Britain leads the world

But our PR is dreadful. That’s what we have to fix.

The U.K. is a leader to be proud of in many areas. Take two for instance.. climate change and overseas aid.

We meet our climate change commitments and lead in this area. Globally we rank second only after Denmark. We’re doing much better than France and Italy. Germany has a dreadful record. I’d be prepared to bet this would astonish our Corbinista millenials.

We give generously to overseas aid – 0.7% of GDP alongside Scandinavian countries (Germany and France do not). Our generosity helps millions of refugees stay close to their countries (that’s what they want). Yet it’s Germany that is seen as being heroic here.

Odd isn’t it. Why is our publicity so bad?

Here again – within the EU we have been the second largest net funder. We’ve always obeyed all the rules. Yet we have always been castigated as “bad Europeans”. Why? Because we don’t play the corrupt politics of the Commission well – with its smoke filled rooms and underhand deals . ( Anyone who doubts this should read Adults in the Room by Varoufakis).

Again, we have a pluralistic tolerant and largely democratic society. Look elsewhere – where would you prefer to live as a persecuted minority? What’s not to be proud of…

Yes we have things to fix. How can we let the wealthy live separately from the poverty and distress of those who live rough subsist on food banks?

But for heavens sake our youth – wake up to what you have…

.. and can we please start telling the world about our qualities so that we can persuade them to tolerance, overseas aid and climate action ?

Scottish Nationalism, playing with fire..

I have lived approximately half of my life in England and half in Scotland where I have married and brought up my family. There is an anti-English prejudice in Scotland which has never previously been reciprocated. I suppose this prejudice is not surprising given the history of enmity between the countries until James VI of Scotland united the crowns and introduce the concept of a Great Britain.

“English”  to Scots is thus the archetype of “Enemy”. Indeed it is to some extent bound up with class – the English being identified, unreasonably, with being “toffs”.   We all have prejudices. A key struggle of civilisation is to overcome and integrate them. I do not believe that on the facts we as voters in Scotland would  break the Kingdom that James V1 United. I believe that the only way that this can be accomplished is to release and play up the ancient prejudice against “The English”, and this is indeed happening.   Alex Salmond is a master at playing to the emotion of the crowd. My sorrow is that this in now stirring up anti-Scottish sentiment in our 60 million neighbours, cousins and previous friends. My hope is that we can quickly get through and past this episode without releasing the spectre of racism from the Pandora’s box that is foolishly being unlocked. It is not too late to put out this fire before it burns us all.