LONDON – Boris Johnson formally became Britain’s prime minister Wednesday and immediately set about assembling a team of ministers and advisers to prepare an all-out push to get the U.K. out of the European Union by the fall.
The early appointments seemed to indicate that Mr. Johnson is taking a no-holds-barred approach to talks with the EU, staffing his inner team with several officials who worked with him during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Johnson has repeatedly said he wants better divorce terms from the EU and is prepared to abruptly break with the bloc on Oct. 31 if they aren’t offered.
In his first speech as prime minister, Mr. Johnson expressed confidence that he would be able to renegotiate the Brexit deal that his predecessor struck with the EU but was unable to push through the UK’s Parliament.
“We will do a new deal, a better deal, that will maximize the opportunities of Brexit,” Mr. Johnson said outside his new residence on Downing Street. “In 99 days time, we will have cracked it.”
Mr. Johnson, who took the reins of power after an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, will later Wednesday begin announcing his cabinet. This is a political minefield for the prime minister, who must build a team that will both support him but also aim to represent the differing views on Brexit across the country.
If Mr. Johnson fills the cabinet with too many Brexit true-believers, he risks alienating Conservative moderates alarmed by his rhetoric on exiting the bloc without any deal. On the other hand, their being inside the government would force them to swallow his Brexit strategy or resign. (“Boris Johnson takes the helm as Prime Minister,” Max Colchester and Jason Douglas, Wall Sreett Journal, 7/24)
COMMENT ON BREXIT
“If there were a referendum to vote out bankers in London I’d support it, but there isn’t. Luckily I was given a once-in-a-generation opportunity three years ago to change things, so, along with 52% of the population, I took it. Will voting for Brexit change the way bankers behave, or the housing crisis, created by financial speculation? Who knows, but one thing is certain; voting for the status quo certainly won’t.” (John Harris, Letters, The Economist, 7/20)
“It is a familiar pattern. The president says something outrageous – this time Donald Trump told four black and brown-skinned Democratic congresswomen, are all of whom are US citizens and three of whom were born in America, to “go back” where they came from. His supporters, who have come to accept what many of them previously found unconscionable, stay silent. His opponents, rightly appalled, lament what has happened to their country. At the same time the Trump administration makes a big policy change that attracts far less attention – in this case, an edict that directly affects tens of thousands of people a year and overturns half a century of precedent.
“Last year 120,000 people claimed asylum, the majority of them at the south-western border. On July 15th the White House announced that claims will no longer be considered unless applicants can prove that they sought asylum in one of the countries they passed through on their way to America, and were rejected. There will be legal challenges to the new rule, because America is party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and because the change may contravene America’s own Refugee Acts of 1980. But in the meantime anyone who passes through Guatemala or Mexico on the way to the southern border without first seeking refuge there may be turned away.”
“The land of the free has a proud history of resettling refugees from far-off places, rehousing many more than from any other country.” (“While you were tweeting,” The Economist, 7/20).
“Let me finish with an epitaph on the District Officer (colonial official) in Africa. It comes from the late Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafewa Balewa. In a speech made on Independence Day in October 1960, he paid tribute to the record of the British Colonial Service. “We are grateful to the British officers,” the Prime Minister said, “whom we have known first as masters and then as leaders and finally as partners; but always as friends.” (Tales from the Dark Continent, page xvii, Charles Allen, 1979.)
A CALL TO RESTORE FREEDOM OF SPEECH
It used to be that the worst sin you could commit was treason. On a personal level, adultery was frowned upon. But now, without a doubt, it’s racism.
How can we have an adult discourse on immigration and changing demographics without the ability to discuss race? We can’t.
Perhaps that’s the reason why restrictive laws were passed in the first place, to stop us questioning anything, while our culture and heritage are being destroyed.
Note this explanation of Mr. Trump’s voters in 2016 from the latest Economist. “Rather, they were unified by nothing as much as antipathy to America’s growing diversity, and an attendant feeling whites were losing ground. Both were expressed in hostility to immigration, immigrants and welfare spending (which many wrongly believed was being slurped up by immigrants).” (Lexington, 20th July).
