A football team that can't beat even Israel, a cricket team whose vice captain binges himself into a sodden stupour and somewhere unknown in Iran, a small party of kidnapped Marines and sailors, fate unknown but likely interrogated, blindfold and handcuffed in a cell.
All rather unthinkable in my grandfather's day and even I can remember a time when our sense of national identity and pride was based on different values and standards, frowned-upon in today's BBC-driven, all-pervasive atmosphere of political correctness.
I thought I would add the clip below, which I am sure everyone will recognise. It stands for something, an ideal of Englishness that we lost somewhere along the way in my own lifetime. Good riddance some will say, "you were oppressing foreigners and being unkind to the French" but as long as Shakespeare is taught in school, a distant memory of courage, true leadership and real pride in our history and our small country will remain in the minds of a dwindling few.