Category Archives: New Statesman

The pitiful centre-Right’s posture of surrender

Spineless, rude and grossly inept: James Brokenshire, described as the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government

By such cowards are we governed

Two days, writes Dalrymple,

after cables by the ambassador to Washington were published in the Press, in which he characterised the Trump administration as inept, divided, and chaotic, a Left-wing weekly, the New Statesman, belatedly published an apology to Sir Roger Scruton for the wilfully misleading — indeed, defamatory — version of an interview Scruton gave to its deputy editor, George Eaton. As a result of this truncated and mendacious version, Scruton was fired from his honorary appointment as chairman of a commission to try — not before time — to improve the æsthetic standards of modern British housing.

The minister who dismissed him was the one who had appointed him shortly before, a man called James Brokenshire.

Spinelessness, ineptitude, division and chaos of the British government

What unites these two episodes, Dalrymple points out, is

the ineptitude, division, and chaos not of the Trump administration but of the British, which is incomparably greater. To these qualities may be added spinelessness; indeed, spinelessness is at the root of the problem. It is hard to do the right thing, or even to do anything properly, when at heart you believe in nothing.

Mendacious: George Eaton, described as the deputy editor of what was once a journal of some quality, the New Statesman

Few people were better qualified for the job than Scruton, Dalrymple notes, and

to many Britons his appointment came as a surprise because he was so well-qualified for it, such being the contempt in which the politico-administrative class is held.

Rude, incompetent and pusillanimous

Scruton’s sacking

did not really come as a surprise, either. Brokenshire, who had so fulsomely praised Scruton on his appointment (which, incidentally, dismayed all the right people), went into retreat, like a routed army, the moment the distorted interview appeared in public. He dismissed Scruton not only without informing him, which was rude, but without informing himself, which was incompetent and cowardly.

Did Brokenshire immediately apologise and reverse his decision once the true extent of the distortion of what Scruton had said was revealed incontrovertibly by Douglas Murray of the Spectator?

Of course not, because that would have meant admitting that he was wrong — grossly so. Being a minister in Theresa May’s government means never having to say you’re sorry. The thought of resigning because he had behaved so badly probably never entered his head.

Theresa May: being a minister in her government means never having to say you’re sorry

However, very slowly, says Dalrymple,

by degrees, as if under torture or cross-examination by a brilliant attorney,

Brokenshire was forced to travel in the direction of an apology, and eventually he said sorry,

though he still states only that it is a possibility, not a certainty, that Scruton will be reinstated.

At every stage in the lamentable story, Brokenshire

has acted as if all that counted was his own short-term political advantage.

Fear of the Left-leaning Lumpenintelligentsia

What was Brokenshire afraid of that led to his decision to dismiss Scruton? The answer, says Dalrymple, is

the Left-leaning Lumpenintelligentsia that is so quick to take to social media. Because, like May, Brokenshire appears to believe in nothing, he is not able to face down opponents with arguments, instead falling back into an immediate posture of surrender.

The likes of Brokenshire, says Dalrymple,

are the people who govern us, whether we deserve them or not.

The invincible complacency of the Dutch

A discussion of the Netherlands in particular and the northern European mess in general.