Will Theresa May step down?

First, my apologies to anyone who is still checking in on this blog; I had hoped to be posting more regularly by now, but circumstances haven’t allowed it.

It’s been nearly impossible to keep up with the twists and turns in the Brexit saga; according to some sources, Theresa May is being asked to step down. Will this mean that Brexit will finally happen, after all this time? Or will it require the “jaws of life” to extract May from office? Can she just refuse to comply with her cabinet’s requests?

I’ve come to believe that all the Western leaders are answerable to someone else beside their electorate(s) and that they merely do someone else’s bidding; the real power-holders are behind the scenes. Or is that a ”conspiracy theory” and am I guilty of wrongthink?

As the majority of the British electorate chose to vote for Brexit, by rights it should be a ‘done deal’; it should have taken place long ago. If this whole scenario drags on for an indeterminate period of time, it would seem to prove that the will of the people of the UK is being flouted and defied. If there is to be any semblance of honesty or respect for the laws of the land, it would seem that those who have been impeding the process of exiting the EU will reveal themselves for what they are, and I would hope that the majority who voted for Brexit will not be quite so patient with the obstructionists who refuse to accept the results of the Brexit vote.

 

 

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“And we then, what are we? What is England?”

Matthew Arnold wrote the above words in his work Celtic Literature. His question was repeated by Leslie Stephen in a lecture given in 1915. Now, more than a century after the questions were posed, they seem very pertinent as now Britain is attempting to exit the European Union, with the country divided over which course to take.

In Leslie Stephen’s lecture, in which he discussed English national character, we see that the traditional English attitude, perhaps more true to the innate character of England, was to remain aloof and independent, not part of the European system.

“The governing characteristics of the Englishman are not greatly in dispute. His sturdy nationalism, for example, has all along and everywhere been acknowledged. The earliest proof of it lies in the ‘withdrawal,’ to use Bishop Creighton’s word, the ‘withdrawal’ of England from that marvellous fraternity of the Middle Ages, feudal and Catholic Europe. By the fourteenth century she had become a separate nation, committed to the voyage of her own destiny. At a price the Englishman purchased his freedom. Deliberately he stood aloof from the centre, from the main stream of ideas, from the light and warmth of European civility. He remained, as it were, the country cousin of the family, preferring, one might say, the rough, free out-of-doors life to the elegance and refinements with the accompanying restraints of the town. “

I’ve often asked, can the national character of a people change, or be changed, completely? We can ask that in the American context: where did the old American character go, the ‘don’t tread on me’ side of America? Are we our father’s children, or does the propaganda and conditioning override or overwrite our innate character? We can ask Arnold’s questions, ‘And we then, what are we? What is England?” or ”what is America?” in 2019?

To return to Stephen’s lecture,

“He declined the advantages of the best Latin society. Unattracted by the mediaeval vision of a united Christendom, of races held together by common acceptance of the same laws, the same religious creeds and observances, the same chivalric ideals, he set over against the abstract perfections of this dazzling scheme his own liberty, his own habits, his own interests. He had no eye for the beauty of a universal, an ideal order. His talent has ever been for life rather than logic. Of general principles because they tend to imprison the individual he is suspicious. “My case is always a special case. Why should I be treated as one of a number, I, who am unlike all the rest? “

He preferred, too, the old “laws of St Edward” to any legislative novelties, his own priests and bishops to foreigners, his own language to Norman French. He knew his mind and achieved his ends, not indeed so much by way of argument as by patient indifference to argument, and the gradual development of national consciousness only stiffened his original prejudices. His country satisfied him as the best, his race as manifestly the bravest and the handsomest in the world. To go his own way, think his own thoughts, conduct his own undertakings is all an Englishman asks, or used to ask, and if he interferes in the affairs of others, it is only that he may not be interfered with. By this early withdrawal from the comity of European nations, England led the van in liberty…”

It is noticeable that many of the tendencies of the English character, as described above, seem familiar to Americans, as being part of what motivated our English forefathers to seek independence: the desire to govern our own affairs locally, and to be ‘left alone’, preferring smaller government. It would seem that is part of our ‘old inheritance’, a legacy of our English forebears.

But can national traits re-appear after seeming dormant for so long? Can England be England again? Or are national traits so easily overridden or overwritten? Judging by the reaction of many of the younger people interviewed after the Brexit vote, many were distraught and tearful about being torn away from what they thought of as their European identity. Obviously there are very different ideas of what it means to be English, or British, or is it European? How this can be reconciled is quite a conundrum.

 

The latest on Brexit

The Washington Post may think it’s a ‘disaster’ for both the UK and the U.S., but it looks like good news to me. Fox News, though hardly on ‘our side’, thinks that

A ‘no deal’ Brexit is best for Britain and the United States

From the Express:

Brexit vote result: Nigel Farage argues Theresa May should RESIGN after crushing defeat

From Kipper Central:

Wasted Years: Batten SLAMS “Engineered Betrayal” of Brexit

“The vote tonight follows “2 and a half wasted years” engaged in a process “based on the false premise that you cant leave the EU without a deal,” Mr Batten continued.He appealed to people to join UKIP to save Brexit and our democracy as Parliament is “now putting itself in opposition to the people.”

