We need to talk about Boris

Started by Matt2112, July 27, 2019, 04:07:58 am

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DavidL

One foot wrong and he will fall from his perch

rufus the dawg

Many people say Boris Johnson is the new Winston Churchill and has the same way with words. Ie a word smith. The best written books I have read are by Oscar Wilde. But lets compare Churchill to Johnston

Here is a essay from 1925 when he was in his early mid 50s same age has Boris Johnson

Mass Effects in Modern Life
An essay by Winston S Churchill, 1925
Is the march of events ordered and guided by eminent men, or do our leaders merely fall into their places at the heads of the moving columns? Is human progress the result of the resolves and deeds of individuals, or are these resolves and deeds only the outcome of time and circumstance? Is History the chronicle of famous men and women, or only of their responses to the tides, tendencies and opportunities of their age? Do we owe the ideals and wisdom that make our world to the glorious few, or to the patient anonymous innumerable many? The question has only to be posed to be answered. We have but to let the mind's eye skim back over the story of nations, indeed to review the experience of our own small lives, to observe the decisive part which accident and chance play at every moment. If this or that had been otherwise, if this instruction had not been given, if that blow had not been struck, if that horse had not stumbled, if we had not met that woman, or missed or caught that train, the whole course of our lives would have been changed; and with our lives the lives of others, until gradually, in ever-widening circles, the movement of the world itself would have been affected. And if this be true of the daily experience of ordinary average people, how much more potent must be the deflection which the Master Teachers, Thinkers, Discoverers, Commanders have imparted at every stage. True, they require their background, their atmosphere, their opportunity; but these were also the leverages which magnified their power. I have no hesitation in ranging myself with those who view the past history of the world mainly as the tale of exceptional human beings, whose thoughts, actions, qualities, virtues, triumphs, weaknesses and crimes have dominated the fortunes of the race. But we may now ask ourselves whether powerful changes are not coming to pass, are not already in progress or indeed far advanced. Is not mankind already escaping from the control of individuals? Are not our affairs increasingly being settled by mass processes? Are not modern conditions at any rate throughout the English-speaking communities hostile to the development of outstanding personalities and to their influence upon events: and lastly if this be true, will it be for our greater good and glory? These questions merit some examination from thoughtful people.
Certainly we see around us today a marked lack of individual leadership. The late Mr. John Morley, statesman and philanthropist, man of letters and man of affairs, some years ago toward the close of his life delivered an oration in which he drew attention to the decline in the personal eminence of the leaders in almost all the important spheres of thought and art. He contrasted the heads of the great professions in the early twentieth century with those who had shone in the mid-Victorian era. He spoke of the vacant Thrones in Philosophy, History, Economics, Oratory, Statecraft, Poetry, Literature, Painting, Sculpture, and Music, which stood on every side. He pointed, as far as possible without offence, to the array of blameless mediocrities who strutted conscientiously around the seats of the mighty decked in their discarded mantles and insignia. The pith and justice of these reflections were unwelcome, but not to be denied. They are no less applicable to the United States. With every natural wish to be complimentary to our own age and generation, with every warning against singing the praises of former times, it is difficult to marshal today in any part of the English-speaking world an assembly of notables who either in distinction or achievement can compare with those to whom our grandfathers so gladly paid attention and tribute.
It must be admitted that in one great sphere the thrones are neither vacant nor occupied by pygmies. Science in all its forms surpasses itself every year. The body of knowledge ever accumulating is immediately interchanged and the quality and fidelity of the research never flags. But here again the mass effect largely suppresses the individual achievement. The throne is occupied; but by a throng.
In part we are conscious of the enormous processes of collectivization which are at work among us. We have long seen the old family business, where the master was in direct personal touch with his workmen, swept out of existence or absorbed by powerful companies, which in their turn are swallowed by mammoth trusts. We have found in these processes, whatever hardships they may have caused to individuals, immense economic and social advantages. The magic of mass production has carried all before it. The public have a cheaper and even better article or a superior service; the workmen have better wages and greater security.
The results upon national character and psychology are more questionable. We are witnessing a great diminution in the number of independent people who had some standing of their own, albeit a small one, and who if they conducted their affairs with reasonable prudence could live by no man's leave underneath the law. They may be better off as the salaried officials of great corporations; but they have lost in forethought, in initiative, in contrivance, in freedom and in effective civic status.
These instances are but typical of what is taking place in almost every sphere of modern industrial life, and of what must take place with remorseless persistency, if we are to enjoy the material blessings which scientific and organized civilization is ready to bestow in measureless abundance.
In part, again, these changes are unconscious. Public opinion is formed and expressed by machinery. The newspapers do an immense amount of thinking for the average man and woman. In fact they supply them with such a continuous stream of standardized opinion, borne along upon an equally inexhaustible flood of news and sensation, collected from every part of the world every hour of the day, that there is neither the need nor the leisure for personal reflection. All this is but a part of a tremendous educating process. But it is an education which passes in at one ear and out at the other. It is an education at once universal and superficial. It produces enormous numbers of standardized citizens, all equipped with regulation opinions, prejudices and sentiments, according to their class or party. It may eventually lead to a reasonable, urbane and highly serviceable society. It may draw in its wake a mass culture enjoyed by countless millions to whom such pleasures were formerly unknown. We must not forget the enormous circulations at cheap prices of the greatest books of the world, which is a feature of modern life in civilized countries, and nowhere more than in the United States. But this great diffusion of knowledge, information and light reading of all kinds may, while it opens new pleasures to humanity and appreciably raises the general level of intelligence, be destructive of those conditions of personal stress and mental effort to which the masterpieces of the human mind are due.
It is a curious fact that the Russian Bolsheviks, in carrying by compulsion mass conceptions to their utmost extreme, seem to have lost not only the guidance of great personalities, but even the economic fertility of the process itself. The Communist theme aims at universal standardization. The individual becomes a function: the community is alone of interest: mass thoughts dictated and propagated by the rulers are the only thoughts deemed respectable. No one is to think of himself as an immortal spirit, clothed in the flesh, but sovereign, unique, indestructible. No one is to think of himself even as that harmonious integrity of mind, soul and body, which, take it as you will, may claim to be the Lord of Creation. Subhuman goals and ideals are set before these Asiastic millions. The Beehive? No, for there must be no queen and no honey, or at least no honey for others. In Soviet Russia we have a society which seeks to model itself upon the Ant. There is not one single social or economic principle or concept in the philosophy of the Russian Bolshevik which has not been realized, carried into action, and enshrined in immutable laws a million years ago by the White Ant.
But human nature is more intractable than ant-nature. The explosive variations of its phenomena disturb the smooth working out of the laws and forces which have subjugated the White Ant. It is at once the safeguard and the glory of mankind that they are easy to lead and hard to drive. So the Bolsheviks, having attempted by tyranny and by terror to establish the most complete form of mass life and collectivism of which history bears record, have not only lost the distinction of individuals, but have not even made the nationalization of life and industry pay. We have not much to learn from them, except what to avoid.
Mass effects and their reactions are of course more pronounced in the leading nations than in more backward and primitive communities. In Great Britain, the United States, Germany, and France, the decline in personal pre-eminence is much more plainly visible than in societies which have less wealth, less power, less freedom. The great emancipated nations seem to have become largely independent of famous guides and guardians. They no longer rely upon the Hero, the Commander, or the Teacher as they did in bygone rugged ages, or as the less advanced peoples do today. They wend their way ponderously, unthinkingly, blindly, but nevertheless surely and irresistibly towards goals which are ill-defined and yet magnetic. Is it then true that civilization and democracy, when sufficiently developed, will increasingly dispense with personal direction; that they mean to find their own way for themselves; and that they are capable of finding the right way? Or are they already going wrong? Are they off the track? Have they quitted the stern, narrow high-roads which alone lead to glorious destinies and survival? Is what we now see in the leading democracies merely a diffusion and squandering of the accumulated wisdom and treasure of the past? Are we blundering on together in myriad companies, like innumerable swarms of locusts, chirping and devouring towards the salt sea, or towards some vast incinerator of shams and fallacies? Or have we for the first time reached those uplands whence all of us, even the humblest and silliest equally with the best, can discern for ourselves the beacon lights? Surely such an inquiry deserves an idle hour.
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

