There’s a movement to turn Hong Kong back into a British colony

A campaigner carries a former colonial Hong Kong flag during a Hong Kong-UK reunification demonstration outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong on July 1, 2016, the 19th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to Chinese sovereignty from British rule.

These Hong Kongers aren’t clamoring for freer elections. Nor are they demanding outright independence. They want to transform Hong Kong back into British territory — and proclaim Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state.

Source: There’s a movement to turn Hong Kong back into a British colony

There is a movement – small, so far, but with big ambitions – that wants to “transform Hong Kong back into a British territory — and proclaim Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state”:

“’Many Hong Kongers love Her Majesty very much!’ says Alice Lai, the leading face of the campaign. ‘Even now, we still call Her Majesty ‘The Boss.’'”

“Even in Hong Kong’s more rebellious circles, this idea will sound far-fetched. The city’s pro-democracy camps are mostly fixated on less radical goals, such as loosening Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong’s leadership.

“But the Hong Kong-United Kingdom Reunification Campaign, while extremely small, is quite serious.”

Will anything practical come of this? Tough to say! They have a rough row to hoe, and that uphill: as the article points out, such a move on the part of Britain “would nuke relations with China, a key trading partner, and baffle heads of state around the world.” But it also points out that “Wishing for an independent Hong Kong isn’t so rare. A recent poll shows that one in six Hong Kongers shares that unlikely dream.”

It also notes that the agreement that handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 came with “some major caveats. Both sides agreed that Hong Kong would enjoy a ‘high degree of autonomy,’ including a legal system with some basis in British common law.”

But as part of China’s overall flexing of muscles in recent years, they have been reneging on that promise, and “Reunification campaigners claim Beijing’s meddling is now so severe that it has actually voided the terms of the British handover.” Indeed, the article noted that “The former British foreign secretary has already declared that China breached the joint declaration.”

Still, I am not going to hold my breath, waiting for the UK to reassert its sovereignty over Hong Kong! But I have to admit, I’d love to see it…

[Note: The linked article was written in 2016. I do not know the current status of the Reunification Campaign. If I find out, I will update this post!]

 

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Blighty Boys: The UK’s Countryside Alliance

“The Countryside Alliance is the campaigning organisation that promotes the rural way of life in Parliament, in the media and on the ground.”

Source: Countryside Alliance – Home

Just as the urban / coastal elite in the US ridicules what was once called “America’s Heartland” as “flyover states,” and conservative, traditional country people as “rednecks” at best, “deplorables” at worst, so the urban elites in the UK disparage countryside people, pastimes, and traditions.

The Countryside Alliance was founded, IIRC, in 2005, in the aftermath of the ban on mounted foxhunting under the Tony Blair administration. As it says of itself on its website,

“The Countryside Alliance is the campaigning organisation that promotes the rural way of life in Parliament, in the media and on the ground. We campaign for the countryside, for rural communities and for hunting and shooting.

“We publicise the economic, social and environmental contribution the countryside makes to the national economy and quality of life.

“Our aim is to promote understanding and acceptance of the rural way of life and activities such as hunting and shooting in a managed landscape, and to protect them from bias, misinformation and over regulation.”

Campaigns and causes sponsored or supported include the Campaign for Hunting, Campaign for Shooting, Game to Eat initiative, Food and Farming, and Rural Communities – among others.

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Any true Blighty Boy would, or at least should, be a member!

Glories of the West: Greece’s monasteries in the sky

Source: METEORA : Greece’s monasteries in the sky | Places and People (Facebook)

Once again, I would have hoped for better music: Greek Orthodox chant, ideally, or at least something recognizably Greek. But the (presumably drone) video footage of the monasteries themselves is splendid!

 

A Witch-Hunt on Instagram – Quillette

“Knitting is just so white. Let’s hope it gets better.”

Source: A Witch-Hunt on Instagram – Quillette

Insanity.

Even the peaceful, innocuous hobby (and for some, livelihood) of knitting cannot escape the social justice warriors, political posturers, and virtue signalers of cultural Marxism.

But any pendulum can only swing so far, before it begins to swing back. There is already a backlash building, though for now it’s relatively subtle and even “underground.” But it’s there.

I hope I am alive when the wave crests. I really do. I want to watch.

“In an age in which freedom of speech seems to be under attack in many different spheres of society, heretics to the progressive creed find themselves persecuted ad nauseam by a choir of the self-righteous. This kind of vindictive activism has been described by Jordan Peterson as a hunt for people who dare to disagree.

What is this but totalitarianism masquerading as tolerance?

‘What’s happening on the radical end of the political spectrum is not good. But the conservatives are too afraid. They’re afraid they will be targeted as individuals, mobbed by the social justice warriors, and taken out,’ he said in an interview with the Epoch Times.

The writer and activist James Lindsay, meanwhile, told me that campaigns like these are simply ‘a power grab thinly clothed as a civil rights movement.'”

A power grab thinly clothed as a civil rights movement.

Yes. Well said.

Read, and remember: all that is necessary for evil to thrive is for good people to do nothing. Appeasing these @$$holes only encourages them: they smell weakness and, like vicious dogs, pounce.

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Robert E. Lee | Abbeville Institute

Source: Ten Things You Don’t Know About Robert E. Lee | Abbeville Institute

General Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, CSA (and later and for a time, all Confederate forces), was one of my first heroes and role models, and he remains so to this day. He was not only a great general (if I ever speak of “the General,” without further modification, I am speaking of Lee), but a great Christian gentleman.

But although he was a great man, he was not a perfect man: those who do not understand how both statements can be true understand little of human nature, or indeed of the nature of reality. The linked article does not whitewash the General, but it definitely shows his greatness. Well worth a read, and I commend it, dear readers, to your attention.

