Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Monday, 30 March 2009
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Daniel Hannan, a British Member of the European Parliament, decimates Prime Minister Brown here for presiding over Britain's rapid economic decline. It is enjoyable not just because of the blistering attacks and gifted delivery, but because it reminds me of why Britain was once great.
For on full display here is that wonderful Tory tradition of English Parliamentary debate, that natural ability to cut and thrust through your political opponent until he is reduced to an inadequate heap - the body language says it all, as Gordon Brown diminishes into a rather uncomfortably brave smile. Tories of yore did not just participate in debates, they reveled in them - it was their one and only vocation. Although a self-proclaimed Whig, Mr. Hannan here is putting on a show worthy of an old fashioned Tory. My my, what wonderful, wonderful stuff.
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Posted by Bolingbroke at 08:40
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
IT NEVER WOULD HAVE OCCURRED TO ME that the Commonwealth was born in 1949. In fact, it would have never occurred to me that the Commonwealth was even born at all, merely a long evolution that had its origins with the British Empire, which eventually transpired into a free association of independent Commonwealth states. But if I had to choose a date, it most certainly would not have been the London Declaration of April 26, 1949.
The term 'Commonwealth of Nations' was invented by Lord Rosebery on a trip to Australia in 1884. The first meeting of colonial heads of government was held back as far as 1887 and there were many that followed, including the all-important imperial conference of 1926 that resulted in the infamous Balfour Declaration, whose pronouncements were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931.
Indeed, the Statute of Westminster was until very recently considered the real beginning of the modern Commonwealth, because for the first time each country was legally recognised as equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It was a truly transformative development.
On the pages of the Commonwealth Secretariat you will even find that Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand "joined" in 1931. (Interestingly they are mute on when the United Kingdom "joined".) Certainly, the significance of 1931 cannot be overstated. The Imperial Commonwealth at that point stood for independence, equality, unity, allegiance, patriotism and free association of its members.
1949 is noteworthy only as a weakening of those things. The dropping of the British pedigree, the end of our united allegiance to the King, the loss of our common patrimony, all in order to make way for the newfound Republic of India, who would not countenance associate membership. The London Declaration was the moment the British Crown Commonwealth became de-Britished, unCrowned and Common-poorer, in that the wealth we had in common became much less so.
1949 was the point in time when our monarchy was demoted to the status of symbol in order to make way for republicanism. We were no longer required to recognize the King as our sovereign, only as the symbolic "Head of the Commonwealth". As a result, Commonwealth republics now outnumber Commonwealth realms, but even more apparent than republicanism, was the ever increasing political need to turn the page and erase from historical memory our so-called "colonial legacy". Her Majesty herself on coronation day in 1952 gave an indication of this desire:
"The Commonwealth bears no resemblance to the empires of the past. It is an entirely new conception built on the highest qualities of the spirit of man: friendship, loyalty, and the desire for freedom and peace."The spirit of that international fellowship technically still lives on, but nobody gets excited about the Commonwealth anymore. The popular fraternity - our pan-Britannic patriotism - has evaporated forever. Admittedly, our cultural loyalty may have gradually withered anyways, and certainly culture and identity are increasingly complex notions in the 21st century. But if defending the British Monarchy or an "English Queen" on the basis of national identity now seems like an increasingly remote possibility as we head further into the cosmopolitan mire, that path was firmly set in motion back in 1949.
Sixty years of celebration. Yippee and hooray.
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Tuesday, 24 March 2009
A rather long time ago, our Prime Minister here in Canada, the 'Right Honourable' Stephen Harper made a comment about Canada's war in Afghanistan. He said, if my memory holds, that Afghanistan had had an insurgency more or less forever, and that final victory for our forces there was impossible.
Let's turn back the clock to the mid 20th century. 1940, to be precise. France had fallen before the dark tides of Nazi aggression, Russia had a pact of non-aggression with Germany, Japan had yet to awake the sleeping giant at Pearl Harbour. Berlin, Rome and Tokyo now turned their gaze towards Britain and her Commonwealth, the last bastion of liberty and reason in Europe. The Battle of Britain, the turning point of the Second World War, was about to begin. It was, by far, the darkest days of the War. Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa, India and New Zealand together faced odds far greater than what we face today from the challenge of Islamic Extremism. But then entered Winston Churchill, the last great British lion. Or perhaps bulldog would be the more accurate descriptor, considering his reputation and appearance. An heir, in direct lineage, to Sir John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough, and the first great hero of the United Kingdom. Churchill, despite all the logic in suing for peace, would not back down, would not talk to the fascists, would not compromise with murderers and madmen. Despite all the tides of evil that rose up to oppress the British Isles and it's Empire, the forces of civilization and reason won through and secured the supremacy of the Rule of Law and Parliaments in Europe. Fascism was overthrown by the alliance of the Russians and the English-speaking peoples of Britain, the Commonwealth and America. Peace was restored. Our freedom was earned. Our civilization was preserved.
And now, the feckless Stephen Harper, a man facing odds far less daunting than Churchill (though our opponents are no less brutal or barbaric), speaks already of defeat. In this post-Vietnam era, the people have forgotten that it takes time, effort and much heartbreak to win a war against a determined enemy. The people of the United States, ever since Vietnam, have had this little irking fear in the back of their minds. A fear that any war that lasts longer than the average flight time of a Tomahawk cruise missile will degenerate into a slogging, shellshocking, Vietnam-esque mess. And this fear has spread across the English-speaking world. All the way into the halls of power, it seems. Our armed forces, our country, we cannot afford to have a PM speak of defeat. At least not in public! Not only does this undermine Mr. Harper's political position, it undermines the morale of our troops currently in Afghanistan. And more importantly, it undermines our war effort as a whole. I've no doubt that the Taliban could, given a little effort, access CBC news broadcasts. And if they hear that leader of the Canadians, one of their most hated group of enemies I'm sure, is talking about how the Canadians can't win... Well what can they do but be elated? Strike with greater boldness, greater confidence, greater audacity.
In my life, i've learned that if you are always saying to yourself "I can't do well at this", whatever 'this' may be, you make a self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself. A student who goes into a test expecting to do badly will usually do badly. If you say you won't win this race, then you probably won't win. What then will happen when the Prime Minister says his country will lose their war? It follows that victory becomes impossible for the country.
And considering the opponent we face, we can't let that happen.
God save our Queen and Heaven bless the Maple Leaf Forever
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Monday, 23 March 2009
Four more soldiers fighting with the Royal Canadian Regiment and the Royal Canadian Dragoons were killed in Afghanistan on Friday, and eight others were seriously injured. Canada has now lost 116 soldiers and one diplomat in that war-torn country, including several hundred non-fatal combat casualties.
This sacrifice is proportionately greater than either the Americans or the British, and in real numbers significantly more so than all of Europe combined. But like anything Canada ever does, it gets greeted by the media and the world with a collective international yawn. Or worse, the subject of trash entertainment by Republican chickenhawkes on Fox News, who shamelessly chide Canada's military men as frigid wimps, whilst demonstrating their own macho credentials without ever serving a day in their life. To hell with neocon sissies.
I know a lot of men who are serving in theatre because I trained with them over 20 years ago. They are now in positions of command, like LCol. Misener above who has been rotating in and out of Afghanistan since 2002. Does he look like a wimp to you? He's as professional as they come, not a warmongering television idiot, but a field commander on the front lines who has to carefully measure his every word with manly restraint, unlike the belligerent fools on Fox who laugh at him.
It is fashionable among many so-called conservatives in the United States to think of Canada as a joke of a country. It's a view that began to take shape ever since Pierre Trudeau famously declared Canada a mouse next to the American elephant, affected by every twitch, every grunt. In one fell swoop, the historical image of Canada as a British Lion was gone forever. Liberals perferred to think of Canada as a mouse not a lion. And so a mouse in the image of many we became.
