Musings, Politics

On Being The U.S’ Wingman. We Don’t Care.

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 09.38.18

A very silly point of view. Britain is supposed to run after the Americans doing whatever it is they want when they want however we may feel and regardless of our doubts?

If we don’t:
“Britain, however, has degraded its position and credibility … While France is reasserting its claim to be a global power”.

What the British parliament did was in sync with what the British public want. The public may not always be right but it is folly to ignore them altogether. It’s their money that will be spent fighting wars, it’s their children/uncles/fathers who will be sent to war zones, it’s their cities that could be terrorised by bombers etc. Prestige of working alongside the U.S should never take precedence over first coming to an agreement that this is what must be done. Maybe the Prime Minister should have spent more time on propaganda before going to the MPs but I think in the end the decision not to back a Syrian attack at this point was the correct one. It may well not be the correct one when the full facts are in. We remember Iraq. France doesn’t because it wasn’t there. France was in Libya and Mali. But those countries are not Iraq and Syria and are not in the Middle East.

Good luck to France being the wingman who jumps when the U.S barks.

Books, Culture, Musings

Loving Britain

There are few things that make one feel so smug about one’s country as reading something wonderful about her even though the praise has nothing to do with what one has done.

“The virtues possessed by the British people possessed in a higher degree than most other people, excepting only a few of the smaller nations, like the Swiss and the Dutch, were independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, non-interference with one’s neighbour and tolerance of the different and queer …”

The Road to Serfdom, Frederich August von Hayek (1944) contrasting British liberalism against German autocracy

Musings

Horse meat or horseshit, we can’t tell anymore!

I really could do with a Byron beef burger right now. Horseburger. Beef, horse, beef, horse, I mean beef burger! Lord knows what is packaged in our food in Britain anymore. The hunt for cheaper and cheaper things but higher and higher profits is driving regard for truth, integrity and quality to hell. It simply isn’t possible for everything to get cheaper while at the same time we all get richer and companies make even more profits. More profits can only arise if people spend more and/or prices rise and people will only spend more if they earn more (or get more in debt) but if prices rise then things are not getting cheaper and if people earn more then profits are constrained. Simple economics; without higher productivity, something has to give. Next we thought we were buying spring water but it was actually purified passed water. Of course, there is no public health risk for afterall it’s full of vitamins 🙂
Musings, Politics

A Peculiarly English Crisis

Every few years the people of this mighty island known as the British Isles have an identity crisis. The Scots want out, the Welsh want in and the English are completely befuddled as to their ancestry. The Celts were here first but as I understand it then came the continentals – Normans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Romans i.e. virtually everyone from continental Europe. This is the ancestry the English deplore because, “We have a special relationship with America”. Our renegade political reprobates otherwise known as the Tories (the Republicans of the realm) will rather Britain go its own way, a Colossus bestriding the planet. These behemoths of paleolithic-era thoughtfulness are still  holding court in 1945. We have just won the war (with our comrades the Soviet Union and the US) and we sit on the UN security council. Germany doesn’t. Ha, ha!

Screen shot 2013-01-17 at 19.25.48

So who needs basket case Europe? Aren’t they those meddlesome continentals who can’t organise a Tea Party in Boston but want to define a sausage in several hundred pages of inane regulation? Every  Tory Prime Minister carries this cross: what then to do with the elephant next door. It’s big and we can’t deport it Down Under. “Ditch it”, cry the croaking faithful. And so we get David Camern, who kind of tries but can’t quite do it. Instead he plans a “whittled down” role for Britain whatever that means – that’s his vision. From a man who is short vision, that’s pretty bold.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/world/europe/cameron-to-outline-a-recast-european-role-for-britain.html?ref=global-home

I expect the next PM to reverse course. We are the 2nd or 3rd largest economy in Europe. 50% of our trade (providing the foreign exchange we need to import all the things we love to buy and that our businesses need) is with Europe. One key attraction of London as a financial centre is that it’s in Europe and inside the European Union. London provides a shield for companies who want to be in Europe but would rather comply with English than French or German law. America’s identity is turning increasingly Hispanic and America’s priority now is China. What planet are these Tories on? Yes, reform the bloated EU bureaucracy and let’s work together to change their ridiculous policy making but a whittled down role for Britain is pure fantasy. That’s like a bird wanting nothing more to do with the sky because it rained on it.