The Marring of Britain

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At home in the UK this weekend (a good weekend -- seeing the mighty Gloucester finish top of leage for the third time in six years, at least in the regular season), I picked up a copy of Andrew Marr's excellent book, A History of Modern Britain, and sat outside a cafe in the small town where I grew up (yes, outside in the UK -- surely a sign of global warming) and started reading.   Marr is one of the best left-wing journalists of recent years and always worth a look.  I was struck by a comment at the end of opening paragraph of the paperback edition, where he comments that the essential narrative of post-War Britain is how shopping has come to supplant real political vision, national identity, and religion in British society. Three things that an English Christian influenced by George Orwell holds dear.  In other words, I might say, Britain has become more American -- a nationalist nation with no sense of nationhood, and a democracy where the political choices are simply those of style and rhetoric, not substance (sorry to all the trendy lefty American Christians of Emergent and co -- you all look like right wing political reactionaries to a European like myself; Obama is hardly a radically scary prospect for the powers that be.....).

More American -- except, of course, shopping has not supplanted religion in American life.  I wonder why?   I feel a Wages of Spin column coming on.......

Posted May 11, 2008 @ 10:07 AM by Carl Trueman

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