European Union

May invokes Article 50: may our second national revolution be as glorious as the first

On 22nd January 1972, Conservative Prime Minister Ted Heath signed the Treaty of Rome, by which the process of UK accession to the EEC began. After hundreds of hours of debate in Parliament, the European Communities Act came into force on 1st January 1973. From Heath’s signature of commitment up to the time of political completion, a year passed.

And a further 44 years passed, during which time the EEC became the EC, which then morphed into the EU. Year after year of “ever closer union” forged economic governance, policy centralisation, social consolidation and judicial amalgamation. “There is no question of any erosion of essential national sovereignty,” Heath assured the British people in 1972. He was right in one sense: given a referendum in 1975, the British people gave their sovereign assent to the project. And given another another referendum 41 years later, the people took it away. If that was what Heath meant be essential sovereignty, he was right. But it was not for the want of four decades of parliamentary collusion in the sovereignty-diminishing imposition of a European ideology which is fundamentally antithetical to the concepts of the nation state and the sovereignty of the people.

On 28th March 2017, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May put her name to the letter invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which begins the process of UK secession from the EU. This will be completed at the latest by 12.30pm on 29th March 2019. From May’s signature of commitment up to the time of political completion, no more than two years may pass.

Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

It was Churchill who said that Britain must find “ties of blood, sentiment, tradition and common interest” to unite the British family of nations. Those who talk about Britain’s ‘European destiny’ have long scoffed at such talk, often overpowering rational discussion with threats of being ‘left behind’ or being handicapped in some ‘outer tier’ or ‘slow lane’ or ‘left outside’ altogether.  We are about to discover that this will not be the apocalyptic disaster the doom-merchants prophesied. Despite all the restrictions, distortions and handicaps placed by the EU on Britain’s trade with the rest of the world, the strength of Britain’s bargaining power in the forthcoming negotiations with the EU is considerable. Britain is the only net consumer of many of the Union’s surplus agricultural products, a major net importer of EU manufacturers, and one of the most important providers of fishing waters to the Common Fisheries Policy. The volume of EU exports to Britain is vast, and EU member states will not jeopardise this. Even if they wanted to, WTO rules prohibit outright trade barriers. Theresa May will dedicate the next two years of her life to a favourable re-negotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU, but ‘no deal’ would be preferable to remaining in the single market and customs union, and subject to the European Court of Justice. Sovereignty is not worth surrendering for prosperity.

This England is the Mother of Parliaments: this United Kingdom remains one of the most influential of nations of the world – a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; a leading member of the Commonwealth of Nations; and of the G7, G8, G20, NATO, the OECD, the WTO, the OSCE and the Council of Europe. No other nation in the world occupies all these positions. Britain’s historic ties, her geo-strategic position straddling the sea-lanes to four continents, and the close economic and cultural links to the great English-speaking democracies of the Atlantic and Pacific basins, all enable far wider interests and connections than simply those in and to neighbouring continental nations. By withdrawing from the EU’s ‘Little Europeanism’, we can begin once again to look to the world.

And looking to the world is a thoroughly Christian pursuit: ‘and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth‘ (Act 1:8). A sovereign and free Britain is not destined for autarky and isolation: there is nothing to stop us collaborating and cooperating bilaterally as the elected government sees fit. And if we don’t like the outcome, we can vote to change the government and the policy. No more will we be forced to ‘band together’ beneath the yoke of ‘pooled sovereignty’ and supranationalism. No more will democracy be eclipsed by bureaucratic, oligarchical economism and harmonisation. We shall be free to live once again within the borders of a sovereign nation, in accordance with God’s pattern for the kingdom of the earth, and a whole new world of opportunity and mission lies before us.

What Theresa May signed yesterday was a declaration of independence: ‘And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice‘ (Gen 22:18). Nations of the earth… He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Nation states are not anachronistic entities which anarchically agitate for dominance and power; they are God’s pattern for political authority, legal order, mutual accountability and the balancing of power. When their peoples forge constitutions of democracy and freedom, the national fabric is woven with reason, justice and peace. Sovereignty belongs to all independent states: it is absolute. When they ask tomorrow ‘Who governs Britain?’, the answer shall be: ‘The People.’ Today begins our second national revolution: may it be as glorious as the first.

  • Graham Wood

    The only response to a characteristically robust and fine comment is AMEN.

  • Paul Greenwood

    Declaration of Independence it was. It was Lord Salisbury who had a view on European entanglements that Liberals swept away in 1906 with their agenda of Imperialism and Welfare. That was the end of the British Empire and the beginning of colonization by the US through war debt and the foundation of Bolshevism and Nazism.

    Germany’s desperate need for a Pan-European home instead of Hitler’s Pan-German Europe has led them into disaster avoided by adroit men like Schmidt and Kohl and Adenauer but botched completely by Merkel whose grasp of GDR political history has brought Germany to isolation as in 1945 with US and Russia turning away and UK on point of being alienated.

    There is so much goodwill at street level and such dearth of understanding at political level where anti-democratic tendencies are rampant trying to create a world order where Corporations rule through proxies and secret courts and nations return to pre-1648 chaos like the 30 Years War of footloose populations seeking succour

  • Anton

    Brussels will stall the agreement in hope of a better deal for itself. We shall be out on March
    so that we shall be out on March 29th, 2019 or when the EU is forced to dissolve itself – whichever is the sooner.

    Would anybody in Salisbury today dance on Ted Heath’s memorial stone in the Cathedral?

    • layreader

      I think Ted Heath would be rejoicing today along with the rest of us. He never conceived of a Euro political union and, if he had seen it coming, would have been less than enthusiastic about signing us up. In 1975, it hadn’t started to appear either and the great British public signed up all over again for it. Now we know what the ultimate aim in the whole Euro-experiment was, and we’re out.
      By the way, is there anywhere in the proposed legislation that allows us to leave the Eurovision Song Contest?

      • Little Black Censored

        “He never conceived of a Euro political union…”
        He knew lot more about the real purpose of the union than he let on,and his handing over of our fisheries was a disgrace.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          He knew, without a doubt, and said so latterly…

      • IanCad

        I tend to agree, it would seem to me unlikely that he would have foreseen the metastasis of the Brussels regime. He also saw the horrors of a Europe in flames. I’m sure he thought what he did was for the best. He chose wrong but let’s give the man a break.

      • @ layreader—He never conceived of a Euro political union

        From an article, ‘Monumental deceit’, by Christopher Booker:

        …this new ‘country called Europe’ [would] finally take its place on the world stage. What we found most shocking in researching this story was that, when Britain’s leaders first considered joining the project, they were made fully aware of this hidden agenda. As we see from Cabinet papers and other documents of the early Sixties, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and his ‘Europe Minister’ Edward Heath were put completely in the picture about the secret ‘grand plan’. But in June 1961 the Cabinet formally agreed that it must not be revealed to the British people.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          This, surely, was treason…

          • @ Mrs Proudie of Barchester—Yes, the Edward Heath Fan Club only limps on because its remaining, deeply befuddled, members think he’s the band leader.

          • Merchantman

            The 1689 Bill of Rights is our ‘friend’ and this should be the Hope as developed post Brexit for all loyal Britons. This is an enormous day for the nation, but we need to fix the C of E.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Oh please … how stupid did you have to be not to see it coming? Where else could it possibly have led?

        • layreader

          What a wonderful thing is hindsight. With it, all the problems of the world are somebody else’s fault.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Hindsight? How dare you!!! I knew and said so at the time – couldn’t get people to listen to me.

    • Busy Mum

      I think that, in general, the sort of people who are glad to be out of the EU are the sort of people who would not dream of dancing on memorials.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Oh but for Mr Heath perhaps an exception could be made..?

        • IanCad

          I hope you are not contemplating doing a Cromwell on him Mrs P? Would you go so far as to dig him up, ritually execute and decapitated him; then bury him again in quicklime at the foot of a gallows?
          I’m sure you wouldn’t go so far; but, from little acorns mighty oaks do grow.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Well, as someone reminded me not long ago, the Blasted Heath was cremated, so no digging up or decapitation…but if you have seen the film ‘Shipping News’ there’s something that can be done with his ashes…

          • IanCad

            Ah! The Blasted Heath – I had forgotten that. Nothing to be done then; it’s just about time for a cup of tea and a Hobnob – or two.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Well yes, but my Lord the Bishop and I have a bottle of the Veuve awaiting, all chilled and ready for this evening…

          • Martin

            Ian, Mrs P

            Perhaps we could set light to his boat, or a replica thereof and sail it into Cadiz harbour?

        • Busy Mum

          Do not tempt us! We are at most risk when we think we are safest. There is a way to hell, even from the very gates of heaven (Bunyan).

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            I know…it was a wicked thought…but sometimes, just sometimes…

          • Busy Mum

            Wicked thoughts are common to us all, but I implore you to flee the devil.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            I assure you I have never met Mr. Blair…

          • Busy Mum

            Don’t you dare to flee should you happen to meet that traitor.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Quite right. I have advised Mrs Proudie accordingly.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Mrs Proudie.

            Heed the words of Busy Mum, and do not let thy sense of humour lead thee into transgression.

            But lest you think I am dour and devoid of humour, let me tell you of a Brooke Bond PG Tips advertisement that appeared only briefly. It featured a Chimp Captain sailing a boat named Morning Tea.

            It seems to have been pulled as a result of central pressure, maybe even a D Notice.

      • Anton

        If you want more decorum then a petition to have the stone effaced?

        • Busy Mum

          I think not, as a matter of principle. History is history – let it remain as a reminder to future generations of free (hopefully) Britons of their ancestors’ folly – it can just be ignored, allowed to crumble etc and/or become part of the city tour guide’s patter.

          • Anton

            Has Mr Heath’s story yet been told in full?

          • Busy Mum

            If not, all the more reason to leave the stone in place, for the time being, at least.