But Canada doesn't need to demonstrate its fortitude to the world, only its soberness. Canada cannot afford to be a gung ho, kick ass nation, nor should it desire such a reputation. It almost came apart at the seams during both world wars, when conscription riots in French Canada threatened the political survival of the country. Yet it still sent hundreds of thousands of men overseas to save Europe from itself. Over 100,000 Canadians perished as a result. The decision by Canada to stay out of Vietnam and Iraq has probably been more or less right. It's decision to tough it out in Afghanistan has also probably been more or less right. The desire to go to war for macho reasons is a profoundly unconservative attitude, and nearly all Canadians rightly perish the thought.
Update from American Vets: Ouch
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Saturday, 21 March 2009
The Eaton's chain was a legendary Canadian retailer, it's famous catalogue an icon to generations of customers. A family firm, one of the reasons for its demise in the late 1990s, the Eaton's were staunch monarchists who celebrated every major event in the life of the Royal Family. Their prominent downtown locations were often festooned with Union Jacks and other paraphernalia of Anglo-Canadian patriotism. Below is a selection of photographs, taken from the Archive of the province of Ontario, of Eaton's stores through out the company 130 year history:
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Posted by Kipling at 14:20
Although SOE agents were inevitably reliant on Resistance forces to be effective, few of the accounts in Forgotten Voices give any sense of the local people who were involved, or of the extent to which SOE actually controlled them. The SOE circuit organizer Ben Cowburn is one of the few to attempt to explain why SOE had such an aura with the Resistance. He emphasizes the importance of radio, of concrete proof of contact with London – he could get the BBC to broadcast a phrase given by his Resistance contact, and even more important, summon up RAF supply drops. This, he convincingly argues, was a real “manifestation of power: this thing had come through, it had roared through the German defences and everything, and it was they that had ordered it. And you were somebody from then on”.
Just a bunch of chaps trying to save the world from evil. Just a spot of bother on the continent.
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Posted by Kipling at 13:54
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Es ist kein Schwert das schärfer schiert,
Als wenn ein Baur zum Herren wird.
(There is no sword that cuts sharper,
Than if a peasant becomes master.)
This past month, we marked Presidents' Day, and it was also the bicentenary of the birth of the “log cabin President.” The newly inaugurated POTUS is struggling to compare himself to Abraham Lincoln.
The myth of Lincoln as the “Great Emancipator” lives on in spite of the efforts of Professor DiLorenzo through The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked. The war was not about slavery initially. It was about the right to secede.
Now, let's leave the argument over why the South seceded, and let's assume that it was due to the slavery institution being threatened by the North and the federal government, e.g., through the weakening of the institution a ban on slavery in new territories would give. Let's also suppose that Lincoln did have an agenda of abolishing slavery, but he could not openly be an outright abolitionist due to the risks that would give to his political career. Let's also presume that the Emancipation Proclamation, which did not apply to territories under Union jurisdiction, not only was strategically designed to avoid intervention by the British Empire, but also strategically designed for domestic purposes – to abolish slavery whilst not provoking those in the North who opposed abolition. If we make these assumptions, slavery was abolished as a result of the war. We don't even have to make these assumptions. Slavery was abolished nonetheless.
With or without these assumptions, however, there still is a major problem, to say the least. These facts remain:
- The rest of the West ended slavery peacefully.
- Lincoln violated the U.S. Constitution big time.
- The right for the States to secede was in effect abolished, removing an effective check on the federal government.
- The more aristocratically oriented Southern culture was demolished.
- The more decentralized system was replaced by a central state run from Washington, D.C.
- A behemoth to run around the world “making it safe for democracy” was created.
- Life, liberty, and property were destroyed.
Across the Big Pond, Peter Tatchell praised the inauguration of the first black POTUS. He says about his own country:
If [Britons enthusiastic about the inauguration] were consistent they would join the call for a democratically elected and accountable head of state, open to British people of all races, classes and faiths or beliefs.Oh yes, everyone's right to be our Overlord; that concept that has given us so much progress.
What about caring for liberty instead of the right to rise to the top irrespective of class, race, gender, or whatever classification you can think of?
The “login cabin President” grew up to be a tyrant. Napoleon came with his ambitions and put Europe through hell, not to speak of a mere corporal from Austria with a moustache. Obama has a Civil Rights agenda, where combating employment discrimination is central. Is Obama a group representative using his power to tell everyone else how they shall treat his kind? Never mind property rights?
Peter Tatchell also says:
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.The democratically elected politicians are well-informed, wise, and moral? And a democratically elected head of state will be? Of course! And pigs will fly!
Plato told us:
No one ever teaches well who wants to teach, or governs well who wants to govern.What now is the case is that we get a contest between those who have the highest ambitions of governing.
On that Tuesday back in November, Americans had the choice between McCain and Obama. Isn't it great that you get to choose your own Overlord?
A “stimulus” package has just passed through Congress. The concept is tantamount to my refurbishing my bathroom if I get laid off to get my personal economy going. Wisdom amongst those who are elected by the masses?
Fact is that interest rates should be set up, not down. However, most people are in debt, and they don't like interest rates going up. The politicos are taking care of their reelection, and they prefer injection of more alcohol to accepting the hard hangover. Allowing the hard medicine of liquidation of debt would make the masses of debtors upset. The politicos who want their votes would not risk that.
It was about the same in Versailles 90 years ago. There had been a war between peoples, and the people, who had suffered the war, wanted “someone” to pay. The politicos gave the people what they wanted good and hard. So there could be no peaceful peace, as the aristocrats had arranged about a century earlier.
That's the concept of modern democracy in a nutshell. Isn't it grand?
The democratic century has given us lots of intervention, domestic and foreign. The politicos interfere in our lives, homes, and businesses to an unprecedented level. The economy is managed, which gives us booms and busts. The omnipotent democratic government seems to have no limits.
But I guess that's OK when anyone, of whatever class, race, gender, etc., born in a log cabin or a mansion, can grow up to be President.
Originally published at the Intellectual Conservative.
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Wednesday, 18 March 2009
A leading college at Cambridge University has renamed its controversial colonial-themed Empire Ball after accusations that it was "distasteful".
The King & Queen unveil the War Memorial, Ottawa, 1939 by Margaret Fulton Frame
The £136-a-head Emmanuel College ball was advertised as a celebration of "the Victorian commonwealth and all of its decadences".
Cool: Students were urged to "Party like it's 1899" and organisers promised a trip through the Indian Raj, Australia, the West Indies and 19th century Hong Kong.
Yawn: But anti-fascist groups said the theme was "distasteful and insensitive" because of the British Empire's historical association with slavery, repression and exploitation.
Sigh: The ball Committee, led by two extremely weak-kneed and politically correct presidents, Richard Hilton and Jenny Unwin, dutifully announced the word 'Empire' would thus be removed from all promotional material.
In any event, Padre Benton speaks, and so do I.
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Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Re: the anonymous Obama administration dufus who said: "There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment."
As an unapologetic, full-throated Anglophile I find those comments idiotic, offensive, ahistorical, and in a certain sense anti-American.* I'm of course appalled.
But it's worth focusing on one aspect of this sentiment: It's idiocy. According to the liberal-realist school, some countries matter more than other countries because they are powerful and have the ability to adversely affect our national interest. According to the liberal-internationalist school, allies matter more than non-allies because grand international coalitions are the best way to do the wonderful things want to do on the world stage. So, China matters because it's a rising hegemon. Burkino Faso matters . . . eh, not so much. "Europe" matters because they are allies on security, global warming, human rights, etc. Well, Britain just happens to be our most important, reliable, and powerful ally.
So even if you take the pragmatist's razor to our shared history, culture, and all other romantic attachments to Great Britain, the bulldog still matters — a lot. In other words, to say that Britain isn't any more special than the other 190 countries in the world, you actually have to dislike Britain to the point where you're willing to suspend what are supposed to be your guiding principles and objectives about foreign policy.
