A reader responds to my column with a theory I had not heard. This should make Iain and Andrew Stuttaford cross:
Britain’s problem is that, unlike other European countries, it slavishly copied the US yuppy ideology of the 1980s (Thatcher!), with disasterous results. Now, the Brits have suddenly discovered that they are normal Europeans and are trying to restore a European sense of order and decorum. Like Putin clearing out the oligarchs, they have had to go pretty far to clean up the mess Thatcher made and Blair going off on the Iraqi tangent simply made matters worse. It will probably take a generation (20 years of resolute government, as A.J. Balfour said of Ireland in 1886!) to get back to European norms of public order.