Is 2012 The Year Of A United Britain?

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For Great Britain, this is a unique year. It is a year in which our Queen celebrates her 60 years on the throne with her Diamond Jubilee. A year in which we host the Olympic Games and where England has qualified for the European Championships. Granted, maybe ALL of Britain might not be united in supporting the latter…

Yet I could not help but feel a sense of unity and patriotism over the Jubilee weekend. As those musical greats, and JLS, performed outside of Buckingham palace last night at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, there were not only English people watching in the mall. There were people from all over Britain and indeed the world. Although there are many cynics who question the role of royalty, I felt as though amongst the street parties and celebrations, there was a genuine feeling of British-ness over the weekend. We’ve been hearing in the media about how there is no real definition of ‘British characteristics’ but I think there is. This Jubilee weekend epitomised Britain. The street parties which still took place, with blatant disregard for the weather and those people who cheered on a woman who they didn’t even know, in the soaking rain on the banks of the Thames showed them. This celebration and token of appreciation from the British people towards our Queen showed what Britain and indeed British people were about to the world. Every person in Britain must have known what was taking place, as the bunting industry had a huge sales boost and I don’t think anyone, royalist or otherwise, could help but feel proud of this country. What a great job that woman has done, she deserved every bit of that for her life of dedication. And look at it this way, when was the last time we all agreed on anything?

Moving on, the Olympics. Now I’m not a fan, and I’d rather have The World Cup, but we’ve won the bid now so we might as well host it. The country went crazy for the small allocation of tickets on offer and many were therefore disappointed when they didn’t get any. As I saw in my local town centre last week, there was a large turnout to see the Olympic Torch, as there was in many other towns and cities throughout Great Britain. There seems to be a degree of excitement about hosting the Olympics. It is such a prestigious event and is being billed as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity as something like this will ever happen again in our lifetimes. A great deal of effort has gone into the infrastructure of the games and to great cost to the taxpayer, yet (mostly) the country is looking forward to the games. We also have many bright prospects and this seems to be their time to shine. As a country, we are united in the sense that whether we like them or not, we are proud that our great nation has been chosen to host the games. Even if that good old British cynicism does blur that view at times.

That brings me on to the European Championships, and therefore the England football team. I touched on my views in my last post. I was very pessimistic about the team’s chances. But as I lay in bed last night, I thought ‘What if?’ What if we somehow, by some complete fluke, won the competition? How amazing would that be? And every single England fan, no matter how low his resources on hope are, will be thinking the same thing. Outwardly, we’re all thinking, ‘here we go again, another major tournament that we’ll be knocked out of by a team that we should have probably beat on paper.’ But inside, we’ll be thinking, ‘what if Andy Carroll just decides to score? And what if Stewart Downing learns to assist in Poland?’ And here we are. The whole nation, united as one. That one thing which brings us all together. Football. That’s the only thing we need, to win a major competition again, then we’ll be invincible… Haha

2012. This is the year in which Britain has been and will be united in more than 3 ways. The whole country will be thinking the same thing. We are tremendously proud of our country, and we love to show that off. Whether it be through a Jubilee celebration, the Olympic Games or glory in football, we want to show the world what we’re made of. The world seems to view us as a waning power, but we know that this is the best nation in the world, we just need to show it. We have certainly done that over the Jubilee weekend, let’s do it this summer too. When was the last time, or when will there ever be a time in which this nation will be so united in so many different ways, in one year? Let’s do it properly and put the ‘Great’ back into Great Britain.

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