In more than a decade of observing and writing about Britain's society and culture, I have never encountered anything comparable to the rage and fury which has followed the revelation that large numbers of Members of Parliament of various parties are morally no better than thieves and criminals. Indeed, a number may soon be facing actual criminal charges for the grotesque, wholesale abuse of Parliamentary expenses.How did things come to such a pass?
In a way it was all predictable. From the moment Labour took office under Tony Blair in 1997 it set about destroying Britain's sense of its historic culture, tradition, virtues, values and identity. The Adversary Culture was given free reign (sic) to attack every British institution which might contribute to such old-fashioned ideas as virtue, patriotism and duty.Read it all and see if there are not similarities to what is taking place on this side of the Atlantic.
Blair claimed soon after coming to power that Britain was no longer "living in the world of a hundred years ago, when guys wore bowler hats and umbrellas, all marching down Whitehall." Yes, and those were the guys who gave Britain a notably incorrupt public culture that once enabled it to do things like govern India with a tiny handful of flintily honest men. Under New Labour an intense culture war was opened up on every possible front to bring old-fashioned values into disrepute. There were some thing it was thought that real "ladies" and "gentlemen" did not do, such as lie and cheat. The use of the terms "lady" and "gentleman" was made a sacking offence at one university, an innovation which the government condoned as being in accord with the spirit of the times and of Cool Britannia. Symbols of patriotism, including the flag of St. George and the British flag itself, were banned on grounds of political correctness and in order to facilitate the celebration of diversity. Would-be police recruits were turned down for wearing Union Jack tattoos, foster-parents were banned for attempting to teach foster-children Christian values.
(Thanks to William Tighe.)