openDemocracyUK

The Economist sees the light (or is it the dark?)

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
10 December 2009

The Economist's UK editor, who writes under the name of Bagehot, has just published an excellent column that qualifies him for membership of OurKingdom's growing network. It puts together all the big themes, from Iraq to the role of the City, that the government is struggling with and observes that they are bedraggled legacies of empire:

Beneath all this is the peculiar British combination of bragging and bewilderment, an air of expectations great but unmet and of unrealised specialness. It is hard to think of another country so keen to magnify its accomplishments (everything must be “the best in the world”), yet also to wallow in its failings; so deluded and yet so morbidly disappointed.

It is true that he quotes Linda Colley rather than Paul Gilroy's magnificent study of "post-colonial melancholia", After Empire: Multiculture or Postcolonial Melancholia but maybe someone will put it in Bagehot's Christmas stocking. 

(hat tip TCP)

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