THOSE ODD BRITS

December 11, 2011
By

The English — and I am at least partly one by culture, having spent roughly half my life there — are never so pecuiliar as when they indulge in obvious contradiction. I am sure most people, if they reflect on the¬† matter, will consider that the action of Davis Cameron — a prime minister elected only because his predecessor was so heartily disliked — in refusing to accept the new central euro-zone project, is a folly.

But do the Brits think like Cameron?

Well. . .in a way they do. They are far less isolationist then the commonality of Americans, but they are on the whole, rightly skeptical about Europe: especially about Germany and France. That is, despite the fact that the royal family is German, ancient history. France is to be distrusted because it is considered the tail of the dog that Germany wags. I take that for granted, as I do the very English sense — bred out of Shakespeare — that there are some things, like Democracy, that are part of the national history. British law, British education, the English language, are glories built into their self-worth.

Modern English political correctness is more a matter of necessity than ideology, for the England of my youth is not the England of today. Apart from a very few enclaves in central London and some in the shires, the United Kingdom is by now and by far the most multi-racial nation in the world. If you travel by bus, as I do — among the plebs and not among the hedgefunders in their BMWs –¬†English as she is spoken is a minority language. UK citizens are Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Jamaican, Egyptian, Polish, Italian, French and so on. Why so? Because England remains a safe, decent sort of country in which one can live in common sense and peace: with a right to such glories as the National Health Service, proper pensions, easy transportation, adequate schools and the rest of the baggage of the times.

But none of these more recent Brits give a toss about Europe, or PC for that matter. So, onbehalf of whom has Cameron decided to sideline the UK from Europe? The first answer is, alas! on behalf of the Little Englanders: those who were against the massive immigration that brought all these ‘colonials’ back to the mother country. The second answer is, on behalf of the moneyed folk who — though they may employ Philippino servants, Chinese technologists, Bulgarian electricians, Brazilian cleaners and Polish builders — form the one-percent among whom Cameron grew up, a class whose lifestyle would be severely dinished if, God forbid! they had to change a plug or mop a floor.

Not unnaturally, Cameron and his kind — mainly but not exclusively Tory voters — have deepened this rift in the land of Common Sense. Most things are acceptable in modern Britain — skin color, artistic outrage, gender peculiarity, peculiarity itself: but NOT Europe.

 

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