I am starting to think that the British have a problem with independence…in all its many forms. And I suspect that they have had the trouble for a long time.
This has been in my mind as I watch the reports on the BREXIT business – reports that have been coming in from them and their erstwhile EU colleagues for the last two years.
They’re in a mess. They seem to want to be an independent nation – they say ‘ once more ‘ – but have not figured out how to implement it. They seem reluctant to even declare it clearly. But I think that this is a hangover from their history of dealing with other people who wanted to be independent.
The case presenting most clearly is the United States of America. They wanted to be independent in 1774 and made the effort of fighting a successful revolutionary war to achieve it. The fact that they won this against Great Britain told heavily in the UK and its echo still is there in the minds of the British people.
The French revolted against themselves – again successfully – a few years later and this also tells in modern Great Britain’s mind.
And finally, some former colonies of Great Britain – their overseas empire of resources – also declared themselves independent after Great Britain spent itself poor in half a century of modern war. And the UK could do nothing but pretend that they agreed…being powerless to prevent it. This is the latest and most acid memory.
Perhaps there is more…tomorrow.