the longstanding tradition of representative monarchy as constitutionally practiced by the independent peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the other Realms of the Crown Commonwealth is continuously threatened by the unrelenting regressive forces around them, that left unchallenged will cause the venerable institution of monarchy, the most splendid form of constitutional government to have evolved on this Earth, to degenerate into a pathetic shadow of its former glory and inevitably or suddenly wither away; AND WHEREAS
a defeat for monarchy and for the people in any one Realm, is a defeat for monarchy and for all our peoples in all our Realms, we do hereby mutually proclaim therefore that any further acts of disloyalty carried out against our peoples as represented by their Sovereign, or any further encroachment by the political elite on their residual powers of State, or any further attempts to undermine the legitimacy, independence and dignity of their office, shall no longer be tolerated with gradualist abandonment, but fought vigilantly and honourably with dutiful obligation, bound by our undying affection, loyal devotion and true allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.
...Commissioning the New
Click here to return to the new Monarchist: The Monarchist 2.0
Decommissioning the Old...
Right. I'm tired of this here old blog. It's slow, it's clunky, it's partially inoperable. It's difficult to get in and make repairs. The html is all in longhand because I'm not a website design wizzard. I'm sick of the red lines and the sidebar buttons that won't open. Too much colour. Too little simplicity. Not enough elegance. Must take advantage of the accelerated design features of Beta. Besides, it's been almost two years now. I think it's high time we decommission T.M. and bring in version 2.0. What d'ya say? Should we throw the baby out with the bath water?
Mark Steyn writes
: "If Pinochet is guilty then so is Her Majesty the Queen."
75th Anniversary of the Statute of Westminster
Today is the 75th anniversary of the Statute of Westminster
(sometimes referred to as the Treaty of Westminster outside the UK, though it was not in the form of a treaty), which came into effect on December 11, 1931.
The Statute is of historical importance because it effectively marked the independence of the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the Irish Free State and Newfoundland. Its current relevance is that it sets the basis for the continuing constitutional relationship between the Commonwealth Realms and the structure of the British Crown:And whereas it is meet and proper to set out by way of preamble to this Act that, inasmuch as the Crown is the symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and as they are united by a common allegiance to the Crown, it would be in accord with the established constitutional position of all the members of the Commonwealth in relation to one another that any alteration in the law touching the Succession to the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles shall hereafter require the assent as well of the Parliaments of all the Dominions as of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Most interestingly, on April 17, 2003, when Tony O’Donohue took Her Majesty to court
over certain provisions of the Act of Settlement, 1701
, on the grounds that they discriminate against Roman Catholics, and are in violation of the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
, Justice Rouleau ruled the case not justiciable:
The impugned positions of the Act of Settlement are an integral part of the rules of succession that govern the selection of the monarch of Great Britain. By virtue of our constitutional structure whereby Canada is united under the Crown of Great Britain, the same rules of succession must apply for the selection of the King or Queen of Canada and the King or Queen of Great Britain. As stated by Prime Minister St. Laurent to the House of Commons during the debate on the bill altering the royal title:
“Her Majesty is now Queen of Canada but she is the Queen of Canada because she is Queen of the United Kingdom. . . It is not a separate office .. it is the sovereign who is recognized as the sovereign of the United Kingdom who is our Sovereign. . .” Hansard. February 3, 1953, page 1566.
These rules of succession, and the requirement that they be the same as those of Great Britain, are necessary to the proper functioning of our constitutional monarchy and, therefore, the rules are not subject to Charter scrutiny.
In the present case the court is being asked to apply the Charter not to rule on the validity of acts or decisions of the Crown, one of the branches of our government, but rather to disrupt the core of how the monarchy functions, namely the rules by which succession is determined. To do this would make the constitutional principle of Union under the British Crown together with other Commonwealth countries unworkable, would defeat a manifest intention expressed in the preamble of our Constitution, and would have the courts overstep their role in our democratic structure.
Clearly the Act of Settlement
and the Statute of Westminster
are still central pieces of British legislation that carry constitutional weight for the Crown Commonwealth and its citizen subjects. They determine the core of how the monarchy functions, a continuing symbol of our fraternal unity and allegiance. We are now independent nations - have been for 75 years - but 75 years later we are not independent from the British Crown. The sentiment is gone, but the reality persists. Either we rediscover some of that lost sentiment, or we will discover a new reality.
The Statute of Westminster, 1931
CHAPTER 4 OF THE STATUTES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM 22 GEORGE V An Act to give effect to certain resolutions passed by Imperial Conferences held in the years 1926 and 1930.
11th December, 1931 WHEREAS
the delegates to His Majesty's Governments in the United Kingdom, the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the Irish Free State and Newfoundland, at Imperial Conferences holden at Westminster in the years of our Lord nineteen hundred and twenty-six and nineteen hundred and thirty did concur in making the declarations and resolutions set forth in the Reports of the said Conferences:
And whereas it is meet and proper to set out by way of preamble to this Act that, inasmuch as the Crown is the symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and as they are united by a common allegiance to the Crown, it would be in accord with the established constitutional position of all the members of the Commonwealth in relation to one another that any alteration in the law touching the Succession to the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles shall hereafter require the assent as well of the Parliaments of all the Dominions as of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:
And whereas it is in accord with the established constitutional position that no law hereafter made by the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall extend to any of the said Dominions as part of the law of that Dominion otherwise than at the request and with the consent of that Dominion:
And whereas it is necessary for the ratifying, confirming and establishing of certain of the said declarations and resolutions of the said Conferences that a law be made and enacted in due form by authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:
And whereas the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the Irish Free State and Newfoundland have severally requested and consented to the submission of a measure to the Parliament of the United Kingdom for making such provision with regard to the matters aforesaid as is hereafter in this Act contained: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED
by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--
1. In this Act the expression "Dominion" means any of the following Dominions, that is to say, the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the Irish Free State and Newfoundland.
2. (1) The Colonial Laws Validity Act, 1865, shall not apply to any law made after the commencement of this Act by the Parliament of a Dominion.
(2) No law and no provision of any law made after the commencement of this Act by the Parliament of a Dominion shall be void or inoperative on the ground that it is repugnant to the law of England, or to the provisions of any existing or future Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, or to any order, rule, or regulation made under any such Act, and the powers of the Parliament of a Dominion shall include the power to repeal or amend any such Act, order, rule or regulation in so far as the same is part of the law of the Dominion.
3. It is hereby declared and enacted that the Parliament of a Dominion has full power to make laws having extra-territorial operation.
4. No Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the commencement of this Act shall extend or be deemed to extend, to a Dominion as part of the law of that Dominion, unless it is expressly declared in that Act that that Dominion has requested, and consented to, the enactment thereof.
5. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this Act, section seven hundred and thirty-five and seven hundred and thirty-six of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, shall be construed as though reference therein to the Legislature of a British possession did not include reference to the Parliament of a Dominion.
6. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this Act, section four of the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890 (which requires certain laws to be reserved for the signification of His Majesty's pleasure or to contain a suspending clause), and so much of section seven of that Act as requires the approval of His Majesty in Council to any rules of Court for regulating the practice and procedure of a Colonial Court of Admiralty, shall cease to have effect in any Dominion as from the commencement of this Act.
7. (1) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to apply to the repeal, amendment or alteration of the British North America Acts, 1867 to 1930, or any order, rule or regulation made thereunder.
(2) The provisions of section two of this Act shall extend to laws made by any of the Provinces of Canada and to the powers of the legislatures of such Provinces.
(3) The powers conferred by this Act upon the Parliament of Canada or upon the legislatures of the Provinces shall be restricted to the enactment of laws in relation to matters within the competence of the Parliament of Canada or of any of the legislatures of the Provinces respectively.
8. Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to confer any power to repeal or alter the Constitution or the Constitution Act of the Commonwealth of Australia or the Constitution Act of the Dominion of New Zealand otherwise than in accordance with the law existing before the commencement of this Act.
9. (1) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to authorize the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia to make laws on any matter within the authority of the States of Australia, not being a matter within the authority of the Parliament or Government of the Commonwealth of Australia.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to require the concurrence of the Parliament or Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, in any law made by the Parliament of the United Kingdom with respect to any matter within the authority of the States of Australia, not being a matter within the authority of the Parliament or Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, in any case where it would have been in accordance with the constitutional practice existing before the commencement of this Act that the Parliament of the United Kingdom should make that law without such concurrence.
