Ed Driscoll

'My God, They've Turned into Us!'

“Being an English-American can be depressing,” Florence King writes:

For years I thought about giving up my American citizenship and becoming a Brit to get my blood and my nationality lined up without the interference of a hyphen, but then something made me change my mind with a vengeance: Princess Diana’s funeral. I spent three stunned days staring at the TV screen and thinking My God, they’ve turned into us! It wasn’t England any more, just a sceptre’d loony bin set in a sea of rotting flora, a UK of Utter Kitsch where the crud de la crud built teddy-bear temples to a gilded hysteric who resembled nothing so much as Judy Garland with a title. I told myself that if I must live in a country where people who once tipped their hats now tipped the scales, I might as well stay home and save myself the trouble of remembering to look right instead of left to avoid an oncoming hug speeding up the wrong side of the road. My hyphen, right or wrong.

That the England of the stiff upper lip died somewhere between Winston Churchill’s somber funeral, and Princess Di’s Oprahesque weepathon was also noted by Peter Hitchens in his 1999 book, The Abolition of Britain.

A decade since its publishing, the abolition continues apace.