A commenter on the above says:

“After this – the Tories and Labour are toast, as we enter the age of the populist parties.”

‘Romantic Christianity” and English folk music

Bruce Charlton, in a recent piece, writes on a topic which is dear to me. In it, he examines modern English folk music and how it deals with Christian themes, specifically the Christian interweaving of Christian themes with the supernatural (“uncanny”) elements based on folk tales.

He specifially references Steeleye Span and related bands, such as the Albion Band, the Watersons, et al. I don’t know how many of today’s music audiences are familar with these artists, but I recommend them to anyone who is a fan of traditional music, or English/British culture generally. When I first heard these artists years ago, I was fascinated by the supernatural themes of many of the songs; some morbid or gruesome but some simply eerie and spellbinding.

Nowadays, Christians tend to disassociate the supernatural from Christianity and Christian sensibilities, having been taught for many decades that the supernatural equates to occultism and the demonic, and that it’s out-of-bounds for Christians. Modern, established ‘Churchianity’ looks askance, at best, at the kinds of supernatural themes running throughout many of the old ballads, which bands like Steeleye Span popularized in the 1970s.

In recent years, a few in the Christian fold have been re-examining this rejection of the supernatural amongst Christians, and those who recognize the obvious fact that the supernatural is, in fact, essential to Biblical Christianity are taking a second look at the historical attitudes towards the subject.

Perhaps, as this piece suggests, the obvious Romantic influence in the old English (and Scottish, in some cases) ballads was somehow not developed to the full, and English music and folklore are the poorer for this. If I am understanding him correctly here, I agree with this idea.

Were the members of these bands consciously shying away from exploring ‘Christian romanticism’ with these themes? Were their own non-Christian proclivities responsible for their reluctance to go further in this direction?

It has seemed odd to me, considering that England was for long a very Christian country, though at times the people were irreligious; still, there were times of a great resurgence of Christian beliefs in England. Yet legend — or is it only legend? — has it that England was Christian since at least the second century A.D., with Glastonbury being the heart of early English Christianity. Of course, now Glastonbury is a counterculture  Mecca, and neo-pagans claim it as their own, denying Christianity’s deep roots in the country. Today Christianity is moribund in the U.K.

It’s natural to speculate about how today’s post-Christian Britain regards the cultural remnants which are reminders of the time when that island was a bastion of the Christian faith, and the culture in which it grew.

Regardless of all this, the music can be enjoyed on its own merits.

Professor Charlton’s musical examples include Steeleye’s renditions of the traditional ballads Demon Lover and Alison Gross. Visit the links to hear and see the videos at his blog.

 

What’s next for Brexit?

I don’t know how many of us in the U.S. are keeping up with the latest news on Brexit; it is a complicated situation and not so easy for many Americans to follow (including myself). But I’ll offer a few links here to give some idea of recent developments.

Hearing discussion of a possible second referendum, according to some sources, it’s hard to know what to believe. I don’t like the idea of a second referendum; it’s obviously a stall tactic, playing for time on the part of May et al, and the ‘remain’ faction apparently hope that if they keep delaying the implementation of the break from the EU, they will get more ‘remain’ votes.

Boris Johnson, in recent remarks, denounces the efforts to get a second vote, and advocates for a ‘clean break’ from the EU.

‘ “If that is true, and if people in Downing Street have really been discussing a second referendum – whether seriously or just in the hope of scaring MPs to vote for this lamentable deal – then all I can say is that they must be out of their minds,” Mr Johnson wrote in The Telegraph.’

In this article, James Delingpole says the Brexit betrayal is worse than it seems.

It appears that just as in the U.S., at least amongst the ‘aware’ or realist segment of the populace, pessimism tends to prevail. I suspect that in the UK as here, a great many people are in denial about the seriousness of the situation, or are simply tuned out, not paying attention — too distracted by the usual diversions.

I won’t presume to try to say what political choices (if any) would help the people of Britain to salvage their country; some are apparently advocating UKIP as the party of choice, though I’ve always had the impression that UKIP are, at best, civic nationalist, which is not what is ultimately needed.

There is also the For Britain party, which is described by the usual suspects as ‘far right’, but isn’t any rightist populist party inevitably called ‘far right’?

‘For Britain’ was founded by some former UKIP members, and its principles as stated are principles with which most on the right could probably agree. My only reservation is that it seems, too, to be civic nationalist. The usual justification for populists/nationalists to support such parties is that a real nationalist party could not gain enough support; baby steps are need, and ‘civic’ is the best that can be hoped for. But when and how is this ever to change, if today is never the time for it?

And time, it seems, is slipping away.

Brexit: defeatism?

The U.S. Ambassador to the UK, expressing doubt about the prospects of Brexit, speaks of British ‘defeatism’ on their prospects of escaping from the EU:

This is not the first time Trump’s man in London has encouraged Brits to be courageous in dealing with Brexit. Speaking in June, Ambassador Johnson said the UK should abandon its “defeatist attitude” and take inspiration from President Trump, remarking: “The thing I want to get out more than anything else is an attitude that I feel I don’t see enough in this country and that is a confidence for where you are heading – light at the end of the tunnel with Brexit.”

