Iron Spines

I offerthe link to this essay http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2011-08-10.html for your consideration. As you may know, Ms. Coulter is a columnist and commentator, generally regarded as politically right-wing, and somewhat of a bomb-thrower. As a matter fact one of my friends (who may be reading this) once referred to her as a harridan. I suppose all that is true, as Ms. Coulter tends to raise all kinds of hackles with her super-sarcastic turns of phrases (which is not a bad thing), and in this essay she makes some rather good points. I add my own.

The first is that the British welfare system has fostered a cult of dependency among many Britons. This means that a large part of the population have been reduced to drones who have no function other than to take up space and breed more generations of drones. In decades past, mostly before our lifetimes, the British aristocracy, the Dukes of Earl, and Earls of Duke, were decried as parasites by many reformers. (Of course, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of biology knows that parasites have their uses, and play a role in evolution, and actually can be useful.) David Lloyd George, when calling for the reform of Parliament in 1911, referred to the nobility as “ordinary man, chosen accidentally from among the unemployed.” It is now ironic that the underclass drones, now appear to be such a group. Nevertheless, the nobility, and for that matter the monarchy, in Britain has long since morphed into a major tourist attraction as its primary raison d’être – a kind of Disneyland for adults. That is why occasional calls from various lunatics for the abolition of the monarchy don’t go anywhere. Without it, Great Britain would have the panache of Belarus.

I suppose that it might be a credit to the British that they have managed to survive for nearly 60 years as a cradle to the grave welfare state without totally collapsing. They may have come to the brink in late 70s, but Margaret Thatcher managed to pull them back, at least for a while. I’m not discounting the value of the export of the Beatles and other rock musicians to the British economy as a significant aid to propping up their nanny state. Of course, that value is nowhere near the extent provided by the erstwhile colonies of two centuries past who defended the sceptered isle for the past 60 years.

The only bright spot I see at the moment is that David Cameron, if he manages to stay firm and quell the rioting, might be in a position to extend his term as prime minister and actually roll back the welfare state to some degree. At least possibly he can dismantle the more extreme idiocy such as providing tropical vacations (called holidays in Britain) to illegitimate welfare mothers.

There are those who wring their hands about the rioting in Britain, as well as that in Greece, which had a more direct relationship to the cutting of government expenditures for benefits, might be a harbinger of what could happen here the United States. I’m not particularly worried about that, at least not in the short term. A good number of Americans are already on board with cutting back on federal government provided “entitlements” and balancing the budget. The trend seems to be in that direction. It now seems apparent that a large part of President Obama’s appeal in 2008 was that he was not George W. Bush – that is, George W. Bush the big spender, who for eight years refused to rein in Congressional spending on pet projects, of which both of our major political parties were guilty. As alluded to above, another reason was that the British welfare state was possible because during the 50 years of the Cold War, Britain had the luxury of living under the military umbrella of the United States, and did not have to commit a significant amount of its resources to defense. They didn’t need Big Brother to defend them when they had Uncle Sam. Uncle does not have that luxury; the buck indeed stops here.

Another difference when it comes to the uninhibited rioting and looting, is that in most parts of America the populace is armed with guns, in some cases literally armed to the teeth. In many states, Texas being one example, they have the law on their side, allowing them to use deadly force to protect their property, property being a fundamental right ensconced in our Constitution. Yes, there has been some rioting and looting in the United States. Some of it, such as the race riots of the 1960s in inner cities, was understandable if not excusable. In those affrays, quite a few looters met their demise, not from the police, from rioters attempting to loot shops and homes defended by armed citizens. For at least the past 50 years, the monthly magazine of the National Rifle Association has chronicled instances of armed citizens thwarting criminals from plying their trade. Britons, of course, have been effectively disarmed. It is illegal, to my understanding, to even own a handgun, and rifles and shotguns are only permitted to be stored in police approved hunting clubs.

It is ironic that the English Bill of Rights which Parliament enacted in the wake of the glorious Revolution of 1688, and is a forerunner of our Second Amendment, gave the right to all free citizens (if they were Protestant that is) to keep and bear arms, has long since been discarded in that regard. What would be a step in the right direction is the restoration of that right in Britain. Perhaps it’s time for the well-known British stiff upper lip to be bolstered by some iron in their collective spine.

Cheers!

Bob Reagan

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