Saturday, February 20, 2010

There Will Always Be An England

There will always be an England.

Or will there?

It is I think fair to say that for a while, before Margaret Thatcher, there wasn't that much left of England, in the glorious old sense. Mrs. Thatcher is utterly candid in acknowledging that before her eventful term as prime minister, England was a disheveled mess. A second-rate power, slipping into Third World status. This was so on the international front as well as domestically. The one significant foreign venture (the liquidation of the British Empire was a passive act, bowing under the winds of change) after the victory in the World War was the Suez invasion of 1956 under Anthony Eden, and that had turned into farce. Prime Minister Eden was booted out after President Eisenhower read the riot act to a country that had no alternative but to abide by American judgment over what was permissible in foreign policy in parts of the world where America was also involved.

William F. Buckley, Jr., writing in 1993 about Margaret Thatcher's "The Downing Street Years"

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