June 5th, 2017

And Theresa May is in cloud cuckoo land

I’m referring to this absurd statement of May’s:

We could never have predicted the tragic turn which events would take. We could never have imagined the appalling depravity which led a cowardly and callous killer to target innocent men, women, and children, in the way that we saw in Manchester two weeks ago. Nor could we have envisaged the brutal attack that was carried out on the streets of London Saturday evening.

I tried to find the context in which May said this, because sometimes taking a quote out of context distorts its meaning. Unfortunately, I could only find the excerpt (you can see a video of it at the link). In and of itself, it is more than absurd—it is deluded, bizarre, troubling.

Ever since 9/11 it has not been difficult to “predict” or “imagine” or “envisage” something of the sort, and worse. In fact, we don’t have to really use our imaginations or any sharp powers of prediction. It is obvious that such things will happen because they have happened many, many, many times before, both in the West and elsewhere. Even the particular methods and tools of the London Bridge attack—vehicles on a bridge, knives in public places—are highly familiar, as are the backgrounds of the killers.

All, all, completely and utterly predictable by even a simpleton or a young child. May is neither, but if she has so much trouble with the concept she should not be head of state.

I try to “imagine” some benign explanation for the May quote. Perhaps she also had added something like: Twenty or thirty years ago, we could never have imagined… I doubt that’s what she said, though, and even then, we should have imagined. But many decades ago, it at least would be understandable if we didn’t imagine it. Now? No excuse whatsoever.

Perhaps the problem is a form of ethnocentrism, a tendency to look at other cultures based on what’s customary in one’s own culture. The mind reels and the mind boggles at this behavior, yes, but it can’t reel and boggle so much that we deny reality. That’s a fatal error—and a puzzling one, considering the evidence before us.

33 Responses to “And Theresa May is in cloud cuckoo land”

  1. mezzrow Says:

    I spend many hours reading and commenting on the web forum of a Premier League club, where most of the folks are British or Irish, with a significant amount of input from the rest of the Anglosphere and beyond.

    I don’t know if it is overhang from the Troubles, but you just can’t talk about this in a way that makes any sense to our sensibilities with most of these folks. If you do, you get the old shuffle over to the racist corner, and that’s that. There are cracks showing since Manchester, but the visceral rejection of arming up their forces or being more proactive rounding up the suspects is a mystery to me. We sometimes overstate the degree that we share the same culture.

    Most of them also think that Corbyn can actually win or something like it, it seems. This is a very Labour part of the world, mind you. We’ll know more about that after Thursday, won’t we…

  2. Ann Says:

    The full text of her speech is here. Here’s how it starts:

    In three days, the British people will choose who they want to lead this country through the next five years. Five years that will define the future of our country for generations to come.

    I called this election because, as we face the start of the crucial Brexit negotiations in just a few short days, I believed it would be essential for the British Government to be in the strongest possible position going into those talks. That remains the most critical issue in this campaign.

    But of course, when this campaign started, we could never have predicted the tragic turn that events would take. We could never have imagined the appalling depravity that led a cowardly and callous killer to target innocent men, women and children in the way that we saw in Manchester two weeks ago.

    Nor could we have envisaged the brutal attack that was carried out on the streets of London on Saturday evening. We continue to hold all those affected by both attacks in our thoughts today. And let us also continue to think of the brave men and women of the police and the emergency services who continue to deal with the aftermath – many of whom will have witnessed things that no one should ever have to see.

    But, while it was right that we should pause to show our respects to those we have lost and to ensure all our energies were focused on responding to the immediate aftermath of those events, it is also right that our way of life – and our democratic process – should go on.

  3. groundhog Says:

    Reading from the beginning the “prediction” word makes more sense because it’s limited to the election period a much shorter period of time.

    Anyone who says they can’t predict this thing over a much longer time would just be daff with that statement.

  4. John Guilfoyle Says:

    “All, all, completely and utterly predictable by even a simpleton or a young child.”

    You are absolutely right Neo…except for the elite bubble-dwellers. They simply cannot fathom others do not see the world as they do. Left or right matters not. All they see is what Pauline Kael saw, “No one I know…”

    From that perspective May is correct. She (and her kind of folks dearie) could never have imagined that a HUGE number of people, Muslims, want her dead & her country reduced to rubble reverting back to tribal rule by the most barbaric clans who have only evolved in their ferocity.

    The problem now is that in just a few days the Brits will elect someone who can only see the world like May does. That means the Brits in the streets are going to keep dying.

  5. parker Says:

    John G,

    As I have noted over the years, until those inside the bubble die horrible deaths, nothing will change. Every man, woman, and child for themselves; the elite bubble dwellers against all.

