October 2, 2006


Everyone's perfidious, bar Albion and America: In completing Churchill's epic work, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, Andrew Roberts has written a most unEnglish book: a review of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 by Andrew Roberts (Tim Gardam, October 1, 2006, The Observer)

If the title appears grandiloquent, it is meant to be. This is not so much a history as a call to arms. Andrew Roberts has clothed himself in the mantle of Winston Churchill and picks up where Churchill left off. The united phalanx of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, he declaims, has saved the world in 'one overall, century-long struggle between the English-speaking people's democratic pluralism and fascist intolerance of different varieties': Prussian imperialism, Nazism, Soviet communism and now the 'feudal, theocratic, tribal, obscurantist' challenge of Islamic fundamentalism.

The English-speaking peoples are invoked against the unreliability of everybody else. This is the sort of history that makes Arthur Bryant read like an academic monograph. Roberts's message is simple: when the English-speaking peoples stand side by side, history has a happy ending; when they do not, civilisation is threatened. The greatest threat has always been the rot within - liberals, churchmen, intellectuals, whose introspection tempts right-minded people to doubt their own moral worth. [...]

In many ways, Roberts has written a most unEnglish book. Its rhetorical insistence - 'In the last century, the Union Jack has flown on Everest and the Stars and Stripes on the Moon' - drowns out the reasoned and discriminating judgments, the measured understanding of the other sides' perspective, that are the best of English virtues.

For those of us who believe that the Enlightenment values that have held Europe and America together for 400 years remain our best defence in the struggle with Islamic terrorist unreason, Roberts should not be permitted so crudely to limit the debate to either signing up to the Bush crusade or accepting the white feather.

It is the Enlightenment and its denial that values exist that drove the Anglosphere and Europe apart, while the Judeo-Christian values have held the Anglosphere together, as witness the closeness of the relationship between the deeply religious current leaders: Bush, Blair, Howard and Harper.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 2, 2006 8:47 AM

the measured understanding of the other sides' perspective, that are the best of English virtues.

What was it Robert Frost said of liberals: So open-minded they can't even take their own side in an argument.

An attractive quality in a therapist; suicidal in the real world.

Posted by: Dreadnought at October 2, 2006 10:50 AM

Exactly Dreadnought, but also something to be expected from the admirer's of Old Europe, which has become dominated by a decrepit Franco-German alliance.

In fact there are only three types of nations, or people, anymore: those that hate us the Anglosphere and pray for it's destruction, those that envy the Anglosphere and wish for it to be humbled, and those that recognize it's greatness and aspire to become part of it.

Posted by: Robert Modean at October 2, 2006 12:36 PM

This article gives a good insight into how the tranzi mind works. If "understanding the other sides' perspective" is a virtue, nay the highest virtue, then the Anglosphere is one big bore. Just as if charity is a virtue giving $10,000.00 is more virtuous than giving $1,000.00, so the higher virtue lies with the man who can see the perspective of the one most hostile and threatening to him. I mean c'mon, any high shcool dropout can understand Canada's and Australia's perspective, but it takes years of higher education to understand France's and Russia's. And if that is indicative of a higher virtue, then there must be a special place in heaven for those who can understand the perspective of the Taliban or North Korea.

Posted by: Peter B at October 2, 2006 5:58 PM