Great Britain

Experts, Pseudo-Experts, and Other Progressive Conceits

Featured image The downloads folder on my computer is jammed full right now with endless charts depicting data and analysis of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic shocks rolling across the world, and naturally they can tell a widely varying story depending on the data quality and, most crucial of all, the assumptions that go into any model that generates projections about the future—even the near future. Experts and models disagree! »

Boris Johnson update — he’s in the intensive care unit

Featured image It looks like I was too optimistic when I wrote about Boris Johnson’s condition last night. I hoped that, like a friend of mine who has the Wuhan coronavirus, Johnson’s visit to the hospital was just a precautionary measure in response to his inability to shake the fever that comes with the virus. That is how Downing Street characterized it. However, Johnson’s condition has worsened, and he’s been rushed to »

Boris Johnson hospitalized as his conronavirus symptoms persist

Featured image British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital for tests today, ten days after testing positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. The word from Downing Street is that Johnson was hospitalized because he hasn’t shaken the fever that typically comes with the virus. Johnson’s case seems similar to that of a friend of mine who has this virus. For about a week, my friend experienced coughing and a persistent »

Forecast of British coronavirus deaths revised, um, downward

Featured image Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London is an epidemiologist. If his name and college sound familiar, it’s probably because their well publicized forecast regarding the Wuhan coronavirus inspired lockdown measures in the U.S. and Great Britain. Ferguson warned that an uncontrolled spread of the virus could cause as many as 510,000 deaths in Britain and up to 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. According to the New York Times, “it »

What’s the difference between American football and English football?

Featured image The punchline to this joke was supplied 20 years ago by a soccer fan I met on my way to a match in London: American football, you get up, get dressed, and go to the game. English football, you get up, get dressed, get drunk, and go the game. Twenty years later, I’m not sure the joke applies. The difference may now reside in where you get drunk. In American »

UK Election Postscript

Featured image The inimitable Titania McGrath wonders on Twitter how Jeremy Corbyn could possibly have lost the election since he announced his pronouns in the proper intersectional fashion: (Click on the link above to see the embedded four-second video of Corbyn’s Adventure in Pronoun Correctness.) This brings me back to a point that Hugh Hewitt offered months ago: the “Freeport Question”* of the 2020 presidential campaign could be: “How many genders are »

The Stakes In Britain (Rolling Updates: Exit Polls Indicate Tory Landslide)

Featured image As I write we’re not far away from getting the first results of the British election today. I’ve seen stories of long lines to vote and indicators of a heavy turnout. And the British Pound seems to be under pressure today, which might be an ill omen, except that recall the Dow Jones futures plummeted on election night here in 2016, before soaring the next day when people realized that »

Go Boris! (Or, “Boris, Actually.”)

Featured image I haven’t had time to devote sufficient attention to the British election that is now less than 72 hours away. The polls give reason for confidence that the Tories are going to win, since they have tended in recent elections to outperform their polls. This is still rather amazing considering the debacle of the Theresa May government. But the Tories have Boris Johnson, while Labour has the execrable Jeremy Corbyn. »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 154: Henry Olsen with the Inside Baseball on Politics and . . . Baseball

Featured image This week I catch up with Henry Olsen to go through the inside baseball of the unfolding Democratic presidential primary season, but also the inside baseball about . . . baseball! Did you know that the Houston Astros colluded with the Russians and Ukrainians to steal the 2017 World Series! So runs the allegation, with hearings no doubt to follow. In any case, I actually stumped Henry by recalling the »

Prorogues and Pro-Rogues

Featured image I won’t pretend to have substantial knowledge of the intricacies of Britain’s unwritten constitution, or the workings of their judicial system that has sat uneasily beneath the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy since at least the time of Sir Edward Coke and Blackstone. One of my favorite books on my law shelf can help explain the conundrum for anyone not steeped in British law: It is Theodore Plucknett’s A Concise History of »

Boris In Charge

Featured image Boris Johnson is now prime minister of Great Britain, and the British establishment, including much of his own party, is horrified at this turn of events, just like the American Establishment (including the GOP hierarchy) were horrified by Donald Trump’s election. I can report on some of the early sentiment. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles are said to be “bitterly opposed” to Johnson becoming prime minister. A cabinet secretary has been »

About that ex-British ambassador to the U.S.

Featured image Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the U.S. whose blistering and insulting dispatches about President Trump became public, has resigned his position. I don’t see that he had much choice. It is unrealistic to expect any president, and certainly not the current one, to deal with an ambassador whose contempt for him is this deep and now this public. And Britain would be poorly served by an ambassador to »

Lost & found: Trump’s GMB interview

Featured image I posted the full video of President Trump’s interview by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain here yesterday morning, shortly after it had been posted on YouTube by GMB itself. Steve Cates writes from Catallaxy Files to note that he watched it as well until it disappeared. Steve has posted the excerpts still available on YouTube and linked to the full video posted at Bing. “All this is recounted in »

Trump does GMB [updated]

Featured image President Trump sat down with Piers Morgan for a 30-minute interview on Good Morning Britain. Touting the interview as a world exclusive, GMB has just posted the video on YouTube. I have posted the video below. Morgan’s interview covers Trump’s state visit and America’s relationship with the United Kingdom. “In the half-hour long chat in Churchill’s historic war rooms,” GMB notes, “Trump clarifies his ‘nasty’ comments about Meghan Markle and »

Tories trounced, Farage flying

Featured image I haven’t found exactly what I’ve been looking for in the way of analysis of the European Parliament election results in the United Kingdom. The Telegraph’s weekly newsletter summary put it this way yesterday: The Conservatives have been decimated in the European elections and recorded their worst result in history, as Nigel Farage’s six-week-old Brexit party triumphed. The European elections, which were never supposed to happen, proved disastrous for both »

Gaffe machine Biden strikes again

Featured image Yesterday, Joe Biden claimed that 14 foreign leaders have called him to “voice concern” about President Trump. Among the 14, he said, was Margaret Thatcher. Lady Thatcher died in 2013, thus missing out on the Trump presidency. Biden then corrected himself, saying that he was actually referring to current British Prime Minister Theresa May. He called his mistake a “Freudian slip.” Freudian? Maybe. Both are female authority figures (though May’s »

Maggie, 40 Years On

Featured image Today is the 40th anniversary of the election of Margaret Thatcher as the first female prime minister of Great Britain—a precursor of the election the following year of Ronald Reagan. Before her arrival many people thought England’s long, slow postwar decline was irreversible.  “Britain is becoming a third world country . . . an offshore industrial slum,” Economist magazine correspondent Robert Moss wrote in 1977. Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw recall in »