Recently, it’s seemed the news has been a bit bleak. I’m not one for national pride at the best of times, to put it mildly I’d usually rather stab myself in the eye than discuss Pippa Middleton’s curvaceous behind. But the current British menu of cutting benefits to the disabled, an obsession with hating immigrants and the general shambles that is our parliament has left my national pride lower than Prince Harry’s knowledge of what’s acceptable fancy dress. But something beautiful has happened. Something incredible. Something so quintessentially British that you are allowed to use the word quintessential even when you aren’t entirely sure what it means. Something that has made me so proud to be British I almost want to buy a small union jack and a corgi and complain loudly about buses. Almost.
It’s a vote. The only important vote you’ll take part in this year. Forget Brexit and vote to name a boat. The British public have been given a democratic voice, and with that voice we are deciding what to name a £200 million boat. And top of the voting polls is Boaty McBoatface. The best news since the bourbon shortage didn’t happen, it’s made me truly proud to be British.
The French have cheese and class, the Italians have fine dining and charm, but we here in Britain have a truly crap sense of humour. Give us a war we’ll probably come a bit late and mess it up. Give us a global stage and we’ll awkwardly follow America apologising politely as we step on other countries toes. But in the field of not particularly witty humour we excel. We win. We come, we make a snarky comment and we bloody well conquer.
The Fast Show, Fawlty towers, Alan Partridge. None of these make sense over the pond. To anyone else, the parrot’s just dead, the silly walks are just silly and worst of all it might not even be funny to ask someone who has clearly just been drowned in a monsoon, ‘still raining then?’. We don’t do much well as a country. It’s a bit drizzly and we moan a lot, so let’s do this well. If Boaty McBoatface wins it will join the ranks of notable research ships. So go on Boaty. Take your place next to the HMS Challenger, The Endurance and The Discovery. Go forth McBoatface and make us all proud to be British. At least until David Cameron makes another inappropriate advance on a farm animal.