Saturday, 12 June 2010

Pseudo-nationalism and the fake flag: a brief comment

Millions of people are no doubt deeply disappointed this evening. I am not among them. I never really believed that England would beat the USA anyway - right from the start, quite apart from thinking the draw was fixed to make The Sun and its readers look as absurd as possible, I sensed that the England players would feel too much of a cultural gratitude to the country they should be playing for to be able to play anywhere near as well against it as they did against, say, Croatia - but the spectacle of Sun readers pretending to be disappointed was, on one level, a mildly amusing joke. But only for about 30 seconds - it then becomes the sickest joke of all.

In no other country are the people who fly the flag most fervently those least entitled to display it. In England, as nowhere else in the world, the people who claim the flag as their own, and moan endlessly about "foreigners" and "spongers" and "our culture", are the ones who speak like foreigners, dress like foreigners, watch and listen to foreigners almost exclusively, and let foreigners tell them what to think and what to do and who to hate. They know nothing of the country they claim to support.

I spit on your flag. You don't deserve it. You deserve to be ruled from Washington in ten years. You don't deserve England, or any country. To paraphrase Lydon on "God Save the Queen", I don't spit on the Cross of St George because I hate England, I spit on it because I love it.


  1. Did you see the headline in The Sun on Saturday? A laughable attempt to reignite cultural distinctions that are long since obsolete.

    Football does seem to be the one arena in which English flag-wavers feel they can claim legitimate cultural superiority over Americans - and so many commentators continue to over-rate the team's modest ability based on past triumphs, continuing to hark back to 1966 whilst in denial of how international football has changed in the interim.

  2. The English team simply aren't of the quality to compete with the likes of Germany, Spain and Argentina - a thin squad that is being found wanting.

    The arrogant beliefs much voiced from a section of England supporters that they *will win*, and their sense of entitlement, is absurd.

    Denmark and Greece have won major international tournaments more recently, lest we forget. England haven't even *reached a final* since 1966.