Skip to main content

So what CAN we be proud of now?

I don't like the evisceration of Parliament by cynical and irresponsible journalists like Ben Brogan. I am sceptical of and afraid of the desperation of those who stole information to fuel a Parliamentary story that is surely a bonfire of the vanities, but may also be, conceivably, the bonfire of our democracy.

In the face of the "shaming of our Parliament" I am struggling to feel positive about my country. As I leave the UK once more, and as the plane taxies out to the runway, I am trying to think of the ten things that I love about Britain.

Funnily enough the first thing I think of is that our airlines are very good. It doesn't matter whether it is British Airways, Virgin or BMI, you know when you get on a British plane you are most likely going to have a good flight. Even our low cost airline, Easyjet, is massively better than its Irish competition.

Then there is the beautiful landscape: the soft rolling hills of the south, the bleak Pennines of the North in England, the Mountains of Wales, the sea lochs of west of Scotland or the majestic Grampians of the east, all are amongst the most beautiful places we could find.

Then there is the humour of the Brits- the wise cracks of the Scousers, the dry humour of Glasgow that Chic Murray captured so well. the surrealism of Python or the League of Gentlemen, all part of the root of our culture.

Then there are the great cities- the pride of the Pier Head in Liverpool, the glory of Edinburgh, the quiet elegance of Bath or Cheltenham or Buxton. Above all the greatest city in Europe, which is surely London.

Within those cities there are the peerless cathedrals: of perfect Salisbury, or St. Paul's in London. of Elgin and St. Machers in Aberdeen, St Giles in Edinburgh, Wells, or Llandaff, Norwich, York and Lincoln, the fortress of Durham, the college chapel of Oxford.

The Royal Family, so familiar they are almost our own family. The decent and dignified Queen Elizabeth II, the sincere and honourable Prince of Wales.

Our tradition of tolerance, and decency, our fair mindedness.

Our innovation and our resistance to conformity- the belief that we can go to the devil our own way- and that this should be allowed.

The music scene- always new and interesting, from the Levellers in folk, to the Symphony Orchestras, to the latest teen sensation.

Though I leave Britain feeling sad about what is happening in politics, I hope that the richness of the British identity can transcend this vicious and trivial attack on the very basis of our democracy- and the cupidity of those who made themselves vulnerable.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Just for information Cicero - Chic Murray was from Edinburgh and used to run a bar overlooking Bruntsfield Links. One of it's main clientels was underage drinkers from James Gillespie's High School (and the next door youth hostel).

Popular posts from this blog

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…