I have just read a brilliant essay by Irish journalist and intellectual Fintan O’Toole about the decline of the British identity. I see strong parallels with what is happening to New Zealand media.
In the essay, published by Foreign Affairs magazine, O’Toole puts context around the decline of Britain as a world power, the rising nationalism of the non-English elements of the United Kingdom, and the effects of Brexit. All of this has contributed to ‘Britishness’ losing its lustre.
“The United Kingdom created a beta version of democracy in the eighteenth century: innovative and progressive in its day but long since surpassed by newer models,” O’Toole wrote. “The country has, however, been extremely reluctant to abandon even the most egregious anachronisms. The biggest transformation in its governance was joining the European Union, and that has been reversed. It now has to make a momentous and existential choice—between a radically reimagined United Kingdom and a stubborn adherence to KBO [a Churchillian phrase: ‘keep buggering on’]. If it chooses the latter, it will muddle on toward its own extinction. Continue reading “Our media keep buggering on (apologies to Winston Churchill)”