In a brief break from the Looking To The Future series I decided to write this entry as I had received a rather worrying mail this morning, I don’t know if anyone else in the UK has received it but it made my blood boil enough to wish to write an immediate response. I enclose both for perusal, debate, feedback and consideration and also as a template for people to work with should they feel it is any use. I do not wish to portray this as representative of all of those who are fighting a cause for the recognition of the English flag. I know my friend Longrider has views that differ from mine in part, though ostensibly we are both diametrically opposed to the political correct lobby. The PC lot corrupt the nature of my argument by making people think that somehow this is the nature of a left-wing argument. Likewise this email I received elucidates just why so many people are potentially offended by the “English” lobby. It is neo-fascist populist rubbish of the worst kind, riddled with as many factual innaccuracies as it is emotive phrases. Furthermore whether or not it did indeed appear in an English newspaper I do not know but it is quite clearly a cut and paste job from an American message of similar style. That will become clear as you read it.

Subject: Pass the word

After many cities not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up xmas lights.

After hearing that the Birmingham council changed its opinion and let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver’s license with her face covered.

After hearing of a Primary School in Birmingham where a boy was told that for PE they could wear Football League shirts (Aston Villa,Birmingham, West Brom etc) but NOT an England shirt as it could offend others !

This prompted the editorial below written by a UK citizen. Published in a British tabloid newspaper.


IMMIGRANTS, NOT BRITON’S, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.

Since the terrorist attacks on London, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Brits. However, the dust from the attacks has barely settled and the “politically correct” crowd begin complaining about the possibility that our patriotism is offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Britain. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.

This idea of London being multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Britons, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle.This culture has been developed over centuries of wars, struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the language!

“In God We Trust” is our National Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

If St. George’s cross offends you, or you don’t like ” A Fair Go”, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY,OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great British freedom, “THE RIGHT TO LEAVE”.

If you aren’t happy here then f#@* off! We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it.

I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please. No matter how many times you receive it… please forward it to all you know.

I could not help but respond to the mail as you can probably imagine. My response was as follows:

Sorry no, got to disagree most vehemently on this one.

Firstly let me say I am not in favour of political correctness any more than I am in favour of racism. The decision to brush Christmas under the carpet is not one that has been taken in conjunction with any part of the Islamic, Jewish or Hindu communities, it is one based on ignorance and does no-one any credit. Most religious groups have no problem with Christians celebrating their festivals in the same way that I, as an Atheist do not, however the same respect should be paid to the other religious festivals as well. Perhaps if people were given information about festivals such as Diwali, Eid and Hanukah and the like there would be less suspicion and mistrust.

That being said the ‘editorial’ which I think would be better called an ill-informed diatribe is really quite objectionable and to leave it unquestioned would be wrong. It is interesting that it is claimed to be an editorial rather than a letter and the tabloid newspaper is not named (I have my suspicions)

The idea that Britons do not need to adapt is idiotic, for a culture that is based so fundamentally and completely on the influx of external cultural forces, the stifling of continued evolution would be isolationist nonsense. What is it that these people define as British/English? Is it the language which stems largely from a 12th century Middle High German stem with a 65% Franco-Latin vocabulary? Is it perhaps the people who since the Celts came over before Christ have been followed by the Romans from modern Italy (though Roman legionaries could be from across the empire), the Jutes from modern Denmark, the Angles and the Saxons from modern Central Germany, the Vikings from Scandinavia, the Normans who came from France but originally stem from Scandinavia? Or is it the flag, one depicting the ensign of a half-Turkish, half-Palestinian man, most famous for a deed that never happened and who neither ever spoke nor even ever visited England. Or perhaps the royal family the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas a name so quintessentially Germanic in origin they decided that Windsor was perhaps a little less contentious and didn’t make them come across as the Kaiser.

Let us also not forget that through many wars across many centuries Britain was the aggressor and not the defender, the mess in Ireland, Palestine and Iraq are all a direct result of British foreign policy, some things never change eh?