rufus the dawg

...
In no field of man's activities is the tendency to mass effects and the suppression of the individual more evident than in modern war. The Armageddon through which we have recently passed displays the almost complete elimination of personal guidance. It was the largest and the latest of all wars. It was also the worst, the most destructive, and in many ways the most ruthless. Now that it is over we look back, and with minute and searching care seek to find its criminals and its heroes. Where are they? Where are the villains who made the War? Where are the deliverers who ended it? Facts without number, growing libraries, clouds of contemporary witnesses, methods of assembling and analyzing evidence never before possessed or used among men are at our disposal. The quest is keen. We ought to know; we mean to know. Smarting under our wounds, enraged by our injuries, amazed by our wonderful exertions and achievements, conscious of our authority, we demand to know the truth, and to fix the responsibilities. Our halters and our laurels are ready and abundant.
But what is the answer? There is no answer. On the one hand, the accusations eagerly pressed, now against this man or Government or nation, now against that, seem to dissipate themselves as the indictment proceeds. On the other, as the eager claimants for the honour of being the man, the Government, the nation THAT ACTUALLY WON THE WAR multiply and as their self-advocacy becomes more voluble, more strident, we feel less and less convinced. The Muse of History to whom we all so confidently appeal has become a Sphinx. A sad, half-mocking smile flickers on her stone war-scarred lineaments. While we gaze, we feel that the day will never come when we shall learn the answer for which we have clamoured. Meanwhile the halters rot and the laurels fade. Both the making and the winning of the most terrible and the most recent of earthly struggles seems to have been a co-operative affair!
Modern conditions do not lend themselves to the production of the heroic or super-dominant type. On the whole they are fatal to pose. The robes, the wigs, the ceremonies, the grades that fortified the public men and ruling functionaries of former centuries have fallen into disuse in every country. Even the Divinity that doth hedge a King is considered out of place except on purely official occasions. Sovereigns are admired for their free and easy manners, their readiness to mingle with all classes, their matter-of-fact work-a-day air, their dislike of pomp and ritual. The Minister or President at the head of some immense sphere of business, whose practical decisions from hour to hour settle so many important things, is no longer a figure of mystery and awe. On the contrary he is looked upon and, what is more important for our present purpose, looks upon himself as quite an ordinary fellow, who happens to be charged for the time being with a peculiar kind of large-scale work. He hustles along with the crowd in the public conveyances, or attired in plus fours waits his turn upon the links. All this is very jolly, and a refreshing contrast to the ridiculous airs and graces of the periwigged potentates of other generations. The question is whether the sense of leadership, and the commanding attitude towards men and affairs, are likely to arise from such simple and unpretentious customs and habits of mind; and further, whether our public affairs will now for the future run on quite happily without leaders who by their training and situation, no less than by their abilities, feel themselves to be uplifted above the general mass.
The intense light of war illuminates as usual this topic more clearly than the comfortable humdrum glow of peace. We see the modern commander entirely divorced from the heroic aspect by the physical conditions which have overwhelmed his art. No longer will Hannibal and Caesar, Turenne and Marlborough, Frederick and Napoleon, sit their horses on the battlefield and by their words and gestures direct and dominate between dawn and dusk the course of a supreme event. No longer will their fame and presence cheer their struggling soldiers. No longer will they share their perils, rekindle their spirits and restore the day. They will not be there. They have been banished from the fighting scene, together with their plumes, standards and breastplates. The lion-hearted warrior, whose keen eye detected the weakness in the foeman's line, whose resolve outlasted all the strains of battle, whose mere arrival at some critical point turned the tide of conflict, has disappeared. Instead our Generals are to be found on the day of battle at their desks in their offices fifty or sixty miles from the front, anxiously listening to the trickle of the telephone for all the world as if they were speculators with large holdings when the market is disturbed.
All very right and worthy. They are at their posts. Where else, indeed, should they be? The tape-machine ticks are recording in blood-red ink that railways are down or utilities up, that a bank has broken here, and a great fortune has been captured there. Calm sits the General; he is a high-souled speculator. He is experienced in finance. He has survived many market crashes. His reserves are ample and mobile. He watches for the proper moment, or proper day for battles now last for months and then launches them to the attack. He is a fine tactician, and knows the wiles of bull and bear, of attack and defence, to a nicety. His commands are uttered with decision. Sell fifty thousand of this. Buy at the market a hundred thousand of that. Ah! No, we are on the wrong track. It is not shares he is dealing in. It is the lives of scores of thousands of men. To look at him at work in his office you would never have believed that he was fighting a battle in command of armies ten times as large and a hundred times as powerful as any that Napoleon led. We must praise him if he does his work well, if he sends the right messages, and spends the right troops, and buys the best positions. But it is hard to feel that he is the hero. No; he is not the hero. He is the manager of a stock-market, or a stock-yard.
