I have no desire to pick on Bryan Appleyard, with whom I agree more than I disagree (particularly once he's translated from the orginal English), but this rare post on his blog deserves some comment.
I'm always amused by the cry of "O tempora o mores" immediately followed by blaming conservatives. The idea that 2011 is, historically, a particularly difficult time to be living in England, or anywhere in the West is obvious nonsense. It's particularly odd in the course of a touching story of nobility in true hardship; a father who, with his son's blood fresh upon him, quells a riot. It also strikes me as odd that, for Appleyard, original sin now seems to be bankers lending money with insufficient collateral.