It always grates on me when a journalist says "Britain did such a thing" or even "we did such a thing" when what they mean is that the Prime Minister or Foreign Secretary or some such panjandrum did whatever it was. Government has always floated at a distance above the people it governs- its ways mysterious to them and its actions often not at all what they want- and our present government bobs about on its snaking tether at a greater height than most. It lacks a parliamentary majority and is kept in power by an Irish party that holds values most British people find bewilderingly foreign. Oh, and it's leader is unelected. Does this render it cautious and humble? Not noticeably so.
When Mrs May ordered the RAF into action over Syria she did it (according to a YouGov poll) with the backing of only 22% of the electorate. Is that Britain in action? Hardly.