I put a question mark in the headline out of an abundance of caution but there’s not much doubt. Eagle-eyed reader A.M. decided to cross-check Toby Harnden’s excerpts from the kit against Wikipedia articles on Britain. Harnden:

Then it all started to go wrong. “The losses and destruction of World War I, the depression of the 1930s, and decades of relatively slow growth eroded the United Kingdom’s preeminent international position of the previous century”.

Versus Wiki’s entry on the Economic History of the UK (last edited on March 22):

The losses and destruction of World War I, the depression in its aftermath during the 1930s, and decades of relatively slow growth eroded the United Kingdom’s pre-eminent international position of the previous century.

Almost word for word. Heh. This is a venial sin, if it’s even a sin at all (although of course that depends on how much of the entire kit was “borrowed”) but didn’t Bush’s White House get in trouble for doing something like this once? Am I misremembering that?

Update: Looks like the excerpt on Gordon Brown quoted by Harnden was lifted straight from the 10 Downing Street website. That might be standard practice for foreign leaders, actually. Not sure.

Update: Could be — another excerpt about Elizabeth staging pantomimes during World War II looks like it comes from the queen’s official page.

Tags: White House