When I watch the James Bond sequence at the opening on 2012 Olympics, it just makes me smile and I glow with pride! This is the image of a confident country at ease with itself that values its culture, respects its institutions in a self-assured but not arrogant way.
The opening sequence in the stadium was also brilliant if not a little bit over the top with the smoke stacks and nurses, but still showcasing a country proud of its achievements and its gift to the world.
We must not lose sight of this feeling. It is not about being better than others, it is about being the best we can and realise we live in an interdependent, interconnected world where we have duties to take care of the only planet we have and the people of the world, as well as the future generations to come.
So whatever the outcome of the Brexit debacle – we stay, we go, we are somewhere in between – we have to make a good job it. The blame has to end and we will need to build a country that leads by example on the international stage, and a government that takes care of its people.
This is going to take leadership that unites the nation with a clear sense of mission. In fact, there should be a distinct set of national missions with defined goals and a clear strategy to achieve them. And to undertake these missions, united in non-partisan determination, not in political infighting, point scoring and backstabbing.
I propose the first mission is to address the issue that caused Brexit in the first place, the prosperity for the people mission. Namely reducing the extreme economic inequality and the financial hardship it causes for millions of people who are denied the opportunity to build themselves a better life when the odds are so stacked against them.
If you are having a tough time and see little chance of improvement, you are not going to vote for things to stay the same. You want some change, even if you don’t know what it is.
The same applies to our American friends who voted for Trump: he represented change even though he and his voters did not know what it was. That vote was instead of Hillary Clinton who represented the status quo, after the real opportunity for positive change, Bernie Sanders, was pushed out by establishment Democrats (a fact not an opinion; I was there).
But back to the UK. If we focus on raising wages and reducing income taxes at lower end as well as increasing taxes on wealth, we all help to create and then put it to use for the benefit of all, we will make a good start on the path to a prosperous post-Brexit Britain
We are on a mission.