This is terrific. Something good rising from the ashes like a phoenix. The mythical bird, with fiery plumage, lives up to 100 years. Near the end of its life, it settles into its nest. The twigs burn ferociously, reducing bird and nest to ashes. And from those ashes, a fledgling phoenix rises—renewed and reborn.
Mr Cameron said he had not heard the remark but he had little doubt about Britain's standing in the world and its outstanding contribution in a wide range of fields.
"Let me be clear - Britain may be a small island but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience," he told reporters.
"Britain is an island that has helped to clear the European continent of fascism and was resolute in doing that throughout World War II.
"We are very proud of everything we do as a small island - a small island that has the sixth-largest economy, the fourth best-funded military, some of the most effective diplomats, the proudest history, one of the best records for art and literature and contribution to philosophy and world civilisation."
He added: "For the people who live in Northern Ireland, I should say we are not just an island, we are a collection of islands. I don't want anyone in Shetland or Orkney to feel left out by this."
He repeated the speech at a press conference at the close of the two-day summit, adding in references to The Beatles, Shakespeare, Elgar and latest pop sensations One Direction.
"If I go on too long about our literature, our art, our philosophy, our contribution, including of course the world's language... if I start talking about this 'blessed plot, this sceptred isle, this England' I might have to put it to music, so I think I'll leave it there," he said. Bloggers quickly obliged by adding a soundtrack of Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory to the prime minister's patriotic speech.
The Russian President Mr Peskov told reporters he didn't know the origin of the "small island" remark. "I simply can't explain the source of that claim. Definitely it is nothing to do with reality. It is definitely not something I have said. I don't know whose views it reflects - it's nothing to do with us."
These summit meetings often tend to disintegrate into school-yard tactics.
However the slur occurred, I like the positivity which emerged. It's not often we hear of people in the United Kingdom proclaiming pride in their country. The Americans are renowned for doing so, and I love that about them. If everyone would see the best in the situation around them, the world would be a better place. As a former Australian, I sit back like a citizen of that world, and observe the good and the bad.
“Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. In those transparent moments we know other people’s joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own.” ~ Fritz Williams