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U.S. Politics Gives Brits a Bad Trip
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U.S. Politics Gives Brits a Bad Trip

“Covering American politics is like crack,” a veteran British journalist told me last year. “Once you’ve had a taste nothing else gives the same high.”

I now think I know what he meant—though LSD might be a more apt comparison.

A Bit of British Virtue Signaling
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A Bit of British Virtue Signaling

Politics is downstream from culture—so said Andrew Breitbart, that somewhat uncouth American media man. Well, for us Brits, culture and politics are downstream from America, and sometimes it feels as if the currents run too fast. In recent days, Britain,

Brexit Got Done, Now Get Over It
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Brexit Got Done, Now Get Over It

The great 2016 vote-undoing project seems at long last to have been abandoned on both sides of the Atlantic. In Washington, President Trump’s impeachment fizzled out—a strange and pathetic affair however you look at it. Everyone is looking past it

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Boris Derangement Syndrome

Boris Derangement Syndrome has broken out in Britain. It is similar to the more widely documented American affliction, Trump Derangement Syndrome. BDS and TDS epidemics spread when the media and political classes are confronted with an empowered leader they cannot

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Orange Monster Charms the Brits

In early June, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stood on the airport tarmac waiting to greet President Donald Trump. Following the resignation of Theresa May, a Conservative leadership competition was underway, and Hunt was desperate to further ascend the greasy

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Stuck in the Middle With May

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I’m quite moved these days when I meet Americans and they ask me, ever so delicately, “How’s Brexit?”  Or: “How’s that Brexit thing going?”  Or, “Are you guys going to be OK with the Brexit?”

Perhaps it’s politesse, a

Proceed With the Neverendum
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Proceed With the Neverendum

It would be fun to write a Westminster column that wasn’t about Brexit.  I’m afraid I can’t.  Brexit is Britain, to a large extent, these days, at least as far as the news is concerned.  It has made the political

An Unsatisfying Quexit
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An Unsatisfying Quexit

The first problem with Brexit is the word Brexit—one of those stupid portmanteau words, like motel or brunch.  It is a joined-up abbreviation of “Britain’s” and “exit from the European Union.”  Conceived in a think tank, by someone

Bannon and the Inquisition
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Bannon and the Inquisition

There’s nothing more boring than journalists writing about journalism.  Please let me tell you, though, about The Spectator’s interview with Steve Bannon, which we published in March.  It began with an email from one of my favorite Speccie contributors,

Gloriously Complicated
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Gloriously Complicated

On June 8, British democracy did everything it wasn’t supposed to do.  Having called a snap general election, Prime Minister Theresa May was expected to sweep everything before her.  She did not.  The Tories were said to be on the

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Theresa May’s Anglo-Saxon Appeal

The British have a penchant for women leaders: Queens Elizabeth I & II, Victoria, Margaret Thatcher, and now Theresa May.  The current Prime Minister isn’t just well liked: People seem to love her.  Conservative MPs report that, when canvasing for

The Vanity Press Remains
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The Vanity Press Remains

When, in 2009, a shady Russian oligarch and his foppish son took over London’s Evening Standard, the great British journalist Perry Worsthorne remarked, “I think it’s one more example that we are no more a serious nation.”  Well, Perry,

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Friends, Busts, and Leverage

When historians someday study Anglo-American relations in the early 21st century, they will find a useful allegory in the saga of the Winston Churchill bust.  This is the tale of a smallish sculpture by Jacob Epstein that has come to

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The Special Relationship, Redux?

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Donald Trump is making the world go crazy.  Here in Westminster, the political and media establishments are still convulsing following his election.  And the angry shock at the top is rippling through British society.

Most Brits remain convinced that, while

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Don’t Dismiss the Freaks and Geeks

“For heaven’s sake man, go!” roared David Cameron on June 29.  He sounded like a bad actor in an historical drama—which, in a sense, he was.  Cameron was shouting across the dispatch box in the House of Commons, imploring Labour

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Brexit: What Now?

It’s been quite a summer in the United Kingdom.  On June 23, we the British people surprised everyone—including, perhaps most of all, ourselves—by voting to leave the European Union.  That wasn’t meant to happen.  All year, the E.U. referendum polls

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Why the Muslim Won

London is more pleased with itself than usual at the moment, which is saying something.  The city has just elected its first Muslim mayor, and people here are calling it our “Obama moment.”  The Great British Multicultural Experiment, which many

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A Conservative Party in Chaos

At the end of last summer, British Conservatives looked to be in their strongest position in decades.  In May, David Cameron’s Tories defied the polls and the experts to win a majority in the general election.  The Labour Party then

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We Asked For It

For almost two decades, or ever since Tony Blair became prime minister, the British have moaned about a lack of opposition in politics.  All our politicians “sound the same,” we say—and they do, it’s true.  Our parliamentary system may be

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A Boring Brexit

London: It should feel like a good time for Britain to leave the European Union.  The euro crisis continues to tear the Continent apart.  The charming-yet-feckless Greeks must soon be on their way out, in spite of the latest bailout-for-austerity