The obliteration of the personal factor in war, the stripping from high commanders of all the drama of the battlefield, the reducing of their highest function to pure office work, will have profound effects upon sentiment and opinion. Hitherto the great captain has been rightly revered as the genius who by the firmness of his character, and by the mysterious harmonies and inspirations of his nature, could rule the storm. He did it himself; and no one else could do it so well. He conquered there and then. Often he fell beneath the bolts and the balls, saviour of his native land. Now, however illogical it may seem and even unjust, his glamour and honours will not readily descend upon our calculating friend at the telephone. This worthy must assuredly be rewarded as a useful citizen, and a faithful perspicacious public servant; but not as a hero. The heroes of modern war lie out in the cratered fields, mangled, stifled, scarred; and there are too many of them for exceptional honours. It is mass suffering, mass sacrifice, mass victory. The glory which plays upon the immense scenes of carnage is diffused. No more the blaze of triumph irradiates the helmets of the chiefs. There is only the pale light of a rainy dawn by which forty miles of batteries recommence their fire, and another score of divisions flounder to their death in mud and poison gas.
That was the last war. The wars of the future will be even less romantic and picturesque. They will apparently be the wars not of armies but of whole populations. Men, women and children, old and feeble, soldiers and civilians, sick and wounded � all will be exposed, so we are told, to aerial bombardment, that is to say, to mass destruction by lethal vapour. There will not be much glory for the General in this process. My gardener last spring exterminated seven wasps' nests. He did his work most efficiently. He chose the right poison. He measured the exact amount. He put it stealthily in the right place, at the right time. The entire communities were destroyed. Not even one wasp got near enough to sting him. It was his duty and he performed it well. But I am not going to regard him as a hero.
So when some spectacled brass hat of a future world-agony has extinguished some London or Paris, some Tokyo or San Francisco, by pressing a button, or putting his initials neatly at the bottom of a piece of foolscap, he will have to wait a long time for fame and glory. Even the flashlights of the photographers in the national Ministry of Propaganda will be only a partial compensation. Still our Commander-in-Chief may be a man of exemplary character, most painstaking and thorough in his profession. He may only be doing what in all the circumstances some one or other would have to do. It seems rather hard that he should receive none of the glory which in former ages would have been the attribute of his office and the consequence of his success. But this is one of the mass effects of modern life and science. He will have to put up with it.
From this will follow blessed reactions. The idea of war will become loathsome to humanity. The military leader will cease to be a figure of romance and fame. Youth will no longer be attracted to such careers. Poets will not sing nor sculptors chisel the deeds of conquerors. It may well be that the chemist will carry off what credit can be found. The budding Napoleons will go into business, and the civilization of the world will stand on a surer basis. We need not waste our tears on the mass effects in war. Let us return to those of peace.
Can modern communities do without great men? Can they dispense with hero-worship? Can they provide a larger wisdom, a nobler sentiment, a more vigorous action, by collective processes, than were ever got from the Titans? Can nations remain healthy, can all nations draw together, in a world whose brightest stars are film stars and whose gods are sitting in the gallery? Can the spirit of man emit the vital spark by machinery? Will the new problems of successive generations be solved successfully by the common sense of most, by party caucuses, by Assemblies whose babble is no longer heeded? Or will there be some big hitch in the forward march of mankind, some intolerable block in the traffic, some vain wandering into the wilderness; and will not then the need for a personal chief become the mass desire?
We see a restlessness around us already. The cry of Measures, not Men no longer commands universal sympathy. There is a sense of vacancy and of fatuity, of incompleteness. We miss our giants. We are sorry that their age is past. The general levels of intelligence and of knowledge have risen. We are upon a high plateau. A peak of 10,000 feet above the old sea-level is scarcely noticeable. There are so many such eminences that we hardly bother about them. The region seems healthy, but the scenery is unimpressive. We mourn the towering grandeur which surrounded and cheered our long painful ascent. Ah! If we could only find some new enormous berg rising towards the heavens as high above our plateau as those old mountains down below rose above the plains and marshes! We want a monarch peak, with base enormous, whose summit is for ever hidden from our eyes by clouds, and down whose precipices cataracts of sparkling waters thunder. Unhappily the democratic plateau or platform does not keep that article in stock. Perhaps something like it might be worked up by playing spotlights upon pillars of smoke or gas and using the loud-speaker apparatus. But we soon see through these pretences.
No, we must take the loss with the gain. On the uplands there are no fine peaks. We must do without them while we stay there. Of course we could always, if we wished, go down again into the plains and valleys out of which we have climbed. We may even wander thither unwittingly. We may slide there. We may be pushed there. There are still many powerful nations dwelling at these lower levels, some contentedly, some even proudly. They often declare that life in the valleys is preferable. There is, they say, more variety, more beauty, more grace, more dignity, more true health and fertility than upon the arid highlands. They say this middle situation is better suited to human nature. The arts flourish there, and science need not be absent. Moreover, it is pleasing to look back over the plains and morasses through which our path has lain in the past, and remember in tradition the great years of pilgrimage. Then they point to the frowning crag, their venerated El Capitan or Il Duce, casting its majestic shadow in the evening light; and ask whether we have anything like that up there. We certainly have not.
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

