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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

I was at the UN general assembly in New York the other day and talking to the foreign minister of another country. I won’t say which one, since I must preserve my reputation for diplomacy. But let’s just say they have an economy about the size of Australia (though getting smaller, alas), plenty of snow, nuclear missiles, balalaikas, oligarchs, leader who strips to the waist… you get the picture.

Boris Johnson, in fine form as usual 😀

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • lemon jellyfish

    Damn, why don’t we have politicians like that? In the US we have lots of politicians who are jokers, just not *intentionally*.

  • QET

    It was because London acquired a deserved reputation as the greatest city on earth, a great jiving funkapolitan melting-pot where, provided you did nothing to damage the interests of others and provided you obeyed the law, you could make of your life pretty much what you wanted

    Gee, to read Boris, you’d never know that Britain is a place of “extremist disruption orders” or a place where “People convicted of homophobic, transgender or disability hate crime would be put on a “blacklist” to warn future employers of past misdemeanours under new proposals by Labour.”

    For a minute there, I was seriously worried that Britain was no longer committed to being, in Boris’ words, a place of “these social and political freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to practice whatever religion you want and to live your life as you please.”

  • QET, October 4, 2016 at 6:23 pm: to be fair, I note that Boris says “was” in the passage you quote, and is probably aware that Labour would put him on a blacklist to warn future employers if they could. 🙂

  • Jacob

    Nice speech. Never mind the truth.

  • Rob

    I estimate seven Remainers have died of apoplexy after reading that.

  • Jacob

    Off topic: “White Trash”
    Doesn’t this title of a bestselling sociological study sound somewhat racist? Just imagine changing “White” to “Black”.

  • Confused Old Misfit

    Darn! Except for the nucs Canada was a chancer!

  • Jacob

    Take this passage from Johnson’s speech:
    “Look at Somalia, where my predecessor William Hague helped initiate a bold programme to tackle the pirates that plagued the coast of that country and, together with a coalition of other European countries, British ships took them on, with all the courage and decisiveness of our 19th century forebears.”

    Oh! The Glorious Big Royal Navy! It took on the Somali pirates and vanquished them! What a great feat! “Courage and decisiveness of our 19th century forbears”… Indeed…
    And note: “with the help of other European countries”, i.e. with the help of glorious and courageous vessels of the mighty Danish and Netherlands Navy. (The task being above the RN capability to perform alone).

    And the truth is that the Somali pirates were rendered ineffective by armed security guards that the shipping companies hired to serve on the cargo ships. The guards shot down any Somali who tried to board a ship. A guy I know, from Israel, worked for a short time as such a security guard, it was boring work but very well paid. The only thing that the Glorious RN and Danish Navy accomplished – was rescue poor pirates from drowning, when their primitive boats sunk or were stranded at sea.

  • Paul Marks

    Most of the “Commanding Heights” of the Russian economy have been renationalised – and the Rule of Law and an independent media (reemerging after the Soviet nightmare) have been destroyed by Mr Putin and his KGB pals.

    The “libertarians” and “conservatives” who support Mr Putin are fools – wicked fools. And, praise-where-praise-is-due – I think my old opponent Sean Gabb understands that Mr Putin is an evil man and certainly drew back from him some time ago now. I wish I could say the same for the “wildly respected” David Stockman (the failed Budget Director in the Reagan Administration – who is so popular in the “liberty movement”) – I watched Mr Stockman yesterday on the show of Max Keiser, on Mr Putin’s agitprop television station “RT”.

    The United States has been at was for “30 years”, NATO is unnecessary and evil, the “Imperial City” Washington, plots war as it is a “warfare state” (forget that the American military has actually been in DECLINE for decades) and it is all to benefit “big business” and “redistribute income to the 1%”.

    The only thing that can save the American people, according to David Stockman, is to make a deal with nice Mr Putin – which is what Donald Trump will do. Between them Mr Putin and Mr Trump will save ordinary Americans from the evil capitalist exploiters of the “military industrial complex” and their “warfare state”.

    As for the REAL (as opposed to lying fantasy) problems of the United States – the out of control Welfare State (the “Entitlement Programs” and so on) – the real problems were not even mentioned.