          • Anton

            We already know he committed treason…

          • Busy Mum

            Very true – but there are far too many people in this country who neither recognise the treason for what it was and/or detest treason for what it is. I referred earlier to the brainwashed youth in this country. Some serious reprogramming needs to take place, and quickly.

          • len

            Some have ventured near but there seems to be a cloak drawn over it?.

          • Anton

            The Chief Constable of Wiltshire went public on refusing to terminate his investigation despite pressure, and will reportedly publish his findings this summer. I await.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Right. ‘Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,’

        • Royinsouthwest

          That would be rather petty – the sort of thing a third world dictator would want to do, or the Taliban.

          • Anton

            I’ve not noticed the Taliban going in for petitions very much.

  • Anton

    Fog in Channel, Continent cut off.

    • len

      Thank God for the Channel.

    • IanCad

      “Looke to your moatte. The first article of an Englishman’s creed shall be, that he believeth in the sea.”
      Ist Marquess of Halifax, Rough draft of a new model at sea. 1694

      • Anton

        This fortress built by Nature for herself,
        Against infection and the hand of war,
        This happy breed of men, this little world,
        This precious stone set in the silver sea,
        Which serves it in the office of a wall,
        Or as a moat defensive to a house,
        Against the envy of less happier lands…

      • Busy Mum

        “You have accounted yourselves happy on being environed with a great ditch from all the world besides.” Cromwell, 1658

  • vsscoles

    Henry VIII cut off the original “Treaty of Rome” and Britain became the greatest and most prosperous empire on earth. Today a fresh start and a new dawn beckons, putting behind us the disastrous government since the War, and looking to a future on a world, rather than European stage.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Lest we forget: ALL BY THE GRACE OF GOD, AND FOR HIS PURPOSES..

  • john in cheshire

    How differently will history record Mrs May and Mr Cameron.

  • IanCad

    To all of you on this blog who agitated for this great day – Thank you!
    To Mrs May – First rate show – I had my doubts. Experience hath shown even the the most stalwart can go all wobbly in a hurry though.

  • TropicalAnglican

    At a church Watchnight Service here on 31 December 2015, the church leader reported seeing two visions. The first one was of explosions and of the EU Parliament House in Brussels imploding. As then PM Dave Cameron had not yet announced the Brexit referendum, presumably no one quite knew what to make of the vision. However, after the Brexit June 2016 vote for independence, the connection was made, and a description of the visions was published in the church’s July bulletin, which I received (btw, it was only after receiving this bulletin that I started looking for a pro-Brexit blog, and came across this site via Craig and Sue’s Is the BBC biased blog. I then registered in the happy expectation that the majority of regular posters would be fellow mainstream Anglicans…)

    The second vision was that of an “iron gloved fist” coming out of the USA! [the church bulletin did use an exclamation mark]. There was no elaboration, and certainly no names mentioned, but I doubt that the eventual US election results would have been a great surprise to anyone who had read the bulletin.

    I personally believe Brexit is part of God’s good plan for Britain, and that it will truly come about. Naysayers can be dismissed!

    • Richard B

      V interesting and, altho’ this in the public domain, I’d appreciate your blessing on including your report in a couple of dozen prophetic words/visions on brexit since the Millennium. This explains: https://richards-watch.org/2017/03/15/recommended-mention-in-godtv-brexit-article/#more-36230

      • TropicalAnglican

        Thanks, yes, it’s fine with me, I assume I do not have to give any further details such as the name of the church.
        Btw, a fellow church member gave me a book “The light [a novel]” by Mike Evans (TimeWorthy Books, 2011). It seems to have been based on events that actually took place. In the book, it is claimed this prophecy was made to Benjamin Netanyahu decades ago: “One day you will become the Prime Minister of Israel, not once but twice. And the second time will be the most crucial in Israel’s history.” (page 311).

        • Richard B

          ‘Ta muchly’. Will simply copy your comment with link into post I’m drafting and then later into Library. Am well aware of what Dr Evans heard, and you may like to know Wendy Alec heard similarly too (but for 3 times premiership), both of which I covered in https://richards-watch.org/2013/02/09/ps-to-wendy-alecs-prophecy-on-obama-and-on-netanyahu/

          • Sarky

            Wendy Alec??? Pity she didn’t see her husband doing a runner!!
            One of the biggest snakeoil salespeople to ever, unfortunately, grace our screens.

          • Richard B

            Experience shows wiser not to sit in personal judgement

          • Dominic Stockford

            Interesting those two Netanyahu “prophecies” – reminds me of the Dire Straits song about Hyde Park Corner – “two men say they’re Jesus, one of them’s gotta be wrong…”

          • Richard B

            I wondered whether anyone would ‘spot the difference’! It could be explained by the difference between two separate periods as PM (per Evans) and three actual terms in office (per Alec).
            Also, the first was given before Netanyahu entered politics (c 1980?)and the second followed a couple of decades later during which time political conditions change and hence need for a slight changes in premiership. After all I expect the Lord’s sovereignty is sufficiently flexible to allow for our free-will and yet bring about His purposes.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Or, we learn to set more store by God’s infallible word, and less in man’s ‘prophecies’.

          • Richard B

            Indeed it is the plumb-line for checking what’s perceived ‘as through a glass darkly’; as is the actual fulfilment of what’s received direct from our Lord. So both were, in point of fact, correct even if not 100% accurate, and I’d be very wary of sitting in judgement as He knows their hearts.

        • Richard B

          Have inserted your first part as item 10 in http://wp.me/P1Y1yB-8pW and made reference in latest post. Thank you again…

  • len

    Ted Heath signed away our democracy.One wonders what was the motivation?.
    Brexit day will reverse the process and should be a national day of celebration.

    • One wonders about the motivation of lots of our leaders from time to time. What was Blair’s motivation in allowing so many migrants into the country?

      • Anton

        According to his speechwriter Andrew Neather, to “rub the noses of the right in it” and of course for votes. Some call it treason.

        • Royinsouthwest

          In East Germany in the early 1950s there were anti-communist demonstrations. The people who supported the demonstrators were condemned by a party hack who, if he had lived in Britain today, would be condemning Brexit voters for causing hate crimes. The playwright Bertolt Brecht issued a memorable reply:

          Some party hack decreed that the people
          had lost the government’s confidence
          and could only regain it with redoubled effort.
          If that is the case, would it not be simpler,
          If the government simply dissolved the people
          And elected another?

          Tony Blair and his associates wanted another electorate.

        • I thought it was part of his aim to get some prestigiousness international job, something he failed in. Even so he made his fortune out of his time as PM by making the necessary contacts.

        • Martin

          Anton

          Most politicians put party before nation.

          • betteroffoutofit

            And self before party.

  • Busy Mum

    I do worry that this revolution is just going to lead to a short-lived Maccabean period for Britain. The two threats to this new-found independence are a)brainwashed youth and b)Islam, both of which will still be with us after 2019.

    • len

      ‘Brainwashed youth and Islam’ amount to almost the same thing.
      We shall overcome both.

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/783357/Andrew-Neil-London-Westminster-attack-monologue-BBC-terror-Churchillian

      • Busy Mum

        I have no doubt that God could help us to do so. Whether He will, or not, is another matter.

        • len

          It is entirely down to us.We stand on the threshold and can go either way.How many good men/ women will it take to hold back Gods Judgement on this Nation?.
          How many Christians are prepared to make a stand for their religion?.

          • Busy Mum

            Hopefully more than 10!

          • Doctor Crackles

            True Len and I believe it is called intercession.

      • Dominic Stockford

        “…with the help of God.”

  • Graham

    Lloyds of London, (the insurance market) built a wonderful new building before their major losses. Now the EU has it’s own wonderful new building, could mean great change and difficulty rather than complete destruction.

  • Rule Britannia

  • Hopefully the start of the same destruction and confusion following the original tower of Babel – a vanity project in defiance of God.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Grexit? Francexit? Norwexit? Denmexit? Who will be the next?

      • IrishNeanderthal

        I think Eurexit by all coutries would have been an even better option.

        • Dominic Stockford

          That’d be something to see!

  • len

    The Brexit trigger has been pulled!.

  • John

    Heath signed what most of us want; membership of the EEC – an economic community allowing free trade. It morphed into the EU – a political project that a majority of Britons instinctively reject.
    Had there been referenda for Maaatricht or Lisbon, I believe the UK would have vetoed the proposed changes. We have John Major and Tony Blair to blame for forcing the EU on the UK and by the time David Cameron called the in/out referendum the toothpaste was out of the tube.
    I voted to remain, believing the advantages of membership just about outweighed the many, many disadvantages, but now we are here, I am not sorry we are leaving the EU at all.

    • Anton

      Why did we have to join the EEC to get free trade? We must never, ever, fall into the mistake of thinking that permission is needed for free trade. It is the default until politicians come round.

      • John

        Tariffs were punitive everywhere in the 1970s. They were major obstacles to economic growth. It’s why 67% of the country voted to remain in the EEC free-trade bloc. It was a no-brainer. Of all the regions in the UK, only the Shetland and Western Isles rejected it.

        • Dominic Stockford

          The point being made is that there didn’t *have* to be tariffs. Politicians made it necessary. If we had dropped them, so would have others. Like taxing airline fuel, it will only take one western nation to do it for all to follow suit.

  • PessimisticPurple

    I love the attitude, like the rest of the world was just waiting for you to get back. “Hey, everyone, it’s John Bull. Start the party!” I’m going to grab a bucket of popcorn and watch the movie. I love disaster flicks.

    • Royinsouthwest

      If you love disaster flicks you had better switch channels (or even cross the Channel). The movie you want is called the EU or the Eurozone, or something like that, and is available in several languages.

      • Martin

        Roy

        Isn’t that what he means, we watch from the stalls what happens across the channel.

        • William Lewis

          No. He means that Brexit will be a disaster for the UK and he will enjoy watching it. He’s not from ’round ‘ere.

  • Once we are out we should try to encourage the building of the Anglosphere into a recognised community of countries all of which have similar outlooks and speak the same language. This could be a far greater force for good than the EU has ever been.

