I think the muitbats have mated with the froonbats and had baby smelibels in your brain, because I have only the vaguest idea of what your post to me was about. Most of your readers will have even less idea, because at least half of them are so benighted as not to make their daily pilgrimage to my blog. I slipped that one in rather nicely, don’t you think? Were you saying that I could keep the proceeds of my now-uneccessary keyboard fund because I have said some nice things about the Queen sometimes and the British Empire wasn’t so bad? If so, I quite agree with both propositions (a decision helped along by explicit permission from the donors) while not quite giving my full intellectual assent to the chain of reasoning between them.
(What with all these jolly little interjections and in-jokes, this blog is sounding more and more like The Corner all the time. This is no bad thing. It is a cause dear to Perry’s heart that Jonah Goldberg should one day come weeping and penitent to our door, saying brokenly between sobs, “I’m so sorry that I foolishly said that I was so mighty that I needed no hits from an outfit calling itself “Libertarian Samizdata”. Not only do I concede that I copied your format in forming The Corner, I also humbly beg you to take us over, now that the Libertarian Revolution has arrived and President Sullivan is in charge of the Committee for Public Safety and Rending Conservatives In Their Gobberwarts, In A Totally Non-Coercive Manner Of Course.)
Back to the British Empire. I agree with you. Empires are wrong, but as Empires go the British wasn’t so bad. And part of the reason for that not-so-badness was indeed the fair trials for the “fuzzie-wuzzies”. I seem to recall that a very similar remark to that made by Corporal Jones was made by one of the characters in Heinlein’s The Number of the Beast when the party land in the alternative universe where Britain rules Mars as a penal colony. “We may be shot,” said one of the good guys, “but we’ll be shot after a fair trial with a wigged judge and a defence counsel.” Maybe not those exact words, but that was the sense of it.