St. George’s Day

10 Apr

Someone I know on Facebook just linked to a page called ‘England to Celebrate St. George’s Day’. Whenever I see a web page that concerns English patriotism or national holidays or anything at all concerning specifically England, I always hope against hope that the page won’t be filled with angry racists whose strong points at school evidently did not include spelling, geography, theology or logic. Clearly, wishful thinking is one of my own weak points. Here are some samples from the delightful denizens of the aforementioned Facebook group:

“we should celebrate but if we do we are racist well f//k you i am english and proud now the dicks tell us we wont be able to wear our own countries football shirt in a pub during the world cup ok but what about all the foreigners over here no doubt its ok for them well go f//k yourselves

Sorry, which politicians are spending their rigidly defined schedules discussing the legal ramifications of football strips? I’m sure that foreigners have it better than English people, too. They only have to deal with, well, all the problems British-born citizens face, plus a few more like rabid intolerance and nationalism thrown in for good measure.

“if they object to our flag they should not be in our COUNTRY”

Who’s “they”, and when was the last time you personally saw “them” objecting to our flag?

“I’m English and proud of it Christians cannot have there cross so can be seen for miles because of PC but a sikh temple can be built at a cost of millions and be seen for bloody miles”

There might be a grain of truth in that. Hmm, when’s the last time I saw a cross… oh yeah. Only every day atop the church on my town’s main street. Nobody is dismantling crosses on churches or anywhere else. Can we wake up, please?

Now the last thing I want to do is engage in mad speculation, but it seems that various tabloids like the Mail, the Express and the Sun – the papers that my dad insists on referring to as ‘Tory rags’ – make up whatever fables they like, without citing proper sources or using any method that might be even associated with real journalism, and slap them on the front page knowing that the beleaguered and rage-prone British public will often disregard the facts in favour of what ‘seems right’. Sometimes I think that the Mail has purposefully hired people with more of a facility for fiction than for actual journalism, because they know that feeding ghost stories to a scapegoat-seeking public is the only thing that keeps their doltish pamphlet alive.

Oh dear. So much for the ‘no speculation’ thing, then.

If you want to celebrate St. George’s Day, do so. At the very least it’s an excuse for a piss-up, which, by the way, is all that ever happens on national days. The Welsh aren’t assembling in town squares to sing ‘Land of My Fathers’ and give three cheers for the government on St. David’s Day. If you ask an Irishman what St. Paddy’s Day means to him, he’ll tell you that it’s for getting wankered and wearing a stupid hat, not for scuttling through ethnic neighborhoods with a load of your mates and waylaying people who aren’t from Cork. Fly the flag, sing a few stupid songs, crack the beers open. Whatever. Just don’t use it as an excuse to tell us how this country’s going to hell in a handbasket. You miserable pricks have been saying that for years, and I haven’t gotten even the tiniest whiff of brimstone yet.

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