Today really will mark the end of one era and the beginning of another. I'm so proud of the way the country has reacted to the death of Her Majesty. With very few exceptions, a huge amount of respect has justly been shown to her memory. The sight of the queues of people to pay their respects at Westminster Hall has been something to behold.
I would have liked to have gone myself but there's no way my right knee would have stood up to it. Some people think it's an intensely weird thing to do. I don't. It's quite clear that people didn't just see HM The Queen as their monarch. She was a constant in their/our lives and almost a substitute grandmother. She represented all that is good about our country.
Andrew Neil wrote an article in the Mail this week which asserted that Britain is not a country in decline. I totally agree. The New York Times' long running campaign to slag off this country is almost scandalous. I have no idea why they hate us so much but their constant sniping has become laughable. A friend in America has cancelled his susbscription as he can't stand it any longer. I do think the last ten days have shown us at our best, but it's not just that.
Of course we do pageantry really well, but we are so much more than that. We have the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world. Our democracy is a model for many. Our arts, music culture and entertainment sectors are world leading. The soft power they give us is huge. We excel at many sports and have the best football league in the world. The BBC is the envy of the world. We are fantastic inventors. I could do on. For a very long time.
I have never understood why some people delight in doing our country down. Apparently because we have poor people it means we're a disgrace of a country. When you out that every country, no matter how rich, has poor people, you're accused of being hard faced and a fascist. Of course, as a country we have our faults, and we should all want to rectify them and do better. That doesn't mean we can't be proud of our country in general.
It's in conversations like these that you come to realise how unrepresentative Twitter is of the UK public. Earlier this week I tweeted this: "As I go to bed, I rejoice in the fact that I am one day nearer to coming off Twitter." And I meant it. If I didn't need it to market what I do, I'd come off it tomorrow. But I do, so I can't. But one day...