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Patriotism is truely the last refuge of a scoundrel.


And that is what puts the great in Great Britain. One has to examine what is wrong with a nation to make it better and patriotism is the answer a fool uses to deal with hard questions.


Ha ha - brown is the new black, and the right is the new left - proving they can loathe their own country just as deeply as the left has been doing all these years.

However, let's not forget ol' Burke: "For us to love our country, our country ought to be lovely". One way we should be more like the Americans is to understand criticism of one's country isn't per se unpatriotic...


Shuggy: "brown is the new black" - I hope that isn't a reference to my choice of shirt colours...?

3A: good reply at my place that I'll get around to answering when work slows to a more moderate pace.


Remember, however, that the Guardian, for example, gets away with editorials about Bush in a similar manner. If you switched "Bush" for "Blair" and "US" for "UK", and said it was from, say, the Washington Post, then there'd be all sorts of accusations of typical American arrogance. Unthinking stereotypes are made on both sides of the Atlantic.

Third Avenue

Ken - you're right, of course, that papers like the Guardian bash Bush. But what the New Criterion is doing goes much, much further. Imagine if the Guardian was to write an editorial that went like this:

the American national character is a deeply flawed and unattractive one, as charmless as any that I know, completely unbalanced by any compensating virtues. It is composed of disinhibition, vulgarity, aggression, self-importance, egotism, and arrogance.

Can you imagine the reaction? Yet that is exactly, word for word, how Theodore Dalrymple characterises the British.


Errr Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels in real life) is not American but British.

Third Avenue

You're quite right that he's British. I don't think anyone here was suggesting he wasn't. The article he wrote is in a US magazine.


Not being a regular reader of the entireity of the US Press, I don't know if anyone has written things about America. But I do know Americans who would speak that way about much of their country. Now, I think that Dalrymple's comments can be met head on. And if we're talking about wider attacks on how dreadful Britain is, then I certainly have seen attacks on, for example, the healthcare system that the US has, using pretty similar arguments to those that you say Dalrymple has. I will go and read the articles in depth, and I suspect there is much to disagree with. But if you're pretending that the British left doesn't use the "moral turpitude" (as it sees it) of the US as a constant reference point, often setting it up as a straw man to make their own spurious point, then I think you're wrong. Britain talks about America in its press in a way we wouldn't accept the other way round.

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