rufus the dawg

And a Boris Johnson speech when he was Foreign secretary and about the same age has Churchill

Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, I want to begin on behalf of the UK by thanking High Commissioner Hussein for his service and for his tireless efforts for speaking up for human rights around the world.
And I'm delighted to be here because, at its best, this Council has shone a spotlight on appalling violations of human rights in specific countries - as we've just heard - and given a voice to people who would otherwise have suffered in silence.
Britain considers this Council to be part of the rules-based international system in which we believe and that we strive to protect.
And I will say that we share the view that a dedicated agenda item focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace and unless things change, we shall move next year to vote against all resolutions introduced under Item 7.
But I stress that that does not mean that we in the UK are blind to the value of this Council - including the work it could do on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under the right agenda item - and we support its emphasis on freedom of religion and expression and the empowerment of women.
Which brings me to my main point because after flying around the world for two years as UK Foreign Secretary, I have concluded that we could solve the majority of the world's most serious problems - from infant mortality to unemployment to civil war to the unsustainable loss of habitat because of population growth - indeed we could achieve virtually every sustainable development goal - if only we could provide every girl in the world with at least 12 years of quality education.
It is a global disgrace that, at this moment, 130 million girls are not in the classroom, female illiteracy in some countries is running at 60, 70 or 80 per cent, and there are bigoted fanatics who actually campaign to stop girls from going to school, including the numbskulls from Boko Haram who will raid schools, abduct children and inflict any atrocity in order to deny girls an education.
As recently as February, Boko Haram kidnapped 110 girls from a school in Dapchi and we all remember how 276 were taken from Chibok in 2014.
When I visited Borno state last year, I met girls who had been told they would be shot if they dared learn to read, as the Taliban shot Malala.
I am lost in admiration for those who press on with their studies in defiance of these threats - and for teachers who are brave enough to help - but the problem is global. Today, almost 800 million adults across the world cannot read or write - and two thirds of them are women.
Think of the wasted talent, the appalling opportunity cost to humanity.
But just imagine what we could achieve if we turned this upside down and ensured that every girl went to school and received the education they deserve?
If all girls went to secondary school, then infant mortality would be cut in half, saving three million young lives every year.
About 12 million children would not have their growth stunted by malnutrition.
The future wages of girls would rise by 12 per cent for every extra year in the classroom and with that prosperity you create jobs and therefore you strike a blow against the Boko Harams and the maladjusted chauvinist fanatics who overwhelmingly come from countries where women are under-educated.
And the conclusion is obvious: educating our daughters with the same care that we educate our sons is the single most powerful spur to development and progress, which is why, this year, the British Government has devoted an extra £500 million to the cause of female education.
We are helping another 1.4 million girls in 15 countries to receive a minimum of 12 years of quality education.
When we welcomed the representatives of 52 countries to London for the Commonwealth summit in April, all of them endorsed that target.
And I should say by the way, in case you don't know, Britain is one of a handful of countries that has a female Head of Government, a female Head of State and a female Head of the Judiciary.
And I have joined my friend Amina Mohammed, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary, to form a Platform for Girls Education, a group of 12 influential people drawn from across the Commonwealth who will keep up the momentum.
But resources and political will are not the only constraints: even when schools and teachers are available, girls may still miss out.
If physical or sexual violence are commonplace, if dormitories are unsafe, if sanitary facilities are inadequate, then girls will be deterred from entering the classroom.
If they are married at an early age this may deprive them of the chance to go to school and the reality is that one girl in every 12 in the developing world is married before the age of 15.
Today, there are about 700 million women who were married in childhood and if the prevalence of child marriage remains unchanged, then that number will rise to nearly 1.2 billion by 2050.
All of these problems - including the prejudice and sexism that hold women back - will need to be addressed if we are to achieve the goal of universal female education.
I would respectfully appeal to every member of this Council to do whatever is necessary to eliminate child marriage, whether by passing new laws or enforcing existing ones.
And I would urge every country here today to sign the joint statement of principles on girls education and support resolutions during this session that condemn female genital mutilation and violence and discrimination against women.
And we should remember that mere attendance in school is not enough: we have to ensure that girls actually learn when they get there, which means that teachers need to be properly trained and opportunities improved for the most disadvantaged, including disabled girls.
But all these measurable and material benefits of which I have spoken cannot be the sole or even the primary reason why we must ensure that all girls go to school.
It's not just that this ambition will make us more prosperous and expand our GDPs - though it will do all of that and more.
I am here to appeal to all the men in suits, who are so adequately represented here and in positions of power around the world - there are quite a few - to do what is right.
We can build the schools and train the teachers and surmount all of the other barriers: in the end, it is only a question of priorities and of will.
This is one cause which attracts no dissenting voice and there is no reason to question the benefits or morality of what needs to be done.
So Mr President may I say for the sake of our common prosperity, for the sake of peace and for economic progress - but above all in the name of simple justice and fairness - let us give every girl in the world 12 years of quality education.
Thank you very much for your attention this morning.
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

rufus the dawg

And another BJ because the above is a bit short...