    There is only one honest way to describe the contribution of Mr David Stockman (and so many of our libertarian brothers and sisters) – treason, blatant lying treason. These people are scum, under and complete scum.

    As for Mr Trump’s other supporters the “Alt Right” – I have found that the best way to annoy them (and it is my sacred duty to annoy the “Alt Right”) is to point out that the “Alternative Right” (now the Alt Right) was invented by the fanatical hater of Winston Churchill – Paul Gottfried, and that Paul Gottfried (like another pro Axis hater of Winston Churchill – the late Murray Rothbard) is from a JEWISH family.

    For some reason the “Alt Right” do not like to be reminded that the “historical research” their vile movement is founded upon (which “proves” that Mr Hitler was the innocent victim of Anglo American capitalist Imperialism) is from people from JEWISH families.

    It is almost as if the “Alt Right” does not like Jews…..

  • John Galt III


    I got Stockman’s daily email report and the writers he publishes for the most part are lunatics. This daily email report is now free, but will go to paid subscription shortly. I just “unsubscribed” so I wouldn’t be pestered with breathless requests to pay money to listen to this clown and his buddies.

  • Paul Marks

    The latest gossip is that the “Alt Right” have fallen out with “Milo” (once their leading light).

    Perhaps “Milo” is having doubts about the wonders of Mr Putin – if not the “God Emperor” Mr Trump.

    I have become a short tempered and intolerant man in my old age (I was not when I was young – “suffering is good for the soul” has not proved to be true in my case, decades of suffering have left me somewhat embittered) – but I really do think that even the most tolerant people would get a bit irritated when observing all this Putin-Trump stuff.

    I have had enough of Mr Trump – and inspite of the horrors of Mrs Clinton (the ultimate example of Jonah Goldberg calls “Liberal Fascism”) to come, I will not be sad to see the back of Mr Trump.

    I even put it forward a week – I thought the election was on the first Tuesday in November, it turns out it is on the second Tuesday in November. My apologies for misleading you Mr Ed.

    As for Mr Putin – he has destroyed real opposition in Russia, leaving only various vile “Social Justice” groups designed to make his own “United Russia” look human in comparison.

    It is hard to have any hope for Russia – and that is just so incredibly sad, when one considers the glories (and they are glories) of Russian culture and civilisation.

    Oh well one can but hope for better days.

    As for Mr Putin and Paul Gottfried and Patrick Buchanan (and so on) – to Hell with them.

  • Paul Marks

    Very wise John Galt – very wise.

  • CaptDMO

    The first Tuesday, that follows a Monday…
    Oh great, now I have to examine ALL the
    interpretations of Political Science put fourth by Mr. Marx
    Let’s see….
    “Alt-Right means….”
    “The “libertarians” and “conservatives” who support Mr Putin…”

  • Laird

    Paul Marks (paraphrasing and sneering at David Stockman): ‘The United States has been at was for “30 years”, NATO is unnecessary and evil, the “Imperial City” Washington, plots war as it is a “warfare state” (forget that the American military has actually been in DECLINE for decades) and it is all to benefit “big business” and “redistribute income to the 1%”.’

    Actually, that’s all pretty much true. The US has been picking a fight (or inserting itself into someone else’s fight) somewhere on the globe pretty much continuously since the 1950s. NATO is, if not completely “unnecessary”, at least primarily involved in things which are not within its (proper) remit, and the US shouldn’t be involved with it any more. Washington DC has subsisted on the old maxim “war is the health of the state” for decades; describing it as a “warfare state” seems pretty accurate to me. Can anyone deny that the primary effect (whether or not that was the actual intent I leave as an exercise for the reader) of the bailouts and “stimulus” of the last decade has been to further enrich the 1%? And much of what we spend on what is laughably called “defense” is utter waste (often not even wanted by the military), designed solely for the financial profit of contractors and thus the political profit of politicians. Eisenhower was right.

