The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel
When was Britain's finest year?
It was an unguarded, off-the-cuff remark by British Prime Minister David Cameron, no doubt immediately and bitterly regretted, that gave tonight’s guest Colin Brown the idea.
Talking about the “special” relationship between the USA and Britain, Cameron was under no illusion as to his relative importance.
“The fact is”, he said, “we are a very effective partner of the US – but we are the junior partner. We were the junior partner in 1940”, he blundered on, “when we were fighting the Nazis.”
The Americans didn’t enter the war until December the following year. 1940 was the year of Dunkirk, the year when Britain really did stand alone in Europe, and most importantly, the year of the Battle of Britain – of which Churchill’s memorable line can still stir the blood – never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
The British Prime Minister’s lamentable grasp of recent history inspired Colin to ask the question… when was Britain’s finest year?
It’s a discussion that touches on a great many contentious issues, and there’s no better guide than Colin, former chair of the British Parliamentary Lobby, and a veritable mine of both historical information and present-day political gossip! His latest book, Real Britannia: Our Ten Proudest Years – The Glory and the Spin has just been published by OneWorld.
Presented by Peter Cox, Ali Gardner and Ian Winn.
Photo by Brett Jordan