||[Jun. 28th, 2005|10:21 am]
We are celebrating Trafalagar. Well, I'm not, but the British nation is. And what I want to know is why?|
Two hundred years ago the British fleet under Horatio Nelson smashed the French and Spanish fleet. I guess the long term effect was that Britannia ruled the waves without serious challenge for the next century and a bit.
But the British Empire has gone now. The Royal Navy is a geopolitical irrelevance. The French and Spanish are our partners in a Europe where war between member states is all but unthinkable. The world of Tralalgar has disappeared. The work that Trafalgar accomplished has been undone.
And lets not forget that Tralalgar was a battle not a football match. Something like 7000 people were killed. We're doing this tribal dance of ours on a whole bunch of graves.
So what's left? The memory of a time when we were briefly "top nation"? Hooray.
"A British tar is a soaring soul,
As free as a mountain bird,
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word."
And now lets get over ourselves and move on.