Thursday, June 17, 2010

Patriotism, Jingoism and Nationalism

What is it about England that brings out such hatred in some people? Some hate the patriotism that often occurs  when the English are involved in sporting events, equating it to nationalism and/or jingoism, yet are quite happy to see other nations and fans flying their flags. However when they see the English do the same, they hate it because the English must all be BNP supporters, hypocrisy writ large if ever there was a case. They even have all the trite leftist phrases down including the right wing bit (as if the BNP were ever right wing) and can't seem to recognise that the only bigotry on display is their own.
It of course goes further, Julie Burchill in the Daily Mail positively froths at the mouth in the hope that England will go out of the competition quickly so all those horrid little Englanders will get rid of those awful dull St Georges flags and go back to the inclusive majesty of the Union Jack. (strangely enough the flag of the BNP) Of course in Burchill's case it's simply beyond the pale that anyone but a bunch of hooligans would love their own country rather than be British like her.
So, yes, however cross it might make you, I will count the days until England come home with their tails between their legs once again, and the St George's cross - temporarily hijacked in the name of football - is replaced once more by the brave, beautiful Union Jack as a flag the nation can really be proud of.
Once again proving there are some who simply don't get it, people who count themselves as English, now rarely count themselves as British, not any more, not since Britishness was hijacked by the Labour party in an effort to regionalise, marginalise and remove the name of England from the UK. If asked, you'll probably find that the only British thing about them is their passport. These are the people who may have a flag of St George on their cars or draped on their house and will shout to the rooftops their support for England in the world cup, yet a quick check would no doubt prove that they don't have a union flag in the house, nor would have a use for one if they did. Are they racist? Possibly, nay probably some are, yet 6 doors up from me is a house draped in the Flag of St George and the family living there? Well they're from the Indian subcontinent, but they are supporting England in the world cup because it's their team and their country.
And that's what the haters are missing, it's not about racism, jingoism or extreme nationalism, it's just ordinary people being patriotic about their team and the country they represent. They can't accept that England fans come in all shades of colour, religion or political status, to them all England fans are the same, nasty vicious closet (at best) racists. They see something they don't understand about a country they loathe (it used to be Britain, but that changed) and they tar the ordinary people with the broad brush of stereotypical racism, no doubt it makes the British feel superior, if making them look like bigots themselves in the eyes of ordinary folk.
I just wish that people would get off the backs of the English for doing what other nations do, it's no different to Brazilians, Uruguayans, Italians, Germans etc flying their flags and supporting their teams and wanting them to win. In that, the English are no different to anyone else. Nor is it arrogance to believe or state that we're in with a chance, ask any fan about their team and you'll get such statements, even though most fans are well grounded in reality and know just how well their team will actually do (As a Newcastle supporter I know this all too well) but you always live in hope and you never abandon that hope either, not till the final whistle.
It would be nice for a change for the English to be left to be English, to support their team through good and bad without the baggage of other peoples hypocrisy and bigotry being transferred to them.
Hating the English seems like hating the USA to be an acceptable form of bigotry for some people and that needs to change. They, not the English, need to grow up.

14 annotations:

John M Ward said...

Well, I do have to admit that the flag of St George isn't the most visually appealing, and does tend to look tatty very easily; but that doesn't mean to say that we English shouldn't be proud of it or of who we are.

Okay, I detest football; but I tend to be very easy-going at times such as this, and I certainly wish the England team well, even though I shan't be watching them (I never watch football anyway).

McGonagall said...

"It would be nice for a change for the English to be left to be English, to support their team through good and bad without the baggage of other peoples hypocrisy and bigotry being transferred to them."

I agree. Good luck to the English and, win or lose, be proud of who you are.

Monty Cristo said...

I have a flag and am proud of it, but then, we're not in the world cup (SNP) and you are. I'm really chuffed at the kick back and hope you go on to do a '66. But when it's all over you don't have to take down the flags, just put them up beside the Union flag.

Maria said...

The English have long been scapegoats - and the absence of an English national body over the years to reply to criticisms has done us no favours.

It's bigotry, pure and simple.

Trooper Thompson said...

Leftist intellectuals transferred their patriotism to the Soviet Union back in the '20s, according to Orwell, and although they have given up on that, they still keep their hatred of England, which stood for so many things they wanted to destroy.

Michele said...

Yes - possibly the Cross of St George get's tatty very quickly. I wonder how long before it got ripped to shreds during the fight to repel the Armada?

