Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

And when they are down, they are down.

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

Funny, that nursery rhyme has been running through my head. You know the one: The grand old Duke of York, He had ten thousand men. He marched them up to the top of the hill. And marched them down again. It seems the modern Duke of York has gotten himself into a spot of bother, he has!

The second son of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Andrew, is the current Duke of York. This is a title that has gone through many hands throughout English history. It has usually been a title given to the second son of a reigning monarch, more than a few having gone on to become the monarch—most recently Elizabeth II’s father, George VI.

But Prince Andrew would not likely make that cut today as he is behind his older brother, Prince Charles and Charles’ oldest son and grandchildren in the order of succession. He has also let the side down in his relationship with an American convicted sex offender.

In a rather ill-considered television interview at Buckingham Palace recently, Prince Andrew really bollixed up the Royal scene while trying to tone down the criticism of his actions. In fact, he made things worse.

What was surprising about it is that despite the favouritism, the Queen has always shown for Andrew, she is actually very careful of the royals’ reputation. It is a very valuable commodity.

It is going to become an even more important commodity if the silly Brexit argument takes the Brits out of the European Union. It is most unlikely that the United Kingdom will stay the same for very long under those circumstances. Scotland is most likely going to leave England to stay with the EU, as well as Northern Ireland is most likely to join the rest of Ireland.

Oh well, the royals are the Brits’ problem. Oh darn, I just remembered, they are also our royals. Too bad.

-30-

Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

In the politics of vitriol.

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

The emerging right-wing politics of Europe is spreading like a disease. First we had the self destructive BREXIT from the United Kingdom and now the threatening right in key countries such as France and Germany and even a smaller and usually cooperative Netherlands. Europe still has a way to go though to match the craziness of the current American experience.

And it is crazy. The strongest country in the world has self-destructively put an incompetent in command. And you would think that President Trump’s staunchest enemies would be from the left. They are not. The major block facing off with Trump are a few dozen Tea-Party Republicans in the House of Representatives. They call themselves the House Freedom Caucus.

These men are straight from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. They actually stopped the cancellation of Obamacare because they did not think the bill was destructive enough. They are challenging Donald Trump’s ownership of America’s right wing crazies.

The real concern though is that as Commander in Chief, Trump has found that he can play with live soldiers and real weapons. If Congress will not let him build his wall on the Rio Grande, he can still trade insults with a lunatic despot on the other side of the Pacific who wants a war. They each brag about the size of their rockets.

You would think that Trump would be smart to play nice with his neighbours when he is new to his job. Instead he insults the Mexicans and patronizes the Canadians. If he thinks he can divide and conquer, he is definitely going about it the wrong way.

In the meantime, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has watched Trump play directly into his game. Putin must be giggling in his sleep and planning his next walk-in take-over.

The travails of the complex Middle East are obviously far above the level of understanding of Trump. A key ally there, Turkey, is falling under the rule of a dictator, the Israelis remain hard-nosed and intransigent, Russia keeps the pot boiling in Syria, the hard-line politicians of Iran are trying to challenge the theocratic rule of the Ayatollahs, Pakistan, when not arguing with India, gives safe haven to Afghan insurgents and the Saudi’s are stirring the pot in Yemen. It is no tourist paradise.

And judging by the Conservatives contesting the current Conservative Party of Canada leadership, some of that hard-right thinking is starting to drift into Canada. It will be interesting when we get a chance to analyse the voting by the new and old members of that party.

-30-

Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me