“A quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing”

It seems to be a fashionable trend, especially amongst my left-leaning friends, to jeer at the latest western military action in Syria as the cynical attempt at statesmanship by desperate politicians.

But I cast my mind back a few years and wonder if David “You Decide” Cameron had had some semblance of leadership to act on Obama’s urging in 2013, instead of throwing the matter carelessly to the headless chickens in the Commons, there might have never been a refugee crisis of the proportion we have been forced to witness, resulting in the nationalist tendencies across Europe, culminating in the Brexiteers’ victory in 2016.

“How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing.” (Neville Chamberlain, 27 September 1938)



#BrummieRevolution (What’s the point of hashtag, I ask myself, when the concept is so obscure!)

The sage of Birmingham



The new prime minister’s speech to the Tory conference in October (in Birmingham, as it happens) should be a Chamberlainite symphony. Renewal, a think-tank founded in 2013 to promote working-class Toryism, is emerging as the new regime’s brains trust.


Mr Timothy’s analysis of his party—that it can appear not to “give a toss about ordinary people”—is accurate. The Cameroons’ brand of modernisation owed too much to noblesse oblige, to a vision of society that treated the welfare state as the institutional equivalent of giving one’s gardener a Christmas bonus.