United Kingdom

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 »

The Way We Live Now, Monarchy Edition

Featured image The number one story in the news in Great Britain (and a major story around the world) is the apparent abandonment of the Royal Family by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The story obviously has a strong personal element, but it also strikes me as emblematic of our time. The British monarchy is not just ancient, but profoundly old-fashioned. It is »

Trump’s Foreign Policy, Through British Eyes

Featured image The London Times has an interview with Ben Wallace, Great Britain’s Defense Secretary, that offers a good perspective on American foreign policy under the Trump administration. It is interesting, in particular, to contrast the reporter’s editorializing with what Wallace actually says: Britain must prepare to fight wars without America, the defence secretary has warned, amid concerns that President Donald Trump will pursue an ever more isolationist foreign policy. Isolationist? I’m »

Why Trump Will Cruise to Victory Next Year

Featured image Britain’s Sun newspaper comments on a new report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. The Sun’s focus is Britain, but the report is highly relevant to the U.S. as well: BRITAIN’s economy has defied forecasts predicting it would be overtaken by France as a new report reveals we have cemented sixth place in the world. And by 2034 the UK’s economy is now predicted to be a quarter »

It’s Only Democracy If They Win

Featured image Tonight there was a rather large demonstration against Boris Johnson and the Tories in central London, I believe near Downing Street. Of course, Johnson hasn’t done anything since yesterday to justify the angry demonstration. Basically, the leftists were protesting the fact that they lost the election. Any outcome other than a left-wing victory is, to them, unacceptable. It looked very much like a similar demonstration in the U.S. of the »

Boris blasts off

Featured image Boris Johnson has won a smashing victory in the British parliamentary elections. As of this morning, the Tories have secured some 364 seats and, based on that number, a parliamentary majority of 78. The Tories picked up 47 seats in the election. The vile Jeremy Corbyn led the Labour Party to an ignominious defeat. Labour has come away with 203 seats. Two hundred three seats is 203 too many for »