British Prime Minister Theresa May is working to undo the damage that Barack Obama and Angela Merkel have done.
In a recent speech she had the gall to denounce those who identify as citizens of the world.
May made her case for Brexit at a Tory conference. It is refreshing to see a politician make a cogent case for principle and policy. It is far more edifying than a debate between one candidate’s obscene language and gestures and another candidate’s husband’s criminal actions.
The online magazine Quartz reports the story. It is, dare I say, seriously upset at May’s political incorrectness. For a transcript of the full speech, see the Independent.
According to Quartz:
On one side: “citizens” who pull together, work hard, and, by implication, look inward. On the other: a hefty list of undesirables.
These are the people who should take the blame for the country’s problems, May suggested. They’re a disparate bunch. But if you weren’t born on British soil; or if you identify with “international elites”; or if your main identity isn’t based on the country for which you hold a passport—they include you.
“[I]f you believe you’re a citizen of the world,” May said in the hour-long speech on Oct. 5 to her Conservative party’s conference, “you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means.”
Well said by May: a citizen of the world is a citizen of nowhere.
The Prime Minister understands why the British people have had it up to here with illegal immigrants and with legal immigrants who refuse to embrace British values:
And if you’re one of those people who lost their job, who stayed in work but on reduced hours, took a pay cut as household bills rocketed, or - and I know a lot of people don’t like to admit this - someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesn’t seem fair.
Next, May targeted the relationship between big business and politicians. That’s been a source of anger in a country where house prices have soared in part because of overseas investment in high-value property (but also because of a shortage of housing stock). “Too many people in positions of power,” May said, “behave as though they have more in common with international elites than with the people down the road, the people they employ, the people they pass in the street.” There is a divide, the speech insisted, and business fat-cats are on the wrong side of it.
Hmm. Politicians who identify with international elites. That would certainly include our current, less-than-patriotic president. But it would also include Hillary herself. You know, the one who champions open borders and whose championing of open borders is currently being drowned out by a discussion of what Shakespeare called: “country matters.”
May also criticized the younger generation, a generation that has been indoctrinated and that voted to remain in the European Union.
One is pleased to see a political leader make a cogent case against the Obama-Merkel-Clinton open borders policies. And, to stand up for Anglo-American and Western values. Neither of America’s presidential candidates can or wish to do the same.
In her other remarks, not quoted in Quartz, May spoke to the average citizen, the one that paid the price for the economic crisis:
Our society should work for everyone, but if you can’t afford to get onto the property ladder, or your child is stuck in a bad school, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.
Our economy should work for everyone, but if your pay has stagnated for several years in a row and fixed items of spending keep going up, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.
Our democracy should work for everyone, but if you’ve been trying to say things need to change for years and your complaints fall on deaf ears, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.
And she argued for a Great Britain that embodied civic virtues:
Because the lesson of Britain is that we are a country built on the bonds of family, community, citizenship.
Of strong institutions and a strong society.
The country of my parents who instilled in me a sense of public service and of public servants everywhere who want to give something back.
The parent who works hard all week but takes time out to coach the kids football team at the weekend.
The local family business in my constituency that’s been serving the community for more than 50 years.
The servicemen and women I met last week who wear their uniform proudly at home and serve our nation with honour abroad.
A country of decency, fairness and quiet resolve.
And she added a few words about the importance of citizenship:
Now don’t get me wrong. We applaud success. We want people to get on.
But we also value something else: the spirit of citizenship.
That spirit that means you respect the bonds and obligations that make our society work. That means a commitment to the men and women who live around you, who work for you, who buy the goods and services you sell.
That spirit that means recognising the social contract that says youtrain up local young people before you take on cheap labour from overseas.
Media elites and politicians have contempt for the public. May declares that it has to stop:
Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public.
They find your patriotism distasteful, your concerns about immigration parochial, your views about crime illiberal, your attachment to your job security inconvenient.
They find the fact that more than seventeen million voters decided to leave the European Union simply bewildering.
Some parts of May's speech are less than inspiring. She is, after all, a politician. Yet, at a time when the cosmopolitan elites are clamoring for open borders, she makes the case for national identity, for national pride, for patriotism, for citizenship and for civic virtues.
As in this:
That’s why the central tenet of my belief is that there is more to life than individualism and self-interest.
We form families, communities, towns, cities, counties and nations. We have a responsibility to one another.
And I firmly believe that government has a responsibility too.
It is to act to encourage and nurture those relationships, networks and institutions - and to step up to correct injustices and tackle unfairness where it can - because these are the things that can drive us apart.