPosted: November 15, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, France, Mediasphere, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Airman First Class, AK-47, Barack Obama, England, François Hollande, France, Islamism, Jihadism, Paris, Paris Attacks, Terrorism, United States Leave a comment
Ian Gallagher, Martin Beckford and Martin Robinson report: This is the face of one of the Paris killers who allegedly sneaked into France by posing as a refugee after being rescued from a sinking migrant boat as it emerged a woman may have been part of the eight-strong ISIS kamikaze terror squad.
Serbian media claims Ahmed Almuhamed, 25, whose Syrian passport was found on the body of a suicide bomber, allegedly blew himself up at the Bataclan concert hall, where at least 89 people were slaughtered on Friday.
The newspaper, Blic, claims Almuhamed arrived with another of the bombers in Europe on the Greek island of Leros on October 3 on his way to Paris. Greek website Protothema have published ferry tickets showing the name of a second man, Mohammed Almuhamed, who could be a relation.
One of the attackers has been named locally as homegrown terrorist Omar Ismaël Mostefai , 29, from Courcouronnes, Paris. The petty criminal was known to police as a radical and identified by the fingerprint on a severed digit found after he detonated his suicide belt.
Investigators are now investigating claims that he went to Syria last year, and may have spent time training with ISIS terrorists.
Survivors have claimed that a woman was among the group shooting randomly into the crowd at the Eagles of Death Metal gig before three blew themselves up and a fourth person was shot dead by police before they could detonate their bomb.
Read the rest of this entry »
Friday’s Sun Front Page: Exclusive: ‘Jihadi Plot to Snatch Brit Envoys’Posted: November 12, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Britain, England, Jihadi, journalism, media, news, Tabloid, The Sun (Newspaper) 1 Comment
Nick Sutton via Twitter
People Think This New Queen Elizabeth Statue Looks Like Tom HanksPosted: November 2, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: England, Hollywood, Queen Elizabeth, Royalty, Statue, Tom Hanks Leave a comment
‘The Cheese Of Truth Vs The Daily Mail’Posted: October 17, 2015 Filed under: Global, Humor, Mediasphere | Tags: Cheese, comedy, England, Immigration, media, news, The Daily Mail, video, Vine Leave a comment
Celebrating Alfred Hitchcock, Born Today, August 13, 1899: Classic Movie PostersPosted: August 13, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment | Tags: Alfred Hitchcock, Cinema, Cinematography, design, England, Film, Filmmaking, Hollywood, Illustration, Movies, Photography, vintage Leave a comment
Alfred Hitchcock, Born Today, Aug. 13, 1899Posted: August 13, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, History | Tags: Alfred Hitchcock, Cinema, England, Filmmaker, Hollywood, Movies, Mystery, suspense, Thriller Leave a comment
[Order Michael Wood’s book “Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much” from Amazon.com]
[Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray]]
[See more – in our Hitchcock archives at punditfromanotherplanet]
[PHOTO] Winston Churchill, PaintingPosted: August 2, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, History | Tags: Art, British, Cigars, England, Painting, Photography, The United Kingdom, Winston Churchill 1 Comment
[VIDEO] Dr. Krauthammer: ISIS Is ‘Genocidal Movement Akin to Nazism’Posted: February 17, 2015 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Religion, War Room | Tags: Al Jazeera, Barack Obama, Charles Krauthammer, England, English Language, Islamic terrorism, Islamism, National Review, Republican Party (United States) 3 Comments
From The Corner:
“The ideology of ISIS is clearly supremacist, in the sense that anybody who is not Islamic in their understanding is to be either enslaved or eradicated. This is a genocidal movement. You kill Christians, you kill Jews, you kill Yazidis…”
Make no mistake about the seriousness of the threat posed by the Islamic State, says Charles Krauthammer. In the wake of the murders of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians,
“…That’s what we’re up against, and we have an administration that will not even admit that there’s a religious basis underlying what’s going on.”
