If this title caught your eye, it’s because such a scenario isn’t just implausible but impossible.
Americans are perfectly able, indeed almost guaranteed, to elect nonentities to variously high public offices. But they’ll never allow anyone to uphold the constitution who is ideologically committed to undermining it.
For better or for worse, the USA is a republic. Hence no one who, like me, believes that hereditary monarchy is the only form of government consonant with our civilisation, will be allowed to play an active role in American politics. That’s how it should be. Fair is fair.
Now let’s cross the ocean and land close to home. Her Majesty’s opposition is now led by a communist who hates Her Majesty and everything she (and her realm) stands for, whose chosen newspaper is the Morning Star, founded and financed for decades by the Soviet secret police, who voices support for Britain’s enemies, who is committed to destroying the world’s oldest – and best – constitution.
And who doesn’t mind advertising all that by demonstratively refusing to sing the national anthem.
Should we react the same way as Americans would in my far-fetched hypothetical situation? More specifically, how should our conservative pundits comment on Corbyn’s ascent?
Certainly not the way some of them do.
Dominic Lawson, he of the family where daughters are named after their fathers, thinks there’s nothing wrong with Corbyn’s vocal strike. Our national anthem, he says, is “an uninspiring dirge” that, “unlike the anthems of other constitutional monarchies… praises neither the nation nor people.”
Tastes differ, and I find God Save the Queen to be supremely inspiring. But that doesn’t really matter, for it’s crass stupidity to discuss the melody and the lyrics of the anthem in this context. Does Lawson think Corbyn refused to sing it for aesthetic reasons? Of course he didn’t. He thumbed his nose not to the words but to everything they represent.
“It is a repugnant idea,” continues Lawson, “that someone should be bullied into uttering words he doesn’t believe.” Absolutely. But I’d still be tempted to make the point that someone who doesn’t believe those particular words shouldn’t sit in Her Majesty’s Parliament and have a shot at becoming her prime minister.
Lawson then quotes approvingly an RAF veteran who admires “Mr Corbyn for sticking to his principles… That is what democracy is all about and what we all fought for in the war.”
Now an RAF veteran may be assumed to be a hero, but being an intellectual giant isn’t his job requirement. He may not realise that sticking to one’s principles is praiseworthy only if the principles are. He may not be aware of the fine constitutional nuances of British politics or of the fundamental difference between constitutional monarchy and democratic republic. That’s why it’s a columnist’s duty to explain those things to him. Instead this particular columnist actively encourages ignorance.
The RAF fought the war not for democracy but for God, king and country – for the sovereignty of the realm whose divinely anointed head reigns through Parliament. This is what we all should still be fighting for, in our own ways. And fighting for it logically presupposes fighting against those who wish to destroy the realm from either without or within.
That doesn’t mean that Comrade Corbyn isn’t entitled to hold his perverse beliefs, or that he should be harassed for holding them. It only means that we are equally entitled to protect ourselves from the cannibalistic ideology he espouses.
Peter Hitchens, who shares Corbyn’s Trotskyist temperament if no longer his views, is even more emphatic: “To hell with all the superpatriots who condemn Jeremy Corbyn for not singing God Save the Queen. What are they patriotic for, exactly, if not for the freedom to dissent, the crown of all our liberties and our greatest achievement.”
He then praises Corbyn for being “open and honest”, much as Hitchens himself disagrees with his ideas. But hey, “nobody is right all the time.”
I never tire of saying that Lenin and Hitler, the most evil politicians of all time, were equally “open and honest” about their ideas. I’d rather have statesmen who enunciate and act on the right ideas insincerely than those who honestly state their intention to destroy this country, as Comrade Corbyn does, if not yet in so many words.
Oswald Mosley also exercised his freedom of dissent, which is why he was interned for the duration of the war. A clear understanding existed at the time that commitment to that particular freedom mustn’t be tantamount to a suicide pact.
The realm was in grave danger then, but who in his right mind wouldn’t see that the danger is as great if not greater now, even if it doesn’t take the shape of Luftwaffe bombers? The constitution is being steadily eroded, not to say subverted, and without her constitution Britain isn’t Britain any longer.
Let the likes of Corbyn expand on their evil ideas in pubs or at home. And is it too much to ask that those who write for our papers have a modicum of intelligence and a firm grasp of their subjects?