Thursday, 20 April 2017

Lord Haw-Haw rides again! "Germany calling! Germany calling!"

And in case we're not all cowering in a corner...

... quaking with terror after that jolly opening, the two sub-headings in the Economist article (which, if you really want to feel demoralised, or you're just a committed appeasement-minded surrender-monkey, you can read here) are "Cruising for a bruising" and "Boxed into a corner".

I looked for the phrase "we shall never surrender" - sadly,  in vain. Apparently Britain should immediately renounce its vainglorious dream of once more controlling its borders, repent of its terrible folly, stop being so horribly intransigent, and, basically, throw in the sponge. Perhaps an apologetic note and a bunch of flowers would help.

Another prime example of fifth columnry was a TV news report on the day Mrs. May called her snap general election, in which we were told that the EU was getting jolly exasperated with the British constantly delaying things by holding silly elections (one would almost think democracy isn't popular amongst unelected EU officials). "Oh dear," I thought. "Those poor bureaucrats! How rotten of Britain to keep inconveniencing them!"

But, as always, The Guardian was quick to reveal its heart of oak and fly the flag. The German flag, that is:
As Lord Haw-Haw said in one of his broadcasts: "The people of England will curse themselves for having preferred ruin from Churchill to peace from Hitler." The names have changed, but the sentiment persists.

What I find surprising is not that so many people (many of them courageous, intelligent and patriotic) feel that leaving the EU would be a mistake - it might very well be - but that, now the decision has been taken, they seem so eager to portray the EU as a wonderfully successful, thriving club whose future seems utterly secure and whose prosperous, contented members can't believe their luck in belonging to it. That idea strikes me - and, it seems, most people in Britain - as far more fantastic than the vision peddled by Brexiteers. I don't think it would be unreasonable to ask the Lord Haw-Haw tendency to tone down their rhetoric: whether their assumptions are right or wrong, constantly talking down their own country will do nothing but strengthen the hand - and the resolve - of the inconvenienced bureaucrats on the other side of the negotiating table. If that's their intention, then they are, indeed, fifth columnists.


  1. Back in 2011, when the Telegraph was (almost) still a real newspaper, Charles Moore reviewed a book entitled Treason Of The Heart by David Pryce-Jones.

    I confess I still haven't read the book but the review is well worth reading and is still available:

    It illuminates a great deal about the absurd snobbishness of the Grayling tendency and shows how he and his fellow travellers are far from the original free-thinkers they claim to be. In fact, they are simply following a well trodden path of English self-loathing.

    A pox on them.

    1. As someone without a drop of English blood in his body, I've never understood the phenomenon - I love the place, and can't understand why so many English folk don't. It seems perfectly reasonable to fall in love with with the people, landscape and culture of other countries - but not if you use it as an excuse to hate your own. It seems to involve an unpleasant mixture of snobbery and (perhaps justified) self-hatred. It also strikes me that the people who are always going on about "being ashamed of my own country" because of some political policy or other are usually the ones who've been busy telling us how much they hate it anyway. The attitude seemed to become less fashionable during the Thatcher era, apart from '60s lefties like Alan Bennett, but Brexit appears to have caused a revival - Emma Thompson's disgraceful "...tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe, a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island" comment springs to mind. If anyone utters the phrase "I'm a citizen of the world", you know you're dealing with a CAUC.