Letter To The New Prime Minister

Some days ago I posted a letter to 10 Downing Street. This is what I wrote:

“Dear Madam Prime Minister – As a retired General I wish to offer my congratulations on your becoming England’s second woman Prime Minister. The first one made rather a mess of things, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Women have, consequently, been on the back foot ever since. You can therefore only do better.

Although you’ve said “Brexit means Brexit” in the context of your trying to get the best terms for England as it extricates itself from Europe, I do hope you’ll arrange another referendum. This time Englishmen (and Englishwomen too) will vote the right way, which is to “remain”. I just know it. This’ll make your task easier too, since, as a “remainer” in the referendum just past, you’re likely still a “remainer” at heart.

As a closet “remainer”, you doubtless know that an isolated England will fall totally into the clutches of America. This is an America – I need hardly remind you – that poses to world peace the greatest threat – a threat now more ominous because of America’s drift into fascism.

The last time England was in the dangerous waters she’s drifting into now, was in the 1930’s, when  fascist Germany posed the same threat to world peace as America does today. Then, Englishmen (and Englishwomen too) joined the rest of Europe in opposing the fascist bullies. Had Englishmen (and Englishwomen) then, been like Englishmen (and Englishwomen) today, they would have turned their backs on Europe, thus isolating themselves, and would have fallen hopelessly into the clutches of fascist Germany.

We Englishmen (and you Englishwomen too) of today would hence be speaking German instead of our beloved English. And we would spend our Sunday mornings goose-stepping through the green fields of England’s pleasant land instead of skipping joyfully through them as we do now.

Having been to the University, Madam Prime Minister, you’ll know that England, in fact, has always played the balance-of-power vis-a-vis any would-be European dominator. Hence England came on the side of the dominated against the dominator, and eventually saw him off. Think Wilhelmine Germany, or Napoleonic France. By voting to “leave”, and thus isolating England from Europe, the foolish Englishman of today – who shaves his head, tattoos his torso, and gets into drunken fights with Russians at football matches – has gone against how England has traditionally acted in the world.

You will have heard, as have I, the bibulous voices of some of today’s foolish Englishmen (and Englishwomen) saying, “If Winston Churchill were alive today, he’d have voted to ‘leave’ “. Well, perhaps. But, as you’ll know, Mr Churchill was, through his mother, a half-American. And, the America he praised – the America which was the citadel of democracy, the America of Mr Roosevelt, the America that everyone outside America looked up to – was very different from the America of today – the America which is the citadel of creeping fascism, the America of Mr Trump, the America that everyone outside America hates.

This is the America that England will fall into the clutches of, unless the Englishman (and the Englishwoman) agitates for another referendum, and votes this time to stay in Europe, thus to stand shoulder to shoulder with his (and her) European brothers (and sisters) against the predations of Mr Trump and his legions of fascists.

***

Assuming another referendum in which “remain” wins this time, how is England to become the accepted leader of Europe? Massively re-arming, that’s how. While Germany is now Europe’s accepted leader, this is based on economic might only. Germany’s army, navy and air force are, on the other hand, piffling – nothing like they were when Kaiser Wilhelm II was around. And the army, navy and air forces of the other European nations – including England’s, as I’m sure you’ll admit – are piffling too. So, the realm of armed might is where England can replace Germany as Europe’s leader, thereby once again becoming a Great Power.

England, having decided to re-arm on a mighty scale, should concentrate on the navy, for the English Navy has always had a special place in the hearts of Englishmen (and Englishwomen), brought up on stories about Battle of Trafalgar, and the Battle of Jutland, among so many other of the English Navy’s historic sea battles.

In today’s 21st century world, the battleship, and even the aircraft carrier, are redundant, for they are sitting ducks (so to speak) for any missile fired from land, from aircraft, and from submarines. It is the submarine which therefore is the future of any worthwhile navy. Since the mighty English Navy that I propose, will far and away be the most worthwhile of all navies, England should build the mightiest submarine fleet mankind has ever seen.

