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

Saturday, 21 May 2005

The Tipping Point

As our readers will by now clearly understand, the Monarchist and I are devoted Anglophiles and supporters of the Commonwealth, and loyal subjects of Her Majesty. But we are also – like most others of our ilk – intense admirers of the United States. This twin devotion may appear paradoxical to those with a weaker grasp of history, but of course there lies therein neither contradiction nor riddle.

As William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, insisted at the height of the American Revolution, the Americans were not traitors to England; rather, they revealed England’s betrayal of herself. It was the Americans who demanded the continuance in fact, and refused the relegation to the theoretical, of the fundamental principles of liberty and parliamentary democracy that Britain had so painfully brought into the world. For the Americans, liberty was not a buzz word or a punch line. It was not something that they would see diluted or bought off with creature comforts or temporary personal advantages. It was the core, the fundamental, the irreducible basis of how they intended to live their lives and to structure their government and their society. Give me liberty or give me death, they said – and they meant it. They say it, and mean it, to this day.

With the events of the past two weeks, I have finally come to understand why the American people, whom I so admire, are so despised by so many in Canada. It is because people of principle and courage are bound to be despised by those who can claim neither. I have also come to understand, on a visceral level, what I have so far appreciated only on an intellectual, theoretical basis. I have always marveled at how the great Americans of their revolution – men like Washington and Adams, who were men of the greatest integrity, and possessed of the most irreproachable personal virtue; men for whom loyalty was a core quality – came so precipitously and violently to shift their allegiances. I now understand that it was because they encountered what exists in all things: a tipping point; a point of no return. It is precisely those of the greatest character, whose very integrity and loyalty most retard their progress toward it, who cross the chasm most abruptly. Adams and Washington had attempted as far as possible to reform the nature of British dominion over America. They had resisted as long as possible the idea that such reform would never happen. But, as if on cue, they recognized all at once that they had been wrong: that reform would never, ever come; that radical measures were, in fact, required; that continued prevarication was futile and only demeaned them; that to overthrow that which had evolved to become the opposite of what it claimed and ought to be would be virtue, not sin.

I am not so arrogant as to set my personal qualities, and my thoughts and actions, on a plane with those of Washington and Adams. But I will say this: with Thursday’s votes in the House of Commons, capping what are surely the two most disgraceful weeks in the history of the Canadian Parliament, I have reached my own, personal tipping point. I have abruptly come to see – with the force and clarity of a thunderclap – that the Canada that I have defended and loved no longer exists, and cannot be retrieved. And with that realization, I say that as of now, I believe this: what Canada has become not only is not worth perpetuating; it should be euthanized at the earliest opportunity.

What exactly have we witnessed over the past two weeks? We have witnessed a parliamentary government of the British Crown and tradition, faced with a protracted and clear demonstration of a loss of majority confidence, refuse to adhere to the most fundamental tenets of responsible government by submitting itself to an immediate and declared confidence vote. We have watched that government instead suspend democracy until its bribes and enticements to the characterless could bear fruit. We have watched a blonde Judas cross the floor, oblivious of how ephemeral her new friendships will prove; casting the will of her constituents - and with it, the core mechanism by which the will of the people is translated into the reality of parliamentary power - into the dust; for obvious, crass and fleeting personal gain. And we have watched the chief architect of this farce declare, with a straight face, that he had secured the renewed confidence of the House and assured the future of a united Canada.

As this tragedy concluded, I listened to some around me, here in Ontario, actually declare their relief that they would not soon have to make another trip to the ballot box. And in that moment, I reached my tipping point. I realized that a people unprepared to devote a single hour – without sweat, cost or blood – to the enforcement of democracy, to the assurance that they might be governed by decent and responsible people of their actual choice; that a people too selfish and shameless to care whether their countrymen felt respected and represented under the common roof; that a people too brain-dead to understand how deeply their traditions of democracy have been compromised, and how dangerous a precedent has just been set - were not worthy of my allegiance.

