Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Revealed at Last: TheTrue Nature of Britishness
There's been a lot of discussion about 'Britishness' in recent years - that eminent North Briton Gordon Brown (remember him?) took a suspiciously lively interest in the subject for a while. What is it, the question went, that defines British identity? Various answers were given - all of them pretty nebulous and open to question - but now, I'm happy to report, there is a solid, concrete answer. (It came up on Radio 4 early this morning in a piece about Argos having announced its latest healthy profits.) The one thing that distinguishes us Brits from lesser tribes is this: we are happy to 'shop' at Argos. We and we alone thrill to the 'retail proposition' that is Argos: pay, take a chitty, go and queue at a Generation Game-style conveyor belt till what you bought eventually emerges from the maw of the stockroom. Argos has been a big success in this country and, understandably, the company thought it would be a straightforward proposition to 'roll out' its 'business model' over half the globe - but no, whatever country they tried it in, the answer came back loud and clear: What the...? You're kidding, aren't you? Johnny Foreigner, it seems, just can't see the unique allure of the Argos experience - he doesn't get it. Well, it's his loss... Meanwhile, Britons awake! Assert your national identity - get down to Argos now!