Friday, 4 October 2013

Great Britain. Great. Yes, great.

Let me just get this off my chest one more time.

When the world wanted rights, who wrote Magna Carta? When they wanted representation, who built the first Parliament? When they looked for compassion, who led the abolition of slavery? When they searched for equality, who gave women the vote? When their freedom was in peril, who offered blood, toil, tears and sweat? And today - whose music do they dance to? Whose universities do they flock to? Whose football league do they watch? Whose example of tolerance of people living together from every nation, every religion, young and old, straight and gay? Whose example do they aspire to? I haven't even got on to the fact that this small island beat Russia in the Olympics last year, or that the biggest-selling vodka brand in the world isn't Russian, it's British - Smirnoff - made in Fife.

So yes, we may be a small island, but I tell you what, we're a great country.

This isn't about rabid nationalism or contempt for the continent or the wider world. This is about our pride in our values, our spirit and our drive. We may have a lot to apologise for, but we have far more to be proud of. Of course we have flaws, but they're outweighed by what is good about us. It's time someone stood up and said that.

Thank you David.

Hear the full speech here.