Ten things I hate about my country
By ADRIAN TAHOURDIN
1) Our national anthem – it’s surely the worst of all: dull, dispiriting and banal. Watching the European football tournament and the teams lining up before the games I can’t help feeling how lucky the Welsh are to be spared it (the Northern Ireland team are not so lucky). And of course the Welsh anthem is truly stirring.
2) Our obsession with the royal family, who, as far as I can see, don’t do very much that’s useful.
3) The mindlessness that takes over the nation every time the English football team – Engerland – is involved in a football tournament, in which they nearly always underperform.
4) The UK’s geographical shape – it’s a mess.
5) People referring to “our national poet”, as the Brexiteer MEP Daniel Hannan did on the radio the other day.
6) People talking of the British parliament as the “mother of parliaments” in a meaningless way. (I also recently heard somebody, again on the radio, refer to Britain as the “birthplace of democracy”.)
7) The fact that I have to think about whether I’m from the UK or Great Britain when I’m filling in a form. I don’t like either appellation. It’s so much simpler in other European countries.
8) Our parliamentary system, which is a mess, as we’ve seen in the past few days.
9) Deluded notions of the UK (GB?)’s world supremacy in all sorts of fields where we've long ago been overtaken by other countries.
10) The politics of Michael Gove, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.