Ralph Berry

Ralph Berry writes from England.

Latest by Ralph Berry in Chronicles

Results: 119 Articles found.
  • Boris Johnson: A New Oliver Cromwell?
    December 29, 2019

    Boris Johnson: A New Oliver Cromwell?

    “Surprised by joy” was Wordsworth’s line, taken up by C.S. Lewis for his spiritual autobiography. It’s a fair reflection of the public mood since the glorious moment when the exit poll revealed all. The Goyaesque monsters conjured up by the Corbynista threat have retreated, mopping and mowing, into the darkened wings of history. They were not forewarned by the pollsters, who had failed to see the great escape coming. “And the sad augurs mock their own presage.” The augurs may take credit for…

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  • Boris's Babes
    December 20, 2019

    Boris's Babes

    The Fuseli nightmare is over. Day breaks to a dawn chorus, an ovation for Boris Johnson’s epochal achievement, while Jeremy Corbyn, who would be admirably cast as Scrooge, has no vision of Christmas future and will be dismissed from all further conduct of the Opposition’s affairs. The LibDem leader has been voted into private life. Boris rules over a single-party majority of 80-odd, announced at 10pm on Thursday, December 12th, when the exit poll revealed with photographic accuracy the extent…

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  • Terrorism, Immigration, and the UK Election
    December 9, 2019

    Terrorism, Immigration, and the UK Election

    Let “Dover Beach,” Matthew Arnold’s finest poem, be the epigraph for today. Many migrants come on shore there in tiny and dangerous boats, often escorted in by border patrols. They will mostly be allowed to stay in England. Many are not intercepted and fade without trace into the mainland. Many die: a refrigerated truck container was found in Essex to have 39 dead.

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  • Brexit Can Lose Even If Johnson Wins
    December 2, 2019

    Brexit Can Lose Even If Johnson Wins

    The British election campaign has been conducted with all the duplicity that characterizes the higher echelons of the State. The Establishment aim is to install Boris as leader of the Conservative Party with a Commons majority but with a much reduced capacity to achieve Brexit. A true Brexit is anathema to them. Hence the fatal word “deal” is never absent from propaganda, and “deal’”is a chameleon word of infinite variations—all of them subject to varying but ever-successful oppositions from…

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  • January 2020

    Britain's New Reality

    At 10 p.m. on Dec. 12, the TV screen flashes up a summary of British voting exit polls, showing a landslide victory for the Conservatives. The spectre of a Marxist government under Jeremy Corbyn vanishes, and Boris Johnson now rules the land. He has what no other Western leader has: a guarantee of nearly five years in power. Boris has a majority with a surplus of 80 seats and can do what he likes, within reason.

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  • Prince Andrew in Disgrace
    November 27, 2019

    Prince Andrew in Disgrace

    The fall of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is index to the strength of the monarchy. He has now been ordered by the Queen to step back from public life “for the foreseeable future.” His continued friendship with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was the immediate cause, and it was followed by the Duke’s ill-judged TV interview. His somewhat louche lifestyle—characterized by Simon Heffer as “unsavoury friends, freebies, and a public who doubts”—has been fully on parade.

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  • How the Westminster Bubble Burst
    November 21, 2019

    How the Westminster Bubble Burst

    “The Westminster bubble” refers to politicians, civil servants and journalists who work in and near the Palace of Westminster. They dwell in a world that is largely divorced from the concerns of the public beyond the M25 (or “beltway”) and is regarded as alienated from the electorate. It is also, as recent events show, alienated from reality.

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  • Does the Threat of Corbyn Neutralize Farage?
    November 18, 2019

    Does the Threat of Corbyn Neutralize Farage?

    “Scarecrow,” an aged overcoat that saw its best days and owners generations ago, over which is thrown a hat of no known provenance but suggestive of a head underneath, the ensemble being draped over a stick. The idea is to frighten off the crows, but the smarter crows are not taken in and pillage the field around. The role of scarecrow is now assigned to the shapely form of Jeremy Corbyn, who is used by the Conservatives as the main reason for voting their way.

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  • Testing Time for Farage and Boris
    November 11, 2019

    Testing Time for Farage and Boris

    The end of the phoney war is now in sight. The Conservative combatants in the general election have indulged their training exercises, which are to close squares round Boris’s deal and find evermore reasons to belittle Corbyn. Labour is engaged in its eternal war between Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, with the current outcome in the balance. The ScotNats bare their teeth at everything south of Hadrian’s Wall…

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  • November 4, 2019

    Boris Johnson: Trapped Between Farage and Corbyn?

