I’m sorry I just can’t help it, maybe it’s because I’m a leftie maybe it’s because I’m Irish but the prevolence of England flags, which are everywhere at the moment, makes me nervous. People might say it’s just a bit of national pride for a sporting event, well the sporting event hasn’t even begun yet and as for national pride once again sorry but that makes me nervous too becuase it’s such a fine line between “Aren’t we great” to “Everyone else is shit”. Do other nations do this? Other than the US I mean and we all know what their ‘patriotism’ has led to. I was in Germany in 1990 and 1996 and sure the Germans were driving round in their cars with flags etc. when they won the World Cup and Euro 96 but there wasn’t a discernible build-up beforehand like there has been here. I forgot, the arguement is “We’re reclaiming our national flag from the fascists” are you, are you really? It looks more like to me that mainstream politics/society and the media are reclaiming fascism from the fascists. To have all these flags around is disturbing in the extreme with all the distrust and in many cases hatred and vitriol directed against asylum seekers and romanies.

Did this always used to be the case, no I don’t believe so, I think that the right have tapped quite cleverly into the sort of disatisfaction that has traditionally been the recruiting ground of the left. Now rather than the old ‘yeah life’s shit, join us and help us change society for everyone’ it’s ‘Life’s shit and you know why don’t you, it’s them, it’s their fault if they weren’t here everything would be better for you.’ This isn’t a new thing, it’s exactly what the NF were doing in the 70s & 80s it’s just that then it was seen as extremeism and the main political parties on the whole would distance themselves from it, now because the scapegoating of asylum seekers has become the rule rather than the exception it has meant that all the main parties have subsumed traditional right-wing ground leaving the BNP looking no more extreme than the government and opposition.

But what about me as I sit here with my emerald shirt and shamrock on it, aren’t I just as bad? Well, perhaps in part but the key thing is that what my nationality is is simply of relevance to me, it is part of my identity but does not affect how I see other people. Just because I am one thing doesn’t mean someone else being something different is a problem. Now perhaps my actual upbringing has a bearing on why I could be nationalistic in that sense. I am what is known as a ‘Plastic Paddy’ London-born, Irish family so I’m always going to be something of an outsider and that teaches you to at least tip your hat at other outsiders.

As the election draws closer it does look like however well Respect do the Right in UKIP and BNP are likely to have a strong turnout and I’m afraid it doesn’t matter how many votes Labour/Lib Dem/Greens get, it is not going to change what will be seen as an authentication of the neo-right. I really do feel that the Respect vote is critical because if there is a swing left as well as a swing right it will undermine the arguement that the right-wingers would have us believe that the whole country feels this way and the election would be seen simply as a re-polarisation of politics. One can but hope.

I decided to move ‘Song of the Day’ to my actual entry because I may be interested to look back some day and see what the significance was of each individual song.

May’s stats -2790 hits. BTW anyone up for a June Blog-a-Thon?

Song of the Day ~ Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

Original Comments:

john made this comment,
I live in a ‘oldie’ dominated Tory area and find that many locals are looking to the UKIP and BNP to ‘save them’ from ‘the foreign invaders’. It’s sad that many of these people are of the generation that faced the real threat of invasion from Hitler. On a lighter note, Joan Collins supports the UKIP and Bob Hope called her ‘The British Open’.
Visit me @ http://bigjohn.blog-city.com/

[Redbaron responds -yes it’s strange how some of those who fought against German fascism now turn to the fascists to save them from a different invasion, makes you wonder what they were actually fighting for all those years ago, hardly a noble struggle against a totalitarian threat to global liberty more a matter of stop Johnny Foreigner coming over here dammit!]

comment added :: 1st June 2004, 16:09 GMT+01
Red Baron made this comment,
Hmm, I’m not sure why but I have a feeling this blog isn’t coming up on the homepage, it does for me in Safari but not in IE which I presume most of you are using. I am putting this comment in to act as a -bump- to see if that solves it.
Visit me @ http://redbaron.blog-city.com

comment added :: 1st June 2004, 16:12 GMT+01

Bob Red made this comment,
you could say ive led a bit of a sheltered life, but i remember asking why our country had a “racist flag” when i was in primary school (and rather than the teachers intelligently asking whay i thought that about our flag, I was subjected to the standard narrowminded bollocking that was standard education policy in those days). The Reason behind it was that I grew up seeing the NF standing in the streets shouting out vile and racist things all wearing union jacks. So naturally i put 2 and 2 together to make 7987654. The point is, if that happened to me in the early 80’s, what could well be happening to the kids of today? and if my (then) innocent mind percieved that our nations flag symbolised racism, what do other nations think of us having experienced our reputation first hand??. Just look at what happens when we go to see the football abroad. Again its the few idiots who cant see their own failings and find it easier to blame their misfortunes onto a minority group who ruin things for the rest of us and drag this country down.
So there you have it, i for one will not be wearing anything with an england flag on it, for i am no longer proud to be english, instead, in the ironically english tradition, im indifferent to it!
There you go mate, another bob red mini rant im sure theres a point in there somewhere!!
until next time…

Visit me @ http://bobred.blog-city.com

comment added :: 1st June 2004, 22:40 GMT+01