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Matthew Lesh: The radical neoliberal programme which can revitalise the Conservatives

Matthew Lesh is the Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute.

As the flus from last week’s Conservative Party Conference slowly fade, it is worth turning our minds back to a conference that we must never forget.

It was the autumn of 1980. The country was facing economic turmoil. Decades of Keynesianism was taking its toll with high inflation and low growth.  But there was a leader, a radical neoliberal, who refused to accept the status quo or allow the doomsters to take her off course.  “You turn if you want to, the lady’s not for turning,” Margaret Thatcher told Conservative Party Conference.

Thatcher unashamedly spoke not just of policy change but creating “a new independence of spirit and zest for achievement”. She called her administration “one of the truly radical ministries of post-war Britain”.

Boris Johnson’s party conference speech last week has been lauded for its political nous: get Brexit done, and fund the NHS and other public services.

This makes a lot of political sense, particularly for the party’s ‘Go Midlands, Go North’ strategy: the plan to win northern Leave working class areas who traditionally voted Labour Party.

But Johnson’s spending is frustrating to many free marketeers, who have traditionally found their home in the Conservative Party. Boris speaks of a “dynamic enterprise culture” and the Conservative Party’s history in pioneering “free markets and privatisation”. But so far there has been little meat on the bone, while the party is giving up its reputation for fiscal conservatism by committing to big-spending plans.

Politically, this approach undermines support from economic liberals in London and the Southeast. This danger is heightened by the likes of Sam Gyimah’s defection, signalling the acceptability of the Liberal Democrats to Tory economic liberals. With the Lib Dems also winning over the likes of Chuka Umunna there’s a danger the two main parties are seen by voters to leave the centre stage to the Liberal Democrats — and leave governing alone to the scrap heap of history.

To get a strong majority, Boris needs to win both Chelsea and Fulham as well as Stoke-on-Trent. He needs to be able to hold up his economic credentials to win back Remain-voting Conservatives voters – not just give them another reason to abandon the party.

But this balancing act is nothing new. Thatcher, despite some reforms to childcare and housing subsidies, oversaw a huge increase in social spending. She declared that the NHS is “safe with us” and bragged about “enormous increases in the amount spent on social welfare to help the less fortunate”. David Cameron similarly declared that the NHS is “safe in my hands,” while cutting taxes, introducing free schools and reforming welfare.

Thatcher and Cameron balanced public spending with undertaking fundamental free market economic reform to boost the economy. To ensure the Conservative Party remains a broad coalition, it is important that Boris’ free market rhetoric is given meaning. There needs to be some meat on the bone. The Conservative Party will be much weaker if it does not have a serious economic policy offering that creates a clear distinction with Labour.

On the political left, while many may disagree with their approach and ideas, there is undeniably a radical reimagining of policy and a clear agenda: a four day work week, shutting down private schools and nationalising industry.

Some on the Right have chosen to respond to the emboldened Left by adopting parts of their agenda in the hope of placating and preventing the worst. But, as Theresa May’s premiership displays being Labour-lite and adopting policies like the energy price gap, or nanny state policies like the sugar tax, simply does not work.

The Neoliberal Manifesto, a joint project between the Adam Smith Institute and 1828 released last week at the Conservative Party Conference, presents a positive vision for Britain’s future. In the past, the word “neoliberalism” has been twisted by those seeking to manufacture a strawman on which to blame every societal ill.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Neoliberals are champions of freedom. We want government to protect and facilitate your ability to flourish; we believe in the power and ability of each individual; we believe in doing what is most effective; we are optimistic about the future; we support market intervention to address specific issues but reject paternalism; we are cosmopolitan and outward-looking to the world.

The manifesto calls for a liberal, free market approach to trade that encompasses cutting tariffs and pursuing deals based on the principle of mutual recognition. It declares that need to reform Britain’s outdated planning laws to allow for the building of more houses to fix Britain’s housing crisis. The manifesto also calls for a simpler, fairer tax system by getting rid of stamp duty and allowing capital expenditures to be expensed in full immediately.

On migration, it calls for a liberal system that brings the most talented people to our nation. On education, it explains the need for more choice. On innovation and technology, it calls for an optimistic approach defined by permissionless innovation.  It also calls for a liberal approach to drugs and personal choices, a compassionate but cost-effective approach to welfare, and addressing climate change without sinking our economy.

Many of these ideas are radical, and today can be expected to receive a mixed reception. But we think that our politicians should lead from the front, not the back. These policies are not designed with the idea of what may or may not be popular today, but rather setting the agenda for the future.

While not every action she took was immediately popular, Thatcher’s agenda transformed the country for the better and proved a politically successful formula across three general election victories. Cameron similarly won a majority after undertaking difficult decisions.

If the Government does not have an offering for people who want lower taxes and the state to live within its means, they risk unexpected losses.  Johnson can follow in the footsteps of successful leaders with his own liberal, free market agenda.

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Neil O’Brien: Fifty shades of conservatism

Neil O’Brien is MP for Market Harborough.

