Britain is still a relatively free and open society, full of anomalies and things which need to be improved, but no more so than in any other democracy. However, the mood of national self-deprecation that exists here is extreme and goes far beyond healthy self-criticism to become self- defeating. One cannot, for example, even enjoy a tennis match at Wimbledon in which a British player puts up a good fight without dark mutterings of jingoism being heard. The French or the Americans can cheer their sportsmen, indeed find it natural to do so, but the British apparently must not.
Clearly, it goes against our present national grain actually to be proud of being British - but at least we should be thankful for those qualities and institutions that we possess and which are often admired abroad. Above all, we should not be ashamed of our history or ourselves.
21 JulyReuse content