The English bulldog is on its last legs.
The dreary gray drizzle that swept through much of England last week as it simultaneously observed St. George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday perfectly matched the nation’s glum and helpless mood. This summer England and Britain will distract themselves with both the queen’s 60th anniversary Jubilee and the Olympics (hence the term “Jubolympics”), but at best the mega-celebration will be a brief holiday from the reality that England is crumbling to dust.
England and the rest of the UK are increasingly becoming mirrors of the capital. London is splitting into a land of surly immigrants and the governing-media-celebrity class of the well-shod who insulate themselves from everyone else and thus don’t care what is going on. The working and middle class have been left to their own devices as they contend with absurd levels of taxation, decaying schools, horrific crime, and cultural devaluation. Try as Britain might to make 2012 about the queen and Lord Sebastian Coe (its chief Olympics cheerleader and gold medalist runner), its more relevant faces are Liam Stacey and Rhea Page.
Liam Stacey, 21, until recently a biology student at Swansea University, is currently a guest of Her Majesty’s prisons. His crime was to get drunk and send racist tweets about a soccer player, Fabrice Muamba, a black man who suffered a heart attack and collapsed during a game. (He has since recovered.) Stacey’s tasteless Twitter remarks earned him eight weeks in prison. Tweeting stupid and insensitive off-the-cuff thoughts that one may later regret may be an unfortunate trend, but by placing Stacey in prison the UK proved it is in an era in which the State must set aside prison beds and iron bars to punish thoughtcrime.
Ah, but at least Britain is stamping out racism, right? Actually, no. That brings us to Rhea Page, a 21-year-old white care worker who while walking to a taxi stand in the city of Leicester was stomped, beaten, and kicked by four black Somali women who screamed such remarks as “kill the white slag” and “white bitch.” The judge in the case told the four attackers that he was very, very disappointed in them. “Those who knock someone to the floor and kick them in the head can expect to go inside,’ he said, but not this time. The judge reasoned that the women, who said they were drunk and that, as Muslims, were especially unused to the effects of alcohol, might have felt threatened by Page’s boyfriend as he tried to defend her. The judge set all four attackers free, giving them a six-month suspended sentence. One of the attackers later was asked by a reporter if she wanted to apologize. Her reply was, “What, to the public? I really don’t care.”
Nearly every week adds another horrifying chapter to a tale of a land unable and unwilling to defend its values from the simultaneous left-wing onslaught of political correctness and the right-wing non-response of hand-wringing embarrassment. London’s hard-left former mayor Ken Livingstone, who today is neck-and-neck in the race to oust the incumbent Boris Johnson, recently declared, at a radical mosque with terrorist ties, that he would make London “a beacon” for the teachings of Mohammed. He is only two points behind in a recent poll. This week the Sunday Times estimated that some 100,000 Muslim women and girls in Britain have been subjected to genital mutilation. Calling around to a few doctors (and even a dentist), reporters found many Muslim professionals willing to perform the barbaric and illegal practice.
To raise too much of a stink about any of this would be seen as “racist” or at least “culturally insensitive,” so while the stalwart middle grows increasingly outraged (half of Britons want to leave the country), their betters in the moneyed classes of London and even in the upper echelons of government remain unfazed. Last week the man in the street was stunned again when, thanks to the unwelcome interference of the European Court of Human Rights that keeps asserting its fictitious authority over British affairs from Strasbourg, the terrorist Abu Qatada was retained in the UK instead of being deported to Jordan as was ordered by British courts. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron could have simply ignored the ECHR; instead, he does nothing.
Britain’s nature as a land with two sets of rules will become starkly evident in the London Olympics, whose tickets are mostly being snapped up by VIPs and the international governing class who will whiz to the games in special lanes of traffic set aside especially for them. Thousands of extra police will be on duty at the Games site — meaning the rest of the country will be short-handed. Opportunist gangs of thugs are already licking their lips at another round of what they call “free shopping” like last year’s massive looting. Some 15,000 people took part in that crime party, which an official government inquiry looked into. The Riots Communities and Victims Panel concluded that society was to blame for the widespread theft of luxury goods and wagged its finger at the “excessive marketing” that made the helpless young people desire the sneakers and cell phones in the first place.
The most determined chronicler of Britain’s decline, Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens (the older brother of the late Anglo-American writer Christopher), notes that the “criminals are victims” mentality is now a defining feature of the “injustice system.”
So what was there to celebrate on the day of England’s patron, St. George? Not much. After two generations of instruction in the evils of the Empire, England no longer does patriotism, leaving the holiday as a fringe event that has come to be associated with the hooligans. Polls show some 25 percent of Brits think St. George’s Day is racist. Naturally: who else would take pride in a great civilization? Or what used to be a great civilization. Today’s England is a place where you can be arrested on charges of racial insensitivity for singing “Kung Fu Fighting” in a bar.