The British like to see themselves as tolerant and believers in fair play. Yet, often in thought and deed, they behave in a fashion that could not remotely be considered moral. This is the great British moral dilemma, a country forever wrestling with whether to be Lions who roar and conquer everyone or gentle lambs that gambol about happily without a care in the world. In the days of the empire these two faces of Britain meant the metropolitan face of Magna Carta, of Habeas Corpus, the Mother of Parliaments, and the country that harboured people who were forced to flee their homelands. To the wider world, however, there was an imperial face where colonial subjects were made very aware that the British knew how to ensure obedience from subject peoples, even if that required the use of brutal force. Brexit has once again highlighted this duality. Those who voted to leave want Britain to roar like a Lion, as it did for more than two hundred years. In contrast the Remainers saw Brexit as a self-inflicted wound feel, believing the only option is to live happily with the Europeans and work out a common future. Bose's perspective on this British duality is that of an immigrant who is neither a refugee nor an economic migrant. While he has experienced racism in his near half century in Britain, he has also been provided wonderful opportunities to become a writer that he would never have had in his native land.
Mihir Bose was the BBC's first Sports Editor between 2006 and 2009. Before that he was the Chief Sports Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, where he also wrote on race, immigration and India. He has also written for the Sunday Times, Financial Times, History Today and writes a weekly `Big Sports Interview' column for the Evening Standard. He is the author of From Midnight to Glorious Morning? (Haus, 2017).