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Dogmas of decline

Jeremiads of Britain's decline come from both the left and right. But the picture painted of the country is unrecognisable

Something is happening to Britain and the British. Or has happened. We are said to be passing through a transition, or a turning point, or a transformation; nobody is quite sure which. Opinions differ sharply as to what the “it” is that we are passing through.

Seasoned observers in the US tend to identify what they see quite simply as decline. A decline in relative power must certainly play some part. This is not 1914, and Britain, though still possessing the fourth largest economy in the world, is no longer number one. It has to be admitted that a large…

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