Tag: Boris Johnson

Party in the UK: Happy Brexit Day


I wrote this less than 10 hours before the UK officially left the EU. Hooray! For most Americans, who have seen the political and social havoc that Brexit has wrought from a distance and at intervals, I’m sure this seems like the inevitable, albeit, long conclusion to a rocky process. But living on the ground, even compared to the experiences of the most well-informed non-Brits, is an entirely different experience.

In lectures, tutorials, and railway stopping protests, Brexit has been continually hashed out over the last two years. Every time a cabinet minister or prominent MP comes to visit our uni Tory Society, he or she is bombarded with Brexit related questions, to almost the exclusion of domestic policy. Bringing high school friends to Parliament last summer came with a man wearing a Boris mask and a Union Jack leotard shouting about the French, and a troop of be-started pro-EU protests singing about trade policy. We’ve watched two prime ministers be felled, hosted contentious debates from the highest placed on both sides at Union, and seen the pound flail in value. In short, it has been an exhausting and deeply divisive two years.

And now I’m left to wonder about the direction that the UK will take once it is free from the EU’s grasp in a few hours. At 11 pm, Boris Johnson will speak, no bells will toll and then … I don’t think that the UK will fall in the brave new post-European world that it has created for itself. It was dragged kicking and screaming into the ever-increasing treaties and blocs that formed the EU over decades, and its dictates did much to offend traditional British political and social mores. There will be trade deals and immigration upset on the horizon to be sure, and negotiating the precise nature of Britain’s relationship will be a challenge, but life will go on here. The bigger curiosity is to see how the UK responds as it turns inwards politically and farther outwards in commerce and alliances.

Rob Long of National Review Online is here in Jim’s absence.  Join Rob and Greg as they cheer a major step in the Brexit process in the UK and apply the lessons of that odyssey to American politics this election year. They’re also a bit stunned to see Bernie Sanders not only leading in a nationwide poll but also jumping out to a double-digit lead in New Hampshire. And they have a field day with former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart tweeting out a conversation he overheard of GOP senators panicked over the impeachment case presented by Democrats, only to admit many retweets later that he just made it up.

Three Important Hanukkah Messages


Two messages by President Trump, and one exceptional video message from Prime Minister Johnson, set the right tone for the two nations’ recognition of a minority faith that has been under increasing assault. President Trump, having earlier held an annual Hanukkah reception, at which he signed a significant executive order to combat universities increasingly open anti-Semitism, published a warm presidential message on Hanukkah 2019. Yet, this year, it was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Chanukah message that cut to the heart of the history and current problems in the United Kingdom. In the context of Labour being rejected by the British people, in significant part due to the exceptionally nasty piece of work leading that party, Jeremy Corbyn, PM Johnston spoke strongly and plainly about the right of British Jews to be both, publicly, without fear of harassment or worse.

Note that this video, like the one below, is official. 10 Downing Street is the official YouTube channel of the British Prime Minister, as White House is the official YouTube channel of the President of the United States.

Boris Johnson Speaks, and It Isn’t All Greek to Me


On Christmas Eve, Powerline Blog pointed to Boris Johnson reciting a long passage from the Iliad, in ancient Greek, not as a schoolboy might, but as the great storyteller. This should not have been much of a surprise, given other appearances over the past few years by the man who is now Prime Minister. What follows is a Boris Johnson starter sampler.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson turned to reciting the Iliad in the course of a conversation with the Australian Broadcasting Company’s Annabel Crabb at the Melbourne Writers Festival this past July.

A Real Christmas Message from a British Prime Minister


While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson first bowed before the altar of the NHS, above and before the police and fire services, and placed the British military members* and their families last, as has been true since Kipling wrote “Tommy,” it is remarkable that he called Christmas for what it is, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and especially called attention to the worldwide plight of persecuted Christians, many celebrating Christmas in prison cells! This prime minister, with his clear governing majority, pledged “as Prime Minister, that is something I want to change.” He also offered timely and sage advice to everyone around the world, urging domestic peace and goodwill: “Try not to have too many arguments with the in-laws, or anyone else.”

Here is the official transcript:

The Queen’s Speech


Cat and Canary

Her Majesty opened the post-election Parliament Thursday morning. On the procession from the Commons to the Lords, Mr. Corbyn and the PM had nary a word to say to each other. But the look on the PM’s face was one of the cat who devoured the canary.

The speech, which is written for the Queen by the majority, dealt mostly with Brexit and the problems of the NHS, which throughout the campaign was alternately described as the “best in the world” and an abomination — often by the same people and in the same sentence. A vote on the government’s Brexit bill, which would rule out an extension and set a final divorce date, is expected to come as early as tomorrow.

It’s finally Friday!  Yes, we are fully aware of the impeachment votes in the House Judiciary Committee but Jim sums up his analysis in roughly two seconds as we begin today’s podcast.  After that Jim and Greg celebrate the big win for the Conservative Party in the UK and are thrilled to report the political demise of Jeremy Corbyn.  They are also hoping that the substance matches the excitement as Congress prepares to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to replace NAFTA and President Trump announces agreement on “phase one” of trade negotiations with China.  And Jim details why Joe Biden’s campaign could face serious turbulence after reports that Hunter Biden had a 1988 drug arrest expunged at the same time Sen. Biden was advocating for very tough drug crime sentencing.

Another fruitless search for good news today but we have plenty to say about our bad and crazy martini!  Join Jim and Greg as they react to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez openly cheering on anti-Semitic, America-hating Jeremy Corbyn to be the next prime minister in the United Kingdom.  They fume as Rep. Rashida Tlaib falsely assumes the race of the people responsible for targeting and killing of Jewish people in Jersey City.  They also slam the media for losing interest in the murders when the facts of the case don’t support their preferred narrative.  And while Democrats haven’t even taken over the Virginia General Assembly yet, they’re already talking about deploying the National Guard to counties that refuse to enforce their upcoming gun control legislation.

Will Brexit actually happen? Do young Brits want it to? William F. Buckley Fellow (and Scotland native) Madeleine Kearns rejoins the Young Americans to answer these questions (after a fascinating digression about her experience with study drugs). Also, stay tuned to the very end to experience several firsts for this podcast.

Will Boris Johnson’s Government Fall?


Prime Minister Boris Johnson was elected by his party to deliver on the Conservative Party promise to deliver on the people’s will, expressed in an extraordinary referendum in 2016. Similar to Chamber of Commerce Republicans in our political system, there are Remainer Conservatives, who represent business interests that have done well at the expense of the British people’s interests. Today, one of these members of parliament literally crossed the aisle, ending the current government majority.

MP Philip Lee left the Conservative Party and walked over to sit with the Liberal Democrats this Monday. The ensuing debate is live, carried by ITV:

Boris Magnus?


Image credit: The Daily Telegraph.

Health warning: the following is a long essay where I necessarily had to ‘get into the weeds’ of Labour Party politics. As you can probably imagine, that involved a journey to a certain creek with an inevitable deficit of paddles. Whether that describes the Labour Party or my ability to evaluate them is an open question. Plenty of Conservative stuff too so don’t be put off by Jeremy Corbyn, sorry, I mean obviously you should be put off by Corbyn but don’t hold it against me….

As is so often the case, a cartoonist nailed it. The Daily Telegraph carried the picture of a galloping lion; its paws gathered together, all four off the ground in that moment between one explosive bound and the next. On its back sits the figure of Britannia, pressed back to an angle of almost forty-five degrees by the lion’s momentum, one hand desperately clasping her helmet to her head, the other gamely hanging on to the Union Jack-embossed shield at her side. The lion’s face – even in profile – is unmistakably that of Boris Johnson, its mane his trademark blonde mop. The ‘Torygraph’ should know, it has been Boris’ own parish for many a decade.

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Christopher Wray was hired as FBI Director to lead the clean up crew, but has he joined the cover up team? Will Attorney General Barr finally compel full compliance with court orders? Will President Trump finally follow through on his threat to fully declassify and unredact the underlying FBI and DOJ documents? John Solomon, writing […]

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Toby Young on Boris


I’m currently rustling something up on the coming Boris premiership and how it should differ from Theresa May’s. In the meantime, here is a link to a long piece by Ricochet Podcaster Toby Young up at Quillette.

Toby has the advantage over me of not just knowing Boris, but being a much better writer. His essay goes back to their time at Oxford together and how Boris was the real deal even then among the “spotty students” peddling “second-hand opinions.” It goes on to Toby’s time working for Boris at The Spectator. A particularly illuminating anecdote below:

It’s Boris, and Brexit, or Bust!


Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, New York born British politician, will take on his new role of Prime Minister tomorrow afternoon.

But first, he became (I’m pretty sure), the first member of the British Conservative Party to work the honorific, “dude,” into a political speech.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up three more delicious martinis. First, they cautiously applaud the selection of Boris Johnson as the new British prime minister in hopes the UK can finally deal with Brexit in a good way and they eagerly await the Trump-Johnson press conferences. They also commend Democratic House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal for not bowing to the progressive whims to demand Trump’s New York state tax returns immediately. And they enjoy hearing 2020 hopeful and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard insist that Sen. Kamala Harris is not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the recent charges brought against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and dismiss his claim of being a journalist. They also cross the pond to the UK, where Prime Minister Theresa May is resigning over the Brexit debacle and size up the race to replace her. Finally, they collectively cringe at what may be the most embarrassing book interview of all time, as a British host politely points out feminist Naomi Wolf based a major portion of her book on an incorrect assumption about historical records.

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An absolutely fascinating look at how Brexit won, with clear corollaries to how Trump won as well.  Instead of spending a fortune on an expensive agency (with 15% going to them out of ‘controlled expenditure’) and putting up posters to be ‘part of the national conversation’ weeks or months before the vote, we decided to […]

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As Ricochet seems to want a break from the election cycle today, I offer up Britain’s favourite Conservative speaker: Boris Johnson. Speaking at the opening of the Tory party conference today, ‘BoJo’ was his usual ebullient self, but there was a serious message underlying the jovial tone. For speed readers the text can be found […]

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