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The Abolition of Britain  Amazon Co UK

Peter Hitchens. Quartet Books, London 2000. ISBN 0 7043 8140 0 £8.00abolition of Britain.gif (72136 bytes)

Peter Hitchens believes that the country is going to the dogs. It’s certainly hard to fault much of his analysis of the state of present day Britain. Most reviews of the first hardcover edition in the establishment press were extremely hostile, and often cases personally abusive. Hitchens, however, believes that he is not the extremist. That label belongs properly to those who, "think it sensible to abolish our national currency and hand over or national wealth to a centralised supranational power over which we have no democratic control. They believe that government can spend our money better than we can. Many of them use to believe that the best way to deal with the Soviet threat was to disarm ourselves and smile. They think that the best response to terrorist blackmail is to lick the blackmailer’s toecaps and give him what he wants. They release convicted criminals by the score. Long before their sentences are over and appear to believe that the only people who should have firearms are criminals and the IRA. They think it is right to bomb innocent civilians so that we can feel comfortable about watching atrocity reports from the Balkans on the nine o’clock news. They defend the mass slaughter of unborn infants; they even think that are getting better."

He is devastating in his criticism of the authoritarian illiberalism of the liberal-left. The liberal-left restrict citizens’ freedom in the name of liberty. Ulsterfolk will identify with his argument against the sell-out to the Provos which is the underlying basis of the ongoing ‘peace process’.

"Those Ulster people who rejected violence, yet wished to remain British… were willing to accept a suspect compromise if only because the could sense that rejection would result not in saving the status quo, but in more and fiercer pressure to give in. They must also have guessed that failure to give the expected ‘Yes’ answer to the referendum on the Belfast Agreement would mean that it was put to them again and again until they did so. The agreement itself, as few have noticed, contains provision for referendums on the future of the Province every seven years [author’s emphasis] if necessary. It is not stated, but clearly implied, that these referendums will go on until the come up with the ‘right’ answer, i.e. incorporation in the Republic. And after that there will be no more."

In some ways, Hitchens comes across as a crusty old reactionary, and laments the loss of something that nobody will really miss, but often it is necessary to react to things that are going wrong. Ulster and the nations of the British Isles need a national reawakening. There’s not much here on how to put things right but it an excellent account of how and why things have gone wrong. It could have done with a good index too, but that’s a minor fault in an otherwise excellent book.

David Kerr

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