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Belmont Club

The Lost Boys

March 1st, 2013 - 5:22 pm

The situation facing Europe’s old and young illustrate the difficulties of a welfare state in collapse.  First the old. Britain’s establishment has been wracked not only by the pedophilia scandal at the BBC but by scandalous performance of the the National Health Service. The NHS, which its creators boasted would be the ‘envy of the world’, has been found to have been responsible for up to 40,000 preventable deaths under the helm of Sir David Nicholson, a former member of the Communist Party of Britain. “He was no ordinary revolutionary. He was on the hardline, so-called ‘Tankie’ wing of the party which backed the Kremlin using military action to crush dissident uprisings” — before he acquired a taste for young wives, first class travel and honors.

The stories of the pathetic deaths of the elderly under his care — 1,200 in one hospital alone — have scandalized the British public, especially when it emerged he spent 15 million pounds in taxpayer money to gag and prosecute whistleblowers — often doctors and administrators who could not stomach his policies.

The public money spent on stopping NHS staff from speaking out is almost equivalent to the salaries of around 750 nurses.

The figures were revealed after a two year battle by Conservative MP Steve Barclay, who eventually obtained them after tabling a number of Parliamentary Questions.

The figures show a total of £14.7m of taxpayers’ money was spent on almost 600 compromise agreements, most of which included gagging clauses to silence whistleblowers.

In reality it is the NHS, not James Bond, who has the real government license to kill. Cruelty to the old has become the new normal. It is now as acceptable as that other once unthinkable thing: infanticide. Now it is nothing, just move along. The highest priority of the system is to keep up appearances.

When incompetent doctors amputate limbs unnecessarily or kill patients in horrifying numbers the critics are simply silenced and the Doctor Deaths left to practice their trade — to this day — unmolested. The taxpayer pays for his own noose.

Yet even after the damning reports described a mayhem that would put a major Great War battle to shame, the British political establishment, including the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and the Labor party continued to support “Sir” David, presumably because he knew where the bodies were buried, both figuratively and literally. Sir David Nicholson is unconcerned; he’s not even remorseful. Both the Guardian and the Telegraph — on opposite sides of the political spectrum — registered their disgust. But it is to no avail: the former Communist who boasts of his “passion” for the job will Bury You.

The European Youth will remain outside the Death Pathways for some time yet. But they will spend the time waiting for their turn at affordable, caring and passionate medicine in poverty and hopelessness. With the exception of Germany youth unemployment in Europe is over 20%. “A full 62% of young Greeks are out of work, 55% of young Spaniards don’t have jobs, and 38.7% of young Italians aren’t employed.”

The Lost Boys

A whole generation is finished. Like their counterparts a hundred years ago, the European young are being sent to their professional death in millions. The carnage at both ends of the age spectrum — with the old being killed off and the young’s professional lives essentially buried — is a sign that the welfare state, the future on offer to “Julia” and Sandra Fluke, is now an empty box.

The guys who voted for Hope and Change voted for nothing. The cupboard is bare. Everything that is left in the dying system is being spent to provide a luxurious lifestyle for people like Sir David Nicholson.

It’s broke. Bust. Finished. It’s not true, as Mayor Bloomberg confidently says that government, unlike ordinary people, doesn’t have to pay their debts.

“We are spending money we don’t have,” Mr. Bloomberg explained. “It’s not like your household. In your household, people are saying, ‘Oh, you can’t spend money you don’t have.’ That is true for your household because nobody is going to lend you an infinite amount of money. When it comes to the United States federal government, people do seem willing to lend us an infinite amount of money. … Our debt is so big and so many people own it that it’s preposterous to think that they would stop selling us more. It’s the old story: If you owe the bank $50,000, you got a problem. If you owe the bank $50 million, they got a problem. And that’s a problem for the lenders. They can’t stop lending us more money.”

It’s not true any more than it was true that machine gun bullets wouldn’t kill you at the Somme if you went over the top kicking a soccer ball, as some did.

