A Modest Proposal for National Review

I wrote last week about the apparent squeamishness at National Review towards the Counterjihad, or at least towards the more robust variety of anti-jihad thinking that prevails here and at other “Islamophobic” websites. One gets the impression that most of the writers and editors at NR consider our viewpoint a bit over the top — “I can understand their distaste for Islam, but do they really have to be so vulgar and… well, extreme?”

My disappointment has intensified as I work my way through a pile of back numbers of National Review. Today, when I turned to page 18 of the March 7th issue, this is what I saw:

National Review: Anthony Daniels on the EDL

Yes, you’re right: that fellow on the left is National Review’s impression of what a member of the English Defence League looks like.

And it’s probably no surprise that the accompanying article, entitled “The Brute and the Terrorist”, was written by Anthony Daniels, a.k.a. Theodore Dalrymple.

A few weeks ago we discussed Dr. Daniels’ offhand characterization of the EDL as “street fascists” or something similar, but in this article the same theme has been greatly expanded. The proximate occasion for his elaboration was the EDL’s recent rally in Luton, which was featured here in depth on the day it occurred and for several days afterwards.

Dr. Daniels tells the reader that “Luton is an unlovely town in Bedfordshire, regarded as a bad joke in England,” and refers to the English Defence League as “the soccer-hooligan wing of British politics”, describing its supporters as “some of the most unattractive members of our unattractive society”.

EDL Luton #22

Perhaps Dr. Daniels visited a different town and attended a different rally from the one that was reported here…?

Or do you think he may never actually attended an EDL demonstration at all?

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Most of his article is about Multiculturalism in Britain, and is very much to the point. But he feels strongly enough about the EDL to make room for this choice little paragraph:

Of course, a large part of the problem is that patriotism in Britain has been left to the brutes: the kind of ignorant savages who tattoo a bulldog on their biceps and “Made in England” round their nipples, and who in equal measure revolt and terrorize the cheaper resorts of the Mediterranean. The intellectual’s equation of patriotism with xenophobia, and pride in past achievement with an arrogant superiority complex, has left a population demoralized and without any belief in its own nation. George Orwell saw this happening a long time ago; it has created a vacuum for the English Defence League to fill. Multiculturalism is the other side of the English Defence League coin.

In other words, in Anthony Daniels’ Britain, Multiculturalism = the English Defence League.

EDL, Muslim immigrants — same thing!

I can imagine Dr. Daniels’ thoughts on this subject:

“They’re both sets of brutes, you see. You can have your Pakistani brute, or your Lutonian brute; but they’re all brutes. Why d’you think I live in a villa in France? One cannot maintain one’s civilised standards in an outpost as barbaric as 21st-century Britain.”

If one were not charitably inclined, one might suspect that Dr. Daniels is perhaps… somewhat of a snob? A bit taken with his own superior cultural attributes, and lacking an essential noblesse oblige?

But that can’t possibly be the case. National Review wouldn’t turn over so many precious column inches to a snooty self-righteous upper-class Englishman.

They’d never do that, would they?

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In the interests of fair play, it would behoove National Review to offer space in both their digital and dead-tree editions for a response by a capable writer who has the knowledge and skill to tell the real story of the EDL.

Therefore, I have a modest proposal, but in order to accomplish it I will need the help of legions of stalwart Gates of Vienna readers.

First of all, I propose Paul Weston as the man for the writing job. I haven’t asked him yet, but knowing him as well as I do, I’m certain that he will step up to the wicket, take hold of the bat, and do what England requires of him.

After that we will need to get the attention of National Review. That’s the hard part — the editors will pay no mind to a lowly blogger such as myself.

So, for the second task, I will need your help. Any reader who is familiar with the English Defence League and objects strongly to Dr. Anthony Daniels’ characterization of it should contact National Review.

  • Remain calm and polite.
  • Use no invective.
  • Mind your spelling and grammar.

It wouldn’t do to give them any more snobbish ammunition than they already have.

Something like this should suffice:

Dear National Review,

I found the “The Brute and the Terrorist” by Anthony Daniels (issue dated March 7th, 2011) to be ill-informed in its depiction of the English Defence League. It was needlessly harsh, and not up to the usual standards of Dr. Daniels or your esteemed publication.

In his article the members of the EDL were unjustly characterized as “unattractive”, “brutes”, and “ignorant savages”. Anyone who has any acquaintance with actual members of the EDL knows these descriptives to be outrageously false.

The EDL’s cause is worthy, and its members are dedicated and courageous. Your magazine has done them a grievous disservice by permitting the publication of Dr. Daniel’s ill-chosen words.

Simple justice requires that you allow the publication of a rebuttal piece in your pages. It should be written by the Hon. Paul Weston, a prominent English author and former parliamentary candidate for UKIP who is well-acquainted with the English Defence League. I am certain that his words will set the record straight for your readers as well as for Dr. Daniels.

Sincerely Yours,

John Q. Public

The only way our modest proposal can have any hope of success is if a large number of people contact National Review with their objections, and request the publication of a rebuttal. To that end, here are various methods of contact:

For pitching an article: submissions@nationalreview.com?subject=Submission

For a letter to the editor: letters@nationalreview.com?subject=letter

This is the address for the Corner: corner@nationalreview.com

Phone: (001) 212-679-7330

Snail-mail:   National Review
    215 Lexington Avenue
    New York, New York 10016

If readers want to recommend alternatives or suggest improvements, please leave a note in the comments. This will be a group effort; I need your assistance.