* Just to be clear, what I mean by anti-American isn't a knee-jerk attack on anyone's patriotism. Rather, I simply mean that if you think the country that gave us our system of laws, our democratic tradition, our dominant culture, much of our greatest literature, and even our language is no more special than any backwater country which immiserates or brutalizes its people, then you must not think very much of America's culture, traditions, etc. either.
— Jonah Goldberg
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Sunday, 15 March 2009
Not a posthumous VC, but two George Medals basically equates to the same thing.
THE QUEEN HAS AWARDED A SECOND GEORGE MEDAL to a bomb disposal expert killed in Afghanistan last year. This is the first time a second George Medal, known as a Bar, has been awarded in 26 years. Warrant Officer 2nd Class Gary O'Donnell, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, was killed defusing an improvised explosive device in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, on 10 September 2008.
The posthumous award to Warrant Officer O'Donnell, who died whilst attempting to disarm an improvised explosive device, was announced in the presence of his widow Mrs Toni O'Donnell. The George Medal is awarded for acts of great bravery.
WO2 O'Donnell, who at the time of his death already held the George Medal for his work defusing bombs in Iraq, was recommended for the further honour in recognition of his remarkable actions in two separate incidents, in May and July 2008.
On both occasions WO2 O'Donnell - who during his last tour in Afghanistan disposed of more than 50 IEDs - placed himself in immense personal danger in order to protect his comrades.
Commonwealth Note: The George Cross and Medal are no longer awarded to Canadians and Australians. The Queen of both countries replaced the George Cross with the Cross of Valour back in the 1970s, though still retaining the honour as the highest civil decoration, second in order of precedence only to the Victoria Cross. Both the Victoria Cross and the Cross of Valour/George Cross are awarded for acts of great bravery, however in order to qualify for the Victoria Cross, military personnel (or civilans operating under military command), must demonstrate conspicuous acts of bravery in the presence of the enemy.
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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Curious images of Nazi hegemony are probably not the ideal photo opportunity for a British prince on Commonwealth day. I mean, what's next: Goosesteps and pickelhaubes on Remembrance Day? Gestapo tea, anyone? Goering aftershave?
The Prince of Wales inspects the Guard of Honour at the Presidential Palace in Santiago, Chile, on the second day of an overseas tour to Chile, Brazil and Ecuador, 9 March 2009. His Royal Highness is accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall on the tour, which is being carried out at the request of the British Government and which focuses on environmental issues and the Government's climate change priorities.
© Press Association
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Posted by Palmerston at 21:13
Monday, 9 March 2009
News to swell loyal hearts from the happy plot at the bottom of the Earth.
The Queen receives the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Hon. John Key MP, at Buckingham Palace, 25 November 2008.
This is huge. It is being reported that New Zealand is to restore the rank of Sir and Dame to its honours system nine years after it abolished titles in favour of Republican-style distinctions.
If we called Prime Minister John Key a limousine liberal in the recent past, we do at this moment take it all back. I mean, wow. What a glorious turn of events. Hallelujah for rare political miracles. By George, he did it!
Come on Australia and Canada, do the right thing, and follow New Zealand's lead. If a foreigner like Ted Kennedy is allowed to accept the honour of a knighthood from the Queen, it is only our ancient God-given right as Her Majesty's own subjects to be permitted the same.
Why the fall of Helengrad was a good thing. Happy Commonwealth Day indeed.
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Sunday, 8 March 2009
Royal Bank of Canada: 2008 Profit = $5 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland: 2008 Loss = £24.1 billion
Whether measured by market value, balance sheet strength or profitability, Canada's banks are rising to the top. Since the credit crunch began in the summer of 2007, the Big Five banks with a combined asset value in excess of $2.5 trillion - the Royal Bank of Canada, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, the Bank of Noval Scotia, the Bank of Montreal and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce have booked a total of $18.9-billion in profits.
In roughly the same period, the five biggest U.S. banks have lost more than $37-billion (U.S.). One, Wachovia Corp., was forced to sell out to avoid failing. Another, Citigroup Inc., long the world's largest bank, may have to be nationalized and this week became a penny stock.
The picture is even more bleak in Britain. The Royal Bank of Scotland alone lost a staggering £24.1 billion this year, as much as the top five U.S. bank losses put together. I fear for the future of Britain, I really do. What that country had more so than any other country was a mighty financial services industry - London had even boastfully topped New York as the financial centre of the world.
So now what? Unlike Canada, it does not have an abundance of natural resources to guarantee its prosperity, as Britain imports most everything. If its financial system collapses, what does it have to fall back on? I'm very disappointed by this nasty turn of events, as I was preparing my family for the big move to London. Unfortunately we will now be putting off our plans for the long unforeseeable future.
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Posted by Beaverbrook at 21:33
Sunday, 1 March 2009
Recently, I was walking in a park near my home, enjoying the brisk air of a Canadian winter, and the exquisite beauty of a snow-covered landscape. It was evening and the setting sun stained the white snow with shades of crimson and gold. There wasn't a sound to be had, all was quiet and beautiful, truly serene. But then I did hear something, sounds like shouting and struggling. Naturally concerned, I followed the sounds to behind a small grove of trees, where I saw another young man attempting to force himself upon a young woman, who was against a fence. She naturally took objection to this, and was struggling to push him away, but with his greater strength and size he was easily winning the struggle. I consider myself to be a gentleman, and a gentleman could not stand by and allow this to happen. Moving quickly, I set a hand on the man's shoulder and pulled him away.
"Sir, I don't believe the lady wants your company this evening," I said. The young man shouted a curse word, then drew back and struck me across the jaw, whereupon I struck him back and sent him sprawling onto the cold snowy ground. He looked up at me with anger, pain, and perhaps more than a bit of drunkenness in his eyes, decided that it was not worth the effort, and scrambled off. I then turned to the young woman to see if she was alright.
"Are you okay, miss?" I asked. She did not answer me. Instead she drew a can of pepperspray from her purse and sprayed me with it, shouting "CREEP!" loudly. She then quickly and sharply raised her knee into my reproductive organs, and ran off, leaving me doubled over from the pain which was, i'm sure you know, quite excrutiating.
I sit at my desk today, pondering what that young lady, scared and possibly traumatized as she may have been, was thinking when she inflicted such pain on her rescuer. Perhaps in the confusion she mistook me for the other young man, we were roughly the same height and build, both light brown hair, blue eyes. Perhaps she was a 'liberated powerful modern woman' and a hardline feminist, for whom being rescued was just as bad as being sexually assaulted. Perhaps she was just crazy. But the fact remains that this was not an unusual occurance, I am often punished or scolded or reproached for trying to be a gentleman in this ungentlemanly world.
For example, at my ex workplace I arrived by bus, at the same time as a lady who also worked there. I usually hold the door for her, it's just good manners. This had gone on for about five weeks, and though she never thanked me, being a gentleman was reward enough for me. I was then approached by my boss and told to stop holding the door for her, because she was perceiving me as a sexist who was mocking her, as holding the door for her did not imply my good manners, but that she was too weak to open the door for herself.
Another time, I was out for a walk in the evening, when I saw a group of three young ladies dressed rather... provocatively, being harassed by five or six young men who seemed rather intoxicated. Naturally, I rushed to the young ladies aid and, with a few blows exchanged, saw the young men off and on their way home. But I obviously overstepped my boundaries when I commented that if the young ladies wouldn't dress like the harlots those young men usually associated with, then those young men would no longer bother them. They then launched a tirade about, if they had 'it' they were going to flaunt 'it' and that was their right, no matter what trouble it would get them into.
It's sometimes hard to be a gentleman in today's world. I am snickered at when people learn I listen to Bach, Handel and Tchaikovsky. In a recent writing course I took, I was openly discouraged from sharing a passage of Kipling for a required reading we were supposed to conduct, due to Kipling supposedly being 'racist, imperialist and chauvinistic'. I am mocked for wearing a properly-fitted suit rather than the "style" of the modern young man, which is either excessively baggy or disturbingly skin-tight based on your social group. My military aspirations, my desire to serve Her Majesty as an officer of the Royal Canadian Army (and it will always be the RCA to me), my personal dream of defending God, Queen and Country, that is made ridicule most of all by my peers.
