The day before the UK’s general election, this article published by Euro Activ is quite thought-provoking. The author, George Friedman, is an American political scientist. It’s worth a read.
via How British elections represent the state of Europe | EurActiv.
Whilst, I do not necessarily agree with the total thrust of the argument, it certainly made me think more deeply about the challenges. Nevertheless, there are a number of powerful points.
Firstly, whilst this is a domestic election in the UK, it is still globally important in a geostrategic sense. The second point is that the UK’s geostrategic power is related to separately its influence over both the US and Europe respectively. Thirdly, this is to be differentiated with the UK’s own geostrategic influence prior to WWII, when the Royal Navy protected UK interests. Fourthly, there’s a challenge that the British national identity was not effectively defined at the end of WWII.
Having been in Canada on Canada Day, I noted the pride Canadians have for their national identity, whether immigrants or eighth generation – they support their country and respect their flag. Sadly, I do not think there is the same national pride in the UK any more. I remember when I was a youngster in the Boy Scouts, how much we all respected the flag – that was half a century ago; it’s different now.
Let me ask an open question:
Does the British national identity need refocusing?
Having lived in both the USA and the UK, I have to disagree with this EuroActiv article, courtesy of Dr Alf and the author of it George Friedman.
I remember only too well how British national identity was defined in my youth. It was one triumphant trumpet blast to the next of the “Valiant Years”, the defeat of Hitler with little mention of the role of the Russians nor the Americans in the crushing of Germany on the Eastern Front and at D Day.
The Americans had arrived late during the 1st World War, with the example being a cold mug of tea being offered to one of General Pershings soldiers by a battle hardened Tommy, with the words “Your tea is over there in that mug but you are 3 years too late!”.
The popular narrative about Britain having lost an empire but not yet found a role” is plausible nonsense, which I, like many others, used to believe until I found out the truth over a period of nearly 50 years.
The UK is an uneasy coalition of state-lets, which in the case of Scotland is wanting to break away from English control, whilst still wanting to be bankrolled by England.
The Welsh elite (the Taffia) want the same thing but ordinary Welsh people just want English taxpayers money.
The ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth II owns £17 trillion gbp’s worth of land, real property, gold, fine art and shares(see :www.who owns the world) and still personally has serious influence over
the old British Empire, which has been renamed as the Commonwealth by dint of Governors
General in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and by the ‘friendly’ Presidents in former African countries, Saudi Arabia and other countries that were taken from the former Ottoman Empire at the end of World War 1.
Europe is increasingly defined by Germany between the North, which behaves more like Germany and the South which is has a totally different culture. Germany with double the exports of the USA is the undisputed master of Europe and is looking towards China and the BRICS and MINTS, whereas the UK is trying to do too many things, without a clear strategy.
The next government of the UK, the likely political uncertainties of forming a government needs focus on strategic priorities.