Oh the smugness of Toynbee here has me frothing:
It makes our own politics look civil, our commentating measured, our right wing moderate. But there is little doubt that had News International not fallen so spectacularly from grace, the Murdochs would have intimidated British politicians into changing our laws to allow unbridled political bias in broadcasting. Fox-style television would have battered its way into our living rooms, bringing us Tea Party politics too.Whatever you think of the Tory party, it is not shot through with US craziness, not on stem cell research and gay marriage, or even really on abortion – though they will toughen its conditions.
No no. Britain has normalized 24/7 state surveillance. Has made Anti-social behaviour a criminal act. Has kettled its youth. Has alienated its immigrants.
No. Ms. Toynbee you’re right, British politics is not at all American. In many ways it is worse, disguising the most disgusting violations of civil liberties in the name of civility and order.