Sean Thomas Sean Thomas

Why is The New York Times so obsessed with loathing Britain?

It’s not just Brexit. It’s Oedipal.

(Credit: Getty images)

They’ve done it again in the grey building on 826 Eighth Avenue, New York City, NY, USA. They – the editors of the New York Times – have launched a tumultuous broadside against the most degraded, pathetic, hopeless, rancid, ugly, stupid, ridiculous, doomed and offensively anti-democratic country in the entire world. That is to say, the United Kingdom.

This particular fusillade is quite something. Under the shouting headline The Fantasy of Brexit Britain Is Over, the author – Richard Seymour (and we shall come back to him) – serves up a grand, all-you-can-eat buffet of UK hatred.

Britain, according to Mr Seymour, is ‘economically stagnant, socially fragmented, politically adrift’. The right’s ‘Brexit fantasy’ is now a ‘nightmare’; the country is ‘corroded’, it is ‘unravelling’, its economy is ‘abysmal’, and its people are ‘dying in hospital’ in their ‘tens of thousands’. And all this is just a ‘familiar nightmare’ of ‘chaos’, ‘crippling strikes’, ‘structural problems’, and ‘chronic labor shortages’. What’s more, whenever we Brits do manage to raise a snaggle-toothed smile – for, say, the football – we are merely ‘flag-bedraggled, drunk and delirious’; we are horrible crowds ‘nourished by nationalism… roaming empty commercial streets’.

Nor does it end there. The writer gets so priapically excited by his thesis he actually questions whether Britain has a right to exist, or whether it even, you know, exists. As he puts it ‘what even is Britain’? He’s not quite sure of the answer, but that doesn’t matter, because he adds – and you can feel the author’s relishing spittle as you read the words – Britain is finally being ‘cut down to size’.

America is in stark decline and its people are in anguish, so they lash out

It is, as I say, quite the show. And this is not some tiny blog hidden away in the bowels of an online edition.

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