Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Greatness returns to Number 10


It is more than 30 years since Margaret Thatcher entered Number 10 as Prime Minister. As she walked through the door, the new Premier adapted the prayer of St Francis of Assisi:

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.
Where there is error, may we bring truth.
Where there is doubt, may we bring faith.
And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

Few could have envisaged then that she would not only dominate her party for a generation, but that she would transform the nation and, through a unique alliance and personal friendship with Ronald Reagan, alter the course of the world.

The Thatcher revolution was as much about personality as it was about policy. She administered the right medicine to cure the ‘sick man of Europe’, and refused to preside passively over a nation in terminal decline. For her, Britain was inseparable from its historic greatness, and so she sought to inculcate a notion of ‘Great Britain’ where it had ceased to exist – in people’s hearts and minds, but also throughout the continent of Europe and around the world. She was of the mould of Boudicca, Elizabeth I, Victoria – a woman who eclipsed ten thousand men in her grasp of statecraft and the administration of power.

She endured internal carping from the ‘wets’; constant attrition from those who sought a United States of Europe; trauma from months and years of strike action; demoralisation from economic downturn, inflation and recession; the unbearable yoke of war; she even survived an assassination attempt. But she persevered as her conviction obliged her to; she endured as her vocation demanded.

Margaret Thatcher began a revolution – not one of those bloody continental affairs of the eighteenth century, but a typically British and pragmatic one on a par with that of the nineteenth. Her transformation of British industry and her preparedness for the technological revolution was eventually to place the United Kingdom ahead of the rest of Europe. And so Thatcherism was born: a creed of economic and personal liberty which is her legacy. It was an expression of Conservatism every bit as defining as that of Peel, Disraeli and Churchill.

But Margaret Thatcher did not only leave her stamp on her own party: she also transformed the Opposition, for many of her reforms were retained by Tony Blair’s New Labour with his ‘Third Way’ fusion of mutual exclusives. The tragedy is that Labour reverted to type under Gordon Brown: with their instinct for centralisation and bureaucratic control; their financial incontinence; their loathing of liberty and personal responsibility; their envy of the rich and successful who once again faced punitive levels of taxation. And, true to type, Labour brought the nation to the edge of bankruptcy. The life blood of British identity has again been poured out as a sacrifice to a utopian Socialism which stifles, strangles, oppresses and deceives.


As a Conservative Prime Minister once again occupies Downing Street, it is wholly appropriate that the Great Lady should grace him with her presence. In a speech just before the General Election, David Cameron invoked her spirit when he reminded us that it has been an historic Conservative quest to take on vested interests:

That idea lies behind the progress of our country.

It was only when people stood up to a despotic King that our rights first came enshrined in Magna Carta.

And it was only when Parliament stood up to planters, merchants and ship owners that the slave trade was abolished.

And it’s an idea that is written in the history of our party too.

Peel, took on landowners, repealed the corn laws and brought cheap food to everyone.

Disraeli, took on some of the richest in the land, introduced factory reforms and protected people from exploitation.

And Margaret Thatcher’s government was defined by taking the side of the people against the powerful, the vested interest...

...those whose survival depended on keeping things as they were.

Take her union reforms.

She recognised that as long there was a closed shop and no proper ballots, power would lie with the big union barons.

They would continue to hold governments to ransom, to drag this country down, and to bully their members.

So she took them on.

She broke the stranglehold of the union barons and gave every worker an equal right and equal say.

Vested interests broken - people empowered.

The same is true for council house sales.

Before her reforms, the system predominantly favoured one set of people...

...local authority bureaucrats who controlled huge budgets and wielded huge power because they decided who could live where.

So Margaret Thatcher took them on.

She gave people the right to buy their own homes, invest in their future and take control of their lives.

Vested interests broken - people empowered.

And then there's the denationalisation of industry.

We saw that the growth of state power and state patronage, of state employment and state subsidies, gave massive power to a few people at the centre.

The big bosses, the union leaders, the politicians and civil servants who were in control of multi-million pound industries.