But still I stay the course. We must all stay the course, or else all those distasteful elements of society that we so oppose will have won at last. We are outnumbered, outmanuevered, outgunned perhaps, but I know that I at least will hold the faith. I hope you all hold that faith as well. As long as I live, I shall remain a gentleman and well dressed.
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Tuesday, 24 February 2009
The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery leave London's Green Park after firing a Royal salute of 41 rounds to mark the anniversary of The Queen's accession to the throne in 1952, 6 February 2009.
© Press Association
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Monday, 23 February 2009
On a cold morning in February, the vision of flying a powered aircraft for the first time in Canada and the British Empire came to be when the Silver Dart took to the air above the frozen waters of Baddeck Bay in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
This inaugural Canadian aviation feat on February 23rd, 1909 was the result of innovative thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, unrelenting determination and a talented team of experts who had a common vision. When world-renowned and accomplished inventor Alexander Graham Bell decided to turn his gaze toward the skies and find a way for man to fly, it was based on a lifelong fascination with flight.
Read more at the Flight of the Silver Dart Centennial Celebration
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Posted by Beaverbrook at 21:43
Of all the hidden agendas the Conservative government in Ottawa has been suspected of harbouring, republicanism seems the least likely. In the past, the Tories were considered the federal party most inclined to support Canada's national institutions, from the military to the monarchy. Yet as Globe reporter Michael Valpy revealed on Saturday, the Harper government has rebuffed efforts to have the Prince of Wales visit Canada. The same, of course, applies to the Queen. Both have dined at the White House much more recently than they have last set foot in Canada. It does give rise to the thought that this particular hidden agenda might be genuine.
The Canadian government in fact has shown much less enthusiasm for visits by Canada's current head of state and her heir apparent than has the republic to the south. The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Mayor of Quebec City, and the province of Nova Scotia have all asked Ottawa to invite the Queen in recent years, and all were turned down by Canadian Heritage. The Globe on Saturday reported that the Prince of Wales, and various organizations he is associated with, have also been seeking permission to undertake a visit, and once again the requests have been shelved. The situation is such that the Liberal era of Jean Chrétien is now remembered by loyalists as a golden age for the Canadian Crown.
Yet Mr. Harper is not a republican. In his foreword to a book, Crown of Maples, published in 2008 by the federal government, Mr. Harper writes, "The Canadian Crown is central to our uniquely Canadian identity." He goes on to advocate "an even greater awareness and appreciation of this Canadian institution and its ongoing importance to so many aspects of our country's daily life and collective identity." His allegiance, then, need not be questioned. Only his strange way of showing it. If Canada is to remain a monarchy, and there are reasonable people on both sides of that particular debate, then it should welcome the Queen and the Prince of Wales.
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Posted by Beaverbrook at 14:53
Saturday, 21 February 2009
The vanishing future monarch.
He's constitutionally Canada's next head of state. A top aide says he's keen to deepen his relationship with the country. He wants to visit, get to know people. He's arranged meetings with key Canadian philanthropic and community leaders with the aim of cementing connections with his own charitable interests.Sure, he does hang out with all the cool kids, but he'd love to swing by your place too. Just waiting by the phone, humming "Saturday Night is the Loneliest Night of the Week." Perhaps in the style of a Handel oratorio. Minority governments are hell on everyone's schedule, but surely a quick trip to Ottawa or Toronto could have been arranged? The Queen visited Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2005 to celebrates those two provinces' centenary. Since then Prince Edward (twice), Prince Andrew (three times) and Princess Anne have all shown up and exchanged dignified pleasantries with their ex-colonial subjects. Is the future George VII - his rumoured styling upon ascension - just not worth the price of admission? Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but methinks certain republican elements in the Canadian government are perfectly willing to have the people of Canada forget who their future sovereign is.
So where is he? Find the Prince of Wales. Find Charles Philip Arthur George.
He hasn't been here for eight years.
He wanted to come to Canada four years ago – to introduce his new wife on her first royal tour – but the federal government told him it likely wasn't a good idea because there might be an election campaign when he arrived. So he bypassed Canada and took Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
The monarchy drags up all sorts of unpleasant memories for the country's governing elite. Terrible images of British overlordship when armies of Redcoated terrorists imposed the rule of law, free speech and property rights on their unruly Canadian subjects. Not the kind of things you'd want to talk about infront of the electorate. Who knows they might remember that principles of anglo-saxon jurisprudence don't fit well with secularized inquisitions like the Human Rights Commissions.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings
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Sunday, 15 February 2009
THE DUKE OF YORK in question was Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763-1827), Commander-in-Chief of the British Army during much of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic period. In his own lifetime he was derided as a corrupt philanderer who, like his elder brother the future George IV, was rather too fond of women and wine. Two generations before Prince Frederick's disastrous expedition to take Dunkirk in 1793 - the supposed inspiration for the rhyme - his grandfather, George II, had commanded his forces at the Battle Dettingen. The royal person was no longer welcome on the battlefield by the time of French Revolution. Merit mattered in the minds of the public. The gentleman was giving way to the technocrat in the world of business and politics.
Popular history records York as the youthful blunderer, given his command by virtue of a compliant cabinet and willful monarch, eager to promote his second eldest son's career. When political embarrassment became too great, the younger Pitt wrote a careful letter to George III, requesting York's transfer from the field to a staff position. The young royal had blundered badly. Besieging the port of Dunkirk he failed to take account of the position of the French Revolutionary Army under the command of Carnot. Unexpectedly the French Army turned, speeding toward Dunkirk, threatening the British expeditionary forces' flanks and rear. 30 siege guns and some 300 barrels of gunpowder were abandoned in a hasty retreat.
Searching for a dignified, but unobtrusive, army post, the Prime Minister alighted upon the office of Commander in Chief. Then occupied by the ancient Lord Amherst - a victorious general of the Seven Years War (1756-1763) - it was seen as a safe landing spot for a disgraced officer of royal blood. Pitt, the genius of contemporary parliamentary politics, lacked his father's famous eye for military talent. He searched in vain for another Wolfe. Only belatedly did he spot the Wellesley brothers, dying before the Peninsular and Indian campaigns that would make both men legends. In appointing this failed young royal to a back office job of seemingly no importance, Pitt had helped secure ultimate British victory in the struggle against Revolutionary France.
Prince Frederick's failings had been those of inexperience and bad luck. Against a France blessed with soldiers of genius, and the first mass conscript army, York had been given a small ill-trained and ill-equipped forced. Even worse his main ally, the Austrians who then controlled Flanders, possessed an ossified command structure and their soldiers and NCOs were wanting in enthusiasm. The position of Commander in Chief, its office in House Guards and his small staff of 35, gave the young Prince more than a comfortable patronage position, it was the perfect vantage point from which to modernize the British Army.
Signaling immediately that he had no intention of being the royal holder of a sinecure, he plunged into a frenetic schedule of planning meetings, issuing edicts and promoting competent officers where he could find them. A prince of the blood had little influence on the field of battle, but in the class conscious world of late Georgian London, the title HRH and his rank as Field Marshal matched the entrenched interests of the army. The poor cousin of the Navy, the Army had been the province of younger sons of well connected minor gentry. A vast engine of patronage, it had seen little real action since the American war, which it had lost. It was not uncommon for officers to have late breakfasts, or late afternoon tea, while their regiments marched on ahead, commanded in effect by a highly competent band of NCOs. Officers whose regiments were posted overseas had the ability, through a legal loophole, of waiting nearly a year before reporting to their COs. Among the Duke's first acts was to demand these officers immediately report for embarkation. He could not dismiss commissioned officers, even though his father was the sovereign and supportive of his efforts, but could delay their promotions. An idle threat from almost anyone but the second in the line of succession.