(3) In the application of this Act to the Commonwealth of Australia the request and consent referred to in section four shall mean the request and consent of the Parliament and government of the Commonwealth.
10. (1) None of the following sections of this Act, that is to say, sections two, three, four, five, and six, shall extend to a Dominion to which this section applies as part of the law of that Dominion unless that section is adopted by the Parliament of the Dominion, and any Act of that Parliament adopting any section of this Act may provide that the adoption shall have effect either from the commencement of this Act or from such later date as is specified in the adopting Act.
(2) The Parliament of any such Dominion as aforesaid may at any time revoke the adoption of any section referred to in sub-section (1) of this section.
(3) The Dominions to which this section applies are the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, and Newfoundland.
11. Notwithstanding anything in the Interpretation Act, 1889, the expression "Colony" shall not, in any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the commencement of this Act, include a Dominion or any Province or State forming part of a Dominion.
12. This Act may be cited as the Statute of Westminster, 1931.
Blogger 2.0 has arrived
This was a Christmas present in the making, knowing that Google now has the honour to be our most humble and obedient server, after teaming up with Blogger. T.M. has been converted over to Blogger Beta from Blogger, which is a significant improvement for those who have tried it. When I made the switch, I didn't realize at the time that all our scribes would have to make the change too, so my apologies for the inconvenience. All I ask is that when following your invite to Beta, please make sure to keep your "display name" as is (in all lower case letters). Thank you.
Have to beat Beaverbrook with this....
A painting by Churchill entitled View of Tinherir
in honour of George Marshall and the cooperation between Britain and America has been revealed to the world, and is expected to fetch US$500,000
It was painted in 1951 and is being sold at Sotheby's by Kitty Winn, granddaughter of US General George Marshall, to whom Churchill gave the painting as a gift in 1953 as a symbol of Anglo-American solidarity and has remained in the family since, explaining the fact no one was aware of it apparently.
"With such an amazing provenance - it was given to one of the most historic
families - it's all the more remarkable that it was missed," said Ms Thomas.
It was in Morocco in 1943 that Churchill first met General Marshall who he came to revere as "the last great American."
Ms Thomas said: "Churchill took up painting very late. He saw it as a hobby, he
didn't see himself as a professional painter. It was something that he really
"Most importantly, he found relief from all the pressures of
his work in his painting. It was quite a therapeutic act. He would paint while
mulling over speeches and decisions.
Two other paintings by Churchill were recently sold for more than £300,000 each at auction with this one going under the hammer at Sotheby's in London tomorrow.
Chinese Activists Salute PM Harper
I've written before of my regard for Harper's principled stand against fascist regimes in support of his country's values. Here is what Chinese activists in Canada have said:
Announcement in Response to Canadian PM Harper's Statement
On November 15, Prime Minister Steven Harper spoke about his private meeting with China's President Hu Jintao. He said "I don't think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values -- our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights ... They don't want us to sell that out to the almighty dollar.'' Harper's stand on not selling out on human rights is progressive and courageous. We wish to express our support and admiration.
The Chinese government, attempts to utilize its economic strength to convince other countries that they should change their attitude. In fact, some countries have given up their condemnation of China's human rights situation in exchange for lucrative business contracts.
China, with its huge economic force and population, has been identified by more and more progressive politicians as a potential threat to world peace. China often works in solidarity with other totalitarian countries to oppose the democratic world. It is vital that all freedom-loving nations unite against China.
Ironically, it was Canada's Liberal Government in the 1990s who initially developed the policy of separating human rights from trade in order to help China resolve its diplomatic troubles due to the Tian'anmen Square Massacre. But now, the Chinese Government tries to claim that trade and human rights are linked in an attempt to influence the Canadian Government's foreign policy. In fact, China is trading with Canada more than ever before.
The Prime Minister holds a minority government. Therefore, it is truly a brave stand that it has taken. Harper must tolerate a great deal of pressure from Canadian industrial and commercial groups. We call upon all Canadians to support Harper's appeal for human rights to be linked with trade in China.
Federation for a Democratic China, Canada
Commonwealth takes action, UN does nothing
That didn't take long. The 53 member nation British Commonwealth has just suspended Fiji
following the bloodless coup there a couple of days ago that ousted the sitting prime minister, highlighting once again the superiority of the Commonwealth over the United Nations as an effective world organization.
I'm assuming it's business as usual over at the UN, where thug and semi-thug states hold a majority in the General Assembly. No doubt they're pleased to welcome in another to their esteemed ranks. Her Majesty's Commonwealth, on the other hand, is not so pleased, and is proving a useful instrument of promoting (and defending
) Commonwealth values of democracy, development and good constitutional government. The Commonwealth's track record may not be perfect, but it has something of a record in this regard.
Long live the Commonwealth!
David Warren shares a charming story of his youth: Christmas in England
Official US acknowledgment of British help in Iraq
I've been scanning through the Iraq Study Group Report
and found the following salute to the British on page 32 which I thought I'd share:
"The United Kingdom has dedicated an extraordinary amount of resources to Iraq and has made great sacrifices. In addition to 7,200 troops, the United Kingdom has a substantial diplomatic presence, particularly in Basra and the Iraqi southeast. The United Kingdom has been an active and key player at every stage of Iraq's political development. U.K. officials told us that they remain committed to working for stability in Iraq, and will reduce their commitment of troops and resources in response to the situation on the ground."
Yes, there's more where that came from. Here are the Durham Monarchists
The Oxford Monarchists
Gentlemen, to the ancient prestige of Oxford
and the Oxford Union
, we add the Oxford Monarchists
: My thanks to their Prefect, Mathew Allen, for sending me this link.
The Queen's English losing Queen's Accent
Must be a slow day for the scribes. The Associated Press is reporting
that the Queen's tone is losing its aristocratic edge, according to a speech expert who has studied Her Majesty's pronouncements over the past more than 50 years:
London — The Queen sounds more like her subjects than she did a half century ago, when she first assumed her royal “dutays,” according to an academic study released Monday.
“In 1952 she would have been heard referring to “thet men in the bleck het.” Now it would be ‘that man in the black hat,”' said Jonathan Harrington, professor of phonetics at the University of Munich, who conducted the study.
“Similarly, she would have spoken of the “citay” and “dutay,” rather than “citee” and “dutee,” and “hame” rather than ‘home.' In the 1950s she would have been “lorst,” but by the 1970s this became ‘lost.”' Mr. Harrington said the Queen is unique in having a good quality archive of recordings for every year since 1952, in similar formal settings.
“It means that we can monitor sound changes without having to worry about the influence of speaking styles,” he said.
The changes in her speech, he said, probably were not a conscious attempt to come closer to her subjects.
“One of the principal changes that has happened in the English community is that the accent now sounds slightly less aristocratic than it did 50 years ago.
“This is to do with the fact that 50 years ago there was a much more demarcated class structure.
“Of course, in the 1960s and the 1970s there was something of a collapse in the rigidity of that class structure and this was also reflected in the change of accent.”
Her Majesty's Loyal Oppositions
Her Majesty received two new ("loyal") opposition leaders over the weekend, one in the Great White North, and one in the Great Down Under.
Canada's Liberal Party once again chooses a Quebecker (though very much the anti-establishment candidate) to lead them, one Stephane Dion
who holds uncertain prospects against Stephen Harper in the months ahead. On the flip side of the planet, Australia's Labor picked Kevin Rudd
over Kim Beazley to take on John Howard in the next election down there.
Add to this the fact that John Key just took over the opposition reigns in New Zealand, and that the untraditionalist David Cameron is just barely a year through his tenure as opposition leader, and you get to wondering about the future of the monarchy. Just who are these people? Just how loyal are they?
The man from Helensville to do battle in Helengrad
So John Key
and Bill English
, new leader and deputy of New Zealand's National Party, are to do battle against Helen Clark. Key, having assumed the mantle of the Party on November 27, has just announced his shadow cabinet
[By the way, what the hell is this: "Pansy Wong gets ACC and Ethnic Affairs." Ethnic Affairs??
The inevitable question being: who is this man? The article in Wikipedia is pretty thin gruel
. We are told that he is more centrist than gentleman Don Brash
, particular on social issues, which would possibly indicate a better showing in places like Auckland and Wellington. But to what degree would we see a hollowing out of conservatism to bridge the Kiwi urban-rural divide?
