The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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One of my all-time favourite fictional stories about the nature of political belief is Flannery O’Connor’s The Barber, published in 1948. This remarkable short story, written when O’Connor was just 20 years old, follows a number of interactions in the life of George Rayber, a college professor who decides to visit a new barber just... Read More
When the British people voted to exit the European Union I said in many interviews, and I suppose also in written columns, that I doubted it would ever happen. It has been three years, and it has not. Some hosts wondered why I doubted the British government’s willingness to comply with a majority vote, but... Read More
If there is an upside to Brexit, it is this: it has made it increasingly hard to present Jeremy Corbyn, contrary to everything the corporate media has been telling us for the past four years, as anything but a political moderate. In truth, he is one of the few moderates left in British – or... Read More
Robert Mugabe was one of the many leaders who came to power as a national liberator between the 1950s and 1980s, only to establish violent, corrupt and incompetent autocracies. The decades of misrule they inflicted on their countries did much to discredit nationalism as a progressive ideology that could better people’s lives. Bad though Mugabe... Read More
The big news this week was Brexit—one manifestation of a trend now visible all over the Western world including the U.S.: cosmopolitans vs. communitarians. The story so far: Three years and two months ago the British people voted in a referendum to leave the European Union,
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Bulldogs are notorious for their tenacity or “cool persistency of purpose”, as Honest Abe said of General Grant, "He has the grip of a bulldog; when he once gets his teeth in, nothing can shake him off." The EU master class could give the doggies a lockjaw master-class. Many European states have tried to free... Read More
A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communitarianism. Of what? "Communitarianism" is the name being used in
Britain is experiencing a slow-moving coup d’etat in which a right-wing government progressively closes down or marginalises effective opposition to its rule. It concentrates power in its own hands by stifling parliament, denouncing its opponents as traitors to the nation, displacing critics in its own ranks, and purging non-partisan civil servants. Some describe this as... Read More
Facing a Parliamentary majority opposed to a hard Brexit -- a crashing out of the EU if Britain is not offered a deal she can live with -- Boris Johnson took matters into his own hands. He went to the Queen at Balmoral and got Parliament "prorogued," suspended, from Sept. 12 to Oct. 14. That's... Read More
Fifty years ago, the Battle of the Provisional IRA. An eruption in Good Friday Agreement (GFA) of 1998 had provided answers with which everybody could live. Th
On 8 May 1987 a Provisional IRA unit of eight men attacked a police station in the village of Loughgall in county Armagh 15 miles from the Irish border. One man drove a digger with a bomb in its bucket towards the building, half of which was destroyed in the explosion. But British forces had... Read More
Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, is being called by many ‘the British Trump.’ It’s an easy comparison, given their quirky, confrontational styles, prominent blond hair, tribal politics and xenophobic policies. But they are not alike. Johnson is a literate, witty product of Britain’s finest educational institutions, Eton and Oxford, who down-plays his erudition and... Read More
I felt frustrated over the past three years at what appeared to me to be the shallow and Westminster-obsessed coverage of the Brexit saga by the media. Here was a crisis like no other in recent British history that was shaking the bedrock of society and government alike, but the reporting and commentary on it... Read More
Bluff was a central feature of British power even when the British empire covered a large part of the globe. A story illustrating this tells of a royal navy captain who was sent with a small ship to the far east to force a defiant local ruler to obey some orders issued by the British... Read More
What on Earth were the British politicians and officials thinking who gave the go-ahead for the seizure of the Iranian Grace 1 off Gibraltar on 4 July? Did they truly believe that the Iranians would not retaliate for what they see as a serious escalation in America’s economic war against them? The British cover story... Read More
Pictures of Daniel Ezzedine show him to be a fresh faced 17-year-old with a warm cheerful smile. His parents are Lebanese but he was brought up in Germany where he had just left school. His teachers brought him to celebrate his graduation on a trip to Canterbury where he was assaulted and beaten half to... Read More
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Every time you think the corporatocracy’s manufactured anti-Semitism hysteria cannot possibly get more absurd, they somehow manage to outdo themselves. OK, stay with me now, because this is a weird one. Apparently, American Hitler and his cronies are conspiring with some secret group of “Jewish leaders” to stop British Hitler from becoming prime minister and... Read More
Britain is in a state of political turmoil. The government and the main opposition party have both lost their way and, together, they have completely lost the trust of the people. In the last few weeks we have witnessed a landslide exodus from both the Tory and Labour parties to the slightly more rational, principled... Read More
There is a story about an enthusiastic American who took a phlegmatic English friend to see the Niagara Falls. “Isn’t that amazing?” exclaimed the American. “Look at that vast mass of water dashing over that enormous cliff!” “But what,” asked the Englishman, “is to stop it?” My father, Claud Cockburn, used to tell this fable... Read More
Nigel Farage, Britain’s Donald Trump character, is by far the most significant man in British politics. In just a few weeks he has gathered huge political momentum. In tomorrow’s European Parliament elections he appears likely to score more votes than Labour and the Conservatives combined. Farage stood up against the entire political establishment, including the... Read More
A week from today, Europeans may be able to gauge how high the tide of populism and nationalism has risen within their countries and on their continent. For all the returns will be in from three days of elections in the 28 nations represented in the European Parliament. Expectation: Nationalists and populists will turn in... Read More
When it seemed as if the British had lost their survival instinct as a society, the European Parliament election came along. The message delivered by every poll is undeniable: unlike their treacherous political class, the Brits are still amongst the most sophisticated people around, they are performing a landslide exodus from their rotten leading parties:... Read More
Birmingham is one of the youngest cities in Europe, with almost 40 per cent of its population under the age of 25. As in the rest of Britain, the younger generation believe they are facing greater problems and anxieties than their parents and grandparents. “I think there is a slight resentment of older people in... Read More
Birmingham, once the manufacturing heart of Britain when it was the workshop of the world, rejuvenated itself after the implosion of its industrial base in the 1980s. That collapse, unimpeded by Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative government, was devastating even by the standards of the time because of Birmingham’s over-dependence on the automobile industry. “This... Read More
Future historians will look back at Britain in the age of Brexit and seek to explain why its people reduced their power and influence in the world in the belief that they were doing the exact opposite. But historians will have to move quickly if they are to have a say because the most important... Read More
It is time to stop believing these infantile narratives the British political and media establishments have crafted for us. Like the one in which they tell us they care deeply about the state of political life, and that they lie awake at night worrying about the threat posed by populism to our democratic institutions. How... Read More
A German general once explained that he divided officers looking for promotion into four categories: the clever and lazy, the clever and industrious, the stupid and lazy and the stupid and industrious. He said that the clever and lazy should be appointed to senior leadership positions because they could take important decisions without trying to... Read More
At the height of the Troubles in Belfast who came from the village and was a low profile but important figure in the moderate nationalist SDLP. Once we were taking a walk along a road in the pretty countryside outside the village, when Ben remarked that one day the natural beauty of the place might... Read More
The prosecution of a single paratrooper for allegedly murdering two out of the 13 innocent civil rights marchers in Derry in 1972 has provoked inevitable criticism from knee-jerk defenders of the British army. They stubbornly refuse to admit that the greatest recruiting sergeant for the Provisional IRA during the Troubles were the killings carried out... Read More
The families of the 13 innocent people shot dead by the Parachute Regiment when they took part in a civil rights march against internment without trial in Londonderry in 1972 will learn in the coming week if soldiers, who are alleged to have carried out the killings, will be prosecuted. There is no doubt about... Read More
A return to violence is not a worst-case scenario but an inevitability if a hard border returns, as it will if there is...
