The Spectator

The ties that bind | 20 July 2007

The ties that bind | 20 July 2007
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In a piece keying off the Beckhams arrival in the States, Time magazine tries to explain what unites the English-speaking peoples and comes up with an interesting, distinctly non-Churchillian answer:

Britain is now just about as open and classless a society as the U.S. (The Beckhams' habits are far more typical of modern Britain than the boarding-school japes of that other ubiquitous Brit, Harry Potter.) So why bother to settle in the U.S.? For the same reason that investment bankers from New Jersey like London--because the two nations have so much in common. Britain and the U.S. are the most messy, undeferential, schlocky societies on earth, places that like making a fast buck, that enjoy celebrity precisely because it is fleeting. Such characteristics may not be the conventional stuff of shared language and wartime alliance that are supposed to bind the two nations together, but these days they are a much stronger glue. Victoria: Welcome. You're going to feel right at home