Vain bastards, the lot of them.
Look at the evidence:
- The Brazilians do football better than we do.
- The Australians and New Zealanders usually generally stuff us at Cricket and Rugby respectively
- The French out-NHS our asses at every turn
But there are two things that we still lead the world in:
- Being beastly to the Germans
- Public Service Broadcasting
Thankfully, Nosemonkey is bucking the trend:
"The anti-license fee thing - for all its high moral claims about monopolies and choice and so on (which I can see the case for, honest) - seems largely to be an objection to the very concept of state-funded anything. If so, fine - let's take it to extremes and scrap universal funding for the BBC, NHS, comprehensive schools, university funding, road maintenance, rubbish collection, street lighting, the national parks, the armed forces etc. etc. and replace them all with pay for usage instead. It'd suit me fine. But the entire country would go to shit through under funding within six months."
I'd add something else here. It's about culture. Culture is different. I've no objection to importing, say, 100% of our rice from Asia*. But a progressive policy that can create the level of cultural investment that the BBC does is incompatible with standard global 'state-aid' rules.
*there must be an analogy that is less crude, but I can’t think of it at the moment. Even Vodka isn’t a Russian monopoly…