Britain you’re an idiot, but I still love you

Posted on January 23, 2013



#Snowmageddon is here. After five days of ice and sludge we’re no longer talking about The Big Freeze, The Cold Snap or That Fucking White Stuff. That’s just so 2010. This year our annual snow flurry has become a catastrophic destructive force of biblical proportions, or so the internet would have us believe. It’s the God damn Snowpocalypse.

Predictably trains ground to a halt, roads remained ungritted, flights were cancelled en masse and general chaos descended upon most of South-East England along with the snow that fell this last week. ‘Britain shivers in snow’s icy grip‘ shrieked the Guardian, the Independent warns of ‘no respite‘ and the Daily Mail doom-mongers with talk of ‘snow bombs‘. We’re screwed and even Bruce Willis on a save-the-world-suicide-mission can’t get us out of this frosty mess.

It’s not just media outlets and the web spreading hysteria with all the fervour of an industrial grit distributor. A woman seated near me on a London-Manchester train last Friday spent a good two hours on the phone to her Mother, sister, various friends and possibly her pet gerbil to relay the heroic tale of how she’d ‘dived’ onto the first train she could that morning, to avoid the tundra and make her intrepid voyage up north. It sounded like she’d commando rolled down the platform and flung herself onto the train roof, but her three-inch stiletto heels told a different story.


Jean-Claude the snowman

We really are a bit pathetic in the face of a cold spell. And the last week really hasn’t helped to instil pride in the hearts of those living in ‘Broken Britain’ among astronomical levels of joblessness, homelessness, under a government hell bent on reinforcing middle class privilege – and like any true Brit I whinge about all the problems on our little island until I’m blue in the face. But when I’m on foreign shores I seem to develop a sudden, fierce love for the UK. Going abroad seems to ignite a forgotten sense of allegiance to Britain, and  woe betide the unsuspecting fool that has the misfortune to criticise my home land. My country is a bit like my Mum or Dad; I can complain about them all I like but anyone else who dares to speak ill of them deserves a swift punch to the nose.

Because let’s face it, we’re utterly unsurpassed when it comes to art and culture, music and general creativity and free thinking. I know the NHS is steadily being dismantled but the fact we even created it in the first place shows how much we value healthcare for all. We have a 160,000-charity strong third sector and a tendency to become overly offended at the absolute slightest injustice, showing just how much we care about helping those in need. Danny Boyle’s ‘Green and Pleasant Land’ Olympic opening ceremony scenes rightfully stirred up national pride – we have green, rolling hills and beautiful, traditional old country pubs.

In short, we have it pretty good here and maybe we only fly into such a fuss over a bit of snow because we care too much. Or maybe it’s because we can’t figure out how a bit of overground frost stops the underground from running. Who knows. Either way, even though our abysmal attempts to keep the country running throughout the cold snap are laughed at worldwide, I still think there’s plenty to be smug about – and that’s what I’ll be thinking about when I’m being pelted with dirty snowballs by a bunch of school kids later.


Snow blizzard –
Snowman – Claire Shropshall