Is he, I don't know, a monarchist? A supporter of New Zealand's traditional flag? This doesn't sound good: The "Political Correctness Eradication role, established by Brash, has been "eradicated", said Key." The man from Helensville may have Helen shaking in her boots, but how about us? Should we be shaking too?
I'll be checking in from time to time to hear what our Kiwi readers have to say.
Thomas Courchene believes
Sir John A
would not be surprised on the asymmetrical development of Canada.
On the quality of magnificence, a gentleman does not count the cost
Ode to a knight. David Warren pays homage
to a gentleman, pioneer journalist Larry Henderson
, who was the face of CBC television in the 1950s, and who on the uncompromising issues of the day, was a man as great in stature and decency as George Grant.
I admire the introductory wisdom of the article: "As Aristotle taught us, writing on the quality of magnificence, a gentleman does not count the cost." You could extend this to the magnificence of an institution, and apply it against the bellyachers who whine that the monarchy costs too much. By all means cut the government down to size, but when it comes to the Crown we should spend lavishly. The majesty of the Crown, not the welfare of the government, should be the centre of national life. On the quality of our magnificent country, citizen subjects should not count the cost.
Winston Churchill turns 132
Well, he would have. Today is his birthday. My thoughts are here.
A "nation" of stranded colonists
I knew it was only a matter of time before I'd get to quote Colby Cosh
"I don't know anymore what the majority of Canada's intellectuals think they mean by "nation," though they're very clear on what it doesn't mean, and they'll set themselves on fire rather than concede that a French-Canadian might belong to any nation other than, or along with, Canada. I think I understand the true source of their anger. French Canada's claims to nationhood on genetic, historical, and cultural grounds are very strong indeed--arguably stronger than China's, for instance, and much stronger than the Ukraine's. To be an English Canadian, by contrast, is to be a stranded colonist, floating untethered on the plane of human varieties. Our ties of continuity with the past were cut in the hope that the French would cooperate and drift toward us; it is indeed terrible to contemplate the betrayal of that hope and our consequent state
--so terrible, in fact, that Coyne can write that "[Quebeckers] have as much or more in common with other Canadians as they do with each other" and not even recognize that he has been driven totally round the bend by horror vacui
I have to admit, that whole "community of communities" thing is looking better every minute. (And if we promise to be on our best behaviour, can we please have "Dominion of Canada" back?)"
Democracy does not unite us
I knew the Australian republicans would take all but one day to respond to this
. But how, pray tell, does democracy unite us, as Greg Barns absurdly insists
in The Melbourne Age
this morning? Elections are inherently divisive affairs that bring out policy differences and political disagreements between opposing camps, all of which inevitably results in a fractious parliament.
By all means oppose the monarchy and follow your freedom to dissent, but spare us the transparently ridiculous assertion that democracy, warts and all, unites us. It just doesn't. And it never could.
Remember that 80s song, who shot the sheriff? Well who shot Musharraf? Accept defeat by Taliban, Pakistan tells Nato
....Nato to Pakistan: Say again, over?
The height of Parliamentarianism
Although he has come out against monarchy in the past, I'm really glad to see that Mader Blog understands
the distinguishing features of the British parliamentary system:
A Parliamentary party is a collection of MPs who, on balance, support a common platform. A government is a ministry; it is a body of MPs who advise the executive as to the administration of the nation (ahem). It is necessary that all members of a government vote in for that government; it would be inconsistent for a member of the government to vote against the government of which he or she was a member. When a conflict of principles arises - as really ought to arise far more frequently than it appears to - the appropriate action for a minister is to resign from government and withdraw to the back benches. There is no shame in such an action; on the contrary, it is the very height of Parliamentarianism.
Rather than vote against the Government of Canada (of which he was a member) on its parliamentary motion recognizing the Quebecois as a nation within a united Canada, Michael Chong, the former minister of intergovernmental affairs, did the honourable thing and resigned in order to abstain on the issue. He resigned on the principle that while he was still loyal to his leader and his party, he was loyal first to his country, and in all good conscience could not vote on a matter that gave recognition to an ethnic nation. It's moments like this that we can tell the difference between politician and parliamentarian. A politician is a populist, a man of the people. A parliamentarian is a man of honour.
That being said, Michael Chong is probably making too much of the issue, just as I had done earlier before understanding the finer points of the resolution. The government and parliament were not recognizing the province of Quebec as a nation, nor were they recognzing all Quebeckers. They were clearly recognizing only the French speakers of that province, les Quebecois
, the ancestors of the first settlers of New France. Yes this is recognizing ethnicity, but it is no different from recognition of the other First Nations of Canada, such as the Cree, the Huron or the N'isga. So Canada lives. In all its tribalistic glory.
Islamic sharia law is gaining foothold in Britain
According to this article in today's Telegraph
, a Somali working in Britain as a youth worker told a BBC radio 4 programme that
he felt more bound by the traditional law of his birth than by the laws of his adopted country. "Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law," he said. "It's not sharia, it's not religious — it's just a cultural thing."
Not British culture of course, which is where this is taking place. So much for people coming to Britain out of respect for its culture and traditions, including that of English Common Law that was adopted by so many all over the world, now a barrister warns that "there would be a formal network of Muslim courts within a decade."
At the same time as the UK unravels at the seams, Tony Blair has written to a black community newspaper, New Nation
, that Britain's role in the slave trade was "shameful." Next year is the bicentenary of Britain's abolition of the slave trade, when it used its Royal Navy to actively fight the practice, and according to Blair: ‘[T]he bicentenary offers us a chance not just to say how profoundly shameful the slave trade was, but also to express our deep sorrow that it ever happened.’As Iraq continues to become more and more chaotic, and the management of the NHS back in England become more a fi\ocus of concern, it is reassuring to know that Blair is against a practice that was abolished nearly 200 years ago. By the way, I remember when he had also 'reflected' on the deaths caused by the Irish Potato Famine whatever that meant...
The heart has reasons that reason cannot know
Australia's Professor David Flint, the head of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, is coming out with a new book on the Queen (Her Majesty at 80
), and one I will certainly look forward to acquiring once it's available. He is the leading public proponent in Australia for maintaining our shared Commonwealth sovereign, and so we naturally are honoured that he has noticed and commented on this blog in the past.
Tony Abbott, staunch monarchist and a minister in John Howard's government, reviews the book and concurs that the case for monarchy is strong
, but much less frequently put as republicanism "as it relies on instincts that are deeply felt but not easy to justify in a relentlessly utilitarian age":
"The very idea of the monarchy offends people accustomed to think in aggressive slogans. It's "foreign", although that has never been held against other institutions to which great deference is offered (such as the United Nations). It's shared with other countries, but so is our language and no one (so far) wants to change that. It's hereditary (like looks, intelligence, aptitudes and even property). It embodies irksome notions of allegiance, duty and hierarchy (as if any society can exist without them)...
At the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne this year, young Harry White paid the Queen a simple but heartfelt 80th birthday tribute: "You have been the glue that held us all together in good times and bad times. The love and great affection that we all hold for you is spread across one-third of the world's population."
The monarchy is profoundly at odds with the spirit of this age (and gloriously impervious to the fads of all times), which is why contemporary intellectuals are republicans almost to a man and woman...[still] monarchy is unlikely to disappear while human beings retain their respect for order, continuity, ceremony and that which summons us to be our best selves."
China and India poised to conquer the world
That's the claim made by the former head of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn. He warns that it will come before we know it and will radically alter the shape of our world. The West will have to get used to a world where the Chinese and Indians call the shots. It won't be pretty
Wealthy countries were failing to understand the impact of the invevitable growth of the two Asian powerhouses, Wolfensohn said in the 2006 Wallace Wurth Memorial Lecture at the University of New South Wales at the weekend.
"It's a world that is going to be in the hands of these countries which we now call developing," said Australian-born Wolfensohn, who held the top job at the global development bank for a decade until last year. Rich nations needed to try to capitalise on the inevitable emergence of what would become the engine of the world's economic activity before it was too late, he said.
"Most people in the rich countries don't really look at what's happening in these large developing countries," said Wolfensohn, who is now chairman of Citigroup International Advisory Board and his own investment and advisory firm.
