Most people would say that they have two grandmothers – the mother of their father, and the mother of their mother.
However, for the fifteen nations that make up the Commonwealth Realms, I believe it can be equally said that we all have three grandmothers. The mother of our fathers, the mother of our mothers, and the mother of nations.
Queen Elizabeth II was the nation’s grandmother, one who was dearly loved and cherished.
For many alive Elizabeth II was not just The Queen, but The Queen. A whole generation of people has been born, grown up and died only knowing Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of the United Kingdom, the Queen of Canada, the Queen of Australia, the Queen of Jamaica, etc. She has been an almost constant presence in modern British history, from the dark and troubled days of the Second World War to the turbulent and chaotic times of the 21st century.
It’s still hard to describe just how strange everything feels now. The Queen is dead, and the world will never be the same again.
All of us will remember her unfailing service, her sincere faith, her eternal good cheer, and her unflinching desire to make good her promises to the Commonwealth so many years ago. Those who had the privilege of meeting her recall her warmth, her razor-sharp wit and dry humour, and her capacity to make you feel like you were the most important person in the room, not she. She was a giant of her times and there is not one figure in recent history who can command as much respect or adoration.
Queen Elizabeth II oversaw the transition of Empire to Commonwealth, of a war-torn society to a burgeoning modern democracy, a world riven by authoritarianism stepping into the light of liberty. She faced down apartheid in South Africa, applauded her former colonies as they embraced independence, and prayed each year for the good fortune and happiness of all her subjects.
Under her Crown, we were all one people.
It was undeniably the highest honour imaginable to have been a subject to such a monarch, and it is my keenest sorrow to witness her passing. I know that she found courage in her faith in Christ and the Church of England, and I have no doubt she we will walk with the King of Kings through the gates of Heaven.
Her son, King Charles III, has now assumed her throne. I have every confidence in him to ably succeed her in this heavy burden that he has now been called by Grace to take upon his shoulders. He has had a lifetime of tutelage under one of Britain’s most beloved and respected monarchs in her history and has demonstrated remarkable insight and wisdom that was truly ahead of its times.
He inherits a Commonwealth equally at a time of change as his mother found it, a United Kingdom facing challenges at home and abroad, and a Royal Family constantly shifting to keep up with the demands of its age. A trying time for anyone, but His Majesty is up to the challenge. I eagerly look forward to seeing the fruits of his reign.
I was honoured to have been a subject of Queen Elizabeth II. I am honoured still to now declare myself a loyal, obedient and joyful subject of His Majesty King Charles III.
God save The King.
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The Dark Triad of Progressivism (Magazine Excerpt)By Alfie Riden — 3 months ago
Those of a progressive disposition have differing moral foundations to those on the right. Moral foundations theory was first proposed by Jonathan Haidt and subsequently developed in his 2012 book, The Righteous Mind. The theory’s intention is to explain human variation in moral reasoning based on innate moral foundations. Right-wing foundations would be best characterised as group-oriented values centred around order and hierarchy; left-wing foundations would be best characterised as individualistic values.
Rightists value all five moral foundations, but uniquely value in-group loyalty, purity and obedience to authority. Right-wingers care about harm avoidance and fairness, but to a lesser extent than their left-wing counterparts — leftists only care about these foundations. This creates a situation of asymmetric empathy. The right can empathise with the left, as they share the two individualistic foundations; the left can’t empathise with the right, as they don’t share the three group-oriented foundations. As a result, the left perceives the right as fundamentally nasty and wicked, whereas the right views the left as misguided and ignorant. This asymmetric empathy has been a persistent factor throughout time and allows the left to seize control of culture, pushing ever leftward as they take advantage of the right’s empathy for them. This condition persists until a point of such disorder is reached that a conservative backlash takes place within the society’s elite. A clear historic example of this backlashing tendency would be the social conservatism of the Victorian era juxtaposed with the decadence of 18th century England.
Psychologically speaking, progressives lack a full set of moral foundations, but leftism also correlates with mental illness. Slate Star Codex carried out a survey of more than 8,000 people which showed that those on the further left are more likely to be “formally diagnosed with depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia”.
This is an excerpt from “Progress”. To continue reading, visit The Mallard’s Shopify.
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In a Pandemic, Anarcho-Tyranny Reigns SupremeBy William Yarwood — 5 months ago
Towards the end of February, the general public were graced with a brand spanking new billboard from the Merseyside Police Department. Was this new billboard highlighting the good work the police department was doing? Was it highlighting new Coronavirus guidelines? Was it alerting people to a new potential criminal threat that existed inside of the county? No. The new billboard brandished an LGBT rainbow flag and superimposed beside it lay, in large bold capital lettering, “Being Offensive is an Offence”.
