Writer living and working in Oxford.
National politics in the US has become crasser over the past six decades, and often the Republicans have been to blame for pushing the envelope. Richard Nixon’s paranoia forcing his resignation from the presidency or Newt Gingrich’s bellicose tenure as Speaker of the House (resulting also in a forced resignation) could serve as case-in-point.
In my previous Region Report I complained about the Yanks’ faux republicanism (see: LINK). In Blighty the problem is the reverse: false modesty, pretended irrelevance, and the snobby casualness of insisting on calling everyone by his first name, as if one could presume intimacy with anyone, anywhere, high or low, common or royal.
There is a popular historical debate about when Rome’s decadence took it so low that it was thereafter unable to recover its former secular glory. Was it when birth rates of the Senatorial class fell to the point that they could not reproduce themselves (that is, without the mass adult adoption which they practiced)? Was it the advent of the new religion, based not on the will of the powerful or the powerful’s gods, but on the ‘poor in spirit’, meek, and persecuted, who were then inheriting the Roman earth? Was it earlier, when the Republic evolved into the Empire, and gradually lost its ability to hold the provinces to a Roman pattern?
On the 15th of February, the First Minister of Scotland, Mrs Nicola Sturgeon, announced her resignation. The First Minister would be the equivalent of a prime minister if Scotland were independent.
Earlier this month the American president, Mr Joe Biden, proposed a minimum tax of 25% on billionaires. It is unclear whether such a proposal could ever gain traction in the land that invented the billionaire as a special class of modern man.
A slow-motion transfer of power would seem to be afoot in the Anglosphere, moving from a heritage ruling class of white men and women to the children of successful Indian immigrants. The US Vice President, Mrs Kamala Harris, is Indian on one side.
As we learnt in the March Region Report on the Anglosphere (LINK), Scotland does not want to be left behind in the race to replace heritage British leaders with those from the former British colonies of Asia.