GROWING up a British, and specifically an English person, is bound to have some effect on one’s personality. Just supporting the national sports team induces a sense of perpetual disappointment, as the recent loss to Iceland has illustrated. There is a trait of self-deprecation, which Americans sometimes struggle to understand, and which masks a (probably unjustified) pride in our national sense of humour.

History also plays its part. Britons have benefited from a global version of the QWERTY syndrome; our ancestors defeated the French in the battle for European control of North America. Not only did this establish English as the global language, but the natural alliance with America helped Britain win two world wars. The use of English and the country’s geographical position has made Britain a natural base for international business and finance. By being on the “right side” of...Continue reading