The Importance of Being British

Say the words "British" or "English," and most people think "enduring": a royal succession that goes back to 1066, the language of Shakespeare, ancient universities, the mother of Parliaments. But the reality of Blair's post-imperial, globalized Britain — when the royals are tabloid fodder, hereditary peers have been kicked out of the House of Lords, and Scotland and Wales have their own assemblies — is better described as fluctuating. And that is giving British politics a case of vertigo. In small ways and large, national identity, and its more prickly cousins immigration and race, keep popping onto the national agenda....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!