So Margaret Thatcher took them on.

She stripped companies like British Telecom of their monopolies...

...broke up failing monoliths like British Leyland...

...gave people choice, the opportunity to buy shares and created a truly popular capitalism based on enterprise and aspiration.

Vested interests broken - people empowered.

One vested interest after another was taken on and defeated.

Unions were given back to their members.

People were given greater power and control over their lives.

Business was set free to grow and create wealth.

Real change happened.


Only time will tell if David Cameron manages to reach the political heights of a Disraeli or a Thatcher.

Or whether he will be another Heath.

But one thing is certain: the United Kingdom is once again in the grip of a crisis of economy and identity every bit as deep-seated and urgent as it was in 1979. Only fundamental reform will address the issues; the country, once again, awaits conviction and political greatness.

59 Comments:

Blogger Manfarang said...

History will not be kind to Margaret Thatcher because I will write it.

9 June 2010 at 08:19  
Anonymous Budgie said...

A superb post from an obvious admirer of Margaret Thatcher that mirrors my own views. Her achievements tower above those of every other post WW2 PM.

People forget, or are too young to know, that nothing worked in the UK that did not have the permission of extremists (Trotskyist, Maoist, Stalinist and all the other dreary totalitarian -ists). This at a time when the USSR was vigourously predatory. There were 'fronts' to hide connections between the USSR and extremists in the UK, determined to make the UK a satellite of 'inevitable' socialist hegemony.

People were tired of perpetual strikes, power cuts (we still have some candles left over), shortages (bread, toilet rolls), tired of funding jobs in nationalised industries making things few wanted to buy, tired of rationing (telephones). Even sympathy for the miners had evaporated.

Mrs Thatcher transformed Britain. Things worked. The 'little man' felt freed from his socialist shackles. Horizons expanded. Compare all that with the creepy delusions and lies of Blair and Brown and weep for our loss.

9 June 2010 at 09:29  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Even her critics will acknowledge that Thatcher did restore pride in this country. She did so on the back of some horrendous labour disputes and a country that was at best in the doldrums.

I have to confess that her infamous quote that there is “no such thing as society” has rankled with me until I looked it up a few moments ago:

She said...
“But it went too far. If children have a problem, it is society that is at fault. There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”

When you read it in context few could ague against that view.

In comparison with Blair her legacy is far more substantial, he changed the Labour Party, she changed the country. Having said that I did not like her, she was heartless particularly in her battle with Scargill, she showed callous indifference to the miners and their families who were lions led by a donkey. Her personal style was both condescending and patronising, she had an affectation in her speech epitomised by her use of the royal “we”.

Although her medicine was necessary I have to take issue with one point Cranmer made:

Her transformation of British industry and her preparedness for the technological revolution was eventually to place the United Kingdom ahead of the rest of Europe

Her prescription for manufacturing industry was to kill it rather than cure it. I’m not sure where you get the idea that industry in France and Germany is now in our shadow.

She stands out as the dominant figure in British politics in the post war period and I would be fascinated to know what she thinks of the coalition government.

9 June 2010 at 09:44  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Greatness returned to Number 10 - and then departed a short time later.

It was sad to see her looking so frail. The stress of leadership and time have taken their toll.

What did Cameron learn from the woman who dragged the UK out of the dirt of failed socialism in 1979 and made harsh decisions to put it back on its feet?

A good post, Your Grace. We need the strength of character and the intellect of another Thatcher right now. I fear that Cameron, given his stupid adherence to AGW and his insistence that he can set the Colleages in Brussels at defiance, isn't the leader we need.

9 June 2010 at 09:56  
Blogger John R said...

@Graham Davis

Not so fast!! You might like to do a bit of googling. The UK's manufacturing sector is actually slightly larger than France's in %GDP terms - or it was until Gordoom's debt-funded mega-bust hit us a couple of years ago. Leftist anti-Thatcher myths are many and varied, the "death of manufacturing" is just one more to add to the compost heap of history.

