Labour just doesn't get 'Britishness'
A revival is made today in the Telegraph of the story on the Dour One's wish to see the introduction of a 'British Day' and flagpoles flying the national flag in every garden. Oh Lord. The socialists really just don't 'get' Britishness, do they?
Here are five pointers for the Lord Protector:
1. The flag doesn't have the same iconic status to us as 'old glory' has to Americans. We like to see it flying from public and government buildings, and most boaters happily wear the red duster, but flying one at home is, well, a bit un-British. One online flag retailer carries this warning for a union flag; "Warning: This flag is not suitable for burning as it scatters globules of molten burning plastic when alight. If you MUST burn a union flag, we suggest you purchase our printed cotton budget flag ..". Now that's British.
2. We are not a homogenous nation. The Welsh will always describe themselves as Welsh and the Scots as Scottish. If it is Broon's intention to try to prevent the emergence of a coherent English identity, a 'British Day' will have entirely the opposite effect; we have a healthy national antipathy to anything emerging from Whitehall, and a 'British Day' will undoubtedly be seen as a Scots attempt to downgrade St George's Day, which will then be celebrated more fervently than ever before. 'British Day' will be ignored.
3. If Broon is determined to go ahead with this, can I suggest 9th May as a suitable day? We already completely ignore this day as 'Europe Day' and it would make sense to ignore both on the same day, so that we can get on with things. There is nothing , really nothing, more absurd than the following pronouncement from the EU;
"Today, the 9th of May has become a European symbol (Europe Day) which, along with the flag, the anthem, the motto and the single currency (the euro), identifies the political entity of the European Union. Europe Day is the occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and peoples of the Union closer to one another."
4. Thanks to a generation of teachers of an appalling level of personal ignorance in our schools, we have largely misremembered the reason for our festivities on 5th November. Instead of celebrating the safe delivery of our MPs from assassination, the nation now prefers to celebrate Guy Fawkes himself as a kind of folk hero in the Robin Hood mould who got full marks for trying to blow up Parliament, and failed heroically in a thoroughly British way. I like this particular version of historical revisionism, and therefore propose Guy Fawkes Day as our national day of festivities.
5. Finally, and on a more serious note, we already have a 'British Day' that is imprinted deeply in the national psyche; 11th November. Not a day for inane, prattling and artificial 'festivities' as Brown would no doubt wish, but a day of most solemn commemoration of the blood sacrifice of the men from every corner of these islands.