On a world-beating island we bloom,
Over highest of mountains we zoom,
The rest of the race
Must accept second place,
As you observe our prosperity boom!
When I logged on this morning, I saw a news feed from the BBC.
It appears that Boris Johnson has been using that phrase “world-beating” again. This time, it was in the context of offshore wind farms. “How can a wind farm be world-beating?”, I hear you ask. Well, I don’t know. The headline was enough to make me jog on.
It’s not the first time Johnson has used the phrase “world-beating”. Early into COVID, the UK was working furiously to build a track & trace app. In May, Johnson announced that we would have a world-beating app, by the start of June. The app that was finally delivered was not only late, but fell flat on its face as soon as it got near real users. England finally released an app in September, thanks to US tech giants Apple and Google.
My point is that Johnson is full of these grandiose gestures. Very Churchillian – we are the country that stood alone against the Luftwaffe, we will fight them on the beaches… In real life, it is meaningless. He makes these promises, the media lap it up, and out of the other side comes a pile of dog-doo. I wonder, does anybody actually care about this?
Johnson clearly doesn’t. He keeps repeating those words, “world beating”. Maybe, in his mind, that’s how he sees it? Ot just maybe, he has worked out that the words are a good jingo, and that there is zero backlash when the delivery falls flat?
Come on, Britain. He said it once, and we saw what happened. He says it again, and what changed? Boris has form here.