Good morning everybody, it is fantastic to be here in this wonderful hotel, that I think that I opened or reopened. I opened many hotels across London in my time as Mayor and I definitely reopened this hotel at one stage Good morning everybody, it is fantastic to be here in this wonderful hotel, that I think that I opened or reopened. I opened many hotels across London in my time as Mayor and I definitely reopened this hotel at one stage and this is after all an example of the kind of infrastructure that you were just talking about Robin. It is an inspirational structure that was created many, many decades ago, over a hundred years ago, and it has been beautifully upgraded and it has stood the test of time and that is what I want to talk about this morning.

and this is after all an example of the kind of infrastructure that you were just talking about Robin. It is an inspirational structure that was created many, many decades ago, over a hundred years ago, and it has been beautifully upgraded and it has stood the test of time and that is what I want to talk about this morning.
All you young, thrusting Chatham House types look far too dynamic to remember the early 1980s or indeed the late 1970s. Do you? I certainly do.
I remember being chilled to the marrow not just by the newspaper graphics, the hundreds of nuclear missiles trained on this country by the Warsaw Pact.
Scarier still were the attempts by the UK government to reassure the population, the pamphlets and films that told you such things as how to build a fallout shelter.
You took several doors off their hinges and propped them up diagonally against a wall, reinforced by suitcases full of books, and then you were told to tune to Radio 4, where the contingency plan was to play endless re-runs of Just a Minute.
And there really was a time when British children knew all about the 4-minute warnings, and the perils of radiation sickness, and we all read a book called Where the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs, and brooded, as I did as a teenager, on the horror of those weapons.
For decades now that threat has seemed to vanish. It went with the end of the Cold War.
We don't want it back.
That is why people are now watching with such interest - and the first stirrings of apprehension - the events in the Korean Peninsula.
Kim Jong Un has tested 19 missiles so far this year, and has conducted 4 of the 6 nuclear tests ever carried out by that country.
It is now widely accepted that Kim is coming closer to being able to launch a nuclear-armed ICBM at the continental United States.
I should stress that this has not only prompted outrage in America, but it is a prospect that has been unanimously condemned by Russia, by China, by the EU, to say nothing of the dismay of those quintessentially peaceable countries - Japan and South Korea.
It is this increased tempo of nuclear testing, coupled with florid outbursts of verbal belligerence, that have reawakened - even in this country - those forgotten fears.
The public can be forgiven for genuinely starting to wonder whether the nuclear sword of Damocles is once again held over the head of a trembling human race.
So now is perhaps a good moment, in a calm and dispassionate way, to take stock.
Before we reissue that old pamphlet called 'Protect and Survive', before we teach our kids how to hide under the desks or lay on stocks of baked beans or spam, let us look at the history of nuclear proliferation, how nuclear weapons have spread, and how we have collectively sought to contain their spread.
Back then, as now, most predictions were gloomy - and yet those gloomy predictions have been utterly confounded by events.
America was of course the first to use the bomb, in 1945; then the Soviet Union detonated a device at Semipalatinsk in 1949; then we were next, the UK, in 1952; then the French did their test in the Sahara in 1960.
At that point the then American presidential candidate, John F Kennedy, predicted that by 1964, within only 4 years, there would be 10, 15 or 20 nations that would acquire nuclear weapons.
As things have turned out, it is now almost 60 years after he issued his warning - and yes, the NPT has some notable non-signatories including India and Pakistan; and yet the number of nuclear-armed countries has yet to reach double figures.
This is on the face of it an absolutely astonishing statistic and an extraordinary achievement.
When you consider that every previous military development - from firearms to fighter jets - has spread among humanity like impetigo, you have to ask yourselves: why? Why have nuclear weapons been the great exception?
It can't just be the kit. They can't be so complex that only a handful of so-called advanced nations have the intellectual wherewithal to make them.
It is true that the process is laborious and highly expensive - but the basic technology is more than 70 years old and indeed has been taught in universities - if not schools - for decades, for generations.
The answer is partly that many countries wisely decided, after the war, that they were going to take shelter under the nuclear umbrella provided by the United States.
Nations in both Europe and in Asia opted for this protection, a commitment that must be rated one of the greatest contributions by America to the unprecedented epoch of peace and prosperity that we have all been living through.
I should observe that some European countries found themselves under a rival umbrella provided by the Soviet Union, though at that stage they had no choice in the matter.
And it was that American offer - that guarantee - that made possible the global consensus embodied by the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
By this treaty 191 countries came together to recognise the special role of the 5 existing nuclear powers, and also to insist that there should be no further dispersal of such weapons.
Nuclear technology would be made available to other countries, provided it was used exclusively for civilian purposes.
That was a great diplomatic achievement.
It was an effort in which the UK - as one of the leading upholders of the post-war rules based international order - played a crucial role.
[political content removed]
That diplomacy has helped to make the world safer, more secure, more confident and therefore more prosperous.
It has helped avoid what might otherwise have been a Gadarene Rush to destruction, in which the world was turned into a great arena of Mexican stand-offs, a nuclear version of the final scene of Reservoir Dogs.
That far-sightedness is now needed more than ever, not only to keep the NPT, but also one of its most valuable complementary accords, the nuclear deal with Iran.
To grasp the importance of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we should remember that just before it was signed in 2015, Iran had enough centrifuges and low-enriched uranium to be only months away from producing the essential material for at least one nuclear weapon.
Let us remember what the consequences would have been - for Iran and the world - if Tehran had gone down that road.
Never mind the response of Israel, or indeed the United States to the fact of nuclear weapons in the grip of the Iranians, a regime that has been capable of blood-curdling rhetoric about the mere existence of the 'Zionist entity'.
A nuclear-armed Iran would have placed irresistible pressure on neighbouring countries to up the ante, and to trigger an arms race in what is already one of the most volatile regions of the world.
Imagine all those mutually contaminating sectarian, dynastic and internecine conflicts of the Middle East today. Then turn the dial, and add a nuclear arms race.
Think of the nightmare that deal has avoided.
It is a nightmare we can continue to avoid if we are sensible, if we show the same generosity and wisdom as the negotiators of the NPT.
And first and most important it is vital to understand that President Trump has not withdrawn from the JCPOA. He has not junked it.
He has continued to waive nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, and having spoken to some of the most influential figures on Capitol Hill - none of them fans of the Iranian regime - I have absolutely no doubt that with determination and courage the JCPOA can be preserved.
This is not just because the essential deal is in the interests of Western security - though it is - but because it is profoundly in the interests of the Iranian people.
This is a great nation, of 80 million people - 2 thirds of whom are under the age of 30.
They are highly educated, both men and women.
They watch Youtube; they dance to music videos, even if it is in the privacy of their own home.
They use and understand technology and they are bursting with a capitalist and entrepreneurial spirit.
If we can show them that they are welcome in the great global market-place of ideas and innovation then, in time, a very different relationship is possible with the modern heirs, of what is after all, one of the greatest of all ancient civilisations.
That is the possibility the JCPOA holds open - not just averting a perilous and debilitating arms race, but ending the long and largely self-imposed exclusion of Iran from the global mainstream that so many millions of Iranians yearn to join.
Of course, we in the UK, we share with our American friends and with many of our allies - in Europe and across the Middle East - their legitimate concern over the disruptive behaviour of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in countries hundreds of miles from their borders.
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

