We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
IT
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Italy version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > November 2017 > Fantasy island

Fantasy island

Six years in your company has convinced me: you lot need time alone

How the world sees Britain

When I came to live in London with my family in 2011 I did not have to think of a work or residency permit. My children quickly found an excellent state primary school, and after a handful of calls we enjoyed free healthcare, and the right to vote in local elections. The only real bureaucratic hassle we encountered that warm summer concerned a permit to park. It all seemed so smooth compared to earlier moves to the United States, Egypt, Lebanon and Israel/ Palestine. Then again, this time we were moving in with our cousins—weren’t we?

We had arrived as fellow Europeans, but when we left this summer to return to the Netherlands we felt more like foreigners: people tolerated as long as they behave. At best we were “European Union nationals” whose rights would be subject to negotiations— bargaining chips in the eyes of politicians. As we sailed from Harwich, it occurred to me that our departure would be counted by Theresa May as five more strikes towards her goal of “bringing down net immigration to the tens of thousands.”

The Dutch and the British have a lot in common, at first sight. Sea-faring nations with a long and guilty history of colonial occupation and slavery, they are pro free-trade and have large financial service industries—RBS may even move its headquarters to Amsterdam. Both tend to view American power as benign; the Netherlands joined the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Shell, Unilever and Elsevier are just three examples of remarkably successful Anglo-Dutch joint ventures. I say “remarkably” because I’ve learned that in important respects, there is no culture more alien to the Dutch than the English (I focus on England as I’ve no experience with Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland). Echoing the Calvinist insistence on “being true to oneself”, the Dutch are almost compulsively truthful. Most consider politeness a cowardly form of hypocrisy. Bluntness is a virtue; insincerity and backhandedness are cardinal sins.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Prospect Magazine - November 2017
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - November 2017
€5,49
Or 549 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only € 2,25 per issue
SAVE
59%
Was €38,99
Now €26,99
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only € 3,49 per issue
SAVE
36%
€3,49
Or 349 points

View Issues

About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s November issue: Joris Luyendijk and Stuart Ward try to uncover the way Britain is perceived by Europe and the rest of the world. Luyendijk—who lived in Britain for six years before recently moving back to his native Netherlands—explains that the Brexit vote has shown Europe that Britain needs time alone to find its identity again, while Ward—a native Australian—argues that its Britain’s imperial backstory that stops it from truly understanding what the world thinks of it. Elsewhere in the issue Jeffrey Lewis argues that US foreign policy has helped North Korea develop the nuclear bomb and we explore the effect that the Palestinian museum near Ramallah is having on the creation of a national identity. Also in this issue: Sameer Rahim profiles Armando Iannucci, Joseph Stiglitz on Britain’s tricky political situation.
Modalità di pagamento Pocketmags Payment Types
A Pocketmags si ottiene Fatturazione sicura Ultime offerte HTML Reader Regali Loyalty Points