Given English resolve, English submarines, which would be as ubiquitous as shoals of fish, and armed with nuclear missiles under the control of itchy-fingered commanders, would swarm insouciantly through the depths of all the seas of the world, thereby sowing respect for England everywhere.

England would again rule the world’s waves as she did one hundred years ago. No foreign ship, whether naval or commercial, would be immune from being sunk by a torpedo from a lurking English submarine. No foreign city would be immune from being dissolved to powder by a nuclear missile from an offshore English submarine.

In the olden days, England needed only to send a gunboat to extinguish incipient bellicosity in any nation wanting to cause trouble. Under the plan I propose, England need send only a nuclear-armed submarine to produce the same pacific effect.

The English Army and English Air Force should be built up as well, to send the message even more weightily that England is once again a Great Power that all other nations must tip-toe around.

***

Having read this far, Madam Prime Minister, you may at first sight be asking yourself how England can afford this huge military build-up. But, at second sight, you will of course see the obvious answer, which is: tax the untold untaxed wealth that most very rich Englishmen – with their bald heads, toothbrush moustaches, double chins, skinny legs, shriveled genitals, and pot bellies – keep in banks located in small tax-free island nations in the Caribbean and its like, so as not to have to pay taxes to Her Majesty’s Government. This off-shore wealth is so enormous, taxing it would comfortably pay for the plan I’ve laid out.

Another thing you would know, Madam Prime Minister, because you went to the University, is that England was once the workhorse of the world. Anything that could be made, was made in England. Cars, knives, forks, spoons, bicycles, stoves, toothpicks, refrigerators, and – what is most relevant to what I’m speaking about – all the weapons of war. Which is to say guns, tanks, aeroplanes, bombs, ships. You name it. Yes, they were once all made in England.

Difficult to believe, isn’t it, when you look today at the swathes upon swathes of disused decaying industrial wasteland in northern England, where everything used to be made that enabled England to sail the seas and create an Empire on which the sun never set.

England, once the shipbuilder of the world, can become the submarine-builder of the world; the missile builder of the world; the fighter-plane builder of the world. England can become the new arsenal of democracy. This would be the foundation to make England again the workhorse of the world. England would once again, in addition to the weapons of war, make the cars, knives, forks, spoons, bicycles, stoves, toothpicks, and refrigerators, that Englishmen (and Englishwomen) were once proud of having made.

England would once again become the economic colossus, as well as the military colossus, she used to be when Queen Victoria reigned. You as Prime Minister of this new, great England, would be regarded throughout the world with the same awe as were Mr Gladstone, Mr Disraeli, or Lord Salisbury. Women everywhere, wanting to look like you, would rush into shoe stores to buy those sorts of leopard-skin-looking, high-heeled shoes you seem to like to wear.

***

Because Englishmen (and Englishwomen) have, since the fall of the old Empire, been feeling bad about England and Englishness, and so are suffering from low morale, I think it important that England has a new national anthem, for national anthems and national morale go together like two peas in a pod. “God Save the Queen” just doesn’t do it for Englishmen (and Englishwomen) any more – if indeed it ever did, for “God Save the Queen”‘s melody and lyrics are so insipid, it may be why Englishmen (and Englishwomen) – who have been forced all their lives to stand to attention and listen to “God Save the Queen” since they could walk – feel today so bad about England and Englishness, with the consequent deleterious effect on the national morale.

As a General (although retired) who has commanded men most of my life, I tell you unhesitatingly that high morale – whether in school, in the workplace, in the army, or in any other collective endeavor – is crucial to getting men (and women) to do everything well as a group. As of now, and for some time, the morale of Englishmen (and Englishwomen) has been low. Unless morale is again high, the plan I’ve set forth for England to become great again will surely fail, because to make this happen each Englishman (and each Englishwoman) must give of his (or her) best, and do everything well.

Let England adopt, then, as its new national anthem, “Jerusalem”. I ask you, Madam Prime Minister, have you ever heard a hymn more stirring than “Jerusalem”? Have you ever failed to weep silently whenever you’ve heard a choir singing “Jerusalem”? Has “Jerusalem” ever failed to evoke an ineffable feeling of Englishness in the depth of your English heart?