She was "heartless" in the battle against Scargill - but then he was trying to bring down an elected government. What else would you expect a PM (well a non-LieBore one anyway) to do? The real problem was that he was an idiot. He started a strike in the spring when power demand was approaching its lowest point in the year and when the coal yards were piled high with supplies. No wonder he lost.

9 June 2010 at 11:24  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"Heartless" towards Scargill? Scargill was an utter pest and she brought him down, thank heavens.

9 June 2010 at 11:25  
Blogger English Viking said...

Just about the only thing that I respect Thatcher for was that she was at least honest; she did not tell you what she thought you wanted to hear, she told you what she thought.

IMHO, the real devastation caused in this nation was started by Heath, and the same disastrous course has been pursued by a succession of criminal Governments, of both colours, including hers, ever since.

Great? I'm not so sure what the Lord God will have to say on the matter.

@John R,

Not so fast yourself!! Just because France's manufacturing base has also been decimated over the last 50 years, by the pursuit of the same insane policies of mass-immigration, globalisation, trade-deficits, etc, does not mean that ours is in good shape. France's manufacturing output has never come close ours in modern history, so the fact that we have been dragged down to their level is no cause of celebration.

You were right about Scargill though. Another legend in his own mind.

9 June 2010 at 11:49  
Anonymous PJ said...

She may have been a Great Leader of this country but I hate to say it, but I think she may be the one reason why the Conservatives didn't win the 2010 election. I would ask people why they arn't they voting Conservative and they would say "becuase of what Thatcher did to our country" or "Cameron is just Thatcher all over again". The leftist media and properganda has portayed her as this evil women who destroyed our country, and this is what my generation has grown up thinking. I was never alive to see her in action but from what I can see she wasn't as bad as people say she was. Such a shame

9 June 2010 at 11:54  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

I said...”she was heartless particularly in her battle with Scargill, she showed callous indifference to the miners and their families who were lions led by a donkey”

Does that really imply that I had any sympathy for Scargil?


I reiterate my point we are not leaving France and Germany in our wake! Add to that the fact that much of UK industry is foreign owned.

The UK is the world’s 6th largest manufacturer measured by output.

£ 160 billion per annum to the economy (12.3% of GDP) – similar to France but well below Germany at 23%

Or so say http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/business-sectors/manufacturing-and-materials/manufacturing/manufacturing-in-the-uk

9 June 2010 at 12:04  
Blogger Gnostic said...

PJ - Cameron upset conservative and floating voters because he'd moved the party to the left of centre and disenfranchised people sick of the socialist agenda.

He reneged on his promise of an EU referendum. He kept cosying up to politically correct minority pressure groups. He wants to waste hundreds of billions on unsustainable wind farms and CO2 sequestration at a time when CO2's role in so called AGW is far from proven and the warming halted 10 years ago. He wants to adopt a distinctly Marxist Big Society strategy.

A Tory leader less like Thatcher or any sort of conservative politician I can't conceive of. It's why I, and many others, voted for UKIP, the only real conservative party in the mix. And what's more, I'll do it again if the Tory party continues to accept the UK to be ruled by the unelected fascists in Brussels.

9 June 2010 at 12:14  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"He reneged on his promise of an EU referendum."

Unless my facts are wrong (which is a possibility, and if so I apologise), I have to disagree with that statement.

He only promised a referendum on the EU provided the Lisbon Treaty had not been ratified by the time they had come to power. As Brown slipped it through as quickly as his grubby sticky little hands could manage without asking the people the point of Cameron holding a referendum by the time they came to power therefore became a moot point.

Although if the other countries in the EU start to fail like they appear to be doing now he may yet have a chance to make good on his promise.

Here's hoping he gets the chance and that he turns out to be one of those rare types of politicians; an honest one.

