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Trump may be leaving the White House, but his values live on in the UK | Nesrine Malik

As Johnson finds it in him to condemn Trump, Britain should remember its own mobs, culture wars and far-right threat

The writer Alistair Cooke once observed: “As always, the British especially shudder at the latest American vulgarity, and then they embrace it with enthusiasm two years later.” That is a kind way of saying that the British are always a few years behind the Americans, emulating them and then pretending that we came up with whatever it is we are mimicking ourselves, or with a uniquely British version of it.

For example, Britain’s allegedly evidence-based involvement in the Iraq war was largely – as President George W Bush wrote in an internal memo months before military action – a matter of it following the US’s lead. So much of the special relationship between the two countries hinges on this keeping up of appearances, where the British political classes – who like to maintain their nation the superior of the two, the original superpower – can admire and obey while holding on to the fiction that the UK is a more restrained country, less prone to the excesses of the other.

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