I hate the smug assumption that we are somehow different from everyone else.
I hate the idea that, because we call everyone else foreigners, they really are a single category, separate to and inferior to ourselves.
I hate the self-congratulatory notion that ‘we’ play by the rules and ‘they’ don’t, that ‘we’ are generous and ‘they’ just abuse our generosity, that ‘we’ work hard and ‘they’ just take advantage.
I’m not saying that everyone in Britain is like this. I’m not saying that every other nation on Earth (and probably every group of people that calls itself ‘we’ and others ‘them’) isn’t prone to the same tendency to point out dust-motes in other people’s eyes and ignore the planks in its own. I’m just saying that when I see it, I hate it.
And I see it quite often in the Daily Mail.
2 thoughts on “What I hate about Britain”
…and the last paragraph is what separates you (and me, and many others) from the Daily Mail. Thanks for sharing these wise words Chris.
Thanks Helen. I guess the Mail sometimes gets things right: it was very strong on getting justice for Stephen Lawrence, for instance (and of course it has great taste in literature*). But yes I think it’s fair to say that self-critical reflection is probably not a strong point! Nor generosity.
*Okay I’m just possibly biased by their kind review of Dark Eden.