9 June 2010 at 12:45  
Anonymous PJ said...

Gnostic, yes I agree with you partly, that the Conservatives lost lots of their key voters to UKIP becuase of thier centre-left policies and broken promises on the the EU but they also lost many floating voters becuase of the Thatcher reputation, it was a double blow. Also surely by people like you voting UKIP instead of the Conseratives you are reinforcing what is alredy happening. What need will the conservatives have for calling a referendum on the EU when they have lost all their eurosceptics to UKIP?

9 June 2010 at 12:50  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Your Grace -

Or even Boadicea.

This new-fangled spelling of Boudicca may or may not be more historically accurate, but if doesn't really matter after all this time, and it's merely another case of political correctness creeping in.

I'm mildly shocked at your Grace, really, on this occasion.

I, for one, will continue to refer to the good Lady in the traditional manner

PS With regard to other posts, whilst I have no time for Mr Scargill, I fear that he was correct in his assertion that there was a secret hit list inside the government for the dismemberment of the coal industry.

The government denied it, naturally, but it's now public record. Maybe we would have been better off with a coal industry, but with global warming, possibly not. Depends on your point of view. However, his flying pickets were very worrying indeed. Certainly it was war on an elected government.

9 June 2010 at 12:53  
Blogger Gnostic said...

TheGlovener - Yep. He did say that. And when he "dodged" the Lisbon Treaty bullet instead af asking the electorate if they were happy about it he insisted that he knew best and so his popularity plummetted in the polls. His stance on the EU cost him vital votes.

PJ - A Eurosceptic voting Tory in the GE would have been voting for Europhile Cameron. It would not have helped the Eurosceptics within the Tory party, it would have been endorsinging Cameron's position on the EU instead. How many Eurosceptics are in the Cabinet? How many Eurosceptics are members of the 1922 Committee that Cameron saw fit to interfere with?

9 June 2010 at 13:37  
Blogger English Viking said...

Gnostic,

You are correct, Cameron did say he would offer a referendum, then attempted to qualify that promise about a week later, with the 'ratification' thing. He is a liar.

No amount of telling me that I did not hear what I know full well I did will change my mind.

9 June 2010 at 15:50  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Budgie
"Horizons expanded"
They sure did.Britons left Britain in droves during the Thatcher years.There was net emigration.

9 June 2010 at 16:43  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Manfarang at 08:19

You are too late, it has already been written! It grows yet ever 'kindlier' ... and after what has occurred, and what is yet to come, will be be seen as a positively 'Golden Age' by comparison!

I am no slavish adherent to all of Thatcher's works; but only a fool would deny both her honesty and, the simple fact that she saved this country from utter ruin!

9 June 2010 at 17:00  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Fossil fuel returns to No10

Obviously the Thatcher years are seen by some as a battle between good and evil, those rabid in their support for the Iron Lady, who its not worth trying to reason with.

Then the lefty lot, who also played a role in destroying Britain.


Two sides of the same coin.

9 June 2010 at 17:08  
Anonymous Oswin said...

English Viking at 11:49 As you say, Heath ought to be publicly reviled for ever!

All true Brits should burn his effigy in place of that of Guy Fawkes; or better still, on the anniversary of his, and Wilson's, great treachery, of the 6th,June,1975. The day that 67% of British voters finally sold this country for a packet of lies!

A dark reminder that truth is not always achieved by counting noses!

9 June 2010 at 17:23  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bred in the bone at 17:07

One was NOT the obverse of the other. If we swap sides/planes for balance, I'd suggest your's is somewhat out of kilter.

It was Heath and Wilson et al, who buggered Britain...the 'et al' includes Scargill and other, earlier, dinosaurs of his ilk.

Although in fairness, the list is a long one indeed.

9 June 2010 at 17:39  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Oswin the old saying the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, turns out to be quite false, fact is left wing and right wing flapped their way to were we are now.

I seem to have seen the above photo before, with Maggie stood next to Gordon Brown on the doorstep.

9 June 2010 at 18:10  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Graham Davis comments that the Iron Lady's
'... personal style was both condescending and patronising, she had an affectation in her speech epitomised by her use of the royal “we”.