Within 25 years, the combined gross domestic products of China and India would exceed those of the Group of Seven wealthy nations, he said.
"This is not a trivial advance, this is a monumental advance."
United we stand...
The DisUnited Kingdom
SPEAKING OF NATIONAL UNITY: The United Kingdom should be broken up
and Scotland and England set free as independent nations, according to a huge number of voters on both sides of the border.
A clear majority of people in both England and Scotland are in favour of full independence for Scotland, an ICM opinion poll for The Sunday Telegraph has found. Independence is backed by 52 per cent of Scots while an astonishing 59 per cent of English voters want Scotland to go it alone.
There is also further evidence of rising English nationalism with support for the establishment of an English parliament hitting an historic high of 68 per cent amongst English voters. Almost half – 48 per cent – also want complete independence for England, divorcing itself from Wales and Northern Ireland as well. Scottish voters also back an English breakaway with 58 per cent supporting an English parliament with similar powers to the Scottish one. The poll comes only months before the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union between England and Scotland and will worry all three main political parties. None of them favours Scottish independence, but all have begun internal debates on the future of the constitution.
The dramatic findings came as Gordon Brown, the favourite to succeed Tony Blair as Prime Minister, delivered an impassioned defence of the Union at Labour's Scottish conference in Oban yesterday. In an attack on the Scottish National Party, against whom Labour will fight a bitter battle for control of the Edinburgh-based parliament next May, the Chancellor claimed: "We should never let the Nationalists deceive people into believing that you can break up the United Kingdom."
The ICM poll told a very different story, however, with 60 per cent of English voters complaining that higher levels of public spending per head of the population in Scotland were "unjustified", compared to 28 per cent claiming they were justified. Even among Scots, 36 per cent said the system was unfair, with only 51 per cent supporting it. Voters also had serious concerns about the so-called West Lothian Question, the ability of Scottish MPs at Westminster to vote on solely English matters while many purely Scottish issues are decided in Edinburgh. Sixty-two per cent of English voters want Scottish MPs stripped of this right and even 46 per cent of Scots agreed. The poll showed that the English are more likely to think of themselves as British than the Scots are. Only 16 per cent of English people said they were "English, not British", compared to 26 per cent of Scots who said they were "Scottish, not British." In the sporting arena, 70 per cent of English people said they would support a Scottish team playing football or rugby against a nation other than England. But, when the question was put to Scots, only 48 per cent said they would back England with 34 per cent supporting their opponents, no matter which country it was.
There was good news for David Cameron, the Conservative leader, when voters in England were asked who they would back in a general election held tomorrow. The Tories were on 37 per cent, with 31 per cent backing Labour and 23 per cent supporting the Liberal Democrats. Mr Brown said: "There is a debate to be had about the future of the United Kingdom. But I think when you look at the arguments — at the family ties, the economic connections, the shared values, the history of our relationship which has lasted 300 years — people will decide we are stronger together and weaker apart." Mr Cameron said: "The union between England, Scotland and Wales is good for us all and we are stronger together than we are apart. The last thing we need is yet another parliament with separate elections and more politicians spending more money." Sir Menzies Campbell, the Lib Dem leader, called for a "calm rational debate" on the role of MPs from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at Westminster. "The last thing we need is knee-jerk opportunistic political responses." Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, said: "In England, people quite rightly resent Scottish Labour MPs bossing them about on English domestic legislation. England has as much right to self government as Scotland does."
Strong, United, Independent and Free
My my, maybe we should call this Tipping Point
, for Walsingham believes Harper has just saved the country
, by tipping confederation back to first principles and its original intent:
"I think you should all pay a little heed to Splendor Sine Occasu: he's the only one on target
on this whole thread.
Harper has done nothing more than turn the implacable reality of the Quebec situation into a major lever of execution of his strategy (and it is a true and brilliant "blue ocean" strategy folks - go hit the business literature if you don't know what that means...) Contrary to the allusions of some on this thread, that strategy is all about a vision of Canada that is firmly rooted in clear principles. That that vision is so different from the Trudeau-esque one that has been accepted dogma in this country for forty years must be what is keeping people confused.
As Splendor says, Harper sees Canada as a confederation - and in many respects, as a rather loose one. He is deadly earnest about keeping Ottawa out of the provinces' hair on every matter that is not squarely the prerogative of the federal government. He is, equally earnest about his focus on those core areas of federal jurisdiction, and about keeping them under the exclusive federal purview. In all respects, this vision is 180 degrees opposed to the one that Liberals and Conservatives alike have cleaved to since... well, since almost forever. But it just happens to represent the only basis on which the continued existence of Canada is possible. And it is no accident that it took a Westerner as PM to see it.
The fundamental reality is this: to a large degree, the characteristics and interests of various parts of the country are mutually irreconcible, and the opposing forces are moving toward a critical point in a way they never have before. To the permanent and very real "separateness" of Quebec and the Quebecois we can now add the accelerating shift of the economic centre of gravity in Canada from Montreal-Toronto westward to Calgary-Vancouver. Those two realities cannot long coexist within Canada without some significant change in the political-structural foundations of the country. The only workable such change is the "devolutionism" which defines the Harper vision and strategy. Make no mistake folks: far from destroying Canada, Mr. Harper is doing the only thing possible to save it. Of course, the shape of the country that results will be different from the one we have been accustomed to, but get over it. Who was it that said, "facts can be difficult things?"
So call Quebec a "nation". More to the point, let them call themselves a nation. Let them call themselves a ham sandwich if they so desire. Ditto Alberta and everybody else. The confederalist structure will give everybody a lot of leeway. But none of this leeway will compromise the meaningful integrity of the country, because Mr. Harper has drawn a clear line in the sand. The wall around the areas of federal focus: international relations, defence and security, and basic economic policy; is now higher than ever. Whatever anybody thinks "nation" ought to mean in the context of this resolution, they will find out what it does not mean, at least in Mr. Harper's mind, if they attempt to breach that wall.
The important point in Harper's resolution was not the "nation" bit but the "within a united Canada" bit. It is entirely that latter part which is definitive in the whole thing.
The leeway which the move to a confederalist structure will create either will be, or it will not be, sufficient to satisfy Quebeckers. But the only possible further step for them is outright separation. Harper has made that more clear than ever before, which is precisely why Duceppe reacted so awkwardly in the immediate aftermath. Initially he was furious that, in a sense, the bluff had been called. Subsequently, he said, alright, separation it is. Whether Quebeckers as a whole will agree is another story - and he knows it."POSTED BY WALSINGHAM
Ooogh! Cootchie, cootchie, cootchie!
In an opinion piece that had me laughing in my seat, Gerald Warner tells David Cameron to remove the soother from his mouth
on his first birthday as leader of the Conservatives. Ooogh! Cootchie, cootchie, cootchie! mocks Warner of the Baby King.
Also, be sure to read his Tory view
on the unbridled libertarianism of Milton Friedman and his anarcho-capitalist son, David. This is a far cry from the swooning raves we heard earlier in the week.
The incomparable Mark Steyn weighs in
at the New Cultural Forum on the cultural defeat of Britain and Europe. I read this blog quite frequently, as it is right up our ally:
"In the last quarter of the 20th century, the Right decisively won the important economic arguments. At the same time, few would demur from the view that in the so-called Culture Wars, the Left were ultimately victorious. More and more are dissatisfied with the effects of political correctness and cultural relativism."
And that ladies, is why The Monarchist exists. Save our heritage. Defend our values. Preserve our way of life.
The greatest speech of the 20th century
I'll be waxing Churchill for the next several weeks as I populate this blog with all the man's great speeches and quotes.
There are many speeches of the last century that I would characterize as "great", and all of Churchill's certainly were. But the three greatest in my opinion were all spoken within a month of each other, at the moment Britain was being written off as a chicken about to get its neck wrung. Even many of those closest to Churchill (Lord Halifax anyone), thought the situation hopeless, but Churchill gave them a backbone, first with Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat
(our second runner up) in May 1940 that laid out Victory as the only honourable policy; followed by We Shall Fight on the Beaches
on June 4th during the retreat at Dunkirk, when Winston was at his defiant best (first runner up); and finally Their Finest Hour
on June 18th, as France capitulated leaving Britain alone and isolated against the Nazi menace:
"What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour." "
One Kingdom under God
Canada died yesterday. She was 139 years old.
