Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Take pride in your roaring lion

lion Kenya Nov 07 no 2

Britain has been rather successful at adopting as our own, foreign symbols which in reality have origins that have nothing to do with our home islands. For example, St George, patron saint of England, was Turkish; Christianity, originating in the Middle Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, was brought to Britain by the Romans and again later by European missionaries; lions, native to Africa and a very few small areas of Asia, have become our national symbol. It was noticeable that UKIP over the weekend launched their new symbol, a lion, to replace the pound (presumably because of the slide in its value since the referendum!) There was a great deal of ribbing on social media about UKIP's decision to adopt a foreign animal rather than giving the role to our native fauna (hedgehogs were suggested as a British alternative).

So now we have Boris Johnson calling for the British lion to "roar" after Brexit. The lone British lion is a mighty beast, through Johnson's Brexit-tinted spectacles, able to live as a mighty independent animal free to wander and hunt at will, unshackled by the constraints of Europe. I wonder however whether Johnson is aware of how lions actually live. They live together in prides because being in a bigger group is more effective and gives a better chance of survival for each individual lion. Animals that leave the pride tend not to survive for long.

1 comment:

Nigel Hunter said...

He also mentions Churchill, who after the War commented on Europe getting together would be a good thing.