Tag Archives: britain

And you thought confidence in the American government has fallen?

The latest edition of Prime Minister’s questions may spell the end, not just for the current leadership of the Labour and Conservative Parties, but of British parliamentary democracy as a whole.

Meanwhile, the Royal Governour of Canada may suspsend Parliament, as the Canadians are insisting on the inclusion a party that calls for the dismemberment of Canada in the Canadian government.

Why British Muslims are more likely to be terrorists than American Muslims

The Miami Herald notes an interest question: why, when America is a greater enemy of al Qaeda than Britain, do most al Qaeda attacks target the Crown and not the Constitution?

Some reasons are straight-forward:

The United States is geographically more separate from the Middle East, the home of Islamic fundamentalism. Beyond that, especially since 9/11, the nation has cracked down on both travel and new-resident visas, making it harder for terrorists from outside to get into the country.

But there’s this important one too:

”The Islamic population in the United States is better assimilated into the general population, whereas here, in Germany, in France, they’re very much on the outside looking in,” he said. “When people get disaffected, sadly, there’s not much loyalty to country in that sort of situation.”

Sadly, a fifth column of multiculturalists will do their best to roll back the integration of American Muslims.

When al Qaeda becomes fashionable on college campuses, the multiculturalists will be to blame many times over.

Terror Doctors

No one should be surprised that several of the (latest) British terrorists are highly educated Muslims. Two years ago, a respected special ed teacher was one of the 7-7 bombers.

While we disagree with Osama bin Laden’s goal of “civilizational apartheid,” it nonetheless may be wise to minimize the globe’s commerce with the Arab world while pushing as much humiliating feedback to her as possible.

Modern Islam is Radical Islam,” indeed. This is the fault of a deeply sick Arab world that we must do our best to transform into something human.

British Election Blogging

The BBC feed is fascinating (hat-tip Drudge).

Among other thoughts

  • They speak better English than the Brits on The Office
  • Computer animations — actually pretty effective
  • BBC interviewers can be jerks to government officials.

    “Your government did it!”
    “All other parties supported us!”
    “So it’s their fault, not yours, eh?”

  • Making all the candidates for a seat stand in a line while the results are read seems petty
  • The George Bush parody was high-larious. Best quotes: “Tony Blair and Charley Brown are going to sock it to the King’s men!” and “It’s like the United States of Britainland over here!”
  • The Official Monster Raving Loony Party is a real party with real candidates.
  • Lib-Dems are trying to decapitate the entire Conservative Shadow Cabinet. Good luck Lib-Dems!

Geogreen Labour to Embrace Nuclear Power

Blair planning revival of nuclear power,” by Roland Gribben, Telegraph, 3 May 2005, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2005/05/03/cnucp03.xml&menuId=242&sSheet=/money/2005/05/03/ixcity.html (from Tim Worstall through macroblog).

After Tony Blair wins reelection, one of his biggest plans is to increase British use of nuclear power

Downing Street policy advisers, with Mr Blair’s blessing, have been taking the lead in encouraging major industrial users, including chemical companies, glassmakers and brickmakers, and investment bankers to start discussions on building atomic plants in anticipation of a post-election change in energy policy.

One senior Government adviser has advanced the case for nuclear power accounting for 35pc of electricity generation, against 23pc currently. It could fall, on present trends, to a projected 4pc in 2020 when all but one of the early plants will have been mothballed.

The reasons given are both geostrategic and green — a perfect marriage of the two movements

While nuclear power hardly figured in the Labour manifesto, Mr Blair, briefly shadow energy secretary before he became party leader, has been signalling his support for a revival of the industry because it offers a ‘clean’ route to help meet targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Mr Blair and his advisers recognise there will be considerable problems in “selling” the rebirth of nuclear power to the public, hence the emphasis on “environmental benefits”. The need for security of supply and “protection” against the rapidly rising cost of energy is also one of the points being made by pro-nuclear advocates.

Britain gets it. China gets it. France — which gets 70% of its energy from atomic energy plants — also gets it. We should too.

Friedman: Vote Labour

Sizzle, Yes, but Beef, Too,” by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 22 April 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/22/opinion/22friedman.html.

Earlier, I wrote why the British should vote against the Conservative Party. Tom Friedman explains why the British should vote for Blair.

New York Times columnists are not allowed to endorse U.S. presidential candidates. Only the editorial page does that. But in checking the columnist rule book, I couldn’t find any ban on endorsing a candidate for prime minister of Britain. So I’m officially rooting for Tony Blair.

I’ve never met Mr. Blair. But reading the British press, it strikes me that he’s not much loved by Fleet Street. He’s not much loved by the left wing of his own Labor Party either, and he certainly doesn’t have any supporters on the Conservative benches. Yet he seems to be heading for re-election to a third term on May 5.

Indeed, I believe that history will rank Mr. Blair as one of the most important British prime ministers ever – both for what he has accomplished at home and for what he has dared to do abroad. There is much the U.S. Democratic Party could learn from Mr. Blair.

  • Because of Blair’s political bravery in supporting the Iraq War

In deciding to throw in Britain’s lot with President Bush on the Iraq war, Mr. Blair not only defied the overwhelming antiwar sentiment of his own party, but public opinion in Britain generally. “Blair risked complete self-immolation on a principle,” noted Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute, a pro-Democratic U.S. think tank.

Remember, in the darkest hours of the Iraq drama, when things were looking disastrous (and there have been many such hours), Mr. Bush could always count on the embrace of his own party and the U.S. conservative media machine and think tanks.

