United Kingdom

A Heartwarming Headline

Featured image It comes from the U.K., via the London Times: “Ministers quietly abandon ‘green crap’ as focus shifts to food security.” The threat of starvation, like the prospect of hanging, concentrates the mind: Boris Johnson has scaled back plans to rewild the country as the government retreats from the green agenda to focus on the cost-of-living crisis. Ministers last year announced a post-Brexit scheme that would pay farmers up to £800 »

England’s Amber Heard

Featured image Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee–70 years on the throne. After a lifetime of integrity and faithful service, the queen is naturally popular. Current surveys have Elizabeth at 81% favorable and 12% unfavorable. One wonders who the 12% are–IRA terrorists, maybe? Of the royal family, Prince William and Duchess Catherine score next at 74/10. Prince Andrew is the least popular royal, with a 5% approval rating. I don’t think »

Only the Woke Need Apply [Updated]

Featured image From the Telegraph, a story that sums up much that is wrong with the West. Calvin Robinson has been studying at Oxford for the last two years to become an Anglican priest. Robinson was scheduled to begin a curacy at a parish in London, but the post was denied him and he was told the church did not have a role for him. Why? Mr Robinson submitted a subject access »

Will 2022 see a return of covid-driven sports cancellations?

Featured image I believe it’s a been a good while since we’ve seen important sports contests in America cancelled or postponed due to the Wuhan coronavirus. The Washington Nationals were unable to play the opening couple of games in April 2021 because a fair number of players were covid infected. Around the same time, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was unable to participate in the NCCA men’s basketball tournament for the same reason. »

Biden Offends Brits on Brexit

Featured image The G7 meeting in Cornwall is just now breaking up, with world leaders contributing the usual positive spin. But Joe Biden struck a discordant note by taking up Barack Obama’s anti-Brexit position, even though Brexit is plainly, now, a reality. Nile Gardiner reports in the Telegraph: The revelation that the Biden administration issued a “demarche” or diplomatic dressing down to the British government last week over its handling of the »

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 »

The Cancer of Wokism Takes a Hit

Featured image I wrote yesterday about the Labour Party’s crushing defeats in Great Britain’s by-elections and council elections. As you would expect, post mortems are being written, this one by Rakib Ehsan in the London Times: “Labour’s embrace of racialised politics will lead to more electoral disasters.” Last night showed yet again that large swathes of the country are sick of being treated with patronising condescension by Labour politicians and student activists. »

Tories Romping in U.K.

Featured image Elections are underway in the United Kingdom, by-elections and council elections that could be analogized to off-year races in the U.S. They are significant in part because they are the first U.K. elections since 2019. The London Times reports: The initial results from the UK’s first elections since 2019 paint a rosy picture for the Conservative Party. They have taken Hartlepool from Labour and held the mayoralty in Tees Valley, »

On Race, Britain Leads the Way

Featured image The Black Lives Matter movement has roiled the U.K., just as it has the U.S. In response, Boris Johnson’s British government established a Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which issued its report today. One can only imagine what such a report, commissioned by the Biden administration, would look like. Happily, Britain’s commission, staffed mostly by minorities, has gone in a more sensible direction. I haven’t yet seen the complete »

Who Will Stand Up To the Chinese and Russians?

Featured image It is early days, obviously, but nevertheless it is reasonable to expect the Biden administration to return to the passive posture of weakness and international retreat, including, at times, outright anti-Americanism, that characterized the Obama years. With both Russia and, especially, China resurgent, is there anyone else who can stand in their way? Actually, there may be. Foreign Policy has a surprisingly (to me) optimistic assessment of the strategic situation »

Tiers For Fears

Featured image Like most of Europe, the United Kingdom has struggled with the coronavirus. Its government, driven initially by ridiculously inflated estimates by British “experts” of the damage the virus would do, has ordered one shutdown after another, using the notorious “tier” system. London and southeastern Britain were designated “Tier 4” for the holiday season, meaning, in theory, a virtually complete lockdown. Not surprisingly, none of this has worked. Last Wednesday, guest »

A Modest Proposal to Help Drain the Swamp

Featured image Quite a few years ago, one of my law partners was prominent in the Democratic Party. This was the good old days, when most Democrats were mainstream Americans. He wrote an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, arguing that we should disperse federal agencies around the country rather than centralizing them in Washington. The Department of Agriculture might be in Des Moines, the FTC in Denver, the FDA in Charleston, »

1984 Comes to Britain

Featured image In Great Britain, extraordinary measures are being taken to ensure compliance with a nationwide shutdown order. From Breitbart: Humberside Police in northern England has built a website for citizens to inform on their neighbours for violating the government’s rules on daily exercise and social distancing. You can only go for one walk a day. If you go out twice, you can be reported to the police. People’s worst instincts are »

Free Speech Under Fire in the UK

Featured image Current cultural and political developments in the U.S. are so weird that I tend to assume we must be unique. But not so: in the United Kingdom, too, “wokeness” operates as an explicit threat to freedom. The situation is even worse there than here, in fact. The London Times reports: Police have been urged to rewrite the rules on hate crime after a judge likened a force to the Gestapo »

Nigel Farage looks back

Featured image Hail Brittania! As of midnight, out of the European Union and free at last. Nigel Farage made himself a key player in the uprising against Britain’s membership in the European Union as a member of the European Parliament since 1999 and past leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party. In the video below he takes us on an entertaining tour of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on his last there »

Rotherham and Race

Featured image You probably remember the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal that came to light several years ago. Investigations have been ongoing since then, and one just-completed inquiry has made headlines in Great Britain. This is from the London Times: “Rotherham police chief: we ignored sex abuse of children.” A senior police officer admitted that his force ignored the sexual abuse of girls by Pakistani grooming gangs for decades because it was »

Prince Harry’s pursuit of happiness

Featured image My thoughts about Prince Harry and his wife apparently abandoning the royal family aren’t as insightful or as nuanced as those expressed by John in his outstanding post about the matter. As I see it, no one should feel obligated to participate in the British monarchy, and certainly not in a non-starring role. My argument isn’t that one’s desire for happiness trumps one’s obligations. Few doctrines are more dangerous. My »