Latest Issue

Bi-polar Britain

We will stand "shoulder to shoulder" with America in the fight against terror, but Britain cannot be a bridge across the Atlantic

By John Stevens   October 2001

For two generations Britain has been in the grip of an identity crisis. Are we Europeans or not? Are we closer to the US and the rest of the English speaking world, the “Anglosphere,” or to our continental neighbours? This rift underpins most of the contradictions in our politics. We seek European levels of public provision, with US levels of tax. We aspire to US-style flexible labour markets, but our attitudes to risk and mobility are far closer to European practice. We talk of Britain as a multicultural society like the US, but we are still attached to European notions…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect