Friday, 29 April 2011

William and Kate give Britain a much-needed lift

Britain is a country beset by self-doubt. But for a good few hours today the nation was able to forget its troubles and join together to celebrate the Royal Wedding of our future king and queen, William and Catherine.
It has been a golden day that stretched from the kisses of the happy couple on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to the kiddies’ bouncy castle at the street party I attended - and from there around the world.
Tomorrow – no, Tuesday, let’s press the pause button a few days longer – the honeymoon will be well and truly over for the British people.
Our economy is flat-lining even before the Coalition government’s public spending cuts; youth unemployment is climbing; our beloved National Health Service is under attack; inflation is mounting; and the country’s armed services are being stretched to the limit.
So it was with pride mixed with relief - and the whole world watching - the Royal Wedding passed with out a hitch. It promises well for the Olympic Games next year.
It was refreshing to see the Union Jack in abundance. The flags of the home countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have become allied with local self-interest. The Union flag looks much more deeply into our country’s soul.
To wave the Union Jack expresses, even if unconsciously, irony tinged with wistfulness at our lost glory (some would say infamy). But either way it’s gone forever. What remains is an easy-going hedonism that loves a party.
The difference between a young man wearing a Union Jack T-shirt and one in England’s red and white cross of St George is that the former is more likely to crack jokes than heads. Both are likely to drink more than is good for them.

4 comments:

  1. Nice piece. GC. Not only is England a country that loves a party; it also loves a pageant and due to its architectural heritage and to TV, it is able to export that nostalgia worldwide. [Jaffa].

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  2. Re your comment, Jaffa. For England read Britain, otherwise thanks. GC

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  3. Yes, GC. But only "England swings like a pendulum do. . . .".

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  4. On second thoughts, GC, you can read me as 'The [future] King, England and St. George'. [we have had plenty of devolution which eg allows the Scots to vote in our [England's] parliament, whilst we cannot vote in theirs]. [Another legacy from New Labour and those two Scots, Blair and Brown]. And yes, you will no doubt riposte that it is not the English parl, but the UK parl. Mere details, I say and further confusion, all caused by New Labour. All those golden early years all wasted on ill thought out unsatisfactory devolution, and constitutional and parliamentary reform. This was what Blair's headmaster meant when he said that at school, Blair was always questioning everthing. This is also part of his legacy. So re your other blog, why invite him to something which is also part of our treasured constitutional process which he did so much to screw up? [Jaffa].

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What do you think? GC