Today’s lessons from history: 10 July 2012 Lessons from 1912, 1940, and 1941 on Crony capitalism; ‘reform’ of the House of Lords; the An lican crac!"up; and the lost di nity of the #pea!ership of the House of Commons from $ar!ham #ha% &yle, ‘Fools, Drunks, and the United States’: August 12, 1941 'Ama(on )# * Ama(on )+ * &aper,ac!.$/ /emyss, The Confiden e of the !ouse: "a# 194$ 'Ama(on )+ * Ama(on )# * &aper,ac!and /emyss 0 &yle, %hen That &reat Shi' %ent Do(n: the legal and 'oliti al re'er ussions of the loss of )"S 1itanic 'Ama(on )# * Ama(on )+ * &aper,ac!-

On the Anglican crack-up: ‘Fools, Drunks, and the United States’: August 12, 1941:


n 1912, most of the &rotestant mainline churches had ,een a ainst American entry into %ar, at least until the 3immerman 1ele ram had 4olted them into the sort of shoc!ed and mournful affront so common to the o5erly pious and )nco’ .uid %hen they reali(e they’5e ,een had 'and ,y a

rifter %ho couldn’t ha5e conned a reasona,ly ,ri ht fi5e"year"old out of a lollipop, at that-6 7n the

denominations that had split into 8orthern and #outhern ,ranches in the 19:0s and 19;0s, the #outhern synods or pres,yteries or %hat ha5e you had tended to ,e more pro"Allied, then, in the tradition of the <i ht <e5erend Lieutenant .eneral Leonidas +6 &ol!, Confederate #tates Army, =ishop of Louisiana, and of the <e5erend =ri adier .eneral /illiam 8elson &endleton, Confederate #tates Army, rector of .race Church, Le>in ton, ?ir inia 'no% <6 @6 Lee $emorial @piscopal Church, other%ise A#t6 =o,’sB-6 And =ishop &ol!’s and the <e5erend .eneral &endleton’s old communion, the &rotestant @piscopal Church in the )nited #tates of America, %as pro"Allied in 1912 and indeed from 1914 onC and still the *lood is strong, the heart is !igh Chur h, and (e in drea+s re+ain the C of ,=y Au ust 12, 1941, the mainline churches as a %hole %ere less important in influencin %hether or not their mem,ers %ere pushin America Dirst or =undlin for =ritain6 =y Au ust 12, 1941, the mainline churches as a %hole %ere less important, period E or for An lophile An licans, Afull stop6B Theological liberalis and the ele!ation o" social #ork o!er, #ell, the $le!ation o" the %ost, had had o" the -general u(li"t,. their e""ects& An increasing nu ber o" A ericans #ere unchurched' an increasing nu ber o" A ericans #ho #eren’t, #ere "inding the (ost)*reat)+ar ,aodiceanis ilk)and)#ater, luke#ar ainline deno inations, insu""icient&

On the Speakership of the

ouse of !ommons:

The /on"idence o" the %ouse: 0a1 1942:


o ,e the #pea!er of the House of Commons, the Dirst Commoner in the land, %as, $r #pea!er considered, a Fueer anomalyC the mere ser5ant of the House and yet its master and o5ernor, the Dirst Commoner of the realm yet %holly su,mer ed in the anonymity of office,

a familiar face %holly o5ershado%ed ,y the immemorial %i , a name su,sumed in a title6 7t %as the role and duty of a #pea!er to efface himself E unima ina,le that he should call attention to himself in his personal capacity, or ma!e statements to the &ress, or appear in ne%sreels as anythin sa5e a silent hierarchical fi ure processin %i ed and o%ned upon some #tate occasion E to efface himself in his office so that, as occasion ser5ed and time reFuired, he mi ht impose his %ill, the %ill of his office and not of his indi5idual self, upon the House6 7t fell to E indeed it fell hea5y upon E the #pea!er, after all, to ma!e certain rulin sC e5en, than!fully rarely, to name and to punish and perhaps e5en to e>pel hon6 $em,ers %ho had offended a ainst the House6 1herefore %as it necessary that he ,e a cipher in a %i and o%n, $r #pea!er and no sin le man, the temporary incarnation of the #pea!ership, %hose rulin s and discipline %ere impersonal as they %ere impartial, and i5en out not ,y one man %ith one man’s passions and personal leanin s, ,ut, rather, ,y $r #pea!er, the office that endures thou h those %ho fill it are as rass6


ouse of "ords #reform’ $or% &f !'%

aldane% (rey% S)uiffy% *inston% and the (oat couldn’t

s)uare the circle% +ho in ,uggery does -ick !legg% +ith his /orm sink school de,ating society nostrums% think he is% to do so01: +hen That *reat Shi( +ent Do#n:


he &arliament Act 1911 %hich emasculated the Lords had E typically of a Li,eral ,ill in the a e after .ladstone E ,een at once practical and starry"eyed, and, a ain typically, it had not ,een %ithout its tincture of hum,u 6 #ir @d%ard .rey %as, as Dorei n #ecretary, incisi5e