“[ISIS] is not just Islamic radicalism anymore, or Islamic terrorism, which is only a tactic. This is really Islamist supremacy. And in that sense, it is akin to Nazism. That was racial supremacy; here it’s Islamist.”
5 Ways Obama Blew It In The Middle East http://t.co/jB0roke7tE pic.twitter.com/SoyZn9eFI5
— National Review (@NRO) February 17, 2015
“Churchill saved England and civilization because in 1940 he was able to enlist the English language, and he put it to work on behalf of civilization. What this administration is doing is precisely the opposite. It’s sort of deconstructing any resistance with its refusal to acknowledge the obvious.”
“The ideology of ISIS is clearly supremacist,” said Krauthammer on Monday’s Special Report, “in the sense that anybody who is not Islamic in their understanding is to be either enslaved or eradicated. This is a genocidal movement….(read more)
The Vandenburg Volley GunPosted: February 5, 2015 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, History, War Room | Tags: American Civil War, Barcelona, Cannon, Civil War, Columbia, England, EUROPE, Gun, Premier League, South Carolina, Union Army, Vandenburg Volley Gun, William Tecumseh Sherman 1 Comment
The Vandenburg Volley Gun
A weapon of questionable value, this large volley gun was manufactured in England and saw limited use in Europe and in the American Civil War. Different models could have anywhere from 85 to 150 barrels that fired all at once. The method of ignition was unique in that the center charge was fired by percussion and ignited the whole volley simultaneously. However, by plugging off the vents, or ignition galleries, in advance, the discharge of the piece could be regulated to fire by clusters or rows of one-sixth, one-third, or one-half of the group. The other sections remained charged, ready to be fired by inserting a new percussion cap, and opening the formerly plugged orifices. The gun was loaded from the breech with the back unscrewing to expose the chambers. A loading machine for facilitating the charging of the many chambers in the breech. The device, when placed on dowels, was in proper position over the holes in the chambers. By manipulating a lever, measured charges of powder were dropped simultaneously into every chamber. This mechanism could be removed quickly, to be replaced by another containing lead balls. When properly positioned, the latter dropped the bullets into place. A ramming device was then put on, and all charges were compressed at once by the action of a lever on the loading plungers. Unfortunately the gun was big, heavy, and hard to move, making in difficult to place in order to achieve maximum effect. Plus the tightly grouped shot pattern of the gun was not large enough to cover a large area, and cannon grapeshot was considered to be a more effective weapon.
The Apocalypse TapestryPosted: January 21, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: 100 years war, Adolf Hitler, book of Revelations, Chateau d’Angers, England, France, French Revolution, Great Comet, Italy, Normandy landings, Renaissance art, World War II 2 Comments
The Apocalypse Tapestry is a 14th century French work commissioned by the Duke of Anjou. In over 90 scenes it portrays the apocalypse as described by John in the New Testament book of Revelations. Allusions to the 100 years war with England are also present. The Anjous held the tapestry for a century before gifting it to Angers Cathedral. During the French Revolution the tapestry was stolen, cut into pieces, and used for functional purposes ranging from floor mats to insulating stables. During the 19th century a canon of the cathedral located the pieces (all but 16 were successfully recovered) and began restorative work. After World War II the tapestry once again moved, this time to Chateau d’Angers. In order to preserve the 300 foot masterpiece a special gallery with dim lighting and custom ventilation was built within the castle where it remains on view today.
[VIDEO] REWIND: ”Is England Still Influencing America?’ Christopher HItchens on Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr., 1990Posted: December 4, 2014 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: America, Books, Christopher Hitchens, England, Firing Line, Michael Kinsley, National Review, PBS, William F. Buckley Jr 2 Comments
Subject: ‘Is England Still Influencing America’
Firing Line 1990
Scotland Decides Its Fate TodayPosted: September 18, 2014 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Election, England, Independence, Scotland, UK, United Kingdom, Vote Leave a comment
UNDERNEATH the “Hong Kong Miracle”Posted: August 1, 2014 Filed under: China, Dr. Strangelove's Notebook, History, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: China, England, HKSAR, Hong Kong, Hong Kong government, Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, United States 3 Comments
EXCLUSIVE: A few days ago, The Butcher posted a link to a good article about the origins of “the Hong Kong Miracle” – a term that is justifiably used to describe Hong Kong as a near “capitalist paradise” of very limited government intervention into all aspects of the lives of its citizens, very low apparent taxation and nearly wide-open individualism and personal opportunity. I’ve seen pieces like this before and hopefully, people will be writing them in the future (and not discussions about how China “killed the goose that laid the golden eggs”).
