Monday, January 23, 2012

England, MY England!

Is Britain still "Great"? Apparently not everybody thinks so.

A Canadian journalist, Matthew Fisher, has this:

Great Britain is hardly all that great, anymore

By Matthew Fisher, Postmedia News
January 22, 2012

LONDON - Whatever happened to Tony Blair's ``Cool Britannia?''

Harper's Magazine summed it up with a front-page headline last year that screamed ``Broken Britain,' a catchy phrase borrowed from the British tabloid, the Sun. Others recently have dubbed the country the equally unkind ``Angry Britain.''

It is one of life's abiding mysteries why some American presidents pretend that Britain actually matters. ``Once Great Britain'' has been faltering for years and yet British foreign secretaries, with the help of the BBC, which is obliged to provide them with a soap box, remain self-important on the world stage.

Britain's national railway grid, the first and for so long the best in the world, has been deteriorating for more than half a century. Although perhaps not as much as they did 20 or 30 years ago, workers still go on wildcat strikes, making a mess for visitors to a country that has become hugely dependent on tourism.


Britain's constant boast that it punches above its weight internationally rings more hollow by the day. The defence ministry is eviscerating the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and making deep cuts to the army, too. There have been sweeping redundancies across all three services, the sudden retirement of the fleet of Harrier jump jets, the premature retirement of the aircraft carrier Ark Royal and the likely immediate sale to raise cash of one of two carriers now being built. Even after the current round of Draconian cuts, it is difficult to see how Britain can sustain the force that will remain, let alone underwrite plans for a new generation of nuclear submarines, new frigates and the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter....

Go read the rest of this thought provoking article here.

(H/T Another Matthew....)

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