You might say socialism and liberalism are ideologies, while Conservatism is more like a character trait. But that’s not quite right. Socialism and liberalism are ideologies about maximising one thing, be it equality or freedom. In contrast, Conservatives believe in a wider variety of ideals.

So what kind of conservative are you?

Since the classic Liberal party gave way to Labour, we’ve been the party of the free market and sound money, even more so since the Thatcher/Reagan era. The free market is a such huge part of what we are about, it tends to dominate, but there’s much more to conservatism.

Perhaps you are a law and order Conservative: patron saint Thomas Hobbes, who, inspired by his experience of the civil war, observed that without strong authority and law and order, life tends to be “nasty, brutish and short.”

But in a nice example of how conservative ideas fit together, a strong law and order policy is also a One Nation policy: because who suffers when there is crime and disorder? Those who live in the most deprived fifth of neighbourhoods are 50 per cent more likely to be victims of crime than those in the richest fifth.

Or perhaps you are a constitutional conservative. Do you believe in keeping the Monarchy? A House of Lords that isn’t elected? Do you believe in keeping first past post elections, and an unwritten constitution? Do you believe in the common law and rule of law? Those ideas are more important now Labour believes in expropriation of your pension, your shares, your house, and anything else that isn’t screwed down.

Perhaps you’re a conservative because you believe in Liberty. Habeas Corpus. Limits on Government. Legal protection of personal and family life. Liberty always raises contentious issues like hunting or drugs. Or think of recent cases like the gay marriage cake. I thought the courts got it right: a business can’t refuse to serve gay people, but people can’t be made to promote political views they don’t hold, even if I disagree with those views.

What do we think about the growing deployment of live facial recognition technology in public places? Liberty lovers might want to ban it. Law and order fans might want to allow it.

Liberty-loving conservatism can also clash with another ideal – social conservatism. Are you worried about family breakdown? What do you think about transgender issues? What do you think about full facial veils? That question pits liberty against traditional pattern of our society. France banned them, we allow them.

Do you think what you get out of the welfare system should be linked to what you put in? And how should we make choices about immigration: do we just think about migrants’ skills and earnings, or how easily they will integrate into our culture? I incline to the latter view.

One big idea that I think fits under social conservatism is the idea of the nation state. National self-determination and the lack of a shared European demos powers the idea of Brexit, but it also explains why we are prepared to make compromises to try and keep the United Kingdom together.

Zooming down from the nation to the individual, conservatism is about individual self-reliance. That’s why we strongly support individual home ownership. Mrs Thatcher expressed this well. She said that people: “are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.”

Things like the doubling of the Income Tax Personal Allowance and the National Living Wage – and also welfare reforms – are about self reliance. George Osborne was onto something when he talked about a “higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare spending” society. Personally, I believe tax should be based on the ability to pay, and so we should bring back the higher tax allowances for children Labour abolished in the 1970s.

But conservatives don’t just believe in individualism. We are the society party. Civic conservatives know that many problems can’t be solved by either the free market or the state. David Cameron said: “There is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same as the state.” When we think about problems like loneliness in an ageing society, we can only solve them by catalysing and helping voluntary groups and family life. The Big Society may have been a good idea, badly timed. But the ideal of voluntary action remains very attractive, I find particularly to younger conservatives.

Conservatism is also about gradualism. Burke attacked the French revolution as a huge, risky, leap-in-the-dark.
Gradualism is behind all our biggest policy successes. Welfare reforms started under Peter Lilley, continued under New Labour, and then under another Conservative government – and now have the record employment. The academy schools programme also spanned governments: from Kenneth Baker to Gavin Williamson.

In contrast, Socialists believe in utopian leaps. In the USSR and under China’s Great Leap Forward millions died, yet John McDonell still says, “I am a Marxist”. In contrast we should be proud gradualists. What do we want? More use of evidence. When do we want it? After randomised control trials.

As well as gradualism, Conservatism is about pluralism and decentralisation. Environmentalists have shown us why it is dangerous to have a monoculture of anything, because if things then go wrong, they do so on a huge scale. Think about the Irish potato famine.

Take a more recent policy example: during the heyday of disastrous progressive teaching methods, they swept all before them. But independent schools and grammar schools were a bastion for traditional methods (like phonics), which could then make a comeback after trendy methods failed.

Devolution allows experimentation. In the US they say the states are “laboratories of democracy”. Ideas like welfare reform or zero tolerance policing were tried locally and taken up nationally when they worked. Conservatives also believe in pluralism in a deeper way. People have different ideas of the good life.

That’s one reason I think we should keep the honours system – to recognise those who are motivated by something other than money, whether they want to serve their country on the battlefield, or help their community by running a youth club. That should inform our thoughts on things like childcare. Do we just focus on maximising employment or education? Or let people choose if they want to be stay at home parents?

I’m sure readers will point out things I’ve missed. But those are some of the main elements of Conservatism.
Law and order. The Constitution. Liberty. Social Conservatism. Civic Conservatism. Individual-self reliance.
Gradualism. Pluralism. Ideas that are sometimes in tension, but which fit together.