A poorly led and equipped force had impressed upon York the need for reform, the size and the fickleness of Britain's continental allies against the French, convinced him of the need for expansion. Britain needed the ability to field a military force independently, able to exploit the Royal Navy's supremacy at sea to the Kingdom's strategic advantage. A large army needed a large officer corp. While Prince Frederick spent much time improving the lot of the ordinary soldier, he understood that the key to building a first class army capable of checking French ambitions lay in a strong cadre of young officers. To that end he first established something we might today describe as an Army Staff College. A few years later, in 1802, he founded Sandhurst, ensuring a steady stream of well trained young men to lead the Army, in what was even then a decade long struggle against French imperialism.
To ensure these young officers did not languish in the lower ranks, he stemmed the practice of purchasing commissions and "recruiting for rank," the ages old practice of making men captains and even colonels if they raised regiments for the King. Those who felt they were denied promotion due to the influence of patronage, were encouraged to approach the Duke privately - even at social occasions. Through the some three hundred letters he answered a day, he did everything in his power to promote men of ability, see that they were trained and were able to train their men to the height of efficiency.
There were early, though minor victories, like at the Battle of the Pyramids in 1801 that served as proof of the success of York's reforms. It would fall on Wellington, a friend and protege, to show what the new army could do in the battlefields of the Peninsula. Just as Wellesley was proving his worth in Portugal, scoring a victory at Vimiero, his great patron was stricken by scandal.
As so often with great men of this era, trapped in the loveless marriages which the royal politics of the age condemned them to, he became infatuated with one Mary Anne Clarke. A charming and beautiful opportunist she extracted a lavish subsidy of a thousand pounds a year. When the relationship ended, Clarke sought vengeance. Allying herself with MPs eager to see the fall of the Great Duke. His reforms had done as much to irritate the gentry - who saw easy sinecure vanish from their grasps - as to improve the fighting form of the army. Rumour held that the Duke of Kent, the jealous younger brother of York, was financing Clarke's extraordinary claims. The story that emerged was of Clarke accepting payments to influence the Duke's decisions on promotions and appointments. It was good fortune that the conspirators failed to pay off Clarke, who in turn retracted her evidence before a parliamentary committee two years later. While the Commons cleared the Duke of York of any wrong doing, the scandal cost him his position as C in C, much to the outrage of Wellington. Only Clarke's retraction, and the passage of two years, allowed York to return to his vital work of reform as C in C.
His elder brother having failed to produce legitimate heirs, York spent much of the Regency period as heir presumptive - something which only added to his ability to push through further reforms. He predeceased George IV by a few months in January 1827.
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Friday, 6 February 2009
For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a Queen — God bless her.
For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell
bids farwell to the Land of Endless Sunshine
On the eastern shore of the great Lake Victoria of Africa, source of the mighty Nile, lies the Land of Endless Sunshine. It was in this beautiful gem of the British Empire the Duchess and Duke of Edinburgh came in the early days of 1952. Here lies the magnificent Aberdare Mountain Range. Here lies the beautiful Aberdare Forest. Here lies the mighty Mount Kenya.
Three years short of three score years ago, on February 5, 1952, Their Royal Highnesses the Duchess and Duke of Edinburgh ascend into a tree. On that night the Princess Elizabeth ascends the Britannic Throne. The Princess becomes Her Britannic Majesty. Unknowing of the Accession, the Royal couple descend from the tree the next morning, returning to the Royal residence of Sagana Lodge in the foothills of the mighty Mount Kenya. It is at Sagana Lodge Her Britannic Majesty receives the tragic message about her father His Late Britannic Majesty.
It is said that it was the first time in more than two centuries that a Sovereign succeeded the Throne whilst being abroad. George I succeeding Queen Anne was the previous time. Queen Elizabeth II was simply in another part of the British Empire. Her Majesty ascended to the Throne on firm ground where she was Sovereign, or at least in a tree that stood firmly on such ground.
During an uprising in the 1950s the original Treetops lodge was destroyed. A new and larger lodge was built at a nearby location.
Upon independence, Sagana Lodge was given to the government of Kenya. Upon independence, Her Britannic Majesty was given the title of Queen of Kenya, a title which she retained for exactly one year.
Congratulations to Her Britannic Majesty on Accession Day!
Happy Accession Day!
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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
As a Canadian I can appreciate the message that snow brings out the best in people. London is enjoying the kind of winter it hasn't seen since 1991, perhaps even 1891, and all of a sudden a big cold heartless city is magically rendered a warm and gentle playing ground for people of all ages. There are reports that people are actually talking to one another in the streets, whispering such pleasantries as "hello" and "good morning" to complete strangers. It seems that civilisation has returned for a brief wintery moment.
by Robert Bridges
When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
All night it fell, and when full inches seven
It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
The eye marvelled - marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling,
And the busy morning cries came thin and spare.
Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling,
They gathered up the crystal manna to freeze
Their tongues with tasting, their hands with snowballing;
Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees;
Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder!'
'O look at the trees!' they cried, 'O look at the trees!'
With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder,
Following along the white deserted way,
A country company long dispersed asunder:
When now already the sun, in pale display
Standing by Paul's high dome, spread forth below
His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day.
For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow;
And trains of sombre men, past tale of number,
Tread long brown paths, as toward their toil they go:
But even for them awhile no cares encumber
Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken,
The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber
At the sight of the beauty that greets them, for the charm they have broken.
For more inspiration read Peter Hitchens: What's so bad about cold weather?
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Monday, 2 February 2009
The Canadian political crisis is over with Prime Minister Harper's (awful) budget passing in the Commons today. For the root of political and social tranquility in Canada, we need look no further than the Maple Crown.
"But even if better practices can be instituted to guide the parliamentary head of state (be it a monarchical or republican model) in determining whether all the possibilities of forming an effective government have been exhausted and that a hung parliament must be dissolved, some element of discretion will remain, and the system’s smooth functioning will depend on the good judgment and honourable behaviour of the key actors."
This statement is just so, and if the Canadian political crisis has taught us anything, it is that we cannot depend on the honour of our parliamentarians to get us out of these types of political messes, for they are the ones who get us into them. In these situations when parliament has become dysfunctional, when no act of parliament can be passed, when there is no mechanism in the written constitution we can defer to, and no judiciary we can turn to, the crisis can only be solved by the neutrality, dignity and independent power of the Crown itself. Indeed, a proclamation issued by the Queen under the discretionary powers of the Royal Prorogative, what AV Dicey called "the remaining portion of the Crown's original authority":
Proclamation Proroguing Parliament to January 26, 2009
ELIZABETH THE SECOND, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories QUEEN, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. To our Beloved and Faithful Senators of Canada, and the Members elected to serve in the House of Commons of Canada, and to all to whom these Presents may in any way concern,
A PROCLAMATION Whereas We have thought fit, by and with the advice of Our Prime Minister of Canada, to prorogue the present Parliament of Canada; Now know you that, We do for that end publish this Our Royal Proclamation and do hereby prorogue the said Parliament to Monday the twenty-sixth day of January, 2009.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, We have caused this Our Proclamation to be published and the Great Seal of Canada to be hereunto affixed.
WITNESS: Our Right Trusty and Well-beloved Michaëlle Jean, Chancellor and Principal Companion of Our Order of Canada, Chancellor and Commander of Our Order of Military Merit, Chancellor and Commander of Our Order of Merit of the Police Forces, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.
AT OUR GOVERNMENT HOUSE, in Our City of Ottawa, this fourth day of December in the year of Our Lord two thousand and eight and in the fifty-seventh year of Our Reign.
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Sunday, 1 February 2009
The Monarchist reported about eight months ago on the entry of the High Tory Gerald Warner into the pages of the Daily Telegraph, with Is It Just Me?, after the apparent sacking from Scotland on Sunday.
