I first visited England in 1953, when I was 16 years old.  It was a very different country back then, a green and pleasant place, where weekend cinemas were packed with enthusiastic movie fans all cheerfully whistling and applauding the action.  The film palaces were thick with tobacco smoke, and no one left his seat until after “God Save the Queen” was played.  Working-class men were shabbily dressed, but in caps, suits, and neckties.  From the doorway of every pub came the tinkle of pianos or jukeboxes and group choruses of mawkish ballads.  People were extremely polite, except for those strange-looking men who wore bowler hats and striped trousers.  Mums in Wimbledon village mussed my hair when they saw my American clothes and button-down shirt.  In Dinas Powis, Wales, exhausted after a day’s walking the hills, I rang a doorbell and asked for a glass of water.  Mrs. Boxall—I still remember her name—invited me in and offered tea and cakes.

Those were halcyon days.  In the ensuing years when I lived there, I made some awfully good friends and enjoyed some awfully good times, but as they say, everything has to end one day.  The England of village greens, of cricket and gentle afternoon teas, lives in memory only.  Today’s Britain is a hellhole, her major cities cesspools of crime inhabited by feral white youth and gangs, black and Muslim.  Racial tensions are everywhere, but mostly between blacks and Muslims.  The rot set in as soon as Tony Blair took over in 1997.  Labour’s policies of unlimited immigration and multiculturalism set the stage for a total transformation of British society.  As Richard Littlejohn writes in the Daily Mail (August 8),

Millions of pounds have been pumped into inner city estates in the wake of the disturbances of the early to mid 1980s, not just in Tottenham, but also Brixton and other notorious concrete jungles across London. . . .

The most frightening side-effect of the new “softly, softly” policing approach is that the control of such estates has been surrendered to lawless gangs led by the likes of Mark Duggan, whose shooting by police sparked the peaceful demonstration which escalated into mob violence.

The do-gooders of the left played a major role in turning the most law-abiding nation in Europe into the lawless place it has become.  They blamed unemployment and the rich.  But, according to Littlejohn, it did not take a Nobel Prize winner to detect that the “poor, misunderstood youth”

prefer to live on benefits and the proceeds of gang crime rather than seek gainful employment.

While they are posing for “gangsta” photos on Facebook, most of the low-paid, but essential, jobs are filled by hard-working recent arrivals.

Study the shop signs in Tottenham High Road and see how many are written in Polish.  One of the convenience stores looted was advertising Bulgarian food.

These are the people who have been burned out of their homes and small businesses.  There were two dozen flats above the carpet warehouse which went up in flames.

The tragedy is not that the rioters have fouled their own nest[;] they have destroyed the hopes of so many decent people who have devoted their lives to building a real community in Tottenham.

The riots of August had nothing to do with oppression or wealth inequality.  They had to do with instant gratification—“shopping with violence,” as Littlejohn put it.  Lefty commentators, needless to say, had a field day.  It’s the result of the most unequal society in Europe, they thundered.  Those same know-nothings had little to say when Tony Blair and his gang turned their guns against the family, “deeming marriage,” writes Phillip Blond in the New York Times (August 24), “to be nothing more than the bourgeois subjugation of women”:

a single mother of two has seen her benefits increase by 85 percent. At the same time, the tax burden placed on a one-earner family (two parents + two children) on an average wage is 39 percent higher in Britain than that in other O.E.C.D. countries.

It’s as if Blair set out to drive a spike through the family’s chest.  “[A] third to a half of all British children will at some point live in a one-parent family,” notes Blond.

This means they are closing in on their black American cousins.  Back when I first visited the land of Shakespeare, less than one percent of children were born outside marriage.  Furthermore, says Blond,

Thirty years ago unskilled working-class kids could at least get jobs in shops or factories. Today these youths have lost out to new migrants—an astounding 99.9 percent of the rise of employment (not jobs) in Labour years is accounted for by foreign-born workers.

I knew Blair was a bum when during his first week in office he hosted a party at No. 10 Downing Street.  He oiled his way across the historic floor to pay homage to a black gangsta rapper and two notoriously grotesque and foul-mouthed Irish pop stars.  The bulbs flashed, he smiled, his ghastly wife was rude to the Queen a few weeks later, and that set the tone for Blair’s 13 years in power: 13 years that changed Britain forever, with bad manners, violence, lack of decorum, familiarity, homage to cheap celebrity, hate of tradition, denial of history, reverence for the rich, and a moral discombobulation becoming the norm.  Goodbye, Britannia.