8 October 2014

As others see us

O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as ithers see us! 
It wad frae mony a blunder free us, 
An' foolish notion: 
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us, 
An' ev'n devotion! * 

I thought this item from The Times** PHS column (£) (Patrick Kidd’s Times Diary) on 6 October was worth capturing. Is it about the way David Cameron is perceived or something wider about the way the UK is viewed now?

Cameron is the punchline

Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, told an after-dinner joke last week that’s doing
the rounds in Washington. God summons the leaders of the US, China and Britain and tells them the world will end tomorrow and they must prepare their people. So Barack Obama goes on TV and says: “My fellow Americans, I have good and bad news. We were right about the existence of God, but the world is about to end.” Xi Jinping then tells the Chinese: “Bad news and worse news. We were wrong about the existence of God and the world is about to end.” Finally, David Cameron goes on the BBC.

“I have great news,” he says. “God thinks I’m one of the three most important people in the world.”

* And would some Power the small gift give us 
To see ourselves as others see us! 
It would from many a blunder free us, 
And foolish notion: 
What airs in dress and gait would leave us, 
And even devotion! 

Robert Burns, To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church

** The Times is one of the three titles owned by News UK which is wholly-owned by News Corp. Another asset of News Corp is Dow Jones & Company which owns The Wall Street Journal.

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