Gerald Warner did have a Scotland on Sunday column at the end of last June, and the Warner column occasionally ran until November. Since November 16, however, whilst blogging at the Daily Telegraph is going strong, Scotland on Sunday has been running a Warner column without exceptions. The column has been revived.
Writes Gerald Warner this Sunday:
The Lords are more representative than the scoundrels down the corridorReal sleaze can be found on Parliament's slime-green benches
THE controversy over alleged corruption in the House of Lords has provided an excuse for MPs to parade their hypocrisy, clapped-out modernisers to revive the canard of "Lords reform" and commentators to display their consummate ignorance of everything to do with the institution of the peerage.
Clearly, the allegations against the four peers must be investigated and, if well founded, punished. Otherwise, the issue is fogged in spin and stupidity. This is not House of Lords sleaze, any more than l'affaire Jonathan Aitken was described as Commons sleaze: it is Labour sleaze. It is typical of Labour, having ejected hundreds of hereditary peers of impeccable character and replaced them with its own nominees, when the latter sully the reputation of the Upper House to condemn the institution instead of the perpetrators. Sleaze allegations in the Lords are rare: can the same be said of the sanctimonious Commons?
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Friday, 30 January 2009
Three hundred and sixty years ago today the English Puritans dared to murder their anointed King. Kings had of course been killed before, but never so openly and never with the claim of "legality."
The American Society of King Charles the Martyr will hold its annual mass and meeting tomorrow at S. Stephen's Church in Providence, Rhode Island. The British SKCM of course commemorates the anniversary annually as well.
In this excerpt from Cromwell, Alec Guinness movingly portrays the King's final moments.
On the 131st anniversary (1780), as Americans were engaged in another rebellion against another King, the heroic loyalist Rev. Charles Inglis, rector of Trinity Wall Street, preached this sermon on "The Duty of Honouring the King." Other materials related to King Charles the Martyr can be found here.
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Wednesday, 28 January 2009
AMERICA, FAMOUSLY DEPRIVED BY ITS OWN HAND of an aristocracy of land and church, has one in the present day comprised of the pompous and the charlatan. They think just like Gladstone on the matter of man-marriage; Tom Hanks, or Lord Hanks of Sanctimony and Fathead-on-Thickneck, has said emphatically that those who voted in favour of Proposition 8, which overturned a narrow judicial imposition of gay marriage on the state of California, were un-American. But slaying that (in)judicial perversion in a hail of ballots is merely an excellent example of the stolid, plain-sighted, clear-minded yeoman stock of the average Yank (be he white, black, yellow, red or brown), or cut from however-so-much bits of cloth in this globalised age, (for the votes came equally from all minorities and majorities), rebuking the festering fools they are lamentably now stuck with for their lordly lords. We should defend them! In this instance they are absolutely correct. Gladstone’s heartfelt defense of homosexual marriage is a curious little flag to run up the Monarchist’s mast of a Monday morning. But it is the blankest white of surrender, and flaps only with the wind of the spirit of the age. It is terrible. Where shall it blow next? Who can tell?
Of course, this post riding into the lists against him might seem a silly contest over a small point, but in being so small, it is perilously great. The true test of a conservative (or traditionalist, or monarchist, or gentleman), like Luther’s true test of a Christian, is not whether they will boldly stand for 99% of the Truth, but whether they will stand in the breach for that 1% presently being assailed. Their fidelity to nearly all of it is as nothing to their infidelity on the point being troubled. They are fair-weather friends; and in a sky filling with clouds, such men have a duty to correct themselves, or be corrected. Gladstone, sadly, has failed that test. And I do not blame him. It is a terrible prospect to stand before the world and be so uncivil and preposterous as to question the current orthodoxy on homosexuality. Marinated by sympathetic Hollywood storylines and characters, encouraged by leftist political hand-wringing and all-pervasive, swift-moving political correctness, and now coerced by what currently passes for ‘good form’ in the wife-swapping middle classes, where shall a traditionalist dare profess that he holds to the unbroken wisdom of the millennia, against the temporary experiments of the decade, on this matter? Only in a very, very small and safe room, from behind a very carefully constructed shield wall.
Here are some thoughts, anyway. (Read on)
1. Gay marriage is not just about gay marriage. This will sound harshest for those who think homosexual marriage is simply the means by which people can be made happy in their lives. But for better or worse, long before the idea of gay marriage ever turned up, there was no - and there remains no - prohibition on gay couples cohabiting permanently until death parts them. They are free to do so. In recent times they have always been free to do so. So that is not, in fact, what they are seeking. If they were, they wouldn’t be asking for gay marriage. They wouldn’t be asking for anything. In fact they are seeking society’s approval, religion’s benediction and authority’s enforcement; and for a verdict which agrees that there is no difference between monogamous sodomy and reproductive marriage, and that there has never been, and never shall be any such distinction. This cannot be allowed.
It would be the final nail in a coffin diligently put together by the liberal left these past fifty years, by which they seek once and for all to bury traditional marriage. And it would have society, religion and authority’s feckless hands driving it in. They wish to entomb that old relic at a time when social breakdown, moral decay, rampant youth crime and murder, mass illiteracy, paralysed birth-rates, cultural anarchy, and widespread hopelessness and depression tells us the that the world, having given it up, can scarcely live without it.
For the argument in favour of homosexual marriage has only been allowed to form even the most dim notion in the heads of those who now scream it from the rooftops, because heterosexual marriage has itself been transformed into something alien and odd since the Flesh Revolution of the 1960s. It is the only way that it has become even slightly plausible. You can only trick yourself into seeing some resemblance, you see, between the two, if you have transformed traditional heterosexual marriage likewise into a compact involving two bread-winners, lots of unproductive sex, interchangeability of gender roles, symmetry of duty and authority, separation from child-bearing, obsession with immediate satisfaction, and nothing else. And in so far as ordinary marriage has become like this, we already have gay marriage: it is what modern society has made of natural marriage. But natural men and women must reject this, all of this, and any further solidifying of the changes, which gay marriage would utterly confirm. It leads not to happiness, but to wrack and ruin, and innumerable broken marriages, and countless lost souls, and frenetic pathetic lusting, and the constant bloody Massacre of the Innocents, every day, in hospitals up and down our world, for the great cause of convenience.
I am not saying gay marriage causes this. I am saying gay marriage is the affirmation of this, and the confirmation of this decided change in the general notion of marriage - and the further postponement, and prevention, of it being mended. It crowns the false god. And we shall have a deal of time dethroning it if we keep going down this path.
2. The simple but obstinate matter of facts. I dislike it when people knowingly lay down reality for the comfort of wishful thinking (which, before any wise alecs say something stupid, differs from the Christian religion in so far as that religion is the comfort in reality by facing its harshest fact of death). Are people blind? Do they really need someone to stand forth and point out the blaring obvious fact that a contract of monogamous sodomy is not, has never been, and can never be the same as the Christian contract of holy matrimony? What have men or women with such desires got remotely in common with the complimentary, clearly purposeful (whether evolution or God is your, er, God), genuine and productive union of man and wife, in a long-term stable relationship ideal for the rearing of children, communication of virtue and prosperity, and the obviation of lust and loneliness in real complimentarity (rather than coincidence of desire)? What has one kind of relationship, prohibited by the ages and our ancestors, got to do with the other, lauded by the ages and our ancestors?
Christian (or heterosexual, or traditional) marriage, as Peter Marshall put it, is a coming together of two tributaries, which after they are joined together flow forever in a stronger course. They are not a treaty, nor even a federation, but a Union. And how shall we test if this is true? As with anything, by its fruits: and its fruits are children, and by them the binding together of society in generations, and by this the furtherance of civilisation in kindness, care, development, and slowly accrued, carefully handed on wisdom. It is the heart of the real great principle of true Progress: inheritance! It clearly works. I shall not name some of the more infamous fruits of homosexual relationships. I wish to be polite. But you see it cannot be the same thing. In terms of a family tree, it is deforestation. It is altogether a different beast. It is a complete and infantile category error to be even talking of gays 'marrying'.
