Best and worst of Britain

Prospect Magazine

Best and worst of Britain

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Figures from public life share their views

Mario Vargas Llosa, novelist
Best: Its profoundly democratic spirit, visible in every aspect of social life. I’ve never encountered another society which practices the virtues of tolerance, co-existence within diversity, and respect towards others, to the same extent. Institutions have a greater influence than in other countries, and there exists a spirit of solidarity which emerges, above all, in testing times.
Worst: Its resistance to accepting that in our age borders are disappearing and the idea of nationhood is going to lose substance. Britain lags behind other countries in accepting that integration, first with Europe, and then with the rest of the world, is absolutely essential for maintaining a high quality of life and making the most of modernity.

Lady Hale, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Best: The good old British sense of humour, not appearing to take anything too seriously (while actually doing so), broad-mindedness,

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  1. June 27, 2012

    Randall Helms

    Interesting how many of the people in this article mention variants of diversity in their best list – much higher than the 15% of the public who said so in the poll discussed here. An excellent illustration of how elite consensus can be fundamentally divorced from the actual opinions of the population.

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