Gotta disagree with you there, GD. In so referring to herself she was simply using a style of speech normal in earlier generations of polite middle-class society. The 'we' was a device adopted by self-abnegating people to avoid seeming egotistical.

I once had a good friend -- an old man when I was in my thirties -- who told me that it was ill-mannered to refer to yourself in a direct manner when giving your opinion.

I think the 'we' used by Mrs T was never an affectation, but was simply an Edwardian and early 20th century throwback, like men doffing their hats to ladies, and standing up when a lady entered the room. It grated from Mrs T because she had taken elocution lessons to avoid gabbling, making her sound rather artificial and poncy. Combined with the 'we' that made her sound almost like a caricature of herself.

That sort of thing made her an easy target for the Spitting Image generation of know-nothings. We (you and I, that is) should educate ourselves to know better.

9 June 2010 at 18:15  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace outlines some usefull markers or perhaps boots to fill .

Margret Thatcher rightly deserves her place in UK leadership history, she fought a tyranny disguised as benefit and won an historically just battle .

Tony Blair may well have given some acknowledgement to her rule , however I am beggining to wonder if he ever really understood what she was trying to do, as he seemed to forget national wealth management whilst he was using the UKs reputation to "invest" in globalisation and busting 50% of the uk banking sector in the process.

Cameronism for now seems to be a matter of tidying up and adding a final chapter to Thatcherism, however that may not do , as the debt and defict set a very different of circumstance to 1978. The economy is not damaged through closed shop unions and modern manufacturing , it is damaged because so much money has been spent for political ends causing a dysfunctional and swiss cheese economy with pockets of empty ecnomic activity for people to inhabit (which went under labour).

The cuts are necessary , the debt is a powerfull diktat of that , but what is surprising so far is how little the coalition seems to understand what to do about restoring the national economy .They may well want to avoid inflation and hope that low interest rates will configure the problem better , but that will not get the jobs . The jobs which will secure a more real economy .

Just as 1978 was about overmanning and inefficent , 2010 is about overborrowing and central banking gerrymandering for personal gain .

In my mind the two situations are both failiures but opposite ends of ecnomics . From a historical point of view the 13 years of Labour government have a very doubfull record , but I cannot forget how the end of Thatcherism was marked by an inability to see if it got ecnomics right either , such was the hardness of its force .

Goverments that create poverty are retrograde , and Labour are despartely trying to carry on as though they had not birthed the national problem , whch shows that our politics may still have some lingering Blairism .

I suspect that some serious reform will need to be done , Rowan Williams sermon perhaps shows him planting his staff firmly in not persecuting people for the vanity of politics , knowing such a move creates futher imbalances .

However I would have thought that a bloated service sector causing ecnomic poverty , has a sort of necessary and responsible justice about it , unless that is he belives that state control reduces poverty , that is perhaps more about what good governance is .
Redistribution of wealth seems so hollow , when Labour have spent the wealth (and future wealth) that could be redistributed .

We must ensure that the real economy is stable and and gradually takes the strain , beyond that some ecnomic engineering is needed , a repair will not suffice as I suspect that politics has overshot and ensalved the real economy for some considerable time .

9 June 2010 at 18:23  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bred in the bone - and not just Brown!

9 June 2010 at 18:25  
Anonymous Oswin said...

not a machine - a good post Sir!


We are in uncharted waters here, and God knows what will befall us; because I for one, no longer have a clue!

9 June 2010 at 18:33  
Anonymous RogerB said...

“The same is true for council house sales.

Before her reforms, the system predominantly favoured one set of people...

...local authority bureaucrats who controlled huge budgets and wielded huge power because they decided who could live where.

So now the system favours the bosses of Housing Associations, 50 of whom earn more than the Prime Minister, according to the Housing Minister, while more people than ever are homeless.

She gave people the right to buy their own homes, invest in their future and take control of their lives.

So the lucky sitting tenants cashed in on their windfalls and now often rent out the houses in the private sector at vastly higher rates.

