Thursday, September 27, 2012

Last Night David Letterman Grilled the U.K. Prime Minister

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman,” last night.

Letterman grilled him a bit on U.K. history. Cameron got a lot of the basic questions wrong.

Letterman asked him to name the composer of “Rule, Britannia”, which was played as he entered the studio.

Cameron incorrectly answered Elgar (Thomas Arne composed the piece).

He also failed to provide a translation of the words Magna Carta. (The literal translation is the Great Charter. It is also called Magna Carta Libertatum or The Great Charter of the Liberties of England).

Most fascinating, one underlying sense during the early part of the discussion was that Great Britain was once a world empire and now even Cameron doesn't know some basics.

Note to Neocons: Empires fade and end up in the dustbins. In other words, don't get too worked up  over this U.S. empire stuff and don't get too many people killed over it. In the long run, the Empire is likely to be dead.

The clip of the show is here. The Cameron appearance starts at roughly the 17 minute mark, but the way CBS has the video structured, you will have to literally sit through about a dozen commercials before getting to the clip.


  1. You should download AdBlock Wenzel. You'll never have to deal with those video ads again. You might have to have Firefox though.

    1. Yeah great, if enough download adblock, you won't have any videos to watch and no EPJ, either.

      Idiotic and close to violating an implied contract.

      In fact, I hereby require readers of EPJ not to use adblock on the EPJ site. If you are doing so, you are in violation of the terms I have set for reading EPJ. Thus, you are morally corrupt.

    2. That's the most asinine thing I think you've ever written.

    3. Oh no! My eyes automatically skip over the adverts on your site. Is this a violation? Maybe I need to discuss this with a priest, through a wooden grille.

    4. Sorry, Bob. I don't want tracking cookies on my computer. Perhaps you could innovate another revenue stream rather than bemoaning technology and your readership?

    5. Well then don't come to my site. You are in violation of the terms I have set for the site. Take the ads or go read Krugman.

    6. To Rob,

      Everybody thinks their eyes just skip over the ads, but the click through rate at EPJ is just under 1%. That's roughly 3.5 clicks per year, for someone coming to the site daily.

      And 362 days per year, when there are no click throughs. Thus, it is understandable why people think they don't click through, but they do often enough to make ads a viable business model.

    7. To Davis,

      So would you like me to charge a subscription and put up a firewall?

      I would probably have to charge $250 per subscriber, is that what you want instead of sideboard ads? Remind me to never hire you for publishing advice.

    8. So when I DVR a program and fast forward past the adverts am I being morally corrupt?

    9. At Clive:

      It depends upon what the providers of the show set as terms. Don't you believe in private contracts? Or do you think you can ignore terms and do whatever the hell you want with other peoples' property?

    10. Here I was thinking you'd be happy to know about AdBlock. JEEZ.

    11. It's not your property; it's an altered copy on my computer, reproduced at no expense to you.

      Where do I find these terms, btw, in regard to the television provider, or are they implied as well for me to divine?

    12. The terms vary by provider. It's certainly clear what HBO's terms are: Pay up. LOL, then you will get your "altered" copy.

    13. HBO programs have no adverts. There's an actual contract with explicit terms and conditions involved. 98% of television channels do not have this. So the question remains: Is it immoral to skip past their adverts?

    14. Lol.
      Robert Wenzel, the Metallica of libertarian blogs. I should write a book, "No Moral Corruption, the contract of no authority."
      I have not consented to anything. You could put up a firewall and charge a $250 subscription, and require consent to your terms, but you'd lose readership. Which is more important?

      Or you could put up a firewall, require consent to your terms(including no adblock software) and waive the subscription. Then you could ban people who violate your terms!

      Or you could just ask readers to not use adblock, and even request they occasionally click an ad to help you out. Thats the only tactic that would keep me reading.

    15. What ads are you talking about Bob, I don't see any?

    16. Wenzel is pro IP. Nuff said.

  2. The ‘Rule, Britannia!’ song that we recognise today started out as a poem co-written by the Scottish pre-Romantic poet and playwright, James Thomson (1700-48), and David Mallet (1703-1765), originally Malloch. He was also a Scottish poet, but was less well-known than Thomson. The English composer, Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778), then composed the music, originally for the masque ‘Alfred’, about Alfred the Great. Masques were a popular form of entertainment in 16th and 17th century England, involving verse, and, unsurprisingly, masks! The first performance of this masque was on 1st August, 1740, at Cliveden House, Maidenhead.

    Magna Carta dealt with the rights of Barons, of more interest was the Charter of the Forest -1217 which dealt with the rights of the common man and some of the laws remained on the statute books for some 700 years.

  3. Anonymous -

    Yes, the Charter of the Forest was at least as significant as Magna Carta.

    The interesting thing about Cameron is that he's not an illiterate product of state education. He comes from some pretty monied and posh stock, he attended a fine prep school, then Eton College, then Brasenose College, Oxford, where he got a first class degree in PPE.

    Either the quality of education has dimmed greatly, or Cameron was doing a Blair and acting dumb for a prime time audience.

  4. What a ghastly figure that Cameron is!

    "you're testing me, you're testing me" whimpering baby.

    I did not finish watching the whole video. I could not stand to look at him.

    How could one vote for a vermin like that!