“It is the UK that leads the way”. Says Boris Johnson again with the classic simplistic, mendacious, faux-patriotism that characterises him and his sordid Government. David Aaronovitch summarises well in The Times today why we can’t and mustn’t ever trust this shower.
Personally I’ve never been flag-wavingly patriotic except for British and English sporting teams. My earliest memories include the shameful debacle of Suez and of human rights abuses in the declining Empire from Kenya to Malaya and others. We weren’t very good then – but we are a hell of a sight worse now.
There is much still to admire – our creative arts are of high quality and the BBC is second to none anywhere in the world. Some of the consumables we make we can be proud of – Whisky, Gin, some Cheese, organic Meat. But we don’t make much else and we have long since been overtaken in manufacturing consumer goods of all types.
Our obsession with the past , always a factor in my baby boomer lifetime, is even more present today. I like the White Cliffs as much as anyone but I don’t need a Spitfire flying over them to appreciate them. I admire Tom Moore, a splendid eccentric of a very English type, but his canonisation reeks of opportunism and his knighthood was cringemaking Virtue Signalling by the establishment.
Britain, especially England, is a very divided nation. Disraeli’s “Two Nations” still exist. Look at the incidence of COVID-19. If you’re white, southern, wealthy and well-educated you are much less likely to have been affected than if you’re black, Northern, poor and with limited education. Class mobility is better than it was but we are still one of the most class-ridden societies in the world. I have no doubt that this comes in part from our acceptance of institutionalised privilege. The monarchy and the Royal Family predicates that we ordinary citizens should know our place. The House of Lords that we should accept governance by unelected patronage receivers.
The British “We know best” is indicative of a belief system that leads to boastfulness even when there is little to boast about. The Government that never misses an opportunity to claim that something British is “world-leading” eschews transnational cooperation as if contact with foreigners will pollute us. As it stands at the end of this year we will be the only nation in Europe with no Free Trade arrangements and with the freedoms enjoyed by all thirty of our once partner nations removed. We are being told by Government to “prepare” for this calamity without being told how to do this. To emigrate looks the only rational choice.
As far as the Russia Report is concerned it’s worth repeating what I said yesterday:
“The “intelligence agencies” are an arm of government – they do what the Government of the day tells them to do. In a democracy it couldn’t be otherwise. So if these agencies didn’t investigate this matter it was because government hasn’t asked them and/or authorised them to do so. The buck doesn’t stop on the desks of the top spooks – it stops on the desk in Number 10.”
Our blame culture is another classic component of present day Britishness of which the Government is the leading exponent. It’s never them is it, always someone else? When we fail, and we nearly always fail, we look around for someone to blame. Fool Brittania for putting up with all this.