I was sitting in a cafe on the Falls Road in heavily nationalist West Belfast when a local radio reporter came in looking for residents to interview about the effect of Brexit on Northern Ireland. She said that the impact was already massive, adding: “Stupid, stupid English for getting us into this pickle. We were... Read More
The one million people living in the south Wales valleys, a place that was once the engine room of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, are poorer today than the population of parts of Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. Unsurprisingly, they have few good things to say about anybody in authority – the EU in Brussels, the... Read More
Introduction by GA: The following is a translation of the last segment of an article in
How should history? Analogies multiply, with the crudest coming from prominent Brexiteer MP Mark Francois who denounced the head of Airbus for writing a letter stressing the negative economic impact for Britain of leaving the EU. Francois claimed that this was yet one more example of teutonic arrogance, adding pugnaciously, “My father, Reginald Francois, was... Read More
Bernard-Henri Levy
A group of 30 respected intellectuals, writers and historians has published a manifesto bewailing the imminent collapse of Europe and its supposed Enlightenment values of liberalism and rationalism. The idea of Europe, they warn, “is falling apart before our eyes”, as Britain prepares for Brexit and “populist and nationalist” parties look poised to make sweeping... Read More
In the Egypt gathered in or around Tahrir Square in Cairo to report the daily confrontations between demonstrators demanding the overthrow of the regime and security forces seeking to preserve it. The scene in Tahrir was the backdrop to countless television interviews with opposition activists and what happened there was portrayed as a barometer which... Read More
Government, parliament and parts of the media are obsessed by Brexit, almost to the exclusion of all else. The last few weeks have produced a cascade of apocalyptic warnings about the calamity facing Britain if it fails to depart the EU, or does so with or without a deal. These forebodings may or may not... Read More
The fuss about Brexit over in the U.K. is of only indirect interest to us Americans, but it does show another aspect of the slow political revolution taking place all over the Western world. As our own correspondent Robert Henderson posted back in December—Brexit in Name Onl
nigelfarage
The parallels between British and American politics are simply eerie. In 2016, after
The closure of Gatwick, the second largest airport in Britain, just before Christmas after the sighting of a mysterious drone near the runway, received wall-to-wall coverage from the British media, dominating the news agenda for the best part of a week. Contrast this with the limited interest shown when a majority stake in the airport... Read More
The UK has long been divided by class, region and race, but these divisions have been masked by political and economic success. This has meant the English, as the dominant nation in the UK, are not good at coping with a sense of failure and a loss of self-confidence. The current focus is on parliamentary... Read More
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Will Parliament Save the Kingdom?
Presidents, prime ministers, congresspersons and parliamentarians worldwide regularly negate the democratic will of their nation’s voters by refusing to support legitimate election results. Strangely, their treasonous actions continue without serious reprisal or punishment by the voter. This emboldens them. The reality of votes cast and “democracy” past does not does bode well for the people... Read More
The anniversary of the sinking of two great capital ships off Singapore, one of the great British defeats of the Second World War, falls unnoticed between the proposed May-Corbyn debate on 9 December and the House of Commons vote on the Brexit agreement with the EU on 11 December. This is a pity because the... Read More
Two of the most perilous military operations are crossing rivers while under enemy fire, and retreat while engaged with enemy forces. Britain’s embattled Prime Minister, Theresa May, must accomplish both maneuvers if she is to extract her very confused nation from the horrid Brexit mess and save her job. We wish her lots of luck.... Read More
When a majority of the British people voted to leave the EU in 2016, I was struck by the similarity between the Brexiteers’ plans for their perilous voyage and those of Edward Lear’s characters in The Jumblies as they set to sea in their sieve. The analogy became more apt as the proponents of Leavers... Read More
Three months before President Trump was elected, a meme appeared on social media calling for
A dangerous lack of understanding about the nature of the threat that
Self-absorption is the dominant theme of contemporary British and American politics. In Britain, the focus is exclusively on Brexit and other developments are marginalised or ignored. In the US, political battles revolve around Donald Trump who gets wall-to-wall coverage in the US media – ferociously hostile though much of it is towards him – which... Read More
What will be Britain’s standing in the world compared to other nation states after
English nationalism as expressed by Brexiteers is a strange beast.