rufus the dawg

....
It is simply provocative and dangerous that Iran has supplied tens of thousands of rockets and missiles to Hizbollah in Lebanon - weapons that are even now pointing at Israel - but whose use would bring the most destructive retaliation not upon Iran - the responsible party - but upon the people of Lebanon.
It is no conceivable benefit to the tormented people of Yemen that Iran should be supplying missiles that Houthi rebels use routinely to strike targets in Saudi Arabia; behaviour which alas can only strengthen the convictions of those in the region who believe they have no choice but to respond to Iran's actions.
And frankly it's astonishing that the Iranians - who rightly complain that the world looked the other way when they suffered so tragically from the chemical weapons deployed by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s - should even now be abetting and concealing the crimes of Bashar al-Asad who has used the same methods against his own people.
So I think it's right that we should join with our American friends and allies to counter this kind of behaviour wherever possible.
But that does not mean for one minute that we should write Iran off, or that we should refuse to engage with Iran or that we should show disrespect to its people.
On the contrary, we should continue to work to demonstrate to that population in Iran that they will be better off under this deal and the path of re-engagement that it prescribes.
And that is the model - of toughness but engagement, each reinforcing the other - that we should have at the front of our mind as we try to resolve the tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
It is right that Rex Tillerson has specifically opened the door to dialogue.
He has tried to give some sensible reassurances to the regime, to enable them to take up this offer.
Remember the 4 Noes - that have been offered by the South Korean president and reinforced by the US Secretary of State.
No seeking regime change in North Korea; No seeking to force the collapse of North Korea's regime; No seeking to deploy US forces beyond the 38th parallel; No attempt to accelerate the reunification of Korea.
These are the commitments that we hope will encourage Kim Jong Un to halt his nuclear weapons programme, to come to the negotiating table, and thereby to take the only path that can guarantee the security of the region as a whole. You will often hear it said that in weighing up those options Kim must bear in mind the woeful precedents of those who disarmed.
Of Libya, where the leader listened to the blandishments of the West and gave up his nuclear weapons programme - only to be overthrown with Western connivance.
Or of Ukraine, which actually surrendered its nuclear arsenal, only to suffer the first forcible loss of territory in Europe since 1945.
It is therefore suggested that Kim would be sealing his own fate if he were to comply.
I reject those analogies.
What finished Gaddafi was an uprising of his own people, including on the streets of Tripoli.
Even if he had been able to perfect a nuclear arsenal in time, and even if it is true he had a justified reputation for mercurial and unpredictable behaviour, it seems unlikely that he would have decided to nuke his own capital - including himself.
As survival strategies go, that would have been eccentric even by his own standards.
As for Ukraine, the fundamental difference is that no one, not South Korea nor any other neighbour, has any designs on the national territory of North Korea.
And the crucial question Kim Jong Un surely needs to ask himself is whether his current activities are making Pyongyang any safer for himself and his regime.
No one, I'm sure no one in this room, certainly no one in the UK or around the world wants any kind of military solution to the problem. No one actively desires that outcome.
But Kim Jong Un and the world need to understand that when the 45th President of the United States contemplates a regime led by a man who not only threatens to reduce New York to "ashes", but who stands on the verge of acquiring the power to make good on his threat, I am afraid that the US President - whoever he or she might be - will have an absolute duty to prepare any option to keep safe not only the American people but all those who have sheltered under the American nuclear umbrella.
And I hope Kim will also consider this: that if his objective is to intimidate the US into wholesale withdrawal from East Asia, then it strikes me that his current course might almost be designed to produce the opposite effect.
Already President Moon of South Korea - hitherto seen as one of the political leaders most open to engagement with the North - is installing the US-made THAAD missile defences.
And in Japan and South Korea it is easy to imagine the growth of domestic pressure for those governments to take further steps to protect their own populations from a nuclear North Korea.
In short Pyongyang faces the same dilemma as Tehran:
By continuing to develop nuclear capabilities Kim risks provoking a reaction in the region that is at once defensive and competitive, that reduces not increases his security and therefore reduces not increases the survival chances of the regime.
And therefore I hope that Kim will see that it is no part of Juche - his family doctrine of national self-reliance - nor is it in his interest of national security to end up with an escalation of America's military presence in East Asia, let alone to run risks that could imperil his regime.
And until he understands that I am afraid that we have no choice collectively but to step up the pressure on Pyongyang.
It is one of the most encouraging developments this year that the UN Security Council - with the strong support of the UK - has unanimously passed three resolutions to tighten the economic ligature around the regime.
When I joined a debate on North Korea in the Security Council earlier this year, I was struck by the unaccustomed absence of discord.
For the first time the Chinese have agreed to impose strict limits on the export of oil to North Korea, which until now was taboo.
There has been an unmistakable change in Chinese policy, and that is warmly to be welcomed.
In his speech to the 19th Party Congress last week, President Xi hailed China's standing as a world power
And I would say there is no more urgent problem for China to address - nor any where Beijing has greater influence - than the threat to international security represented by the behaviour of North Korea.
There is also unprecedented discussion between China and the US on how to handle this crisis, a closeness, by the way, that I believe bodes well for the world; and I should again pay tribute to my colleague Rex Tillerson for his efforts.
Whatever we may think of the regime and its behaviour, the ruling elite of North Korea is in the end composed of human beings.
We must find ways of getting through to them, and at the same time not just toughening the sanctions regime but enforcing those already in place; and in this respect again, the Chinese hold the key.
This is the moment for North Korea's regime to change course - and if they do the world can show that it is once again capable of the diplomatic imagination that produced the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - arduously negotiated - and that after 12 years of continuous effort produced the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran.
It will not be easy, but the costs of failure could be catastrophic.
We cannot dis-invent nuclear weapons or wish them away; and the events on the Korean Peninsula are the clearest possible rejoinder to those [political content removed] who say that we should unilaterally cast aside our nuclear weapons.
To wield a nuclear deterrent, as this country does, is neither easy nor cheap; indeed it imposes a huge responsibility on this country.
We are one of the handful specifically recognised by the NPT to possess such dreadful weapons, and we do so not just in the name of our own security but - via NATO - for the protection of dozens of our allies.
And by holding that stockpile - a minimum stockpile, I should say, which has been reduced by half since its Cold War peak - we play our part in deterring the ambitions of rogue states.
It is 25 years since the end of the Cold War, and a new generation has grown up with no memory of the threat of a nuclear winter, and little education in the appalling logic of mutually assured destruction.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki. Their destruction, the full horror of what took place is now literally fading from living memory.
When people like Alun Chalfont drew up the NPT, those horrors were still fresh in the hearts of the world.
We must not be so forgetful or so complacent as to require a new lesson in what these weapons can do, or the price of failing to limit their spread.
The NPT is one of the great diplomatic achievements of the last century. It has stood the test of time.
In its restraint and its maturity it shows an unexpected wisdom on the part of humanity, and almost evolutionary instinct for the survival of the species.
It is the job of our generation now to preserve that agreement, and British diplomacy will be at the forefront of the endeavour.
Thank you all very much for your attention.

