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October 07, 2015

Comments

dsquared

Quite. I was also less mystified than most about the motivation behind Osborne's visit to Urumqi. It wasn't despite the fact that it was one of the most polluting areas of China with the worst human rights, it was because it was etc etc. The principle being that if you want to kiss someone's arse, it is their arse that you have to kiss, not some more attractive part of their body.

Alex

Isn't it simpler? Going on and on about how hardworking Americans or x where x is South Korea, Japan, Germany, China etc is a longstanding Tory cliché. Thatcher did it. anyway we're in a global race through the turnaround decade with our long-term economic plan for security. puke.

Alex

Meanwhile, here is a disturbing image from the front of China Telecom's website: https://twitter.com/yorksranter/status/651788626561486853

Phil

One of my son's comments after his first trip to China was "they are really nationalistic". His group went to a Chinese school, where he got the impression that quite a lot of lesson time was devoted to questions like "has China always been the greatest nation in the world, or has it only become the greatest nation in the world under the enlightened leadership of the Communist Party?". (Think carefully.) Mind you, the first thing he wanted to do when he got home was plan his next trip. Maybe Gideon's just China-struck - he walked on the Great Wall last time, and if he keeps saying the right things he's hoping they'll take him to see the terracotta army.

Metatone

As Alex notes, it's a long time trope.
Tories since Thatcher have a basic mercantilist / competition between nations instinct.
Naturally, it's always the workers that fail Britain, never the management, or the bankers or the Tory politicians...

Of course, they do love the idea that they are destined to be the perpetual government...

Jakob

Older than Thatcher, mind - comparisons with the Americans in particular are a constant feature of postwar productivity concerns, and worries about the superiority of some idealised other (Germany, US, &c.) go back to the latter part of the 19th-c. at least. Although those worries aren't always about the pampered British working man as such; better production management and technology are also popular tunes.

ajay

worries about the superiority of some idealised other (Germany, US, &c.) go back to the latter part of the 19th-c. at least. Although those worries aren't always about the pampered British working man as such; better production management and technology are also popular tunes

But it's more than just that, isn't it? It's declinism - this other country is outstripping us because we are not what we once were. And that can be a left or a right point of view.

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