Great Britain

“Demand Management” In Britain

Featured image Great Britain doesn’t have enough electricity to meet consumers’ needs, so the National Grid is paying people to keep their lights off and appliances unused: The National Grid will ask households to cut their power consumption for a second day in a row as Britain’s energy supply is squeezed by cold weather. The nation’s power operator will pay customers to refrain from using energy as part of its “demand flexibility »

The 15-Minute City

Featured image I spent a little time in Oxford during my recent vacation, and a day or two later Mark Steyn told me that the City of Oxford had adopted an ordinance that penalizes driving more than 15 minutes from your home. This seemed hard to believe, but in fact, it is true. First of all, the “15-Minute City” is a movement of sorts, promoted by the usual suspects, the United Nations »

The Daily Chart: How Bad Is It for the Tories?

Featured image This bad (click to embiggen): Republicans who are about to take over Congress, pay attention and take notes. »

Breaking: Trussed

Featured image Breaking news out of London: Liz Truss is out as PM after just 44 days in office, the shortest premiership in British history. Yesterday the Conservative Party, with its largest majority in decades, fractured over several of Truss’s proposals, throwing the House of Commons into chaos. If an election were held today the Tories would lose in a landslide to Labour, even as European conservative and populist parties are surging elsewhere »

Safe From the Sign of the Cross

Featured image It is easy for Americans to forget how rare, and how precious, our guarantee of free speech is. Even the United Kingdom, the country from which we inherited most of our historic freedoms, does not recognize anything like our First Amendment. This fact was brought home by the recent declaration of a “safe zone” in Bournemouth, England. Rod Dreher has the story. It has to do with the sacrament of »

Liz Trussed

Featured image Back in 1980, as Britain’s economy fell into steep recession along with much of the rest of the world, recently installed prime minister Margaret Thatcher came under fire for her policies of spending restraint and tax cuts. Much of her own party wanted her to backtrack, never mind the opposition Labour Party and the media. It was in the midst of this that the “Iron Lady” lived up to her »

Margaret Thatcher 2.0?

Featured image British Prime Minister Liz Truss is going big. Her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, has unveiled an aggressive program of permanent tax cuts. The Wall Street Journal likes the plan: Mr. Kwarteng axed the 2.5-percentage-point increase in the payroll tax imposed by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and canceled a planned increase in the corporate income tax rate to 26% from 19%. … Kwarteng also surprised by eliminating the 45% tax rate »

God Save the Queen

Featured image Queen Elizabeth II, a jeep and truck mechanic during World War II, crowned during the second premiership of Winston Churchill, was the last living link to the senior leadership of World War II, even as Mikhail Gorbachev’s passing last week represented the last link to the senior figures of the Cold War (with the partial exception of Lech Walesa, who is still with us). I got to see the Queen »

Britain Goes Into Shutdown Mode

Featured image The energy crisis in Great Britain, and across Europe, continues to deepen. The concept now in the news is “load shedding.” The Telegraph reports: [L]oad-shedding looks likely to become the buzzword of this winter amid warnings that blackouts of the developing world are making their way to Britain. As chaos in energy markets picks up pace and supplies falter, the UK faces a similar crisis of having to choose how »

Letter from the Highlands

Featured image PITLOCHRY, Scotland—You’d think up here in whisky headwaters of the Scottish Highlands you’d be blissfully free of all the intersectional identity politics nonsense afflicting the United States. And you’d be wrong. The headline over the weekend in The Scotsman (the New York Times of the north country) ran: “Scottish cricket board resigns amid damning racism report.” Maybe The Scotsman is written by the New York Times, given the content of »

Annals of Government Dentistry

Featured image Socialized medicine has long been a chief goal of the Democratic Party, but it is hard to understand why anyone would voluntarily entrust his family’s health care to the tender mercies of any government, even the most benign. We have tracked the United Kingdom’s experience with socialized medicine in our “Annals of Government Medicine” series, and I wrote here about the current crisis in British dentistry: nine out of ten »

Letter from London

Featured image LONDON—There’s an upside of arriving in London right in time for a record-breaking heat wave that was pathetic by California standards. It only lasted two days, and temps are already back to normal, whereas every Californian will tell you that any self-respecting heat wave lasts at least five days. In any case, 104 degrees yesterday meant that I got more time to spend in pubs quaffing cold local brews, which »

On Boris Johnson’s Demise

Featured image It is usually hard to understand the politics of another country. This fact is illustrated by Boris Johnson’s resignation as Prime Minister of the U.K., more or less at the point of a sword. The offenses that ostensibly brought Johnson down were trivial, especially given that not three years ago, he led his party to their biggest victory since 1987, under Margaret Thatcher. Johnson was hounded by “Partygate.” I didn’t »

Does America Need a Queen?

Featured image That is what Melanie Phillips suggests in the London Times. She argues that Britain, having just completed its celebration of Elizabeth II’s 70 year reign, is united by the monarchy despite its political differences. She contrasts the situation in the U.S.: In the US, meanwhile, the jubilee has been regarded variously with wonderment, bafflement or even derision. Few Americans see below the flummery to understand why the monarchy is so »

Europe in character

Featured image As a Russian invasion of Ukraine becomes more and more likely, major European nations behave more and more in character. Britain, in its finest Churchill-Thatcher tradition, is stepping up to the plate. It just delivered anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. Germany, reverting to its traditional approach of accommodating Russian aggression to further its interests, reportedly refused Britain permission to transport the anti-tank weapons through German airspace. Germany denies doing so, but »

Biden vows to remember [with comment by Paul]

Featured image The Telegraph’s Nick Allen reports that President Biden vows to remember what they’re saying about him over in the scepter’d isle. This is how it goes: Joe Biden “will remember” comments about his mental acuity emanating from senior figures in the UK, and will “bear a grudge” against Britain, sources told the Telegraph. It came after Cabinet insiders were quoted as suggesting the US president “looked gaga” and described him »

Taking heart from Hartlepool

Featured image I hoped that the June 2016 vote in favor of Brexit might be a harbinger of the outcome in our own presidential election but feared this was wishful thinking. I was thinking — I think I was thinking — of the wave that brought Mehachem Begin to power in 1977, Margaret Thatcher in 1979, and Ronald Reagan in 1980. And so it proved to be. Reading Melanie Phillips’s long column »