A Victorian father would tell his children that the greatest blessing that they had was to have been born British. Those were the days when the sun never set on the Empire and British standards were respected and proudly copied throughout the civilised world. I can still remember, in one of my frequent trips to India, a Hindi mother castigating her son for speaking Hindi. “Hindi is for peasants,” she said, glancing in my direction. “Educated people speak English…” Maybe she was trying to impress me but, actually, it made me rather ashamed. I felt that the untended compliment was from a bygone generation and that the poor woman was thinking of a Britain that had ceased to exist.
My anger at British intransigence and selfish arrogance has been brought to the boil over the next EU treaty which UK will not be party to. Of all the EU member states, UK will not be part of it. And they’re touting it as a kind of triumph. The arrogance beggars belief. This is a time when the world’s capitalist economies need to work together to sort out the mess that the bankers have created for us. Economies are in recession, people are unemployed and any small world event, maybe in the Middle East, could push the world into a new depression. So, while 26 EU member states decide to work together, the UK has decided that it knows better. On its own. If anyone needed evidence of just how much David Cameron is in the pockets of the bankers, they need look no further.
My old friend and former colleague Naomi Gluckstein, has blogged about it as well; see http://naomismag.livejournal.com/ . We are both Europeans, having worked for various European institutions, and live outside the UK. We try to be Europeans and find ourselves ashamed to admit to being British. She says: