Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
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

Wednesday, 13 April 2005

Blair's Folly

Tony Blair is a man whom I have come to respect and admire greatly since September 11, 2001. Indeed, I have since that date considered him to be a living testament to a central underpinning of the enduring greatness of Great Britain: namely, that any man who rises to the top of the political heap in that country - particularly one who arrives at the summit in time for a moment of great crisis - apparently cannot but possess certain admirable qualities. Those qualities include: an understanding of history and its great lessons; an ability to distinguish friend from foe; the possession of a rational and manly loyalty to the one, and an equally rational and manly willingness and determination to fight the other; the intelligence to realize that a necessary war against a serious, determined, intelligent and ruthless enemy cannot be waged without loss, sacrifice and mess; the courage to lead and be unpopular where that is required; and the ability to think and speak clearly. It is the mark of Britain's greatness - a mark shared with that other great bulwark of freedom and liberal Christian civilization, the United States of America - that leaders with these qualities seem almost invariably to surface when the moment truly requires them. (A more vivid contrast with and condemnation of the Canadian political system and caste I could not invent, but I shall leave that discussion for another occasion.)

The clarity of thought that underpins Blair's determination to join President Bush's war against radical Islamic terrorists, and the regimes and systems that foster and breed them; and the courage and determination to act boldly in that war's prosecution that Blair has displayed; make him in an important respect a true inheritor of his Royal and parliamentary predecessors who so valiantly resisted earlier mortal threats to British freedoms and civilization. This makes one thing all the more baffling: why on earth is this man determined to push Britain all the way into the cesspool of continental European "integration"?

For the life of me, I cannot think of one single net positive likely outcome of this effort. Britain has, throughout its history, been secured as the constant incubator of civil liberties, parliamentary democracy and liberal economy; by the distance which it has physically enjoyed, and which it has strategically, politically and militarily nurtured; from the continent of Europe. What circumstances have changed, that should conspire to direct Britain's core interests and decisions in precisely the opposite direction from the compass north it has observed throughout its entire history, I know not. In this respect, I ask the exactly same question as Sir Winston Churchill in his speech of March, 1936 to the Conservative Backbench Foreign Affairs Committee. In that speech, Churchill pointed out that throughout the course of almost four centuries, and in the face of four successive mortal threats to its free security from a rising and belligerent continental power (Philip II's Spain, Louis XIV's and Napoleon I's France, and Wilhem II's Germany), Britain always chose the hard but correct path of steadfast opposition to the power which - animated by principles vastly different from those of liberal Britain - could and would, in victory and in the achievement of hegemony, only diminish or destroy Britain's essence. Churchill asked: what has changed, that we should, in 1936, regard our proper response to the rising power of Adolf Hitler's Germany in a different manner?

The answer was, of course, nothing at all; and that Churchill was able to persuade his fellow countrymen of that fact, changed the course of history for the immeasurably better.

What was true in 1936 is, in my view, true today. That is not to suggest for a moment that there is any country or power on the continent of Europe today, which constitutes a belligerent and militaristic threat to Great Britain in the classical sense. Most European countries are today, at least nominally, liberal democracies. I suppose it is this very fact which leads Blair and his ilk to think that the magnetic north pole of Britain's strategic self-interest has moved, and that that move justifies a submersion of Britain's hard-won independence and long-evolved institutions, into a European institutional hodge-podge without history, accountability, checks and balances, or record of performance.

Yet the risk he runs - on behalf of all Britons and, by extension, all Commonwealth subjects - should be self-evident from this description. What I find truly confounding is that there is nothing whatsoever that I can see to justify taking this risk, even assuming that integrated Europe should somehow acquire an effective, representative and responsible government. Britain already has one of those. So, too, does it have free trade and free flow of goods, workers and other economic constituent components and forces, between itself and its European neighbours. What, then, is the point? Is it really possible to suppose that whatever integrated Europe could ever evolve from the cesspool of unrepresentative and irresponsible corruption, of anti-American, anti-Christian, weak-at-the-knees bureaucratic paralysis, that currently defines its governmental apparatus; could possibly be better for Britain, than what Great Britain has evolved for itself over the course of a thousand years?

Mr. Blair, you called it right in casting your geopolitical lot with your American friends - with that America with which your country and countrymen truly do share a common bond, nature and interests. Do not dilute or destroy the benefit of that action by continuing to push Britain down the unnecessary and destructive path of greater political integration with continental Europe.

Walsingham (originally posted here)


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