Many of the people who come to Britain seeking a better life are ones who come in the belief that Britain is the motherland having had this sort of thing rammed down their throats for decades by an imperial education system. Others come because the Western world has raped and pillaged resources from their countries to prop up our own opulence at their expense, to deny them the right to come here to is morally indefensible and to simply dismiss them as economic migrants is to abdicate responsibility entirely. If you don’t want people to come here then help sort out the f*cking mess in their countries and perhaps the prospect of leaving everything you have in the grinding poverty of your homeland and schlepping across countries in search of a better life may look less appealing.

If many of these people stay in their ethnic group upon arrival perhaps this is because faced with a foreign country and seemingly hostile people it is a natural phenomenon to stick together, hence Jewish, Irish, Italian quarters around the place and Chinatown etc. The onus is not just on them to attempt to understand the culture into which they are coming but on YOU to understand the culture whence they came. Don’t say integration if what you mean is annexation, if you don’t understand the terms properly then take 2 historical examples, the first is how Indian culture and English culture has mixed, the second is how Nazi Germany superimposed it’s culture on Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1938-9.

You do not want a citizenship test, after all by and large the British know f*ck all of their own history and even less of anyone else’s, surpassed in ignorance perhaps only by their American cousins, if a citizenship test is brought in you’ll all get embarrassed down the pub when you can’t answer any of the questions.

Just because some of us born here neither like it nor feel British does not mean we have to f*** off, it is more courageous to stay and fight for a better place free from the sort of neolithic bigotry we see in this ‘editorial’ than to sod off like a bunch of whingeing ex-pats and attempt to create a little England in someone else’s country. Funny that the British seem to still feel they have a God-given right to gallivant off wherever they choose and expect to be able to get cornflakes and shout loudly at barmen and waiters in an effort to get themselves understood and yet they cannot understand why anyone should do it here. The British are regarded as one of the worst races for learning any other languages and are already years behind continental Europe in the teaching of languages in schools. “Yeah, but everyone speaks English dun’they?” ‘Cos let me tell you that attitude goes a long way in World Commerce.

“In God We Trust” is an interesting one, I was never aware of it being this country’s motto, but I am aware of it being on every banknote of the United States of America and perhaps this in itself is as much illumination as we need as to the opinions of the original writer of the piece. It is ironic that the biggest danger to British culture, the covert erosion by a culture that does have the same language, goes largely unnoticed. Christian men and women did not found this nation it existed long before that and only converted to Christianity after St. Augustine came to Britain under the envoy of Pope Gregory the Great in 597. To deny the existence of Britons before this date is the same as pretending that Australia didn’t exist before the 1790s and that there was no America before the Pilgrim Fathers. It is historical revisionism of the worst kind and frankly is neo-populist bullshit that people should expose more often.

If YOU the originator of this editorial want a country devoid of anything non-British then you should immediately stop eating chinese, indian, italian, french, thai or vietnamese food. No late night kebabs or pizza. You should stop drinking lager (German) whiskey (pre-christian celtic), Brandy (Dutch), Vodka (Russian) etc. You should not use words like sugar (originally Sanskrit, through Arabic to Latin to French), no more RSVP and deja-vu and you’ll finally have to find your own word for entrepreneur. Oh and stop using the current number system which is Arabic, stop using the current calender, it’s not called Gregorian for nothing, it’s a Catholic calendar from Italy. The days of the week are going to be a little bland as well as are the months of the year though you might still be able to use April, May and June.

Or do you just want to have your Gateaux and eat it you ignorant Scheisse?

-Please feel free to pass this around to anyone you feel may have been taken in by the original claptrap outlined in the editorial. Eventually perhaps it might illicit a response, but I won’t hold my breath, after all response comes from respondre which is French so perhaps I’ll be a victim of my own success! You can choose to leave my name on it if you wish but since the original writer saw fit to hide behind anonymity I do not see why I should not be able to do the same.

