Bella Caledonia: Made in Britain

02/03/2015
CommonWeal

By Mike Small

MADE in Britain was the 1983 British television play which propelled Tim Roth to stardom for his amazing portrayal of the skinhead Trevor. Yesterday it had a reincarnation as a backfiring social media debacle of the sort that would have an embarrassed PatronisingBT Lady spluttering into her Cocoa-Pops.

Both are tales of desperation.

The whole Made in Britain flag-waving bonanza discloses a deep uncertainty by the British politicians about the degenerating project and shaky identity of Britain and Britishness. Combining nervous hand-wringing with emboldened flag-waving (a challenge of dexterity) David Torrance writes in today’s Herald (‘Britain is neither ‘broken’ nor a failed state’):

‘Of all the rhetoric produced by the referendum, the notion that the UK was somehow “broken” irritated me the most.’ And, we’re told, Tom Nairn is to blame.

Struggling just a little, Torrance explains that we are nowhere near as bad as Haiti before lighting on the arguments that the Malcolm Rifkind/Jack Straw incident are an example of brokenness. Complaining about James McEnaney writing in Commonweal [CommonSpace – click here to read more] he says:

“The argument makes little sense, for it implies that greed and rule breaking is somehow an inescapable product of a particular constitutional arrangement, which of course is ridiculous. Sir Malcolm (who certainly behaved badly) is, of course, a Scot, but then Mr McEnaney would presumably argue that Unionism had somehow corrupted an otherwise decent sensibility.”

It’s the oddest mixture of distortion and misunderstanding you’ll read in a long time.

Click here to read the full article on Bella Caledonia.

Picture courtesy of Nick Carter