To no one’s surprise, this turned out to be part of a new campaign by Merseyside Police to combat ‘hate crime’ in the area and invite people to report it to the department. This was met with outrage with many calling it out as a chilling and horrible act by the Merseyside Police; illuminating how authoritarianism, identity politics and ‘wokery’ had seeped into the uniforms of our police service. The department did retract somewhat and apologised for stating that being ‘offensive’ was a crime – which they admitted it wasn’t – but they doubled down on the need for the public to report so-called ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate crime’, all the while stressing the need to show ‘solidarity’ with the LGBT community. Truly stunning and brave.
The issue no one seems to be addressing is why on earth is Merseyside Police putting efforts into combating ‘hate crime’ when violent crime, the county’s main source of crime, has increased by 5% in the last year alone? Surely their time, money and efforts would be better spent dealing with rising violence in their county rather than unsettling the people of Merseyside with an authoritarian and inaccurate billboard? Perhaps not. After all, catching criminals is hard; controlling ordinary citizens is easy.
The efflorescence of outrage over this event provides me an opportunity to bring back into the fold one of my favourite concepts – anarcho-tyranny.
For those not aware, anarcho-tyranny is a concept which seeks to describe and explain how a state controls ordinary citizens in their behaviour but ultimately fails to enforce the protective rule of law; enabling crime and disorder to flourish while innocent citizens become ever more restricted and regulated. If you wish to learn about the origins and core examples of this concept, I recommend you read the first article I ever wrote for this publication entitled ‘Anarcho-Tyranny Reigns Supreme’. While the Merseyside Police billboard can be seen as a more traditional example of anarcho-tyranny, it enables an analysis into something more interesting, especially if one considers the context. The context that this billboard was erected in was the Coronavirus pandemic i.e. the largest national crisis that this country has faced for many years. So, while the actions of Merseyside Police may seem inappropriate considering the current climate, it does highlight two things. Firstly, that the real priorities of the state and its allied elites to control ordinary citizens remains the same; secondly, and most importantly, this pandemic has given a blank check to anarcho-tyrants whose only concern is regulation and control.
Take for example the infamous Coronavirus Act 2020. This act has facilitated a growth in the size and remit of the state that seemed impossible to most just a little over a year ago. While the British state has, in the past, taxed you, spied on you and regulated what you do with your own body, it now explicitly tells you how, when and where you are able to live your life. Except for the odd occasions when you need to go outside for shopping or exercise (or to virtuously bang your pots and pans together for our Lord and Saviour the NHS) you remain essentially under house arrest – unable to enjoy life as we normally understand it. This drastic expansion of the state into regulating every minute detail of people’s lives is a core tenant of the ‘tyranny’ part of anarcho-tyranny. As Samuel T. Francis, the originator of the term, writes, anarcho-tyranny extends and entrenches ‘the power of the state, its allies and internal elites’, so the more things that become offences – such as meeting up with others outside or going for one too many daily runs – the more power the state and its allied elites have over the citizenry. Thus the Coronavirus Act can be seen as a new zenith of British anarcho-tyranny, as it has given the state an unprecedented ability to not just regulate large aspects of an average citizen’s behaviour but effectively plan their lives. If you would like some to read some more in-depth analysis of the Coronavirus Act and its consequences for civil liberties, I’d highly recommend going through Big Brother Watch’s collection of ‘Emergency Powers & Civil Liberties Reports’ which highlight the extensive and draconian nature of the Coronavirus Act.
Another core pillar of anarcho-tyranny is that the rules only apply to the innocent and not to the ruling elites or criminals, and what has been seen during this pandemic highlights that the Coronavirus restrictions have only really applied to ordinary citizens and not to state elites and their allies. When journalists, celebrities and politicians were caught breaking lockdown rules they did not pay the same costs that ordinary citizens who broke the rules did. Many of the chief architects of these lockdowns were also caught breaking the rules and while, at worst, they had to resign their posts, it wasn’t surprising to watch government officials run to their defence. If one sees “anarcho-tyrants are the real hegemonic class in contemporary society”, as Francis did, this makes complete sense as those in power would seek to protect those that have made this pandemic such a shining example of anarcho-tyranny. The state always protects its own – especially those who enable its power.
While the anarcho-tyrants have been busy protecting their own during this pandemic, they continue to absolve the innocent of genuine protection against actual crime. While many celebrate the fall in crime overall in the nation, it is often ignored that this is not the trend for all forms of crime. On the contrary, violent crimes such as domestic abuse and homicides have risen dramatically with drug offences going through the roof also. During the first lockdown (March – June 2020) domestic abuse ended up accounting for one in five crimes during that period while drug offences climbed by 30%. The rise in drug crime is especially worrying, as lockdown has caused a litany of turf wars to break out in the country between competing drug gangs who – since being cut off from their international smugglers due to travel restrictions – have now turned to recruiting locally for dealers, smugglers and muscle; bringing ever more people into the dangerous narcotics black market. While police are busy breaking into people’s houses, arresting old ladies for protesting and shouting abuse at people simply for going for a walk, innocent people are being terrorised by violent husbands and drug gangs. As David Matthews points out, the neighbourhood drug dealer has essentially gone about his normal business during lockdown while the rest of us remain under house arrest. Currently, drug dealers are more of an essential worker than you are.