Imagine, Madam Prime Minister, the elevating effect on England’s morale if Englishmen (and Englishwomen), inspired by their new national anthem, would hum, sing, or whistle  “Jerusalem” to themselves while doing their ablutions in the bathroom each morning before catching the train to work. England would soon be great again, let me tell you.

***

I know you’ve a lot on your plate (so to speak) right now, Madam Prime Minister. So I’ll cut this letter short. I hope, though, that it gives you a good idea of how you, as Prime Minister, can be the architect of this new, and also once-again, Great Power of England.

As a retired General who was active when England used to be the foremost Great Power, I could be invaluable to you as you bring about this new England that I’ve outlined. Appoint me Minister of Defence, and I’ll make it happen. First, though, you must arrange a judicial pardon for the things the police worldwide are seeking me for.

I hope, Madam, to hear from you very soon………..”

Quasi Men

Since last I wrote, I’ve had another birthday – my 121st. I kept this to myself because I know no-one here on the Pacific Rain Coast well enough to reveal how old I am and when my birthday is. Besides, even if I did know anyone well enough to reveal all this, I wouldn’t for fear this would reach the ears of the police who, for all I know, are still looking for me.

I had said last time that I was reading “Victoria – A Life” by AN Wilson. The Victoria of whom Mr Wilson writes is, of course, the late Queen Victoria of England and all its worldwide Empire. So long have I lived, I often forget that England once had an Empire – the mightiest which mankind has ever seen. I keep having to remind myself that once upon a time all the nations of the world, even the nation of America, bowed down to England in awe. Now, today, the boot is – so to speak – on the other foot, for it is England which bows down to America in awe.

I’m reminded uncomfortably of all this by the publication of the report – painstakingly put together by Sir John Chilcot – that definitively (one hopes) cements Mr Anthony Blair permanently in infamy. The sight of an Englishman, the unspeakable Mr Blair, prancing like a popinjay at the side of an American, the equally unspeakable Mr George Bush, made me ashamed to call myself an Englishman. Would Queen Victoria’s prime ministers, like Mr Gladstone or Lord Salisbury, have pranced like popinjays at the side of Emperor Wilhelm the First or Emperor Wilhelm the Second? Perish the thought. If they had, Queen Victoria would have ordered their severed heads brought to her on a silver platter, believe you me.

I think that had Mr Blair, when a young man, served as a soldier in the British Army, he would have had the perfect passage into manhood, of which he would have had sufficient confidence thereafter, so as not to feel he had to act as a quasi-man when at the side of Mr Bush, who, by the way, seemed also to me a quasi-man.

***

I wish now to speak of “Brexit” – a neologism so arresting that a man in America, who makes alcoholic beverages and sells them at a profit, plans to  produce a cider and call it “Brexit”. This does make entrepreneurial sense, because cider is so quintessentially the drink of the Englishman, that an American, while drinking Brexit Cider, will be able to imagine he’s an Englishman, and behave all the better for this. But, why stop at Brexit Cider? Why not also Brexit Tomato Sauce? Or Brexit Pork Pies? I’ll surmise this idea is already illuminating the minds of other Americans as faithful to the word of Adam Smith as they are faithful to the word of God.

I have to say, I was most disappointed at the decision of those Englishmen who still live in England, to leave the European Union. If this decision sticks, England will never again be important in the world. As long as we Englishmen remained in Europe, there was always the chance we could become the undisputed leader of Europe, and thereby again throw our weight about in the world.

We Englishmen have to face the reality, though, that the weight which we can throw about in today’s world if we have a mind to, isn’t as heavy as the weight we threw around yesterday’s world when Queen Victoria reigned. We can only compensate for this if we remain tightly in Europe, and take over as its leader. Only then will the men of America regard us seriously.

Since it appears that most of the Englishmen who voted that England leave Europe, now realise they didn’t know really what they were voting for, I can only hope that the government of England will give Englishmen another chance to vote again on whether or not to remain in Europe. I’m confident that this time the Englishman, having now seen how wrong he was the first time, will put matters right the next time.

Once more unto the breach………..