Friday 29 April 2011

Proud To Be A Brit

I'll hold my hands up here to being rather anti-parochial at times. There isn't much which impresses me about the modern UK. If there was an island somewhere on which I could hole up and fire a big gun at those who wish to dictate their mores on me, 99% of the time I'd be there, no question.

Today, though, was one of those days when I was truly proud to be British.

I'm no royalist, but what a bloody show, eh? Go on, rest of the world, beat THAT if you dare. To be fair, I was pretty ambivalent about the whole thing before this week, but the incessant bleating from insufferable lefties on the airwaves fair forced me to watch. Just nip in and out of the coverage, I thought. But no, it just sucked you in from start to finish.

Yes, there were crashingly grating twee families from the home counties camping out, but they compensated by glugging Lambrini and vodka red bulls from about 8 this morning. Don Shenker was probably having palpitations, poor love.

The £30m price tag? Pah! Peanuts. This was top drawer theatre which has probably paid for itself already. Listen, I have mentioned before that my company has suffered to the tune of around £3k - and the country, in the region of £6bn according to the CBI - but that's coming back in many ways.

We talk here about the ignorance to personal enjoyment employed by many in the gloom business, and this is no exception. Counting costs without accepting the relevance of pleasurable value applies equally in this case.

Patrick Basham, writing in the Guardian, reckons we should have sold the rights to the highest bidder, but for once I kinda disagree with him. Unlike the Olympics, the Royal Wedding, IMHO, will be a net gain for the country in mostly intangible ways.

Tourism? No doubt. Today told the world that the streets are empty (and red), everything is clean, and our people quite scrumptious. Nonsense, yes. They'll come over in their droves, though, more fool them. But the cash, eh?

We've seen royal occasions in European countries. Quite rubbish by comparison, no contest in fact. This is what we Brits do best, there really is no credible rival. Massive buildings crafted from stone sourced by ancient artisans from the best that Britain has to offer; pomp derived from a history which Americans can only dream about; music to die for; history; tradition; and men with great big furry hats.

What's more, the flags. Everywhere. We've had this deep shame about our national identity foisted upon us by progressive idiots for years, but here was a nation quite unashamed of displaying the union flag in all corners of the country. Even the celts got involved, with proud parties being held in Wales, Nothern Ireland, and yes, even in Jockland.

Rack up that fun factor, calculator fans, I think you'll find the country made a profit today. My local fish and chip shop, run by a Pole, was watching what I presume is Polish TV. They were wall to wall with the wedding, as was probably just about every other national network worldwide. Britain the centre of the globe, and for reasons that your average knee-jerk republican scouser will never understand.

Politicians? Well, they got a cameo, I suppose it's a downside of everything these days, but they were relegated to also-rans. A brief shot of Cameron, Miliband etc wandering into the Abbey and then nothing. How bloody refreshing was that? No chance to hijack anything for their myopic self-interest. Just be there, or be forever condemned as a bit of a dick. Sit down, shut up, be part of the scenery. That's it. If only they were compelled to act the same in perpetuity. That was worth the (free) entry money on its own.

WW2 planes flying past, snogs on the balcony, happiness just about everywhere, and even a retro Aston Martin. What's not to like?

OK, they banned beer at the reception which leaves Mike Tindall in a bit of a cleft stick, but mere trifles, surely.

Max Farquar points out that everyone will have their own lasting memory of the day, his is admirable, sort of. Personally, I'm a romantic who was mighty impressed with William telling Kate "you're beautiful" as she rocked up at the altar.

Get in, sunshine. You both did the nation proud today.


RantinRab said...

Top post.

I agree 110%

Clarissa said...

After saying all week that I wasn't going to watch it even I succumbed. Admittedly I skipped the ceremony itself and only watched the pageantry but it was all spectacular viewing.

penny_dreadful said...

Agreed. I didn't watch the wedding as they always bore the hell out of me, but the occasion seemed to jolly up the country a bit today.

And I've quite enjoyed seeing the union flag bunting up outside the shops (without the PC brigade screaming for it to be pulled down).

Curmudgeon said...

I suspect I agree with you by being in principle a strong supporter of the monarchy, but being largely uninterested in the day-to-day doings of the royal family.

ShinarsBasketCase said...

Mrs SBC watched the Aftermath Coverage, but then again Mrs SBC suffers from a mental illness and also reads the Daily Mail. Me, i caught it on the German (ZDF) news at 19:00.

[btw the German news coverage put the BBC's to shame for unbiased objectivity].

