Goodbye Piccadily, Farewell Leicester Square
In case anyone might have forgotten, the title recalls "It's a Long Way to Tipperary..." - the song most closely associated with the British soldier in World War I and, later, in World War II.
Adolf Hitler, then last in a long line of contenders, had decided to do away with England. Before him, the German Kaiser was persuaded during World War I that - while they were fighting the French in France, the real adversary was England. Before the Kaiser, it was Napoleon who tried (and failed) at sea and on land to arrest England's growing dominance. Earlier still, Philip II of Spain had built an entire Armada to deal with that unbearably freedom-loving bunch, described by Shakespeare as "This happy breed of men, this little world" surrounded by "the silver sea which serves it...as a moat defensive to a house against the envy of less happier lands..."
Well, "this England" conducted general elections last Thursday. There is reason to believe that where the enemies of freedom failed century after century, the British electorate might well have succeeded.
The re-election of Prime Minister Tony Blair seems to reflect an inexplicable death-wish. After decades of post-war malaise, the loss of an empire, the de-throning of Pound Sterling, and struggling with antiquated industries against a modernized Europe, the policies of Margaret (now Lady) Thatcher ushered in good times indeed. Still, one could understand the restlessness that led to the election of a Labor government after eighteen years of Conservative rule.
But four years of Tony Blair delivered proof that underneath the age-old communist ruse known as "Third Way" hides a man determined to dismantle England once and for all. If we think of America as a constitutional country, Britain is an institutional one. The annual pageant known as the State Opening of Parliament, traditional BBC English, the Bank of England and, most importantly, English Common Law have all contributed to the sense of permanence for "This precious stone set in the silver sea," where a man was innocent until proven guilty, and "my home was my castle."
We must remember that the English-speaking world began with England. We must remember that the English-speaking world alone is the reason that on our planet there is liberty for many, and hope for all. Yes, small islets of liberty existed outside the English-speaking world - Iceland, Holland, Denmark - but they could never have beaten back the onslaught of would-be masters of the world operating under Spanish, French, German, Russian, or Japanese flags. Throughout the centuries, the British Navy ensured freedom of navigation on the high seas until the United States Navy was ready to assume that sacred responsibility.
The collapse and destruction of the aggressors and, consequently, the victory of the English-speaking world at the end of World War II was of such mammoth dimensions as to enable the latter to impose democratic forms of government upon the former. Alas, one aggressor remained standing because it could claim victim status as well - Soviet Russia. It took another forty-five years for that remaining aspirant for world domination to fall.
Unfortunately, the ensuing euphoria was based on wishful thinking. The philosophy of world domination, best known as "Socialism," never was excised from its original twin-homes: France and Germany. Setting aside centuries of family feud, their natural alliance found expression in a new, ingenious, openly socialist nightmare called the European Union. The fall of the Soviet Union, combined with the misconception of Americans who equated socialist philosophy with the Soviet Union, enabled yesterday's communists to take the helm all over the European Continent, claiming now to be "good" socialists under various pseudonyms.
And, for the first time, they saw their own installed as leaders of the English-speaking world - enter the Clintons and the Blairs.
Owing to overwhelmingly healthy instincts, America noticed forthwith the Clintons were about to dismantle everything that had made America, America, and applied countermeasures within two years by electing a Republican Congress. England, it seems, has abandoned itself. Of course, England does not have the system of checks and balances our Founding Fathers - blessed be their name - have bequeathed to us.
But England has been the source, the root that has sustained the tree. And "This fortress built by Nature for herself against infection" is about to be dismantled and the remnants absorbed into a Europe incapable of transcending the institutions of feudal hierarchy - of which the European Union and its socialist structure is merely the industrialized, modernized variant. English Common Law and the eight-hundred-year old jury system are about to be traded for the straitjacket of Continental law under which you have to prove your innocence, and professional jurists pronounce the verdict.
We in America can respond in one of two ways. We can throw in the towel and recite the unforgettable words of the American poet Alice Duer Miller, who immortalized the heroic, lonely stance of England facing a monstrous Germany and a cowardly France in "The White Cliffs":
"I have seen much to hate here, much to forgive.
But in a world where England is finished and dead,
I do not wish to live."
Or we can hear the call of history and respond as Americans always have. We need to separate reality from the public relations offensive that would have us believe that the world is going "our way" and understand that, for the time being, we alone stand guard over the true rule of law, freedom of choice, and, above all, liberty on land and at sea.
And when it comes to liberty, there is no Third Way.