The UK doesn’t want to be lectured by ‘bloody foreigners’ – but it’s time we started listening

Britain has become thin-skinned and defensive when it comes to other countries having an opinion about us, not least on human rights, writes Alan Rusbridger. We must guard against this hostility sliding into nationalism

Friday 24 November 2023 16:33 GMT
<p>Tommy Robinson leads far-right protesters</p>

Tommy Robinson leads far-right protesters

Back in the eighties a gnarled old tabloid editor, Derek Jameson – dubbed “Sid Yobbo” by Private Eye – became an unlikely TV success with a BBC programme, Do They Mean Us?

The idea was a simple one: each week Jameson would ridicule foreign media coverage of Britain. The underlying premise was that foreign journalists were by and large stupid. And that, in the immortal couplet of the 1960s songwriters Flanders and Swann: “The English, the English, the English are best / I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest!”

Jameson’s programme came back to me this week when a German journalist, Birgit Maass of Deutsche Welle, won the top prize at the annual Foreign Press Association awards in London for a film she’d made about the UK.

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