  6. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I’m pretty fed to the teeth with Muslim terrorism – and yes, I can still call it Muslim terrorism. But then I am one of those deplorables, living in one of those deplorable states, where concealed carry is a fairly easy proposition to undertake.

    The elite, the protected classes are all simpatico with the ordinary citizens dying in the streets – at least, that is the way that it looks to me, following the news of yet another Islam-atrocity. They get to demonstrate their noble character, their openness, their superiority to those stupid, racist, ignorant proles.

    I don’t know how much longer the proles can keep on with this pretense of the ruling class – that everything is just ducky about importing a violent, misogynist, and unproductive set of people – terrorizing working-class neighborhoods, raping their kids, and then whining about racism. All part of this wonderful, vibrant and diverse future, donchaknow. I hope that England isn’t gone, hope that Europe isn’t gone as well – but glad that I saw it when I did, and it was still a nice place to visit.

  7. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Many years ago, a lefty writer in London reported that his daughter had been assaulted in the very lefty lib area of London where he lived.
    The comments were not sympathetic. His way of thinking encouraged assailants while making sure he was safe, so that finding out he was not was such a blow to his world that he had to tell everybody. Who already knew. His daughter got sympathy, but not him.

  8. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The last words of the last Western European man beheaded may well be, “now you see, we’ve proven we were not the racists our ancestors were”…

  9. AesopFan Says:

    mezzrow Says:
    June 5th, 2017 at 5:32 pm
    I spend many hours reading and commenting on the web forum of a Premier League club, where most of the folks are British or Irish, with a significant amount of input from the rest of the Anglosphere and beyond.

    I don’t know if it is overhang from the Troubles, but you just can’t talk about this in a way that makes any sense to our sensibilities with most of these folks.
    * * *
    I think you are correct about this part, as the decades- long reign of terror by the IRA undoubtedly still influences both people and pols. Some one on another thread mentioned that even when under attack, the English could still understand, and possibly sympathize with, the grievances and goals of the Irish.

    However, the Brits finally subdued (plus basically outlasted) the Irish terrorists through some very tough measures, but not before a lot of people died on both sides.

    first, there are too many of them; second, the IRA did far more damage in Northern Ireland than in England; third, England was not inviting Irish terrorists to come and live in their own cities; and fourth, the Irish had a specific and actually quite limited goal, whereas the jihad’s objective is complete world domination.

    Hard to wait out that last one.

    PS – and don’t give me the line “but they were freedom fighters” – maybe in the beginning when it was back-and-forth between militias and regular army, but blowing up kids and women without being in full-fledged war (and arguably even then) is terrorism; and the English got in plenty of their own licks against the Irish as well. Both sides should have been shunned by the world and the fighters suppressed, not applauded and financed, especially by ex-pats not endangered by the violence.
    (That’s from a Kelly/Jones, so it’s not cultural appropriation.)

  10. AesopFan Says:

    Whoops – sorry to look like I’m shouting – missed a closing .

  11. Lizzy Says:

    Was it Groundhog Day when May said that, because it feels like we hear the same dang statements after every terror attack.

    We’re cursed with a political class and media who would rather pretend this is all rather unprecedented than a reality for 16 years, and it’s been accelerating! No one wants to address the proverbial elephant in the room except the “clown” in the WH (hmm, maybe they’re related? Nah!).

    Ariana Grande didn’t even have time to complete the public grief cycle for the Manchester bombing with a concert before the next attack wave hit. Sadiq Kahn got his wish: a city, and a country where citizens must now accept terror as a way of life.

  12. blert Says:

    She was HOME SECRETARY when the table was being set for jihad.

    She’s no Churchill, no Thatcher.

  13. Frog Says:

    She’s just making pretty miserable excuses. What is bad is that she is the HEAD of the Tory Party. What will Corbyn and Labour do if they win? Put some Khans in the Cabinet?
    Like Sgt. Mom said, Europe was nice once, despite WWII.
    Soon enough we will have Taliban equivalents pulling down the cathedrals. Maybe they’ll covert Notre Dame into a prison. We’re doing the same here now, on a smaller scale but with the same misbegotten warped thinking, tearing up statues of Robert E. Lee and other evil raacist Confederates.

  14. bof Says:

    Nitpick: May is not head of state. Queen Elizabeth II is head of state. May is the head of Her Majesty’s government.

  15. Yancey Ward Says:

    Yes, it isn’t an accident that the people who you elect to predict these things never seem to predict these things, even when they are the same things that happened before you elected them.

    I will just honestly state this- the things May has publicly said after Manchester and the two London attacks would be enough to cause me to vote for Labour in this week’s election. At some point, a voter has to realize their own complicity in their tacit acceptance of such willful proclaimed stupidity of their own damned party. At some point, you just have to raze the structure literally to the ground and start over.