11 thoughts on “A Modest Proposal for National Review

  1. National Review is a Christian magazine as Ayn Rand once argued with Bill Buckley. She was right. It is Christian in its orientation, but it is also very politically correct.

    Many have argued that National Review is somewhat elitist; mixing its arguments with obscure foreign language references, and quoting old references to columns in Human Events thirty years back. True enough, National Review is as elitist and snobby as The Nation, looking down on the White Christian commoners much more than they do on Islamist murderers.

    It is tragic really, that the main venue of conservative thought removes itself from the lowest people it claims to speak for. All in the name of pleasing elitist leftists who share the same zip code.

    Insane. Perhaps it is the monks who will preserve Christendom. It certainly won’t be the folks at National Review.

  2. C’mon everybody, let’s do this.

    I just did it.

    I can’t remember if Nat. Review has some way they do rebuttals. I think maybe it’s called letters to the editor?

    I think Mr. Robinson himself gave quite a good rebuttal of the recent attempts to smear the EDL. (See his article down the page). He himself should contact NR too, maybe with a phone call asking to have a chat with the editor. It’s amazing how easy and this can be sometimes. How can we let him know about this article and Baron’s suggestion?

  3. It’s impossible to exaggerate the role of class prejudice in the catastrophe that has engulfed Britain.

    When Muslims first started to colonise Britain, it was largely in northern cities that they first arrived. The Oxbridge elite already regarded the people there as a worthless, filthy rabble, so it didn’t really matter to them whether it was a brown rabble or a white rabble.

    It was amusing to see the reaction of the southern Establishment when there were proposals to build a mosque next to Sandhurst military academy a year or two ago; the same people and papers that normally denounce “racism” and “islamophobia” in the north if there is any resistance to Islam there, were quick to denounce the mosque proposals once it began to encroach on the leafy suburbs of the south.

    Likewise, when resistance to alien colonisation has been expressed, in protests or parties like the BNP, the resistance has been dominated by the working class; and the media establishment has used the traditional tropes of class prejudice to stigmatise them.

    Look at UKIP and the BNP. There actually is almost no difference in their policies. But because the BNP are brawny working classing people in badly fitting suits, they’re seen as beyond the pale; while UKIP, many of whom come across as a aristocratic dilettantes, are acceptable.

    Why is Paul Weston even a member of UKIP? From his writings, which I like by the way, and I think he is a good choice for the rebuttal, it is clear that he is concerned about more than the counterjihad; he is concerned about the dispossession of the English people generally, including by non-Muslims. In other words his concerns are more in line with the BNP than UKIP. Yet probably he, too, regards them with disdain because they are too proletarian in character and so opted for UKIP.

    In some ways the snooty contempt of the elite for the EDL resembles the disdain for the Tea Party in the US; but because the US is less class-prejudiced than the UK, that was overcome more easily.

  4. One other thing worth saying and one of the reasons why your proposal is a good one: the British elite is so mesmerised by the American elite that if the American elite could be persuaded that the EDL wasn’t that bad, or was even good, and would say that in their publications, their attitude may actually reflect back on to the English elite and cause them to reconsider the EDL.

  5. Daniels reference to Luton being a bad joke has some truth to it. He may be referring to the image of Luton Airport which gained fame nationwide in the UK, in the 70’s, in a Campari commercial. The advert makers deliberately chose a female speaker using a Cockney accent [which historically has been regarded as vulgar and uncouth for stigmatised features such as dropping the /h/] against a male speaker with an English upper class accent. It plays on the stereotype of the thick, working class Cockney. Daniels opinion of EDL members is a continuation of that. And a continuation of the English so called elite’s hatred of their own working class.

    You can see the video here: http://www.visit4info.com/advert/Campari-Luton-Airport-Campari/14583

    The sound is bad but the catchphrase is, “No, Luton Airport!” It made the actress Lorraine Chase a household name in the UK. Her catchphrase is said in response to the question, “Were you truly wafted here from paradise?”

    Also, Eric Morecambe, one half of Britain’s most successful TV comedy duo in the 70’s, was a supporter of Luton Town football club and made it the butt of some of his jokes.

    So, the joke aspect is true for anyone remembering that era as I do. These examples are what put Luton on the map, to me. This just makes it more incredible that it is now a Jihad hotbed.

  6. In hoc signo vinces

    The root of Daniels contempt for his compatraiots is the inherent Socialism of Thatcherism.

    Keith Joseph the creator of Thatcherism expresses his and Thatcherisms hatred for the indigenous working class in his implication that the working classes should be encouraged to use more birth control and be subjected to eugenics.

  7. In hoc signo vinces

    Crass pseudo-conservatism (Thatcherism) from the the backpage scribbles of a state funded grammar school jotter influenced during lessons on the history of Marxism- wannabe/demandtobe conservatism.

    An uncouth ultraliberal ideology full of contempt for the morals and values of the true conservatives – that were its benefactors and superiors.

    Hatred for the industrious indigenous working class for them destruction, Projected self-loathing on its own lower class roots Daddy was a communist dont you know?

  8. I’ve admired Daniels’ writngs in the past, but sometimes he goes with prejudice over reason. This post at NR is just embarrassing, not least for claim that David Cameron denounced multiculturalsism in Luton, whereas his speech was in Munich.

    He has also expressed his horror that tannoy announcements in British railway stations are sometimes delivered in Geordie (Newcastle) accents!

  9. National Review was lost to liberals in conservative cloth long before Buckley became dotty. It seems to be in our DNA.

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