And who is the they who can’t stop lending Bloomberg’s government money? Is it the guys who make food, coal, iron, goods, services or stand watch on a wall in exchange for printed paper with Lew’s signature on it? Why do they have to keep doing it? Because Bloomberg can’t believe they’ll stop; because that’s the way its always been in the past? The establishment genuinely thinks the music will keep playing. And they won’t believe it will stop until it actually does.

The current elite has abused, as very few elites have abused in the past, the power of trust. They’ve taken legitimacy built by generations of competence and used it to paper over mediocrity and madness.  The trust they had to squander was immense; and they squandered it.

When the crash happens the disillusionment will be tremendous. It won’t be the kind of disillusion that loses elections or topples a government. It will the kind of disgust that pulls down a civilization.  The kind that pulls Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Obama’s world down so low it will be a hundred years before the survivors can even reflect on it objectively. F. Scott Fitzgerald in Tender is the Night understood the immensity of the tragedy in terms of his own era. The leaders of his world had squandered more than the lives of a generation. They had destroyed love, truth, faith and home.

This land here cost twenty lives a foot that summer.

See that little stream — we could walk to it in two minutes. It took the British a month to walk to it — a whole empire walking very slowly, dying in front and pushing forward behind. And another empire walked very slowly backward a few inches a day, leaving the dead like a million bloody rugs. No Europeans will ever do that again in this generation.

This western-front business couldn’t be done again, not for a long time. The young men think they could do it but they couldn’t. They could fight the first Marne again but not this. This took religion and years of plenty and tremendous sureties and the exact relation that existed between the classes. The Russians and Italians weren’t any good on this front. You had to have a whole-souled sentimental equipment going back further than you could remember. You had to remember Christmas, and postcards of the Crown Prince and his fiancée, and little cafés in Valence and beer gardens in Unter den Linden and weddings at the mairie, and going to the Derby, and your grandfather’s whiskers.

Neither Bloomberg nor Obama will ever understand how much they squandered — and for so little.

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Top Rated Comments   
A very interest essay full of layer and nuance. Of course what Fitzgerald is talking about is an underestimated quality that has long been the deal breaker in great national competitions of the past - resolve. The resolve to get a thing right, the resolve to finish a thing off, come what may.

This kind of resolve is the difference between an England and America and a Guatemala and an Egypt. Dilute it and you dilute success. It's a thing liberals simply don't understand, because they see everyone in the world as exactly even and history's success and failure as lucky and unlucky, the oppressor and oppressed, not the smart and the dumb, those with character and those with weakness in their marrows. Take the current demo of London and put it up against Nazi Germany and you have they wouldn't be "any good on this front," not in a long, drawn out battle that is an ultimate test of skill and resolve. Italians surrendered in their thousands to much small British forces in N. Africa and the Russian front collapsed - why? The Soviets found a type of resolve only some 2 decades later but how much was forced on them from behind and the front?

This is not anti-immigrant sentiment or racism, but a close reading of Bernal Diaz and thin red lines and unsentimental views of Otumba's and Mughal Hyderabad.

Europe and the UK have withered themselves from within in a type of naively optimistic suicide cult of political correctness that suddenly saw their generational successes as sin and sought to uplift their former opponents.

We in America will suffer the same fate. We think 8% unemployment is an aberration but we may never see less than that again. We have imported failure in its millions and taught our children that our resolve is not only laughingly unfashionable but endemically racist until our children clap their little hands in glee at every new novel that is NOT Eurocentric, NOT white, NOT male, NOT straight, as if the combination will lead to a bright new day rather than knocking the underpinnings out from a paradigm of success of one of the most formidable cultures that ever existed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (58)
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}}} The NHS, which its creators boasted would be the ‘envy of the world’, has been found to have been responsible for up to 40,000 preventable deaths

OK, where is this claim coming from? It's not repeated anywhere in the linked articles. I would like to repeat it, but I need something better than an opinion piece to use as a link... anyone who doesn't want to believe it is going to just laugh at it, if I do, and discount me as a nutjob.

So, please, cite the source for this, preferably with an on-line link to it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This column is almost as despairing as “The Three Conjectures.”

