Polly’s interesting question

This is the pivotal moment for Britain. Who are our true friends and allies, who share the most history, culture and mutual understanding? Trump’s arrival asks that question with a stark new urgency: the answer is not him, not his United States. Our safest haven is the European Union.

Remarkably Poll there’re a number of people who disagree.

Like the majority of people who voted in the referendum?

35 comments on “Polly’s interesting question

  1. Time to ask Polly the obvious question – should Britain have won both World Wars?

    Losing one of them, ideally the first, would have led to an alliance with a united Europe, under German control, that would have excluded the Americans from the continent.

    A good thing or not?

  2. “If we pro-Europeans are wrong, if Brexit is a triumphant success, trade blossoms, growth booms and Britain stands tall alone, Labour is done for anyway. May will be prime minister for as long as she wants…”

    Ah. The real concern.

  3. “This is the pivotal moment for Britain. Who are our true friends and allies, who share the most history, culture and mutual understanding? ”

    There’s a security code word that provides the answer to that question: five eyes.

  4. “This is the pivotal moment for Britain. Who are our true friends and allies, who share the most history, culture and mutual understanding?”

    That answer, for most of modern history, would be Australia, Canada, & New Zealand.

  5. We share a great deal of history with the frogs and krauts, usually due to mutual misunderstandings. Not much culture in shared in common though.

  6. The French have never been our allies.

    The Germans, although they haven’t been around that long, have yet to be significant allies. Even if you count the Cold War, 40% or so of them were on the other side.

    If you are talking about the EU, realistically, nobody else matters. Sorry, Netherlands. Although we still remember the Raid on the Medway …

  7. We can in fact still be ‘friends’ (to the extent that nations have friends, which they don’t) with both. In particular we can have a good working relationship with Europe without wanting to be in a political union. This is, in fact, where our not being in the Euro and Schengen in particular was always taking us.

  8. DocBud

    I disagree, the Grand Tour allowed the Brits to buy a load of classical art and great masters from the continent. The Frogs stole it under Napoleon. Lot of shared culture there.

    SMFS

    La perfide Albion vs. the Frogs. And then the great mistake of the entente cordiale. Should have let the Kaiser crush the frogs in 1914. No WW II. And a far more stable Europe. Eventual rise of US, no USSR.

  9. If our safest haven is the EU then we are certainly in even more peril than most people realise. Demographically up the creek, likely to face either mutliple Islamist terrorist attacks over the next decade or even possibly an invasion from the Middle East, likely to be inundated by 10 million Algerians hitting France once Bouteflika dies – even if Brexit hadn’t occurred we’d still be hitched to a dying man.

    On FB there is a seemingly endless stream of sock puppet accounts from Remainiacs – but I do actually think it would be interesting to rerun the referendum to see if the vote percentage has shifted. My guess would be it would be a slightly larger Leave vote now – maybe an 8% gap with 54 to 46%….

  10. Surreptitious Evil – “The Germans, although they haven’t been around that long, have yet to be significant allies. Even if you count the Cold War, 40% or so of them were on the other side.”

    Stupidly as soon as Germany unified, we chose to bury the hatchet with the French. Still the origin of a unified Germany – Prussia – has been around for a while. And they were a significant ally. Take Blenheim for instance. The British fought with the Dutch, two assorted flavours of Hessians and the Prussians. Against the French – and the Bavarians.

    So even then 40% of the Germans were on the other side. (You know, assuming we pretend the Bavarians are actually German as opposed to Austrians who got caught on the wrong side of the border)

  11. @SMFS My favourite Bismarck quote:

    A strange fellow, your Bavarian. Half way between an Austrian and a human being.

  12. And then the great mistake of the entente cordiale. Should have let the Kaiser crush the frogs in 1914. No WW II. And a far more stable Europe. Eventual rise of US, no USSR.

    If I remember my O level history correctly, we weren’t bothered about the Frogs; it was the Belgians we had guaranteed to defend.

  13. It’s just the totalitarian mindset of people like Polly. We’re not in the EU, so we won’t be travelling there, or trading with them, or talking their languages or appreciating their culture or anything else. Because we were a bit insular in the 70s thanks to socialism.

    If the Guardian feels so strongly about Europe and disdains Atlanticism, why have they spent so much money trying to become an American paper?

  14. SE,

    “If you are talking about the EU, realistically, nobody else matters. Sorry, Netherlands.”

    I’ve always felt we get on well with the Dutch, both individually and as a nation. Perhaps it has something to do with the Glorious Revolution still feeding in to our psyche? They are one of the few EU nations I would trust. Always bearing in mind the adage that countries don’t have friends, just interests.

  15. Great idea. Let’s cosy up to banana-straightening control freaks who threatened us with penury for even thinking of leaving the EU while biting the hand of friendship the new leader of our greatest ally has extended to us.