    And this is warning to the Republicans in Congress- a similar reckoning is coming for them. It won’t be acceptable, after the elections of 2010, 2014, and 2016 for them to sit on their asses and do nothing that they have promised for seven years. And I write this as a particularly patient kind of person.

  16. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Your final paragraph in this post is spot-on, Neo.

    It is indeed ethnocentrism, (ie. the evaluation of other cultures according to preconceptions originating in one’s own), that leads western politicians and western progressives to feel genuinely surprised at every fresh blow struck against westerners and the west by a people whose own religious and cultural mores mandate that they reject and fight against the west.

    At the root of the problem, it seems to me, is an arrogant belief held by our so-called “leaders” and feckless progressives that most muslims don’t really hold to the tenets of their traditional faith, or to the ancient cultural values of those societies where Islam took root – simply because those westerners themselves don’t.

    My experiences, observations and readings in life lead me to believe that it is human nature to attribute to others our own motivations and we must be on guard accordingly.

    Over 30 years in legal practice I encountered many highly intelligent and honest people who had nevertheless been gulled by confidence tricksters and few con men, if any, who had been cheated.

    The former were vulnerable because they were honest and therefore assumed that others were as well; while the latter, always assuming the worst of others because they were themselves out to take advantage, were permanently on their guard and trusted no-one.

    It is as appalling as it is true, that western progressives are simply constitutionally unable to credit that Islam, despite having fourteen centuries of developed theology behind it, might have any doctrine, magisterium or meaningful set of beliefs its adherents might hold dear and stand by going to the relationship of man to god or to the proper ordering of society – because these same westerners long ago, (and so very easily), shrugged off as mere superstition the teachings of the two great traditional western religions “of the book” that underpinned their own societies to embrace personal freedom as the ultimate and only life-affirming good.

    It has not helped that this rejection of their own society’s traditional faiths and cultural values has garnered these progressives plaudits for being brave and enlightened from “the elite bubble dwellers” to whom John G rightly refers, so that they see turning from traditional religion to liberalism as not just virtuous but as an inevitability for all people everywhere.

    It is surely the height of arrogance and invites civilizational disaster for spoiled and arrogant progressives in the west to write off as skin-deep only the commitment of muslims to a belief system that is fourteen centuries old purely because they themselves have so fecklessly rejected their own religious and cultural roots.

    But that is what is happening.

  17. Sharon W Says:

    Stephen Ippolito-Brilliant insight. Sadly you have described a large sector of our own nation.

  18. Tuvea Says:

    In other words:

    We can understand and fully support the targeting of Jews. They deserve it after all. But we Europeans are your friends and enablers. Who could have predicted you would turn on US?

  19. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Not sure I buy the ethnocentrism piece of the puzzle. I’ve had people say, in disgust and alarm, “I can’t believe you think (X) is so awful.” You’ve probably heard variations on that theme.
    My judgment is that they know X is that awful and they’re fine with it. But they’re trying to use my presumed ethnocentrism against my argument.
    They think the awful in question is fine. They know the rest of us don’t. So they seek to shame the rest of us for being so rotten as to impute awful to….where they think it ought to be but hope we don’t find out until too late.
    Mark Steyn said, yesterday, that nothing will change until some of the big shooters die horrible deaths. But they’re protected. After the IRA killed Mountbatten, the Bigs got protection so the IRA started blowing up grannies on bus stops. Muslims have skipped the first step.

  20. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Trying to take comfort in Kipling. “beware my country when my country grows polite” Et Dona Ferentes.

    Or, a Norman knight telling his son how to manage Saxons.

    When he stands like an ox in the furrow
    His sullen eyes set on your own,
    And grumbles, “this isn’t fair dealing,”
    My son, leave the Saxon alone.

    Not seeing it from the bigs.

    Mark Steyn observed recently that the Germans think it takes sixty guys to shadow a terrorist “known” whatsit. That’s expensive, more expensive than jailing those guys coming back from fighting for the Queen’s enemies. It also means it’s probably a bad idea to let more in.
    To this point, the 130 imams who refused to perform funeral services for the terrs have taken more forthright action than the freaking government.

  21. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Then there’s Sayers. “praise God now for an English war”.


  22. DNW Says:

    “When he stands like an ox in the furrow
    His sullen eyes set on your own,
    And grumbles, “this isn’t fair dealing,”
    My son, leave the Saxon alone.”

    There’s a line in Enemy at the Gates (a fictionalized dramatization of the Stalingrad battle) wherein Khrushchev is reading the riot act to a phalanx of trembling commissars. They are gathered in the bomb-proof of the general Khrushchev has just ordered (in effect) to kill himself for failure.

