As Britain segues seamlessly through feelgood summer heat from Andy Murray mania to royal baby euphoria, let us at least spare a thought for the unfortunate newborn caught, through no fault other than his ancestry, in the global spotlight.
Few tourists would perhaps even notice the stone dragon stranded between buses in the middle of the road that marks the boundary of the City of London, the British capital’s financial district and one of global capitalism’s most dynamic engines.
Yet to step into the City is to enter what has been described by Nicholas Shaxson, author of “Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World,” as “an offshore island inside Britain.”
Many Britons had awoken with a jolt that morning in April 1982 as news of the invasion on their digital clock radios left them struggling to believe their ears, oblivious even to the breezy new duet by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder that followed.
But the panic had faded by the time they had boiled their kettles for tea and poured the milk onto their cornflakes with the realization that the little-known Falkland Islands were not, as most had assumed, just off the coast of Scotland.
If voters in the United Kingdom were offered the chance tomorrow, in a snap referendum, to change the name of the nation to “Team GB” the result would hardly be in doubt.
Such is the mood of euphoria fostered by the country’s gold medal-winning performers, and London’s successful staging of an Olympic Games that some had predicted would become the latest in a long tradition of Great British cockups, that a country more used to wallowing in sporting failure is waking up to the unfamiliar feeling of giving itself a collective pat on the back.