Conservatism is a bit like the roof of parliament’s Westminster Hall: which is held up by a lot of huge, ancient beams all resting on each other. Likewise, the elements of conservatism fit together, and have also made something really strong and enduring.

This article is based on a contribution by the author to a Centre for Policy Studies event, “Free Exchange: The case for conservatism”, at last week’s Conservative Party Conference.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Sponsored Post. John Whittingdale: Britain must be the defender of free media at home, and its champion overseas

John Whittingdale is a former Culture Secretary, and is MP for Maldon. He is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Media Freedom.

In 2004, while reporting on Islamist terrorism for the BBC in Riyadh, security correspondent Frank Gardner was shot. Six times. Twice from a distance, and four times at point-blank range. His cameraman, Simon Cumbers, was killed by their attackers. Incredibly, Frank survived, partially paralysed.

Frank took the assignment to go to Saudi Arabia knowing there would be risks. He was, after all, reporting on a campaign of terror and murder being waged by Al-Qaeda against Western expatriates. He took that decision as a journalist. But also, as a husband. As a man with a family. In his extremely moving account of the attack and his story of reporting from the Islamic world – Blood and Sand, he captures the moments spent with his wife Amanda the night he leaves London to fly to Saudi Arabia. Reading of his career reporting from some of the world’s most dangerous environments, you get a glimmer of the sacrifices and risks journalists and their families endure.

Because in some places, the conventions of media freedom – those that we accept – do not register. In some places, journalists themselves become the target. In 2012, The Sunday Times foreign affairs correspondent Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Ochlik were targeted by the Syrian government while reporting from the besieged district of Baba Amr in Homs – a city now synonymous with utter devastation.

They were both killed.

Earlier this year, a US court found the Assad regime liable for the murder of Colvin in what it ruled was a deliberate artillery attack carried out to silence her reporting of the massacre that was unfolding in Homs. Only hours before the attack that killed her, Colvin’s reports from Homs were broadcast by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and CNN.

In 2014, we were reminded again of the perils of reporting from Syria, when the Times journalist Anthony Loyd and photographer Jack Hill were kidnapped, beaten and Lyod shot twice in the leg before securing refuge in Turkey. Both survived the ordeal to return – as Frank Gardner did in Saudi – to report from Syria.

These journalists, like so many others around the world, have exhibited incredible bravery and courage to obtain and disseminate information. Stories, that were in not for their work, would go untold.

But, I am sad to say, their work is getting harder. According to the US-based non-governmental organisation Freedom House, over the past decade media freedom around the world has deteriorated. The Reporters Sans Frontières online barometer (at the time of writing) reveals that year-to-date, 30 journalists – including Lyra McKee who was murdered by republican dissidents in Northern Ireland, have been killed in the line of duty. A further 231 have been imprisoned around the world.

As parliamentarians – and indeed as Conservatives, we must be the champions of media freedom. As such, we have responsibilities to work with other like-minded parliamentarians around the world to not only defend the freedoms where they exist, but to promote them where they do not.

And that is why in my capacity as Chair of the British Group of Interparliamentary Union, I convened and chaired a seminar on media freedom in London earlier this month. Joined by distinguished advocates of press freedom like the award-winning war photographer Paul Conroy, parliamentarians from numerous countries gathered to develop a strategy for advancing media freedoms. This work, which continues, builds on the FCO freedom of the press programme launched by then Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the first Global Media Freedom Conference in July. We should be proud that our overseas aid budget is helping to strengthen the capacity of journalists working overseas to hold their Governments to account.

At home, where there are attacks on press freedom, we must continue to call them out. And as parliamentarians, we must do all we can to be its champion overseas.

This post is sponsored by Coalition for Global Prosperity.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Amid Absolute Absurdity, Thursday’s Debate Spotlighted America as a Shining City Upon a Hill

Westlake Legal Group usa-1149896_1280-620x410 Amid Absolute Absurdity, Thursday’s Debate Spotlighted America as a Shining City Upon a Hill Uncategorized Liberty immigration Illegal Immigration Front Page Stories Featured Story elections debate Dave Rubin Culture Campaigns Beto O'Rourke Andrew Yang Allow Media Exception 2020

 

 

During Thursday night’s Democratic debate — due to which Dave Rubin lamented he picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue — there was, as expected, mucho goofiness.

Our rich Uncle Bernie called Trump the most dangerous president in history:

And Beto O’Rourke — who seems absolutely hellbent on losing as steeply as is mathematically possible — taped what BlazeTV called a campaign ad for Donald Trump. The anti-privileged millionaire privileged millionaire vowed to take away your hunting rifles because, prior to now, “they’ve” been allowing you to shoot each other:

But there was at least one great thing offered during Thursday night’s showout blowout: Andrew Yang’s truly American story, about an actual immigrant participating in actual immigration — that would be, rather than what many Democrats and media figures have been inaccurately calling “immigration,” which is in fact its opposite.

In a bizarre move, the term has of late been employed to mean “choosing to not take part in our immigration system.”

But Andrew conjured it correctly. His origins are inspiring:

“My father grew up on a peanut farm in Asia with no floor. And now, his son is running for president. That is the immigration story that we have to be able to share with the American people.”

