Food for thought
As I sat scoffing an Italian pannini in a Clerkenwell park and sipping on a can of American cola, It all made sense to me!
I read two interesting pieces on The-Latest, one written by the Editor and the other by a contributor, Christine Hosein. One was about the idea of scrapping the St George's flag.and the other debated Britain and its cultural identity.
Both pieces had interesting viewpoints. Here is one of my own. It may not be to your taste, but may nonetheless be a tasty titbit for citizen journalists to either discard in the bin or chew on.
What was Britain like in the past? And what is it like now? What will it be like in the future?
Britain in the past
Without giving a history lesson, which would take hours and bore people stiff -for those who didnt realise, Britain was a superpower! The Roman's conquered Britain and triggered what we know as the British Empire. We really did rule the waves, but it was only until Christopher Columbus 'discovered' a continent called America that Britain's collossal status as a leading world force declined.
European integration developed in 1972 via the European Communities Act, meaning that Britain, and indeed other EU states, were to be dominated by what French president Giscard' Estaing termed 'the United States of Europe.'
We were therefore caught between the rock and a hard place!
But that is not what this is about - my view point is not about the political aspects of cultural domination, but the 'real life' aspects of Britain's authority and decline.
We are said to live in a multicultural society! What does this mean to you and me? Well, as my first sentence described, we eat Italian food, drink American soft drinks and European beers and through this we are actually being hypocritical. We do not want to join the Euro, We do not want an EU consitution, and we certainly almost do not want to be dictated to by a bunch of corrupt power freaks in Brussels.
And yet, we eat their food, drink their wine, and love travelling, thanks to the laudable EU's philosophy of free movement. So where am I going with this? Two questions:
1) How many of you actually know your neighbours in your street? It's a simple question I'm sure many people could answer. None. Unless you happen to be a social butterfly and speak to anyone and everyone!
2) When was the last time you had decent British fish and chips? I had them the other week and was horrified by the quality. The chips were soggy!
What have these two questions got to do with Britain and its idea of multi culturalism and social inclusion?
Quite simply, Britain has lost its identity. My Grandad, who fought in the Second World War, used to drone on to me about 'my days in the War' and how the country had changed for the worse. It's true...
Britain is not like before... You used to be able to knock on people's doors - and ask for a cup of sugar - you used to be able to leave your door open without fear of burglars entering- and you used to be able to be invited into neighbour's homes for tea, cream cakes and a gossip.
Thatcherism in the 80s triggered off the whole selflish individualist mentality that exists today..
The philosophy of that era has been embedded into our culture since then. How many people say sorry when they have just barged into you at Waterloo Station? How many are interested in helping an old lady with her shopping onto a bus, or how many people are prepared to give up their seat for a pregnant woman? Not many.
Blair's era has become worse. Now the attitude of a large minority in society is not to earn money the hard way through grafting, but to earn money through either scrounging off the state or through dealing drugs to young kids, or to simply to live off an inheritance handed down by your elders.
Britain in the future?
What do I see in the future? Decay, more corruption, destruction of the human planet. And all of our own making.
Britishness, what does it all mean? The World Cup was a great symbol of English unity (for a month) but also a farcical moment in history to remember. Our football team were diabolical, but we still managed to wave the St George's flag in vain.
It was hysterical driving around town seeing a string of St George's flags waving in the wind, but where were these made? No doubt on the cheap in China, Taiwan, Malaysia or Indonesia!
Scrapping the St George's flag is a novel and brave idea. But we replace it with what? Would-be Prime Minister Gordon Brown advocated the idea of having a day where everyone celebrates Britishness!
An idea that seems to have fallen by the wayside! Indeed, to celebrate what exactly? Another excuse for politicians to get another day's holiday at the expense of the Taxpayer!
David Blunkett , when he was Home Secretary, wanted to introduce citizenship lessons. Where has that idea gone?
We all talk about being proud of being British and loving our country, as well as taking pride in its history, but at the moment, the country has become a breeding ground for criminals, disrespect, lack of social etiquette and hypocritical elected representatives who dictate to the rest of us about our health, wealth and the way we should live, but are happy to get around in their chauffeur driven Jaguars and travel the world in multi-million pound gas guzzling, air conditioned jets, when the rest of us are sweltering in the heat and trying to do the best we can.
Is it any wonder I'm seeing red about Britishness? I think I'm going to take a dip to cool down. I'm really hot and sweating!