Many Australians love to taunt the English as “whinging poms” — it’s a crude caricature dating back to the late 19th century, but one seemingly seared into the minds of many “down under”.
After 18 months in the UK, I doubt there’s any truth to it.
That doubt was confirmed after witnessing the response to three terrorist attacks in England and many more across Europe. I do think the Brits are remarkably resilient.
After each atrocity, they get back to business very quickly.
Far more quickly, I suspect, than parts of Australia would if faced with similar circumstances.
A few hours ago seven people were slaughtered and many more badly hurt on London Bridge and Borough Market, two packed parts of the British capital.
Yet across the city, little has changed.
Of course, the attack is a topic of discussion — it was shocking and would have been horrific for anyone nearby.
It will have forever and tragically changed the families of those killed or seriously hurt.
But parks and pubs are packed with people enjoying the summer sun, the tube and trains are full, and the election campaign will resume tomorrow.
Londoners are defiant.
I’ve heard numerous theories in recent weeks as to why the the UK seems so resilient in the face of terrorism.
Was the attitude born in The Blitz during WWII?
Was it living with the threat of an IRA attack for so many decades?
Or have there simply been so many extremist attacks in recent years that mass murder of this kind is no longer a surprise?
Perhaps, it’s a combination of all of the above.
But if the goal of the terrorists was to force all Brits to permanently change their way of life, then they’ve failed.
They’ve barely changed it for 24 hours.