Andrew truly is proof that the American dream is alive and well for those who believe in a better life — in this greatest country on earth, what Ronald Reagan called “a shining city upon a hill”:

Being that — were he to receive the nomination — he would ultimately face the GOP incumbent, Andrew understandably tried to contrast himself with Trump. Unfortunately, he did so in a way that made absolutely no sense, given that the purpose of a border barrier is to prevent people from sneaking into the country, not keep people from actually immigrating:

“[I] am the opposite of Donald Trump in many ways. He says, ‘Build a wall;’ I’m going to say to immigrants, ‘Come to America, because if you come here, your son or daughter can run for president. The water’s great.’”

A wall doesn’t keep out immigrants; immigrants come in through immigration. Oh well, it was a Democratic debate; rightfulness could only last so long.

Nonetheless, his story is inspiring. And here’s a bonus: While some on the far Left — including the mayor of New York — have claimed America “was never great”…

…Andrew praised the U.S. and spoke of its “continued” success:

“This country has been a magnet for human capital for generations. If we lose that, we lose something integral to our continued success.”

America is indeed a nation of immigrants, and Andrew Yang is a reminder of that.

It’d be great to see more similar moments during the debates; lamentably, we’re more likely to hear Julián Castro champion taxpayer-funded abortions for men who would otherwise eject infants from their peeholes(?):

Goobers gonna goob.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

The Fight Continues: Arnold Schwarzenegger Claims President Trump Is In Love With Him

Joy Behar Knows: If The Hurricane Had Hit A Country Full Of Only White People, Trump Would Let Them All Come Here

A Television Icon Laments America’s Divide, But There’s A Greater Lesson – A Forgotten One We Learned Long Ago

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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Government and the need to feel safe

Westlake Legal Group guns Government and the need to feel safe The Blog racism philadelphia Liberty gun control government censorship free will El Paso

Life is supposed to be a dangerous adventure fraught with gigantic melancholy and mirth. The interplay between individuals and each other or the environment brings about, in theory, the chance to gain knowledge or goods through the exchange of ideas, currency, or other items despite the obvious peril of going out and interacting with others. The advent of the Internet and e-commerce still produces the chance of financial peril because one is putting their product or wealth at risk for some scammer to take without proper reimbursement. Free will brings about its own risk and the chance malevolent forces will attempt to cause harm to others.

Yet, we constantly see humanity flock towards the overriding desire of safety by relying on government as the answer to everything. It’s understandable. After all, who doesn’t yearn for comfort and the notion someone is looking out for them? Yet the result tends to be sacrificing freedom to the false god of feeling safe.

The rhetorical offsprings of the shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and Philadelphia are chock full of calls for protecting others from harm through some sort of governmental action.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for the banning of websites like 8chan following El Paso. Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke went a step further by proposing a complete ban on white nationalist content and promoted amending federal law which exempts Internet Service Providers and social media companies from lawsuits based on their content.

The danger is quite obvious. The grandiose balderdash is more bandage than balm which will do nothing but push others towards the noxious stench of white nationalism. One has to wonder what might happen to the dim-witted college student who decides to use some sort of crass, ideologically backward meme on social media as a joke and whether their name will end up on some sort of list of unmentionables who deserve to be watched like a hawk. Or what might happen if the government definition of white nationalism changes from its current content to viewing any post raising legitimate ire towards affirmative action or charlatans who use race to advance their own money-grubbing agenda as white supremacy?

Would it not be better to confront the thick-headed student and attempt to convince them to change their ways? Should grifters not be exposed as frauds to be ignored instead of embraced? Isn’t it worth having much-needed conversations in hopes of changing the minds of those who start leaning towards the scourge of white supremacy? These rotten policy proposals of censorship would do nothing but attempt to make so-called normals feel better about sleeping at night.

The ‘government is needed to make us feel safe’ proposals are not limited to white nationalism, of course. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney used the shooting of six police officers in his city to crow, “Our officers deserve to be protected and don’t deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with unlimited amount of weapons and bullets. It’s disgusting.” Salon’s Amanda Marcotte went so far as to suggest conservatives are hypocritical for their support of police and guns by crying, “Conservatives’ utter lack of interest in stronger gun laws to protect police, despite all the “blue lives matter” talk, is certainly hypocritical. But it’s hardly surprising.” She then proceeded to re-enact Thelma and Louise’s drive off a cliff by suggesting, “Both the sanctimony about police and the attachment to guns are symbolic issues for conservatives. They have less to do with real concerns for public safety and more to do with the racist, nationalist resentment that also led to Donald Trump’s election.”

The facts are quite the opposite. Gun control laws had their origins in racism – not against whites, but against African-Americans. Robert J. Cottrol wrote in Gun Control and The Second Amendment, “Most laws restricting the possession of firearms were to be found in the slave states of the antebellum South. Generally, they prohibited the possession of firearms on the parts of slaves and free blacks.” The 1994 tome also features an essay by David C. Williams looking at an 1825 law in Florida allowing whites to go into the homes of non-slave blacks and confiscate weapons. Jane Coaston also wrote at MTV.com in 2016 how California, run by then-Governor Ronald Reagan, passed its open carry ban two months after armed Black Panthers gathered on the steps of the State Capitol in a protest against the government.