The Liberals believe that they have saved Canada. It is stupefying that they cannot see, that they cannot even imagine; that saving Canada and saving themselves are not the same thing. Because they can be bought and sold, they cannot conceive that a Canada that is anything other than a hollow and worthless shell might not be. But above all, they suffer from that greatest of delusions: they imagine that the universe is static. This is Canada, they think; this is how it works. Elections are decided in Ontario and Quebec. Quebecers are sleazy and stupid: just throw them some bones, and try not to get caught. And no one else matters. Those westerners are crazy; they are dangerous; they are not reading the script. So just take their money and ignore them. Things have always been thus, and always will be. The Liberals, and with them much of Ontario, just cannot conceive that all this could ever change; that this grand order of theirs might one day soon be turned on its head, and cease to be.

But it could – just ask George III. And unless I am much mistaken, the events of the past two weeks have virtually ensured that it will.

I am not a Quebecer. I have not spent much time in Quebec, nor do I identify personally with Quebec’s culture and history. In short, I do not readily identify with Quebecers; I do not naturally walk in their shoes. But over the past several months, as Gomery has dropped bombshell after bombshell, I have found myself quietly and steadily becoming outraged on their behalf. And I have been inspired to behold the rise of their quite righteous indignation. I have been encouraged by the resolution and grit of Gilles Duceppe and his party, as they have stepped up to refuse, on behalf of all Quebecers, to be tarred by the Liberal manure. And I was proud to see the Conservatives join with them in an attempt to bring this disgrace of a government to the ground. Belinda Stronach accuses Stephen Harper of siding with separatists. I would say, rather, that the Conservatives chose to side with men and women of integrity and honour, against those who lack both, and that Belinda went where she belongs. Duceppe and the Bloc represent their people faithfully. Martin and the Liberals represent only themselves, and a view of how a country should function that no decent person can share. So from now on I say: Quebecers, save yourselves; take your birthright, take your beautiful land and heritage, take your pride and your self-respect, and go. I will be cheering you from the other side: cheering your courage and character, and cheering the death blow you will be delivering to the rotten structure that Canada has become.

To Albertans, and indeed to all Western Canadians, I now say: what are you waiting for? Can you now doubt that Ontario will never, ever, give you a seat at the table? Your money is taken from you, year after year, and not only have you no say in the matter, but under the current order, you never will. Make no mistake: with the new precedents of irresponsible government just set, what has been true in the past will be even truer in the future. And dissecting the events of the past two weeks, this has become clear to me: that the Stephen Harper who so closely represents you, your beliefs, and your aspirations for your future in Canada, is hated in Ontario precisely because he represents you, your beliefs and your aspirations. What does that tell you? This is the outcome of your twenty years of work in building a party, a platform, a cause that would bring you into Canada. This is the answer to “the West wants in”. So I now truly hope that the West will want out. Really, what is there here for you? Do you really want to continue to be taxed without representation, especially when so much of what you pay is handed over to others? Do you really want to continue to be despised and mocked? Do you really want to continue to elect senators who will go nowhere while Ontario Liberals send hacks of their own to the red chamber to “represent” you, and laugh in your face?

The Americans speak of “the spirit of ‘76”. This is the spirit of righteous indignation, the spirit of self-respect. It is the spirit that made the gentle and loyal farmers of the colonies conceive as their banner a coiled rattlesnake over the words: don’t tread on me. It is the spirit that brought ordinary men from their hearths and homes into the fields of Lexington and Concord, to stand against the soldiers of the greatest armed power on earth. It is the spirit that led the great men of an age to cast aside everything they had known and served, to build something better, something greater, something that they could reconcile with their beliefs, their integrity and their dignity. Will a “spirit of ‘05” now arise here? I believe it is already stirring. The Liberals, with much of Ontario in dumb connivance, have sown the seeds. They do not understand what they have set irretrievably in motion. It is far beyond their sphere of recognition to see that far from saving Canada, they have destroyed it. A Canada worth preserving might just have been revived had this government fallen. But the very factors and forces that prevented that fall have now pointed the future in a very different direction. And I say: so be it. The chasm has been crossed. The tipping point has been reached.

Walsingham (originally posted here, along with over 100 comments. Was described as "seminal" in the Ottawa Citizen)

4 comments:

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Daniel said...

The author's assertion that British monarchists are mostly intense admirers of the United States does not accord with my experience. And as a very loyal British Canadian subject of Her Majesty, and as a professional historian, I would remark that "history" provides ample grounds for a view quite in contrast with that suggested by the author.

God Save the Queen.

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