Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The pint and the stiff upper lip

This one's a bit old -- well, a week, but that's an eternity in the blogosphere -- but it's worth a read (not least because many of you, I assume, are not familiar with Macleans, Canada's leading newsmagazine). Paul Wells examines the British response to 7/7 and finds what he calls "pluck": "The murderers of 7/7 caught Britain in the middle of a winning streak. But they failed utterly to cut it short. All the killers did was force the British people to show us the stuff that so often makes them winners."

More: "[A]nyone should be able to celebrate the reappearance of uncommonly sturdy fibre in a nation's character and a good leader's knack for bringing out the best in his people. Tony Blair shows some of the stubbornness that so enraged Napoleon at Waterloo: 'This man Wellington is so stupid he does not know when he is beaten and goes on fighting.' On Thursday, Blair's countrymen rose with him to the fight."

In their song "Time," on Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd say that "hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way". They're right, as they are about so much else, but the English -- the British, to be more inclusive -- are also capable of rising to the occasion when the chips are down. The Nazis learned that over a half-century ago, and now the fascist jihadists who would tear apart our civilization are, like the rest of us, witnessing British resolve at its finest.

Don't underestimate them. The British live in the birthplace of modern liberalism, and they know what's worth fighting for.

Hold on, while I turn on the Elgar.

Bookmark and Share