He said: “The British have always been experts and great business people, great business minds, so to see this defeatist attitude towards Brexit is a bit startling to me.’

Ambassador Johnson’s harsher remarks were directed more at the EU:

“Accusing the European Union of merely paying lip service to the notion of free trade before stacking the deck in favour of their own companies “with taxes and barriers that make it almost impossible for foreign companies to compete,” Ambassador Johnson said, “The United States has let this go on for too long.”

If we are to take Ambassador Johnson at his word, it sounds as though the U.S. will take a more active role in siding with the Brexit proponents, rather than attempting to be neutral. I also notice that Johnson’s words about the UK and the U.S. cooperating towards a favorable trade deal refers to the old ”special relationship’ between our two countries. In recent years that relationship has been treated as ‘in the past’, dismissed as a relic of a different time. It’s true that the major demographic changes in both our countries have made for more estrangement than mutual warmth; sad to say, many in the UK have an active dislike or resentment of Americans, and that’s understandable. Many British people base their knowledge of us on what they see in our corrupt media, just as Americans, at least those who have never visited the UK, see our cousins in the UK through that same distorting lens.

We might almost think that there’s been a longstanding effort to cause hostility between our nations.

In order for this prospective trade deal to work, there has to be a renewal of trust between our nations, despite the hostile media on both sides of the Atlantic.

But the more important message in the Ambassador’s speech is the exhortation to be confident, avoiding ‘defeatism’, and to recall our former achievements. He seems to say that our countries and peoples could assert their former pre-eminence, given determination, cooperation, and the right attitude.

If Britain takes back control of its trade policy, you will be at the head of the line. America and Britain are two of the most advanced economies in the world. Together we could agree the most sophisticated and ambitious free trade deal ever done — a heavyweight deal that gets the whole world to sit up and take notice. Together, we can show the rest of the world how it’s done.

However it’s obvious that the powers-that-be within Britain and in the EU, with their globalist aims, will not give up easily, so it won’t be a walk in the park. Still, what’s the alternative?

#brexit, #eu, #europe, #trade

Monarchical system is ‘racist’

Peter Tatchell of the Guardian, the year 2009:

The current monarchical system of determining our head of state is premised on the assumption that the most ignorant, stupid, immoral white Windsor first-born is more entitled to be our head of state than the best-informed, wisest and most moral black or Asian Briton. This is a truly repulsive racist assumption.

I remember a few articles like this appearing back in 2009, full of faux-outrage about the fact that Britain had never had a non-white head of state. What? And why, we might ask, has Japan never had a Hungarian emperor, or vice versa? The whole issue seemed (and seems) so absurd and trumped-up. Obviously the outcome of the 2008 presidential election in the U.S. prompted the multicultists to come up with this inane idea that a head of state could  or should be of a different racial stock than the majority, the historic population of the country he governs.

Now, after nine more years of increasingly bizarre cultural Marxist social engineering, it’s evident that this was always to be part of the agenda; even the institution of the monarchy is not to be spared the demands of ‘racial equality’, affirmative action (everybody must get a turn at being head of state, regardless of origin or qualifications). Eventually it will be ‘no native-born people need apply’, or more likely ‘no Whites need apply.’

And I suppose the left’s relentless efforts to overturn every tradition, the ‘long march through the institutions’ has almost achieved what they planned.

Not long before Prince Harry announced his wedding plans, he had been featured in many photo spreads in the UK media (Sky News in particular, it seemed) showing him seated with groups of black people, or with black TV hosts, apparently having the time of his life. I wondered whether he was ‘assigned’ to represent some kind of “outreach” to the ”black community”. So the engagement announcement, when it came, was not surprising, in some ways — but still, it represents a jarring break with tradition. Is this too part of the globalist, multicult agenda? I think there is at least one other European prince in an interracial union.

Even if these marriages were real ‘love matches’, it could be said that the royals, too, are subject to the same conditioning as the rest of Western society. Americans, or more accurately a certain percentage of Americans loathe the very idea of royalty or aristocracy; that egalitarian streak runs very deep in America. Sometimes it borders on Jacobinism with some Americans, but in all fairness many in the U.S. have been brought up to see monarchy as an evil in itself, an ‘unfair’ system of government. It also seems that there is an element of dislike of the Royals in the UK as well, and a desire for a republic or a so-called ‘democracy.’ The propaganda on both sides of the Atlantic has warped the thinking of many people, and considering how pervasive the conditioning is, it’s understandable.

America’s system, though, has done little more to protect citizenry from being displaced and replaced than has the monarchical system, at least in the current social climate. In recent years, the phrase ”hideously [W]hite” has been applied to such British institutions as the BBC and the theatre. Being White is a definite liability today, but if the monarchy is made somewhat less ”hideously White”, will the anti-monarchy left begin to embrace it? Probably not, unless ‘diversity’ is enforced in selecting — or electing, as the Guardian would prefer, who is eligible.