Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Knowing they're exceptional

The Times has published an article this morning which makes some excellent points. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the writer laments the fact that “A polarised politics has taken hold. It views the world through a prism of winners and losers and sees compromise and co-operation as signs of weakness”. She goes on to argue that “Lost is the idea that countries do better by working together to solve common problems, even if doing so sometimes means an apparent sacrifice of short-term benefit for the greater good”. And the title of the piece is “Nationalism is no ally in this battle without borders”.
What I couldn’t understand at first is how the alleged author of this piece, a certain Theresa May, can square any of this with her membership of, and continued support for, the most dangerously nationalist party ever to hold the reins of power in the UK. A party which seeks, nay demands, that the UK stand alone and compete with everyone else, a party which does indeed see compromising with anyone else as a weakness, and sees the sacrifice of short term sovereignty for the greater good as something which unnecessarily constrains its own freedom of movement. Then I realised where I had gone wrong – English nationalism isn’t nationalism at all; the problem is that the rest of the world simply doesn’t understand how very exceptional England is. It’s everyone else who must compromise and co-operate, bowing down before the superiority of the only nation on the planet which can afford to eschew nationalism because it knows it’s the best at everything. Why, only yesterday we found out that we don’t have the worst pandemic death rate in Europe at all – it’s just that other countries don’t know how to count. The problem is never with Theresa May or the Conservative Party – it’s the inability of the rest of the world to understand their proper place.


dafis said...

Theresa May - a seriously forgettable panto dame ! Only a cynical Tory party could ever inflict that on the country. The 2017 election showed them what the 4 nations thought - she went out to reinforce her majority and came home having to suck up to extreme wing of Irish politics to survive. How's that for winning ? About as daft an old bat as you are ever likely to find on the streets of Westminster.

Anonymous said...

Good point