If anyone does receive such a mail it is, in my opinion, vital that you do not simply shrug it off but respond with feeling. Whilst many of us realise that this sort of argument outlined in the mail is ignorant rantings there are many others who will not apply the same level of critque to such a thing and it is therefore essential that the myths contained within are publically exploded. The sort of right-wing fervour that we have seen born out of the inner city areas that were once traditional left-wing supporters existed because of ignorance and the singular lack of the political establishment to interact with anyone who does not tow the neo-liberal or neo-conservative line. Such ignorance and the failure of society to provide proper education for all has been harvested by the far-right who have become cleverer than their previous simpleton skinhead bovva-boy image. Let’s not forget that the Nazis have a strong historical precedent for stregth in propaganda. One of the principle reasons it worked so well in Germany in the 1930s was because of the lack of coherent united opposition to condemn it and refute the arguments offered. This cannot be allowed to happen again. The parallels with the German political system in the Weimar Republic can be easily drawn, lack of unity on the left and a series of right-wing laws enacted by a populist head of state leading to the potential for seizure of emergency powers and the easy repression of sections of people by existing legislation.

Some people may think it far fetched but it is a period of history I have studied a fair bit from the German perspective and I know well the methodology and circumstance that led to 1933 and I can see areas that make me want to be damn sure that we are not in the fateful trap of failing to bear in mind that they that do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.

Song Of The Day ~ Apples In Stereo – Lucky Charm

Original Comments:

sarah made this comment,
great response to that mail.
on the face of it, the first mail seems like the pretty standard rant of any local in a country getting pissed off by the expats / immigrants complaining. and you know, frankly, i wouldn’t have been bothered at all by it, were i not surrounded by whiny english expats in MY (adopted) country, desperately writing letters to the editor in every damn newspaper, lobbying for turning this place into a mini england. a lot of the local arabs get offended and often yell out the same thing (go back home, if you hate it so much – which actually is a slightly more valid response in their case, since none of the whiners are citizens) but it’s still childish.

i hope your letter gets around more than the other one.

also (and far more importantly) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, darling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

will send you a proper mail later.

hope you’re having an amazing day.

comment added :: 10th December 2005, 11:46 GMT+01
Mark Ellott made this comment,
This looks like one of those USA godspam mails that do the rounds on the other side of the pond. Certainly they do no one any favours. As you say, we may not entirely see eye to eye on the flag issue, but we do on this crap.
BTW – Happy Birthday.

comment added :: 10th December 2005, 18:06 GMT+01 ::
john made this comment,
Blimey Baron, you have excelled yourself in response to such a load of crap. I did enjoy your comments about ‘ex-pats’ as I have seen so much of it first hand.
comment added :: 12th December 2005, 16:22 GMT+01 ::
The Fat Boy made this comment,
To tell you the truth, my man, I don’t open e-mail from unknown senders. however, if a friend e-mails me with an opinion, i’ll respond in kind. some people try getting a point across by responding to spam (i’m not talking about ur case, Baron), but they’re words fall on deaf ears, and they’re just alterting the spammers that their address exists.
comment added :: 18th December 2005, 14:09 GMT+01 ::
dave made this comment,
fucking ace.
comment added :: 3rd January 2006, 10:59 GMT+01
clive made this comment,
Oh great, Thought this blog was going to be someting diferent with more than the usual lefty bush bashing and hatred of anyone whos views are even slightly right of centre. But anyway if that email compelled you to make such an enlightened and wise response i to feel compelled to reply. well yes your knowledge on the historical foreign origin of british language and subculture seems well informed, but what about a contemporary view?i meen modern british culture is still british, regardless of foreign origins. the email you reply to sounds extreem ish but his/her views are no diferent to a lot of other peoples.why can a muslim girl wear a burka to school but alas, a christian cannot were a cross under his shirt?in your onslaught of criticism regarding the article you fail to adress why it has been written or the authors point of view regarding its writing thus not providing any form of balanced opinion meerly the type of leftist, neo communist crap most other blogers spout in the name of liberty and freedom of speech.which is in reality bullying and brutalising. earn yourself respect, balance your opinions instead of launching into “communist gulag opinion bashing mode”, ask yourself why it was made, then maybe, just maybe you might realise that not everyone except yourself and your admirers is a Nazi
comment added :: 22nd January 2006, 17:09 GMT+01