One might accuse me of sensationalism and claim, with a degree of optimism, about this all being ‘solved’ when restrictions begin to ease. But considering the last time restrictions were eased, police inevitably found themselves stuck between dealing with rapidly rising post-lockdown crime or regulating what Coronavirus rules are still in place. And if one considers the recent history of the British police, I wouldn’t advise putting any money on them dealing with the former. After all, many of the police have shown great enthusiasm in enforcing the laws of the Coronavirus Act and, in turn, have revealed themselves to be as horrible and unreasonable as some of our leftist adversaries have proclaimed them to be.
The Scottish Police stand out to me to be particularly despicable anarcho-tyrants, with one now infamous and harrowing incident standing out amongst the rest; where police officers broke into a family home and arrested those inside because there were ‘too many people’ in the house. Even though many were outraged at the event – with various civil liberties organisations running to the defence of the family – the police got off without so much as a smack on the wrists, while the adults in the family got fined for ‘abuse’ and ‘assault’. To make matters worse, this event only occurred because a fellow anarcho-tyrant, this time from amongst the ordinary population, snitched to the police despite having no grounds to or evidence that this family was breaking lockdown rules. This pandemic has not just revealed the true nature of our state, our elites and our police but the true nature of our fellow Britons also; their authoritarian streak becoming finely tuned during this pandemic.
Worse still is the Sarah Everard vigil which quickly descended into a violent mess of arrests, fighting and screaming thanks to the Metropolitan Police; with Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball giving a contemptible statement claiming that the police “absolutely did not want to be in a position where enforcement action was necessary” and that they broke up the vigil “because of the overriding need to protect people’s safety.” Large sections of the right-wing commentariat are lambasting the Met for hypocritical policing but this criticism rings on deaf ears and fundamentally misses the point. The Met engages in hypocritical policing because that is the system we currently live under – anarcho-tyranny. The police refuse to deal with genuine threats to the public like BLM pulling down statues and terrorising London for weeks on end because it is hard to control; a peaceful vigil predominately attended by young women, on the other hand, is very easy to control. It is that simple. Furthermore, the politicians and journalists crying about this event need to shut their mouths as they are the reason this tragedy was even able to happen in the first place. Politicians don’t get to simultaneously vote for continuing lockdown – which inevitably curbs our civil liberties – and then cry about the police enforcing the rules they voted for; the same goes for lockdown fanatic commentators and journalists who have helped the state construct this atmosphere where fear and hypocrisy rule. Many in these camps seem to be rapidly developing amnesia; forgetting that they are the reason all this misery, abuse of power and statism is taking place. Do not let these anarcho-tyrants forget what they supported.
Regarding the police, they remain the greatest paradox of modern Britain as they are both terrifying and pathetic. One minute they’re forcefully breaking into your house, harassing your grandparents and confiscating all of your kitchenware; the next minute they’re off to twerk in a rainbow patterned skirt in the middle of their nearest cosmopolitan hellscape. While many relish in hilarity at the current state of the British police it is no laughing matter; especially for the ordinary citizen who is the one who suffers the most under the anarcho-tyranny state. In all honesty, in their current form, the police are not our friends nor are they worthy of our support as it seems increasingly impossible that the rot of anarcho-tyranny will ever be decontaminated from the uniforms of our police. If the last year of draconianism, abuse of power, hypocrisy and out and out brutality from our police hasn’t changed your views on them even a tiny bit, then I am certain that nothing ever will. And while this may be difficult for conservatives to hear – it is ultimately true.
This pandemic has only exacerbated this rot in our country because, like during all crises, the state and its allied elites have been allowed to expand, enrich and entrench their power. Worse still, the public seem to be none the wiser about it, our media none the smarter to understand it and our politicians none the braver to address it. Woe betide what elements of Coronavirus draconianism will remain with us post-pandemic. But while this pandemic continues, one fact remains abundantly clear – anarcho-tyranny reigns supreme.
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Richard Dawkins’ ReticenceBy Jack Stacey — 2 months ago
Never be afraid of stridency. This was the title of the last ever interview with Christopher Hitchens. It came from advice he gave to Richard Dawkins, his interviewer and guest editor of the New Statesman where it was published in December 2011.
CH: You must never be afraid of that charge [of being a bore], any more than stridency.