Published 23 October 2017
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

rufus the dawg

Crikey, reading Winston Churchill is like reading a wordsmith a poet. Johnson's is simplistic cliched ridden without vision. The last speech by Johnson shows how we are side lined and have no power in the North Korea talks. Because he talks about what USA are doing. And in fact reading through his speech is very reactionary.

North Korea could not strike the UK with Nuclear weapons! They did not want to.
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

zoony

Sorry mate, did you really expect any of us to read all of that?! Would have got through War and peace quicker....

rufus the dawg

Quote from: zoony on April 18, 2020, 20:00:47 pmSorry mate, did you really expect any of us to read all of that?! Would have got through War and peace quicker....
I can understand that, they are long...well Churchill's essay is. All you need to read is the first paragraph of each. It is obvious Johnson is no Churchill. The language the way the sentences are constructed and the understanding and ideas are beyond anything Johnson put in to his two speeches. It is actually quite shocking to me that people say Johnson is anything like Churchill.
Johnson was trying to build a myth and like anything that Johnson does it does not hold up to scrutiny.
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

Nïckslïkk2112

TL;DR

Go for a bike ride, have a drink, smoke a fag and (Chur)chill.
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection

rufus the dawg

and Boris Johnson quotes

What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies.

Orientals ... have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole

Outrageous that married couples should pay for 'the single mothers' desire to procreate independently of men.

"If he is blue collar, he is likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless, and perhaps claiming to suffer from low self-esteem brought on by unemployment."

"Families on lower incomes the women have absolutely no choice but to work, often with adverse consequences for family life and society as a whole - in that unloved and undisciplined children are more likely to become hoodies, NEETS, and mug you on the street corner."

"If gay marriage was OK... I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog."
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

rufus the dawg

Churchill at least has an excuse for been born in the late 19th century 1874. But some of what he said is pretty revolting too. Johnson has no excuse.
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

Nïckslïkk2112

Quote from: rufus the dawg on April 19, 2020, 12:31:44 pmand Boris Johnson quotes

What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies.

Orientals ... have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole

Outrageous that married couples should pay for 'the single mothers' desire to procreate independently of men.

"If he is blue collar, he is likely to be drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless, and perhaps claiming to suffer from low self-esteem brought on by unemployment."

"Families on lower incomes the women have absolutely no choice but to work, often with adverse consequences for family life and society as a whole - in that unloved and undisciplined children are more likely to become hoodies, NEETS, and mug you on the street corner."

