Saturday, 8 February 2014

"Brand Britain"

David Cameron's lame contribution to the debate on the future of the United Kingdom and the prospect of Scottish Independence, the referendum for which will come later in this year 2014, was reported thus in the Guardian yesterday after giving it from London's Olympic velodrome
'The speech was designed to persuade wavering Scots that the rest of the UK desperately wants them to remain in the union, and regards their contribution as integral to "Brand Britain".
The fact that a British PM can refer to the sovereign state that his government is in charge of as though it were a mere "brand" is so repellently philistine that it serves as a good reason why poor old Britannia has, most likely, had its day. That Cameron can call Britain a "brand" without question shows it has reached its terminal stage.
"This is our home – and I could not bear to see that home torn apart. I love this country. I love the United Kingdom and all it stands for and I will fight with all I have to keep us together."
For a start the United Kingdom is not a 'country'. It is a dynastic state which includes England, Scotland and Wales, all three of which are countries linked primarily together by the monarchy and, in the case of Scotland, through a specific treaty known as the Act of Union ( 1707 ).

Cameron's main case for Britain mostly consists of regarding it as if it were a consumer product that he, as a public relations man, has to "sell" to the world. Hence the cretinous upbeat boosterism about what amounts to a rehashed version of Tony Blair and New Labour's appalling 'Cool Britannia' marketing pitch.

Britain is now not even a mere 'product' of history. More than that, it is a recognisable label with dreamy and hallucinatory 'brand associations' that may bear no resemblance to the actual 'product' but with a constant delusional remoulding of reality through spouting kitschy propaganda about its 'culture' and media reach.

Maybe our passports should be redesigned to have flashy new Cool Britannia logos printed on them. Maybe it could be rebranded as UKOK ( pronounced 'yew-cock ) with the letters arranged in the style of that stupid 2012 Olympic logo, one termed by writer Iain Sinclair as a "bubblegum swastika"
"Sometimes we can forget just how big our reputation is, that the world over the letters 'UK' stand for unique, brilliant, creative, eccentric, ingenious. We come as a brand – a powerful brand.
No. 'We' do not come as a 'brand' and 'we' are not to be packaged, marketed and sold. Perhaps, if Britain has adapted better after 1945 and not destroyed its manufacturing industry then it would not be Britain as a 'brand' where everything it has left to offer is 'for sale' to the rest of the world.

It is shameful and pathetic that Britain has come to this and if that were all Britain is it seems its break up may just as well happen. It fails any more to induce loyalty to any set of ideals nor does 'Made in Britain' have any resonance in an dysfunctional economy too heavily dominated by London, PR, financial services and marketing.

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