British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors, Brits at their Best.com, English country scene

Blog Home | All Posts

"This is a country of courage and character"

Amanda Platell has a column in the Daily Mail on what she discovered when she came to Britain from Australia 25 years ago (a shambles), what happened, what is happening now and why she loves Britain and will become a citizen and stand up for her values.

There is simply no place on earth like Britain, and no people like the British.
This is a country of courage and character and endlessly captivating landscapes.
There is no more loyal human being on earth than a Brit. . .

Private Eye may sneer, but we don't.


Comments (2)

OK, guys, we need to talk here. I fell in love with Britain when I was 9, and have not been unfaithful to her since. (Which is more than I can say for several wives.) And there is a tiny, embarrassed, part of me that thrills to such rantings. (Peter Hitchen’s Abolition of Britain; Enoch Powell; yes, I know.) And yet, I am also a man -- now an elderly man -- educated (partly in pre-Thatcher Britain) to a kinder, less paranoid, more confident British outlook. An outlook that embraced the idea of the Commonwealth, recognising that the Empire, beloved as it was, could not have survived and had comprised many genuinely reprehensible mentalities. To those of us embracing that outlook, Thatcher was both genuinely great (especially in her confidence) and yet in part appalling (in her indifference to compassion and her petit-bourgeois attitude to supply-side economics). My ex-mother-in-law, during WW II, created a Commonwealth magazine from her exile in Australia, ‘Lifeline’. And there was, and is, an immense promise contained in the idea of the Commonwealth. PC angst and guilt are to be rejected and condemned: yes, yes, yes. But the Little-Englandism, the rejection of brown immigrants, the nasty paranoia of the Mail and its followers, are the opposite of what England at its best stands for. May I make a case for the greatest British Prime Minister since Churchill – a true conservative -- Harold Macmillan? He chose the title ‘Lord Stockton’ out of compassion with the victims of the Great Depression in his then constituency. He was a ‘toff’, in fact rather more of a toff than Maggie. But he had both brains and heart, though the nasty Seventies (which destroyed the British car industry along with so much else, and there I agree with you) gave him an undeserved bad press.

So: finally, a mean, paranoid Britain is every bit as bad as a spineless, PC Britain. As a reasonably devout Anglican, I honestly believe that a little human kindness, even in politics, is one of Britain’s great contributions to the planet’s all too vicious debates.

Cat:

I'm not sure that the 'Little Englandism' with which you take issue is really evidenced in this column by Amanda.

Amanda's respect for The Rt Hon. Baroness Thatcher LG, OM, FRS is part of the continuum of opinions about the lady. It seems to me that the Prime Minister's economic efforts came at a high cost to unions and union workers, but over the course of a decade her policies put many people back to work, gave them the chance to own Council homes which they had previously rented, and generated new jobs. In short, she saved many people from being out of work and unable to care for their families. Why is the lady denied credit for that? Surely that was kindness?

In the mid-19th century Queen Victoria agreed that the civil service test would be given and marked with blind indifference to the skin colour of the test-taker. That is how it should be.

If we are going to judge, let us judge by the content of a person's character. (And let me, given my own mistakes, be slow to judge.)

With thanks for your comments and your kindness.

Post a comment

(Please do give us your name or the name you write under in the form below and your URL if you have one. Your comment may take a little time to appear. Thanks for waiting.)

COPYRIGHT