    • Sarky

      Kind of like the commonwealth?

      • Royinsouthwest

        Yes, if the United States would apply to join it.

      • No, far too many of the present commonwealth countries don’t subscribe to the same values, one of which is to have a genuine democracy.

        • Anton

          The commonwealth was a continuing source of tension between HM and St Margaret of Finchley.

          • HM is clearly an optimist, she needed to be to survive in the job for so long. Maggie was a realist.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes … well I never did believe that one should be canonized. She always seemed to think she ought to be Queen, as well ….

        • Busy Mum

          Let us mark this day by restoring ‘virtues’, and consigning ‘values’ to history, along with British membership of the EU.

          • Yes, I suppose ‘virtues’ is a better word than ‘values’. Democracy, free elections, independent judiciary, habeas corpus (or equivalent) are things that I would look for and of which one or more don’t exist in many commonwealth countries.

          • Step11Recovery

            I despise values with quite unreasonable ferocity.

            It is after all just another neologism, albeit an especially discordant one. But it carries a corporate, Human Resources tone that conveniently removes any moral content, reducing it to mere management-speak suitable only for a ‘mission statement’, any encounter with which provokes me to thoroughly traditional profanity.

            (wanders off, grumbling about the corruption of language, the inability to locate reading spectacles and similar tropes of advancing years …)

          • I just find that so many words mean one thing to me from my childhood and that I’m often not familiar with its latest use.

          • betteroffoutofit

            I used to have a little dog who always helped me remember where my glasses were; but she died. So now I hang the glasses round my neck.

          • Step11Recovery

            That’s a wonderfully gentle and touching comment.

            I do hope that now the roles are reversed, and locating your glasses around your neck reminds you of your dog and her faithful service.

          • Maalaistollo

            Agreed. Values are a very poor substitute for principles and morals, but they evidently appeal to politicians in a way that principles and morals do not.

          • TrippingDwarves

            Virtue comes from the heart. Morals from the head.

            ‘Values’ sound like something from Tesco.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Ummmm … re “Morals” … how about including the Holy Ghost (as informing conscience) in there?

          • TrippingDwarves

            Indeed. By head I meant simply the workings of conscience as it attempts to clarify what is placed there, if that makes sense. Trying to work it out myself now. But, I don’t disagree.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Oh yes, it makes sense to me … I think that’s exactly how it works: the mind perceives and processes spiritual information as well as the material. 🙂

          • Anton

            I can hack values. It’s rights that get me down.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Everyone has ‘values’, including murderers and thieves. They’re just different to those of everyone else.

          • I suppose that’s true, I suppose I’m thinking of those who have the same broad outlook as we had in this country before WW2 and the recent invasion by eastern hordes.

          • Busy Mum

            I think I am correct in saying that the word ‘values’ was converted from a verb to a noun by Nietzsche, in order to equalise virtues and vices in his campaign against Christian moral absolutes.

          • You’ve got me there! Philosophy wasn’t part of the syllabus at Technical College when studying Electrical Engineering!

          • Busy Mum

            I am not a philosopher by trade either, though was keen to find out where the idea of ‘values’ came from!

        • Dominic Stockford

          True, but we can at least seek to influence them for the better in return for the trade that we can do with them.

          • I don’t advocate disbanding the commonwealth, just a new arrangement outside it of countries who have similar outlooks and ambitions.

    • Richard B

      It’s already happening – USA’s been invited to join! (see below)

      • Anton

        “Henceforth we shall be content to play Athens to Washington’s Rome” – Harold MacMillan.

        • betteroffoutofit

          Considering that the Greeks taught the Romans everything it matters to know …. 🙂

      • Quite right.

  • Anton

    Flying my St George car flag today, saved from the last England football debacle. This is a far better reason to fly it – and to drive around.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Union Flag has gone up outside our church today.

      • Anton

        I don’t have a car union flag but i’d gladly have flown that otherwise.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Don’t think I’ve ever seen one. I’ve got a Grassroots Out car flag though…..

          • Anton

            They were probably available for the 2012 Olympics, but I don’t recall.

          • Pubcrawler

            The internet has them for sale.

  • Anton

    I hereby notify the European Council in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union.

    Read the full letter at

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/29_03_17_article50.pdf

    Isn’t it nice to have a PM with cojones again? Hasn’t happened since Thatcher…

  • Pubcrawler

    Deo gratias, Anglia, redde pro Theresa

    And just to show what an insular, bigoted, xenophobic little Englander I am, I may crack open that big bottle of Taruškų Kanapinis this evening.

    I would break out the bunting, but #Lent.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Is that Lithuanian or Latvian?

      • Pubcrawler

        Lithuanian

        • Maalaistollo

          Good country, Lithuania. Appears to be full of normal, respectable people, with a good proportion of families, by which I mean husband, wife and well-behaved children. The fields look tidy and their food is very hearty. Hate to think what they make of the British as they now are.

          • Pubcrawler

            I know next to nothing about the place except that they make some very fine beer (as do all the Baltic states). Especially of the Imperial Stout variety.

    • Anton

      Well I’ll be the pub tonight for Brexit, probably late on as the evening is needed to work on Sunday’s sermon.

      • Pubcrawler

        Oh the pub will follow. The one with the Brexiteer landlord (rare in these parts but can be found) rather than those where the beer will be watered down by copious Remoaners’ tears.

        I may well wear my Nelson’s Revenge T-shirt…

      • Dominic Stockford

        I wish that celebrating Brexit in a pub round here were possible. Sadly in South West London I am likely to be assaulted if I were to try to do so.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Oh, I’ve put my little Union flag in the window anyway. After all, it is rather appropriately Christian – what with all those saints’ crosses on it 🙂

      • Dominic Stockford

        Absolutely. The more crosses the better (in leave boxes on ballot papers too!).

      • Pubcrawler

        I’d love to do that, but I live in the midst of remoaners, incomers from overseas of all hues, and RoPers, so I’m likely to get a brick throught the window or someone would report me to the rozzers for being ‘racist’, or something. Love trumping hate, and all that.

        • betteroffoutofit

          Ah yes – I understand. That’s why I never put anti-eu stickers on my car.

  • Redrose82

    Oh happy day
    Oh happy day
    When Theresa signed
    When Theresa signed
    Yes when she signed
    The EU away.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Transcript of the letter….

      Dear EU

      Sod off

      Tezza

    • IrishNeanderthal

      I don’t mind soldiers’ parodies of hymns, but I do not like hymns that directly worship the nation.

      That one seems to be sailing too close to the mark.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Job 12:

      He deprives of speech those who are trusted
      and takes away the discernment of the elders.
      He pours contempt on princes
      and loosens the belt of the strong.
      He uncovers the deeps out of darkness
      and brings deep darkness to light.
      He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
      he enlarges nations, and leads them away.

  • Anna

    “Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…” (1 Chronicles 12:32 ESV).

    Britain is fortunate to have a prime minister like Theresa May who is endowed with plenty of common sense and discretion, and who is so different from her predecessors.

    • Anton

      Nice to have a PM with cojones again. Hasn’t happened since Margaret Thatcher…

      • betteroffoutofit

        Even if TM is unladylike enough to wear them round her neck ..

    • Busy Mum

      I am wary of counting the chickens before they have hatched……

      • Anna

        I have to agree – politicians are so unreliable. But she seems to have an instinct for statecraft, and there are few leaders in the Western world to equal her in this regard, which gives her a distinct advantage while negotiating with the EU.

        • Busy Mum

          I just hope that people will not develop a false sense of security, which she could take advantage of…..

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I agree with you about Theresa May. I’m not always in agreement with her and her performance as Home Secretary was not good,, but on the issue of Brexit she has been robust and trustworthy, quite unlike “call me Dave”. I have found myself praying for her on almost a daily basis. She has turned out much better in the driving seat than as a passenger.

      • Anna

        I am certain prayer is changing the political atmosphere. Many Christians I know, now pray regularly for world events and leaders – May, Trump, Netanyahu – and for the church worldwide. This is something we did not do years ago, and we can see the difference.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Yes. Beyond the formulaic prayers of the BCP many pray with depth and spontaneity for those in Government. Partly that they will hear God’s promptings and follow them rather than going the way of the world, and partly that they might be saved (apart, of course, for those few who clearly are).

  • len

    ‘The Blasted Heath’ .Has a certain ring to it, like something out of ‘Jane Eyre?.’

    • Anton

      You manage to get Shakespeare and two Brontes into that sentence (supposing you are thinking of Heathcliff)!

      • len

        ‘The blasted Heath’.Love the sound of it.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Lear’s heath looms large in the theatrical, editorial, and literary history of Shakespeare’s play. It is less clearly visualized than it used to be, owing to our awareness that Shakespeare did not demand much stage scenery, but it continues to be represented in the theater, to appear in editorial stage directions, and to be mentioned or even symbolically interpreted by critics. Yet it is not found in the texts or stage directions of the early Quartos and Folios. It is usually credited to the stage directions in Nicholas Rowe’s edition of 1709; but I suggest he derived it from Nahum Tate’s The History of King Lear, which had by that time superseded Shakespeare’s play on the stage. As is quite well known, Tate gave the play a happy ending, in which Lear is restored to his kingdom and Edgar marries Cordelia. This version is supposed to have been banished from the stage more than a century ago; but by being responsible for Lear’s heath it continues to influence productions and interpretations of King Lear.

      James Ogden, “Lear’s Blasted Heath”, from Lear from Study to Stage: Essays in Criticism, edited by James Ogden, Arthur Hawley Scouten, Dickinson Univ Press.

    • Martin

      Len

      Perhaps his body should be dug up and hung on a gibbet.

      • len

        I think they cremated him
        I like your idea though.

        • Anton

          He is lucky they burnt him *after* he died.

  • Just a few cautionary words. On Friday, Pope Francis called on European political leaders to fight populism and to refuse to yield to fear in the face of the continuing migrant crisis.