And to say, in opposing such arguments, as many have, that the existence of childless traditional marriages must allow childless monogamous sodomy, is like saying that broken chairs license the production of chairs which were never designed to work. Likewise, bridging the childless gap with tubes and dishes and all manner of science scarcely less violent than that of Dr Frankenstein’s merely proves this (rather than, as some nonsensically say, erasing it).
3. The mixed-race argument is one too often trotted out without much thought or reason behind it. Gladstone is right in identifying this old perversion as wicked; but I should point out that it was, like gay marriage, precisely that: a perversion, or ineffectual and day-dreaming amendment of nature. And really the issue here would be if Gladstone was correct in saying that the quite correct alteration away from this brief error, post-Civil Rights, renders impossible all opposition to any other redefinition of marriage in the future (like gay marriage). Thank God he is wrong. The implications of being right almost don’t bear thinking about. Upon this basis nothing could withstand nuptials between dogs and Dutchmen, your fob watch and your left brogue, or your aunt and her Audi. (Or think of some more plausible horror, which I shall not dirty this website with, but which your average daily newspaper can undoubtedly furnish you with many suggestions for).
The issue here connects to a broader one: that of anchors. If we are not to make biology, or tradition, or religion our rule (because homosexuality and homosexual marriage radically defies all of those), we have thrown out every rational and successful measure and restriction of behaviour available to us. You can knock down such things, but whither shall you run for defence when society’s decay advances in another fashion? You are making what is polite and fashionable your final rule. This might seem at first quite proper, and superficially gentlemanly; but the truest gentleman bears no resemblance to the simpering, craven, substanceless man of such philosophy, who has always been known by the appellation - Cad.
4. And lastly, though it is a small thing in his original post, the matter of Mr Gladstone’s first rejecting altogether the Word of God, and then snatching a portion of it triumphantly to his chest in a victory pose. Such trifling use of any document would strike any disinterested observer as absurd; doing so with sacred things borders on the abominable. It is enough to remind him that nothing in scripture is inconsistent, as long as you are guided in your interpretation of any given text by all the rest of the scriptures, in whatever ways they may touch it. Clearly, a Bible which also warns against homosexuality, cannot possibly be later including it as a positive example of God’s love. Gladstone may indeed feel that he worships a God who he is allowed to stand roughly in the same sort of equation to as a gay man stands to his husband (if such love is, he says, godly); but he shall not go around buggering up Holy Scripture as long as I’m around here.
Please direct all hate mail to your lavatory and/or compost heap, c/o a flamethrower.
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Posted by mrcawp at 15:34
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
THE QUEEN WITH ALL HER ROYAL PALACES AND GOLD RICHES has always been a picture of parsimony, prudence, restraint and thrift compared to our insanely profligate political culture. All this massive public deficit spending led by that fiscal socialist, George W. Bush, the five trillion dollar man, is deeply deeply wasteful and hugely irresponsible, and will most certainly bite us all in the ass in the end. Gordon Brown too is a glutinous pig, so is Stephen Harper with his tens of billions in throwaways announced today, though not yet nearly to the same extent. Fiscal stimulus is a forlorn hope, at best government acts like a big clumsy retarded giant when attempting to pull and push the unwieldy, mammoth levers of a nation's economic pulse. Apart from handing money back to taxpayers to spend and save as they see fit, it is a criminally dumb thing to try and do. It won't work, it'll just saddle us with future gargantuan debt loads and it'll be decades before we climb back to where we were. We just never learn, do we. It's back to the future once again.
What this recession calls for is a little stinginess on the part of everyone, to save and invest for the future and stop overextending ourselves which got us into this credit mess in the first place. We need to become Scrooges not spendaholics to free ourselves from this cycle of debt and put us back on a sound footing once again. Short-term pain for long-term gain, instead of the other way around. But common sense and stingy doesn't sell in an economy and population and politicians addicted to the instant gratification of borrowed money.
I prefer stingy alright, I prefer stuffy dukes over slick politicians, like I prefer stern fathers over dead-beat dads. As always, count me with the minority. Democracy, the God that failed indeed.
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Posted by Lord Strathcona's Horse at 23:11
Monday, 26 January 2009
Whilst The Monarchist is happily not prone to the Australian folk tradition of irreverence, mockery of authority and disregard for rigid norms of propriety, we do nevertheless have an enormous soft spot for that brave Commonwealth Down Under, which was claimed by the British Crown in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales, founded on 26 January 1788.
Uncultivated or not, who can not but admire that broad Ockered accent, that distinctive slang born of mateship and booze. The larrikin Ned Kelly can rot in hell, but strines like Paul Hogan and Steve Irwin and other free spirits of the Bush and the Outback probably exemplify manly virtue better than the whole stock of males across the rest of the English-speaking world.
To wit, congratulations to Trooper Mark Donaldson, VC. That the British and international press could scandalously and virtually ignore an Australian winning the Victoria Cross last week, is thankfully no skin off the tough Aussie back who pays little attention to what others think about him anyways. It happens to be the Australian way.
So Happy Birthday, Oz, and God Save Your Queen!
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Posted by Tweedsmuir at 00:07
Sunday, 25 January 2009
In November of last year, California passed a ballot proposition which restricted the definition of marriage to be between a man and a woman. Perhaps this issue does not concern the Monarchy, but it does concern societal values and our culture, and I think that this blog is about that just as much as it is about Her Majesty's God-given right to be our Queen. Now, before I continue, I think it is important to note that I am a heterosexual, Anglican Christian, white male, with no great amount of homosexual friends or relatives, exactly the sort of person who you think would approve of Proposition 8.
And yet... I don't approve... and I find that as a conscientious gentleman, I can't approve of this. The world is not a fair place, and neither is life. Life is predisposed towards making human beings hateful and bitter, and true happiness is often fleeting. All these homosexual couples wish to do is be allowed to marry, to celebrate the love they feel for each other, to gain a little bit of that happiness that heterosexual married couples feel. And those same heterosexual couples are telling them that "No, you can't marry". How do you think it feels to be one of those people right now? Having been able to marry in your home with whomever you loved, but now having that taken way. All you other white religious gentlemen and ladies, who according to the polls are the ones who voted for Prop. 8, how would you feel if your right to marry the person you loved was taken away?
Some people who are against homosexual marriage will complain that it's 'redefining marriage' in the US. But let us remember that if the US hadn't redefined marriage before, white people would still not be able to marry black people. In 1967, fifteen seperate states had laws preventing the marriage of Caucasians and Africans. In 1967, Barack Obama's parents would not have been able to marry in fifteen of the states he would grow up to govern. Looking back further, black people could not even marry other black people, as slaves were property and not able to be husband and wife. Looking in from an outsider's perspective, as I am Canadian, I can clearly see that marriage has been redefined in the US at least twice, and both times for the moral good.
Others will say that homosexual marriage is an affront in the eyes of the Lord. Now, I can find and read the passages of the Bible which say that a 'man laying with another man' is a sin. But any gentleman or lady who takes the Bible literally is a pillock. And really, who are we to say what the Lord finds distasteful? We are but men, flawed as all humans are, and every religion is made of our own beliefs and opinions on what God is and what he teaches. I am a Christian man, I always have been and always will be, and I know there's something else the Bible says that is relevant on this matter: 'God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him', from the first letter of John. It is clear from my, admittably limited, acquaintances with homosexuals that they love each other, and as a Christian I cannot conscientiously object to love. Being heterosexual, perhaps I cannot understand how they love each other, but I can see that they can, and that their love is a true and as whole as that of any married couple i've known, even moreso in certain cases. The world is entirely too short on love between human beings these days, why would anyone want to impede people who just want to let a little more of it into our world?
