‘Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design.’

Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767)

03 August 2017

On the Record | Anguish among Brexiteers starts to grow palpable amid Tory handwringing

Please see my latest wire as Brexit diarist for The New York Sun, ‘Anguish among Brexiteers starts to grow palpable amid Tory handwringing’:

Anguish among the Brexiteers is palpable in these long days of summer, even to your diarist on the far shores of Nova Scotia. Proponents of Britain’s exit from the European Union must suffer not only the daily insults of Remainers and other Europhiles, plus the hostile press, but dissension in the ranks of Britain’s own cabinet ministers, most of all the chancellor, Philip Hammond.

In an interview with the French daily Le Monde, Mr. Hammond said that he “would expect us to remain a country with a social, economic and cultural model that is recognizably European.” The BBC reports that “tax raised as a percentage of the British economy ‘puts us right in the middle’ of European countries,” according to Mr. Hammond, who added, "We don't want that to change, even after we've left the EU.”

We haven’t heard such absurdity since “1066 and All That.”

There was a time when personal enterprise was encouraged. Such drive fueled the amazingly productive period of the Industrial Revolution when the Empire spanned the globe. Is Britain returning to the sclerotic 1960s and 1970s when the nation was hamstrung by Marxist labor, high tax rates directed by redistributionist policies, the folly of pursuing the equality of a “classless society,” and the nationalization of key industries and services? A time when entrepreneurial initiative, economic growth, and upward mobility were frowned upon, when the Establishment goal was simply “the orderly management of decline”?

Read more . . .

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My thanks to editor Seth Lipsky of The New York Sun.