Having just finished watching Ian Hislop’s excellent BBC2 series about Britons’ famous, if perhaps endangered, “Stiff Upper Lip”, I noticed today on the website of the British Embassy in Morocco the following piece of British gentlemanliness in the face of potential adversity:
Weapons (including pepper sprays), or any object that our security staff consider could be used as a weapon, are also forbidden. These will not be retained by our staff. Should you arrive with such an object you will not be granted access but will be asked to return without it.
I can’t think of a more polite way of dealing with a visitor who might harbour serious ill intent towards the UK and its representatives. It’s hard to imagine that someone arriving at a US Embassy with anything fitting the foregoing description would encounter such an understanding attitude on the part of the US Marine Corps detachment habitually found at the front door.
Could it be that the British Embassy believes that the traditional politeness characteristic of the British, combined with an unwavering labium superius oris in the face of adversity, will persuade modern-day terrorists to rethink their evil intentions?