  16. Charlie Suet has it. Polly’s binary world vision shows know enmity between Europe and the U.S, only Fortress Europe or the ROW. Never can we just be on friendly, cooperative, trading terms.

  17. My guess would be it would be a slightly larger Leave vote now – maybe an 8% gap with 54 to 46

    The latest polling I’ve seen says 52% of those polled think we made the right decision, while 39% think it was the wrong one, with more people strongly convinces of their opinion on the Leave side than the Remain. Furthermore, of people who voted in the the referendum, 14% of Remain voters think the UK made thright decision, whereas only 3% of Leave voters now think it was the wrong one. (Source: http://opinium.co.uk/52-of-british-adults-think-that-uk-made-the-right-decision-to-leave-the-european-union/)

    Bregrets, there’ve been a few, but then again, too few to mention.

  18. I’ve always felt we get on well with the Dutch, both individually and as a nation.

    Indeed. Worked with them, and the Belgians, on a number of occasions. However my point was regarding their influence in the EU beast. It’s less than ours was.

    And ours was pitiful – we slightly delayed some stuff we really hated.

  19. Polly Toynbee asks the right question.Your job on here is to roll around the carpet banging your heads against the furniture trying to remember some facts from all those arts subjects you were no good at , at school .
    Having embraced anti-immigrant voters to shore up her solid fascist majority of bribed homeowners, poor Theresa finds herself out on the street trying to find a new deal involving , no doubt, selling the NHS to American con man corporations.
    Makes you proud to be British.

  20. It’s not whether her question is right or wrong, its that her anwer to it is typical Groaniadista boreshit.

  21. DBC Reed

    Aren’t you and Wilcox in Pyongyang at the minute? How did you manage to get access to this blog FFS?

  22. I have no problem with any of our European neighbours, indeed I have both lived and worked all over Europe since the 1990’s with no problems at all (despite struggling with both French and German).

    Where I draw the line though is political and legal integration, quite simply our natural intransigence towards government (i.e. being bossed around by council employees and other forms of uncivil servants) and being told what to do is simply too great.

    This does not make us a national of law-breakers as such, rather we differentiate between the sensible (primarily common law), the reasonable, the nannying and the offensive.

    The first two are followed for our own good and the latter two are followed with irritation, frustrated or ignored.

    The biggest problem we have is that our local government and civil servants have these characteristics deliberately turned upside down so that instead of frustrating idiotic EU directives (as many would do), they gold plate them.

    Still, stupid rules gold-plated and then rigorously enforced were probably why we voted for BRExit.

    Fuck ’em all.

  23. Reedy–You are British by birth only.

    Your essence is that of an arrogant commissar and loser such that even your beloved 1950s would have rejected like the noxious socialist bacterium you are.

    And who the hell would buy a piece of crap like the NHS without the subsidy? Even Dress Up isn’t stupid enough to sell it and keep paying for it.

    You need a moron like Bottler “PFI” Brown for that.

  24. I wonder what she would say about our links with France should Marine Le Pen become president?
    Perhaps we should suspend them for the duration?

  25. It’s hilarious that she chooses countries we have variously been at war with for two centuries, rather than a country who we fought one ridiculous war against (1812) and with whom we share a common language and a fairly common culture.

    Toynbee is just dressing up the standard upper middle class hauteur against Americans (and of course deranged Lefty hatred) in borrowed robes.

  26. “who share the most history, culture and mutual understanding?”

    In any real way at all, the answer is obviously the Anglosphere countries.

    How could even Polly come to any other conclusion? (Don’t answer that question!)

  27. BiW

    yes, technically this is correct. But the Brits were part of the triple entente with France and Russia, and this was an outgrowth in itself of the entente cordiale. Would the brits have fought for belgium if not for their other alliances? A swift fall of Paris in 1914 would have ended the war and left a stronger germany on the continent, but not burdened the UK with massive debts. It seems likely that the RN would have remained superior to the Imperial German Navy, so preserving the Empire. No Hitler, no USSR, not such a rapid rise of the US.

  28. “Our safest haven is the European Union.”

    The Fourth Reich is not a good or safe place for the UK to be. The German elephant goes its own way, regardless of its French mahout. And the small satrapies fall into line as long as they receive generous subsidies. The Fourth Reich is a failing project (witness, the € and Schengen), deeply corrupt and its CAP means its citizens pay more for food while impoverishing darkies. Perhaps Polly should be against it, but then she has Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  29. “The German elephant goes its own way, regardless of its French mahout.”

    Consider that nicked. It’s just such a good image. 👍

  30. Counter factual history is so…. Blaaagh

    So Germany had no North Sea port from which they could deploy the fleet within one tide. Give them Brest and St-Nazaire and the British High Seas Fleet has a real problem. Germany as the Euro power, with a war hungry government…. I don’t see a happy result for the UK

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