That's just one occasion, but these people need to remember that well before the Union Flag (or the Butcher's Apron as some would call it) the soldiers that defended England wore the simple red cross on a white background to represent their country.

So I suppose for poor pathetic Julie there's two strikes against it - it is the English Flag and it was carried by the military.

You know the only way to deal with such petty mindedness is just to laugh at it. It doesn't half make them mad.

TheBoilingFrog said...

There's another reason which you've overlooked QM. Snobbery. It's not always the flag that posses the problem but because it's football fans doing the flag waving.

There's an element of ill disguised, sanctimonious snobbery of; "Go back to your council estates chav scum and shut-up" about it.

You'll often find those that protest the most prefer rugby.

Anonymous said...

"Some hate the patriotism that often occurs when the English are involved in sporting events, equating it to nationalism and/or jingoism, yet are quite happy to see other nations and fans flying their flags."

This is what I'm trying to understand.
Patriotism IS Nationalism and Jingoism. By following your football team YOU ARE being patriotic, otherwise why on earth follow them? It's ironic but lately they've tried to get rid of the St George cross calling it a racist symbol, but considering it's been part of English history for near on 1000 years anyway, getting rid of it would be like getting rid of any other symbol of England that makes England England! It appears that people want to equate England as the multicultural liberal hell hole of the last 40 years instead of it's history of over 1000 or so!

Although not a BNP supporter (I did your test I'm Right social libertarian) I do understand very much the BNP's philosophy on race, indigenous peoples and Britain as a whole. I just don't agree on their social policies and nationalisation of the UK.
The problem is simple. When it comes down to common sense, the issue of race is automatically regarded as racist, although what is spoken is undoubtedly the truth. Thus the truth is now shouted down as racism.

If an African comes to the UK for example and lives here. He will always be an African although he may attain British citizenship, but will never be a British citizen, but a citizen of Britain. If he marries another African and they have children, they too will be African as they have no heritage whatsoever with the UK (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales). Thus they could never classify themselves as English, Scottish, Welsh etc for these are definitions of indigenous peoples of the UK and as much as African's may want to be, they'll never be English, for their heritage, culture and history is that of Africa and not the UK. As a Scotsman, I knew many English people who were angry at their culture and Englishness was being handed out to any Tom, Dick or Harry that landed on these shores with no relation to it whatsoever. These people were racist in the true sense that they loved their people, their culture and wanted to promote it onto their future generations, but, they are not racist in the liberal slur word of automatically hating other ethnicities and cultures because you love your own.

Bottom line here is we should not force our culture and history onto those whose culture and history it isn't. They should learn their own culture and history as it theirs and not ours to learn. This then creates the dilemma of colonization of the UK by those who are not part of our culture and not our right to enforce it upon them. Thus multiculturalism is always destined to failure as separate ethnic groups will grow and eventually challenge others and the indigenous one for supremacy. This is common sense and reality and been played throughout time. The result of what Labour's done in the last 13 years to the UK would have undoubtedly been seen as colonization in the past and thus inevitable war.

Wyrdtimes said...

Good post QM.

There's a classic over at the New Statesman, take a look if you've not already seen it.

Mrs Rigby said...

Well written.

There should never be any need for anybody to apologise for their nationality, or for being patriotic. It's unpleasant to thikn we're almost meant to apologise for being English, yet the Scots, Welsh and Irish are allowed to be proud of their heritage.

Anonymous said...

I used to describe myself as British, until I found out about the attitudes of the Welsh and Scottish (et al) to our teams if their teams were knocked out - you mean they don't support us as neighbours? ABE?

Since I started work in France I've been asked a few times whether I minded being called un anglais, rather than British. I quickly put their fears to rest.

I also bought a french football t-shirt - "le mimine de titi" - "the hand on thierry henri". This as recompense for the Irish fans that wear Argentina kit when England play - fair's fair matey

Anonymous said...

sorry, hand of Thierry Henri

Anonymous said...

So the English insist on the United Kingdom, except when they want to be English?

Crying anti-flag snobbery is nothing more than a weak attempt to excuse football fan's usually poor behaviour.

Supporting teams is merely an attempt by the weak to empower themselves. Undeserved socialising of success.

Quiet_Man said...

No, it's the British who insist on the UK and whilst there are a few Brits who are also English, their numbers are falling, most people now identify with being English, not British in a similar manner to the Scots.