Bring on the blue passports, and imperial measurements for one reason and one reason alone, because they are British, says Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan
Mark Dolan

What is the greatest unit of measurement this country has produced? It’s not the litre, is it. It’s the humble pint. Let's drink to Great Britain. Cheers.

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Can I be outrageous and say some positive things about this country? Britain is a diverse, creative, productive and aspirational society. We sit comfortably between the free-market zeal and wild west Darwinism of America and big state, protectionist Europe.

In the decades since the war, we have more or less got the balance about right. And we have a thriving services based economy, incubated in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher, which future-proofs our economy as the west moves away from heavy manufacturing.

As we continue to thrive in the worlds of banking, insurance, tourism, media, agriculture, science, telecommunications, aerospace, marketing, fashion and the creative industries, countries like Germany, which we once envied are over reliant on heavy manufacturing which in time will emerge as an outdated business model. Don't take my word for it.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research – the CEBR - have predicted Britain's status as the world's fifth-largest economy will remain intact in spite of the shock caused by the pandemic and leaving the European Union. 'By 2035’, they say, ‘the economy is forecast to be 23 per cent larger than that of the historic rival and neighbour France.' Its’ also predicted we will catch Germany within two decades.

Britain can borrow on the international bond markets, with a credit rating so good, we make Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos look like a risky bet.

Our national debt, whilst too high for my liking, is a fraction of that in France, Italy and Spain. And if we have five years of economic recovery, tackling inflation and living within our means, the deficit, in which we spend more than we receive in income, will be eradicated. And in a decade, we can get the national debt back to where it needs to be.

All of it is doable with common sense, and political will. I know his great crime is being married to a billionaire, but I still believe that Rishi Sunak is the right person to do that job. I know his wife’s loaded, but he’s a self made millionaire and a perfect example of what this counry is all about. Sunak is a British success story.

Britain is a global beacon of diversity, a harmonious melting pot of religions, races, cultures and values. The famously tolerant British mindset, means that for centuries, when people have landed on these islands, we have not bent them to our will, or sought to delete who they are and what they believe.

France is quite different. It's an egocentric national culture in which if you don't do things the French way, you are sidelined, which is why they have a two-tier society, in which racial and cultural tensions, are a daily reality. You are either French, or you are one of the others. Wheras we’re all Brits, here in blighty.

You come here and you can be who you want to be. Of course there are integration challenges, not helped by the daily influx of illegal migrants across the channel, which bankrolls the evil business model of human traffickers.

If you tolerate what’s happening on the channel, you stand with those murderous thugs, making millions on the back of human misery and death. The evil of racism is pervasive in all societies, including our, and we must fix it.

But name me one country in the world that is more tolerant and inclusive than the UK. Show me a country more open and more welcoming to other cultures. Good luck with that. Britain is a creative powerhouse - we gave the world the music of the Beatles and the words of William Shakespeare. British public life is pretty world-class too.

We have an iconic, globally recognised head of state in the Queen who has been a steady hand at the tiller for seven decades and has been an amazing Guardian of our robust and time proven constitution. Of course we've got a lot of numpties in parliament, but no serious issues around corruption in public life.

We have a renowned free press and the greatest justice system of on the planet. We have a welfare state, education, free healthcare at the point of need. And we don't have the dysfunctional situation of America, where you need a war chest of hundreds of millions of dollars to run for high office. John Major, a man of humble origins and some would say humble talents, actually failed his job interview to be a bus driver, but went on to achieve the highest office in the land.

And we have a vibrant democracy, which surprises the world regularly with its outcomes – from the hard left socialism of Callaghan in the 70s to the economic neoliberalism of Thatcher in the 80s. From cool Britannia and Blair in the 90s to the Eton educated man of the people Boris Johnson tearing up the political map in 2019.

We don’t do boring, do we? And what better example of our democracy can there be, than Brexit. Notwithstanding the rancour that surrounded the Brexit campaign and its aftermath, Brexit itself was a democratic triumph.

The largest plebiscite in our history, it delivered a decisive result, fulfilling the desire of a majority of Brits to have national self determination. As the Ukrainians have proved with their remarkable courage in the face of the appalling bully Putin, national pride, patriotism and identity are key to the success of a country. Which is why supposedly trivial things like the flag are actually so important. Not a view shared by everyone of course.

The BBC's wokester in chief, multimillionaire presenter Gary Lineker, says he doesn't think much of flags.

That's of course unless he's being paid a small fortune to wave one for a menswear advert.

Or what about or what about the ex Labour MP, who doesn’t thinks the flags to celebrate the Queens Jubilee are distasteful.

The little things matter. Britain has been mocked in some quarters, for its excitement about blue passports. Here is the Home Secretary showing one off.

Why does the colour of passport matter? Because it is redolent of when Britain was an independent, sovereign nation.

We got conned into EU membership with the promise of free trade. We didn't know back in 1973 when we joined, that it would morph into an all-encompassing, monolithic political project. So the blue passport couldn't be more important.

The changing shade of our travel documents from red to blue, symbolises a bold new direction for this country. A tantalising promise of a return to Britain’s former glories, of which there are plenty, and the embracing of huge opportunities that lie ahead.

The news this week that we will soon be able to legally use imperial measurements if we so wish – pounds, ounces, feet, inches, yards, pints and miles is another development which has been seized upon by those who would seek to do this country down. Surprise surprise, one such person is Labour MP Angela Eagle.

Imperial measurements, like pounds and ounces are tied into the fabric of this country, its culture in its history. Which is why the likes of Angela Eagle can't stand it. Because these progressive figures on the left, don't like Britain at all.

A view shared by the famous life-long socialist George Galloway, on this show last night. And they will no doubt be sneering at working-class people, who roll out the bunting for the Queens Jubilee next weekend. And they've got form on this.

Exhibit A: Emily Thornbury and her pompous tweet about an England flag in 2014. And here’s the Sun’s coverage of that story at the time.

They don't get it? Do they? They just don't get it. The symbolism of a return to imperial measurements is huge. Optics matter and the ability to incorporate the language of the past, and how we used to do things, is an important part of our future. Think of it as similar to the desire of the Welsh to keep using their native language of Welsh. Yards, miles, pints and ounces are just another language, but our language. As we move forward, we must embrace the best of the old as we incorporate the new.

Bring on the blue passports, and imperial measurements for one reason and one reason alone. Because they are British.

Let’s have miles rather than kilometres, let’s have inches rather than centimetres, Mrs Dolan would like inches. Let’s have stones rather than kilos. Let’s have yards rather than metres.

The traditions of this country and our history are not something to be ashamed of or brushed under the carpet. They are there to be celebrated and moved front and centre, as we begin a new chapter.

Something that Brexit allows us to do. Pound for Pound Britain is the greatest country in the world.

We are inching our way to international glory as a sovereign nation.

Those who criticise us haven't got an ounce of common sense.

We’re miles better than the competition.

So what is the greatest unit of measurement this country has ever produced? It’s not the litre, is it.

It’s the humble pint. Let's drink to Great Britain. Cheers.