    Calling solidarity “the most effective antidote to modern forms of populism,” Francis said its work “entails the awareness of being part of a single body, while at the same time involving a capacity on the part of each member to ‘sympathize’ with others and with the whole.”

    “Forms of populism are … the fruit of an egotism that hems people in and prevents them from overcoming and ‘looking beyond’ their own narrow vision. There is a need to start thinking once again as Europeans, so as to avert the opposite dangers of a dreary uniformity or the triumph of particularisms.”

    “Politics needs this kind of leadership, which avoids appealing to emotions to gain consent, but instead, in a spirit of solidarity and subsidiarity, devises policies that can make the Union as a whole develop harmoniously. As a result, those who run faster can offer a hand to those who are slower, and those who find the going harder can aim at catching up to those at the head of the line.”

    Pope Francis asked: “What kind of culture does Europe propose today? The fearfulness that is becoming more and more evident has its root cause in the loss of ideals. Without an approach inspired by those ideals, we end up dominated by the fear that others will wrench us from our usual habits, deprive us of familiar comforts, and somehow call into question a lifestyle that all too often consists of material prosperity alone.”

    “Europe has a patrimony of ideals and spiritual values unique in the world, one that deserves to be proposed once more with passion and renewed vigour, for it is the best antidote against the vacuum of values of our time, which provides a fertile terrain for every form of extremism.”

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Jack,

      You really ought to consider this:

      FRENCH AND ENGLISH

      It is obvious that there is a great deal of difference between being international and being cosmopolitan. All good men are international. Nearly all bad men are cosmopolitan. If we are to be international we must be national. And it is largely because those who call themselves the friends of peace have not dwelt sufficiently on this distinction that they do not impress the bulk of any of the nations to which they belong. International peace means a peace between nations, not a peace after the destruction of nations, like the Buddhist peace after the destruction of personality. The golden age of the good European is like the heaven of the Christian: it is a place where people will love each other; not like the heaven of the Hindu, a place where they will be each other. And in the case of national character this can be seen in a curious way. It will generally be found, I think, that the more a man really appreciates and admires the soul of another people the less he will attempt to imitate it; he will be conscious that there is something in it too deep and too unmanageable to imitate. The Englishman who has a fancy for France will try to be French; the Englishman who admires France will remain obstinately English. This is to be particularly noticed in the case of our relations with the French, because it is one of the outstanding peculiarities of the French that their vices are all on the surface, and their extraordinary virtues concealed. One might almost say that their vices are the flower of their virtues.

      G.K.Chesterton, 1908

      • It was a caution against populism and inward looking nationalism – not the nation state.

        • William Lewis

          Then not relevant to the UK.

          • Pubcrawler

            … where he hath no jurisdiction.

          • No? Jack thinks it’s highly relevant.

    • Martin

      HJ

      But then he’s a socialist, a communist some would say.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Quite – communism’s rife in his original part of the world.

    • len

      Once bitten twice shy.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      He’s from Buenos Aires…

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        He know nothing…

        • Pubcrawler

          ¿Qué?

    • Royinsouthwest

      Is there anyone in the Catholic Church or the CoE calling on our leaders to fight unpopulism?

      • Populism is a political doctrine that proposes that the common people are exploited by a privileged elite, and which seeks to resolve this. The underlying ideology of populists can be left, right, or centre. Its goal is uniting the incorrupt and the unsophisticated “little man” against the corrupt dominant elites (usually established politicians) and their camp of followers (usually the rich and the intellectuals). It is guided by the belief that political and social goals are best achieved by the direct actions of the masses …

        Political parties and politicians often use the terms populist and populism as pejoratives against their opponents. Such a view sees populism as demagogy, merely appearing to empathize with the public through rhetoric or unrealistic proposals in order to increase appeal across the political spectrum.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism

    • IrishNeanderthal

      That is so one-sided.

      I may be stepping outside my comfort zone here, rebuking one so highly esteemed as yourself. But I feel like advising you to stay away from Ballyjamesduff during the annual Pork Festival, because sometimes you appear to be (estar, not ser) so pig-headed.

      • How charming …

        Talking of Ballyjamesduff, wonder if it has a large Muslim population.

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Not long ago, you were saying how good it was in 1095 to have a Pope to unite Europeans against the threat from the Turks.

          Now we have a Pope who seems to be putting all the blame on us when we express reservations about the sort of people who are crossing the Mediterranean to get to Europe. Surely there is something about those reservations that non-Europeans in large parts of Asia and Africa also share?

  • Dreadnaught

    Time to relocate the seat of goverment to a new purpose built busines like ‘Head Office’ in a central location.
    The palace of westminster need to be confined to history except for ceremonials and tourists.
    Only when Parliament is reformed in its geographical and truly representative form will anything change.
    Out with the old in with the new; a complete refocusing of future democracy; now is the hour to rebuild our political unity and national identity.

  • mbtimoney

    “What Theresa May signed yesterday was a declaration of independence.” In more ways than one, it seems, given than Scotland and possibly even Northern Ireland’s future in the United Kingdom are now in doubt.

    • betteroffoutofit

      So most of them prefer to be ruled by the euSSR than to join in governing themselves/ourselves (for we are the same people) in the UK? Strange view of “Independence” they have …

      • Dominic Stockford

        If the Protestant community in NI vote to leave, or are dragged out, there is something very odd going on.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Alleluia! Praise the Lord!

  • Holger

    The fake archbishop is comparing the “Glorious Revolution” to Brexit? What a joke!

    The “Glorious Revolution” was an invasion of Britain by European forces that ousted the native British monarch and replaced his authority with that of a European prince.

    Brexit is the ousting of European authority and its replacement by native British authority. It’s the complete opposite of the “Glorious Revolution”, which is a pompous title invented by the English to rationalise what in effect was an invasion and takeover of their native institutions by foreigners.

    Whenever Europe seizes control of Britain (William the Conqueror from Normandy, Henry VII from Burgundy, William III from The Netherlands, George I from Hanover) there follows a great surge in prosperity. Whenever England turns inwards and rejects European influence (the Wars of the Roses, the Civil War, the first half of the twentieth century) economic decline sets in.

    Navel gazing doesn’t do you any good at all. Is this because you get depressed when you look down and see that you just can’t find it in all those rolls of beer gut fat?

    • Sarky

      Oi!! That beer gut cost me alot of money!!

    • Anton

      Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

    • Inspector General

      You still don’t see, do you. We didn’t get out ‘just in time’ but the day when we could never leave would not have been far off. It still won’t be, for France. Once again, your beaten subdued country is at the mercy of a future German Chancellor. And when he isn’t issuing commands, the anger of your darling muslim guests…No peace, eh!

    • “The “Glorious Revolution” was an invasion of Britain by European forces that ousted the native British monarch and replaced his authority with that of a European prince.”

      The revolution and invasion was by “invitation” of a protestant elite claiming James was a “tyrant”, concern he was about to restore Catholicism, and also anxieties he was forming an alliance with France against the Dutch. All terribly “English”. And, to be accurate, the authority of the deposed King was replaced by constitutional monarchy and by Parliamentary government.

      • Pubcrawler

        And that constitutional monarchy was/is quite distinct from the Continental model of absolute monarchy that the Stuarts were so fond of and which (in essence) brought about the Civil War.

        • That was the spin put on it … but Charles was hardly a tyrant.

    • Royinsouthwest

      The Glorious Revolution replaced an unwanted king with Queen Mary and her husband who was a Dutch prince. Mary and William were joint sovereigns – something without parallel in British history.

      • Holger

        Mary sat at home and knitted while her husband governed. The “dual monarchs” nonsense was a legal fiction designed to disguise the fact that executive power had passed into foreign hands.

        William III ruled. Mary II crocheted. And did a bit of embroidery too, apparently. Badly, because of her shocking eyesight. She and her sister were last unhealthy scions of a degenerate line. When they died without issue, another European ascended the throne. The Georgian era was a time of great prosperity and expansion for Britain.

        Your country does well when it’s involved with Europe. It stagnates when it is not. You’ve just shot yourselves in the foot and you’re gloating about it. It must have something to do with those dull peasant senses of yours. Pain signals take longer to reach the brain (such as it is).

    • Pubcrawler

      The Bastard and his thuggish cronies were just a bunch of Scandinavian pirates drawn to England’s existing wealth like all the other Scandinavian pirates in the centuries before (and Continental powers ever since), only from a different direction and with a poncy French(ish) accent.

    • Anton

      Seizes control? With one exception they were all either invited or returning from exile.

      • Holger

        William of Orange sailed across the North Sea and seized control of England and the English said “Damn, we’ve been invaded by those horrible Dutchies! How to save face? Yes, that’s it! We’ll say we invited them.”

        Just like you invited the EEC into your lives. Only in typical English fashion, when the going gets tough, the English get going. In the sense of reneging on any and every deal they’ve ever made. Perfide Albion indeed. Can’t trust you as far as we can throw you.

        William of Orange regretted his English adventure. The EU could have learned a valuable lesson from him. We should have taken more account of what your language says about you. There is no native word for loyalty in English. The concept was introduced by the Normans. It didn’t prosper.

    • betteroffoutofit

      “Henry VII from Burgundy” was seizure by euroland? Goodness, I hope you never have to explain that claim to his redoubtable mother (Margaret Beaufort – King’s Mother of the Tudors)!!!

      • Holger

        Henry VII was backed by Burgundian funds. He spent a long time in exile there. Without Burgundian support he would never have become king.

        His mother stayed in England, but as a female member of the illegitimate Beaufort line, she wasn’t considered as much of a risk. Her son’s doubtful claim to the throne needed armed (and costly) support from a foreign power before it could be successfully prosecuted.

        Henry VII wasn’t the first or last English king to owe his throne to European support. But as always, the English wrote European involvement out of their history. Europe is only mentioned in your national mythology when it does something bad. When it helps you, you refuse to acknowkedge that help and claim you did it all yourselves.

        And you don’t understand why we hold you in such contempt…

  • Hi All,

    1776 : in the most catastrophic blunder in history, thanks to [German] King George III and his unwillingness to compromise , the British Americans are reluctantly forced to declare their independence from the British Empire .