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Posted by Gladstone at 21:53
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
America has simply replaced the pomp and ceremony of hereditary monarchy with the pomp and ceremony of elected monarchy.
An American Coronation, writes the Los Angeles Times, and who can disagree with them given the lavish preparations now underway in Washington. Words can be deceiving, but appearances generally are not.
It was a century ago when Theodore Roosevelt explained that an American President is "an elective King", making the implausible point that the United States was essentially a monarchical country within a republican framework. Contrast the power of His Mightiness with the limitations of our own Monarch, and you see increasingly the reverse in Commonwealth countries; that is, republican governments camouflaged within a monarchical framework, to the point where they effectively become "crowned republics" completely sapped of their royalist spirit.
As David Flint points out in President Obama: the elective King inaugurated, "The considerable British jurist, Lord Hailsham explained that the American system centres on ‘an elective monarchy with a king who rules with a splendid court and even...a royal family, but does not reign.’ He contrasted this with the Westminster system which he said involves ‘a republic with an hereditary life president, who being a queen, reigns but does not rule’."
But the important fact here is that both trends run contrary to the conservative impulse, as both are marked by a distinct lack of constitutional deference. American republicans are weary of their countrymen swooning over Princess Obama and becoming a monarchy in all but name, and Commonwealth monarchists are concerned about the increasing emasculation of their own constitutions, with the creeping regicide of Her Majesty.
The BBC's Katty Kay, for her part, is somewhat appalled at "the coronation of King Obama":
So this is why you booted us out a couple of centuries ago. You simply replaced the pomp and ceremony of hereditary monarchy and with the pomp and ceremony of elected monarchy. OK, you didn't opt for the dynastic duo of Bush and Clinton, which really had us scratching our crowned European heads, but the fanfare with which Caroline Kennedy has entered the political picture suggests your infatuation with royal families is still not over.Certainly it is no secret that the political ambition of the British Left is to abolish the British Monarchy, but how does one square that with the Kennedyesque tendency of the American Left to institute its own national dynasty? Probably because the Left wants untrammeled democracy, equality and "progress", and the Right wants limited democracy, liberty and constitutionalism.
This week Washington feels like London in the run up to one of our own grand royal events. Hostesses twitter on the phone, or just Twitter, to woo A-list guests to pre- and post-inauguration parties. A-list guests measure their piles of invites in feet, not inches...
Still, there is a more serious problem with treating Barack Obama as an elected monarch; one that affects us journalists, in particular. Put a man on a pedestal and suddenly it's hard for the press to drag him through the political wringer. It happened in 2003 in the run up to the invasion of Iraq and risks happening again.
In Britain, we invest the Queen with our ceremonial hopes which leaves us free to treat our prime minister as exactly what he is—an elected official, paid for by the taxpayers, and serving at the people's will. While George W. Bush was being asked patsy questions by a subdued White House press corps, Tony Blair was being drubbed by un-cowed political hacks. It is far easier to do when you don't stand the moment the man walks into the room.
That is why an elective monarchy is intuitively fine for an American Democrat, whereas hereditary monarchy is an insufferable anachronism for the British, Canadian and Anzac lib-laboury. What right does a hereditary monarch have to say no to an elected government, they chime.
And there is reason to believe that this contradiction at the heart of the American soul, which has in recent years led several congressman, including Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Harry Reid, to introduce legislation to repeal the Twenty-second Amendment, may continue to evolve towards monarchy USA. In each of 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009, Rep. Jose Serrano introduced a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd Amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as president. Each resolution, with the exception of the current one, died without ever getting past the committee.
But with Congress going formidably Democrat, and President Obama assuming Office, one has to believe they now have a fighting chance.
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Posted by Beaverbrook at 10:32
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Step one in the recovery of our civilization: zero tolerance for dust jackets.
— David Warren
The cancerous proliferation of the dreaded dust wrapper in modern society, to say nothing about the uncontrolled accumulation of cheap "paperbacks", has done much to degrade the gentleman's natural environment, writes David Warren.
I WISH TO THUNDER TODAY against an abuse that is rampant in our culture. In a few short decades it has grown from being the vice of a small minority of the perverse until it has spread to every section of society. Moreover both in itself and through commercial pandering to it a disgusting habit has led to many other evils — made them possible and contributed to a fiendish inventiveness in the production of still more.
The rot goes deeper -- j'accuse! -- and the very institutions of our state have conspired to spread this vice among our innocent children. Our very libraries once citadels of chaste instruction have joined in the parade of this horrific disorder perfidiously souring the generations to come.
Make no mistake the slide in our standards is enforced and is accelerated by a hidden network of damnable vested interests. It would take the utmost exertions of selfless individual labour and perhaps parliamentary legislation to break their grip. Indeed while I may decently hesitate to recommend the employment of the strong arm of the law for the invasion of domestic privacy it is hard to think what else could be efficacious in suppressing this affront to all we once held dear.
This is a vile business. The things are everywhere and I passionately hate them. I do not allow them into my own quarters and I remonstrate with others who try to bring them in -- verily right into the house in which I live. And yet I am taunted daily by the sight of them insolently littering the bookshelves of my companions and my neighbours.
For I refer to none other than the unspeakable habit of keeping "dust jackets". Nay not merely keeping them but keeping them wrapped around the books with which they were distributed and thus visible wherever and whenever the books themselves are on display.
So far as I am able to make out there were no dust jackets at all before about the middle of the 19th century. I speculate that the practice began with the use of blank tissue or wrapping paper to protect the covers of books especially the delicately-tooled often gold-leafed lettering on the (usually leather) spines. The bookbinder put this on and then the bookseller took it off for the wrap-around necessarily obscured such essential information as the book's title and author.
Then some innovative person thought of printing such information on the outside of the wrapper. This led inevitably to its retention by the bookseller. This ancestral dust jacket could continue protecting the book from scratching airborne grime and the effects of casual handling in the bookshop. The jackets also prevented the sun from bleaching the rich colours in the cover if the book were shown in the shop window.
It was found that more information about the book could be put more boldly on the jacket's spine face reducing the need of the casual browser to handle it. Then discreet advertising blurbs began to appear on the jackets' front covers only encouraging them again. Like material then spread to the front flap to the back cover to the back flap and catalogue information was finally put on the reverse side of the wrapper. All fair enough no reasonable man will object to a gentle sales pitch.
But then some mute inglorious Milton got the idea of putting a picture on the wrapper. At first decorative woodcuts and the like but soon more elaborate and attention-grabbing illustrations. Colours came into play then photography and rotogravure and other printing methods to make the jackets "sing" against the competition -- and by tiny increments they grew more and more objectionably shiny. Coatings were applied to make the colours more vivid. And in the space of little more than a century the average dust wrapper had become unmistakably loud and lewd.
I leave aside the development of these vicious modern "paperbacks" -- a direct consequence of the evolution of dust jackets with their screaming soft covers crudely glued around their cheap pulp innards. As newspapers and magazines paperbacks are meant to be read and discarded -- and thus handled without respect. To allow them to accumulate is to allow one's environment to be degraded.
But a book is a book is a book -- meant to be passed down the generations while speaking to each successive reader. No expense should be spared in preparing it for its journey through time. With age and careful use it should develop a fine patina; or in the case of disintegration the binding renewed or replaced.
Dust jackets are not merely an awkward impediment to reading (requiring real butchery when the public libraries plasticize them and glue them into place). What has happened in our time -- and owing directly to this wicked practice of keeping the dust wrappers -- can be seen if only the jacket is removed.
For the book within it is now often as not an hideous abortion. It is made no better than a paperback only larger. Stiff nasty grease-absorbing pasteboards encase unstitched puffy acidic sheets bearing garishly oversized typography. And that is only the outward manifestation of something deeper. For when you condescend to read the "book" almost invariably you discover it was mere vacuous stuffing to fill the lurid come-on wrapped around it. The jacket has been used to cover a multitude of sins.
Step one in the recovery of our civilization: zero tolerance for dust jackets.
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