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Is the British way the best?

Is Britain the best place in the world to live? Do we ‘do it right’ when other countries get it wrong? Are we somehow special, superior to other nations around the globe?

I ask these questions having listened to a friend recount the tale of a holiday he took with his family and the in-laws in the Netherlands. On a day visit to Amsterdam the mother in law decried the place and its coffee shops, though she enjoyed the ferry trip across the channel because there weren’t too many ‘foreigners’ on the ship. I’m not sure exactly where they were on the water at this time so the use of ‘foreigners’ is debatable – the woman herself would have been the foreigner once close enough to the Dutch coastline. My friend was exasperated at her frequent outbursts about the Dutch and how wrong it was to allow people to purchase marijuana openly on the ‘high street’. She clearly believed that the gold standard for behaviour and attitudes was the British way. It’s all a little too imperialistic for me but then our very own Prime Minister appeared to echo this colonialist view when he got involved with the situation in Libya the other day.

David Cameron’s threat to Colonel Gaddafi that we will get involved militarily in Libya smacked of a view that the old world order still prevailed, that Britain was a mighty military power and that other countries would sit up and take notice. I don’t think so. We can’t even afford our aircraft carriers and soldiers are being sacked by text. Brazil, India and China all have bigger economies than us and the Americans don’t really take the ‘special relationship’ thing too seriously any more either.

Our press keeps banging on about Brussels and how terrible these Europeans are with their ideas for a so called ‘super state’... Well, let’s get practical here. We pay far more in fuel tax and flight tax than any of our European neighbours. We retire later, die sooner, are less well educated if you believe the international education league tables and we have a reputation for boozy drunkenness. We last won a football world cup back in nineteen sixty six and our roads are the worst I have driven on, having toured through the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany recently and Spain last year.

And our weather is crap.

So, why do we think we are the best? What do you think? I’d really like to know what I’m missing! The only thing I can think of is that we do have some very hot women. Check out our English escorts, they are absolutely fabulous and would certainly make me think twice about emigrating!

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