Thursday, April 9, 2009

The British Conundrum

This post is by a good friend Louise, in true 80% form her internet is down for 24 hours, so I'm posting this from an internet cafe somwhere in the depths of Hungary.

Ive always thought England and London in particular had that wonderful and unique mix of a long and illustrious history, a mature culture with depth alongside cutting edge 21st century life when it really mattered. I mean Britain sat astride the world at one time and the sun never set on the Empire. Who could be more experienced, sophisticated and at the top of their game and have that ace up their sleeve of Monarchy compared to the rest ?
The sad fact of the matter is that this mud island which used to be Great, has been left behind, scrambling for her place in the world just like everyone else. And while the rules of the world game have changed and moved on, Britain, like the aging grand Dame seems to prefer to have another spot of tea and contemplate what the weather might do . Or maybe she's sipping her G&T and grumbling about why her subjects are not as loyal as they used to be. It’s her silly little secret which you only get in on once you come and live here.

Okay so one does get to enjoy the lovely Georgian architecture, the little hanging baskets bursting with flowers, the well tended and pretty gardens no matter how small, english tea and cream scones, the impressive history, traditions, pomp and ceremony. I mean even my grandfather used to send his butterfly collars to be laundered in England because everything British was better.
The countryside is still terribly beautiful and London Town and the Westend still have a certain quality shall we say. So have a somewhat dwindling number of the stiff upper lipped, strong backboned lot who have weathered every storm with a sharp and charming wit thankfully in tact . From my history lessons, I too shall never forget Churchill’s heart stirring speech about how ‘We shall never surrender’. But sadly, the Englishman is a dying breed and with it, all those values and traditions that we have come to admire and expect.

I dont know about you but I think something has happened here. An insidiousness which has pervaded almost every level of society and with it the freedom to speak. It just isn’t politically correct any longer to do anything because its an affront or an offence to one community or another . No more comments, funny jokes and light hearted banter about any particular person, community, country, race, religion, political persuasion, traffic issue (which is another story in itself) , service level, eating habit, joke, fashion statement, sexual persuasion, teenage crime, education, health policy or any thoughts about anything specific which is guaranteed to offend someone, somewhere.

We have become a truly multi-cultural, politically correct, over crowded, immoral and aging society who can talk about the weather really well.

over and out from bpo's guest blogger in London - with the dust of Africa still left on the soles of my shoes.


BobA said...

Very well done. I'm still trying to figure out how such a small country can produce so many smart people and terrific artists. Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, David Gilmour, and Pete Townshend just blow me away.

Louise said...

true.....there were some talented people from way back when - and still are. Its the politics and policies that suck. well at least there's something worth smiling about.

blackpetero said...

No matter how much Louise tries to tell me that England is over, I still want to go live there for a while. I want to be able to speak English, everywhere and not be at 60% as I am here in the holy land.