"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Almost There

This is just a one-off because I can't get it out of my head so I thought I'd blog it instead and hope it produces some sort of catharsis and let me sleep tonight.  It's about a phone-in radio programme I heard this morning and the attitude of the callers towards the two questions: "What is English-ness?" and "Should we celebrate St George's Day?"

This once-a-year question is prompted, no doubt, by A Festival of Englishness organised by the IPPR and British Future and followed up by newspaper articles.

The presenter began by admitting that she/he had no idea when St George's Day was but she/he was half Cornish/half Scottish and was truly British.  What followed was a succession of callers who divided fairly neatly into three camps:

English and hating England;
British and hating England;
Immigrant and loving England.

One English chap said he couldn't wait to move abroad because successive governments have betrayed the country and did nothing for the English; a third-generation Briton hated England because "there is no Great Britain, it was all built on the back of colonial theft & St George was a Turk", many immigrants (this is London after all) 'loved Britain' but continually confused England with Britain.

Actually, there was a fourth category: sweet old ladies who 'loved England' but thought our Patron Saint should be, eg Robin Hood (yes, really), and we should have a day to celebrate its multiculturalism and its diversity.

The first caller, 'Raj', was no doubt well-meaning when he called himself 'English' because 'they are a people who are kind and fair-minded'.  He then spoiled it by saying that he wasn't happy with a Patron Saint and that all cultures and races should be celebrated on an 'English-ness Day' instead because the English, above all, were tolerant.  I think 'Raj' was flying a kite there but I wouldn't take any bets because many other callers agreed with him.

The majority agreed that St George's Day (April 23rd as any fule kno) was inappropriate because it would "cause division" and be seen to be provocative and nationalistic.  What they all agreed is that England, or Britain depending on your level of education, should  celebrate 'being English' or British, or whatever.  What they couldn't agree on is what it is to be English.

I can tell them.  Being English means belonging to the gene-pool of English people.  If I were born in, say, Africa or India, it would not make me African or Indian; I would still be a white Anglo-Saxon of Anglo-Saxon heritage.

I tried to make sense of what I was feeling as the hour unwound - I wondered why I didn't feel  angry, upset or even, in a very English way, slightly miffed.  But it didn't; it just made me so sad. We've been sold out, globalised and prostituted yet very few seem to realise it and the fightback, if there is one, is very nearly lost. They're almost there.

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5 comments:

  1. How about "English, and hating what England has become"? I constantly find myself in a dilemma - I regard leaving these shores as something of an inevitability, if I am to see out my days without the EU monster controlling every aspect of life. But then I feel guilty - emigrating is a "cop out", and I just become an alien in another country.

    It's ironic that "Raj" (a good old Anglo-Saxon name, I think NOT) should say we "are kind and fair-minded". It is this attitude which has allowed the world and his dog to slowly but surely erode our centuries old freedoms.

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    Replies
    1. Hi MD - yes, sorry, | should have been clearer. 'English & hating what England has become' is a much better description of the two English callers I heard.

      I agree that it doesn't seem right to leave - it smacks of rats and sinking ships but my eldest is moving to America shortly (easier for him to get a US visa and green card than it is for his soon-to-be American wife to get the necessary papers here) and I'm glad for him. I just wish the other two would get out of the London hell-hole as well.

      Remember that Kipling poem about the Anglo-Saxon:

      http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/norman-and-saxon/

      I have to believe that day will come, or else what's the point?

      Delete
    2. The majority agreed that St George's Day (April 23rd as any fule kno) was inappropriate because it would "cause division" and be seen to be provocative and nationalistic.

      Good, then we need to retain it.

      Delete
  2. I suppose I'm old - though there are many older - but at 75, I couldn't even consider leaving Britain, AND WHY THE HELL SHOULD I? I'm not a defeatist and hope that more Britains will realise the imminent danger and help us to restore Britain's pride IN NATIONHOOD! No more accepting DICTATS from Brussels. No more claims on our impoverished National purse. PLEASE BRITISH! WAKE UP! Get us OUT of the EU! I only see or hear of UKIP prepared to MAKE A DETERMINED STAND and restore our capacity to make our own laws, and return SOVEREIGNTY to our Sovereign - who is, AS ARE YOU & I, reduced to a serf to the European Commission!

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  3. I'm with you 100% Bas but, having delved into the EU over the years, I think that tptb will take this to the bitter end and it can only result in violence: State -v- People

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