    1914 :The British Empire accepts her treaty obligations and supports “brave little Belgium” against warmongering tyrant Kaiser Wilhelm II , thus saving the world from global dictatorship .

    1939 : The British Empire decides to fight against the fascist Nazi evil and refuses to surrender in 1940. Thus saving the world from global darkness

    1944-1990: Britain decides to fight against communist oppression and tyranny.

    2016: Britain votes to leave another undemocratic tyrannical regime , the EU, because tyrant Merkel couldn’t give Cameron the just reforms to the EU.

    2017: the 29th March , the declaration of British independence from tyranny and the resurgence of Britain as a great power.

    • carl jacobs

      The UK didn’t fight in WWI to save plucky little Belgium. It fought to preserve the dominance of the British Empire.

      • Dominic Stockford

        We fought because we had made a promise to do so. For all his other faults Chamberlain stuck by that promise.

        • carl jacobs

          Britain fought in WWI because a German-dominated continent would have inevitably led to Britain become a German vassal state. It had nothing to do with treaties or Belgium.

          But which war are you talking about, anyways?

          • Dominic Stockford

            I beg your pardon, Chamberlain was WW2 – however, the same goes for Herbert Asquith. Apologies.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Och, Dominic. As an American girl said to me recently, when I was polite to her father: “You shouldn’t be like that with him! It makes him feel too important!”

          • Dominic Stockford

            I have an American friend who told me a story that backs you up there.

            He arrived at a London Rail Station where he was accosted by a liberal minded woman who heard his accent. She harangued him for about 10 minutes on the terrible use of petroleum by the US, and its ownership of 10% (?) of the world’s resources. When she finally ran out of breath, and harangue, he turned to her and said politely, “It works for me”. And walked off leaving her trying to get her chin off the floor.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Ah. So I see.

          • betteroffoutofit

            So we fought both wars to save ourselves? Why else did the idiot USA fight? You’ve made up for it since, though. Your own empire, run while appeasing jerries, IRA-types, mafia, and Frankfurt-schoolers, has led in the battle to destroy Western Civilization.

          • bluedog

            That’s unkind. There’s no doubt that the US fought both wars to ensure that the Atlantic remained in friendly hands, and in WW2, the US saw an opportunity to end the European empires and took it. But the US effort in Germany and Japan was extraordinary and has transformed both those nations in a positive way. It is also clear that once the post-war British elites decided that the maintenance of empire without US sanction was impossible, they willingly dumped responsibility on to the US. Heath was one of the worst exponents of this tendency, and did nothing to reverse the Wilson capitulation.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Well, I hope we may agree to differ, Mr. bluedog!
            Admittedly, I occasionally meet young Americans who are incensed by Truman’s ‘atomic’ decisions, and so they sympathise still with the Japanese. I know even less about the US in Germany, though I note that Elvis liked being there and never came to England, that JFK claimed to be “ein Berliner,” and that his successor (BO) was far more sympathetic to Germans than to us. I believe that sentiment is alive and well: in view of the marxist-democrat-frankfut school response to the recent Trump-Merky meeting and, indeed, to Brexit.

            In fact, I’ll have you know – a US German-Marxist Shakespearean scholar recently unfriended me on FB: because I, a Brit, spoke for Brexit. So now, dontcha know – I won’t be able to see what plans they have for de-railing us. Some of that number, too, are working in places like the War Museum in London.

            In short, I suggest that the German-Marxist-Mafia demographic in the US is more influential than Brits care to recognise. The other demographics I mentioned are also traditionally anti-British. This doesn’t mean that there are no pro-Brits in the US; it does mean, though, that the States are at least as dis-united as we are. All this is oh-so-convenient for the Marxist agenda, and I think we agree that agenda involves the destruction of Western Civilization.

            You’ll get no argument from me about Heath, of course. As to Wilson – I reacted to him exactly as I would later to Obama: couldn’t stand the sight of either; and the sound of their voices curdled my blood. Always had to switch off for either of them … Indeed, I believe both- as products of Marxist-Fabian infiltration and education – were about destruction of the West.

            So maybe I’m just being “unkind” to be kind to our kindred?

          • bluedog

            Maybe. I’m not sure.

          • betteroffoutofit

            🙂 I shall continue to hope.

          • carl jacobs

            Are you under the false impression that I was criticizing the UK for its decision? I was simply pointing out an historical fact. Britain did not sacrifice 5% of its male population to preserve the Treaty of London.

            Consider the following thought experiment. Suppose Germany had invaded Belgium with the sole intent of occupying Belgium and nothing else. Would Britain have triggered a major European war with Germany as a result? There is not a snowball’s chance that would have happened.

            The First World War was very much Germany’s bid to displace Britain as the dominant European empire. Britain fought to preserve its place as an independent power. That was the right decision. A German victory would have meant the end of Great Britain even if Britain had stayed neutral.

            As for the rest, I’ll let it go as an unnecessary outburst of unnecessarily butt-hurt British pride.

          • betteroffoutofit

            That’s very good of you! Thanks. Empirically speaking, I grew tired of butting my head against the wall of American hypocrisy.

            It helped to read (and historically contextualize) Mark Twain, and even Harper Lee – and even a touch of Chopin (as in Kate). Adding these to the Wild West diet of a mid-20th century youth, and to post-modern youth’s diet of (e.g.) Janeczko’s “The Dark Game,” ensuing meditation has afforded me some sense of the internal conflicts that inform failures in US perception.

            I’m not unsympathetic — modern Americans had no part in weaving their vast and variegated tapestry. How can they understand all aspects of it, especially when it incorporates the elements I listed in my previous post? They are not small parts of the whole, as you will know well.

            That’s the problem, I think. Come their watch, Americans were ill-prepared for maintenance of an even bigger tapestry.
            .
            I don’t understand your perception of “British” pride, then; and I don’t expect you do either. However, I never argued that 5 of my father’s uncles were sacrificed* for Belgium … or that they’d have acquiesced in that exercise. They’d all read and understood Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” you see.
            ________________
            [[*Only 5% of our men? I’d thought it may have been more – including the entire generation of poets]].

          • carl jacobs

            Why are you angry at me for stating the truth? All I said was that Britain fought for Britain. In 1914 that meant fighting to maintain the Empire because Britain without the Empire would have quickly become subsumed by Germany. Can you actually dispute this?

            You actually haven’t made a single coherent argument in any of your posts to me on this subject. You have done nothing besides spit rage at Americans. That in itself is revealing.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Oh I am coherent. I’m not angry, either; remember, I’m British – cold and all that.

            You haven’t noticed, but we agree in saying that Britain fought the wars in self-defence. As in WWII, once the WWI Germans moved from little Belgium into France, the next step would have been over the Channel to England. How easily they’d have got across the first time, I couldn’t say. However, you might note that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand had not been entirely irrelevant – to the mobilization and distribution of continental forces. As to WWII – well, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the Battle of Britain. Many Americans haven’t.

            Beyond that, you don’t understand what I say even though, for the most part, I’m referring to your own culture and literature. It’s sad that you interpret conscientious search for truth and understanding as “rage.”

            There is some truth, it seems, in the cliche that our two nations are separated by the same language.

            So let’s drop this argument. Have a nice Thursday.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, I have heard of the Battle of Britain. I know quite a bit about the war in fact. My father was almost killed fighting in it so I made it a point to learn.

            There was no argument here. You just emit insults mixed with spittle and think yourself profound. Good bye, sir.

          • CliveM

            He spends to much time on Guido Fawkes.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Now there’s an insult! (Also untrue in every sense – hardly ever been there)

          • What you’re overlooking is it that it was England’s Divine destiny to spread the Gospel throughout it’s Empire and exploit the uncivilised native and civilise the world. America, on the other hand, just wanted to make money and protect its global interests.

            Britain – good
            USA – bad

          • carl jacobs

            Amazing! Both betteroffoutofit and I upvoted this comment. Amazing.

            Is that what his rage is about? Was he offended that I sullied Britain’s participation in WWI with a reference to Empire?

          • Sounds like it. Still, it’s good to witness a bit of American bashing on here as opposed to Catholic bashing. Britain’s decline is all down to the Yanks.

          • CliveM

            Not the best way to a positive engagement of ideas.

          • The Treaty of London protecting Belgium was signed for a reason.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes. That reason wasn’t worth a European war with Germany. Britain fought for Britain – not Belgium.

            Something you should remember. The mistake that Chamberlain made at Munich is not what people suppose. Sacrificing Czechoslovakia wasn’t the problem. Chamberlain’s catastrophic error was misreading his enemy. He thought he could end the looming German threat by appeasing it. In so doing he brought about the very disaster he was trying to prevent. If Britain could have prevented WWII at the cost of Czechoslovakia, it would have still been cheap at seven times that price. Starting a major war for the sake of honor is folly of the worst order. Confer with Russia and Serbia. If Russia had kept its nose out of the Balkans, the Russian Empire would have remained to this day
            .
            You might also remember that Britain chucked Ethiopia into the trash and for very similar reasons. Britain in 1935 was much more concerned about a potential alliance between Italy and Germany than it was about the fate of Ethiopia. Who talks today about Ethiopia the way people talk about Munich? Was it the wrong decision? Well, it certainly out paid to the League of Nations and no loss there. But should Britain have risked war with Italy over Ethiopia?

          • CliveM

            Carl

            You over simplify this. But I’ve said this before and suggested you read the published private correspondence of the key players. Which would show that the Liberal Government would not have been able to go to war without the invasion of Belgium. There is NO evidence that Asquith wanted a war to protect the Empire. There is lots of evidence that Cabinet members were split over joining the war and many were certainly not willing to do so over the Empire. You show a stubborn lack of understanding of the Liberal party of the day, a significant section of which were campaigning against Empire and were already talking of giving India its independence.

