All this time I’ve taken it on faith that the United Kingdom’s “Europe” debate has primarily been an internal Tory affair, to which the ruling party has held the rest of the country hostage. But yesterday the wider parliament, acting as the collective decision-making body for the country and comprising all the parties, failed to muster even the minimal political dexterity to stave off crashing out of the EU without an agreement.
It looks as if the entire political class is unable to govern. It looks like a shambles.
Let’s just call it “gold custody services.”
Windy and gray on our side of the hill today. Looks like an indoor weekend in the southern Appalachians.
The theme of today’s weekend reading recommendations is big European countries in turmoil.
– The Divided Kingdom by Helen Dale
– Labour’s Brexit trilemma: in search of the least bad outcome by Laurie MacFarlane
– How Ireland Outmaneuvered Britain on Brexit by Dara Doyle
– Notes on the Yellow Jackets by Claire Berlinski
– Macron Fans the Flames of Illiberalism by Pankaj Mishra
– Two Roads for the New French Right by Mark Lilla
– What Will Follow Emmanuel Macron? by Sarah Jones
– From Sans Culottes to Gilets Jaunes: Macron’s Marie Antoinette Moment by Sylvain Cypel
– How Macron gave Italian populists a boost by Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli
– The Dangerous New Face of Salvini’s Italy by Walter Mayr
Enjoy your weekend. See you next week.
“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.