“There are no French Rolling Stones, no German Beatles; there is no Italian Bond, no Spanish Rowling, no Dutch David Bowie” tweets the Official Conservative Party Press Office, presumably under a hail of phlegm and free range organic projectiles.
It’s an intriguing idea and a great example of the almost pre-Copernican Anglo-British idea that they are at the centre of the universe and hold some exalted position, whilst simultaneously proclaiming that “there’s no such thing as British nationalism. .One of the glories of the UK… A nation of nations without nationalism”.
Such levels of self-deceit are rare. It betrays a desperate parochialism that is matched only by its extraordinary backward-looking time-shift. It’s 2015 and the Tories greatest claim to fame for British culture are acts from fifty years ago. This is Tory Dad Rock.
As unmuzzled Tories urge each other on to cut pensioners winter fuel allowance (now!) whilst surrounded by snipers, as Cameron’s ‘Party of the People’ with 2000 inside and 60,000 outside held at bay by vast ring of steel, we are wondering about this inherent greatness, this supreme cultural ascendancy. What are you to make of a country that could consider Moonraker as a cultural asset? Or favour JK Rowling over Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra or José Ortega y Gasset?
There are no French Wurzels, no German Scooch, there is no Italian Mr Bean, no Spanish Jeffrey Archer, no Dutch Des’ree.
What is this all about? Is it just an extension of the ‘England Expects’ meme, the profound cultural superiority that pervades much of English society and inevitably leads to people donning Cork Hats and spluttering into their Fosters with giggles at the latest, endless plight of the Giants? 30 Years of Shame? Wear the Rose.
If I was British I’d be embarrassed.