I have just finished reading Justin Webb’s Have a Nice Day. In it the BBC’s North America Editor gives us a very different take on the US from the one we often get. It made me want to go on-line immediately and book our next holiday in the States. Read it.
Early on, in his Introduction, Webb quotes the Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland on what he calls the culture question,
That sense that Americans believe they are masters of their own destiny, responsible for their own country, town, village etc., that sense is still largely missing in Britain. It’s better than it was – there is more of a can do culture, partly fostered by the cult of business and enterprise etc. – but the semi-feudal passivity remains, I fear. You see it in the habit of looking upward, waiting for those in charge to sort things out.
The news last week that Paul Carroll is to leave Plymouth, and the Plymouth CDC, at the end of April had me wondering whether our failure to understand what makes Americans tick had anything to do with what the Western Morning News headlined as a ‘Bitter blow’ for the city’s revival.
One thing for certain is that despite the fighting talk by James Brent, CDC’s chairman, that “We have every intention that the CDC will survive and flourish and execute the work plan”, it will be that much more difficult without that American drive brought to Plymouth by Paul Carroll.