          • bluedog

            Britain had the most to lose in any war so clearly didn’t want the Great War. But personalities seem to be important. The Kaiser went out of his way to bait the British, presumably to score points off his cousins in the British monarchy. What would have been particularly worrying to official and commercial Britain was German naval expansion. If anything told a story of competition and an attempt to challenge it was the growth of the German fleet.

          • CliveM

            The thing is , there wasn’t one single reason for Britain entering the war, and different people were more influenced by one reason and another person by another.

            it was the German navel expansion that led to the entente cordial. It was also what contributed to Germany losing the war.

            Effectively they used massive resources on a navy, which sat in dock after Jutland and contributed nothing to their war effort.

            The money would have been better spent expanding their army further, but it was a vanity project for the Kaiser.

          • bluedog

            ‘it was the German navel expansion that led to the entente cordial.’

            And there was me thinking obesity was a modern problem.

          • CliveM

            Oops ☹️

          • carl jacobs

            In 1914, Britain was safe behind the Royal Navy on the other side of the English Channel. Yet Britain fought that war as if it was an existential war of survival. Why? What was the existential threat?

          • CliveM

            Carl

            You keep on talking about this and the sacrifice Britain made to fight the war. You make the not unreasonable point that no country would make such a sacrifice for another.

            However none of this was known or expected in 1914. If the UK had known it was going to sacrifice 5% of its manhood and see millions die and maimed, we wouldn’t have gone to war for Belgium (or the Empire).

            But none of these things were known. As I said, my argument with what you say is that it’s to simplistic. Different members of the government (and wider society) supported the war for differing reasons. One of which was Belgium.

            People like Lloyd George were certainly not willing to go to war over the Empire, others like Churchill were.

            Your reasoning is based on what seems logical. But it discounts and ignores the ample evidence to the contrary.

            Things are rarely as neat as you’re presenting them.

          • The Treaty of London – signed by Great Britain, Austria, France, the German Confederation (led by Prussia), Russia, and the Netherlands – officially recognised the independent Kingdom of Belgium and, at Britain’s insistence, agreed to its neutrality.

            It became a cornerstone of European international law. When the German Empire invaded Belgium in August 1914 in violation of the treaty, the British declared war.

            International treaties matter.

      • betteroffoutofit

        So we rallied to save the Empire rather than ourselves? Now that’s a strangely limited and American view..
        . . . And, of course, it distracts from the recognition of Americans’ own stupid and destructive empire thereafter.

      • John

        And the nazis were defeated mainly by the Russians. The centre of gravity in WWII was a long way east of Berlin.

        • carl jacobs

          Because the main German war objectives were all a long way East of Berlin. The Germans always intended the war to be a war for the East.

      • Royinsouthwest

        WWI crippled us financially and therefore the Empire would have been in a better position if we stayed out. We did have an agreement with Belgium and we honoured it. The United States entered WWI after the Lusitania was sunk. The US entered WWII, as you know, after it was attacked by Japan. Even the United States was not actually at war with Germany until the Germans declared war on the US.

        • carl jacobs

          In the short term, yes. But Germany would have won the war absent British intervention. The UK could never have produced a fleet capable of maintaining ocean dominance over a continent united by German leadership. And that continent sat next to every line of communication in the British Empire.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      I watched a programme recently, showing that “Farmer George” was a much cleverer and more sensible man than we give him credit for.

      It was his ministers who were out of control, and he came near to abdication over the issue.

      • Hi

        If only William Pitt the elder or the younger had taken charge. Then Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson could have negotiated a treaty which made the colonies into a dominion , something like Canada, or the Indian Raj , e.g. a multilingual English / French/ Spanish speaking Empire of British North America, eventually with full independence and by 2017, Queen Elizabeth II as Emperor of North America. Then as the Spanish colonies revolted they could have been incorporated into the empire.

        I think the British were more willing at the time to support the native Americans too and in numerous conflicts we’d have had the generals Washington, Jackson and Lee on our side, along with Wellington, Nelson etc .

        Then later on America would be the “arsenal of imperial democracy” , maybe shorting world war one and two.

        • betteroffoutofit

          Now there’s a fascinating dream, Hannah. If only …

        • bluedog

          Are you in the right job, Hannah? It sounds as though great things await you!

        • CliveM

          Counter Factual history is a lot of fun!

          • Hi

            It’s a genre of science fiction e.g. Harry Turtledove and Stephen Baxter (though Stephen does more hard sci fi).

      • betteroffoutofit

        Yes, that was the history I learned in school, too.
        Poor old George got a bad rap. The Dutch East India company, though …

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      It wasn’t so much King George as his ministers – as a constitutional monarch he was bound to follow their advice…

  • CliveM

    Well that’s the easy bit, now for the hard part.

  • Inspector General

    Splendid news. The Remainers have won!

    We remain an island nation state. A United Kingdom

    We remain free from the (often bizarre) doings on the continent. As if we ever ‘had a say’ in any true sense of the word, despite our subsidising the thing!

    We remain free of a continent that has neither the will nor ability to send back hordes of illegal immigrant muslims, God help them. They will suffer for that.

    We remain free of a ghastly experiment of a continent trying to unite itself while pretending that the top dog is not, never was and never will be, Germany. Even if Germany is holding back at the moment before exercising its tremendous clout.

    But most of all, we remain free to be ourselves. A very successful nation in a world comprised mainly of also rans.

    Altogether, a jolly good show, what!

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I suggest we call ourselves the Regainers…as we have regained our freedom

      • Inspector General

        Oh dear, Mrs Proudie. You of course have no experience of fighting hand to hand.

        We call ourselves The Remainers to humiliate and to disparage the losing side. It’s the ultimate shame, you know. Not just to lose the battle, but also your name nicked off you!

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Ah, the ways of the Inspectorate are deep and mysterious indeed…

          • Inspector General

            Not really. When puppy messes up, you rub his nose in the stuff. Until it’s worked its way an inch or two up it…Holger will understand…

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            naughty!

    • Anton

      Inspector, may I ask, have you been influenced in your written style by Auberon Waugh?

      • Inspector General

        Never read Waugh, Anton. As far as one knows he has not been influenced by any style. As to describe his methodology, it is to use every word as a missile. Every sentence a battery. Every paragraph should gain ground. Ah, the power of the written word – awesome it can be in the right hands!

      • IanCad

        I believe it was Uncle Brian who made the observation that IG would be a hard act to copy. No, He’s his own man with his own style; Only, possibly to some small degree influenced by his avatar, J M Synge

  • Inspector General

    We can do whatever we like now. The EU aren’t going to fine us are they! Can you imagine it, the damn truth of it all. That this country, our sovereign government, used to be fined by them like some common petty criminal if we upset their madcap rules. THEIR rules, rules for the sake of having rules. Unbending rules. We can take items off VAT if we want, and even support our industries under attack, like steel. Couldn’t do either of those two before.

    That’s the freedom we now have. Heady stuff, isn’t it. There’s no stopping us now!

    • betteroffoutofit

      Quite … that was the starting battle. Now for the neu War.

      • Inspector General

        “Attention all British shipping engaged in fishing. Keep all of your catch. You no longer have to throw half of it away, dead.”

        God Save The Queen!

  • PessimisticPurple

    As glorious as the first, eh? And some think our host is a humourless man.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Well some will just never let themselves think, will they?

  • Dominic Stockford

    Both welcome.

  • chefofsinners

    I am irritated by the constant likening of Brexit to a divorce. From ‘Thought for the day’ to the evening news, this stale and lazy analogy has polluted the analysis with its perjorative implications. Divorce is hated by God but Brexit is the rejection of mammon. Divorce is a sorry failure; Brexit is a joyful liberation. If this is divorce at all then Britain is the abused and exploited wife of a self obsessed, irrational and controlling husband.
    British Summer Time is here. Let us go forward together.

    • Inspector General

      Hear! Hear!.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I regard our EU membership in the same way I view my job. It is a human contract and not a sacred union. Contracts are free to be ended; hence Article 50. Incidentally, prior to the Lisbon Treaty of 2007, there was no legal way to leave the EU. The comparison with divorce is a poor one, but typical of the way the left-wing media likes to emote about Brexit and distort the picture. This is no more a divorce than switching your shopping to another supermarket.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Well said!

  • bluedog

    One sincerely hopes, Your Grace, that the Common Fisheries Policy will not become an issue which destroys our precious, precious Union. If there is one single issue that undermines the mandate of the SNP, it would be the return of the fisheries to Scotland. We read that Brexit will be framed to support the Union, and there can be no greater example of that wish than to ensure that the fisheries are not once again bargained away for the greater good, to the detriment of Scotland. Interpretation of the greater good has changed in the past 44 years.

  • David

    I am coming late to this article, but yes, what a splendid day this truly is.
    Once more we can be a free, sovereign, independent nation living under the rule of laws made by, only, those that we elect !
    Above all else we will be free to be ourselves !
    God intends for the peoples to live, each in their own nations, and now that is what we can do.
    Three cheers for Brexit !

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Well…sort of…but it was Austro-Hungary that lit the powder keg through its ultimatum to Serbia…

    • Hi

      Yes like the “blank cheque ” argument that says Austria Hungary was the real cause of the war?

      • CliveM

        Cause or trigger?

  • Holger

    Deluded to the last.

    I’ve been to Ireland. I’ve witnessed the deep-rooted hatred they have for the British state.

    Your imaginary hell will freeze over before the Irish consent to be ruled from London again.

    • bluedog

      Devolution means that significant powers are not retained by London. As it is, the Irish Republic has surrendered its sovereignty to the European Court of Justice, in common with the French Republic. It is up to the Irish people to decide if a better deal can be negotiated between themselves and the parties to the UK. They may hate the British state, but the Irish are capable of putting forward a proposal which gives them what they want, should circumstances in the EU change to their disadvantage.

    • chefofsinners

      Holger, international man of mystery. “Don’t talk to me about sophistication. I’ve been to Ireland.”

      • Pubcrawler

        Val Doonican, Dana, Westlife, Boyzone, the Nolan Sisters, B*witched, Sinead O’Connor, Bob Geldof … what’s not to like?

