Proud To Be British

I’m back. I know, I come and go, let’s not go into it and get on with the post at hand shall we? Long story short, either my life or my own headspace doesn’t always let me get on with this whole blogging lark on a regular basis, I fall out of a pattern, hit the ground with a thud and it’s hard to get back and up again, the longer I leave it, the harder it gets, you get the picture. Okay, that said, let’s move on.

Jeremy Corbyn. If you’re in Britain, you’ve probably heard that name a bunch already, the supposed terrorist ‘sympathiser’ who doesn’t sing anthems and doesn’t match his jacket with his trousers, a radical, in the good sense or the worst depending on your view point. Corbyn is a man who decided the political scene needed a man who looks like your Grandad, dresses like your Dad and has the idealism of that one friend who shares Upworthy posts all the time, to which I say good show, if nothing it breaks up the monotony of smarmy suit boys. Of course, being a left-wing idealist with certain viewpoints on our military and monarchy, he’s under fire constantly by critics for the slightest thing, usually anything that falls out of sync with how we perceive the average Brit. Latest news, didn’t sing the national anthem at a memorial service, apparently makes him scum worse than those who round children into vans, but let’s face it, had he sung he’d be accused of hypocrisy so he’s damned either way. My question to you reader, what does it mean to be British and what’s there to be proud of?

You hear the phrase “Proud to be British” and you think of the plucky underdog that fought for freedom in the Second World War. Long summer afternoons, cricket, pubs and a people united by adversity. Today, we’re not the underdog, individually we might face our own issues, namely financial crises, but as a nation we’re not the hideously under-equipped but quintessentially heroic warriors charging foreign shores, we’re trained hardcore soldiers fighting the same flames we pour fuel on and then complain when people run away from the fire. If the EDL, UKIP and BNP are anything to go by, the modern Brit is a bitter racist with a shifty eye for anyone not wearing St. George’s Cross on their chest. The common sentiment is that our veterans fought to keep Britain British and that’s true to an extent but they fought for freedom, they fought so that future generations might know peace, they fought to take down a man who was clearly, unambiguously, fucking evil. Hitler wasn’t gunning for England, he was out to get Poland and that’s when we said enough and stuck up for the little guy even though we weren’t too tall ourselves. The Syrian issue isn’t the same, ISIS is bad, don’t get me wrong but they’re an undisciplined mob of bullies capitalising on an opportunity presented by a civil war, a civil war between two sides that are as bad as each other, committing the same crimes they accuse the other of. So let’s be clear, the Syrian crisis is not the same heroic story as World War Two, we are not jumping in to save the day, we are pissing in the same river as every other party involved and pointing fingers at who made the water unfit to drink.

The refugee situation has shown me a lot about our nation, namely that we go over telling them to be like us but if they come here that’s a crime. We told them to stay and fight, like we’d do that. Fuck no, if this country gets bombs dropped, I’m finding everyone I care about, rounding ’em up and finding somewhere to hide. The men that fled, fled to protect families and because they were scared and somehow not professional killers, like most of us. Credit where it’s due, not everyone in this nation is a callous racist but it speaks volumes when people accused these victims of wars of being benefit-scrounging cockroaches hell-bent on destroying us with all those weapons they are clearly concealing in their rags and sacks. You know who else used cockroaches to describe undesirables? That same tyrant Britain fought to overthrow many decades ago – Hitler got people to hate the Jewish in his country by dehumanising them as ‘cockroaches’, ‘rats’ and ‘vermin’, things we typically want rid of. You do that to these refugees, it suddenly seems a lot less horrid when they’re brutally beat by policemen for being where they shouldn’t or when someone one day suggests building special camps for them… and suddenly there is a lot less of them.

Back to Corbyn, I think he is proud of his nation, I think he is just sick of seeing it be steered into the ground by austerity at the helm and ignorance being the bludgeon it beats us down with. Sensationalised news stories make us stupid and angry over absolutely nothing, like him not singing a song. Jeremy showed his respect by attending, give him a break, you mean to tell me your moral conduct is without fault? You sing every hymn and anthem you hear? I want to be proud of this country but lately we’re not doing much to be proud of, we point fingers at refugees, disabled people and unemployed teens for ruining our country, we are punching down to feel validated in our bitterness when our real problem is the system failed us and we’re either dealing with that by getting angry at passersby or a revolution based on apathetically doing nothing. Conservatives won the election with less than 30% of the vote, that is messed up, that is wrong, why aren’t we more angry about that? You wouldn’t make a decision based on that percentage. Why are we not angry at the newspapers printing horseshit? Why are we angry at those who need defending rather than those who own most our wealth and undermine our society through cuts, cuts and more cuts, through plans to sell off our services and spend our tax money on fighting in places we know so little about? Does it not seem weird that the biggest threat to our economy and security is the people in charge of it?

To conclude, don’t buy into the shitstorm that’s brewing around Corbyn, it’s a smear campaign blowed out of proportion, things taken out of context (i.e he doesn’t think Osama’s death is a tragedy, he thinks the fact he was just shot and tossed in the sea a tragedy, as a human being he deserved a trial and a burial, executing him like that is no less barbaric than decapitations with a machete, only the tool is different, not the intention). Corbyn might be this, that and the other and maybe he is a nail in Labour’s coffin, maybe he isn’t, what will be the final nail in our coffin though is hatred and ignorance. Britain should be trying to lead the way, to be the rational sibling of America that we tell ourselves we are. Britain prides itself on being civilised, on being the scrappy do-gooders in a ruck so let’s be that again. Come on, Britain’s great, we gave the world Doctor Who and Tom Hiddleston, we got knee-deep in dirt and blood for righteousness, we introduced the idea that those who write laws are accountable to them – the Magna Carta, the basis for democracy as we know it now – so why should we also give the world heavy doses of racism and media nonsense even Murdoch wouldn’t try to pull over our eyes

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