Part 2— Multi-cultural Britain
The attitude of the stiff upper lip came under unconscious revision during the hey-days of Lady Diana Spencer’s rule over the hearts, expectations and imaginations of the British public. The reaction to her tragic and untimely death in 1997 by the same public caused this change to be openly acknowledged by sociologists and the media.
Shortly before her death, Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of Britain, had led his Labour Party to a resounding victory and been nominated Prime Minister. Mr Blair’s campaign team had recognised the change in the British public, and revamped the labour Party as New Labour to respond efficiently to the expectations of a changed, socially mobile, heterogeneous and ethnically diverse Britain in which fish and chips as the national dish had been, in effect, replaced by Chicken Tikka Masala, a side effect of post-war immigration from South Asia.
The “quavering intuitions of the heart” were based on feeling and touching, and the British were said to have evolved into a touchy-feely people, a term that is now a standard way of describing this trait as opposed to the stiff upper lip.
Therefore no study of this change, and the degree to it which has endured, can succeed without taking into account the way the British public expressed their grief at Diana’s death, and what Tony Blair promised them.