Boris Johnson wants to unleash “the spirit of Britain”.
In his rambly conference speech yesterday, the Prime Minister spoke about the potential of people living in the UK, cited successful sports stars, and said they embodied this “spirit” which was “inside them” and everyone else in the country.
“That is the spirit that is the same across this country, in every town and village and city, that can be found in the hearts and minds of kids growing up everywhere and that is the spirit we are going to unleash,” he said.
While he was certainly optimistic and the Daily Express lapped it up, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest that our Prime Minister was perhaps looking at the UK with rose-tinted glasses on and that the real spirit of the UK involves far more hangovers than an elite sportsperson could handle.
Indeed, here are a few examples of what we think “the spirit of Britain” really entails.
1. Talking about the weather
To be British is to complain about the weather. It is either too hot, or too cold, too windy, or too humid. It is either too wet or too dry and, unlike with Goldilocks, never “just right”.
If Johnson wants to seriously unleash this spirit, he should have remarked on the temperature of the conference hall before starting his speech.
As he didn’t, our trust in him further deteriorates.
2. The pub
Another key part of being British is, of course, the pub. Talking about the pub, going to the pub, drinking at the pub, complaining about the price of beer in the pub, being hungover from the pub and so it goes on… The spirit(s) of Britain are vodka, gin and more.
Johnson said he wants to “Build Back Bitter” – cringe – so at least he looks like he has this one checked out.
3. Reality TV
From Love Island to Married at First Sight, we are a nation unapologetically obsessed with watching people muck around on the telly.
The spirit of Britain, for better or worse, involves people sniping about people they have never met because of the way they have been edited and Johnson should know a thing or two about that from all his awkward interviews.
4. Making cups of tea
As Brits we are also doomed to boil kettles on repeat, and debate what the best tea colour and amount of sugar in a cuppa is.
We are such an entertaining group of witty interesting people, aren’t we?
Above all, the spirit of Britain can be found nestled between the tuts and rolled-eyes of commuters who shuffle forwards at a bus stop to get to work to make their money to spend on tea, pubs, umbrellas and their TV licenses.