"If gay marriage was OK... I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog."
The emboldened one was NOT a BoJo quote. It was by Taki in the Spectator.

The rest are all fair enough. The first one has been stripped from the context in which it was written.

I'm no Boris apologist, but I do object to things being taken out of context to besmirch people - unless I'm doing it, because I am in all ways superior to other people - please provide the full context in which things are said.

No excuse me, I'm off for a 100 mile bike ride - which is completely wrong according to current rules - so I can cough in the faces of the Troglodyte scum who inhabit the Peak District.
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection

rufus the dawg

April 19, 2020, 18:52:45 pm #253 Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 18:55:40 pm by rufus the dawg
fair point nick, I will do both...but will you read read it - TL DR. I will quote some more.  He had to apologise for

Quote from: Nïckslïkk2112 on April 19, 2020, 13:53:33 pmOrientals ... have larger brains and higher IQ scores. Blacks are at the other pole


Why because he was editor of the Spectator at the time....umm does it still stand then? Done in his name? And as Slim pointed out in the CV19 thread about the Lancet editor if he is editor is it done in his name?

He also had to apologise for the "piccaninnies" quote.
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.

rufus the dawg

April 19, 2020, 18:58:23 pm #254 Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 22:32:36 pm by rufus the dawg
If Blair's so good at running the Congo, let him stay there

By Boris Johnson
12:01AM GMT 10 Jan 2002

HE'S back. The doors of the prime ministerial plane have been opened, and he has at last been seen at the top of the gangway. Our leader is returned to his benighted children; the pater patriae is home, and how lost his ministers have seemed without him.
For ages, it seems, Supertone has been orbiting in his taxpayer-funded jet, descending to bring his particular brand of humbug to the trouble spots of the world. He did the namaste in Bangalore, and lo, the warring faiths of the Indian subcontinent immediately rescheduled World War Three. For a full 120 minutes, he and Cherie shone the light of their countenances upon the people of Afghanistan, and, who knows, perhaps the place is now rife with feminism, habeas corpus and multi-party democracy.
What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies; and one can imagine that Blair, twice victor abroad but enmired at home, is similarly seduced by foreign politeness.
They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird. Like Zeus, back there in the Iliad, he has turned his shining eyes away, far over the lands of the Hippemolgoi, the drinkers of mares' milk. He has forgotten domestic affairs, and here, as it happens, in this modest little country that elected him, hell has broken loose.
Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has been at war with Peter Hain about the timing of the plan to abolish the pound. Half the adolescent population seems to be trying to steal the mobile phones of the other half. Every female columnist in Fleet Street is now in a state of panic about the mumps, measles and rubella jab, waving their babies in the air and screaming for guidance from the First Father. Across Britain, the commuters groan and snarl as the Dave Sparts and Ned Ludds of the RMT bring the trains to a halt.
And now, to cap it all, one of Blair's very own ministers, the increasingly trusted and important Peter Hain, has broken off from his war with Straw to launch an attack on Stephen Byers. Today the Prime Minister will open his copy of The Spectator (which he once told me, through gritted teeth, that he rather enjoyed), to find that Hain has made a sensational admission. He tells Anne McElvoy that "we have the worst railways in Europe". That's it, Tony: out of the mouth of one of your own ministers.
After four and a half years of Labour government, British railways are now worse than those of Portugal, Greece and Romania. Slovak drivers actually turn up for work; Bulgarian leaves do not block the track; and the 8.02 from Zagreb to Split is infinitely more to be trusted than anything running from Waterloo to Basingstoke.
What Hain has said is not only unpatriotic. It is true. It is therefore a gaffe. How can a senior minister make such a confession, and not be punished? Will Hain survive until the weekend? Of course he will, because the Government, in its arrogance, knows that it can continue to blame the Tories. It was the damnosa hereditas, they will say. It was the botched privatisation. It is only now, says Blair, that the terrible effects are being felt on the nation's arteries, just as a heart patient spectacularly collapses after 18 blissful years of eating pork pies. Does anyone really believe this account?
For all its faults, privatisation led to a 25 per cent increase in railway use; it allowed huge quantities of cash to be raised on the markets - £2 billion in 2000 alone; and, in spite of the crashes at Paddington and Hatfield, you were far safer travelling on the privatised railways than you were on British Rail.
What has caused the railways' recent cardiac infarct has been four years of Prescottian inertia, coupled with a hysterical reaction to the Hatfield crash, which drove Railtrack into a bankruptcy that secretly or openly delighted every section of the Labour Party. The railways have been managed fantastically badly by this Government; and it is good of Hain to accept the gravity of the problem.
Since he is in this candid mood, he might as well go on to say that we have one of the worst health services in Europe. To pluck a statistic at random: if you are a British woman with leukaemia, you have 21 per cent less chance of living another five years than a German woman with leukaemia. No one is suggesting that the problems of the NHS began in 1997; it is just that Labour does not seem to have any intention of solving them.
One of the reasons the Germans are healthier than us is that they are able to spend more on health, because roughly half their hospitals are independently funded. Is that a solution Blair is prepared to discuss? Or is Labour prepared to learn from France? There they stop the wasting of GPs' time by imposing a 25 per cent upfront charge - which is refundable later - on everyone who calls to see the doctor.
And if Hain were really super-truthful, he would admit that we have a philistine education system, in which the teaching of foreign languages is at an all-time low. My new pro-European policy for the Tories is to crusade for the teaching of French and German in state schools, so that we can all go over there and see what they do for ourselves. And if Blair continues to swank around the stratosphere, and ignore the problems at home, he might as well find another country to run. If they will elect him.

  • Boris Johnson is editor of The Spectator and MP for Henley
Bond, Rufus, Dash and Blaize.