I think this quote, from Will Italy’s Populists Upend Europe? by Mark Leonard today at Project Syndicate, makes the salient point with an economy of words:
“An Italian government combining two very different strands of populism will pose a serious threat to the European project, because it could form the core of a new federation of populists and Euroskeptics that have hitherto operated separately. No longer would Euroskeptics be fragmented into different tribes of anti-immigrant politicians on the right and anti-austerity politicians on the left.”
Seems to me this is the key to making an effective (if potentially frightening) populism adhere. Can opposite poles hold together?
I’m with the less austerity camp, and I find some level of “common currency abuse” on the part of “German fiscal hawks,” as Leonard calls them. I’m less inclined toward the xenophobes and God-and-country nationalists at the other pole. Perhaps they feel the same in reverse?
Can this coalition hold together?
Italy is the European spot to watch this summer. That is, unless the May government falls.
“What invariably kills Tory governments, in the end, is private affluence and public squalor. Today too few Conservatives are sufficiently conservative: they seldom speak of the value of community, of the shared institutions that bind us together and give purpose, dignity and meaning to our lives. And so, Britain crumbles. “
– from Crumbling Britain: thousands like my elderly aunt suffer as the public realm decays by Jason Crowley
To the long list of stiff upper lip-wielding Brits, including the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, Sir Francis Drake who defeated the Spanish Armada and Henry V, the king who defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt, we may add King George VI, father of the current Queen Elisabeth.
King George woke one desperate May morning in 1940 to a call from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, who was just then desperately holed up in an air raid shelter in a palace garden against an ongoing assault from the Germans.
“She begged me to send aircraft for the defense of Holland. I passed this message on to everyone concerned & went back to bed.”
Quoted in Last Hope Island by Lynne Olsen.
Now that the St. Helena airport is up and running the RMS St. Helena, the last ship in the world to actually carry the British mail, is taking down her flags. It’s on its last visit to the island this week.
Here are a few photos from St. Helena, a tiny speck of land 1200 miles west of Africa in the south Atlantic Ocean, formerly only accessible via the RMS St. Helena.
St. Helena is a product of the same British colonialism that brought us the map in the previous post. It’s a place out of time.
It’s lovely, too.
The only population center, Jamestown.
There are more photos in the St. Helena Gallery at EarthPhotos.com, and here is a link to posts I wrote at the time of our visit.
A plucky little charter company called Atlantic Star Airlines is arranging a charter flight now for Christmas 2018 from the U.K:
Here’s their web site. And here is the local paper, the St. Helena Sentinel.
From an intriguing website, new to me, called Tubemapcentral.com.This map comes from a pdf newsletter available on the site. Best way to properly view it might be to download the pdf and then enlarge the map. Brings back a disappeared world. Not entirely forgotten, especially probably if you were a non-British resident somewhere far out in the empire.
The keeper of the newsletter writes:
“Many of you will be familiar with a particularly splendid poster from 1937 advertising air services by Imperial Airways. This included a schematic map in an inset, detailing mileages and frequencies of flights to all sorts of exotic destinations.”