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Donald Trump is the end result of every subversive tendency in the Sexual Revolution. He is Justice Kennedy's "at the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life" incarnate and personified. That concept, of course, has nothing to with liberty: quite to the contrary, it is the installation of a tyrannical, uncontrolled ego at the centre of each human being's universe - the invention of a world of a million million tyrants. To "define one's own concept of meaning, of the universe" is to impose it on external reality. It is to say "that is what I want, that is what I order" to the world at large. Now the child of that thought walks into the White House.
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From now I shall use a new word. The kind of people who argue against a minimum wage are neither conservative (how DARE they?) nor libertarian. They are starvationists. Remember the word: STARVATIONISTS.
fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
This is without a doubt the most horrifying piece of news yet to come out of the Western side of the Cold War.
it seems that the American military had effectively worked to remove the supposed control over nuclear weapon from the President, and effectively allow any four officers who wished to to launch a missile. The considerations behind this piece of total insanity were purely military: suppose the C-in-C were disabled or otherwise unable to react, there could be no effective response to any kind of Soviet aggression. Well, DUH!! If the President had been taken out of the equation, then the war leadership would be probably gone, and all that would be left would be stupid, uncoordinated slaughter. Besides, the point with atomic weapon was not to use them, but to avoid using them, and above all to prevent the other side using them. Say what you will about mutual assured destruction, but it kept two power groups that hated each other's guts from replying the horrible, destructive folly of the two world wars.

But never mind the "Dr.Strangelove" option with four junior officers just deciding to go off and fire a Minuteman rocket on their own. Do you have the least idea what would have happened if this piece of idiocy by US armed forces had ever got out? NATO would have been finished, that's what. Are any of you old enough to remember the huge pacifist demonstrations of 1980-1982? I was there, and I can tell you what they were about. They were not Communist-led or pro-Russian; almost everyone who took part despised Soviet Russia as a backward, vicious tyranny. They were about the feeling that the USA were playing dice with the lives and future of Europeans. If WWIII ever came, it would have been fought in Europe. Every one of us was aware of that; many had been through military service - most European armies at the time were still conscript - and we were all aware that we were constantly staring down a lot of Russian barrels. We hated the idea that the American forces could essentially use our countries as a nuclear chessboard. That being the case, I can tell you with absolute certainty that if the European public had known that the armed aliens in their midst could launch nuclear strikes virtually at will, and that they had deliberately cut out both the US civilian leadership AND the European governments, there would have been a political earthquake. No country from Norway to Turkey and from West Germany to Portugal would have allowed a single American soldier to remain on its territory. It would have been the end of the alliance. And for that alone one has to say that the generals who had this bright idea were stupid beyond criminality.

Yet more evidence that "war is too important a matter to leave to generals" (Georges Clemenceau said that, and he knew a thing or two about it). It is an ugly thought that, today, an army that was capable of such folly remains the most respected - or at least least despised - institution in America. A few generations of corrupt and incompetent politicians have salted the fields of democratic institutions, making half the population hate one half of government and the other half the other. Let us just hope that we don't pay for this collective loss of faith.


Jul. 21st, 2014 10:48 am
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The narrow defeat of the Obama administration in the Hobby Lobby case has sent its supporters into ecstases of rage and hate that have to be seen to be believed, and that in some cases can only be described as murderous. I am glad I don't live in the USA. But this fury, that bewilders many conservatives and independents, does not bewilder me. The Mandate was criminal from the beginning, criminal in its prehistory. Remember how deliberately the President lied to poor Bart Stupak and destroyed his career. And the Mandate is really much more basic to the Obama project than people realize, because they can't see its actual purpose. Le me draw a historical parallel.

