Broken Britain or the next evolutionary step?

I’d like to commend Dom at 33 Digital for his very insightful post on Britain needing a rebrand. So much so it inspired me to respond with a post of my own.

I sympathise with Dom’s frustration (or should that be resignation) with Britain becoming a fragmented state that is rapidly losing its identity. However, I wonder whether what Dom describes as a breakdown in the society is a trait of  ‘modern’ Britain or just what happens the higher up the development chain a society goes.

We hear it all the time – Britain is broken. It’s not what it used to be. The fabric of our society has broken down. It’s not that I disagree. I just believe that as a developed society we no longer place a high priority of the bottom end of Maslow triangle. By and large most people in the UK have food and shelter. As such we’ve moved on to feeding our self-actualisation needs (This is where our X-Factor and CBB obsession comes in).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m also appalled by the everyday sights of elderly people standing on the tube or the lady with three children struggling to lift a suitcase up some stairs as people push past her. But in a society where people generally don’t die from malnutrition, and our main irritants are Jedward rather than week long power cuts and no running water, things surely can’t be that bad.

I spent my formative years growing up in Nigeria, a third world country where we did have some the ‘benefits’ of a community standing up against anti-social behaviour. However these benefits often manifested themselves in the form mobs. (I vividly remember a burglar being rounded upon and burnt to death for stealing some food when I was about ten). Shocking as it might seem in a developed world, most people at the time were quite happy for this to act as the community deterrent for anyone thinking about commiting a crime. Yes there is a difference between a crime and anti-social behaviour but to a mob mentality the lines are very blurred.

Ironically I’m sure most people in third world countries would give up their sense of community if they didn’t have to worry about where the next meal would come from.

I suppose for me what it comes down to is how you view the glass. Personally, I’d like to think of it as half full. So chin up Dom it’s not all that bad really.


The people vs Nigaz

A few weeks ago the story broke about the not-so-PC name thought up by the Russian oil firm Gazprom thought up with the Nigeria’s state-operated NNPC.

Debate (or faux pas) has reached the mainstream headlines as the online backlash has grown. What I can’t understand is how the ‘branding consultant’ Simon Anholt quoted in the BBC article and who developed the National Brand Index, came up with the following:

The fact is that whenever there is a blunder like this it delights people, it gives them something to talk about and it gives them a bright moment in what might otherwise be a dull day.


People will soon forget that the name sounds bad

Errr… As far as I know, that name has been offensive for hundreds of years now.

I’ll leave last words to the ever offensive Chris Rock. Perhaps they consulted him on the name change.