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Showing posts with label Great Britain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Britain. Show all posts

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Octogenarian Grandmothers Thwart Robbery

A company of WRACs (Women's Royal Army Corps) march through an unidentified street in Teesside on VE Day
I often wonder if there is any place on Earth that has a generation gap greater than that of Great Britain.  It is the war-time generation and those before that are admired by so many Americans and others around the world.  Here is an example -- octogenarians, but still resolute and fiercely defiant.  

A grateful hat tip to Brits at their Best.
Eight grandmothers foiled a south London security van robbery using handbags and a shopping trolley, police have disclosed.
From The Telegraph
They pounced on the robber as he tried to snatch a cashbox from a security guard in Bermondsey last December.
As they saw the pair struggling on the ground, one of the pensioners who was in her 80s, rammed the robber with her trolley.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: "We all went to the rescue. There were handbags flying all over the place. "The bloody cheek of him - robbing the security guard right in front of us."

She added that the security guard from the firm Securicor had refused to hand over the box and was trying to fight off the unarmed thief.

After he had been struck several times by the handbags and the trolley, the thief got up and fled empty-handed. The thief, who left one of his shoes behind, swore at the pensioners : "You f----ing lot!" as he fled the scene.

The drama began as the group of friends were sitting in a market area during a shopping trip and noticed what they first thought was a fight between two men.

The security guards had been collecting takings from chemist shop Superdrug and was afterwards left suffering from a shoulder injury.

A police spokesman said : "Full marks to the old ladies for having the guts to get in there and stop the robbery. "But this is not the kind of action police would recommend. We would prefer them to call us and not put themselves at risk."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

'Brits at their Best' Profiles Sunlit Uplands

We are honored and grateful to have been profiled yesterday on one of Great Britain's, indeed the Internet's, most beautiful and interesting websites, Brits at their Best.

Brits at their Best is a joyous, sumptuous, eye-appealing tribute to the life of Great Britain today, and the civilization-building contributions that the British nation has made at home and throughout the world. It celebrates her heroes, saints, scholars, knights, military leaders, political leaders, scientists, inventors, artists, and their extraordinary legacy to us all. Most importantly, it provides the time-line and tells the story of Britain's role in the ever broadening quest for freedom and self-determination, and freedom's hallmarks - Magna Carta, parliamentary government, habeas corpus, trial by jury, freedom of speech, common law, economic freedom, and respect for the property and rights of the individual.

Brits at their Best is not only a pleasure for those who love history, it is a source of inspiration for all English-speaking people in their efforts to defend and renew their culture. We heartily recommend it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Battle of Britain

Will Catholicism or atheism prevail?

From Catholic World Report
By George Neumayr

In World War II, Great Britain survived an atheistic assault from outside the country. Today’s “Battle of Britain” comes from an atheistic assault inside it. British culture is crumpling under the growing weight of a fervent secularism that appears religious and an exhausted state religion that appears secular. The once-claimed sturdy Anglican bridge between Christianity and the modern world has largely collapsed, leaving those thrashing around down below it to swim from the Thames to the Tiber or drown.

The Catholic Church in the United Kingdom, to be sure, has her own problems, but, as Pope Benedict’s historic September visit to Britain suggested, the country’s future could end up looking like its distant Catholic past. Pope Benedict stepped into the battle for that future not as a triumphant warrior but as a humble witness to the truth and grace contained in Christ’s Church.

The tone of Pope Benedict’s visit to Britain was set even before he got there. Asked by a reporter on the flight over what he could do to make Catholicism appear more “attractive” and “credible” to secularists and atheists in Britain, the Pope responded by challenging the premise of the question. He noted that a Catholicism which thought in those superficial terms would become just one more dangerous ideology and power grab in a world that needs fidelity to Christ:

One might say that a church which seeks above all to be attractive would already be on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for itself, does not work to increase its numbers so as to have more power. The Church is at the service of Another; it does not serve itself, seeking to be a strong body, but it strives to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ accessible, the great truths, the great powers of love and of reconciliation that appeared in this figure and that come always from the presence of Jesus Christ. In this sense, the Church does not seek to be attractive, but rather to make herself transparent for Jesus Christ. And in the measure in which the Church is not for herself, as a strong and powerful body in the world, that wishes to have power, but simply is herself the voice of Another, she becomes truly transparent to the great figure of Jesus Christ and the great truths that he has brought to humanity…

It is for this reason, he continued, that the Church’s outreach to Anglicans and non-Catholics is not the competitive poaching of a man-made organization but the apostolic work of a divine one:

If Anglicans and Catholics see that both are not there for themselves, but are rather instruments of Christ, “friends of the Bridegroom,” as Saint John says; if both follow together the priority of Christ and not themselves, they draw closer together, because the priority of Christ brings them together, they are no longer in competition, each one seeking greater numbers, but are united in commitment to the truth of Christ who comes into this world, and so they find themselves also placed reciprocally in a true and fruitful ecumenism.

