“Think of what our nation stands for…”

Reading the lists of Great British Characteristics in my previous post calls to mind John Betjeman’s poem In Westminster Abbey, in which a lady praying in Westminster Abbey during the war (“Gracious Lord, oh bomb the Germans…”) petitions the Almighty thus:

Think of what our Nation stands for,
Books from Boots’ and country lanes,
Free speech, free passes, class distinction,
Democracy and proper drains.

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