TRUMP, MACRON TO VISIT ISRAEL IN JANUARY 2020 TO MARK 75 YEARS SINCE AUSCHWITZ LIBERATION The Post has learned that a major, unnamed donor has been enlisted to make the event possible.
Yad Vashem is in the process of organizing a major event in January that aspires to bring a number of world leaders. by Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, JULY 21, 2019
In addition to Trump and Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also be invited, as will the prime minister of Britain. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might also participate. It is not immediately clear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will be involved. Earlier this month, Putin – during a conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – invited him to take part in a ceremony in Moscow in May commemorating 75 years to the defeat of the Nazis. If Macron does take part in the event, it would be his first visit here as French president. (https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Yad-Vashem-planning-to-host-Trump-Macron-other-world-leaders-in-January-596369)
Germany’s Catholic Church lost more than 200,000 members in 2018 According to a report by the Germany’s Catholic and Protestant Churches, the loss to both communities amounted to more than 430,000 faithful in 2018. (Vatican News, 20 July 2019)
Germany’s Catholic Church lost 216,078 members an d Protestant churches lost some 220,000 in 2018, according to data published on Friday by the German Bishops’ Conference and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The losses have hit hard the two main Churches of the country, as members pay up to 9% of their taxable income as church taxes. In total, around 23 million German citizens are still members of the Catholic Church and 21.14 million are members of the Protestant churches. The two groups account for 53.2% of the country’s total population of over 83 million.(https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-07/germany-catholic-protestant-churches-decline-membership.html)
“WE ARE NEVER HEARD.” Persecution of Christians continues . . .
- “The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused.” So “they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.” — World Watch Monitor, Burkina Faso, May 2, 2019.
- “When the next wave of violence begins to hit us, will anyone on your campuses hold demonstrations and carry signs that say ‘We are all Christians’?” — Rev. Bashar Warda, Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in an address delivered in London.
- ” [A] new form of persecution is on the rise—Christian girls are being targeted by Muslim men.. . . . Influential leaders are literally training young men to target Christian girls to impregnate them” . . . “[T]hey’re forced into marrying that daughter into a Muslim family…. Once girls are married into the Muslim families, they’re often cut off from or abandoned by their families and they face even more difficult circumstances. In some cases, girls are the second or third wife of their persecutor and they have few freedoms.” — Mission Network News; Lindsey Steele; May 22, 2019 — Indonesia.
- “The mob began shouting outside our home asking for our family to exit our home and receive divine retribution for our sin. It did not seem very divine – we just saw raging evil violent people ready to kill us.” — British Pakistani Christian Association; May 21, 2019 — Pakistan
(Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone, 7/21)
- “There are Jews everywhere. We must attack every Jew on planet Earth! We must slaughter and kill them, with Allah’s help. We will lacerate and tear them to pieces.” — Fathi Hammad, Hamas senior leader, at a rally near the Gaza-Israel border, July 14, 2019. (Gatestone, 6/22)
OUR CHILDREN’S DEBTS
The Mueller investigation is reported to have cost $40 million so far. Every lawyer in the room is receiving thousands of dollars for a day’s work. Never mind, just add it to the deficit!
The Liberal Media Won’t Shame Me Out of Voting Again for Trump by Dr. Michael Brown, host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program, July 19, 2019, Stream
I have no desire to defend the worst of President Trump’s tweets. Or the ugliest of his words. Or the most inappropriate aspects of his behavior.
And I have no idea whether he understands what it means to be a Christian or if he ever reads the Bible.
But in 2020, if it is Donald Trump vs. any of the Democratic candidates, I would vote again for Trump in a heartbeat.
And the liberal media will not shame me out of my vote.
VAN DER LEYEN TO INCREASE EU POWERS
EU law will take precedence over national laws under new rules for the EU.
Latest headline on Mueller hearings: “Trump impeachment drive takes hit in bombshell free Mueller hearings” (Fox News, 7/24)