    As he pillories them and demands suggestions which will bring about future success, a couple sputter out the usual platitudes concerning shooting the families of failing offices in order to spur the others on to greater martial ardor.

    One commissar however, having witnessed the prowess of rifleman Vasily Vaytsev, suggests that what the army needs is heroes.

    Khrushchev approaches and cynically demands. “Do you know any heroes?”

    So also we might ask, “Do you know any Saxons?”

    Because I’m going to be talking to the ones I know, and saying: Boys, let these ungrateful masochist sons-of-bitches play their string out first. Don’t make the mistake paying their bills … because they will just do the same thing over and over again.

    To all you “Saxons” out there: “Let it burn down first”

  23. TommyJay Says:

    Thanks Ann. You’ve proven Neo’s first point correct; the context does matter some.

    The statement is still speaks of a blindness. The parallel that comes to my mind is the train bombing in Spain a couple days before an election. I hope the Brits are not as stupid as the Spanish who ushered in a far left leadership as their response to terror.

    I hate to say it, but I think we need to put on our cynicism caps when we hear/read these speeches. I doubt that Ms. May believes exactly what she says. I’d guess that she is thinking, “I am sorry I screwed up. Please don’t treat me too harshly.”

    But politicians can’t genuinely own up to their mistakes and live on in office to tell about it. So they make excuses. “Who could have predicted THIS would happen?” Think of these speeches as a product of T. May, her advisors, the speech writer, and focus group testing.

    As to the reality of the attacks themselves, a really obvious thing for the UK to do would be to arm ALL street cops, and train them of course. If the hoplophobia in the UK is too great, they could opt for concealed handguns on street cops. The 8 minutes required to neutralize the threat was an eternity.

  24. T Says:

    I am of the group that thinks Great Britain is lost. When the government instruction is: “Run, Hide, Tell,” and you have disarmed the populace so that such is, in effect, their only option anyway, one sees an end-stage society of cowards overseen by a government that had long ago broken its covenant of protection with the citizenry. Churchill, by contrast must be rolling over in his grave:

    Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. [Churchill to the Harrow School, 1941]

    To my mind, this raises an even more important issue on the 73rd anniversary of D-Day; Why bother? Great blood and treasure was spent fighting the Axis and the Japanese, and for what? So the next generation could sqaunder that hard won freedom like an unearned inheritance or unearned lottery winning with their silly elitism and multi-culti political correctness as they try to emulate an end-stage European society?

  25. Ray Says:

    When you become politically correct you have to deny reality and live in fantasy land. The PC evidently don’t realize that fantasy land is a dangerous place to live.

  26. M Williams Says:

    From my reading of the British in their long history, they will come ’round. They are a civilized ‘island race’ – borrowing from Churchill – and are slow to anger, sometimes to their own detriment.

    But come ’round they will, in my estimation, despite the immigrant onslaught.

    To different degrees, the same dynamic is happening in all Western countries – the push/pull of the proles and the elites.

  27. Esther Says:

    Scary to me, despite May’s block headedness, is the possibility that the British will vote in Corbyn– are they hoping they can cure violent Islamic extremism by reverting to their comfort zone of blaming the Jews?

  28. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Said it before. Not enough Jews left for any kind of fun, and some of them may be Mossad sleepers. No fun at all.

  29. Oldflyer Says:

    M Williams, I fear that you are optimistic. The UK are not the same people that they were in past generations, no more than are we.

    Over the span of just ten years in which I had occasion to visit England periodically, I could see significant cultural changes in the “common folk”. From all accounts the changes have only accelerated during the two decades that have past since my last observation.

    The attitudinal changes in our own country since I was a youngster during WWII, have been startling as
    well–not all bad of course– but transformative.

    Still, I hope that you are right about the Brits; and that we can also face up to the challenges to come.

  30. Esther Says:

    True, the number of Jews remaining in Europe is too small to be a satisfying scapegoat, but the leftists style themselves as “anti Zionists.”

    Israel is a huge flashpoint for “tolerant” “progressive” types, because “world peace.”

  31. gracepc Says:

    Regarding May and the context of her quote. Impending elections.

  32. Mike_in_cinci Says:

    Cut and paste the response, change the date, and it would fit any number of responses from any number of world leaders.

  33. Francesca Says:

    Leaders such as May who cannot bring themselves to face the truth and stop their wishy-washy comments about the reality of what is happening are COWARDS.

    We spend time trying to ‘understand’ their reasoning when the motivation behind their wishful thing is not complicated at all. THEY ARE COWARDS.

    Can you even imagine Churchill being so weak, so clueless?

    They are disgusting.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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