So this is where all the vapid talk about the 'soul' of the universe is actually headed. Once the hard-won principles of reason and science have been discredited, the world will not pass into the hands of credulous herbivores who keep crystals by their sides and swoon over the poems of Khalil Gibran. The 'vacuum' will be invaded instead by determined fundamentalists of every stripe who already know the truth by means of revelation and who actually seek real and serious power in the here and now. One thinks of the painstaking, cloud-dispelling labor of British scientists from Isaac Newton to Joseph Priestley to Charles Darwin to Ernest Rutherford to Alan Turing and Francis Crick, much of it built upon the shoulders of Galileo and Copernicus, only to see it casually slandered by a moral and intellectual weakling from the usurping House of Hanover. An awful embarrassment awaits the British if they do not declare for a republic based on verifiable laws and principles, both political and scientific.
It is truth, in the old saying, that is 'the daughter of time,' and the lapse of half a century has not left us many of our illusions. Churchill tried and failed to preserve one empire. He failed to preserve his own empire, but succeeded in aggrandizing two much larger ones. He seems to have used crisis after crisis as an excuse to extend his own power. His petulant refusal to relinquish the leadership was the despair of postwar British Conservatives; in my opinion this refusal had to do with his yearning to accomplish something that 'history' had so far denied him—the winning of a democratic election.
We have no quarrel with the German nation,One would not quarrel with a flock of sheep.But, generation after generation,They throw up leaders who disturb our sleep.
Actually—and this was where I began to feel seriously uncomfortable—some such divine claim underlay not just 'the occupation' but the whole idea of a separate state for Jews in Palestine. Take away the divine warrant for the Holy Land and where were you, and what were you? Just another land-thief like the Turks or the British, except that in this case you wanted the land without the people. And the original Zionist slogan—'a land without a people for a people without a land'—disclosed its own negation when I saw the densely populated Arab towns dwelling sullenly under Jewish tutelage. You want irony? How about Jews becoming colonizers at just the moment when other Europeans had given up on the idea?
The prince's official job description as king will be 'defender of the faith,' which currently means the state-financed absurdity of the Anglican Church, but he has more than once said publicly that he wants to be anointed as defender of all faiths—another indication of the amazing conceit he has developed in six decades of performing the only job allowed him by the hereditary principle: that of waiting for his mother to expire.
London is one of the world's centres of Arab journalism and political activism. The failure of left and right, the establishment and its opposition, to mount principled arguments against clerical reaction has had global ramifications. Ideas minted in Britain – the notion that it is bigoted to oppose bigotry; 'Islamophobic' to oppose clerics whose first desire is to oppress Muslims – swirl out through the press and the net to lands where they can do real harm.
Yeah. Floyd is his batman.His what?Batman, like in the British army, each officer had a batman, a personal servant.You spend too much time reading, Spenser. You know more stuff that don't make you money than anybody I know.
But a progressive policy needs more than just a bigger break with the economic and moral assumptions of the past 30 years. It needs a return to the conviction that economic growth and the affluence it brings is a means and not an end. The end is what it does to the lives, life-chances and hopes of people. Look at London. Of course it matters to all of us that London's economy flourishes. But the test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners.
The other day I happened to be reading a careful, interesting account of the state of British higher education. The government is a kind of market-oriented government and they came out with an official paper, a ‘White Paper’ saying that it is not the responsibility of the state to support any institution that can’t survive in the market. So, if Oxford is teaching philosophy, the arts, Greek history, medieval history, and so on, and they can’t sell it on the market, why should they be supported? Because life consists only of what you can sell in the market and get back, nothing else. That is a real pathology.
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ?
You know, sometimes I don't understand what's wrong with us. This is just about the most creative and imaginative country on earth—and yet sometimes we just don't seem to have the gumption to exploit our intellectual property. We split the atom, and now we have to get French or Korean scientists to help us build nuclear power stations. We perfected the finest cars on earth—and now Rolls-Royce is in the hands of the Germans. Whatever we invent, from the jet engine to the internet, we find that someone else carts it off and makes a killing from it elsewhere.
But after all we are not children, not illiterate juvenile delinquents, not English public school boys who after a night of homosexual romps have to endure the paradox of reading the Ancients in expurgated versions.
This is no war of chieftains or of princes, of dynasties or national ambition; it is a war of peoples and of causes. There are vast numbers, not only in this Island but in every land, who will render faithful service in this war, but whose names will never be known, whose deeds will never be recorded. This is a War of the Unknown Warriors
A dull, decent people, cherishing and fortifying their dullness behind a quarter of a million bayonets.
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their mee
We had deluded ourselves that perhaps peace might find the Arabs able, unhelped and untaught, to defend themselves with paper tools. Meanwhile we glozed our fraud by conducting their necessary war purely and cheaply. But now this gloss had gone from me. Chargeable against my conceit were the causeless, ineffectual deaths of Hesa. My will had gone and I feared to be alone, lest the winds of circumstance, or power, or lust, blow my empty soul away.
It’s so easy to believe that others deserve their fate, and the fact was that if nobody bothered to help other people then the worst would always happen… She stares out of her window at the busy street, where the British go about their daily business, taking it for granted that they will never be arrested for not voting the right way, praying the right way, dressing the right way or for belonging to a different tribe.
It is important to demonstrate to the unfree world that one of the privileges of democracies is to enjoy freedom of travel and intercourse and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. [Gerald Barry, from article in English Speaking World, 1950.]