Ireland has one of the saddest modern histories of any country in the world. Repeatedly invaded and devastated by the larger neighbouring island, its Catholic majority was reduced to a pulverized peasantry, paying tax they could not afford to Protestant landlords and being tithed for Protestant parsons; a miserable swarm of penniless, ignorant and leaderless grubbers of the soil, fed by potatoes, with no middle class or aristocracy or any consistency. But what you have to realize is that, the destruction of the Irish educated classes, in spite of the frightful massacres and repeated wars, were not the result of military oppression or even of mass murder; they were, in the main, the result of laws. England wrote dozens, indeed hundreds,of laws, to destroy the Irish nation as elaborately and as legally as possible. As the Irish Protestant Edmund Burke said, the English laws against Irish Catholics - or "penal laws", as they are shamefully called - were "a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts. It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

The Mass, of course, could not be said: to have it said or to say it meant life imprisonment. But neither could Catholics be educated: to set up a Catholic school was equally a matter of life imprisonment. And Catholics were to be robbed by law: "Every Roman Catholic was... to forfeit his estate to his nearest Protestant relation, until, through a profession of what he did not believe, he redeemed by his hypocrisy what the law had transferred to the kinsman as the recompense of his profligacy." The law encouraged Protestants to steal from their Catholic relations, or even pretended relations; and not just large amounts, but everything - every bit of property they had. "When thus turned out of doors from his paternal estate, he was disabled from acquiring any other by any industry, donation, or charity; but was rendered a foreigner in his native land, only because he retained the religion, along with the property, handed down to him from those who had been the old inhabitants of that land before him."

"....Catholics, condemned to beggary and to ignorance in their native land, have been obliged to learn the principles of letters, at the hazard of all their other principles, from the charity of your enemies. They have been taxed to their ruin at the pleasure of necessitous and profligate relations, and according to the measure of their necessity and profligacy,"

"Examples of this are many and affecting. Some of them are known by a friend who stands near me in this hall. It is but six or seven years since a clergyman, of the name of Malony, a man of morals, neither guilty nor accused of anything noxious to the state, was condemned to perpetual imprisonment for exercising the functions of his religion; and after lying in jail two or three years, was relieved by the mercy of government from perpetual imprisonment, on condition of perpetual banishment. A brother of the Earl of Shrewsbury, a Talbot, a name respectable in this country whilst its glory is any part of its concern, was hauled to the bar of the Old Bailey, among common felons, and only escaped the same doom, either by some error in the process, or that the wretch who brought him there could not correctly describe his person,—I now forget which. In short, the persecution would never have relented for a moment, if the judges, superseding (though with an ambiguous example) the strict rule of their artificial duty by the higher obligation of their conscience, did not constantly throw every difficulty in the way of such informers. But so ineffectual is the power of legal evasion against legal iniquity, that it was but the other day that a lady of condition, beyond the middle of life, was on the point of being stripped of her whole fortune by a near relation to whom she had been a friend and benefactor; and she must have been totally ruined, without a power of redress or mitigation from the courts of law, had not the legislature itself rushed in, and by a special act of Parliament rescued her from the injustice of its own statutes..."

It says enough about the power of brute prejudice, of a kind we see in the highest places today, that this unanswerable attack on a disgraceful law lost Burke an election he should have won. The English had been taught to hate Catholics so much that they evidently thought that nothing done to them could be wrong or unjust.

What the Mandate is designed to do, mutatis mutandis, is exactly this. This is why the political and media leadership of your country has fought for it so obstinately, so savagely, and so underhandedly; this is why it took even a narrow defeat with murderous rage. It is because the real purpose of this abomination is to exclude Christians and especially Catholics from economic life. In a world in which money is the only power that can really affect politics - as Obama and his people know all too well - it is intolerable to them that there should be a number, however small, of rich people and of company owners who take their Christianity seriously. In this day and age it is not yet possible to make it legal for a man of the government's party to simply steal the property of his dissenting relatives; and besides, there is not - or not yet - a simple test of identity to separate the government's friends from its enemies, as membership in the "Protestant" church was in Burke's time. But they can impose a tax for a purpose that no Christian can accept, and then savagely penalize them - not by jailing them, which is not what they want, but by fining them into ruin.

Look at it in this light, and the whole mechanism becomes lucid, clear, rational and perfectly designed for its purpose. It is intended to make it impossible for Christians to have any independent economic activity in the USA, by making sure that they either have to resign their principles or be taxed into bankruptcy for them. Of course, they could not possibly declare their purpose; of course they lied from beginning to end. But that, and nothing else, is what this Mandate does.