        • None of the above

          Oh, it’s not all bad. Aren’t Jedward from there as well?

        • chefofsinners

          One hears that there is also an impoverished and frozen northern province, where banks go to die. A diminutive, midge-bitten population lives in permanent anger, surviving on benefits and plotting to overwhelm complaints departments across Britain. They seek the return of a messiah-like figure named Andy Pandance who will usher in the age of ginger, a thousand years of utter insignificance.

        • Anton

          Let’s do this properly. Much as I like Ireland and its people, James Joyce is perhaps the most over-rated writer ever.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes, of that ‘school’ I much prefer Flann O’Brien. But I’ll take Swift or Lord Dunsany over either of ’em.

        • chefofsinners

          Daniel O’Donnell?

          • Pubcrawler

            Oh he’s dreamy

          • CliveM

            Gasp….. Chin drops!

          • Pubcrawler

            Forget to take your irony tablet again? You’re getting almost as bad as Linus for literalism.

      • Anton

        Hurling is a brilliant game. Like field hockey with the wimpy half of the rule book removed.

        • Inspector General

          Long time hurlers have no front teeth…

      • Dublin is a fascinating place with people full of Irish blarney.

      • Holger

        Racist idiot.

        Ireland’s climate is hardly worse than Britain’s, the countryside is beautiful and the people are open, friendly and much easier to deal with than the taciturn and suspicious English. They may not be the most beautiful people in the world, but in comparison to the English (all of whom apart, from Keira Knightley and Waity Katie, look like Wayne and Waynetta Slob) they positively glow.

        I’ve been to Ireland several times and on each occasion have enjoyed myself immensely. Irish hospitality puts the English to shame.

        One of the great advantages of Ireland is that all the idiots, snobs and crazies emigrate to England. It’s like having a large landfill site next door into which they can tip all their unwanted refuse. Look at the Inspector.

        I rest my case.

        • Inspector General

          Did you visit that gay club in Dublin. The one the locals call ‘Sodom and Begorrah’

          • Holger

            You seem to know a lot about the Irish gay scene, old bigot. Now why is that?

          • Inspector General

            Not really. Just that homosexuality never existed in Ireland until it was brought over by the Norman French and English…

          • Holger

            Now now, old bigot. You’re starting to sound just like the Africans you so despise. They too claim that homosexuality didn’t exist in their cultures until the Europeans brought it over.

            Hmmm. So if you think just like them, they must be your equals, no?

            Poor Inspector. Having to face the terrible reality that he’s just like an African. Let’s hope he doesn’t do anything drastic now that his whole world has come crashing down.

          • Inspector General

            Bless you for replying, esteemed queer.

            The Inspector doesn’t do conspiracy theory as such. It’s the stuff of madmen. However, he is now convinced that the cause of homosexuality is known in higher scientific circles. It is, no less, the result of a certain gene sequence found in probably one chromosome. The curse is thus handed down through the generations. Obviously, heterosexuals are carriers and are not affected. Now, no one is prepared to publish for obvious reasons that even a deranged fellow like you would appreciate.

            So, if it didn’t exist in a people before, it has to be brought in. Get the picture? It also means that all homosexuals share the same ancestry at the extreme. Rather like Huntington’s or some other ghastly inherited problem.

          • Holger

            Ah, I see your Nazi-inspired “philosophy” includes a belief in eugenics too.

            Current theory favours an epigenetic origin for homosexuality. There is no “gay gene”, merely a sexuality gene that is expressed differently depending on multiple factors during gestation. Anyone can be born gay. It depends on what happens in the womb during pregnancy.

            This being the case, the incidence of homosexuality in Ireland is no different to any other country, and never has been. Your theory of a “gay gene” is pure bunkum and no different from Nazi theories about racial superiority and eugenic “cleansing”.

            Nazism might have died an institutional death in 1945, but it lives on among the ignorant and deluded, as proved the Inspector. It always was a demotic and downmarket movement designed to appeal to clodhopping dolts. How unsurprising to hear you singing from its hymn sheet.

          • Inspector General

            “Nazi-inspired” “Eugenics”. You think that, do you? Outrageous hyperbole!

            Science will progress even if it irritates the likes of you. Epigenetics, if it is a factor, merely means, ‘other reasons we’re not quite sure about, but we can use to hide our ignorance of the subject behind’. There is enough anecdotal to prove that homosexuality runs in some families but is absent from others. Epigenetics can’t explain that, and neither can you. You need to expand the boundaries of investigation. But you won’t do that because of your fear of what will be found unsettles you.

            We know this of you as you are immediately dismissive of what Africans claim. If they say homosexuality did not exist in their midst until contact with outside peoples then we take that on face value. It’s only been a few centuries. That is how science progresses. We can also put their claim to the test, by identifying homosexual Africans who are full blood negroes without a single gene from outside the continent. If there are any that is. Wouldn’t it be grand if there weren’t?

            Should that be found, then we can dispense with the idea gay activists put about that they are the uber people. They say it is them, and (ironically) not the Nazis. Instead, homosexuality is seen as any other medical / psychiatric problem. There to be cured. And there is much to cure – even you would agree. Best of all, your influence on society is nullified. You’ll all find yourselves back on the stage in drag singing “I am what I am what I am” entertaining normal people. There’s not much other use for you.

          • Holger

            Right on cue, another neo-Nazi rant from a racist and homophobic bigot.

            Although thinking about it, there isn’t much “neo” in it, is there? No, it’s just plain “Nazi”.

            There is no hyperbole in my statement. What you wrote in your last post could have been lifted (bar perhaps the reference to epigenetics) directly from “Mein Kampf”.

            Not that I hadn’t worked out long ago exactly what you are. Like many marginal and socially isolated single men, you’ve turned to religion and extremist politics in order to give yourself a sense of identity.

            Luckily for the world, you weren’t born in Syria and don’t have easy access to guns. If you had been, there’d be one more Isis terrorist out there killing Westeners.

        • Sarky

          I’m with you on that. I’ve been to Ireland twice and the hospitality was amazing. Had one of the best nights of my life and wasn’t allowed to put my hand in my pocket once. Now got some lifelong friends!!!

        • chefofsinners

          How is your comment less racist than mine?

          • Holger

            I was fighting fire with fire. But who started the conflagration?

            Racist idiocy is clearly your prefered mode of communication. I was adapting my discourse to a register you can understand. Whether I should have stooped to your level is a good question. But to make a point, sometimes one has to use shock tactics.

      • IanCad

        Surely you aren’t including Irish girls in your dour assessment of the Emerald Isle.
        Always understood them to be the prettiest in Europe.

        • chefofsinners

          Drink less.

    • Hi Holger

      Oh, I don’t have an imaginary hell. Anyways I’ve been to Ireland and I’ve witnessed to deep rooted recession thanks to the EU austerity dictatorship and I agree that Ireland isn’t ruled from London or even Dublin castle, as Ireland is like Greece , Portugal and Cyprus is nothing other than a limited self governing provincial vassal – protectorate of the EU and most decisions reside in the capital of your glorious Union i.e. Brussels. Although I didn’t see any hostilities in Dublin , just the usual Craic.

      • Anton

        The pubs there are ridiculously expensive since they joined the EU.

        • Hi

          Well we could go back to guineas , £ S d , the nine Bob note etc, all backed by gold! Then a pint might be worth a half shilling or something.

          • Anton

            A return to sound money would be a good thing. Getting there from here is going to be seriously tricky though.

          • Hey I’ve got quite well cool coin collection and they’re mostly Rands from South Africa and Sovereigns from Britain. Well cool beard on the rand , like he’s Hasidic or something. And yes south Africa has a Jewish population :

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sAxUio-v_0Q

          • I won’t believe the Pound is back to its real value until there are 4 dollars to the pound. Half a Crown was often referred to as half a Dollar. (And for those brought up since we lost our real money, a Crown was five bob or 25p in new money!)

          • Hi

            Well people said I was as queer as a nine Bob note or something.

  • Inspector General

    No Hannah. One was keen on the idea when your late uncle was around but has since changed ones mind. The wonderful Emerald isle has enough problems without street negroes and ‘devout’ muslims coming over en masse as they would be entitled to do from England.

  • Inspector General

    “We arrive in Dublin. Refugees yes. You help us. Where your homosexuals. My sons, they like to stone them. Where your Jews. You don’t make us live near them, no.”

  • bluedog

    Ze beseder.

  • carl jacobs

    The American Civil War was caused by slavery. It was fought over Union. That is a critical distinction. If Lincoln had called for 75,000 volunteers to suppress slavery, then we would have had the proverbial war where no one came. The proper analogy to Belgium and World War I would be saying that the North fought to destroy slavery. In fact it fought to enforce Union.

    • Hi

      “The proper analogy to Belgium and World War I would be saying that the North fought to destroy slavery. In fact it fought to enforce Union”

      Exactly! …. the Hollywood films and t.v. shows we get to watch over here about this subject , the explicit or not explicit sub text is that the North did fight the war to destroy slavery. The tolerant urbane, intellectual, industrial, modern ” democratic” North fighting the wickedly racist, undemocratic, rustic , stupid, slavery owning , cotton growing South.

      • carl jacobs

        Not two in one hundred Union soldiers joined the fight in order to suppress slavery. In truth, the North hated slavery and it really hated the “Slave power” but it didn’t possess racial attitudes all that different from the South. This idea of the North fighting to destroy slavery is history made to serve a contemporary ideological agenda. It’s true that slavery could not survive the war, but that was because slavery was the source of the disunion that had produced the war.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        And we all know that WW2 was won single-handed by John Wayne.

        This completely ignores the contribution of Errol Flynn.

        • betteroffoutofit

          There ya go!!! Can’t imagine how I forgot that …..

    • Lucius

      Very perceptive on the subtle dichotomy that catalyzed the American Civil War. I concur, the institution of slavery set the social and economic conditions for disunion. The war itself was aimed at the symptom (preventing disunion), although it ended up curing the disease (by abolishing the peculiar institution).

