John Major kindly explains what it means to be British

Sir John, who, I don’t mind admitting, is my political, moral and intellectual idol, hit the nail on the head the other day, with Ukip being the nail and Nigel Farage the head.

Ukip, explained my idol, “is peddling sheer nastiness” that is “profoundly un-British in every way”.

In my case he was preaching to the choir, for I never diverge from Sir John’s judgement on anything. But, for the benefit of the nay-sayers among my readers (and God knows there are plenty of those), I rang Sir John up and asked him to enlarge on his concept of Britishness, so egregiously betrayed by Ukip.

The great man kindly took some time from his busy schedule of planning his season at the Oval and Lords to talk to me and, vicariously, to you. This is what he said:

“They are anti-everything. They are anti-politics, they are anti-foreigner, they are anti-immigrant, they are anti-aid.

“That’s un-British. Real Brits are never anti-anything. Except Ukip, that is, especially when they’re about to commit the ultimately un-British, treasonous act of winning another parliamentary seat from the Tories.

“For example, both Norma and Edwina are real Brits. That’s why they’re up for anything and down on nothing and, well, no one.

“So I asked them if they agreed with my judgement of Ukip. Now Norma and Edwina don’t always agree on everything and hardly ever on me, I mean with me.

“But here they refused to sit on the fence, or anything else for that matter. Yes, John, they said, you’re absolutely right.

“You were the best prime minister Britain has ever had, and you were for things, not against them. You were a pro kind of bloke and never a con.

“False modesty aside, I had to concur. I have deep convictions that are none of them negative, like Ukip’s. They’re all positive, even if the consequences of practising them sometimes weren’t.

“For example, I was very positive about Maggie when she was positive about me, all the way to making me Chancellor.

“Then I was equally positive about the chaps who stabbed Maggie in the back after she turned negative on me. John, she said, could make a good doorstop and that’s about it. Well, served her right, that… Sorry, I must remain positive.

“When I became prime minister, I was positive about Europe or, to be specific, the European Union.

“That’s why I signed the Maastricht Treaty with nary a negative thought in mind.

“Why? Because we’d had a good innings as an independent nation and what did we have to show for it? That… Maggie Thatcher.

“I felt it was time to say yes to all the good things in life: German bratwurst, Italian pasta, French wine, Romanian… well, you know what I mean.

“And the only way to enjoy all those wonderful things was to hand our so-called sovereignty to the Germans, French, Italians and yes, I stand by my convictions, Romanians.

“Hanging on to our so-called sovereignty was putting the negative cart before the positive horse, or leg before wicket, if you’d rather.

“I also felt positive about the single European currency. Part of the reason is that on my European travels I could never quite figure out how much a pack of Y-fronts cost in real money.

“Arithmetic was never my strong suit, which is why in my youth I failed the bus-conductor exam and decided to become prime minister instead.

“So, in my positive state of mind, I put Britain in the ERM and on course to joining the single currency designed to make us as successful as our oldest ally Portugal.

“The anti-everything bastards point out that as an immediate result Britain lost £3.4 billion, but I like to look on the bright, British side: my true Brit friend George Soros made £1 billion out of it and, apart from the EU, who better to spend our money for us?

“And I’m still as positive about the EU as I’ve always been. Outside the EU we’ll never become as prosperous as our oldest ally Portugal is. Or our newest ally Bulgaria.

“That’s what being British is all about. It’s also about sharing, and Norma and Edwina agree wholeheartedly, in that particularly British way of theirs.

“So I applaud my very British friend Dave for being ready to share our wealth, which we owe to the EU in any case.

“Dave is about to spend another £600 million on flood defences in Africa, which is a British thing to do.

“Those anti-everything Ukip bastards scream that Somerset is about to be hit by the worst floods in history, and there’s no money in the kitty to do anything about it.

“Charity, they say, begins at home, and trust them to come up with a phrase no real Brit has ever heard.

“What begins at home, you negative un-British bastards, isn’t charity but sheer nastiness.

“Transferring funds for fighting Ebola and Children in Need, I mean helping children in need, not fighting them, is British. Voting for Ukip isn’t.

“Why do people do it? Even though these bastards are anti-children and Ebola victims?

“Out of sheer frustration with the ongoing recession, the belief they are being left behind our oldest ally Portugal and our newest ally Bulgaria.

“The counterpoint to that, and I hope, Alex, you don’t mind the posh term, it means the British alternative, is to banish the negative thoughts and vote Tory or, at a pinch, Labour.

“You know and I know and your British readers know, that the economy will improve soon, by the end of next April to be exact.

“For as long as the coalition remains positive about getting our national debt up to two trillion, that’s 2.25 trillion euros by the way, the economy has nowhere to go but up.

“And once my friend Dave gets it up, people will again feel positive. They’ll feel British – unlike those nasty nattering negativists of Ukip.”        


My new book, Democracy as a Neocon Trick, is available from Amazon and the more discerning bookshops. However, my publisher would rather you ordered it from, in the USA,



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