18 February 2012
Thank you so much for what you said on Thursday - I could tell you had put a lot of thought into it and that it came from the heart. I must admit I cried more than once.
You were so right to remind me of all our good times. Those first couple of centuries really were great weren't they, what with our Empire, leading the industrial revolution and so on.
As you know, I've been thinking a lot about our relationship too, and the thing is the world is different now. We both know it, but I know it's a struggle for you to come to terms with. You used the word 'together' 21 times: stronger together, better together, won together. You're right, in those first 250 years we probably were better together, but we've both changed and so has the world around us.
Let me put it this way. Do you remember as a kid taking part in the three-legged race at the school sports? Well we were the best three-legged race team in the history of the world! Whilst everyone else's empires were tripping and falling over each other behind us, our hours of training and natural synchronisation saw us romping ahead, winning every time.
But that's no good any more, nobody's running three-legged races now, they're all running free and we're just holding each other back. It doesn't matter how hard we train, how well we work together, we'll always be slower than them because in today's world three legs aren't better than two.
Do you know my dream? I can see us both lining up at the start of the race as individuals, competing against all those other countries, running freely on equal terms with them, and you never know, maybe as we cross that winning line in front we can be holding hands, best of friends.
There's no point being the world's best three-legged team when everyone else is running a different race.
I'm sorry Dave but it's over,