Ann Widdecombe slams calls to DROP 'Great' from Great Britain: 'Vacuous nonsense!'

Ann Widdecombe slams calls to DROP 'Great' from Great Britain: 'Vacuous nonsense!'

WATCH NOW: Ann Widdecombe SLAMS Guardian writer who wants to DROP 'Great' from Great Britain

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 12/04/2024

- 10:03

Martin Kettle claimed that Great Britain needs 'national renewal'

Former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe has hit out at writer Martin Kettle, after he suggested that the country should change its name.

Writing the the Guardian, Kettle called for Great Britain to "drop Great from its name" in order to trigger a "national renewal".

Kettle admitted that he "occasionally flirts" with the "fantasy of a new statue" to rename this country "simply Britain".

He said: "Central to national renewal will be articulating a more nuanced and inclusive sense of ourselves and of our country in a place of preposterous and exclusive one. In this rebuilding, national boastfulness will be as out of place as national self loathing.

Great Britain and Ann Widdecombe

Ann Widdecombe has blasted calls for Great Britain's name to be changed

Getty / GB News

"That's not going to happen, but it's still true that Britain needs to get beyond the rhetoric and thinking of itself as Great Britain. If it can, this really might be a greater place for us all."

Reacting to Kettle's suggestion, Widdecombe blasted his "vacuous nonsense" and said it is "very dangerous" to accept a decline of Britain as a country.

In discussion with GB News host Patrick Christys, Widdecombe fumed: "If a country is great and thinks of itself as great and calls itself great, that is of a benefit to every single citizen in it, man, woman and child.

"You want your country to be great, you want it to be successful, and you want it to be economically vibrant."

Martin Kettle

Guardian writer Martin Kettle suggested that Great Britain should drop 'Great' from its name

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Widdecombe stated that Great Britain should be a country that "other people respect".


Patrick argued that GB News viewers may feel that he "has a go at Great Britain all the time", but claimed it is because "I do think this place is great and I want to restore it to its former greatness".

When asked if she agrees that there is a "clear difference" between hating Britain and wanting it to succeed, Widdecombe said: "I think it's very simple to test. If you say you don't think this country is great, where would you prefer to live? Where would you actually want to go?

"Things will always go wrong in any country, we are not alone. The one thing I do get irritated by is that we always talk about what's wrong with Britain, totally out of context with what's going on everywhere else."

Hitting out at Kettle, Widdecombe fumed: "So unless he can tell me where he would prefer to live, then Britain is great. We're not uniquely in a mess, every country that suffered Covid is in a mess."

Ann Widdecombe

Ann Widdecombe says things will 'always go wrong in any country'

GB News

When asked by Patrick if the country needs to "accept decline", Widdecombe disagreed, arguing: "No, we don't need to accept decline.

"Indeed, it's very dangerous to accept decline. A decline needs to be arrested and not just accepted as if there's no possibility of challenge. So no, we don't accept decline."

She concluded: "Of course you accept that things change, we're not great imperial power anymore. I think we want to be, but things change.

"But that doesn't mean we accept decline, which is a different concept altogether."

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