Incidentally, this also gives you an insight into the real view that Obama and his henchmen have of the political process in your country, and of the nature of political power. This law is not meant to strike at Catholic or Christian faith. It does not try to obtain conversions. It does not set up anything like the imposing apparatus by which republican France, after 1875, worked tirelessly to break the ancestral Catholicism of its masses. The only thing that matters, the thing for which they have fought, the thing for which they have lied, the thing for which they ruined Bart Stupak and compromised the word of the President of the United States of America, was to be sure that no rich Catholics or Christians should exist. Wealth had to remain exclusively among people who had no problem with paying tax to distribute IUDs and abortifacients with a shovel. Because in the eyes of Obama and his crowd, only the very rich are politically significant. This attempt to winnow the Christians from their numbers makes it perfectly clear.
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It is worth reflecting on this: the very culture that drives the demand for legalized euthanasia is also fanatically committed to destroying any faith in God and immortal souls. In other words, it not only wants to kill the old, weak and sick, but it wants to send them into the dark terrified, quivering and alone. Never mind that God and immortal souls are real; that is the end of life these men ultimately intend for themselves, and in the name, mind you, of "compassion". No wonder that Dr.Kervorkian, old, decrepit and prey to a thousand ailments - the very image of a claim for compassionate euthanasia - is absolutely refusing to apply his own teachings to himself.

Elton John

Jan. 5th, 2011 10:54 am
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Those who purchase other human beings with money are called slavers and slave-owners. Those who purchase the sexual use of women with money are called prostitutes' johns, and the women who sell it to them are called prostitutes (or whores, or hos).

Those who do both things at once are called Elton John and David Whassisname.
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One of the habits of mind induced by a Marxist education is to consider the economic and political battlefield as a zero-sum game. This lasts even after any belief in socialism has died out, and results in the frequently observed phenomenon that ex-Marxists and ex-Communists make the most brutal, rapacious and conscienceless capitalists. It is, in particular, incredibly easy to spot in the destructive and profoundly stupid behaviour of the People's Republic of China.

This government, knowing perfectly well that international Islamism is at least as much its enemy as the West's, nonetheless looks with unconcealed sympathy and support to the Iranian government's pursuit of the atom bomb, and looks for advantage and alliances in the Islamist fever-swamp that is the government of Sudan. As far as they are concerned, anything that diminishes their imagined enemies in the West, however dangerous and destructive, must necessarily be to their advantage. That the West and China might both lose out if the maniacs of Tehran build an atom bomb does not begin to cross their minds. That there might be mutual advantage in fostering order in the region would never seem to them anything but a piece of pied-piper propaganda intended to get them to perform to their enemies' tune.

Some apologists for Beijing say that Chinese foreign policy is driven by the need to secure sources of raw materials; but this is nothing but a different manifestation of the same pathology. The fact is that raw materials are available to anyone who can afford to pay the going rate. Japan and Italy, two countries who have to import every major industrial raw material from iron to oil, have rarely had any problem. It is only in the mythology of ignorant (by choice) hard left groups, that the Americans have invaded Iraq "to steal its oil": that oil was available to them freely without the expense of a war, as is any mineral from bauxite to zircon. Only China does not think in terms of competing for resources on a free market; it wants to "secure sources of raw materials" - language that should concern any mining country from Congo to Australia.

The one reason that makes this kind of talk a bit less irrational is itself a product of the same post-Marxist zero-sum-game attitudes. China is effectively at a disadvantage on the market for raw materials; not because it does not have army bases in Iraq, but because its currency is notoriously undervalued. And it is undervalued for a purpose: to maximize the Chinese competitive advantage in industrial exports. The same juggling with exchange rates that allows Chinese manufacturares to destroy whole areas of competing Western enterprise, also makes it more expensive for them to buy the raw materials they need. But since the zero-sum-game mentality inevitably leads to paranoia, the Chinese don't think of the remedy - allowing the renminbi to reach its natural market value. As they are always looking out for enemy conspiracies to do them down, they would interpret such a suggestion as an attempt to rig the market in favour of their enemies.

