Cheap Seats 2018
The Demise of Albion - 05/02
By Rich Trzupek
“Perfidious Albion,” as Napoleon styled it, has successfully defended itself against attacks by the Spanish Armada, the Corsican tyrant and the Third Reich. How very, very sad that the United Kingdom as we have known, loved and admired it and its incredible legacy, appears ready and willing to fade away.
The conqueror will not be the encroaching waves of the North Sea, as Al Gore and his disciples would have us believe. Competition from the European continent, so long the focus of British foreign policy, will not be its agent of demise.
Instead, something far more insidious, something far more deadly, is infecting and slowly destroying the heart and soul of that once-shining light of democracy, freedom and liberty that once was Great Britain.
The core of the cancer is British willingness to abandon their once-cherished defense of individual liberty and freedom of expression. In 21st century Britain, those long-hallowed principles are entirely irrelevant within a politically-correct culture that now values state-approved decision-making and state-approved speech above all else.
Britain now delineates “hate speech” – speech that officially cannot be uttered – from “acceptable speech.” If that sounds like censorship, it should, and it does within the ever-decreasing number of nations that understand that understanding any attempt to define or restrict “hate speech” has the inevitable effect of stifling free speech.
Nobody feels the need to censor speech that one agrees with. Censorship only comes into play when speech introduces challenging ideas, which makes “hate speech” so dangerous to the establishment and so important to the rest of us.
Two current examples illustrate the continuing demise of the British Empire and its role in perpetuating a civilized society.
The first is violence in London. Incredibly, London recently eclipsed New York in murder rate. That’s pretty amazing, since both cities are of roughly the same size and London (along with the rest of the UK) imposes a pretty effective ban on firearms, which it can do fairly effectively as an island nation. New York doesn’t have the same kind of tools available.
None-the-less, London is now a more violent, unsafe city than New York. The difference does not involve access to firearms. Attacks and murders in London typically involve knives, acid or other non-combustible forms of weaponry. This would seem to emphasize that the issue we need to deal with is not the weapons used to initiate violent attacks, but the justification used to enable them from a moral perspective.
You may be able to legislate away guns when you live on an island. But, you can’t legislate away hate, particularly of the fanatic religious variety. Pablo Cruise famously observed that “love will find a way.” Unfortunately, the same is true of hate.
Yet, the rise of violence in the nation is not the most troubling story to come out of the UK. The nation once stood tall as the champion of free speech and liberty. Increasingly, its citizens are losing both and – incredibly – few seem inclined to do anything about the tyranny that increasingly infects it.
Last week a young boy named Alfie Evans was murdered by court order after 23 months of life. In the UK, you see, the court has the “right” to step in and decide what’s best for a child if parents and the medicos treating the lad or lassie disagree on the right course of treatment.
Alfie had some kind of degenerative brain disease that the doctors could not identify, but were confident was irreversible. He was, until this past Saturday, on life support in a British hospital. That’s when, following Justice Anthony Hayden’s ruling, the plug was pulled and Alfie moved on to the next life.
It did not matter that Pope Francis himself tried to intervene on Alfie’s behalf. It did not matter that a hospital in Italy offered to keep Alfie alive as long as possible at no cost to Alfie’s parents. It did not matter that Alfie was offered free medical transport to Italy. None of it mattered. Not in today’s Britain, where a judge can legally execute a young boy because the justice believes he, and he alone, knows what’s best for the lad. Nobody else’s opinion matters.
Like Christians throughout the world, my prayers go out to Alfie and his parents, Tom and Kate. As for Justice Hayden, my faith teaches me to forgive wrong-doers, but it may take me a while to get there.