Whites were wary of armed blacks so their ‘feel safe’ solution was disarmament. One would think those who intone the phrase, “Black Lives Matter” – and condemn the idea of trigger-happy police – would embrace whole-heartedly the idea of “Black Guns Matter.” Yet, they are full of hypocrisy by desiring disarmament and leaving all weapons in the hands of the police they protest. Their ache to ‘feel safe’ simply allows them to ignore the history of racism in gun control.

Now, what of those who want to protect their families or themselves through the banning of certain weapons? Their ‘feel safe’ complex is understandable – yet their solution is misguided. Humans are taught to practice situational awareness for a reason. One never knows when the need to escape a fire might rear its ugly head. Or the need to avoid an unsafe driver on the roads or sidewalks. Should the government ban electricity, candles, or automobiles because of their inherent danger or should humans remember the same situational awareness needed at home or on the roads is also needed elsewhere? We should all pay attention instead of burying our heads in the sand.

It is human to desire safety and security at home or elsewhere, as much as it is to expect life to be full of mountain-like highs and canyon-like lows. However, it is pure folly to yearn for government to serve as the arbiter. Government is full of humans with their own secret desires and passions, some of which can be detrimental and lead down the road to ruin. Politicians have never, ever (note sarcasm) in the history of mankind used the Polizei to seek out dissent under the guise of making us ‘feel safe.’ The United States has never, ever in its history jailed congressmen or others for publishing works which criticize the White House, sought to blame terrorist attacks on low-budget films, or used agencies to target private citizens looking to organize in hopes of redressing grievances with said government. They’ve never, ever rounded up people of a certain heritage and forcibly moved them elsewhere due to worry of war.

Humans need to use extreme caution before trusting a government which has failed before to make us ‘feel safe.’ Sacrificing freedom in hopes of security is no solution and should be avoided at all costs.

The post Government and the need to feel safe appeared first on Hot Air.

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Holy Moley, We’re Toast: ATL’s Democratic Socialists Conference Brings the Most Bizarre 49 Seconds You’ll Hear All Month

Westlake Legal Group 27958605930_c1555d1578_o-620x416 Holy Moley, We’re Toast: ATL’s Democratic Socialists Conference Brings the Most Bizarre 49 Seconds You’ll Hear All Month Uncategorized socialism Russia pronouns millennials Liberty Ignorance Front Page Stories Featured Story Economics democrats Democratic Socialists of America Capitalism Business & Economy AOC Allow Media Exception

 

 

Ever wonder what happens at a Democratic Socialists of America convention? According to an August 3rd post by conservative journalist Andy Ngo, it’s this.

I should point out that I can’t corroborate the accuracy of the video’s bizarre audio. It could have been dubbed; you be the judge.

Here we go…

The clip gives us three vignettes of…I don’t even know what to call it. Let’s just take ’em one-by-one.

At the beginning, a girl is heard asserting the following:

“If we’re going to defeat capitalism, we’re going to need a party that will organize working people to fight for the demands that we want and to win socialism. Thank you so much.”

Do any of the people — does even one single person — in the room know the definition of socialism? And of capitalism?

Let’s review:

capitalism: An economic system based on a free market economy in which an individual may own his or her own business.

socialism: An economic system based on monopoly whereby no one can own a business as the government owns all products and means of production.



 

So here’s the girl’s announcement, translated:

“In order for us to keep ourselves from having the freedom to start our own businesses, we’re going to need a party that will organize working people to fight solely against their own interests and accomplish a society in which none of us have recourse against the quality of products and services offered compared to their price. If we work hard, we can assure that we’re never again given a choice as to what we purchase and for how much. The mechanisms of supply and demand will go away, and a select few occupying term-unlimited seats of power will decide what we get and how much will be taken from us in exchange.”

Someone stood in a room full of people and pushed for that.

How is that possible?

Now on to Part 2.

A man spoke up, asking for everyone to stop triggering him:

“Quick point of privilege. Quick point of privilege. Um, guys…I just wanna say, can we please keep the chatter to a minimum? I’m one of the people who’s very prone to sensory overload. There’s a lot of whispering and chatter going on. It’s making it very difficult for me to focus. Please can we just — I know we’re all fresh and ready to go — but can we please just keep the chatter to a minimum? It’s affecting my ability to focus. Thank you.”

A woman replied, “Thank you, Comrade.”

Comrade — that’d be, quizzically, the same title used in Donald Trump’s Evil Empire — Russia.

As for the young guy, can his shirt not hold in his spine? Regardless, everyone stop what they’re doing — “I’m,” “me,” “overload,” “very difficult,” “I,” “my.” “Thank you.”

Something tells me he’s no stranger to a participation trophy.

Ready for Part 3?

Presto:

The moderator asks, “Okay, is there a speaker against name and chapter pronouns?”

She’s interrupted by what sounds like a terribly desperate male voice:

“Point of personal privilege, point of personal privilege. PLEASE DO NOT USE GENDERED LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS EVERYONE.”

