Britain seems to have become a deeply puritanical place. And deeply hypocritical, too, although they usually go together and people prefer not to notice the latter. In fact hypocrisy is more or less general and we try not to notice.
I say that Britain is especially puritanical because anything that can be used to move popular condemnation of anyone, is so used. Politicians know that, rather than looking petty and spiteful, they will be regarded as strong and demotic.
The press follow them partly because they are no different, and partly because they know it sells to the public.
It is much more than the racism industry, much more than the broader 'offence' industry. These have been created deliberately. It is a general thing. Anyone who does or says or thinks anything heterodox or unauthorised or surprising to the hearer will be skimmity-ed, pilloried, publically and gleefully humiliated by spineless creatures filled with loathing, burning envy of those able to think and brave enough to be free, and the act of hounding out of their job, their house or their sanity of people who are not like them will be applauded as something good. It is easy to make people base and foul, and it has become the accepted thing to be. Ghastly. Spain is less horribly putrid in this respect.
In Britain, which is influenced in these matters by the USA, in ways spread only, I think, by the contact most people have with its popular culture, and to some extent by interference between their media and academics, there is a constant shifting of the moral quicksand, and a constant vigilance for the first one to miss a step. It is not surprising that people should take their own values to be, if not universal, at least basically right and accepted by a majority. It isn't even surprising that people should pose as thinkers in newspapers and on television and demonstrate exactly the same ignorance. But that it is rarely challenged by those who should know better is surprising indeed.
I think in the media the desire to be thought orthodox trumps everything else; truth, analysis, information, usefulness, interest, intelligence, are not important. Most articles are opinion, even those claiming to be news, and they are mostly an exercise in saying what they think their readers, or such of them as they consider their judges, want to hear. They contribute very little to real knowledge or understanding.
The moral culture that Britain thinks it lives in is more relaxed about many types of sexuality and the ways it sees other people, and it is proud of this fact. But there is no real goodness in people's position on this, it is just what they have been told they should believe. Even so, it probably makes Britain a better place for homosexuals or blacks to live in. However, in other respects social constraint is much tighter than it was 30 years ago. The important point is that deviation from the norm appears to be policed much more strictly than it was. It is this sense that Britain is more puritanical than it was.
I suppose it is natural to think that 'we' are continuing to discover moral rightness, and are morally superior to the people of a generation ago, but someone who is about to commit that stupidity to print should really think hard enough about it to realize that it is rubbish.