    Project Fear, much derided for its performance in the referendum campaign, never dies. It is the eternal cry of the establishment: vote for us, or chaos is come again. It often works but did not in 2016. Since then it has been revived by the Chancellor and other Remainers, who passionately oppose any kind of secession from the European Union. Today Project Fear returns to support Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, with its campaign slogan: Vote Brexit Party, get Corbyn.

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  • October 31, 2019

    Parliament's Election Angst

    “O’ the twelfth day of December” sang Sir Toby Belch. Boris Johnson, who much resembles the knight, completes the line: “Let’s have a general election.” He had his way on Tuesday, October 28, when Jeremy Corbyn announced Labour support for a general election on December 12, 2019. That opened the door for a simple majority, overturning the infamous Fixed Term Parliaments Act, and in the evening the thing was done.

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  • Fixed Terms and a Broken Parliament
    October 23, 2019

    Fixed Terms and a Broken Parliament

    The British adore democracy and cannot abide elections. Currently they are getting neither. They seem to be within hailing distance of getting both, however—if the talk about a general election lightens into action. I have doubts that this consummation, however devoutly wished, may happen any time soon.

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  • October 16, 2019

    Long Live the Queen's Speech

    The Queen’s Speech is the past at its most glamorous. Netflix could not equal the Queen’s journey in the coach of State from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster escorted by the superb Household Cavalry, the Blues & Royals, and the Life Guards leading to the procession of the Sovereign’s entrance. At her arrival she is greeted by heraldic grandees such as Gold Stick in Waiting and Master of the Horse.

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  • It's 1940 All Over Again
    October 14, 2019

    It's 1940 All Over Again

    We have been witnessing a bloodless re-run of 1940. Britain is being expelled from the Continent by order of Germany and is turning to the New World and Commonwealth. Europe has an unchallenged hegemon, Germany, and France fits easily into the role once taken by Vichy. The Continent now has a single economic system, ruled by Germany, and the shade of Bethmann Hollweg must smile at the full realization of Mitteleuropa.

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  • Lady Hale Means Farewell to British Liberty
    October 7, 2019

    Lady Hale Means Farewell to British Liberty

    If anything can save Britain, it is the national gift for mockery. The country was startled last week to discover that it was run by Lady Hale, president of the Supreme Court, who told the Prime Minister that his prorogation of Parliament was “unlawful.” He had “misled” the Queen with his advice to her. The law then smote the executive to the floor, though his advice had been perfectly normal, accepted by the High Court, until 10:30AM on September 24.

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  • <em>What the Editors Are Reading</em>
    November 2019

    What the Editors Are Reading

    Paul Gottfried on Thérèse Desqueyroux by François Mauriac. Ralph Berry on The Great Deception: A Secret History of the European Union by Christopher Booker and Richard North.

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  • The Speech Police Come for Boris
    September 30, 2019

    The Speech Police Come for Boris

    “The English vice is not buggery, but humbuggery” was the Continental jest of long ago. It has not been heard for some time, perhaps because opinion is divided on the several assertions in the line. The key word—not that one, but the other one—has now come to the front in Boris Johnson’s speech to the Commons.

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  • Supreme Court Usurpation, UK-Style
    September 25, 2019

    Supreme Court Usurpation, UK-Style

    The Founding Fathers of the United States, in their Ur-wisdom, laid it down that the Supreme Court should consist of 6 Justices. Britain, in its belated imitation of the United States, created in 2009 a Supreme Court of 11. That meant in the first place jobs for the boys, and girls. There are 3 female justices, including the president, who compose an upmarket version of the Pearly Queen in their modish attire. Each one is a homage to Evelyn Waugh’s Lady Metroland…

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  • Nigel Farage Leads While the Tories Are in Shambles
    September 16, 2019

    Nigel Farage Leads While the Tories Are in Shambles

    The citizens of metroland like to think of themselves as dwelling in a global hub. They may regard London as a city-state, like Renaissance Venice, or as a company town whose HQ is Westminster. It has yet to reach the corporate consciousness that, as Coriolanus put it, “There is a world elsewhere,” beyond the boundaries of the Roman settlement of Londinium. That “world elsewhere” is now being redefined in provincial England, especially in the North.

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  • What’s Happened to the Mother of Parliaments?
    September 11, 2019

    What’s Happened to the Mother of Parliaments?

    Scene: the House of Commons. Speaker Bercow announces that he will stand down on October 31. Labour benches applaud wildly—the convention that members do not clap is so retro—and the Conservative benches are grimly silent, other than two or three malcontents who are headed out of the party anyway.

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Results: 119 Articles found.