    I won’t be subscribing to Stockman’s new service, and I don’t usually read the entirety of his posts as he is a bit too prolix for my taste. But his economic descriptions (and prescriptions) are generally very accurate. I’m not entirely in his camp on non-economic matters, but he is neither a lunatic nor a traitor. His is a voice of economic sanity crying out in the wilderness.

  • Bod

    I’ve been pondering some of the items that arose in this thread for some time. Paul provided the catalyst for the following with his comments about Yiannopoulous.

    I’m not sure Milo Yiannopoulos was ever *of* the Alt-Right, whatever the Alt-Right is currently defined as. He’s a social commentary “bomb-chucker” (not to denigrate the value and utility of ‘bomb chucking’ in these parlous times).

    His embrace by sectors of the ‘movement’ always seemed like a mutually beneficial cohabitation of some topical common ground. It would be easy to conflate the two fanbases, but my interpretation of the Alt-Right’s agenda doesn’t intersect very closely with many of Milo’s themes, and the whole “Trump as Daddy” schtick is no more than Yiannopolous at his Barnum-esque best. I have no deep insight into Milo’s private political philosophy, but we all have plenty of evidence of his public one. I don’t think he’d find it controversial to be accused of wrapping his favored hot-button topics up in a flaming napalm lake of outrageous words and deeds.

    What I think we see in Milo is a conservative who has a preference for a low-intervention, ‘porcupine’ society, up until the point where someone exercises that freedom in some way he doesn’t like. Just like a lot of people who self-associate with the Alt-Right. They have enemies in common, but it doesn’t make them any more than loose allies.

    It’s nothing new. In my office (in NYC) , I have a female, Reform Jewish coworker, former RAND analyst, who is a card-carrying foreign policy hawk Conservative. A true ava raris indeed. I’m more of a ‘bomb chucker’ (figuratively speaking). We’re in absolute agreement that once the real enemy is defeated, we’ll be ‘at it like hammer and tongs’ (nooo, titter ye not, missus), because realistically, there’s plenty to disagree about even if you do get to live in an adequately-constrained constitutional republic. We’re situational, temporary allies too.

    Anyway, back to Milo. We’re so utterly crushed under the heel of leftist authoritarian ‘entertainment’ that we can’t see ‘rightist’ entertainment for what it is when it appears. Entertainment. The right (in the US) ceded the ground in the media so long ago, that they’ve lost the ability to be *entertained* by politics. The diet has been one of intellectually ‘righteous’ content – but watching Glenn Beck and listening to Rush Limbaugh is not to be *entertained* but to be *instructed*.

    For the hold-out SoCons, Milo can be their cool gay nephew who you can tut-tut to. He may be a godless sodomite, but he sounds like he’s THEIR semi-house-trained godless sodomite, and he might just be prepared to turn up to a dinner party and not insult the vicar. And what’s more, he’s a declared critic of the whole distasteful ‘male gay culture’, and isn’t disrespectful towards the church.

    For libertarians (by that I mean all of us *true* libertarians AND all the other *fake* ones out there), Milo is sticking it to all the right people and he’s unassailable because of his narrative. He’s articulate and doesn’t come over as a pot-head policy wonk. The fact that Milo like ‘dark meat’ creates plenty of cognitive dissonance in many of his would-be detractors and makes him pretty much flame-proof is currently a USP for him too.

    Milo is simply (self identified) entertainment with a message. He’s more George Carlin than William F. Buckley. He’s appropriated all the angry screamings of leftists like Janeane Garafolo, Sarah Silverman, Sam Bee (etc etc etc and I haven’t even started on the males), and tailored the vibe for a more general audience, adpoting a more ‘sciency’ tone. It’s a very astute approach, because in comparison to the leftists, he actually sounds somewhat sane. And at the moment, there’s a huge unmet appetite for ‘sane’ in the US.

  • lucklucky

    “…and inspite of the horrors of Mrs Clinton…”

    I don’t agree, if Clinton wins you can kiss goodbye to the US Constitution. If Trump wins every leftist under the rock starting with most dishonest profession: journalist, will remember there is something called US Constitution.

  • Ltw

    He mentioned Australia! Yay us, we’re back on the map.

    Oh. That was a putdown, wasn’t it?