What it is to be British

We should use these Games to pinpoint where our genius lies

Well, OK. The British genius has long been averred to lie in the ability to muddle through. We tend not to have grand plans, strategies. The Empire was collected in a series of accidents really. Wars won by people plodding on. The Industrial Revolution the result of the chaos of every blacksmith, cotton spinner and ironmonger in the country doing their own thing.

Given that this is what we\’re collectively good at now we\’ve identified it we can apply the lesson.

Leave us all well alone.

7 thoughts on “What it is to be British”

  1. “It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
    God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
    But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
    Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget”

    GK Chesteron, “The Silent People”

  2. Are you really suggesting we won the Battle Of Britain by just muddling though? What about the Dowding System?

  3. Is there any cherished notion held by any pundit or politician the Games have not been used to illustrate?
    As far as I can establish, the only lesson one can reliably learn is if you use a great deal of resources to achieve something trivial, you’re quite likely to succeed.

  4. “Are you really suggesting we won the Battle Of Britain by just muddling though?” Ah, Georges, he’s just indulging in the British equivalent of the American Foundation Myths. There’s no point assuming the claims have much to do with historical reality.

  5. bloke in spain,

    As far as I can establish, the only lesson one can reliably learn is if you use a great deal of resources to achieve something trivial, you’re quite likely to succeed.

    Exactly.

    Winning at rowing and track cycling are things that are very easy to skew with public money because unlike sports like football or golf, there isn’t much demand from the market.

    It means that rather than your rowers and cyclists doing it part-time, they do it full-time, which gives them a huge competitive edge.

    We used to have a problem with this sort of thing, back when the Soviets had all their athletes in phony military jobs.

  6. georges
    You might want to look at the progress of the BoB. It was also adherence to the Dowding Plan that nearly cost the campaign. Park’s 11 Group were taking the brunt of the enemy attack yet there were no provisions for him being able to count on reinforcement from the other, less heavily engaged, Groups. Moreover, Park was operating an entirely different & mutually incompatible battle strategy to Leigh Mallory’s neighbouring 12 Group.

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