The English bulldog is on its last legs.
The dreary gray drizzle that swept through much of England last week as it simultaneously observed St. George's Day and Shakespeare's birthday perfectly matched the nation's glum and helpless mood. This summer England and Britain will distract themselves with both the queen's 60th anniversary Jubilee and the Olympics (hence the term "Jubolympics"), but at best the mega-celebration will be a brief holiday from the reality that England is crumbling to dust.
England and the rest of the UK are increasingly becoming mirrors of the capital. London is splitting into a land of surly immigrants and the governing-media-celebrity class of the well-shod who insulate themselves from everyone else and thus don't care what is going on. The working and middle class have been left to their own devices as they contend with absurd levels of taxation, decaying schools, horrific crime, and cultural devaluation. Try as Britain might to make 2012 about the queen and Lord Sebastian Coe (its chief Olympics cheerleader and gold medalist runner), its more relevant faces are Liam Stacey and Rhea Page.