Firstly, thank you and well done on a spectacular Olympic Games. You have done yourselves proud. You have shown a level of organisation Hitler would have been proud of, and although many people thought this week you would not only be looking back at the games but also announcing the completion of the Olympic Stadium, you really exceeded expectations.
However, we could not help notice that over the past two weeks you seem to have lost something, something money can’t buy and Lord Coe can’t deliver. You’ve lost the one thing that made you stand out from the rest of the world. Britain, you seem to have lost your sense of self-loathing.
We can pinpoint the moment it started seeping away. About 9pm on Friday 27th July 2012. Danny Boyle unleashed a tidal wave of pride that washed over your shores, and then floods of gold, silver and bronze cleansed you of hundreds of years of self-deprecation. But Britain, we miss the old you and want you back.
Sure, you have produced great music, great television, and great Danny Boyle films, but your trains are still late and overpriced, your roads are congested and your public transport is shit. That’s why the opening ceremony started at 9pm, for God’s sake.
You may have projected beautiful images of fields, cottages and gentlemen playing cricket to the whole globe that night, but you forgot to mention the bulldozer clearing a high-speed rail line for bankers, a burning pyre of ‘mad cows’ and the foreigners you used to loathe eating your swans. Yes, you once had an industrial revolution, an industry financed by the slave trade, but now even your slaves are made in China. British industry isn’t in buildings with big chimneys, but sweatshops in Beijing. Come on Britain! You used to win gold moaning about these things, but you seem to be forgetting.
We appreciate you have done well over the last fortnight, but that is no reason for you to learn the words to your national anthem. You now sing in unity where once half of you moaned that you shouldn’t even have a bloody Queen.
But losing your sense of self-hate is leading you to lose your identity. Did you know that even the Americans are saying your crowds are too enthusiastic? Not only are you losing your stiff upper lip, but now the Americans may even be stealing your sense of irony. Carry on telling the world how great you are and the next thing you know the French will start calling you arrogant.
So come on Britain. Let’s go back to how it was. The world taking the piss out of you, but not before you’ve taken this piss out of yourself. The Union Flag not being something you wave with pride, but something you display to say ‘Fuck off Johnny Foreigner’. And no longer holding your head up high but letting it drop down to its natural position where you can’t look anyone in the eye out of shame for being British, and in case they try to make conversation.
Please Britain, we want the old you back. Oh, hang on – you had George Michael and the Spice Girls at the closing ceremony. Thank God, everything’s back to normal again…
Perks (hat-tip to waylandsmithy)