Britain may be a small island but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience. Britain is an island that helped to abolish slavery, that has invented most of the things worth inventing, including every sport currently played around the world. If I go on too long about our literature, our art, our philosophy, our contribution, including of course the world’s language — if I start talking about this ‘blessed plot, this sceptred isle, this England’ I might have to put it to music, so I think I’ll leave it there.
British prime minister David Cameron, in response to an alleged anonymous Russian diplomat referring to Britain as “a small island”.
Oversensitive much, Cameron? For a national leader to react with such defensive public fervour to an anonymous rumour? What a bunch of malarkey. Every country across the globe is proud of its history, heart, and resilience, as they should be — but few have caused as much human violence and suffering as Britain. Ask their neighbours, the Irish.
Abolition of slavery? The rest of the world can barely stifle its laughter. That’s like a serial murderer being proud that at some point he stopped murdering people. The world’s language? To some extent true, but through violence, not linguistic merit, and still, more people speak Spanish or Chinese. Britain “invented most of the things worth inventing”? You mean, like gunpowder? Nope. Toothbrush? Nope. Books? Nope. Compass? Nope. Let’s not drag this out. Although, when it comes to pushing the envelope of organized racism and colonial violence, I will give Britain a tip of the hat.
Every sport currently played around the world? You mean, according to your own history books about yourselves. The Chinese were playing a form of football (soccer) 2,500 years ago; Persians were playing polo before Jesus was born; aboriginal peoples in North America were playing lacrosse and hockey since antiquity. Next joke. Setting your words to music? You mean music you lifted from Black US Americans, or you mean your own umpa-lumpa humpty-dumpty stuff with all the dynamic motion of the queen’s hand wave?
Well, I needed to laugh today, so….