Make jocund music though the boughs be bare

Why England Is Conservative

by Alfred Austin

Alfred Austin

Because of our dear Mother, the fair Past,
On whom twin Hope and Memory safely lean,
And from whose fostering wisdom none shall wean
Their love and faith, while love and faith shall last:
Mother of happy homes and Empire vast,
Of hamlets meek, and many a proud demesne,
Blue spires of cottage smoke ‘mong woodlands green,
And comely altars where no stone is cast.
And shall we barter these for gaping Throne,
Dismantled towers, mean plots without a tree,
A herd of hinds too equal to be free,
Greedy of other’s, jealous of their own,
And, where sweet Order now breathes cadenced tone,
Envy, and hate, and all uncharity?
Banish the fear! ‘Twere infamy to yield
To folly what to force had been denied,
Or in the Senate quail before the tide
We should have stemmed and routed in the field.
What though no more we brandish sword and shield,
Reason’s keen blade is ready at our side,
And manly brains, in wisdom panoplied,
Can foil the shafts that treacherous sophists wield.
The spirit of our fathers is not quelled.
With weapons valid even as those they bore,
Domain, Throne, Altar, still may be upheld,
So we disdain, as they disdained of yore,
The foreign froth that foams against our shore,
Only by its white cliffs to be repelled!
Therefore, chime sweet and safely, village bells,
And, rustic chancels, woo to reverent prayer,
And, wise and simple, to the porch repair
Round which Death, slumbering, dreamlike heaves and swells.
Let hound and horn in wintry woods and dells
Make jocund music though the boughs be bare,
And whistling yokel guide his gleaming share
Hard by the homes where gentle lordship dwells.
Therefore sit high enthroned on every hill,
Authority! and loved in every vale;
Nor, old Tradition, falter in the tale
Of lowly valour led by lofty will:
And, though the throats of envy rage and rail,
Be fair proud England proud fair England still!


A high and rising proportion of children are being born to mothers least fitted to bring children into the world … Some are of low intelligence, most of low educational attainment. They are unlikely to be able to give children the stable emotional background, the consistent combination of love and firmness … They are producing problem children … The balance of our human stock, is threatened.

Sir Keth Joseph / Alfred Sherman — 19 October 1974

When he made the controversial 1974 Edgbaston speech containing the quote above, Sir Keith Joseph was expected to represent the right wing of the Tories in the fight to replace the then Tory leader Edward Heath.

The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia

Joseph then withdrew from the contest against Heath after apologising for the speech and endorsed Thatcher. She had been eager to run but had backed Joseph.

He now became a major advisor. Thatcher later referred to Joseph as her closest political friend, and they both moved sharply to the right. His overnight conversion to free-market, small-government policies “had the force of a religious conversion”.[15] In 1975, he said:

It was only in April 1974 that I was converted to Conservatism. (I had thought I was a Conservative but I now see that I was not really one at all.)[16]

This remark expressed Joseph’s sense of failure during multiple Conservative governments that had automatically followed the post-war consensus of a welfare state with strong labour unions. Their policies to stabilise the economy retained government control on industries and creating an intricate system to control wages and dividends. In the eyes of Thatcher and Joseph, that pragmatic approach was contrary to the true “Conservative” ideology. As he had done a great deal to promote Thatcher, when she won the leadership in 1975, she determined to put him in a position that would facilitate a profound influence on Conservative Party policy.

(End of Wikipedia Excerpt)

Joseph’s father was Lord Mayor of London in 1942 and owned the huge construction firm Bovis, now known as LendLease.

Bovis / LendLease has specialised in ripping off the British taxpayer like few others.

Osama Bin Laden’s father ran a big construction firm.

As Adam Curtis once pointed out, what is the difference between Al Qaeda and the Neo-Cons? Some say Curtis is an establishment contrarian.

I’ve benefited from watching Adam Curtis’s docs so it would be naughty to not share one.

