Friday, January 16, 2004

Dickens To Le Carré

Smiley's (Anti-American) People

"When several million G.I.'s sailed to England from 1942 to 1944, they were met with resentment. 'Before the war there was no popular anti-American feeling in this country,' George Orwell wrote. "It all dates from the arrival of the American troops," who made the British feel that their country 'was now Occupied Territory.'

"For all that, there was little evidence of popular anti-American feeling in England then, or after the war either, up to this day. This is, among other things (as so often in our damp little island) a class question. Culturally, the British masses are much more friendly to America than what passes for our literary and academic intelligentsia. It is there, from Harold Pinter on the squawking left to Le Carré on the surly right, that the more frenzied expressions of hatred tend to come."

One could say the same about NZ. Its the middle class Listener reader who is the most irrational about the US.


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