The longstanding confederated fact that Canada is one nation, that the people of Canada constitute a nation in their own right, is no more. The entire political class stuck a dagger through the heart of that belief yesterday with their treacherous lining up behind the prime minister’s motion to move that “Quebeckers are a nation inside a united Canada”. By the government’s own admission, Canada is a state, but no longer a nation.
Oh, sure the prime minister confounded the Quebec sovereigntists in Parliament yesterday, and denied them the opportunity to corner federalists on their own motion to recognize Quebec as a nation without so much as a mention of Canada. And yes he saved the opposition Liberals from imploding over the issue, threw a lifeline to the embattled Quebec premier, united the federalists and bolstered the Conservative’s flagging fortunes in la belle province in a brilliant masterstroke of political strategy that won him a standing ovation in the House of Commons from all parties except le Bloc Quebecois
, not to mention wide applause from the country’s ink stained wretches. Oh, goodie. Wankfest galore. Nobody plays triangulation better than Stephen Harper, but what does it profit a man to gain the world and
lose his country?
First to the idiot savant who started this mess. Michael Ignatieff is Harper’s dream opponent, not because he shares a special affinity for the Americans and supported the Iraq War, but because Lord Iggy is a political klutz. The man comes waltzing in here fresh from thirty years of living in his ivory tower at Cambridge and Harvard, and opportunistically lunges for the altar of the Liberal Party of Canada (Mark Steyn said it was like watching a classical pianist at the burlesque) by recklessly wooing Quebec nationalists and promising to speak for those who believe that “Quebec is my nation, Canada is my country”. We just barely survived thirty years of constitutional wrangling and gnashing of teeth, only to have this wise fool promise us more. It was a stink bomb that needed to be contained. Harper, sensing danger for his Quebec caucus and the country at large, struck at the right moment to neutralize the separatist menace. (But did it? Just wait for the demands that a nation means special rights…) What rankles more than anything is to see Iggy all smiles with the press now, applauding Harper for following his leadership on the issue! Actually, Ig, Harper was going in for the kill. And the kill is you, come next election, but first he had to save you from losing the Liberal leadership.
But the damage has been done. Andrew Coyne believes we are headed for Belgiumhood now. What’s worse, we may be headed towards what Churchill called a House of Many Mansions, a direct reference to Europe during the Second World War when Hitler and his odious goose-stepping Gustapo were busy stamping out the Mansions all over Europe. But whereas Europe is now trying to make the House stronger than its Mansions, the reverse is happening in Canada.
There may be a way out of this nonsense, but it would take a little imagination, something beyond that six letter hoser of a word: C eh, N eh, D eh (Okay, three letters and three ehs). We might say that “nation” has never done justice to the idea of Canada, that the complexities of this country require a new word to describe who we are. A country that is predominantly British, French and American, one that Andrew Coyne calls “polyethnic, multilingual and transcontinental”, instead of that dreaded and divisive multicultural notion. For what we need is not something that segregates, differentiates, separates and alienates us, but a word that binds us together in loyalty and allegiance to the whole. Dominion was good in its day, Churchill’s “Great Dominion” even better, but I’m thinking of something less imperial and more federal in a way that still honours our former majesty. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Thy Kingdom Come to this glorious and free land we call Canada!
Gentleman Don resigns
Well, New Zealand reports sad news, Dr. Don Brash has announced that he would step down as leader of the National Party, effective from Monday when a caucus meeting will elect a new leader. This is a real shame. Dr Brash was a breath of fresh air and a very clever man. It looks like the left have won again and we have lost a good man.
Dr Brash transformed National into a respected, potent and feared Opposition after it took a record drubbing in the 2002 election. He came within a sniff of winning the 2005 election, and would have won if Clark did not illegally spend over $800,000 of taxpayers money.
It's a total shame Dr Brash has resigned. He might not have been the "perfect politician" but his honesty and genuine concern for New Zealand would have made him a remarkable leader for this country. The media and all those small-minded dimwits creating scandals from nothing should be ashamed of themselves. I sincerely hope Helen Mugabe and her Welfare party are ousted next election
If Don Brash feels he has to resign then I think half of the Labour government should as well. If they are caught out they now legislate to make it legal. How come Benson Pope does not resign? What about Taito Philip Field?
Don Brash gets called a bigot, accused of only being interested in taking care of the interests of the wealthy, and of pandering to agenda of extremists. Why? For being an effective Leader of the Opposition and pushing alternative policies than the Government with the intention of making New Zealand better for all New Zealanders.
New Zealanders make a mockery of the entire concept of Democracy. Democracy is supposedly a system whereby citizens of a country make and informed decision on who is best to run the country. Personality should have nothing to do with the issue. Dr Brash is a highly educated man with a comprehensive knowledge of what makes an economy successful, the fact that he has some personal imperfections only makes him human. Apparently it is okay to be a homosexual, transvestite or any other 'special interest group' but heaven forbid you are just a normal bloke who (supposedly) flirts with another woman. As for the Exclusive Brethren - what have they actually done wrong? Would you all kick and scream so much if he had met with Muslims? Or Jews?
It seems that John Key will be the next leader, with a recent Auckland poll showing Key only 1.4 points behind Brash. Dr Brash's decision came with the Nationals ahead in the poll. The decision has left the party in crisis, set for their fifth leader in 9 years.
I have personally always favoured Dr Brash to Keys, Brash was a Gentlemen, a last of his breed and Dr Brash was always unfailingly courteous.
Gentlemen, it sadly looks like Helen Clark and the rest of her cronies have forced a great leader from Prime Ministeralship contention.
There goes a man of honour. Even in his resignation statement he stands up for the rights of the man responsible for the final nail.
But, to paraphrase the words of Voltaire, though I utterly reject Mr Hager's view of the National Party and of me, I defend his right to hold those views, and to publicise them.
Dr Brash would have made an excellent Prime Minister. Having the intellectual capacity to understand that people are entitled to hold different views. Unlike the current regime.
John Key will be the next leader of the opposition and good luck to him. He can expect all sorts of shit to be flung at him. But I think we can safely expect a National rise in the polls from here. It may not be sustained but unless New Zealanders have completely lost their sense of fair play they will realise that a very good man has been done down unfairly today.
B-P on Churchill
From Baden-Powell, Indian Memories, 1915. Chapter III. The Sport of Kings and the King of Sports:
The inter-regimental polo tournament is the great event of the year for all regiments in India, and on one occasion it was held at Meerut while my regiment was stationed there. All the teams visiting the place for the occasion naturally made use of our mess, and we formed a very large and happy family. On the night after the final tie had been decided, we had a grand dinner to signalise the event. The health of the winning team was drunk collectively and individually with all honours, and each member of it in turn tendered his thanks to the assembled company. Then the winning team proposed the health of the losers, and they naturally returned their thanks in a similar way, and proceeded to propose the toast of the runners-up, and so it went on during the greater part of the evening until every team in the place had had its health proposed, and speeches had been made without number, all harping on the one topic of polo.
When all was over and a sigh of relief was going round, there suddenly sprang to his feet one of the members of the 4th Hussars' team, who said: "Now, gentleman, you would probably like to hear me address you on the subject of polo!" It was Mr. Winston Churchill. Naturally there were cries of: "No, we don't! Sit down!" and so on, but disregarding all their objections, with a genial smile he proceeded to discourse on the subject, and before long all opposition dropped as his honeyed words flowed upon their ears, and in a short time he was hard at it expounding the beauties and the possibilities of this wonderful game. He proceeded to show how it was not merely the finest game in the world but the most noble and soul-inspiring contest in the whole universe, and having made his point he wound up with a peroration which brought us all cheering to our feet.
When the cheering and applause had died down one in authority arose and gave voice to the feelings of all when he said: "Well, that is enough of Winston for this evening," and the orator was taken in hand by some lusty subalterns and placed underneath an overturned sofa upon which two of the heaviest were then seated, with orders not to allow him out for the rest of the evening. But very soon afterwards he appeared emerging from beneath the angle of the arm of the sofa, explaining: "It is no use sitting upon me, for I'm india-rubber," and he popped up serenely and took his place once more in the world and the amusement that was going on around him. I have often remembered the incident on occasions since then when in politics or elsewhere he has given proof of his statement.
