The FIFA fiasco, I hope, will have at least one good outcome – it must provide the final piece of evidence to even the most internationalist of Brits that, as far as elites of the rest of the world is concerned the UK is almost as unpopular as the USA.
The political/media complex, of course (otherwise known as our “ruling class”) has always been in denial about this. Listen to the BBC, read the “quality” dead tree press, listen to most MPs, Government ministers and all civil servants and they act and articulate as if we are beloved on every continent. They do this, of course, because they gush over all other non English speaking countries so much they assume it must be a passion reciprocated.
But it’s not – it is an unrequited love. They hate and despise us and, whenever they have the chance to give us a poke in the eye (UN,EU,FIFA, Eurovision, the Iraq war etc etc) they do it with a gleeful malevolence so openly displayed that only the most obtuse BBC/Guardian hack would fail to detect the stench of withering contempt.
Why do they hate us so much?
Partly, I wager, it is a reaction to the grovelling subservience often displayed by our ruling class when engaged in some form of international negotiation. Other countries are quite happy to make airy promises about future actions in areas such as immigration, environmental legislation, health and safety regulations, military commitments, fiscal discipline etc fully aware that even as the ink dries on the agreement there is no intention of implementation whereas they all know that our zealous, relatively incorruptible will enforce everything in that agreement down to the final dot and comma – and they despise us for it.
But, I suspect, there is also something deeper. Drill down into individual manifestations of hatred and so very often it springs from those most corrosive of human attributes envy and jealousy…
Envy of our thousand year culture of civil law and political continuity
Envy of our long established tradition – from Magna Carta onwards – that even kings are not above the law..indeed in 1649 we cut off one royal head just to reinforce that notion and invited the son to return in 1660 on condition that he remembered to keep within those boundaries
Envy of our golden gift to the world – the English language, so expressive, so adaptable that it has become the globe’s universal language.
Envy of the literary genius that has flowered from the language – Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens and so many other giants of the written word..
Note well, America – it’s not your military and economic power that provokes an even greater wave of hatred, it’s because of your shared collective inheritance of those concepts enumerated above.
We are not perfect and sometimes things have been done in our name that have not been right. But part of our strength is that we have the courage to acknowledge our failings. However willingly grovelling in subservience to a native tyrant, a political or religious creed or remaining quiescent under the heel of an alien invader is not of our nature – unlike most other peoples outside the English speaking world.
So maybe it’s time for us to stop turning the other cheek and trying our best to appease the haters – however much we try to please them they will only despise us more. Let’s play a straight bat, look them in the eye and tell them enough is enough. If you don’t like us we don’t give a damn…
So, Johnny Foreigner, take your bribes and your corruption and your religious/political/tribal fanaticism and put ‘em where the sun doesn’t shine because, believe me, without us, the world would be a poorer place…