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New Left Review I/113-114, January-April 1979

Tom Nairn

The Future of Britain’s Crisis

‘The outstanding feature of the British situation since the Second World War has been unreality . . . On balance the wonder is that the system has remained afloat and changed course to the extent that it has. So far the repeated lesson of history that the loss of great empire leads to the economic degradation of the parent nation has been defied. But it has been defied as yet for only a decade, which is but a fraction of time in the lag and lead pattern of historical cause and effect . . . The greatest danger to Britain comes from the amount of progress that seems to have been made. In reality all that has been done so far is to paper over the cracks that have appeared in the first decade of discontinuity following five hundred years of development of a pattern which has now been totally shattered.’

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Tom Nairn, ‘The Future of Britain’s Crisis’, NLR I/113-114: £3

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