The deliquescence that is Britain

A fish rots from its head. And the rot in Britain begins with its current monarch, who not only has done nothing to arrest the Islamization of her kingdom, but is leading the way to it. Queen Elizabeth is currently visiting the United Arab Emirates, dressed in an absurd Islamic outfit to demonstrate her deference to Islam. She even entered a mosque barefoot. The Queen of England. The Mail (via Diana West) has many photos.

Barry Goldwater once said that America would be better off if New York City were sawed off from the continent and allowed to drift out to sea. Maybe Western civilization would be better off if the gangrenous sore that is Great Britain just sank into the sea.

Yes, that was a terrible thing to say. But show me, anywhere, a sign of health in that Island. And I don’t just mean some out-of-the-way town where the old virtues have been maintained. I mean a leading public figure, a respected institution, that is resisting the absolute rot that Britain’s mainstream culture and authoritative institutions have become.

- end of initial entry -

November 30

JC from Houston writes:

I ran across a DVD of a movie I’ve seen from time to time and always liked and bought it, “The Battle of the River Plate,” or by its alternate title, “Pursuit of the Graf Spee.” It was produced in England in 1956 and is the story of the pursuit by two British and one New Zealand cruiser of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in 1939, in the early days of the war. After a fierce sea battle the Graf Spee’s captain ordered her scuttled after having to leave the harbor at Montevideo, Uruguay. Anthony Quayle starred as Commodore Harwood, the commander of the British squadron (and the late Peter Finch as Hans Langsdorff, the Graf Spee’s anti-Nazi Captain). The film was unique at the time in that real Navy ships were used in the filming. The U.S. Navy heavy cruiser USS Salem, now preserved in Massachussets, doubled as the Graf Spee. Of the three British cruisers used in the filming, one of those was the Indian Navy cruiser INS Delhi, which was in fact ex-HMNZS (New Zealand) Achilles, one of the three British cruisers in the original battle (Achilles had been sold to India after the war), playing herself in the movie. Anyway, the most stirring part of this film which has always “made a thrill run up my leg” is the scene where the Graf Spee is spotted and HMS Exeter runs up the battle ensigns of the Royal Navy, the white Ensign with the cross of St. George. There is a marvelous shot of HMS Exeter (played by HMS Jamaica) flying four of the battle ensigns from her masts as they move to engage the Graf Spee. It truly makes me cry watching a movie like this and seeing what Britain has become.

Keith J. writes from England:

O ye of Little Faith.

From this side of the water there are many of us who see little but local differences beween the two main Nations of the Anglosphere.

And a few of us over here are training ourselves in how to think. If you are interested I’ll send you some of the early results.

LA replies:

Please do.

I think there may be a natural tendency for each of the two main nations of the Anglosphere to see the other as worse off than it really is.

Karl D. writes:

A little background Regarding JC’s comment on the film “Battle of the River Plate.” The film was made by one of my favorite directors, Michael Powell, and Emeric Pressburger. Although Powell was more responsible for the actual direction and Pressburger for the screenwriting and editing, they were a very successful team who created their own production company called The Archers. They would make some of the finest British films of the World War II era. Some consider them the Beatles of British cinema. Here are some of the outstanding films that this team made together:

The Red Shoes
Black Narcissus
A Matter of Life and Death (aka A Stairway to Heaven)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The 49th Parallel
A Canterbury Tale
I Know Where I’m Going!

I should add that they had the good fortune to have the great Jack Cardiff as their cinematographer. A master in his field and innovator in the use of Technicolor.

James P. writes:

“Battle of the River Plate” has a special place in my heart, because that was one of the few movies my parents would let me stay up late to see when I was a kid growing up in Australia. The movie inspired me to make the Airfix kits of the Graf Spee and the HMS Ajax and re-enact the battle on the living room floor. Similarly, after watching Sink the Bismarck!, my other favorite movie, I would re-enact the Battle of the Denmark Strait with my models of the Hood, Prince of Wales, Bismarck, and Prinz Eugen.

At that time, the “biased” British version of World War II still held sway, which was that Montgomery and the Eighth Army won the war with the help of a few Yanks and (even further in the background) swarms of incompetent Reds. The “turning points” of the war were Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, El Alamein, and Normandy. Undoubtedly this version of history is distorted and incomplete, but nevertheless it reflected a healthy national spirit and pride in British achievement that is tragically lacking in Britain today.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 28, 2010 02:37 PM | Send

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