What the British seem to like are television historians and naturalists, not public intellectuals. You can\’t help feeling that\’s because one supplies narrative and the other supplies facts, and the British are traditionally empiricists so they/we have a resistance to theory and to theoreticians playing too prominent a role in public life.
The French will swoon over someone declaiming upon the ideal of France, we would deride one who spouted upon Britishness similarly as a jelly-bellied flag-flapper.
As with the Germans and their near veneration of the bureaucrat who makes sure that all is ordnung, while to us the man from the council with a clipboard is a national comic character.
Both of which together manage to explain the funeral pyre of Gordon Brown\’s political career really…..