Other incidents followed on that cheerful evening, such as polo pony races over jumps made up of furniture round the billiard room, and a musical ride on camels in the ante-room, but none of them made such an impression on my memory as did the first great speech of the future First Lord.
Churchill on B-P
"B. - P. ", Winston S. Churchill, Great Contemporaries, London, 1938
THE THREE most famous generals I have known in my life won no great battles over the foreign foe. Yet their names, which all begin with a B, are household words. They are General Booth, General Botha and General Baden-Powell. To General Booth we owe the Salvation Army; to General Botha, United South Africa; and to General Baden-Powell, the Boy Scout Movement.
In this uncertain world one cannot be sure of much. But it seems probable that one or two hundred years hence, or it may be more, these three monuments that we have seen set up in our lifetime will still proclaim the fame of their founders, not in the silent testimony of bronze or stone, but as institutions guiding and shaping the lives and thoughts of men.
I remember well the first time I saw the hero of this article, now Lord Baden-Powell. I had gone with my regimental team to play in the Cavalry Cup at Meerut. There was a great gathering of the sporting and social circles of the British Army in India. In the evening an amateur vaudeville entertainment was given to a large company. The feature of this was a sprightly song and dance by an officer of the garrison, attired in the brilliant uniform of an Austrian Hussar, and an attractive lady. Sitting as a young lieutenant in the stalls, I was struck by the quality of the performance, which certainly would have held its own on the boards of any of our music-halls. I was told:
"That's B.-P. An amazing man! He won the Kader Cup, has seen lots of active service. They think no end of him as a rising soldier; but fancy a senior officer kicking his legs up like that before a lot of subalterns!"
I was fortunate in making the acquaintance of this versatile celebrity before the polo tournament was over.
Three years passed before I met him again. The scene and the occasion were very different. Lord Roberts' army had just entered Pretoria, and General Baden-Powell, who had been relieved in Mafeking after a siege of 217 days, was riding in two or three hundred miles from the Western Transvaal to report to the Commander-in-Chief. I thought I would interview him on behalf of the Morning Post and get a first-hand account of his famous defense.
We rode together for at least an hour, and once he got talking he was magnificent. I was thrilled by the tale, and he enjoyed the telling of it. I cannot remember the details but my telegram must have filled the best part of a column. Before dispatching it I submitted to him. He read it with concentrated attention and some signs of embarrassment, but when he had finished he handed it back to me, saying with a smile, "Talking to you is like talking to a phonograph." I was rather pleased with it, too.
In those days B.-P.'s fame as a soldier eclipsed almost all popular reputations. The other B.P, the British Public, looked upon him as the outstanding hero of the War. Even those who disapproved of the War, and derided the triumphs of large, organized armies over the Boer farmers, could not forbear to cheer the long, spirited, tenacious defense of Mafeking by barely eight hundred men against a beleaguering force ten or twelve times their numbers.
No one had ever believed Mafeking could hold out half as long. A dozen times, as the siege dragged on, the watching nation had emerged from apprehension and despondency into renewed hope, and had been again cast down. Millions who could not follow closely or accurately the main events of the War looked day after day in the papers for the fortunes of Mafeking, and when finally the news of its relief was flashed throughout the world, the streets of London became impassable, and the floods of sterling cockney patriotism were released in such a deluge of unbridled, delirious, childish joy as was never witnessed again until Armistice Night, 1918. Nay, perhaps the famous Mafeking night holds the record.
Then the crowds were untouched by the ravages of war. They rejoiced with the light-hearted frenzy of the spectators of a great sporting event. In 1918 thankfulness and a sense of deliverance overpowered exultation. All bore in their hearts the marks of what they had gone through. There were too many ghosts about the streets after Armageddon.
One wondered why B.-P. seemed to drop out of the military hierarchy after the South African War was over. He held distinguished minor appointments; but all the substantial and key positions were parceled out among men whose achievements were unknown outside military circles, and whose names had never received the meed of popular applause.
There is no doubt that Whitehall resented the disproportionate acclamation which the masses had bestowed upon a single figure. Was there not something "theatrical", "unprofessional" in a personality which evoked the uninstructed enthusiasms of the man-in-the-street? Versatility is always distrusted in the Services. The voice of detraction and professional jealousy spoke of him as Harley Street would speak of the undoubted cures wrought by a quack. At any rate, the bright fruition of fortune and success was soon obscured by a chilly fog through which indeed the sun still shone, but with a dim and baffled ray.
The caprices of fortune are incalculable, her methods inscrutable. Sometimes when she scowls most spitefully, she is preparing her most dazzling gifts. How lucky for B.-P. that he was not in the early years of the century taken into the central swim of military affairs, and absorbed in all those arduous and secret preparations which ultimately enabled the British Expeditionary Army to deploy for battle at Mons!
How lucky for him, and how lucky for us all! To this he owes his perennially revivifying fame, his opportunity for high personal service of the most enduring character; and to this we owe an institution and an inspiration, characteristic of the essence of British genius, and uniting in a bond of comradeship the youth not only of the English-speaking world, but of almost every land and people under the sun.
It was in 1907 that B.-P. held his first camp for boys to learn the lore of the backwoods and the discipline of Scout life. Twenty-one boys of every class from the East End of London, from Eton and Harrow, pitched their little tents on Brownsea Island in Dorsetshire. From this modest beginning sprang the world-wide movement of Boy Scouts and girl guides, constantly renewing itself as the years pass, and now well over two million strong.
In 1908 the Chief Scout, as he called himself, published his book, Scouting for Boys. It appealed to all the sense of adventure and love of open-air life which is so strong in youth. But beyond this it stirred those sentiments of knightly chivalry, of playing the game - any game - earnest or fun - hard and fairly, which constitute the most important part of the British system of education.
Success was immediate and far-reaching. The simple uniform, khaki shorts and a shirt - within the range of the poorest - was founded upon that of General Baden-Powell's old corps, the South African Constabulary. The hat was the famous hat with the flat brim and pinched top which he had worn at Mafeking. The motto "Be Prepared" was founded on his initials. Almost immediately we saw at holiday times on the roads of Britain little troops and patrols of Boy Scouts, big and small, staff in hand, trudging forward hopefully, pushing their little handcart with their kit and camping gear towards the woodlands and parklands which their exemplary conduct speedily threw open to them. Forthwith there twinkled the camp fires of a vast new army whose ranks will never be empty, and whose march will never be ended while red blood courses in the veins of youth.
It is difficult to exaggerate the moral and mental health which our nation has derived from this profound and simple conception. In those bygone days the motto "Be Prepared" had a special meaning for our country. Those who looked to the coming of a great war welcomed the awakening of British boyhood. But no one, even the most resolute pacifist, could be offended; for the movement was not militaristic in character, and even the sourest, crabbiest critic saw in it a way of letting off youthful steam.
The success of the Scout movement led to its imitation in many countries, notably in Germany. There, too, the little troops began to march along the roads already trampled by the legions.
The Great War swept across the world. Boy Scouts played their part. Their keen eyes were added to the watchers along the coasts; and in the air raids we saw the spectacle of children of twelve and fourteen performing with perfect coolness and composure the useful functions assigned to them in the streets and public offices.
Many venerable, famous institutions and systems long honoured by men perished in the storm; but the Boy Scout Movement survived. It survived not only the War, but the numbing reactions of the aftermath. While so many elements in the life and spirit of the victorious nations seemed to be lost in stupor, it flourished and grew increasingly. Its motto gathers new national significance as the years unfold upon our island. It speaks to every heart its message of duty and honor: "Be Prepared" to stand up faithfully for Right and Truth, however the winds may blow.
Tories take on Churchill
The Guardian (sigh) reports today
that Cameron is being urged to ditch Churchill for Polly Toynbee. In a paper being published today, Greg Clark, 'a shadow minister and confidant of the Tory leader' writes:
The traditional Conservative vision of welfare as a safety net encompasses another outdated Tory nostrum - that poverty is absolute, not relative.
Churchill's safety net is at the bottom: holding people at subsistence level, just above the abyss of hunger and homelessness. It is the social commentator Polly Toynbee who supplies imagery that is more appropriate for Conservative social policy in the twenty first century.
Canada's most important relationship?
