The Corner

Then and Now

Funny–funny-peculiar, I mean, not funny-haha–that the kidnapping of those British servicemen should come just 25 years after the Argentinian actions that led to the Falklands War.  You can’t help making comparisons.

Back then, Britain still had a Navy, and some red corpuscles, and a Prime Minister who, as one of my favorite T-shirt slogans puts it (slightly bowdlerized), didn’t take any doody, didn’t give a doody, wasn’t in the doody business.

From memory:

When good Queen Elizabeth* sate on the throne

E’er coffee and tea and such slip-slops were known,

The world was in terror if e’er she did frown!

O the roast beef of old England!

O, English roast beef!

But now we have dwindled to–What shall I name?–

A sneaking poor race, half-begotten and tame,

Who sullies those honours that once shone in fame.

O the roast beef of old England etc.

(The First.  It’s an 18C drinking song.)

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

What Will Trump Do?

R.I.P. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a matter of pure self-interested calculation, I would expect Donald Trump to try to get a new Supreme Court justice confirmed before the election. That will provide exactly the kind of galvanizing fight that he thrives on, and he has more to gain from giving Republicans something ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What Will Trump Do?

R.I.P. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a matter of pure self-interested calculation, I would expect Donald Trump to try to get a new Supreme Court justice confirmed before the election. That will provide exactly the kind of galvanizing fight that he thrives on, and he has more to gain from giving Republicans something ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Barr Is Right About the Prosecution Power

Attorney General Bill Barr gave a speech at Hillsdale College on Wednesday that attracted a lot of attention. Much of that attention was for his ill-considered remark (in a question-and-answer session following the speech) that "Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, [the pandemic lockdowns ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Barr Is Right About the Prosecution Power

Attorney General Bill Barr gave a speech at Hillsdale College on Wednesday that attracted a lot of attention. Much of that attention was for his ill-considered remark (in a question-and-answer session following the speech) that "Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, [the pandemic lockdowns ... Read More
Education

Why Does the Left Hate the Humanities?

Now, while everyone is looking towards science to put right all that’s wrong with the world, it is time to call on the Humanities. To be conservative often consists in being a party pooper. It is not that we enjoy being naysayers, it is just that the world insists on conspiring against all that is good and ... Read More
Education

Why Does the Left Hate the Humanities?

Now, while everyone is looking towards science to put right all that’s wrong with the world, it is time to call on the Humanities. To be conservative often consists in being a party pooper. It is not that we enjoy being naysayers, it is just that the world insists on conspiring against all that is good and ... Read More