Case Studies Blog

How can we all make it cool to be British again?

15th January 2018













I didn’t vote to leave the EU on the basis that it is better to work with the devil you know than the devil you don’t. The die is cast so there is no point in going over old ground. Instead we all need to work on making Britain and being British desirable.

As a nation we have this terrible habit of harking back to what Britain was famous for, the empire, the NHS, our system of government, our universities etc. If we put half as much energy into deciding what we want our future as a country to be like, beyond a few vague political slogans, then perhaps the disillusioned, the marginalized and the self-interested would all work towards building a country we could all be proud of and feel at home in.

Brexit could be the catalyst for this if we could all just stop and look at the big picture. Why not think of Brexit as a new product launch?

Consider the key steps.

What do the British people want the outcome to be?

  • A fairer, happier, more productive and more tolerant society would get my vote.

What are the key ingredients to achieving this?

  • A balance of trade surplus so we can afford the environmental, infrastructure, health and social care needed to make this country a really desirable place to live now and into the forseeable future.
  • A clear vision of the steps needed to achieve a trade surplus supported by clear policies that ensure the burden is shared equally. The wealthy in society could pay more, employees at all levels could strive to be more productive, politicians could focus on the good of the country rather than on political point scoring and self-interest.

What assets do we have? (not necessarily in order of importance)

  • The City of London (at least for the moment)
  • Circ 7th largest economy in the world (behind France)
  • A Royal Family
  • English as our national language which is internationally understood
  • World class universities
  • The Commonwealth
  • Our music industry
  • The arts
  • A reasonably stable and tolerant political system and society
  • A well developed and respected rule of law
  • Plenty of fresh water
  • North Sea oil
  • A sophisticated and productive agricultural sector
  • A strong tourism industry
  • A waning but still strong reputation for innovation
  • The nuclear deterrent

The key question for us all is how do we merchandise the hell out of the assets we have now and then how do we get our goods and services to be:

  • More chic than the French
  • Better quality than the Germans
  • More high tech than the Americans
  • Better value than the Chinese
  • Developed at the speed of the Koreans
  • With the standard of living enjoyed by the Norwegians
  • Whilst having as much fun as the Italians

Now imagine if each of us did just one thing each day to help promote Britain to a potential customer – it could be a tourist, a potential overseas customer, a foreign journalist, investor, politician, nurse or doctor to name just a few examples. With a population of 66 million, that degree of positive promotion could make a real difference to our prospects as a nation.

Compared to a lot of countries in the world we have a lot to be thankful for. So instead of moaning about what is wrong let’s start talking up the UK. Perhaps we will all feel better when we talk more about what is great about the country we love. If on the otherhand you don’t love the UK then what are you doing here?

If we don’t all promote the UK then who will?