"He was on the hardline, so-called ‘Tankie’ wing of the party which backed the Kremlin using military action to crush dissident uprisings” — before he acquired a taste for young wives, first class travel and honors."

An admirer of Leonid Brezhnev, Nicholson's rule of the NHS embodies every element that brought down the Soviet Union: absolute authority, crushing of dissent , and lavish self-indulgence. Nicholson didn't repudiate, abjure, or compromise when he became a "former" communist. Instead he lived the dream of his political father to its fullest, and like Leonid, will undoubtedly die in wealth surrounded by the elected, admiring sycophants who made his life rich.

Nicholson lives better than any Sun King, and the only excuses the Sun Kings and Casears had for their brutal rule were (1) there is limited amount of wealth—someone must be a winner and someone a loser; it's cruel but that's life, and (2) by the virtue of their power and wealth they could supply the means for Beethoven, Mozart, Aristo, Da Vinci to make culture.

No longer, thanks to Capitalism, is wealth limited. We live and will continue to live in an age of abundance; the cruelty and self-indulgence of Nicholson, Blair, Obama is no longer necessary. And never have the Brezhnevs, Castros, Ortegas, Chavezes, and Pots and their lackeys, admirers and toadies like Nicholson contributed to culture.

The last ruling class this venal and corrupt had their heads picked up out of baskets.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Correction - last sentence should have read:

It's as if Western civilization is about to enter an accelerated stage of convulsively lethal entropy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Heard a little news item on NPR today.

They said that Europe is slowly recovering from the recession but that Europeans are watching as the jobs situation gets worse. They then cited the same figures as in Wrechard's article.

So economically, "things are getting better" except they are still losing jobs.

I have noted for some time now that the state of the economy is defined by a very few professions. If the UAW is doing well, then things are just great. If the stock market people and the financial industry is doing well, then things are fantastic. If the home prices in the DC area are on the way up, then things could not be better.

For everybody else, the operation was a success but if the patient died it is still a success.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Fail Burton - just wanted to add my kudos for your essay. As another poster noted, you've put some good thought into this matter. It's just a damn shame these discussions are no longer merely "academic". I never thought I'd live to see such days. It's as if Western civilization is about to enter an accelerated stage of convulsive lethality.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
RWE - Capitalism requires some government support: the right to own property, territorial security, stable money and a legal system to enforce contracts. Hong Kong in the '80's is a great example.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
True. And in that regard I would like to recommend a fascianting book to everyone: "The Most Powerful Idea In the World."

It describes the rise of steam power and the spirit of innovation that accompanied it. The mechanical engineer in me found the lack of diagrams of the equipment it deals with to be the book's only shortcoming. But it does a terrific josb of describing the governmental, religious, technical, and socio-economic circumstances that led to great Britian becoming such a powerful industrial nation through its development of steam power. Other countries in Europe did not get it all together, because while they had the knowledge they lacked some key element.

And by reading the book I found out that James Watt really had nothing to do with what we would call a steam engine today. An American invented the modern steam engine.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I only take exception to one line, which I would rephrase it as:

"The current elite has abused, as *ALL* elites have abused in the past, the power of trust."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If there is one thing besides mass murder than Communists do well, it is work the bureaucracy. Without bureaucracy, Socialism/Nazism/Communism is nothing. Which is more than enough reason to abolish almost all of the government.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If you find yourself, like me, increasingly disgusted with the way of the world and are looking for a good read to take you away, let me recommend "Tender is the Night" our host quoted above. It gets much less press than "Gatsby," but it is the greater novel. Not as clean-cut and perfect a gem as "Gatsby," but deeper and finer. If you haven't read it yet, it's well worth the time. It's Fitzgerald's best work.

PS - Nice to see PJ Media was able to find what is possibly the single most irritating font to read in the history of fonts for the comments section. It's so unpleasant that it's driving me away from reading.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As I asked some time ago:

Will the elites fight to hold on to power?

(I've refined the second question somewhat) Will the aftermath of this crisis be so dire that people lose faith in representative government and market economics?

The answers to those two questions will largely define the outcomes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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