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BRITS WEEK IN REVIEW

When my niece was very young, and still had trouble pronouncing her Rs, she asked me one day if I would like to see her perform “a vewy dangerous twick”. With considerably less charm, and breathtaking duplicity, Tony Blair has managed to perform the dangerous trick of signing Britain up to the EU’s human rights act and then, when the act essentially prohibits Britain from protecting her citizens from attack, he blames Britain’s laws. As we wrote, He has made it impossible for Britain to keep foreign terrorists out or to send them to their native lands or to judge them by Britain's common law because he insists on keeping Britain in the European Union and because his supine Parliament passed the EU's Human Rights Act in 1998. Please note that Lord Pearson’s Act of Withdrawal from the EU is having its second reading in the Lords on 8 June and you would be doing Britain a favour if you told the Lords you want the Bill passed.

David posted about Britain’s media as a growing force in the US, and about the Tower of Babel. I looked at the language of dictatorship and at the “noble anger” that Shakespeare describes, which has played a role in the history of freedom. We linked to Lord Tebbit’s and Andrew Roberts’s brilliant tributes to the United Kingdom. David found a clutch of stories in the Wall Street Journal on Brits. A number of them were writers, but one report, which we’ve linked, featured the remarkable husband and wife team who daringly designed and built the London Eye without public funds.

The 150th birthday of composer Edward Elgar and the 100th birthday of jet engine inventor Frank Whittle gave us the chance to look at two men who fought adversity in their chosen fields and triumphed. (Don’t miss our link to the last night of the Proms when several hundred thousand sing Land of Hope and Glory.) The 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album had David remarking that the children and grandchildren of the album’s original fans still enjoyed the songs. That’s a classic for you. As Elgar is said to have remarked about one of his, I’ve written one that’ll flatten them. Those are the kinds of songs the Beatles wrote. Mike Oldfield’s “Broad sunlit uplands” may possibly be another. Check our link.

I continued my series on The Knight, who will prove so crucial to Magna Carta, and we left him climbing a siege ladder, knocking a defender flat with his sword, and sitting abruptly down on his prone adversary so he could catch his breath. I’ll have the next part up this week, and describe William Marshal’s love for his son and his son’s rebellion against King John. I hope I’m not the only one enjoying their energetic lives.

As we mentioned in another post, the legend of the Holy Grail that influenced 13th century knights affected Edward Burne-Jones, another notable grammar school scholar, who created memorable 19th century tapestries, stained glass and paintings.

David looked a world-record-setting British fisherman; SmithGlaxoKline attacking elephantiasis and obesity; and the Anglosphere’s achievement in ending TB, a victory which is now under threat. I drew your attention to Maoris who are passionate about their inheritance as Christians; to the quarrel about God between the brothers Hitchens, always interesting; and to a column that suggests the very structure of government contains the foundation of failure. One hundred years ago the British were fantastic at teaching children, medical research, building and running hospitals, to name just a few, because these endeavours were not handled by government.

If the life of the world moves into “broad, sunlit uplands” it will come from individual efforts and local accountability, not from pie-in-the-sky world government scenarios that are an unintentional recipe for tyranny.

We have heard nothing about the Brits kidnapped in Baghdad more than a week ago except that some of Sadr’s gang may be responsible. I urge you to consider one probable reason we have not heard about them – because they have not yet groveled and given these Iranian-supported thugs the photo opportunities they want.

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May your week be good.

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