The aggressive Chinese export drive, backed by a massive industrial espionage apparatus, has been unsettling Western economies for decades. The West long ago made a strategic decision to do nothing about it: the prospect of inserting the huge and dangerous empire of Mao Zedong into the world of civilized exchange and industrial progress seemed worth the pain of accepting aggressive competition and dubious pricing. However, when purely internal Western follies brought about a severe resettlement of American finance, the Bush II and Obama administrations did not try too hard to rescue the dollar. They, too, had discovered the game of overcharging for imports and undercharging for exports, and badly needed to find ways to raise employment.

This left the Euro alone on the top of a mountain. The result is the sluggish economy that conservative Americans make so much of. No matter how efficient and high-quality may be the Eurozone's productive sector, it is difficult to compete with rivals of whom the largest deliberately allow their currencies to float at well below ours. And that is, in my view, the reason for the otherwise disconcerting lack of eagerness about rescuing Greece. Greece has certainly been placed in the national equivalent of administration, and will have to go through the most painful process of internal change in generations. But the truth is that the current slide of the Euro is getting the real big boys of the Eurozone - Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy - out of a situation for which they had absolutely no enthusiasm. The truth is that nobody wanted the Euro to be the world's new reserve currency, and certainly not at this price. The result, however, is that, with the dollar, the euro and the renminbi racing each other to the bottom, the world no longer has a real reserve currency.

What we need is a new Bretton Woods. The trouble is that it took a world war and fifty million dead to get the survivors to agree to the first Bretton Woods, and I doubt that anything today could make the same impression.
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(cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] academics_anon)

If anyone thinks that the nearly homicidal hatred of my friend [livejournal.com profile] wemyss for the repulsive rabble that pretends to govern this wretched country is exaggerated,Read more... )
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We are all, I hope, disgusted, and perhaps grimly amused, at the vile conference convened by Iran's criminal President to "discuss" the Holocaust. Not everyone, however, seems to realize that this is only the last, and not even the worst, of a growing tendency by politicians and rich men to simply refuse the assured conclusions of scholarship and common sense when it suits them.

To my mind, probably the most sinister of these, because of its enormous reach and duration, was the many-pronged attempt by the Indian government, at the time of the BJP, to spread and impose a novel doctrine of early history that said, one, that the Indo-European group of peoples had originated not in Russia and Central Asia, but in India; that there were Sanskrit-speakers in India as early as 3500BC; and that as the other IE nations spread westwards from India, so their languages are derived from, rather than related to, Sanskrit. This is pure nonsense which one lesson in elementary linguistics and language history could easily dismantle; but thanks to the pressure of the government of a great country, supported by widespread nationalism, it has corrupted the whole course of scholarly debate in India and even found footholds in the West. I have in my library a guide to Hinduism, for instance, which is written from this point of view; anyone who buys it and reads without being aware of its essential corruption will himself be corrupted. As I have no intention of encouraging this sort of production, I will not name publisher and author; but the author is one of that small band of Western scholars who have allowed themselves to become accomplices of the BJP in this criminal enterprise. Their motives are easy to perceive in their writings: in general, the words "colonialism", "imperialism", "orientalism" recur at least every second line. These men and women start from the premise that whatever comes from Western culture is ideologically imperialistic and racist and therefore certainly wrong - wrong without need to debate it or to disprove it, wrong because it is the essence of Western culture to be wrong. And they do not even stop to wonder that in supporting the lies of the BJP they are giving their support to something a great deal more imperialistic, racist and aggressive, a genuine fascist movement that hangs like a black shadow over the future of India and all Asia.