She affirms, “Okay.”

What has happened to our world? Where has even low-level strength gone? To what end of the earth has education and understanding jetted off?

These are young people — our nation’s future — coming together to fight against their own self-interests via what I must believe is the lack of a dictionary, as they seem to shudder over sounds and one-syllable words.

Goose = Cooked.

Dear Lord.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Slack To The Future: Grown Millennial’s Parents Take Him To Court To Evict Him From Their Home

New Jersey School Bans Limos For Prom In The Name Of Equity; Socialist Substitute: A 45-Minute Bus Ride

NRA Releases Video Attacking Socialism & Dems Who Support It: ‘They Alone Are The Protected Class’

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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Adam Honeysett-Watts: After three years of gloom under May, it’s time for fun with Johnson

Adam Honeysett-Watts is Director of Conservatives in Communications and works in the financial technology sector. 

Before this leadership election got underway, I wrote that the next leader must be able to tell the Tory story – of aspiration and opportunity – and identified Boris Johnson as the person best-positioned to do that.

Having previously supported David Cameron and then Theresa May, I like to think I back winners – at least, in terms of those who reach the top. That said, while the former will be remembered for rescuing the economy – while giving people the power to marry who they love and an overdue say on Europe – the latter, much to my disappointment, has no real legacy. Johnson should avoid repeating that mistake.

His final column for the Daily Telegraph, ‘Britain must fire-up its sense of mission’, was jam-packed with the kind of Merry England* (or Merry UK) optimism that we experienced during the Cricket World Cup and that the whole country needs right now: “They went to the Moon 50 years ago. Surely today we can solve the logistical issues of the Irish border”. Quite right.

You’ve guessed it, I’m chuffed that Conservative MPs, media and members supported Johnson’s bid to become our Prime Minister. I’m looking forward to May handing him the keys to Number Ten and him batting for us after three, long years of doom and gloom. Sure, optimism isn’t everything – but it can set the tone. A detailed vision must be articulated and executed by a sound team.

Whichever side you were on before the referendum (or are on now), in the short term, we need to redefine our purpose, move forward with our global partners, unite the UK – and defeat Corbynism.

Mid-term, we should invest further in our national security and technology, improving education and life chances and encouraging greater participation in culture and sport, as well as boosting home ownership. Plus the odd tax cut here and there would be well-advised.

However, we must not put off having debates – for fear of offending – about controlling immigration and legalising drugs, and about funding for health and social care, as well as protecting the environment, for these issues matter and will matter even more in the future.

We should also avoid the temptation to ban political expression, alternative media and sugary foods, and celebrate instead free speech, press freedom and the right to choose.

Again, I look forward to Johnson peddling optimism and hope that people get behind him, because, ultimately, he will write our next chapter – and if we jump onboard and provide support, much more can be achieved by us all working together.

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Martin Parsons: The new Prime Minister should implement Hunt’s review on persecuted Christians

Dr Martin Parsons has a PhD in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and has been involved in supporting persecuted Christians since the 1990s, including while living in Afghanistan as an aid worker under the Taliban. He previously wrote an annual survey of Christian persecution for ConservativeHome.

“This is not about special pleading for Christians: rather it’s about ensuring that Christians in the global south have a fair deal, and a fair share of the UK’s attention and concern. So in that sense it is an equality issue. If one minority is on the receiving end of 80 per cent of religiously motivated discrimination it is simply not just that they should receive so little attention.”

(From the Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for Persecuted Christians.)

Spot on, some may say. However, the most important thing about the bishops’s review, which Jeremy Hunt set up just after Christmas, is not what it actually says about persecuted Christians – which isn’t new, anyway. It’s what it says about the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Go back to the 1990s, and the review observes that the Foreign Office was actively engaged in advocacy on behalf of persecuted Christians in such countries as Pakistan. That date, incidentally, is significant as, by then, communism, which had been the main ideological driver of Christian persecution around the world, had collapsed. However, Islamism was already on the rise in countries such as Pakistan, which by 1990 had already introduced the main aspects of its blasphemy laws.

However, the review found that today Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), particularly for Christians has, with a few fine exceptions, largely dropped off the radar of most UK embassies and High Commissions overseas. No-one can make the excuse that there is now less persecution – far from it, as some of us were warning long before jihadists such as Islamic State were able to control large parts of Syria and Iraq where they executed, enslaved and religiously cleansed Christians and other minorities.

Well before then, the rising tide of Christian persecution was being carried out both by state actors in forms such as the spread of sharia enforcement and by non-state actors in ways which ranged from communal violence, following spurious blasphemy allegations in countries such as Pakistan, to the terror attacks on churches in northern Nigeria. But somehow the Foreign Office became distracted with a myriad of other issues.

The independent review headed by the Bishop of Truro discovered that, during the last five years, 63 per cent of UK diplomatic missions overseas had never implemented the ‘FoRB toolkit’ – the FCO’s primary means of assessing the status of Freedom of Religion or Belief in their host country. Indeed, six UK missions admitted they had never even heard of the toolkit.