and clear"thin!in as ,ecame one of =arin ’s E Lord Cromer’s E protG Gs ; ,ut his romantic Li,eralism had come too much to the fore %hen he had charmed Ca,inet and the &$ into insertin , in the pream,le of %hat ,ecame the &arliament Act 1911, the fateful statement that it is intended to su*stitute for the !ouse of .ords as it at 'resent e/ists a Se ond Cha+*er onstituted on a 'o'ular instead of hereditar# *asis, *ut su h su*stitution annot *e i++ediatel# *rought into o'eration0 and (hereas 'ro1ision (ill re2uire hereafter to *e +ade *# 3arlia+ent in a +easure effe ting su h su*stitution for li+iting and defining the 'o(ers of the ne( Se ond Cha+*er, *ut it is e/'edient to +ake su h 'ro1ision as in this A t a''ears for restri ting the e/isting 'o(ers of the !ouse of .ords4&ractically, this Fui>otic aspiration has ,ede5illed =ritish politics for the succeedin century6 @ither the )pper House is popularly elected, or it is not6 7f it is, then the loss of the Lord’s 5eto, and the practical impossi,ility of restrictin to mem,ers of Commons the opportunity to ,ecome prime minister, are no lon er supporta,le, althou h it %as precisely to secure these ends that the Act %as put throu h6 7t %as felt necessary that it *e put throu h ,ecause the Lords in 1909 comprised a permanent Conser5ati5e and )nionist ,ody that simply %ould not cease to ,loc! Commons le islation that %as not either introduced or accepted ,y the Conser5ati5e and )nionist &arty6 Het if the )pper House is not to ,e elected, it can ,e composed only either of hereditaries and life peers, or ,y appointment ,y the o5ernment of the dayC in the latter case especially recreatin the pro,lems of 1909, in %hich an out oin ministry of one party can create a ma4ority in the appointed )pper House that may and shall then th%art as much as possi,le the ne% ministry as put in place ,y the people in a eneral election6 And as Carson %as so soon to say %ith scorn in replyin to the Home <ule =ill, %hich proposed for 7reland an )pper House nominated ,y an 7rish premier, a nominated )pper House is the lum,er room of prime"ministerial cronies, and ser5es thus to redu e the a,ility of the le islature to chec! the o5er%eenin e>ecuti5e6

On crony capitalism% 'arclays% "&'O2% Solyndra% and 3r O,ama generally: +hen That *reat Shi( +ent Do#n:


he only coloura,le ar ument a ainst capitalism is the ,eha5iour of capitalists, as the ar ument a ainst the Church is the ,eha5iour of Christians6 7n the first instance, at any e5ent 'theolo y ,ein out%ith the scope of this %or!-, the ,eha5iour of capitalists that

,rin s capitalism into disrepute is precisely not capitalistic ,eha5iour6 1he reat enemy of crony capitalism is the true capitalist6 Het the un"capitalistic ,eha5iour of capitalists E heretical, as it %ere, ,eha5iour E is the result of po%erful temptations, difficult to resistC and specially so for the lar er concerns, =i =usiness6 1he lar er the ,usiness concern, the more fa5oura,ly it re ards, despite its loud ,ut 'ro for+a protests, o5ernmental re ulation6 After all, the o5ernmental re ulations esta,lishin a minimum standard of ,eha5iour or safety or %hat ha5e you, ine5ita,ly ,ecome the ma>imum standard, and a defence in la%6 1he politicians and ,ureaucrats %ho esta,lish these re ulations are either nescient in the technical aspects of the matter, in %hich case they are amena,le to ,ein shall ha5e left their ill"payin uided and informed ,y the e>pertise of industry, or, if they are themsel5es technically informed, are amena,le to remunerati5e positions in that industry %hen they o5ernment posts6 7n either case, re ulatory capture is fatally easy for a ma4or industry and its lar er concerns6 All re ulation acts as a dra upon commerceC ,ut there are al%ays loopholes, commonly inserted ,y the re ulated industry in the process of re ulatory capture and political influence, and they are carefully desi ned to ,e e>ploited and e>ploita,le only ,y the lar e corporations that possess the %here%ithal to deploy men of la%, chartered accountants, and lo,,yists ,y the do(en6 Dor a lar e corporation, o5ernment is an annoyanceC it is not the enemy6 1he enemy is competition, and particularly upstart competition6 7t is %ith ,usiness concerns as it is %ith shipsC si(e matters6 @5en as 5l#+'i and Titani could upset smaller 5essels in their %a!es, a lar e company can e>ploit re ulation to cripple a smaller6 A lar e ship, of considera,le ,urthen and drau ht, %ith its centre of ra5ity %ell ,elo% the %aterline, can pass throu h currents and %inds that li hter 5essels are %rec!ed ,y6 A re ulatory scheme that reduces a lar e company’s di5idend ,y tuppence can cripple and ,an!rupt three smaller firms, there,y protectin the lar e corporation from their %ould",e competitors’ inno5ation, in5ention, superior customer ser5ice, and competiti5e reduction in price6 =i =usiness also naturally en4oys the ,enefits of crony capitalism, %ith the #tate in its poc!et and contrari%iseC a commercial protection rac!et to %hich o5ernments of a 5a uely Leftist stripe are

peculiarly and specially prone6 If course =i =usiness ma!es the appropriate noises, and rails and screams a ainst oppressi5e re ulation J all the %ay to the ,an!6 7n this is the enesis of all trusts and anti"competiti5e arran ements6

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