One note: I am not a huge fan (to put it mildly) of Federal Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. He permitted, if not actually enabled, the horrific actions of Sherman and Sheridan; and he was little more caring for his own men than for his opponents, being willing to sacrifice his own soldiers in a most callous fashion to obtain his victories: it is not without reason that he was nicknamed “Butcher Grant,” by Northern journalists.

But he was not entirely without honour, either, at least toward people he considered to be personal friends – as he apparently did General Lee, with whom he had served in the Mexican War. It is well-known that he gave honourable terms to the surrendering Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, even allowing the Confederate soldiers to keep their rifles (a major concession, for a defeated army).

What is less well-known is his personal intervention on Lee’s behalf, after the War, as recounted here:

“Later, when Lee was indicted for treason by a federal grand jury, with the threat of arrest and possible execution hanging over him, he appealed to Grant, noting that the terms of his army’s surrender included the stipulation—drafted by Grant himself—that ‘each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.’

“Grant concurred with Lee’s interpretation and urged Lee to apply for a federal pardon, which Grant said he would endorse. Lee did so, sending the documents to Grant, who indeed forwarded them on to President Andrew Johnson with his endorsement. (The application would be ‘lost,’ and Lee’s citizenship would not be restored until 1975—but that is another story.) What Lee did not know was that Grant quietly let it be known that he would resign from the army if Lee were to be arrested.”

I believe in giving credit where due, and this action is certainly to Grant’s credit. I will only add that it’s a shame his sense of honour was not a bit more general. But, again, human nature is what it is…

 

“Imagine a world that is clean…” – on traditional courtship and dating, by Professor Anthony Esolen

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoor
The Sailing Signal Gun, 1880-1881 – by Arthur Hughes

Source: Is Traditional Courtship Really “Unrealistic” Today? | Crisis Magazine

From the inimitable Tony Esolen:

“Imagine a world that is clean, insofar as a world of fallen human beings is ever going to be so. Imagine then that a boy’s heart would beat a hundred times a minute just at the thought that he might hold the hand of the beautiful girl whom he admires so much – because she is kind and good and merry.

“Imagine that they have walked aside from a feast at their parish church, to watch the herons wading in the river to catch their fish, and the sun is deepening to orange in the west, and the sounds of children playing come to their ears from far away. Imagine that she too can hardly think of anything else but his presence, and that she is hoping that he will take her hand, though she is a little shy of it.

“Imagine that that they sit on a bench, and when they run out of things to say, he places his hand upon hers. And they sit like that for a long while…

“That boy and girl I have described will remember that moment for the rest of their lives, whether or not they end up marrying one another. It will be a memory filled with the sweetness and the innocence and the promise of youth.

“It will be a moment without guilt, or shame, or, God forbid, the remembered fear that they might have made a child, one that they were not in the slightest bit ready to care for, and one whose life would be at grave danger as soon as he were conceived. They could stand before God and man without anything for which to apologize.”

Just gonna leave this here…

P.S. Read the whole essay. It’s worth it.

Why Don’t Schools Teach Children Morality and Empathy? | The Atlantic

The pressures of national academic standards have pushed character education out of the classroom.

Source: Why Don’t Schools Teach Children Morality and Empathy? – The Atlantic

“By omission, are U.S. schools teaching their students that character, morality, and ethics aren’t important in becoming productive, successful citizens?”

Most of my reader would at once answer some variation on “sadly, yes” – and we can see many of the bitter fruits of this in our society – but the fact that the question is even being asked is significant. You know the situation is bad when a mainstream, Left-leaning journal like The Atlantic is wondering whether we’re doing a poor job of teaching character, ethics, and morality to our students!

Granted, that is a job that is best done by parents and church, not schools. But like many other once-common life skills (I’m thinking of things like gardening, the use of simple tools, and home economics), ethics, morality, and character are things that many contemporary parents are ill-equipped to teach their sons and daughters, because they’re not too well-versed in them, themselves.

Despite the old tongue-in-cheek adage that “those who can’t do, teach,” you can’t teach what you don’t know, yourself.

What is interesting (though not surprising) to me is that students are hungry for such instruction, or at least discussion and guided exploration:

“‘Do you think you should discuss morality and ethics more often in school?’ I asked the class. The vast majority of heads nodded in agreement. Engaging in this type of discourse, it seemed, was a mostly foreign concept for the kids… As my students seemed to crave more meaningful discussions and instruction relating to character, morality, and ethics, it struck me how invisible these issues have become in many schools.”

This is indicative of an abject failure in our educational system. In an earlier and wiser age, the formation of students into not only good citizens, but good persons, was a primary – perhaps the primary – function of schooling. There may not have been a formal class called “ethics,” but moral lesson permeated the academic ones.

Duty to God and country, respect for duly-constituted authority, and compassion towards others were part of the curriculum: from the Pledge of Allegiance and Lord’s Prayer in the morning, through “reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmatic, taught to the tune of a hickory stick,” throughout the day. Stories (and poems, which tend to be especially memorable) selected for reading, reciting, and expostulating upon in various forms invariably carried a moral message.

That was already starting to go away by the time I got into school, in the early 1970s, and the trend has only accelerated.

Unfortunately, some of what it has been replaced by has been of questionable merit – the starkly utilitarian teaching-to-the-test of “No Child Left Behind,” and its successor, “Common Core” (as the linked essay describes) – or even frankly morally vicious, as in the moral relativism and intentional sidelining of traditional morality that has become the dominant ethos in the contemporary educational establishment over the last four or five decades.

We didn’t get where we are now overnight, and we won’t get back to a place of greater sanity overnight, either; but if reflections like the linked essay can be published in “mainstream” media outlets like The Atlantic, that at least gives some grounds for hope that pendulum may be starting, however slowly, to swing back. God grant it! It needs to.