Leadership Matters

Breitbart is reporting today that thanks to the immigration policies enacted by former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, illegal migrant landings have been cut in half in 2019.

The article reports:

According to the ministry, the country saw 23,210 arrivals in 2018 which then reduced to 11,439 in 2019, although the number of arrivals has dramatically increased since Salvini and his League party left the government in August and were replaced by the leftist Democratic Party, Il Giornale reports.

Salvini, who closed Italian ports to migrant transport NGOs, is largely credited with dramatically reducing the number of drowning deaths in the Mediterranean sea.

The populist League leader slammed the leftist government coalition for the rise of new arrivals in recent months saying: “Even in December the landings increased compared to the same period a year ago.”

Since the new government took over, the number of migrants has increased.

The article concludes:

According to Il Giornale, the number of new migrants has increased since the new coalition took power in September, compared to the same period last year and claimed that the current government was taking credit for policies enacted by Salvini, rather than their own record.

The policies of Salvini remain popular in Italy, with the League topping opinion polls for months and Salvini himself consistently being voted the most trusted politician in the country, ahead of current Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

The coalition of the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party, however, remains unpopular with the vast majority of the Italian public with some polls showing Salvini’s League with nearly as much support as both parties combined.

Cracks in the government coalition have also begun to emerge in recent weeks, with three Five Star Movement senators defecting to the League earlier this month.

Stay tuned. Around the world, average citizens of any country do not want to see their country inundated by illegal immigrants who have no intention of assimilation or contributing to the culture of the country they are entering. It is disheartening to see pictures of young men pouring into foreign countries rather than working to improve conditions in their own countries.

The Search For Significance

This article has two sources–a New York Sun editorial posted today and an article by Scott Johnson posted at Power Line Blog today. Both articles deal with the ‘surprise’ overwhelming victory of Boris Johnson in the British election yesterday.

The New York Sun notes:

It’s hard to overstate how wonderful is the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won a mandate to, after all these years of struggle, lead a restoration of British sovereignty and independence. We may have been in that fight from the early days, but we don’t mind saying that we’ve had moments of doubt, particularly during the past year, that Britain would prevail. All the sweeter the results being tallied this evening.

This is only partly in respect of Brexit. It was, certainly, the overriding issue in the election. It is the very reason why the election was called when it was. Once again, the polls got it wrong. On the eve of the vote, the gods of polling were predicting that the race had become too close to call. A hung parliament couldn’t be ruled out. Some hazarded that Labor’s Jeremy Corbyn might end up at 10 Downing Street.

In the event, the British people delivered a resounding “no” to all that Mr. Corbyn stood for — the resentment of Jews and Israel, the embrace of socialism, and another Brexit referendum. The result is that Labor’s drubbing stands as its worst since 1935. No less than Jonathan Chait rushed out a column to mark that American leftists thought Corbyn’s inevitable victory would be their model against Trumpism.

Which is one way to mark a phenomenon that has been glimpsed throughout this battle since 2016. The phenomenon can be put this way: “As goes Brexit, so goes Trump.” In a way, the Brexit referendum turned out to be a predictor, or even a precursor, of Mr. Trump’s triumph in the election. The victory by Mr. Johnson and the Conservative Party today could well be a precursor of Mr. Trump in 2020. On verra.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog notes:

The election has already produced a ruling cliche to describe the results: Labour’s “red wall” crumbled. (In the UK, the colors are reversed: blue represents the Tories, red Labour.) Among the many seats in its “red wall” that has now crumbled, for example, is Tony Blair’s Sedgefield constituency. The Tories picked up a shocking number of seats that historically belonged to Labour in the industrial and rural north. It overstates the results to observe that Labour is contracting to a metropolitan party, but the tendency seems to be implicit in the outcome.

From a distance, at least, Boris proved himself an ebullient and optimistic campaigner, and not just by contrast with the dour and deceitful Corbyn. Boris staked the election campaign on the theme of getting Brexit done. His performance made me think of Steve Hayward’s observation in Churchill on Leadership: “[F]rom time to time, and especially in a crisis, the genuine leader must simply exert his personal force and summon up his willfulness.” Boris seems to me to have met the moment with some part of this quality in leading his party to its remarkable victory yesterday.

The British people voted for Brexit years ago. The ruling elite chose to ignore that vote. The people removed the blockage. I suspect we are going to see similar things in America next year–those who have blocked the immigration and economic policies of President Trump might find themselves on the unemployment line.

Common Sense At Last

Last week the Daily Caller posted a story about changes Australia is making to its global warming budget.

The article reports:

Australia’s conservative coalition is set to cut more than 90 percent of the funding related to global warming from their budget, from $5.75 billion this year to $500 million, over the next four years.

…But Abbott (conservative Liberal Party Prime Minister Tony Abbott) shows no signs of slowing down in his quest to repeal the country’s environmental laws, which have slowed economic growth, including mining taxes, green energy funding and the carbon tax.

“The carbon tax is an act of economic vandalism,” Abbott said in March. “You can’t trust [Labor] anywhere near an economy.”

The carbon tax was imposed by former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the summer of 2012, and quickly became unpopular as businesses and households began to bear the costs of higher power bills and higher inflation.

Could we invite Prime Minister Abbott to come and speak to Congress? Man-made global warming is a hoax. There was global warming in the Middle Ages before factories, coal-burning electric plants, and SUV‘s. Climate is cyclical. In the 1980’s we were supposed to panic over “The Coming Ice Age” as reported by Time Magazine. Carbon taxes are economic vandalism. Thank you, Prime Minister Abbott for speaking the truth.

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Tying Up The Loose Ends Before The War Starts

Benjamin Netanyahu

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, but sometime in the next year there will be a war in the Middle East which will probably involve Israel. As soon as the United States begins to limit its presence in the area, the Muslim Brotherhood (a group charged with expanding the caliphate through democratic means) will consolidate its gains in Egypt, Libya, and Turkey, attempt to increase its power in Iraq and Afghanistan, and begin to make things very uncomfortable for Israel. I am not sure what form any of this will take, but it is fairly easy to see it coming.

Meanwhile, Israel is quietly getting prisoners back from Muslim countries as it prepares for the inevitable. Yesterday Haaretz reported that:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved on Tuesday a prisoner exchange deal with Egypt to release suspected Israeli spy Ilan Grapel in exchange for 25 Egyptian prisoners. 

The article further reports:

Grapel was originally charged with espionage, although the charges were later changed to incitement, insurrection, and damaging a public building during the uprising that took place in Egypt earlier this year. The U.S. has been especially active in trying to secure Grapel’s release during the last two months. 

I do wonder why the United States was so interested in getting Grapel released. As usual, Israel had to engage in an uneven swap to get its citizen back.

I see this as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s effort to bring home all the Israeli prisoners held in Muslim countries he can before any hostilities begin. There may be more of these deals in the near future.

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