Received this week, the following missive from a regular visitor who prefers to remain anonymous. You'll see why ...
It's good to see that you continue to make an articulate stand against the injustices and absurdities of modern life. I have young children, and find it incredibly difficult to explain how we come to find ourselves in such a state.
Yesterday, (anticipating the rugby international next week) my son asked me for the words of the Scottish National Anthem. I could only say that it was about beating the English in battle, many centuries ago. Not unreasonably, he asked me why we didn't sing about beating the Scots. I told him, of course, that this would be racist. Clearly I've failed in my duty as a modern, multi-cultural parent as he couldn't see the justice in this. I explained that almost anything the English sung about would be considered racist, except (perhaps) an abject apology for our entire history as a nation. This seemed like a good idea, so we decided to have a go at it, with the following result.
Please feel free to reproduce it if you wish. I shall be happy if, in some small way, I can contribute to our ritual self-flagellation as an unworthy race ...
A New English National Anthem
We’re English, and therefore we’re sorry,
For the things that we did years ago;
We’re the wickedest folk on the planet,
As the following verses will show.
We’re sorry we fought at Culloden,
To the Scottish we’ve always been mean;
We killed your King Jamie at Flodden,
And we cut off the head of your Queen.
We’re sorry, good people of Wales,
For all of those ‘sheep-shagger’ gags;
And we’re sorry if ever we called you
A nation of whinging wind-bags.
We’re sorry if you were a convict
Who we sent off to sunnier climes;
We condemned you to life as an Aussie,
When you’d rather have swung for your crimes.
We’re sorry we carved out an Empire,
And we’re sorry for giving it back
To people like Robert Mugabe
Who’s no better than Stalin ... but black.
We’re sorry we dealt in the slave trade,
And we’re sorry for stamping it out.
We’re sorry we fought with the Zulus;
- there’s so much we’re sorry about.
We’re sorry, dear French, for the longbow;
And ‘twas perfectly fair to cry ‘foul’
That we wouldn’t surrender to Hitler
When you eagerly threw in the towel.
We’re sorry for Queen Boadicea
Who just didn’t know when to stop;
We’re sorry we fought Mussolini,
And we’re sorry we called him a wop.
We’re sorry for beating the Germans
In two World Wars and a World Cup;
Most of all, we’re incredibly sorry
That we cannot stop bringing it up!
Not our fault? Even so, we’re still sorry;
We’re sorry John Lennon was shot;
And we’re sorry for saying we’re sorry
When it’s perfectly plain that ... we’re not.
The GOS says: Brilliant. It scans, an' all.
Speaking of being English, I received my Census forms today. Asking me what religion I follow is a bloody cheek: what the hell business is it of theirs what I believe in? I think I'll put “fairies” - does that qualify as a religion?
Then there's the question about “national identity”. What does that mean? They offer me a choice between “English” and “British”, but aren't I both? And in any case, how is it up to me what nation I belong to? – it was the government that decided that we shouldn't all be British, but that some of us could set up our own parliaments and pretend to be independent. They didn't give me any choice in it, so why can't they just decide what my national identity is, and send me a letter? Besides, I come from Suffolk, and there isn't a tick-box for that.
But what really gets my goat is having to say what racial group I belong to. How the hell do I know? I'm tall and fair so I'm probably mostly white Anglo-Saxon, but there could easily be a touch of the Yid or the tar-brush a few generations back – who can tell?
So basically they're asking us all to guess. Very few of us are experts in family history (or interested, for that matter), so whatever answer we give to that question is nothing more than guesswork. And what place has guesswork in a compulsory, legally-enforced official document? To make matters worse, the front of the form threatens that it's a crime to give false information, which means that they're asking me to guess but I'll be arrested if I get it wrong.
Bastards. Stupid bastards.
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
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