“As part of my study, I’ve come to realize that there is a somewhat hidden key to the magic of Hong Kong’s economic, social and political success story.”
As an on-again, off-again resident of Hong Kong (“on” right now and for the next few months), I’m an avid reader of Chinese history in general, and Hong Kong history in particular. Last year I began the grueling process of becoming admitted as a lawyer (solicitor) in Hong Kong, taking the very difficult test administered to foreign lawyers from other Anglosphere jurisdictions as a gateway to that honor. (I’m nearing the end of that long journey now – in two weeks I’ll be in court here for my formal admission before a Chinese judge wearing the white wig and crimson robes that English judges have been wearing for over three hundred years, a wonderfully rich experience of the cultural melting pot that is Hong Kong.)
“And it behooves people who support the political philosophy (free-market capitalism and political liberty) underlying Hong Kong’s wonderfully free and open society to be aware of this key.”
As part of my study, I’ve come to realize that there is a somewhat hidden key to the magic of Hong Kong’s economic, social and political success story. And it behooves people who support the political philosophy (free-market capitalism and political liberty) underlying Hong Kong’s wonderfully free and open society to be aware of this key. Because, while I am as libertarian as they come, there IS a functioning government here that provides essential public goods. The seven million people who live and work here depend on the fantastically well-built and well-maintained physical and social infrastructure: Massive public works (like the great new airport – no one misses the dangerous approach to good old Kai Tak, huge bridges and tunnels), a clean, efficient mass-transit system, pretty darned good public schools, a semi-public health-care system, adequate police and an amazingly open and un-corrupted legal system.
[Also see: The Man Behind the Hong Kong Miracle]
The mystery comes from looking at all of these great elements of the public sphere in Hong Kong, and comparing it with the tax regime. The highest marginal income tax rate here is 18% (only the very highest earners pay this, and most of them figure out a way to avoid the highest rate), there is no capital gains tax, and there are very few other explicit taxes of any kind. Although most government services have associated user fees in the form of some kind of “stamp duty” (an Anglicism Americans understand as a tax), these stamp duties are fairly low – and would come nowhere near raising enough revenue to support the public sector. Likewise, while there are fees for riding on the MTR (the integrated mass transit system that includes subways, above-ground trains, buses, trolleys and ferries) and some tolls (for instance on the main tunnel linking Hong Kong Island with Kowloon and the mainland side), these charges again can’t raise enough revenue to support their overall function, much less the massive improvements in Hong Kong’s physical infrastructure I’ve personally seen in the 35 years since I first came here. Read the rest of this entry »
Holly Fisher: The Difference, ExplainedPosted: July 7, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: al Qaeda, al-Shabaab, England, Germaine Lindsay, Holly Fisher, Lewthwaite, London, Mombasa, United States 5 Comments
For National Review Online, Charles C. W. Cooke explains…
This image — which features an American woman named Holly Fisher and an international terrorist named Sherafiyah Lewthwaite — has been doing the rounds on Lefty Twitter:
“Explain the difference”? With pleasure.