    • Jack understood the main objection to slavery was the economic advantage it gave the South in westward expansion. We agree though that it was not fought just to secure the freedom of slaves. It was a war between two economic systems and ways of life.

      As for Belgium, we had signed a treaty guaranteeing Belgium would always be neutral and we honoured that commitment. The reasons for that treaty may well have been motivated by self-interest.

      • carl jacobs

        Slavery did not provide any economic advantage for the push into the Western states. In fact, slavery was dying outside of the Deep South which was the main motive for secession. Lincoln planned to kill slavery by walling it in. No more slave states meant no more balance between slave states and free states in the Senate. That’s why Lincoln’s election triggered secession. That’s why the initial acts of secession came from the Deep South. It feared the nation would become abolitionist and leave the Deep South to deal with the possibility of race war by itself. The specter of slave rebellion was never far away.

        The Confederacy was looking to expand but not in the West. It was looking farther south at climes more hospitable to slavery.

  • chefofsinners

    A third Great War has begun. The protagonists are the usual suspects: on the one side Britain, seeking to preserve freedom, democracy and world trade. On the other the Hun, its tendrils infecting every European nation, seeking to subjugate them to it’s will and parasitise them to engorge the motherland. What it could not do by brute force it very nearly did by subtlety. But this our Dunkirk. Over the next two years the little ships will return everything that can be salvaged from the disastrous European campaign. Britain will regroup and return with the overwhelming force of allies from around the globe, to liberate those held in the sway of darkness.
    “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.”

    • michaelkx

      “What it could not do by brute force it very nearly did by subtlety” how true. well put.

    • CliveM

      Don’t you feel that this is a little over dramatic?

      • chefofsinners

        Hyperbole. It is a rhetorical device.

    • Anton

      Auf Wiedersehen
      A bientot…

    • Holger

      What a load of old bollocks.

      Some people live in the past. The days when Britain was an imperial power and Germany a dictatorship are long gone. The world has changed since then. But some people can’t change with it.

      You go ahead and dream your ridiculous dreams. They don’t affect anyone except you. If I were German, I don’t know whether I’d be insulted by your xenophobic remarks or amused by them. As a Frenchman I just find them pitiable. And he who wrote them beneath contempt.

      It’s we who should thank your imaginary god that you’re leaving. Rats leaving a ship they would live to see sink, and which they’ll do anything to sabotage so that it does. We’ll be much better off without you lot trying to knock holes in the hull.

      Whoever wins our presidential election will hopefully put France’s full weight behind the worst possible deal for your perfidious country as it flounces out of a union that works for the common good of all. You don’t want to cooperate? Fine. Bugger off and don’t come crying to us when your American “friends” start treating you like a poor relation. You’ve made your own bed. Now lie in it.

      • IanCad

        I’m glad we’re getting out, and jingoism should have no place; more particularly because we have become an emasculated, pussy-whipped breed of TV watching fantasists. If it comes to fisticuffs, I fear we’re sunk. Got some hairy- chested female athletes though.

      • CliveM

        I think you mean pretendy frenchman Linus.

      • Pubcrawler

        Bunny boiler alert!

      • chefofsinners

        “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.”
        It is fortunate for the French that Britain did not take that attitude last time you needed us. In true Christian fashion, we will ignore the insults and be here when you need us again.

        • bluedog

          Correct. As the sun rises in the morning, the one absolute certainty is that the French will one day knock on the door, seeking help to repel the Boche.

        • Holger

          France was just a convenient battleground for the British (or more properly the Americans and their British lapdogs) to use in order to defeat the Nazis.

          If we hadn’t offered the clearest path to Berlin, they’d have taken another route and what happened to the Dutch might have happened to us. Less likely of course given our inestimably larger capacity to produce our own food, but my point is that the Nazis were attacked first on French soil because to do so suited American interests. And of course what suits America also suits its British sidekick.

          • oldredmerc

            Or maybe France was the shortest route to land the troops?

          • Holger

            Yes, it was the shortest route, but it was also the western front. Had the Allies landed in the Low Countries, they would have been forced to fight on two fronts. By landing in France they put the minimum number of German troops on their western flank.

            We were nothing more than a strategically placed battleground for the Americans and their British sidekicks. Our interests have always had to serve theirs, and when we stand up for ourselves, they call us “ungrateful”.

            We helped the Americans during their war of independence, but apparently they owe us no gratitude for that. Funny how when you’re dealing with Anglo-Saxons, gratitude only flows in their favour.

          • oldredmerc

            Try telling that to the thousands of US, UK, Commonwealth & other service men & women who died liberating France in WW2. And the millions that died doing the same in WW1.

          • Holger

            I can’t tell dead people anything. They’re dead. They can’t hear me. They not only have no ears to hear me with, they have no consciousness with which to interpret and understand my words.

      • Inspector General

        Here’s interesting, Holger. Christian parents have found out that a male member of staff at their children’s nursery is a homosexual and would like him gone. Now, unusually, instead of blasting them as homophobic religious zealot bigots, many commentators are bemoaning the lack of tolerance being shown. Do you know, gay activists had ceased to ask for tolerance sometime in the 1980s. Replacing the request with demands, demonstrations, marches, litigation or even vandalism. Could this be a return to better times past when both sides could discuss their problems in civility, one asks.
        ————————————-
        “Parents campaign to have gay teacher removed from nursery”
        http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/29/parents-campaign-to-have-gay-teacher-removed-from-nursery/
        ————————————-
        Oh, did the Inspector say they were Christian parents. His mistake, he meant muslim, of course…

        • Holger

          Whether parents are Christian or Muslim or of any other faith, homophobic bigotry is homophobic bigotry.

          If they don’t want their children to be looked after by a gay person, they can remove them from the nursery and make alternative arrangements.

      • Step11Recovery

        It’s we who should thank your imaginary god

        There ought to be some sort of award for that line – the greatest number of logical inconsistencies in the smallest number of words. It could be a regular feature in The Guardian.

        Seriously, do you not have a better use for your time – go for a pint, watch Game of Thrones, join a Brass Band, anything – just live a little 🙂

        • Holger

          Written like a true conservative literalist who wouldn’t recognise irony if it jumped up and down in front of him screaming “I am irony!”

          Margaret Thatcher was another example of a conservative literalist who famously lacked a sense of humour. Maggie No Friends at school and a disregarded pariah in her own party for much of the early part of her career because of her total inability to appreciate a joke, let alone tell one.

          By all means interpret my words literally and criticise them for a lack of logic. It merely serves to illustrate that dour literalists can never win a debate because no matter what victories they have, people will always get sick of them in the end and send them packing. Just like Thatcher, who lives on in the popular as the Wicked Witch of Westminster and whose demise was celebrated up and down the country as a great deliverance.

          Will the British soon be “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” over another dour female politician’s grave? Time will tell.

          • Step11Recovery

            Ah, forgive me – didn’t realise you were a follower of the Donald Trump school of commentary (“don’t listen to his words, listen to what is in his heart”).

            So, attempting to listen to what is in your heart, why are you so cross?

          • Holger

            Who me, cross?

            You’re confusing just admonition with anger.

            Even then it isn’t “cross” (nor “crescent” nor “star of David”, come to that). It’s a perfectly rational desire to contradict and debunk the dogmatic religious opinions that render so many people’s lives a burden to them.

            If you’ve ever seen a gay child struggling under the yolk of condemnatory and abusive Christian parents, the basic altruistic instinct that forms part of our evolutionary heritage demands that you do something about it. You discredit the parents and explain to the child why he should throw off their authority, or at least grin and bear it until he’s legally capable of emancipating himself. If a gay child reads my comments and understands that his parents are the deluded victims of a savage homophobic cult, perhaps he’ll find the courage to endure.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    One does here so much of the divorce analogy. This brings two things to mind, both from former Czechoslovakia.

    The first is how after the Velvet Revolution when they freed themselves from the Soviet empire, they had a Velvet Divorce when the Czech Republic and Slovakia split apart.

    I am reminded of also of the opera The Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana, in which the matchmaker Kecal is got the better of by the hero. If Edward Heath had been the matchmaker, would it have turned out to be The Battered Bride?

    • Sarky

      Id never get a divorce…..i love my house too much.

  • Anton

    And today the Great Repeal Bill. Except that our civil servants want to repeal as little as they can in order to keep themselves in jobs while keeping us tied up in red tape.

    • Dominic Stockford

      There is an irony in the name of this bill. It will in fact repeal nothing, but rather enshrine EU laws into British Law. Eventually something ight get repealed, but for the time being? Nothing, nada, zilch.

      • Anton

        Yes, it should be called the Great Repeat Bill.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Excellent!

        • chefofsinners

          If the EU gets its way it will just be the Great Bill. £53 billion has been mentioned, I believe.

    • len

      Shades of ‘Jarndyce v. Jarndyce’

    • Holger

      Careful Christian! It’s a sin to bear false witness, didn’tcha know? You’re just storing up imaginary trouble for yourself in imaginary heaven. What if the Catholics are right and purgatory is real? You’re gonna be there for æons.

      • Anton

        And what if they are right about heaven and hell?

        • Holger

          And what if Pastafarians are right about heaven and hell? Both consist of a beer volcano and a stripper factory, but in hell the beer is flat and the strippers all have STDs.

          Go on, prove the Pastafarians wrong. Prove to me that their Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t exist. You want me to accept your god on the sole basis of your claim that he exists. Why shouldn’t I accept someone else’s god on a similar basis? Or why shouldn’t I reject both claims on the basis that absolutely no evidence exists to support either of them?

          I know which is the most logical position to take. But this isn’t about logic, is it? It’s about you and the fact that in your estimation, everything you believe must be true. Well, if it’s true, you should be able to prove it. Can you?

          • Anton

            Not to your satisfaction. But which of us does that refer back to?

          • Holger

            It doesn’t refer back to specific people so much as a particular concept.

            Credulity v. Incredulity. Those are the terms of the argument.