This is what you get when you found a political system on the family values of Henry VIII. At a point in the not-too-remote future, the stout heart of Queen Elizabeth II will cease to beat. At that precise moment, her firstborn son will become head of state, head of the armed forces, and head of the Church of England. In strict constitutional terms, this ought not to matter much. The English monarchy, as has been said, reigns but does not rule. From the aesthetic point of view it will matter a bit, because the prospect of a morose bat-eared and chinless man, prematurely aged, and with the most abysmal taste in royal consorts, is a distinctly lowering one.
One of the benefits of aligning yourself with an indistinct cluster of people is that claiming to feel their pain is often enough.
Some say that because the United States was wrong before, it cannot possibly be right now, or has not the right to be right. (The British Empire sent a fleet to Africa and the Caribbean to maintain the slave trade while the very same empire later sent another fleet to enforce abolition. I would not have opposed the second policy because of my objections to the first; rather it seems to me that the second policy was morally necessitated by its predecessor.)
Nice mix of Tory MPs saying this issue shouldn't be used for petty political pointscoring, & Tory MPs trying to score petty political points.
This week, Zuma was quoted as saying, 'When the British came to our country, they said everything we are doing was barbaric, was wrong, inferior in whatever way.' But the serious critique of Zuma is not about who is a barbarian and who is civilised. It is about good governance, and this is a universal value, as relevant to an African village as it is to Westminster. If you are unable to keep your appetites in check, you are inevitably going to live beyond your means. And this means you are going to become vulnerable to patronage and even corruption. That is why Jacob Zuma's 'polygamy' is his achilles heel.
That day -- Monday, 25 February 1980 -- unfolded, in the context of British politics, much like any other day. Government, in those days, happened rather like a tree falling in a forest when there was no one there to witness it. For those among the Great British Public who wanted to believe that something was happening, the assumption was that something was indeed most probably happening, while for those who still needed to see it, or hear it, to believe it, there remained a high degree of doubt that anything was happening at all.
He noticed that he felt calmer now she was here, still in that grey dress with her dowdy hat, the air around her redolent with orchid oil. Perhaps all women in England had this effect. Perhaps they all smelled of flowers and exuded a calm and measured purpose. He couldn’t remember.
When the British left, India was a multireligious, multiregional, multiethnic country, exploited, backward, and poor from colonialism.
Over the years, the British had strategically pitted the Muslims against the Hindus, supporting the All India Muslim League and encouraging the notion that the Muslims were a distinct political community. Throughout British India, separate electorates had been offered to Muslims, underscoring their separateness from Hindus and sowing the seeds of communalism. Teh Morley-Minto reforms in 1908 had allowed direct election for seats and separate or communal representation for Muslims. This was the harbinger for the formation of the Muslim League in 1906. In 1940, the Muslim League, representing one-fifth of the total population of India, became a unifying force. They were resentful that they were not sufficiently represented in Congress and feared for the safety of Islam.
And immediately we rushed like horses, wild with the knowledge of this song, and bolted into a startingly loud harmony: 'Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves; Britons, never-never-ne-verr shall be slaves!'and singing, I saw the kings and the queens in the room with us, laughing in a funny way, and smiling and happy with us. The headmaster was soaked in glee. And I imagined all the glories of Britannia, who, or what or which, had brought us out of the ships crossing over from the terrible seas from Africa, and had placed us on this island, and had given us such good headmasters and assistant masters, and such a nice vicar to teach us how to pray to God - and he had come from England; and such nice white people who lived on the island with us, and who gave us jobs watering their gardens and taking out their garbage, most of which we found delicious enough to eat...all through the ages, all through the years of history; from the Tudors on the wall, down through the Stuarts also on the wall, all through the Elizabethans and including those men and women singing in their hearts with us, hanging dead and distant on our schoolroom walls; Britannia, who, or what or which, had ruled the waves all these hundreds of years, all these thousands and millions of years, and kept us on the island, happy - the island of Barbados (Britannia the Second), free from all invasions. Not even the mighty Germans; not even the Russians whom our headmaster said were dressed in red, had dared to come within submarine distance of our island! Britannia who saw to it that all Britons (we on the island were, beyond doubt, little black Britons, just like the white big Britons up in Britannialand. The headmaster told us so!) - never-never-ne-verr, shall be slaves!
There was something indomitable about Maria – like Britannia. He’d heard that she kept her head during a Chilean earthquake the year before when men of greater age and experience had panicked. Afterwards she was discovered calmly taking notes, recording the way the land hand risen, for publication, she said.
Lisbon, to me, is the Lisbon of Pessoa. Just like London is Woolf’s, or rather, Mrs. Dalloway’s. Barcelona is Gaudí's and Rome is da Vinci’s. You see them in every crevice and hear their echoes in every cathedral. I’d like to be the child, or rather, the mother of a city but I neither have a home nor a resting place. My race is humankind. My religion is kindness. My work is love and, well, my city is the walls of your heart.
He had spent much of his childhood perched on the coast, with the taste of salt in the air: this was a place of woodland and river, mysterious and secretive in a different way from St. Mawes, the little town with its long smuggling history, where colorful houses tumbled down to the beach.
England and America owe their liberty to commerce, which created a new species of power to undermine the feudal system. But let them beware of the consequences: the tyranny of wealth is still more galling and debasing than that of rank.
She treated Vanessa and me as if we were visiting budgerigars that needed to be fed and then put somewhere dark for the night.
The principle victims of British policies are Unpeople—those whose lives are deemed worthless, expendable in the pursuit of power and commercial gain. They are the modern equivalent of the ‘savages’ of colonial days, who could be mown down by British guns in virtual secrecy, or else in circumstances where the perpetrators were hailed as the upholders of civilisation.
How do you know she had sex?” Dallas asks.“Every time a penis touches Britain, I receive a telepathic notification.”“Oh,” Dallas says with a straight face. “Well that explains a lot.