The review did find some embassies, such as those in Islamabad (Pakistan) and Jakarta (Indonesia) which actually had an embassy official with specific responsibility for freedom of religion issues. But, even there, this was a part-time role for a single officer with a “huge number” of other responsibilities. In short, there is no overarching FCO strategy on the importance of freedom of religion in UK diplomacy.

To be fair, the Foreign Office went through something of a rough period when Tony Blair was Prime Minister, often being side-lined in foreign policy-making by Number Ten which led to a downgrading of the importance of detailed country knowledge and even such traditional forms of diplomatic training such as language acquisition.

However, when William Hague became Foreign Secretary in 2010 he began a process of reversing that decline. The whole area of freedom of religion was particularly championed by Baroness Anelay when she was Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The independent review praises the appointment of Lord Ahmad, her successor at the FCO as the Prime Minister’s special envoy to promote religious freedom, noting that this has brought a renewed awareness of the importance of FoRB at the Foreign Office.

It also specifically praises Lord Ahmad for his contact with embassies around the world, which led, among other things, to the reopening of a number of churches which had been closed by the Algerian government. So what is needed is not so much a new direction as continuing that journey, so that the Foreign Office once again does what we used to lead the world in doing.

The independent review makes 22 specific recommendations, some of the most important of which are:

  • The UK should again become a global leader in championing freedom of religion or belief.
  • Advocacy for victims of religious persecution should be a regular and normative part of the work of UK diplomatic missions, which should also be providing data on the status of FoRB in their country back to the Foreign Office in London.
  • The FCO should undertake detailed research to better understand the ‘huge increase’ in discriminatory acts against Christians around the world and give that phenomena a specific name (in his speech welcoming the review Jeremy Hunt termed it ‘Christophobia’).
  • The post of ‘Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief’ should be made permanent and should be supported by a Director-General level champion to lead the FCO’s FoRB team. This is an excellent recommendation. There is an urgent need to ‘beef up’ to tiny FoRB unit at the FCO so that it can provide detailed analysis of emerging global trends in the persecution of Christians and other minorities. However, that will require not simply a senior diplomat, but an adviser with specialist expertise in FoRB to head up that unit and fully support the endeavours of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister in spreading FoRB around the world.
  • There should be a specific ‘John Bunyan’ stream of funding, promoting FoRB within the Magna Carta Fund, which the present Government launched in 2016 to promote democracy and human rights across the world.
  • Training in religious literacy and FoRB should be mandatory for all FCO staff.
  • A full cabinet discussion of ForB issues – including the need for departments ‘to recognise religious affiliation as a key vulnerability marker for members of religious minorities’ i.e. recognise that Christians and Yazidis etc. are targeted by jihadist groups precisely because of their faith. That is spot on. The failure of UNHCR’s vulnerability criteria to include anything which would directly encompass victims of the sort of religious cleansing we have witnessed in the Middle East is the primary reason why so few Syrian Christians and other religious minorities have been resettled under the governments’ Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
  • ‘All of these foreign policy recommendations to the Foreign Secretary should be reviewed independently in three years’ time’ to ensure they have been implemented.

Of course, the real risk of all this is that the report gets praised – but is then quietly filed away. What needs to happen is a change of Foreign Office culture – and that these recommendations be institutionalised. Since freedom of religion largely developed in this country, and spread from here across the world, this is an area in which we really should be taking the lead. A good start would be for the Foreign Secretary to institute an annual report to Parliament on how UK foreign policy is helping spread FoRB. That would require all embassies and high commissions to report on it annually.

Our new Prime Minister has a whole host of incredibly urgent and important priorities to get through. However, it’s worth recollecting that so too did Margaret Thatcher in 1979 – and she achieved most of them. But, it is sobering reflect that she concluded her autobiography The Path to Power by saying her greatest achievement as Prime Minister was bringing freedom of religion to the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe. That’s a genuine legacy.

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Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Them Out

Westlake Legal Group clay-county-missouri-sheriff-SCREENSHOT-620x383 Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Them Out Uncategorized sheriff's department Not Today Internet Missouri Liberty law enforcement law Front Page Stories Flatulence Featured Story Culture clay county Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from Clay County Sheriff’s Office, https://www.facebook.com/SheriffClayCo/photos/a.650180298349998/2540679435966732/?type=3&theater]

 

Being on the lam from police can make a person nervous.

But when you’re hiding from cops, every criminal knows there’s one thing you never do.

Every criminal — but one.

This past weekend in Missouri, law enforcement was able to “sniff out” a suspect wanted for a controlled substance violation.

While hiding — and with cops trying to figure out their location — the subject of the hunt blew it.