In decrying Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's brave and principled stand against Chinese fascism, Thomas d'Aquino, president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said: "The facts and the realities are these: If we continue down this road, we will seriously damage one of the most important relationships we have; we will render useless our voice and influence in effecting change in China."
Question: Who seriously considers the views of Canada?! The fact that this individual considers Canada's most important relationship to be with not the US or the mother country or the Commonwealth, or Europe but a country that spits on the values Canadians fought and died for is a disgrace.
Churchill takes on Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld is a guy the media loves to hate (not without some justification), so when the great pile-on happened two weeks ago, it seemed the best thing to do was just to ignore it. However, in announcing his resignation as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld paraphrased Winston Churchill
, and the Churchill Centre -- those scholars charged with the special duty to guard and preserve his legacy for future generations -- is none too happy about it. The Centre's editor offers the correct version of the quotation, as well as advice for other politicians who might choose to quote Churchill:
Dateline Washington, 8 November 2006. Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush's Secretary of Defense who resigned after the November election, has been "controversial" (to put it mildly) since things in Iraq started to go bad. When things were going better, in 2003 with coalition forces sweeping into Baghdad, the media doted on his every quip.
A strong admirer of Churchill, Rumsfeld has quoted him on many occasions lately, getting only into more hot water. In late August Rumsfeld said that his detractors reminded him of Hitler's appeasers: "Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last." New York Times critic Frank Rich shot back on September 3rd: "He can quote Churchill all he wants, but if he wants to self-righteously use [sic] that argument to smear others, the record shows that Mr. Rumsfeld cozied up to the crocodile of Baghdad as smarmily as anyone."
In his departure remarks at the White House on October 9th Rumsfeld said, “I call to mind the words of Winston Churchill, who said something like this: ‘I have benefited greatly from criticism and at no time have I suffered a lack thereof.’” The Secretary quite properly admitted he was not quoting verbatim. The actual quotation is: "I have derived continued benefit from criticism at all periods of my life and I do not remember any time when I was ever short of it." (House of Commons, 27 November 1914).
Anorak, a British website "keeping tabs on the tabloids," took that up with a Churchill reference of its own: "As another wartime leader of old might have put it, he came, he saw, he almost conquered but lacked a viable and speedy exit strategy." Anorak referred to Churchill's comment on General Charles Monro, who took command of British forces at Gallipoli in October 1915 and supervised their evacuation: "General Monro was an officer of swift decision. He came, he saw, he capitulated." (The World Crisis II, 489).
We could have provided Donald Rumsfeld with much more pointed remarks:
"We do not resent the well-meant criticism of any man who wishes to win the war. We do not shrink from any fair criticism, and that is the most dangerous of all. On the contrary, we take it earnestly to heart and seek to profit by it. Criticism in the body politic is like pain in the human body. It is not pleasant, but where would the body be without it? No health or sensibility would be possible without continued correctives and warnings of pain." (House of Commons, 27 January 1940.)
And in tribute to the department he was leaving:
"I am going to do something that has never been done before, and I hope the House will not be shocked at the breach of precedent. I am going to make public a word of praise for the War Office. In all the forty years I have served in this House I have heard that Department steadily abused before, during, and after our various wars. And if my memory serves me aright I have frequently taken part in the well-merited criticism which was their lot." (House of Commons, 2 August 1944.)
We wish that Mr. Rumsfeld had come to us. We offer politicians of all persuasions a Churchillism for every occasion.
Richard M. Langworth, Editor, Finest Hour
The Churchill Centre
Archbishop of Canterbury rejects Prince Charles' multi-faith coronation proposal
Two views from The Times of India
The Church of England has asserted that it can't allow
a multi-faith coronation ceremony for Prince Charles. The clergy has invoked tradition to justify its refusal.
Charles can argue that it is his right as an individual to demand the presence of non-Christian faiths when he is initiated to the throne. Institutions, especially the spiritual ones, have the tendency to demand that individuals should bow before long-held customs, traditions and beliefs. Time is a frozen entity for them.
In the case of Britain, the tradition of the Archbishop of Canterbury
presiding over the ceremony is sanctioned by the peculiar relationship between the British Crown and the Church of England. The king of Britain is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. That's the constitutional framework that the Archbishop has mentioned to caution Charles.
Why should this relationship be viewed outside the flow of time? Charles has suggested a multi-faith coronation to connect with the new Britain which has a significant number of practising Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. A multicultural, multi-faith Britain is a young nation. The coronation of Charles will be a first in its short history. It is welcome that the would-be king recognises the newness of the country he is inheriting from his mother.
He should also be applauded, and supported, for recognising the importance of reinventing traditions to suit the changed times and socio-cultural milieu. After all, the monarchy, even if its role is ceremonial, has to appeal to all sections of the popu-lation. If a multi-faith coronation ceremony can help it, let it be so. In our troubled times, initiatives that accommodate different faiths and cultures are welcome.
History has taught us that monarchies that refuse to read the writ of time are pushed into irrelevance and oblivion. The British monarchy realised it very early, and so survived the transfer of power to the people. It is this sense of history that has helped Charles to recognise the new Britain, and seek its presence at his coronation. COUNTERVIEW
Britain's monarch, besides being the ceremonial head of state, is also head of the Church of England, and this royal tradition has been carried on for years. Britain's royalty is the past living on as fairy tale despite the present.
So it's not Charles' call to worry about Britain's candybox monarchy reflecting the changing faith-composition of the increasingly multiracial, multi-religious UK. He should leave such concerns to members of UK's demo-cratically elected administrators. Britain's sovereign is supreme governor of the Church of England, leading through persuasion rather than diktat.
Yet, so long as the monarchy as a hoary and glamorous institution of British heritage and tradition continues to exist, it makes sense for it to retain its core features that are every bit a part of Britain's rich heritage as are its moors and dales, cathedrals and castles, puddings and preserves. For what differentiates Britain's monarchy from others is that it has retained its unique institutional brand value which is also its USP as an eminently entertaining curiosity despite its ceremonial nature. And whatever would Visit Britain, the tourism authority of UK, do if Britain's monarchy the staple of all tourists who flock to this country gives in to cookie-cutter eclecticism, ceasing to defend all that it stands for, though ceremonial?
Prince Charles the individual as champion of organic food, as one who recommends talking to plants, who regularly visits gurdwaras and mosques, who wins over the hearts of Mumbai's dabbawallahs, and who takes pride in Britain embracing people from diverse origins and faiths is a charming and appropriate symbol of the wonderful nature of ideal multicultural societies.
However, as Britain's sovereign-designate, he should avoid imposing his personal identity on to that of the institution he would be expected to represent, as that would mean diluting the very nature of what has come to be Britain's prime entertainment quotient.
We need a Marshall Plan to beat the Taleban, Pakistan tells Blair
According to an article in today's Times
Mr Musharraf attacked the West's strategy in Afghanistan yesterday, and said that the task could not be achieved by military action alone. He added that only Pakistan was implementing the right strategy. He called on the West to implement a plan of billions of dollars of aid to rebuild Afghanistan, just as the US spent billions of dollars rebuilding Europe after the Second World War.
This "right strategy" seems to me to be exporting the terrorists who learn their skills in Pakistan to old Blighty and thus removing the threat of "the Taleban crossing the border to safe havens in Pakistan's largely lawless northwest provinces". For this the Pakistanis appear to be demanding the Anglo-Americans pay up roughly 10% of their combined federal budget as with the Marshall Plan...
Guardian slams Starkey
As a counterweight to this site's tribute to historian David Starkey, I would recommend a perusal of today's Guardian
which says that monarchies survive "by that liberal sprinkling of holy oil which tries to turn an accident of history into a national myth," and that historians like Starkey "should be exposers of this cheap glamour rather than its cheerleaders." What I find most offensive in this opinion piece, which goes on to illustrate how the Gurdian seems now to be little more than a conveyor of unremarkable nobody's opinions than actually analysing real issues and news, is the fact it denounces monarchists in Wales and Scotland as 'quislings.'
Andrew Cusack, in his customary gorgeous style, gushes: OLD DOMINION WILL RECEIVE HER MAJESTY
"Linchpin of the English-speaking world"
Churchillian Quote of the Week
"Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. Canada, with those relations of friendly, affectionate intimacy with the United States on the one hand and with her unswerving fidelity to the British Commonwealth and the Motherland on the other, is the link which joins together these great branches of the human family, a link which, spanning the oceans, brings the continents into their true relation and will prevent in future generations any growth of division between the proud and the happy nations of Europe and the great countries which have come into existence in the New World."
