Belmont Club

"A Tribute To Our Decency"

Kevin McKenny writing in the Guardian about the release of the Lockerbie Bomber, says that “Kenny MacAskill’s decision to free Megrahi is a tribute to our decency”. He describes the how the Scottish minister walked the lonely road for truth, justice and the compassionate way.

Nothing in his experience of life or politics could have prepared Kenny MacAskill for the walk towards that podium last Thursday and I wondered if he would endure the ordeal ahead. Scotland’s justice minister, an honest journeyman in the minority part-government of a relatively unimportant country, had nothing beyond a desire to see that natural justice must prevail as he pondered his decision to show compassion to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi.

In other news the Independent says “British trade with Libya set to soar”. Greg Walton writes “with the Lockerbie bomber’s release, Gaddafi’s gates swing open to UK firms as his massive building programme begins”. Both articles appeared within a short time of each other and it makes you wonder how the public will ultimately regard the entire issue. Personally I don’t think the public will mind much.  They are resigned to being sold out by politicians. They’ve come to expect it. If there’s any reaction, it will be at the sanctimony which they may find irritating.

Politicians can level with us. Can’t they just say, “hands up!” Do they have to add, “it’s for the children”? Would they mind not describing every trillion dollar deficit as “an investment”? Is it absolutely necessary to describing pulling the plug on grandma as “end of life care?” We can read. We know what it means when grandma attends church service, lying in a coffin, with cotton sticking out of her nose. It’s called “savings”. But isn’t it possible, just once, for our dear leaders to say, “I’m here to steal every penny you’ve got”? Why add insult to injury? Is it because they think we’re too stupid to realize we’re being had?

Rich Lowry at the National Review made a plea for politicians to stop insulting people when they’re down. Please just kick them in the face already, he asks. Don’t pretend you care when you’re plying the steel-capped boot on the human face. Lowry writes:

The Obama team is saddled with a foundering health-care strategy. But it has a fallback plan — relying on the sheer dimwitted gullibility of the American public. How stupid do they think we are?

Stupid enough to think that a new $1 trillion health-care entitlement is just the thing to restore the country to fiscal health. …

Stupid enough to consider it wise to use several billion dollars in cuts from Medicare to create a new entitlement rather than to forestall Medicare’s own looming insolvency, currently projected for 2017.

Stupid enough not to notice that the “public option” was explicitly designed by the Left as a stealthy path to single-payer, even as liberals continue to talk and write about its ultimate purpose openly…

Stupid enough to condemn ordinary people angry and frightened enough to show up at town-hall meetings in every corner of the country as the product of an “astroturfing” conspiracy. …

And stupid enough not to be offended at how contemptibly stupid they think we are.


P.T. Barnum may have never said the famous line “there’s a sucker born every minute”. The words were probably uttered by David Hannum, who had a rival freak show and thought audiences were dumb for paying pay to see Barnum’s rip-off exhibit, even though both their shows were fakes. Barnum may have never coined the famous quote, but Wikipedia says he wished he had. “Barnum’s fellow circus owner and arch-rival Adam Forepaugh attributed the quote to Barnum in a newspaper interview in an attempt to discredit him. However, Barnum never denied making the quote. It is said that he thanked Forepaugh for the free publicity he had given him.” A leader might survive a reputation for being dishonest; it’s being regarded as stupid that’s fatal to leadership. That’s for the herd.

The herd’s motto should be that of the man condemned, immersed to his nostrils in a hellish lake of effluence. “Don’t make waves, don’t make waves.” Being in the public means that you’re part of the audience, watching the freak show. You’re already took. But lower still than being swindled, is not knowing that you are. Sure Kenny, a tribute to our decency. And a monument to our assumed stupidity.

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