Out of their lower intestine, that is.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Dept. posted to Facebook about the incident:

If you’ve got a felony warrant for your arrest, the cops are looking for you and you pass gas so loud it gives up your hiding spot, you’re definitely having a Westlake Legal Group 1f4a9 Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Them Out Uncategorized sheriff's department Not Today Internet Missouri Liberty law enforcement law Front Page Stories Flatulence Featured Story Culture clay county Allow Media Exception   day. Westlake Legal Group 1f693 Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Them Out Uncategorized sheriff's department Not Today Internet Missouri Liberty law enforcement law Front Page Stories Flatulence Featured Story Culture clay county Allow Media Exception   #ItHappened

Posted by Clay County, Missouri Sheriff on Tuesday, July 9, 2019

“If you’ve got a felony warrant for your arrest, the cops are looking for you and you pass gas so loud it gives up your hiding spot, you’re definitely having a Westlake Legal Group 1f4a9 Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Them Out Uncategorized sheriff's department Not Today Internet Missouri Liberty law enforcement law Front Page Stories Flatulence Featured Story Culture clay county Allow Media Exception   day. Westlake Legal Group 1f693 Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Them Out Uncategorized sheriff's department Not Today Internet Missouri Liberty law enforcement law Front Page Stories Flatulence Featured Story Culture clay county Allow Media Exception   #ItHappened.”

Apparently, despite the charge, their fart was one substance they couldn’t control.

Westlake Legal Group 1f641 Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Them Out Uncategorized sheriff's department Not Today Internet Missouri Liberty law enforcement law Front Page Stories Flatulence Featured Story Culture clay county Allow Media Exception

St. Louis’s Fox2 wrote:

Law enforcement in the Northland relied on some basic senses over the weekend to help them track down an alleged criminal.

“We’ve gotta give props to Liberty PD for using their senses to sniff him out!” the Liberty Police Department told KTVI.

I suppose it’s fitting that the incident occurred in Liberty — in an ironic and poetic twist (of the colon), the perhaps-soon-to-be-jailed suspect gave the fart its freedom.

As the city put it:

“Thanks to @SheriffClayCo for airing out a wanted person’s dirty laundry and fanning the flames.”

This isn’t the first time a biscuit of the air variety has made the news. See for yourself:

Florida Woman Farts, Pulls Knife On Man In Dollar General, Cops Say

Man Jailed For Making Restaurant Bomb Threat Claims He Was Referring To His Imminent Bowel Movement

As for the moral of the story: Remember, kids — when you’re trying to avoid the lurking popo, watch out for APB’s (an Alerting-Police Butt while running from an All Poots Bulletin).

And depending on what you’ve had to eat, beware not only the popo, but that same word with the last two letters reversed. Again — controlling the substance is key. 

-ALEX

 

 

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Westlake Legal Group clay-county-missouri-sheriff-SCREENSHOT-300x185 Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Them Out Uncategorized sheriff's department Not Today Internet Missouri Liberty law enforcement law Front Page Stories Flatulence Featured Story Culture clay county Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A Cinematic Tribute Reminds Us How Tough We Were – America’s Liberty Was Won & Preserved Amid the Ugliness of War

Westlake Legal Group george-c-scott-patton-SCREENSHOT-620x312 A Cinematic Tribute Reminds Us How Tough We Were – America’s Liberty Was Won & Preserved Amid the Ugliness of War War Veterans Uncategorized patton Patriotism military Liberty independence day george c. scott Front Page Stories Fourth of July Culture Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from 20th Century Fox’s Patton via YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=29&v=izgH01lSJ6M]

 

Is America tough?

It has been.

Before this current hour which seems defined by a softening spine, the nation of the Stars and Stripes was brave. Not the kind of bravery found in a safe space or in arguments over pronouns and other minutiae into which we’ve contemporarily devolved; but true courage under real fire.

War is ugly. War is terrible. And war is something for which none should wish.

But war — at times — has wrought liberty.

And on this day, we celebrate our independence — brought about by war.

Inasmuch as we do so for love of country, we also commemorate those among us and not long-passed who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy — and for freedom elsewhere.

A moving montage of Hollywood’s salute to our courageous men in battle gives an inkling of what war-weary heroes have given for us. Presided over by George C. Scott’s iconic speech in Patton (which Elvis loved, by the way), the video provides a powerful reminder of the hell our boys went through in times past — times in which America was tough…because it had to be.

War and its terrible destruction isn’t to be glorified; but sacrifice and love of family and country are. Those virtues fed the hearts that beat fast on the battlefield long before technology substantially separated opposing forces.

For over a hundred years, U.S. military conflict meant one soldier looking into the eyes of another. At times, of course, it still does.

Enjoy the tribute (and thanks to The Daily Caller for the find).

And please share your thoughts — on the memorial and the state of our nation, then and now.



-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

WATCH: Meghan McCain Tells Off ‘View’ Producers For Trying To Censor Her During The Show

Ohio State Professor Bans The Term ‘Illegal Immigrant’ — It ‘Marginalizes,’ ‘Racializes’

UFC Girl Beats The Utter Crap Out Of Robber

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. 

If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”

 

 

The post A Cinematic Tribute Reminds Us How Tough We Were – America’s Liberty Was Won & Preserved Amid the Ugliness of War appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group george-c-scott-patton-SCREENSHOT-300x151 A Cinematic Tribute Reminds Us How Tough We Were – America’s Liberty Was Won & Preserved Amid the Ugliness of War War Veterans Uncategorized patton Patriotism military Liberty independence day george c. scott Front Page Stories Fourth of July Culture Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com