We might also consider the astonishing way in which, in the face of all common sense and every single bit of evidence, Mohammed Fayed, the owner of Harrod's, has managed to keep the most inane and insane conspiracy theories about the deaths of his son Dodi and of Princess Diana alive in the British press. Merely because the man is rich (or rather, possessed of large means - in fact, he is heavily in debt), he has always found mercenary scribblers to transform his fantasies into journalistic prose, and publish them, not in little blogs or tinfoil-hatted websites, but in some of the great newspapers of Britain. This could be forgiven as a manifestation of the undying grief of a father who has lost his son; were it not that behind that there is clearly visible something much nastier - the attitude of a man who firmly believes that anything bad that happens to him must be the work of enemies and dark forces conspiring against him, and builds up his monstrous ego by looking for enemies to hound. That a couple of newspapers and several journalists have been willing, merely because of his money (the Princess Di brand has long since ceased to sell newspapers), to support him in this evidently insane quest, seems to me disgraceful. But then, British pressmen are corrupt from the cradle.

My friends will also think, I imagine, of the crazed popularity of seven-eleven denial, especially in America. But there is a serious difference between this phenomenon and the ones I described: no rich person or major government is backing seven-eleven denial. It is a genuinely grassroots phenomenon - a sad one, but not a manged one. In fact, it is an embarrassment to the groups in America that would otherwise be closest to its members, such as the Democratic Party. On the other hand, it is difficult to see that Diana conspiracy theories, Indian pseudohistories, or Holocaust denial, would have any more than a small and marginal life in pamphlets typewritten by cranks, were it not for the support of powerful groups and state governments. And this is a trend of terrible seriousness: no less than the attempt by power groups to rewrite reality, as scholarship has established it, in their own interest.

There is one basic point in which this is the West's fault, however. None of this would have had any opportunity for developing, in any significant way, and the governments and rich men concerned would not even have conceived of giving them institutional life, were it not for the idiot and criminal slogan that is the worst of the many enduring legacies of the sixties: "Question authority". This slogan has encouraged two generations to feel clever merely by being oppositional and programmatically skeptical; it has stood in the way of intellectual progress in every possible way (the encouragement of cranks and crackpots till they became institutional being only one of its evil effects). Ahmedinajad and the BJP parrot lines about Western imperialism, cultural imperialism, and so on, that have first been written and popularized in Western universities. The first thing to be done now, therefore, is to challenge this particular authoritative statement; and not only to challenge, but to bury it.
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Within a few days, and only a few weeks before the World Cup, two legendary former Italian soccer players have been arrested for serious criminal offences and the leading club has been caught cold manipulating refereeing to its own advantage. First, phone taps proved practically beyond doubt that management of Juventus, Italy's most successful club (owned by the Agnelli family, who also own FIAT) had connived with footballing authorities to fix the assignment of particular referees to particular matches, presumably for the purpose of obtaining the right results. Then, the legendary Welsh-born striker Giorgio Chinaglia, who won Lazio's only national title in 1972-73 and is still beloved by all the white-and-blue half of Rome (Lazio and Roma are Rome's two football teams, and obviously the city is split down the middle about them), was charged with fencing stolen goods (in practice, laundering dirty money) for the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia. (I now find that he was already being investigated for market rigging and insider trading on the Italian stock exchange.) And today Michele Padovano, a recent former player who had won several titles with - guess who - Juventus, was arrested along with 32 other people and charged with being a member of a gang smuggling hashish from Morocco. And this was not due to any kind of personal need or distress: as he was arrested, he was employed as director of sport for Alessandria, a respected second-division football club. I said long ago that Italian football was corrupt to the bone and that the best thing might be to let it go bankrupt. Now tell me I am wrong.
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All readers are warned: if, in spite of my clear statement that what is behind the cut is offensive and contains a thoroughly unpopular attitude, you still go and read it, do not dare, afterward, write angry or offended comments or e-mails. They will be not only deleted, but replaced with appropriate comments on the absurdity of such attitudes. I am not saying not to criticize; comment away. But do not dare take a wounded attitude; if free thought on sexual matters offends you, do not read it; and if you do, on your own head be it. Worst of all will be treated those who are silly enough to say, as I have known some people to say, I am not offended, but I am angry. Distinctions without differences strike me as being no better than masks for use in the mirror, pretending to be one thing when you are very much another.

