Back from Holiday in Florida Part 1

Posted by Kevin Brady on Sun 19th November 2006 at 11:07 PM, Filed in Industry News

As my regular readership well knows, my blog is a serious site dedicated to the improvement of project management and software development practices, with the aim of discovering new approaches, methods and solutions capable of making the currently stratospheric annual IT Project Failure rates of 70% + a thing of the past.  However, today I am in the mood for going off message and talking about my recent holiday to Sunny Florida. I have travelled the length and breadth of America from Alaska to the Florida Keys but this trip has more than any other left a deep impression on me.

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Two things come to mind when I reminisce about this great holiday - American patriotism & the heroes of the space programme.

During one of those magical shows, at Sea World Florida I was greatly moved by a tribute to the US forces operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some 10,000 people were in the audience, and following an introductory presentation detailing how US armed forces are putting their lives at risk everyday in the service of their country and the preservation of freedoms that we all take for granted, a request was made for all service personnel sitting in the audience to stand up. I was greatly surprised by the numbers of people who responded to this request and the deafening applause that followed. Irrelevant of personal political affiliations or beliefs about the rights /wrongs of invading Iraq, you who have to say “Thank you” and respect these women and men for their professionalism and faultless duty to their nation. In my view to do anything else would be sinful.
During the applause I looked round and noticed that one of the few people with hands clasped and looking very stoic, was a British Family sitting along side me. These guys I am sure from their expressions were the “NEW English” as I like to call them or alternatively the “open toed sandal wearing, lentil /muesli eating, politically correct, antiwar appeasing, wishy washy liberals” who have taken over the political high ground in the UK these days. These people are the ones who have made demonstrations of such patriotism and thanks an unheard of event in the UK with the exception of Remembrance Day. As I write this post such people are busily, trying to get all reminiscences of the First and Second World Wars removed from the GCSE syllabus for History. The whole thing fills me with anger, sadness, and worry for the future, in a world where extremist nations now have nuclear weapons. However, the real thing, which really galls me the most, is the fact that if the UK was ever threatened by an aggressor these would be the first people on the plane out of the UK or shouting for American protection as happened during World War II.

When Americans come to the UK and walk round the centre of London and stand outside Buckingham palace, I often wonder whether they believe that the English love their monarchy and have a sense of universal Englishness based on a very long history and many old traditions and ideals which are emphasised on the tourist trips around London.
The truth is something quite different!

For many reasons the very Englishness of England has been seriously eroded in recent years along with our patriotism, ideals and values of fair play and justice. If anyone is interested in understanding how and why this has occurred then I suggest that you all buy a copy of the book “The English” by Jeremy Paxman. This book was a best seller and a must for anyone visiting the UK. 

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