On Britishness

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SURREY (I think) — I know I still speak with a nasal, uncouth sounding accent.  I know I will never pass too easily for Bob Hoskins or Anthony Hopkins.  But I am increasingly growing into my second citizenship.  I have a fondness for pastel coloured trousers.  And curry.

An article on Britain in a recent Sunday Times brought me to tears.  Am I allowed to say that?  I think I am.  I wish you could read it, but it’s behind Mr Murdoch’s paywall and I don’t want you giving him any more cash. (Wo-ho maybe you can see it.  On my machine it is here.)

However, what it says is that:
– we have a political system that works
– an open, fair and increasingly multi-cultural society
– an interest in knowledge over ideology
– a dynamic and interesting set of traditions
– and so on

All good.

Does it sound smug to say all that?  Do you worry that I’ll go all soft and start singing?

Well that’s the bit that increasingly feels more and more comfortable.  It’s a lack of cod-nationalism.  No jingoism.  It’s almost guile-less

Two weeks ago when a Briton won the Formula 1 race in Germany — beating a reigning German champion — he did the strangest things…

Guess what he did?

…600 years of historic antipathy between the countries…

And he complained that the British anthem wasn’t long enough to really enjoy the moment.  And so a quiet debate ensued.

I like that.

Good communications doesn’t draw attention to itself.  It isn’t brash or boastful.  It just does what it needs to do.

And sometimes has a good time doing it.


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