Read more... )
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It is not often that you will find me on the same side as the Reverend Ian Paisley (who once screamed "Antichrist!" at the Pope across the European Parliament) or as atheist brutes such as Richard Dawkins and Polly Toynbee; in fact, I do not recall it ever happening before. But every one of us, and many other shades of opinion besides, have been horrified for months at the worst yet of the many insane ideas to come out of the Tory Blur and his gang of reality-challenged free-market ideologues and PC addicts. This was his Religious Hatred Bill, a proposal to make attacks against any religion illegal.

All sides of the community, with the exception of most Muslims, regard this frightful piece of tyranny with horror. Artists and intellectuals joined with Evangelical Christians, atheists, Buddhists, in demonstrating against it before Westminster Palace. It would have criminalized anything that any particular religious group could reasonably describe as offensive to its principles - a long-held desire of Muslims, and perhaps of pseudoreligious scoundrels such as Scientologists, but of nobody else.

Bear in mind that we are talking about much more than the ancient offence of blasphemy. Blasphemy meant violently insulting God. Being "offensive" means a whole lot more. Even if you do not take into account the commonplace fact that there is nothing that cannot be offensive to someone or other (and I have certainly defriended one person and banned another, for making what I regarded as offensive remarks about my personal integrity, where they could not even see that they had been offensive), consider the following scenarii: 1) a man going up to a Muslim and denying that Muhammad was ever a prophet; 2) a man going up to a Buddhist and saying that what the Buddha taught was so much nonsense; 3) a man going up to a Christian and saying that the Christian religion was the product of collective delusion among the disappointed follower of a Jewish rebel executed by the Romans (and who, of course, never rose from the dead). Does anyone doubt that all these statements can certainly be, and be meant to be, offensive? But they can also be, and should always be taken as, reasonable challenges to the basis of the religion.

And religion ought to be discussed. There is the simple point that two contradictory views of reality cannot both be true. Therefore, even admitting that one religion is correct in its description of reality (by "religion", here, I mean any philosophy of existence, including therefore such a thing as modern atheism, a.k.a. "monistic materialism" or "humanism"), all others must be incorrect in some of their features. Therefore debate is necessary, not only to show (granted that it is possible to show it) the flaws in any religion, but, more importantly still, to refute in principle and practice the monstrosity of a notion of two equally right and equally valid, yet contradictory, descriptions of reality.

The Tory Blur's obscene bill was not only a liberticidal assault on freedom of thought, but an irrational display of misology - hatred of reason - which Socrates warned long ago was one and the same as misanthropy - hatred of human beings. It was widely regarded as a desperate attempt to fish for a few muddy Muslim votes (lost to Labour by innumerable Politically Correct decisions as well as by the war in Iraq) by putting the Muslim religion - which, alone of all the main religions practised in Great Britain, demands to be beyond discussion - in a position to take all opponents to court. And that being the case, I cannot describe my joy and relief when this crime against humanity was decisively rejected by both Chambers of Parliament.

Those of us who have long since seen through the Tory Blur's hollow front have come to regard with dread the moment when a new "initiative" or bill or program is announced; because the history of the last two Parliaments is so servile, so uncritical, so meanly disciplined and obedient, that for the last nine years the announcement of a new government policy was one and the same with its adoption - delayed, at most, by a few ineffectual amendments put in by the Lords and promptly removed by the Commons. But this time, at last, at last, the Commons forgot that they were were the servants of Mr.Tony and had to do his bidding; and they remembered only that they were citizens, free men, and adults, with the duties of adults. At least, enough of them remembered it, to deliver a decisive defeat to the Government, passing all the Lords' amendments; with the added and delicious insult that one crucial vote was lost by one vote because the Right Honourable Anthony Blair MP was not in the House at the time!

I had not dared to hope for this result; and even now, the battle is by no means over. The Tory Blur is obstinate as well as deluded, and I think he will try to railroad his Murder of Thought Bill through Parliament by some means or other. But, for once, and God be thanked (or whatever it is that you pray to), freedom and justice have prevailed in the Mother of Parliaments. When I heard about the vote missed by one voter, I laughed; but when I was clear that the most outrageous proposals of the Bill had been soundly defeated, I burst into song - the old Protestant hymn, Now thank we all our God; both stanzas. A great evil has been averted for now, and, God willing, it will remain averted.


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