By Steve Kelman

Blog archive

Brits stay cool

Gordon Brown, Britain's new prime minister, has for a number of years emphasized the theme of "Britishness," and in his statements of the last week, he has spoken about protecting "the British way of life" -- a phrase that is not traditional in the UK and sounds odd to many Brits.

If there is something special about "Britishness," part of it is surely the idea that Brits "carry on" in the face of crisis, the "stiff upper lip" thing I guess. This has certainly been apparent the last few days.

Yesterday, a civil servant I met with told me that she had gotten an email from a friend in the US making sure she was OK -- my impression was that she was touched, but bemused, as in "of course I'm ok."

A column in this morning's Financial Times noted that the most-downloaded story on the BBC website yesterday was on cat allergies, and none of the top five downloaded stories was about terrorism.

The Brits are "carrying on."

BTW, on the taxi to the train station to the train to the airport to get back to the States, the driver was listening to "Magic 105.4" on the radio. The morning DJ was Neal Fox -- yup, the same name as the former GSA multiple award schedule major domo. I thought Neal was doing OK in DC, but maybe he's hedging his bets in case GSA doesn't recover from its doldrums!

Posted by Steve Kelman on Jul 03, 2007 at 12:08 PM


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