The whole thing was spoiled for me by that dozy Ober Polizei C*** declaring that protesters were 'criminals' and that she was deciding what was 'appropriate' behaviour.

But honestly, good luck to them both and I wonder how long it will be before the red tops will be asking if she is 'showing' yet...?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Shinar: I give that two months. ;)

ShinarsBasketCase said...

Dick, in my fantasy world I have this vision of the The Royal Carrier of The Royal Bump suddenly 'taking a notion' (as the Scots say for a 'craving')for a Silk Cut and that getting caught on camera.

Can you imagine it? The O U T R A G E?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed how (on the principle of 'a good day to bury bad news'), a new attempt is being made to limit our ability to bring into the UK from the EU, goods upon which 'duty' has already been paid?

Is it not odd that Customs and Excise have chosen this time, just before the wedding, to re-introduce, deliberately and maliciously, a limit of 800 fags as the 'reasonable amount' to be viewed as 'for personal consumption'? I do not believe that the promotion of this idea at this precise moment is accidental.

We should note that only the Guardian has reported this thing. The DT and The Mail Online have not. Nor, I think, has The Times.
Why not?

I think that it is incumbent upon us bloggers to make waves. Individually we can do little, but we must remember that the 'guideline' of 3200 fags resulted from the 2002 lawsuit by Hovercraft et al v Customs. (Remember that, at the time, Customs were classing any person with tobacco in excess of 800 fags as 'smugglers', and therefore confiscating any excess and impounding and destroying the cars of any person with an excess of goods.)

Most people have forgotten the horror which existed ten years ago.

But the problem was essentially sorted out by the case brought to law by 'Hovercraft et al'. The deliberate persecution by Customs was revealed. Even a person who, for whatever reason, took his car over the channel and drove around France and brought some fags and booze back on his return could have his goods confiscated and his car destroyed MERELY UPON THE WHIM OF A CUSTOMS OFFICER. One could appeal, but the process of appealing was deliberately designed to be as expensive as possible.

What Bloggers will start shouting NOW! This is very important. These people hope that no one notices. START SHOUTING NOW!

banned said...

I support the principle of Monarchy even if the King in waiting has a few silly ideas but likewise did not think that I would watch the whole thing. Not having a telly I could have popped into the office or shared it in some raucous pub but I saw it all livestream on Youtube instead which showed the BBC footage

sans commentary which was a bonus since I knew who was who and what was going on.

As you say, in these difficult times the independently wealthy of Britain know how to put on a good show, eagerly supported by the great unwashed in The Mall.

It also downloaded as a 770mb temporary internet file which I could have saved had I wanted to.

JuliaM said...

"Today, though, was one of those days when I was truly proud to be British.

I'm no royalist, but what a bloody show, eh? "

Well said! :D

JuliaM said...

"Is it not odd that Customs and Excise have chosen this time..."

Very odd, given they haven't existed for years!

It's HM Revenue & Customs for duty and tax, with UK Border Agency manning the front lines interdicting smugglers.

Dominic Allkins said...

Agree completely with you Dick.

Like many (I suspect) I've been a bit "meh" about the whole thing but as you say - what a bloody show.

Great post.

SadButMadLad said...

You're right that the wedding cost money both taxpayers and private companies - but to look at it in isolation is a bean counter mentality. You also need to look at in the feel good aspect and that probably makes it worthwhile. Though you do have to keep your whits about you as now is a good time to hide bad news or to pretend that the country isn't still going down the drain.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was wonderful and was glued to the TV all day, which I hadn't expected.

All that happiness and all those flags!
And no one appeared to be even slightly offended.

It was like being let out of school.

It just shows what 13 years of relentless political correctness can do to your head.


Sam Duncan said...

Amen to all of the above (with the possible exception of Curmudgeon, you old... er, curmudgeon, you). I must admit to having had, ah... something in my eye at times. Phew, Britain, eh?

Captain Ranty said...

I'll be the token miserable bastard then.

Didn't watch it, didn't care.

Two people, ordinary people, getting married, big whoop.

As I left Cameroon (en route for Nigeria) the Immigration man said "Wasn't it a lovely day?".

"What?", says I, "The wedding?"

"Yes", says the passport dude.

"Do you want them? The whole lot of them leeching off you instead of me?" I asked.

"Oh no", says Immigration man, "They are okay from afar".

"So you don't want me to DHL all of them to you tomorrow then?"

"Lordy no!", says our chum.

"Egg-fucking-zackly", says I.