And then there's the denationalisation of industry.

We saw that the growth of state power and state patronage, of state employment and state subsidies, gave massive power to a few people at the centre.

The big bosses, the union leaders, the politicians and civil servants who were in control of multi-million pound industries.

So now we have effectively no large scale UK owned industries.

She stripped companies like British Telecom of their monopolies...

...broke up failing monoliths like British Leyland...

...gave people choice, the opportunity to buy shares and created a truly popular capitalism based on enterprise and aspiration.

Vested interests broken - people empowered.

So now we have no UK car industry.

Unions were given back to their members.

People were given greater power and control over their lives.

Business was set free to grow and create wealth.

So we created imaginary wealth in The City by printing money and lending it to people who couldn’t afford to pay it back, so the taxpayers had to bail out the bankers.”

9 June 2010 at 18:58  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

My prediction goes thus...

Like the Thatcher years, we are going to witness mass unemployment and race riots again.

Unlike the Thatcher years, we have doubled or tripled the number of immigrants to do battle with, they are now radicalized, the English face race equality laws in competing for fewer and fewer jobs, in an EU State that does not even recognise them as a people and jobs have been sent over seas.

Greed is good, still, like the Thatcher years. Only unlike the Thatcher years, we will be paying cripling taxation for less and less services, why international bankers grow fat, nuclear power third world countries get aid and EU Politicians scam the lot of us.

I look forwards to the coming years, because all hell will break loose and I really believe none are going to come out unscathed, because none desrve to.

And Cameron will fly his little St George flag on No10 not for England or Christendom but for a bloody game of football, being played in the 'Rainbow Nation' what a joke.

9 June 2010 at 19:36  
Blogger English Viking said...

@Anabaptist, 18:15

The only problem with your counter is that she was not 'Middle Class'. She was the daughter of a Greengrocer, and was raised in what today would be called poverty.

She was not raised to speak in such a fashion, it was an affectation, one which betrayed even her own father.

PS Doesn't mean she shouldn't have sank The Belgrano though.

9 June 2010 at 21:05  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

She wasn't raised in 'poverty'. Her father was 'in trade'. By her own efforts she lifted herself to the level where she obtained a chemistry degree. She may not have been born 'middle-class', and she adopted an appropriate mode of speech (later modified, as I said, by elocution lessons). Is it always an 'affectation' for somebody who tries to raise their status to adjust their accent accordingly, especially as in earlier days accents could be a significant barrier to advancement? Is Joan Bakewell 'affected'? (Yes, I know, she is a lot of other things.) My point about Mrs Thatcher's use of 'we' is not countered in any way by your comment.

(And it should be 'sunk', not 'sank'.)

9 June 2010 at 21:22  
Blogger English Viking said...

Anabaptist,

I said what would NOW be called poverty.

One cannot change one's class by changing one's accent.

You would do well to take me, and others, as we are, else not at all. No airs and graces.

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/airs+and+graces.

No false pretenses, it's best to judge me (and others) on my (their) words, and how closely my (their) actions match my (their) words, not the way I (they) say them.

Those who are impressed with another's diction and elocution are likely to be blinded by the style, without realising there is no substance.

Correcting another's minor solecisms is usually considered poor form and a sign of a weak argument. It is even more embarrassing when you attempt to correct someone when you are in fact wrong. Both 'sank' and 'sunk' are currently acceptable past tenses of the verb 'sink'.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sank

9 June 2010 at 22:07  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

What does it matter what is now called poverty? We are talking about then, not now.

You seem to have little understanding of the way things used to be, when accent was taken as a mark of class and intelligence. Your blather about about how you should be judged is irrelevant. In any case, I can't hear your accent any more than you can hear mine. Your comment is a red herring.

Your boorish complaint about a light-hearted correction indicates the paucity of your understanding, which is already revealed in your total failure to understand the simple point I made about accents and class.

You sank. (past simple)

You have sunk. (past participle)

Yes, both past tense, but 'sunk' should never be used on its own without an auxiliary verb.

