Edmund Burke in his time was known to very few Englishmen. He was practically anonymous. Those who debated with him or read his trenchant commentaries upon the political follies and perversions of power were a tiny minority, but a discerning and influential fragment for all that.
Such is the task of Newshawk; to attract, inform and encourage politically literate men and women. People like that can be found in any country in any century. Without them “things fall apart. The centre cannot hold … “ to borrow from W. B. Yates’s The Second Coming.
There is always the hope that another Burke will mount his forum in our strange time. That kindly yet acerbic 18th century intellectual remains an exemplar for civilised humanity at any period. He stands for optimism in the face of discouragement and even despair. There have been many other such torch bearers, Henry Fielding, Alexander Pope, Hazlitt, Edison, Steele, and, of course, Dr. Samuel Johnson. Why not another, and why not a commentator attracted and enthused by our own honest endeavours?
David Cameron and his circle of rich (and mainly foreign) cronies lies and dissembles, prevaricates and evades the only plebiscite the British people have ever required to maintain their freedom and preserve their national identity – a vote on whether or not to be sucked into a European super state.
But at the same time he provides the political grease which enabled the preposterous leader of a trumped up and quite irrelevant form of local district council to use a locals only plebiscite which could literally have won him the crown and throne of an entire British nation. The succulent national slice of the U.K. cake has now been laid near the grasp of a woman who would not look out of place serving as a call centre supervisor. Whatsername? Shrill, small, intellectually negligible as Jeeves said of Bertie Wooster.
As Mrs Hilary Clinton pointed out at once, the dismembering of Britain affair is not remotely constitutional. Our problem is, though, we don’t have a constitution. O.K. They tell us we actually have an unwritten one but that’s worth … well not even the paper it’s not written upon!
What’s wrong with this statement: Just because private schools do better than State schools it doesn’t follow that working class people are less intelligent than rich parents.
- That somebody was daft enough to utter it?
- That it exemplifies a silly non-sequitur?
- It assumes that material success indicates a high IQ?
- It presumes that working people are unintelligent
- It patronises tradesmen and craftsmen.
- It betrays a confused mindset steeped in Darwinian prejudices.
Obviously you got all six correct. But there is something else so very wrong with the remark that it’s worth a few moments reflection and, perhaps, a re-assessment of the depth to which standards in public debate have plunged since ADTB (anno drato Tony Blairo). The person who contrived to skew so many considerations in a few (carefully chosen?) public pronouncements seemed to take it for granted that our nation is riven by a form of warfare being fought out between those British people who are willing to pay punitive fees to ensure a decent education for their children and another set of British people, many of whom are professionals, who with the best will in the world simply cannot afford to, and must send their kids to the local primary and then high school.