David Cameron Gets a New Punchline
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  • “Nobody other than the Lib Dems ever really thinks about the House of Lords, even in the UK. Gilbert and Sullivan got it right when they celebrated the irrelevance of the UK’s upper house in Iolanthe: the House of Lords does nothing in particular — and does it very well. But to argue that because that useless appendage isn’t elected, Britain compares with a country that routinely stifles all political dissent and currently shoots its citizens down like dogs in the street is buncombe and poppycock.”

    No argument there (from me anyway). But then that’s just what’s made Righteous British Dissent so loveable and cuddly through God knows how many decades. It doesn’t matter whether you call them lefties, radicals, peaceniks, appeasers, isolationists, vegetarians, anti-monarchists, etc. Whatever else these folks may disagree about or be unsure of, they KNOW, by god (lower case “g” – by now most of them being what can best be described as post-Christian Protestants) – I mean they KNOW where Tyranny has her seat: why, the British establishment! As for other world security-threatening tyrants from foreign parts, show me ONE (they’ll demand) that hasn’t been either directly or indirectly installed, or else unduly provoked, by British imperialists. Who are at least as busy as Yanks and Israelis at undermining the peace, freedom and security of the world.

    Really, I’m surprised the Righteous British Left takes such a condescending view of America. Were they to link up with some of OUR more isolationistic (and other) Anglophobes – why, together they might prove a formidable force for world instability. The LaRoucheans might be a good place to start . . .

  • LarryD

    Speaking of G&S, from the Mikado:

    “The idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone, All centuries but this and every country but his own.”

    James Taranto on the oikophobia of the cognitive elite.

  • Kris

    “Tim Farron, who likened British democracy to Syrian tyranny on the grounds that the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, is not democratically elected.”

    My parents didn’t raise my allowance! They’re Nazis!

  • @ LarryD:

    Read the Taranto article. FASCINATING. “Oikophobe” is as accurate a term as any I’ve found for highminded British dissent – perhaps best summed up as “My country? Must be wrong.” The British historian A J P Taylor also had a good word for them : “The Trouble Makers” was the title of his book on the “Dissenting” tradition in British foreign policy (http://www.amazon.com/Trouble-Makers-Dissent-Foreign-1792%C2%961939/dp/0571243231). And Taylor was no hostile witness by any means.

    I also like the way Taranto describes how many American “oiks” measure their “superpatriotism” by the degree of their allegiance to a collection of abstractions rather than to some beastly actual country. Now imagine if their British counterparts were to step down from their pedestal of righteous disdain for everything American: the two sides might actually find they have loads in common. All the more reason to keep them locked in mutual prejudice and distrust, and so as far apart as possible. That way, maybe Western civilization has a chance of holding on for another century or two.

  • Corlyss

    “The PM may have a new punch line this week thanks to Lib Dem party president Tim Farron, who likened British democracy to Syrian tyranny on the grounds that the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, is not democratically elected.”

    More language abuse. When people abuse language like that, they seriously damage the ability of their audience to think clearly about the issue.

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