You have sunk.

Goodnight.

9 June 2010 at 22:23  
Blogger English Viking said...

Anabaptist,

You are WAY past simple.

It would have been good if you had thunk, but it is obviously a skill which evades you.

A goodnight to you too.


PS The WV is 'mices', seriously!

9 June 2010 at 23:03  
Blogger English Viking said...

Anabaptist,

I admit to a bit of research, as I am not a particularly clever man, but I think that you will find that 'have' is an auxiliary verb, of the 'non-modal' type, and therefore your 'last post' (how apt) merely confirmed my previously stated views.

I tire of silly word-games; perhaps we should shake hands?

9 June 2010 at 23:25  
Anonymous len said...

We seem to have sank,sunk, sinked,into mediocrity( did i spel that rite?)
There are more important things than grammar,more important things than having the last word, more important things than having a 'dig'at others,more important things than gaining respect and admiration of others(if possible)More important things than parading you ego your intellect and your education.

Truth as revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only important fact in life.
All else is trivia.

10 June 2010 at 00:05  
Blogger English Viking said...

Len,

You are, once again, correct.

I apologise for my ignorance and rudeness.

Col. 1 v 18 ... that in all things, He might have the pre-eminence.

10 June 2010 at 00:28  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Interesting thought Len is there grammar , and structure in gods ways , yet no class distinction , now thats what I call social mobility .

10 June 2010 at 00:56  
Anonymous Oswin said...

I rather tend to visualise God as being an elderly, slightly distracted, 'Mr.Chips' character; and doubtless something of a grammarian too.

Naturally, there is nothing 'exotic' about him. He rather approves of the C-of-E; and collects specimens of mosses and liverworts - being secretly proud of their creation.

10 June 2010 at 02:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oswin
A Hebrew grammarian!

10 June 2010 at 02:55  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Bless you, but why would you suppose that?

10 June 2010 at 02:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True Religion

10 June 2010 at 08:15  
Anonymous Tony B said...

And already under a Conservative government we are heading in the direction of 3 million unemployed, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Since you were so incensed by the levels of unemployment under Labour, I presume you will now either be even more incensed. Either that or you'll fall mysteriously silent on the subject of unemployment.

10 June 2010 at 08:54  
Anonymous AnaNimosity said...

On Grammar: Surely those who return to the Word will need no grammar? Perhaps Oswin is right in supposing that God dispensed grammar to humanity, though. How else could the souls who separated from Him re-organise the fragmented Word into words we can cope with?

On Diction: Perhaps Mrs. T. took elocution as some now take Public Speaking courses - so as to apply a standard that all could respond to? After all, if she was well enough educated to make it to Cambridge in those days, her linguistic ability couldn't have been that bad; such a bright grocer's daughter had nothing to be ashamed of. Actually, some supposedly well-educated Yanks could use that sort of improvement nowadays - their mangling of the language is getting worse and worse.

Not that I liked Mrs. T. much ... didn't think she should try to out-queen the Queen! Poll tax was awful, too.

10 June 2010 at 10:48  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Dearie me, I must have been half asleep when I wrote that post.

10 June 2010 at 13:27  
Anonymous len said...

Oswin,
It is interesting that God ,the Creator of the Universe , chose to come to Earth as a humble carpenter, He chose as his companions humble uneducated men,He got into trouble with the educated religious elite because He kept company with tax collectors,prostitutes, and thieves.
Jesus Christ is the perfect representation of God.

..........

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise."
Is God the author of confusion?
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
(Corinthians)

10 June 2010 at 13:37  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Len - cracking post! Some serious food for thought in there.

Might I come back to you later, 're certain elements of your first paragraph? Not in contention, as such; but I'd like to run a few thoughts past you etc.

10 June 2010 at 14:30  
Anonymous PJ said...

Len, you truly are an asset to this comment thread

10 June 2010 at 14:33  
Blogger OldSouth said...

A wonderful post, Your Grace, and I will be sharing it.

