I don’t often get personal in this blog, but I found myself in a fight this week with members of London’s liberal chattering classes mockingly saying that Americans were narrow-minded, ill-read, and largely stupid. I challenged them to compare the non-fiction best sellers list of the New York Times which is dominated by big books of big ideas and the Sunday Times non-fiction list wihich is dominated by bland celebrity stories that lead to nothing. The US has Tom Friedman and Barak Obama on their lists. Britain has comedian Russell Brand and big-breasted Katie Price. When did Britain last produce a politician with a best-selling book of new ideas, and when did the British people last show an inclination to buy one.
It is important, because the last big political idea to come out of the US was the invasion of Iraq and the democratisation of the Middle East. Because Britain is afraid of big ideas we did not have intellectual muscle to stop it.