We need a Prime Minister who will stand up to bullies, actually

“A FRIEND who bullies us is no longer a friend,” declared the Prime Minister, as rousing music swelled in the background. “And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger.”

Cue the crashing of cymbals, an explosion of national pride, and even a dedication on Radio 1 to the “a***-kicking” PM in question.

The context for the rebuke was an arrogant, entitled US President popping across the pond to throw his weight around and force himself on a bewildered catering manager.

Writer and director Richard Curtis has many detractors, but you have to give him credit for this remarkably prescient plot line in Love Actually, 2003’s schmaltzy selection box of criss-crossing love stories. Of course it is the stuff of nationalist fantasy: plucky “Great” Britain given the perfect excuse to stick the boot in to cocky America.


The column was published in The Herald on December 4 2017. Read the rest at heraldscotland.com


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