“It is impossible to imagine Britain without the two world wars”

I have just returned from a research trip to Spain. I met  Benito Arruñada  who remarked that Spain had not fought a foreign enemy for some 200 years. Fighting or not fighting a foreign enemy, he implied, affects the psychology of a country. He continued, “It is impossible to imagine Britain without the two world wars”.

It is true. We take the effect of those two world wars for granted but there is surely no doubt that they have shaped the psychology of Britain and its idea of itself. How would Britain have been different if it had not become involved? One effect of the wars, perhaps, was to make people across the nation feel that they had common cause. But now that effect is weakening – hence, perhaps, the fact that the Scottish Nationalist rule in Scotland and hence, too, why the English, according to opinion polls, are even keen on Scottish independence than the Scottish.  The separatism in Spain has clearly been more pronounced. That is one the reasons why the provinces have responsibility for their own healthcare.

  1. Britain: The Depressed Man of Europe
  2. Britain is not the only welfare state
  3. Bring back 1966! We didn’t just win the world cup, we paid less tax, too.
  4. The USA saves more people from cancer than Britain
  5. If you get cancer, it is better to live in France, Switzerland or probably any advanced country rather than Britain
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