Sunday, 3 August 2008

My opinion about British people (*)


I have a strong admiration for the British people and it’s History. There are three countries that may be considered the “fathers” of all the Rights and Freedoms that we, European people, have: England, with the “Magna Carta”, France, with its ideas of “Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité” and the USA, when representatives of the 13 states wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights (...)”

I lived and worked in London, for some months, in 2005, during a financially difficult period of my life. I shared a flat with two Portuguese and three Brazilians, all immigrants working at cleaning services and in restaurants. I have a son who is studying in the University, in London. I admire the efficiency and the fairness of British society, in dealing with serious problems like racism and xenophobia. When I watch debates in the British Parliament, on TV, I always remember that the place where those debates happen is were modern Parliaments, an essential part of Democracy, were born.

For around 28 years, reading the weekly edition of “The Economist” has been some kind of a ritual, for me. I wish that I could be able to write with that accuracy, mixed with a touch of irony, giving to their readers a clear analysis and explanation of what happens, all over the world. And I don’t believe that a pack of blood-thirsty and howling tabloid journalists, willing to kill – or let someone be killed – to have a story that helps them to keep their jobs, is representative of the British people.

In 1941, my father was drafted to the Army, Infantry Battalion nº 13. As soon as the Portuguese Government gave permission to the Allied Forces to use the Azores Air Base, everybody in Portugal was convinced that, in a few weeks, the Nazi war machine would run over our country. A short-wave radio was a luxury item that few people could afford. There was an officer, at my father's Battalion, that had one. Many times, late at night, a few friends would gather around that radio, to listen to what was called “The Voice of Truth” - BBC radio broadcastings, in Portuguese.

I admire the British people, his achievements, his contribution to the History of Mankind. Great-Britain is one of the great nations of the world and if it wasn’t the decision to “fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills”, if necessary, and “never surrender (...) until in God's good time the New World with all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation and rescue of the Old”, all Europe – including Portugal – could have been, for a long time, under the darkest of all evil powers that have threatened Humankind, since the beginning of time.

I still believe that British people will never surrender.

(*) Now, that some people is talking about negative effects of the McCann case in the relations between Portuguese and British people, I think it's a good idea to remember what I wrote on October 12, 2007.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh,yes.I remember very well when You write this post.

Estavamos em plena guerra quente.Os uk já há muito chateavam e,por cá,já se estava a encher.E,o mais importante é o fazer a distinção entre quem é T3 pagantibus e os normais de uk.Além das figuras prestigiadas da história Mundial.

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S.

Anonymous said...

DN:
1º o caso dos garotos:e abandonou os dois gémeos de 11 anos numa estrada algarvia. Às seis da manhã, os garotos foram encontrados pela polícia. Muito mais sãos e salvos do que dentro do carro do pai. Como dizia Warwick Cairns.
2º Mais 1 referência para quem domina melhor a Língua Portuguesa,acerca do post colocado pelo P.R.,também no DN:

Ferreira Fernandes
jornalista
ferreira.fernandes@dn.pt
Era um livro que eu nunca me decidiria a trazer para aqui. Chama-se How to Live Dangerously: Why We Should All Stop Worrying and Start Living ("Como Viver Perigosamente: Por que Devíamos Todos Parar de Nos Preocupar e Começar a Viver"), de Warwick Cairns.

Mas como este Jornalista diz,até trouxe,depois de ouvir o caso dos gémeos pt. abandonados durante horas.Ou seja,mais seguros sem ...

(artigo completo no DN)


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S.

Anonymous said...

I have read this first at Joana´s Blog and,after I went to C. da M.
*****

"The criminal investigation need not be politically correct."

Those who knew me by the Social Communication formed an opinion based on my connection to the so called Maddie. During the investigation, even after being away, I was target of the most terrible accusations by the British press, some commentators service of our square and a gentleman, whose role is not really understand, called Clarence Mitchell. On the eve of the publication of the book you know, this man was sending warnings: I "had very careful" - pasme up!

I want to make clear that I find this unacceptable tone from a súbdito the oldest democracy in the world. Caution, why? Why can slip on a banana peel to fall on tour? Does Mr Mitchell is concerned about my safety or health? I think not. Everyone saw his threatening tone.

In Portugal, we are not used to speak in that way. Neither Nor is this the view that we have the British people, but there are always some who destoam. A criminal investigation need not be politically correct or fear veiled threats.

The book has only facts and contains no accusation. So are the differences.

Goncalo Amaral,
Ex-coord. Criminal investigation

C.d M.

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S.

os Tugas podem não ter tanto $ mas sabem-se comportar no estrangeiro said...

Pois olhe, Sr. Paulo Reis, a minha opinião dos Britânicos de férias é outra: só fazem m... (porcaria).

Seja em Portugal, Espanha, nas Caraíbas ou na India, cada vez mais, quem lê jornais internacionais e vê a Sky News já percebeu que os Ingleses de férias são uma tristeza. Vão para fora e só deixam enormes dores de cabeça aos países que os acolhem. Devem deixar o cérebro em casa de férias, quando saiem do país. Talvez com medo que algum indígena se apodere dele...

Anonymous said...

The McCanns will never surrender and will never cooperate with the P.J.

By the way I also love the way British government took over other people's possessions and smuggled opium into China. Very stylish and very British indeed.

I would like to see a piece from you telling your readers what you admire in the Portuguese people.

Cheers!!

Anonymous said...

Jesus. What silly patronising nonsense. 'Britain will never surrender' Never surrender to what Paulo? A totalitarian Socialist Europe? The Britain you describe never existed. It is and always was a devious brute force determined to assert its own aggressive capitalist democracy on others at all costs. The world needs these colonial, white imperialist retards like it needs a hole in the head. There is little or no difference between the aggressive, nationalistic expansionism of Hitler and that of Blair and Bush. Their foreign policies remain the same.

This is sentimental, romanticised dross. Like you freemason quote though: "Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité.”

Can't say that was a surprise.

Anyway, looks like the Police have a new suspect in their sights.

"Darkest of evil powers'?

I think you've been watching too much X-Files.

the truth WILL come out said...

S.

Yes, but perhaps the problem is the FACTS.

Anonymous said...

Bonjour,tristesse.

DN:
...O processo de investigação ao desaparecimento de Maddie tem poucas hipótese de ser reaberto, depois de ter sido arquivado até serem encontradas novas provas. Esta é a opinião de um juiz contactado pelo DN na véspera da disponibilização do processo aos arguidos, testemunhas e comunicação social, a partir de hoje..........."

....." o que levou ao encerramento do processo pelo Procurador-Geral da República, portanto os que afirmam o contrário devem estar agora pensar em como salvar a face"....."


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O fel corrói.

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Jornalistas e Bloggers:

muitissimo bom dia e bom trabalho!

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S.

Anonymous said...

Ponderar.

Será que significa pensar com muito bom senso?

Com sentido de justiça inequívoca?

Com justiça mesmo?Honestidade?

"...os ... de Madeleine ponderam"

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Tudo isto é triste,tudo isto é fado!
(ou fardo)

S.

Anonymous said...

http://ww1.rtp.pt/noticias/index.php?headline=98&visual=25&article=357485&tema=27

Laffin Assasin said...

Hi Paulo, I was the third to comment on your original article.
You inspired me to keep asking the questions.
keep up the good work and get them translations out onto the net.