The woman on the left is a peaceful American citizen with a husband in the military. She has never killed anybody, and nor does she have any desire to. The reason that you know her name is that she has become a minor political celebrity for her outspoken support of a Supreme Court decision that upheld the rule of law against the intrusion of the executive branch. In her photograph, she is mocking the president for his intolerant and ignorant “cling to guns or religion” comments. Read the rest of this entry »
Kangaroo Brains on Menu as 150-Year-Old Historic First Aussie Cookbook Goes on ShowPosted: May 30, 2014 Filed under: Food & Drink, Global | Tags: Australia, Edward Abbott, England, Hobart, State Library of Tasmania, Tasmania, Van Diemen, Van Diemen's Land 1 Comment
If you have ever wanted to prepare a meal of kangaroo brains fried in emu fat with a side dish of roasted wombat, there’s a cookbook in Australia just for you.
“Roast kangaroos’ tails in the ashes with the skin on; when nearly done, scrape them well, and divide at the joints. Then put them in a pan with a few slices of fat bacon, to which add a few mushrooms, pepper etc. Fry gently and serve.”
The “English and Australian Cookery Book” — hailed as the country’s first recipe book using native ingredients — has gone on show in the southern state of Tasmania, 150 years after it was first published.
“In the early days of white colonialism in Van Diemen’s Land, because agriculture took a lot of time to blossom — as in be sustainable, the convicts for example were out there pretty much fending for themselves and so the whole notion of eating local wildlife wouldn’t have been that uncommon.”
The recipe’s author Edward Abbott compiled the book in the mid-1800s during a period of financial hardship in the hope it could earn him a quick buck, said Ross Latham, who manages the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office. Read the rest of this entry »
The New York Times Anti-Ryan CampaignPosted: March 18, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Ayn Rand, England, Ireland, New York Times, Nick Gillespie, Paul Ryan, Saint Patrick's Day, The Great Famine, Timothy Egan Leave a comment
The Worst St. Patricks Day Article You’ll Read All Year: How Paul Ryan is Like Genocidal Englishmen
We may have to reserve judgement on the worst article we’ll read all year. It’s still early! Though other lazy NYT op-ed writers have nine more months of blindfolded typing to catch up with him, Tim Egan is definitely a contender.
First, Krugman’s jaw-dropping, quote-worthy Paul Ryan smear, now Reason‘s Nick Gillespie has to clean up after Tim Egan’s smug, lazy historical association flim-flam. Both Krugman and Egan employ the same tactic, see if you can notice the identical device, disclaiming responsibility for responsibility via a weasel-worded disclaimer.
Nick Gillespie writes:
In Sunday’s New York Times, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Timothy Egan likens Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to the English overlords of Ireland’s great potato famine of 1845-1852. Seriously.
Egan says he did a bit of “time traveling” in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day (whose celebration in the form of parades and drunkeness is largely an invention of colonial America). What did Egan find while traipsing about in the Old Sod?
“A great debate raged in London: Would it be wrong to feed the starving Irish with free food, thereby setting up a “culture of dependency”? Certainly England’s man in charge of easing the famine, Sir Charles Trevelyan, thought so. “Dependence on charity,” he declared, “is not to be made an agreeable mode of life.”
And there I ran into Paul Ryan…the Republican congressman was very much in evidence, wagging his finger at the famished. His oft-stated “culture of dependency” is a safety net that becomes a lazy-day hammock. But it was also England’s excuse for lethal negligence.”
But wait, before you dare say that Egan in any way means to compare Ryan to the architects of one of the most heinous acts of imperial brutality, perish the thought:
“There is no comparison, of course, between the de facto genocide that resulted from British policy, and conservative criticism of modern American poverty programs. Read the rest of this entry »
The Real Public ServantsPosted: February 7, 2014 Filed under: Think Tank | Tags: Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, Civil service, England, Government of France, Hoover Institution, Public good, Tocqueville 1 Comment
Private enterprise does more for the national good than it gets credit for
James Huffman writes: Alexis de Tocqueville reported that “Americans of all ages, all conditions, all minds constantly unite. . . . Everywhere that, at the head of a new undertaking, you see the government in France and a great lord in England, count on it that you will perceive an association in the United States.”
[Alexis de Tocqueville‘s Democracy in America is available in paperback from Amazon ]
Tocqueville went on to observe that these civil associations serving every imaginable end were the product of what he called “self-interest well understood.” Tocqueville reflected that “the beauties of virtue were constantly spoken of” in “aristocratic centuries,” but he doubted that men were more virtuous in those times than in others.