RD: I will remember that.
CH: If I was strident, it doesn’t matter – I was a jobbing hack, I bang my drum. You have a discipline in which you are very distinguished. You’ve educated a lot of people; nobody denies that, not even your worst enemies. You see your discipline being attacked and defamed and attempts made to drive it out. Stridency is the least you should muster . . .
In the following eleven years or so, Dawkins certainly lived up to Hitchens’ challenge. That is, until recently, in his own interview with Piers Morgan, where he appeared decidedly more reticent than strident.
This is not to say he has become agnostic, or anything of the sort, but rather that he seemed strangely unwilling to display the full strength of his arguments against bad logic, or even sometimes to express an argument at all.
At the start of the interview, for example, when Morgan pressed him on the Big Bang theory, asserting that a ‘super-being-power’ must have preceded it, the strongest response from Dawkins was to defer to physicists who would say that it was naive, or that ‘science starts with simplicity’.
Of course this was partly humility of discipline, but far more than we’re used to. The overall effect was to make Morgan’s contention seem plausible and Dawkins happily resigned. Only a few years ago one would have expected him to incisively dismantle, as he did in his bestselling book The God Delusion, this notion of infinite regress. (If God created the universe, who created God?)
It was as if, after being introduced with the usual sensational epithets: firebrand, controversialist, incendiary, offensive – and later according to Morgan, vehement – he was doing his best to disprove them by being overly passive. Or perhaps he really had changed.
Sensing this possibility, Morgan eventually asked: ‘Have you got milder about this as you’ve got older?’
‘Yes’, replied Dawkins.
To anyone who has followed his work long enough, this is a surprising enough admittance. He was already 65 when he published The God Delusion in 2006. And even those who came to him late will know that one of his hallmarks is to make bald statements of fact on sensitive subjects, if just to inspire debate. Many would inevitably get him wrong in the process, but to Dawkins free speech was always a theory to be defended through practice.
This is what made it so shocking when he point-blank refused to comment on the case of Shamima Begum.
Morgan: ‘There’s been a big debate about this ISIS bride, Shamima Begum – whether she should be allowed to come back to this country. Do you have a view about that?’
Dawkins: ‘I’d rather not say.’
His reluctance to discuss the issue is difficult to comprehend given his erstwhile tireless opposition to theocratic statism, of which ISIS was by its own definition the exemplar.
It is even more difficult when one remembers that he was outspoken on the Begum question specifically, as far back as 2019. In response to a BBC article which referenced a previous interview with her, he tweeted:
This, one might say, is quite strident. In which case, why did he feel unable to be similar with Morgan, to robustly convey his thoughts and afterwards qualify them according to the nuances of the case? He is surely more informed than most people on the matter, many of whom are less willing to make concessions than even he was four years ago. And yet instead he further excused himself from the debate saying he ‘hasn’t studied it enough’.
‘There are areas which you would prefer not to discuss?’ Morgan went on to ask.
‘Yes. I should have said that before we started.’
This was another troubling statement. But what made the moment more so in general was Dawkins’ demeanour, which had shifted from playful to withdrawn, to the point where he barely voiced his monosyllabic demurrals. Eventually, even Piers Morgan, clearly nonplussed at having avoided the fireworks promised by his intro, felt it appropriate to move to another line of questioning.
As a great admirer of Dawkins, it is disappointing to see that he no longer feels comfortable expressing an opinion on certain topics, especially when it is called upon and in a conducive environment. Indeed, at the very start of the interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, the host put the programme’s premise direct to the interviewee:
‘I assume you will be uncensored?’ To which Dawkins replied, ‘Of course.’
Overriding this disappointment, however, is uncondescending sympathy. It cannot have been easy to be ‘the face’ of New Atheism in the age of new extremism and the incessant threat that comes with it. Nor to have survived long enough to see the actuation of this threat against friends no less, as in the case of Salman Rushdie (as far as someone in hiding across thirty years can have friends).
Further still, he has been let down immensely by those who should have stood by him, most notably the American Humanist Association who, in 2021, withdrew the award they had given him after he pointed out inconsistencies between transgender and transracial rhetoric.
That he, at 82, is still engaged in such debates at all is testament to his enduring commitment to truth and reason. But by the same measure, he is an increasingly lonely voice, among the last of a generation of rigorous thinkers who have either fallen away around him or been forcibly removed from public life. It is only natural that his thoughts would turn to the legacy of his prolific output, which, as he reminds us, contains only two books about religion. He has much more left to defend.
As Hitchens went on to say in 2011: ‘It’s the shame of your colleagues that they don’t form ranks and say, “Listen, we’re going to defend our colleagues from these appalling and obfuscating elements.”’
More than a decade on, Professor Dawkins is still waiting.
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