Thatcher and Reagan saved and transformed millions of lives through their commonly held vision of what life can be if freedom is allowed to flourish.

They both had the humility to work together, never one seeking credit over the other.

Hopefully, we can regain that vision, and restore leaders in their mold to office, corporate board, university chair and pulpit.

10 June 2010 at 14:49  
Anonymous Generalfeldmarschall said...

Your Grace
I think:
... attributed to St. Francis ...
or:
... sometimes attributed to St Francis ...
or even:
... sometimes wrongly attributed to St Francis ...
might keep the pedants among your flock happier.

10 June 2010 at 16:26  
Anonymous Michael St George said...

A fantastic post, Your Grace.

But I fear that your last question has already been answered. Cameron is undoubtedly a Heath, as his every action increasingly shows.

He has neither the values, the vision, nor the courage to be a Thatcher - and more's the pity

10 June 2010 at 18:02  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr English Viking:
'I tire of silly word-games; perhaps we should shake hands?

Suits me, matey.

10 June 2010 at 18:56  
Blogger See note on left said...

The origin of that 'Prayer of St Francis' has in fact been investigated by Franciscan academics in some depth. It first appeared during the First World War in the Amiens area of the fighting in the form of a popular prayer card. It is thought to have been a local Franciscan tertiary inspiration: very Franciscan in tone but unknown in any of the early writings and not attributable to St Francis in any historical sense.

11 June 2010 at 13:26  
Blogger FrereRabit said...

The origin of that 'Prayer of St Francis' has in fact been investigated by Franciscan academics in some depth. It first appeared during the First World War in the Amiens area of the fighting in the form of a popular prayer card. It is thought to have been a local Franciscan tertiary inspiration: very Franciscan in tone but unknown in any of the early writings and not attributable to St Francis in any historical sense.

11 June 2010 at 13:32  
Blogger Manfarang said...

AnaNimosity
Mrs T, or Margaret Roberts as she was then known, went to Oxford.
The Yanks may mangle English but in Virginia its spoken with a pleasing lilt.

11 June 2010 at 14:10  
Anonymous AnaNimosity said...

Manfarang - I stand corrected, thank you. She did indeed go to Oxford - but my points still stand, it took a good brain to get there (against strong competition) and she had nothing to be ashamed of.

Your second point is also true - and I once heard a southern accent that was almost enviable (and which I couldn't have copied in a million years)! I refer more to speech that emanates from some (not all) presumably later immigrants. Understanding their words can be seriously difficult. Someone posted a link the other day that illustrates the point:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHtO8Q119ms.

11 June 2010 at 16:07  
Anonymous AnaNimosity said...

..sigh. Having researched this (essentially interesting) speaker I now find that he's Canadian but resident in Spain.

In fact I think most of the problem I have with the new American accents comes from Hispanics... perhaps their language interacts with the North American twang in some special way!
Anyway, I switch off an awful lot of American radio because I can't stand it...

That's it. I retire for today!

11 June 2010 at 17:01  
Anonymous Adrian Peirson said...

She gave the little people shares, too bad she didn't realise they'd sell up at the first sniff of a profit.
I think though, given that she was virtually on her own in that Treacherous nest of vipers, she did her very best for us.
Let's hope her efforts bought us time that we can still escape what has been planned.
Time will tell.

17 June 2010 at 22:10  
Blogger planetpmc said...

May she rest in peace. Soon.

2 July 2010 at 05:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Only time will tell if David Cameron manages to reach the political heights of a Disraeli or a Thatcher."

No,Your Grace - not only time,but also I,will tell you right now that Cameron will NOT be remembered as one of the Conservative greats.

17 August 2010 at 08:09  
Blogger Tarquin said...

I find it a bit cheeky that Cameron chooses to play fast and loose with 'conservative' heroes - the abolition of slavery? the repeal of the Corn laws? Neither supported by the Tories, and once again he uses Peel as a great Conservative hero - Disraeli would disagree, I would venture

18 August 2010 at 00:31  

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