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Britain's imperial fantasies have given us Brexit - Guardian - Opinion - Gary Younge
For while the Brexit vote was certainly underpinned by a melancholic longing for a glorious past, the era it sought to relive was less the second world war than the longer, less distinguished or openly celebrated period of empire. For if memories of the war made some feel more defiant, recollections of empire made them deluded. Our colonial past, and the inability to come to terms with its demise, gave many the impression that we are far bigger, stronger and more influential than we really are. At some point they convinced themselves that the reason we are at the centre of most world maps is because the Earth revolves around us, not because it was us who drew the maps.
But if echoes of empire reverberated through the campaign, they have also framed our negotiating strategy. The past 18 months have illustrated the journey from hubris to humiliation. For a couple of generations, we have seen our attributes and others' weaknesses through the wrong side of a magnifying glass; now our diminished state is becoming fully apparent, and, like Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, reciting Kipling in Myanmar, we are struggling to adjust.
by Bernard on Sat Feb 3rd, 2018 at 01:46:50 PM EST

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