Alfred Sherman went from being an East London Jewish Communist polyglot to ardent Thatcherite but the final entry on his wikipedia is as follows:

“The power and prestige of America is in the hands of people who will not resist the temptation to invent new missions, lay down new embargoes, throw new bombs, and fabricate new courts. For the time being, they control the United Nations, the World Bank, most of the world’s high-tech weapons, and the vast majority of the satellites that watch us from every quadrant of the skies. This is the opportunity they sense, and we must ask what ambitions they will declare next. … Instead of rediscovering the virtues of traditionally defined, enlightened self-interest in the aftermath of its hands down cold war victory, America’s foreign policy elites are more intoxicated than ever by their own concoction of benevolent global hegemony and indispensable power.[16]

Alfred Sherman

As one of the author’s of Yes Minister advised in a book about writing plays – When writing a miser, remember to stress his generosity.

Why England Lose

Simon Kuper is a great writer. But for some reason I don’t find him as interesting as I once did.

Hinckley Point

John Hinckley, Jr. Mugshot.png

On this day in 1981 John Hinckley Jr shot Ronald Reagan.
The April 13, 1981, cover of TIME
Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver. | Jodie foster, The fosters, Taxi driver

Remember Umbrella Man – the man who was bizarrely accused of attempting to assassinate JFK in Dallas in November 1963?

Louie Steven Witt was simply protesting against the appeasement policies advocated by Neville Chamberlain

The Umbrella is a symbol forever associated with UK PM Neville Chamberlain in the 30s and 40s.

Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
Not as easy as it looks: Julie Andrews as Mary
Citigroup Logo 1998
Salvador Dali-Sewing machine with umbrella I, 1941

The US Ambassador to the UK at the time was JKF’s dad Joseph Kennedy who favoured appeasement.

Joseph Kennedy made a lot of money selling booze during prohibition and he was the first chair of the SEC – ain’t nothing but a gangster party!

JFK worked at the US embassy in London as a young man and even wrote a book defending Chamberlain’s appeasement policy.

I haven’t read it, but looks very much like daddy’s propaganda to me.

I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy; Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.

John F. Kennedy

Conventional Wisdom

The Labour Leader in 1981, when Reagan was shot, was Michael Foot.

The appearance of the book Guilty Men in 1940 made him notorious. Co-written by him under the pseudonym “Cato,” Guilty Men was a slashing attack on the foreign and defense policies of the Conservative governments of the 1930s. A massive best-seller (by 1944 there were 43 printings), it became the leading anti-Tory critique of appeasement and stands as one of the great political tracts of 20th-century Britain and as a contributing factor to the Labour Party’s victory in 1945.

This piece refers to that umbrella and the role of Michael Foot

Neville Chamberlain’s umbrella was ubiquitous during the Munich Crisis and in its aftermath, as material object, as commodity, and as political emblem that came to represent the temperament and character of the ‘Man of Peace’ who had brought relief to the world by striking a ‘gentleman’s peace’ with Hitler on 30 September 1938. This culminated in the damning portrayal of the Prime Minister as the ‘Umbrella Man’ in ‘Cato’s’ Guilty Men (1940). Throwing the spotlight on the material object of the umbrella can illuminate the popular dimension of these highly charged diplomatic events, and offer some insight into how foreign policy was lived across the social spectrum and across borders. We can chart dramatic fluctuations in both mediated and visceral public opinion in the changing symbolic uses of the umbrella, by politicians, by journalists, by cartoonists, and by consumers themselves. The study of appeasement has been stuck in certain methodological ruts, and has not hitherto taken the cultural turn, nor paid much attention to popular responses to the prelude to the People’s War. By blowing the dust off Chamberlain’s old umbrella, this article suggests an alternative perspective on the politics and culture of appeasement, evoking the sights, sounds, textures, feelings and tastes of a crisis that was played out at the level of diplomacy but also very much as a ‘People’s Crisis’.

Julie V. Gottlieb

Oh the irony that Lefty Foot had called for War with Germany all along and the ex-Communist Thatcherite Alfred Sherman ended up calling out the US empire.

One Comment Add yours

  1. rogerglewis says:

    A World tuned upside down , indeed.

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