The Mid-Atlantic Blog

March 01, 2006

Modern Britain Described

Anne Applebaum writes today in the Washington Post about Ken Livingstone's suspension - worth a read on those grounds alone. Two particular things jump out.

First, the dark comedy of the author of "Gulag", the best modern description of the Soviet camp system being lectured by Ken as he defends Stalin.

Second, Applebaum's description of modern Britain. As an American who used to live and work here, and who has extensive contacts on both sides of the Atlantic, she has the requisite distance and closeness to be able to say the following...

Here we have, in a nutshell, evidence of the breakdown in relations between the British media and British politicians; the increasing incivility of British public life; the nasty strain of anti-Semitism on the far side of the British left (Livingstone has just called Ariel Sharon a war criminal, clearly a favorite insult, as well); and, to top it all off, the growth in the power of undemocratic, unelected "quangos" -- quasi-autonomous nongovernmental organizations -- of which there are now hundreds in Britain.

This rings pretty true, unfortunately, as do her further conclusions. Worth a read.

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