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A feeling for Britain


I was watching a programme on the wild lands of Idaho, and heard a rancher remark that though few people actually got to enjoy the wild lands, the knowledge that they could do so was deep-seated in the consciousness of Americans. They knew they could enjoy them if they could find the time to go, and this was the importance of preserving the wilderness and not turning it over to be desecrated by mining or other industry.

This reminded me how many people have a feeling for Britain in their hearts. The knowledge that they could go to the Britain they see in their minds and have read stories about and have admired is an important part of their subconscious life. There are an amazing number of people of all nationalities, some of whom have never set foot in the United Kingdom who cherish British values and Britain.

I think of a Sikh I met who lives in Canada, whose grandfather served in the British Army. Another relative represented Royal Crown Derby in Hong Kong, and a cousin worked for British Airways in Heathrow. He is intensely proud of all these British connections, and he astonished me by saying that he considers that his family’s achievements are partly the result of learning from the British. And this, too, was a man who had never set foot in Britain.

I hope that all of us in our individual ways can strive to strengthen the Britain that we love and they love.