- Speech given at a luncheon in honour of Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, Mansion House, London, September 4, 1941.
England does not expect every man to destroy Great Britain
Sir Michael Caine on England
(From the Times: England Expects
“I am very, very patriotic. Don’t get me started,” he warns. He frets that his beloved England is being overlooked as the other home nations enjoy devolution. His friend Sir Sean Connery has become a cheerleader for Scottish nationalism and Sir Michael is beginning to think he’s right. “I’m a very English man. And that doesn’t mean to say I don’t like foreigners and I hate all immigrants. I’m married to an immigrant. But I am not happy at the moment. Everybody seems to be represented but the English.Sir Sean Connery on Scotland
“There’s a possibility that a Scotsman is going to rule over me. A Scotsman who comes from a constituency where my member of parliament, who I elected, has no say whatsoever...
(According to Sir Michael)
And there is an answer, given to me by my friend Sean: give Scotland its independence. Gordon Brown can be the prime minister of Scotland.”
Queen to celebrate 400th anniversary of Jamestown
The only item of interest from the Queen's Speech (her 55th) to the opening of Parliament yesterday, aside from the fact that it was another farewell to Tony moment, was this jewel of an announcement
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, will visit Jamestown in May to celebrate the historic settlement's 400th anniversary.
The queen announced the visit in a speech today launching a new session of the British Parliament.
At about the same time, President Bush released a statement welcoming the royal couple "for a state visit to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown Settlement.
"The United States and the United Kingdom enjoy an extraordinary friendship that is sustained by deep historical and cultural ties and a commitment to defend freedom around the world," Bush said.
Virginia officials coordinating the ongoing Jamestown commemoration have scheduled an America's Anniversary Weekend event on and near Jamestown May 11, 12, and 13. It will mark four centuries since Jamestown's founding as the first permanent English settlement in America.
Jamestown, the first English settlement of North America, was established in the name of His Majesty the King, James I of England.
May I present to Your Majesty, Bond. James Bond.
Fear God and maintain His Church
Oh, dear. Sir Elton John, our hitherto most Christian knight, is apparently suffering from one of his mood swings
again. The Englishman who knelt in good faith before Her Majesty not too, too many years ago, and was knighted by the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, now wants to finger God and destroy His Church. And just for good measure, all the other Churches too.
Now, this may be counter to the whole ideal of chivalry
thing, the one Charlemagne inspired with "fear God and maintain His Church". It may not be in lockstep with the first two commandments of the Knights Code
: "I. Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches, and shalt observe all its directions; II. Thou shalt defend the Church..."; but let's not be too hard on the poor chap – he probably mistook his knighthood as just the English version of a modern Emmy, or an Oscar, or an MTV music award, or some other Hollywood stimulated trinket of courtly self-love.
Another good for business, bad-tempered publicity stunt? Bollocks!
Sir John and the Hollywood establishment are chivalrous to the bone. Just look at all the causes they support, just look at their countless charities, their unstoppable efforts at protecting the weak and the defenceless. Up with Hollywood, and down with the Church!
The strange death of Tory England
"Has the most successful species in British political history finally become extinct?" What is the state of English political liberties; where is the trust in slow historical progression, the loyalty and reverence to constitutional forms? Where is the spirit of Dryden, Johnson, Swift and Pope?
Like the Jacobites of an earlier era, Geoffery Wheatcroft illuminates how traditional British conservatives have been perennially displaced and marginalised in the UK of today and into the future:
The Conservative party dominated British politics for 120 years from Disraeli's victory in 1874, culminating in an unprecedented eighteen-year spell in government after 1979. And yet at the very end of the century the Tories imploded so disastrously as to suggest the party might be doomed to follow the Liberals into oblivion...
The Strange Death of Tory England goes on to show how the gradual eclipse of military virtues and patrician ideals came to discredit Toryism, how the party tore itself apart over Europe and how it suffered from the malign influence of a quasi-intellectual New Right which held sway in the Tory press. Wheatcroft demonstrates brilliantly how two profound truths explain the Conservatives' decline: that the Right had won politically, but the Left had won culturally; and that it was possible to win the battle, but lose the argument.
Get your copy at Westminster Books
and shed a tear for England.
ANGLO-FRENCH RELATIONS IN THE DOMINION OF CANADA AND THE IMPERIAL FEDERATION MOVEMENT
“THE KEYSTONE OF THE CANADIAN NATION IS THE FRENCH FACT; the slightest knowledge of history makes this platitudinous. English-speaking Canadians who desire the survival of their nation have to co-operate with those who seek the continuance of Franco-American civilisation”.
It has been written that John Diefenbaker’s great failure as Prime Minister after the Second World War – the last period in which ‘Britishness’ was seen as central to Canadian identity – was his failure to find this milieu for co-operation with French-Canadian conservatism. Between 1958 and 1962, Diefenbaker had fifty Quebec seats behind him, and yet found no Quebecois lieutenants. While it is true that he was unfortunate in the premature death in 1960 of J.M.P. Sauvé, who could well have become the first French-Canadian Tory PM, Diefenbaker’s failure was at root systemic, not contingent. Nor is it true that this failure to engage with French Canada was simply the manifestation of indifference. He, like all other Anglo-Canadian nationalists for more than a century, failed to appreciate that their vision of a united Canada was incompatible with that of Quebec.
This is to say, that Anglo-Canadians’ vision for the Dominion was involved “one united Canada in which individuals would have equal rights irrespective of race or religion…As far as the civil rights of individuals are concerned, this is obviously an acceptable doctrine. Nevertheless, the rights of the individual do not encompass the rights of nations…The French Canadians had entered the Confederation not to protect the rights of the individual but the rights of the Nation”. For them, equal rights in the sense usually implied in British political discourse were a recipe for being swallowed up by an amèricanisme saxonisante. The fact that the rhetoric and practice of multiculturalism in modern Canada has had no concomitant tendency to diminish Quebecois nationalism is a clear indication that this is so – showing respect for the residual customs of ethnic minorities such as Ukrainians and Koreans is one things, but the French-Canadians are concerned with being a nation-within-a-nation, an ambition for which treating every citizen equally would spell disaster.
What this also reveals is that the Quebecois have always shrewdly discerned a fact of which Anglo-Saxons the world over have often been only hazily aware, if at all: that whereas the Cape Dutch, the French Canadians, and other European colonial populations whom the British absorbed into their Empire tended to have no place in their hearts but for their own communities, British colonists the world over always felt part of a far-flung global community whose spiritual centre was the British Isles. From Britain’s earliest attempts at colonisation until well into the twentieth century, millions of people in the British colonial empire who had never, and would never, visit Britain itself continued to think of the British Isles as ‘Home’, tendebant manus ripæ ulterioris amorē.Continue Reading Edward Harris - Whose Providence?POSTED BY CATO
, Edward Harris in London, England
Her Majesty today unveiled the New Zealand Memorial in London
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of New Zealand accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh has officially unveiled a memorial in Hyde Park to commemorate the long relationship between New Zealand and the United Kingdom as well as to honour New Zealand’s war dead.
The New Zealand Memorial will serve as a focus of remembrance of the shared sacrifice during the two World Wars and other military operations.
Several members of the Royal Family also attended the ceremony including Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Kent.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark were also in attendance.
The memorial known as the Southern Stand, consists of 16 cross-shaped vertical bronze pillars - each one representing a different aspect of New Zealand life and inscribed with text, patterns and sculptures.
Thirty-two veterans and over 250 Service personnel from the New Zealand Defence Forces were present at the event - the largest contingent of New Zealand forces to be seen in the UK since Her Majesty’s Coronation in 1953
The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William attended the event.
The Prince of Wales in his Royal New Zealand Air Force uniform.
Her Majesty the Queen meets her New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Maori welcoming ceremony.
Her Majesty the Queen inspecting the Royal Guard of Honour.
"The memorial is a symbol of our common heritage and of New Zealand’s distinct national identity," said Prime Minister Helen Clark in a speech.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh along with Prime Ministers Blair and Clark honour New Zealand's war dead.
The Queen greeted the 34 New Zealand veterans at the end of the ceremony.