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britain

Culture/Economics/Politics/World

Letter From England 2: Europe And The Culture War

If I were to draw up a list of the problems facing my country, and then to discuss their nature and possible solutions, I might be starting work on a rather long book. Instead, I will confine myself to what I think are the two most immediately pressing, and that are within the direct control of the British Government. These are our withdrawal from the European Union and the state of our so far uncontested culture war. I begin with Europe. When we voted, in June 2016, to leave the European Union, we were plainly willing an end without willing any means to that end. I think the consensus among those who voted to leave was that we should have a government, elected by and fully accountable to ourselves, that would set immigration and trade policies in our own interest. For various reasons, I choose not here to discuss immigration. Our most reasonable trade policy by my estimation involves free trade with the world in services and manufactured goods,… Keep Reading

History

The Duchess Of Atholl: Nobility For Stalin

In the film version of George Orwell’s book Keep The Aspidistra Flying, the main character, a struggling writer, assumes correctly that because a benefactor of writers is wealthy, said benefactor is therefore a communist. This assumption was very much a reality in the upper class intellectual world of 1930s Britain. For it was not only the expensively educated like Stephen Spender and W.H. Auden–and on a more sinister level, Kim Philby–who were pro-Stalin, but also Nancy Cunard, the daughter of a shipping magnate. This zeitgeist was so pervasive, that this pampered faction had a titled conservative in their ranks; who, ironically, defended Stalinism out of British imperialist motives. This figure was the Duchess of Atholl aka Katherine Marjory Stewart-Murray, who despite representing the Conservative Party member in Parliament clashed with her fellow conservatives because of their support for appeasing Hitler. Very much a “premature anti-fascist,” she expressed her disgust at the government’s deal-cutting with and outright support of fascist dictators by frequently resigning; first as Conservative Whip in 1937… Keep Reading

History/Politics/World

Letter From England 1: Setting The Scene

I have been asked to write a weekly column on British politics. Since I am writing for a largely American readership, and since Americans mostly know little of what happens outside their own country, I think it would be best if I were to begin with a brief overview not only of what is happening here, but also of what has been happening for quite some time. David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010 at the head of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. The Conservatives had won more seats than any other party in the House of Commons, but fallen short of an overall majority. Whether he governed the country well during the next five years is beside the point. What matters is that he governed effectively within the assumptions of British politics. He went into the 2015 General Election with the aim of getting an overall majority for the Conservative Party. His main difficulty was not in beating the Labour Party, which was in no position to beat him,… Keep Reading

Politics/World

Conservatism Resurgent: The World Turns Right

Across the globe, in elections in the United Kingdom, Israel, America, India, France, South Korea among others, the people have begun to rise up against the forces of authoritarianism, the forces of hatred and the forces of division, turning their backs on the leftist, secular, divisive ideology and the parties and the corrupt politicians – Socialists, Progressives, Liberals and Democrats – who represent it. Increasingly voters are turning right, returning to conservatism that harbors values and ideas that form the foundations of morality, ethics, liberty and freedom. In America, the Republican party benefited from the rise of the Tea Party – a grassroots response to the excessive authoritarianism of the Obama regime. The advent of the Tea Party heralded the return of Conservatism not only to the halls of Congress, but to local municipalities and state houses across the land in 2010, continuing in 2012 and 2014. While the media and the Left claim that the subsequent decrease in “Tea Party activism,” they willingly ignore that in the face of the vaunted Obama… Keep Reading

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