EDITORIAL – Modern-day UK: Britain’s greatness wearing thin

Readers will be forgiven if they missed this little tidbit from the New York Times last week. The headline read:

“Model in Gucci Ad Is Deemed ‘Unhealthily Thin’ by British Regulator.”

The story began, “The model in the Gucci ad is young and waiflike, her frail body draped in a geometric-pattern dress as she leans back in front of a wall painted with a tree branch that appears to mimic the angle of her silhouette.”

That drew the attention, and ire, of something called the Advertising Standards Authority of Britain, which huffily ruled that the ad was “irresponsible,” further decrying that the “offending image” must not be published again in its current form.

We would remind our readers that this comes from the same country which in 1949 spawned another waif, named Lesley Lawson. You probably know her better as “Twiggy,” who became the world’s first supermodel.

“Twiggy,” as her name implies, was just a little stick of a girl (her childhood nickname was “Twigs”), and full grown weighed just 112 pounds. She was such a rage on the worldwide stage that the Brits saw fit in 1966 to name her “Woman of the Year.”

And now we have this sniveling Advertising Standards Authority doing its part to remind the world just how bureaucratic, intrusive and petty Britain has become.

Does London ever reflect on how great Britain, and the British Empire, once was? This was the land of Shakespeare, of Darwin, of Chaucer, of Churchill, the land which engendered the phrase, “The sun never sets on the British Empire,” and the song, still saluted to this day, “Rule, Britannia!”

Is it even possible that this is the same country that inspired Sir Winston, in the midst of World War II, to utter these words:

“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

He was sermonizing about waging war on Nazi Germany, not on a skinny Gucci model.

We are reminded of syndicated columnist George F. Will’s remarks about famed New York Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio who went, alas, from the baseball Hall of Fame to flacking for Mr. Coffee machines. Said Mr. Will (approximately): “Only one who has risen to such great heights can fall to such great depths.”

Britain’s quirkiness and diminished stature in the world would have little consequence to us in the Cayman Islands if we were not inextricably bound to the Mother Country by history, law and the Constitution.

We cannot simply ignore the (apparently sober) ramblings of Jeremy Corbyn (think of him as socialist candidate Bernie Sanders, on steroids), who has been pontificating of late that Britain should impose “direct rule” on the Cayman Islands if we don’t march in step with his leftist view of the world.

While correctly labeling Mr. Corbyn’s remarks “preposterous,” Premier Alden McLaughlin nonetheless has announced that the Cayman Islands Government has retained “top constitutional counsel” to defend, if necessary, our system of local self-government.

Further, we now learn from The Independent newspaper that British legislators apparently are miffed that a Cayman delegation in 2015, led by Premier McLaughlin, ignored their “requests” to meet to discuss the contentious issue of “beneficial ownership” of companies registered in the Cayman Islands.

Good for our premier, good for us. Our message should be that we do not accept invitations to our own financial funeral.

In the meantime, negotiations on “beneficial ownership” seem to have improved, and Mr. McLaughlin appears confident that ongoing discussions will result in a satisfactory outcome for these islands.

We trust – we can do little else – that he is correct.



  1. Great Britain? The land of Shakespeare? Are you suffering from selective historical amnesia disregarding British bloody colonial history?


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