Tony Blair, by contrast, dined alone. He had no real support group to fall back on. I’m not even sure his wife supported him on the Iraq war. (I know the feeling!) Nevertheless, Mr. Blair took a principled position to depose Saddam and keep Britain tightly aligned with America. He did so, among other reasons, because he believed that the advance of freedom and the defeat of fascism – whether Islamo-fascism or Nazi fascism – were quintessential and indispensable “liberal” foreign policy goals.

  • Because of Blair’s expansion of globalization

The other very real thing Mr. Blair has done is to get the Labor Party in Britain to firmly embrace the free market and globalization – sometimes kicking and screaming. He has reconfigured Labor politics around a set of policies designed to get the most out of globalization and privatization for British workers, while cushioning the harshest side effects, rather than trying to hold onto bankrupt Socialist ideas or wallowing in the knee-jerk antiglobalism of the reactionary left.

  • Because of Blair’s conservative fiscal policies

And these improvements, which still have a way to go, have all been accomplished so far with few tax increases. The vibrant British economy and welfare-to-work programs have, in turn, resulted in the lowest unemployment in Britain in 30 years. This has led to higher tax receipts and helped the government pay down its national debt. This, in turn, has saved money on both interest and welfare benefits – money that has been plowed back into services, The Financial Times explained.

  • Because Blair will be a good lesson for the American Tory Democrat Party

Along the way, he has deftly eviscerated the Conservatives, leaving them with only their most fringe policies – another reason American Democrats could learn a lot from him. Their own ambivalence toward globalization and the new New Deal our country needs to make more Americans educated and employable in a world without walls, and their own ambivalence toward muscular diplomacy, cost Democrats just enough votes in the American center to allow a mistake-prone Bush team to squeak by in 2004. So if Mr. Blair does win in the U.K., I sure hope that Democrats in the U.S. are taking notes.

As Tom Friedman says, vote Labour.

No is Non

Blair hints at a possible U-turn on EU Constitution referendum,” Reuters, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1081522.cms, 19 April 2005 (from Pundita through ZenPundit).

Remember when I said

The important news: French intrasigence may save Tony Blair’s political career. Tony Blair has promised a vote on the new treaty, which is deepy unpopular in Britain. Losing a vote of that importance would seriously harm Blair’s credibility. Further, if the other countries vote yes, Britain may be asked to leave the European Union.

However, a French no vote gives everyone cover. Great news!

tdaxp: right again

Prime Minister Tony Blair indicated on Monday for the first time that Britain might shelve plans to hold a referendum on the European Union Constitution if France rejects the treaty next month. Blair’s Labour government, fighting for re-election on May 5, has until now been adamant it will call a vote on the charter in 2006 regardless of plebiscite results elsewhere in the EU.

As fears of a French ‘no’ vote grow, polls show Blair would be very hard-pressed to convince traditionally euro-sceptic Britons to back the treaty.

Most commentators say a ‘no’ vote in Britain could end the pro-European Blair’s career as premier.

Asked on Monday whether he would call a referendum even if France had voted against the charter, Blair said: “You can’t have a vote on nothing.”

The French to Save Tony Blair?

French opposition to EU treaty intensifies,” by John Lichfield, Independent, 4 April 2005, http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=626136 (From Democratic Underground).

The European Union is not the European union that France wanted. It is not the Future France wanted to create. Given that, it is not too surprising that the French are now euroskeptics

Hostility to the European Union constitution is hardening in France, despite increasingly desperate attempts by government and opposition leaders to rescue the collapsing “yes” vote before the referendum next month.

An opinion poll published yesterday showed that 55 per cent of French voters who had reached a decision were likely to reject the proposed new EU treaty in the vote on 29 May.

Worryingly for the “yes” camp, the latest survey – the sixth in a row to predict a “no” vote – shows an erosion of support for the treaty on the centre-right and a hardening of attitudes on the left.

Even when bribes are thrown in…

Senior political figures admit privately it may be impossible to turn around the extraordinary momentum gained by the no vote over the past three weeks. Efforts by the centre-right government last week to bribe public sector workers with an inflation-linked pay rise have had no immediate impact. Neither have dire warnings from President Jacques Chirac and others that a no would plunge European and French domestic politics into deep crisis. He will make his first major contribution to the campaign in a live television debate on Thursday

The new treaty or Constitution is, basically, stupid. It frightens a lot of people by giving the transnational European Union a lot of vague powers (which worries Britain) and vague talk about free markets (which worries that French). In America we would sign the treaty and ignore it, but the Euros take things more seriously.

The important news: French intrasigence may save Tony Blair’s political career. Tony Blair has promised a vote on the new treaty, which is deepy unpopular in Britain. Losing a vote of that importance would seriously harm Blair’s credibility. Further, if the other countries vote yes, Britain may be asked to leave the European Union.

However, a French no vote gives everyone cover. Great news!

Kommunist Krauts?

Still Giving Orders,” by Andrew Stuttaford, The Corner, http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/05_01_09_corner-archive.asp#050310, 15 January 2005.

Andrew Stuttaford has quotes a piece from Haaretz on the Nazi armband (this one’s for you, Joh)

“German politicians have called for a Europe-wide ban on Nazi insignia after Britain’s Prince Harry caused outrage by wearing a swastika armband and Nazi regalia at a fancy dress party… Markus Soeder, general secretary of Germany’s Christian Socialist Union opposition conservative party told the paper: “In a Europe grounded in peace and freedom there should be no place for Nazi symbols. They should be banned throughout Europe, as they are with good reason in Germany.” Soeder also urged the German government to push for a more balanced history program in British schools.”

No word yet on whether those German politicians, who seem to have a thing or two to learn about free speech, would support a Europe-wide ban on Communist insignia.

I wonder why not.

Old Europe: Anti-Speech? Of course. Anti-Jew? Typically. Anti-Communist?