In the United States, he had observed, “it is almost never said that virtue is beautiful.” Rather Americans “maintain that . . . [virtue] is useful and they prove it every day.” This is what Tocqueville meant by “self-interest well understood,” which he illustrated with this quotation from Montaigne: “When I do not follow the right path for the sake of righteousness, I follow it for having found by experience that all things considered, it is commonly the happiest and most useful.”
“self-interest well understood” “forms a multitude of citizens who are regulated, temperate, moderate, farsighted, masters of themselves; and if it does not lead directly to virtue through will, it brings them near to it insensibly through habits.”
Twenty-first century Americans have forgotten this ancestral insight—that “self-interest well understood” “forms a multitude of citizens who are regulated, temperate, moderate, farsighted, masters of themselves; and if it does not lead directly to virtue through will, it brings them near to it insensibly through habits.” Perhaps “self-interest well understood” sounds too much of Adam Smith’s invisible hand for present day Americans whose habit, like the French of Tocqueville’s time, increasingly is to look for solutions not to private collaboration but to an omnipresent government. Nineteenth-century Americans who turned to both neighbors and strangers in pursuit of mutual interests would be puzzled at the hard and fast boundary their twenty-first century descendants draw between public and private interest.
Fracking Protesters Arrested for Gluing Themselves to the Wrong Petrol PumpsPosted: January 22, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Humor, Mediasphere | Tags: England, French language, Gas station, Great Lever, Hydraulic fracturing, Total, Total S.A. 3 Comments
Robert Wilde reports: On Monday, four members of an anti-fracking group wound up in jail for using bicycle locks and glue to fasten themselves to gas pumps at a petrol station in Great Lever, England. The group sacrificed themselves in order to protest the hydraulic fracking activities of Total, a French petroleum company.
But, to their embarrassment, the group sacrificed themselves to the wrong petrol station, which was no longer owned by Total. The petrol station was owned by Certas Energy, who neglected to take down the signs after buying the station.
[BOOKS] The Reluctant Patriot: how George Orwell Reconciled Himself with EnglandPosted: January 11, 2014 Filed under: History, Reading Room | Tags: Burma, Colls, England, George Orwell, John Maynard Keynes, Orwell, Robert Colls, Wigan Pier 2 Comments
Orwell discovered the values of a practical, gentle, empirical people who didn’t kill each other because they disagreed over politics.
George Orwell: English Rebel
Oxford University Press
David Aaronovitch writes: Since whoever we are (save for a few sad Leninists) we all agree with George Orwell, it usually follows that Orwell must agree with us. Whatever our 21st-century predilections, Tory or leftist, conservative or progressive, we discover blessings and endorsements somewhere in Orwell’s words. We grab him for ourselves.
In English Rebel, Professor Robert Colls grabs Orwell for an idea of national affiliation. Colls offsets his attempt by disclaiming any such ambition. “There is no ‘key’ to Orwell,” he writes at the end of his introduction, “any more than he is a ‘box’ to open. His Englishness, though, is worth following through.” A modest grab, then – and, as we shall see, a good grab. But a grab nonetheless.
George Orwell was, argues Colls, “deracinated”. He went to Eton but he was not of the ruling class. He served as a colonial policeman in Burma but he was alienated from the Raj. He became an intellectual who disliked intellectuals, and a socialist who distrusted almost all forms of socialism. He belonged nowhere.
Except, eventually, to England – not Britain, says Colls, which was too abstract an identity, but England. Between coming back from Burma in the late 1920s and the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949, Orwell came to understand, and wanted to defend, the peculiar virtues of Englishness as understood and practised by “ordinary” English people. Bluff wisdom resided in the folk of England – whose gentleness and stoicism presumably distinguished them from alien intellectuals and alien peoples. The socialism of Orwell can be moot, Colls suggests, but his Englishness is the most real part of him.