Francis Wheen

He Names the Guilty Men

The Abolition of Britain: From Lady Chatterley to Tony Blair


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Peter Hitchens’s book is a plangent lament for the old Britain, the land of warm beer and lengthening shadows on the village cricket pitch; but it can also be read as an obituary for the old Daily Express. When Hitchens joined the paper, in 1977, it was still the voice of grumpy suburban reactionaries. Now it is edited by a founder of Spare Rib magazine and owned by a Blairite. Even the word Daily has been dropped from the title. Hitchens is the sole survivor of Fleet Street’s Mary Celeste, raging against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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