Ironically, the direct but civil Pope Benedict appeared to win over many non-Catholics in Britain while the self-consciously irenic Cardinal Walter Kasper proved too divisive to come. The former head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity stayed behind after saying that flying into increasingly ethnic Britain makes him feel like he is entering a “Third World country.” Yet in a way Kasper’s “gaffe” was accidentally prophetic: British police arrested, though later released, six men of North African descent thought to be planning an attack on the Holy Father—a sobering reminder during the papal visit that the confusion of modern British life is due not just to wan and corrupted Christianity but also to the creeping Islamization aided by atheism that could take its place.

At a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II, Pope Benedict recalled “how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.” Benedict added that as “we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion, and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a ‘reductive vision of the person and his destiny.’”

The Holy Father returned to this theme of the battle of Britain several times over the course of his visit, gently impressing upon the British elite that the moral relativism and de facto atheism which they invoke in the name of democracy only imperils it. Standing not far from the spot in Westminster Hall where Thomas More was condemned to death, Pope Benedict made the unpopular point that democracy can turn tyrannical too, unless it rests on truths not subject to democratic vote, truths which reason apprehends and revelation reinforces.

Whether the English can win that battle against the 21st-century tyranny of the “dictatorship of relativism” remains in doubt, but the Holy Father through his speeches has certainly left behind in Britain a powerful light with which to dispel atheism’s darkness.

George Neumayr is editor of Catholic World Report.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Satellite Images Show A Frozen Britain

Photo: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response

If the leaked E-mails from the University of East Anglia left any doubt that global warming is a fraud, recent weather in North America and Great Britain should put an end to that nonsense. Here is a stunning image taken by NASA's Terra satellite on January 7, showing the United Kingdom in the clutches of a deep freeze and record snow. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Britain to America: ‘Don’t Let This Happen to You!’

From Big Hollywood
By Charles Winecoff

When I was a kid, American Idol wasn’t even a twinkle in Simon Cowell’s eye. No, instead of Adam Lambert’s girly warbling, we listened to wrinkled pacifist Walter Cronkite rattle off the US body count as we ate our TV dinners. (Thank God for I Love Lucy re-runs.)

But Vietnam wasn’t the only war raging. There was a culture clash going on too, right in the privacy of our own home: the ’60s counterculture - seen in everything from Easy Rider to The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour - versus our deeply ingrained Anglophilia. In other words, a tug of war between “social justice” and the Social Register.
Decades before it became cool to diss the Queen with an iPod, the Royals represented everything Americans were not, and never could be: educated, sophisticated, multi-lingual, above carrying cash - and worldly enough to know one doesn’t clean one’s antiques (think no housework). Growing up in our comfy, middle class, anti-war household, I never knew if I was supposed to say “burn, baby, burn!” or “sod off, yank.”

This dichotomy took a psychic toll, which came to a head when I did my part for the revolution by proudly shoplifting a ballpoint pen from our local Lamston’s (”the establishment”). To my amazement, my parents were not pleased. Instead of a gold star, I received a verbal barrage of uncharacteristic cliches (”Do you think we send you to the best schools so you can steal?” ) that left me even more confused.

As I came of age, I often felt like an unsocialized, feral child who had been raised by animals, left to learn civilized human behavior on my own, from scratch - a nice, white casualty of the rootless, rudderless, barbaric peace movement.

A few years later, when I was old enough to know better, President Bill Clinton was caught with his pants down; it never even occurred to me that the public outcry might have something to do with the fact he had lied about his abuse of power. I believed as I was taught, that it was “just about sex” - those evil Republicans again, trying to stop ”the first black President” from, as one friend put it, “being himself.”

I assumed the Clinton scandal was a purely American phenomenon, just another sleazy export of our junk culture that was (I was told) the cause of so much violence and hatred around the world (from the innocent peasants who chose to import it). We had always been, and would always be, the proverbial “ugly Americans.” How our classy progenitors over there on the British isles must be shaking their heads. In 200 quickie years, America had amounted to little more than a wasteland of cheeseburgers and fat asses.

But after I entered the work force, I began to see, little by little, chinks in the mythic armor. British tabloids, for instance, were far more salacious than our National Enquirer (which, at this point, boasts a higher record for accuracy than The New York Times). And wasn’t it the UK that unleashed frumpy, passive-aggressive Neely O’Hara wannabe Susan Boyle on us? This was a far cry from the days of Noel and Gertie - or even Tom Jones and Petula Clark!

No, my fellow Americans, the British Empire ain’t what it used to be. The tables have turned. As British film critic Cosmo Landesman puts it in Peter Whittle’s new book, Private Views: Voices from the Front Line of British Culture, ”In the old days the Americans would export rubbish to us, now it’s the British who export rubbish to the Americans.”

Citing “the whole Pop Idol thing” that brought American Idol to our shores - insensitively (to Muslims, that is) right after 9/11 - Landesman blames the herd mentality of today’s reality TV generation on ”an attempt to democratise culture that began in the 1960s, generated by people of the Left. And many of those people on the Left are now horrified. Big Brother is their child….” (But I thought Leftists were supposed to be so “smart.” Janeane Garofalo, are you listening?)

Rest assured: Private Views is about cultural decline in England, not the USA. The book offers 17 refreshingly articulate interviews with writers, artists, and even a politician - but, thankfully, no actors or singers - that prove you’re not dreaming. All conducted by Whittle, the founder and director of a London think tank called The New Culture Forum, these lively chats explore the current crisis of British national identity, which has been gradually undermined by multiculturalism, and examine the UK’s own rift between Left and Right, particularly in the arts. (BIll O’Reilly, eat your heart out.)

Private Views gives a much-needed morale boost to Americans struggling with their own national inferiority complex. As North Carolina-born, expatriate novelist Lionel Shriver points out, “Europeans use the United States to feel morally superior. They’re under the illusion that what drives European politics is virtue, and what drives American politics is self-interest.” That’s a lie our own media drives home every chance it gets - capitalism has failed! - in the ongoing effort to bludgeon us into national healthcare submission.

But is it true? Shriver thinks not. “Europeans are great on talk,” she says, ”but they don’t put their money where their mouth is. They don’t put their troops where their mouths are. They’re big on diplomacy, because diplomacy is cheap.” Ouch.

Meanwhile, even in erudite England, it’s not the trailer trash who are turning into pod people; it’s the privileged spawn of the Orwellian university system. Leftwing groupthink is just as prevalent and palpable in the rarefied art galleries and theatres of London as it is in New York or Hollywood. Just like us, Britain’s lads and laddettes are media-driven lambs, addicted to texting, Twitter and “telly.”

According to Landesman, “the dumbing down isn’t among the masses: the dumbing down is among the smart people, the cultural people, who should know better.” Standards? Don’t kid yourself. Says Landesman, “the new criterion is no longer good or bad: it’s what’s hot and what’s not.”

Read the rest of this entry >>

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nothing Special About Britain? Britain!?

The following by Jonah Goldberg is a profound insight. Barack Hussein Obama's boorish treatment of the British Prime Minister and the return of the Churchill bust may reflect quite a bit more than just the bad manners of a Chicago community hustler. They reflect contempt for America's closest ally because that is the nation from which our language, culture, laws, literature and values come. How could one value the source of so much that is good in America, if one believes that America is deeply flawed and needs radical remaking?

As Tennyson wrote in his great narrative poem, Idylls of the King: "manners are not idle, but the fruit of loyal nature and of noble mind."

From National Review Online
By Jonah Goldberg

Re: the anonymous Obama administration dufus who said: "There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment."

As an unapologetic, full-throated Anglophile I find those comments idiotic, offensive, ahistorical, and in a certain sense anti-American.* I'm of course appalled.

But it's worth focusing on one aspect of this sentiment: It's idiocy. According to the liberal-realist school, some countries matter more than other countries because they are powerful and have the ability to adversely affect our national interest. According to the liberal-internationalist school, allies matter more than non-allies because grand international coalitions are the best way to do the wonderful things want to do on the world stage. So, China matters because it's a rising hegemon. Burkino Faso matters . . . eh, not so much. "Europe" matters because they are allies on security, global warming, human rights, etc. Well, Britain just happens to be our most important, reliable, and powerful ally.

So even if you take the pragmatist's razor to our shared history, culture, and all other romantic attachments to Great Britain, the bulldog still matters — a lot. In other words, to say that Britain isn't any more special than the other 190 countries in the world, you actually have to dislike Britain to the point where you're willing to suspend what are supposed to be your guiding principles and objectives about foreign policy.

* Just to be clear, what I mean by anti-American isn't a knee-jerk attack on anyone's patriotism. Rather, I simply mean that if you think the country that gave us our system of laws, our democratic tradition, our dominant culture, much of our greatest literature, and even our language is no more special than any backwater country which immiserates or brutalizes its people, then you must not think very much of America's culture, traditions, etc. either.