On patriotism

by richardhutton

If what I read in the more sensible news publications is anything to judge by, Britain is currently beset with a distinct lack of patriotism. This really has reached the limit, in my opinion.

So, I have decided to do something about it.

My message of defiance may, perhaps, be a touch too vigorous for namby-pamby play-safe sorts; but for those who rank being born in Britain among their greatest achievements, it will undoubtedly prove the very stuff that dreams are made of.

I say there are many reasons for Britons to be proud of our island’s history.

For one thing, Britain created the world’s largest ocean liner of all time, in the Titanic – which sailed almost a thousand miles in comfort and luxury, before meeting a truly memorable end.

For another, our nation’s military exploits have inspired timeless poetry, such as Tennyson’s The Charge Of The Light Brigade. Equally glorious moments include victory on the fields of Peterloo; and the Great Fire Of London.

Therefore, let us encourage patriotism by presenting every true-born Briton with a pair of British-made roller skates, and a native-hewn ironing board – ensuring a swift and mobile workforce; with spruce clothing upon arrival. No matter the weather.

We can also rename foreign things in a British manner, which is much more befitting. Instead of ‘a cup of cappuccino’, for instance: a mug of frothy coffee. Rather than ‘baguette’: crusty bread wand.

You know where you stand with that.

In fact, in my view, it does not go far enough. British food for British people, I say. No imported ingredients at all. It’s high-time that this country got its act together.

Instead of Dutch asparagus working its insalubrious way into innocent British bowls of “consommé”, people will be free to enjoy a fine, slow-boiled, Welsh sheep’s eyeball soup; enhanced with a delicate garnish of rendered Scottish goat’s hoof. Truly English fare – and just the sort of stuff to put hair on the chest of the nation.

Some people may suggest that one can go too far with this sort of thing, but we didn’t win two world wars with half measures. And Britain is doing at least as well with current travails as it did at Passchendale.

True, “flourish” and “prosper” have been downgraded to “survive” and “hopefully” – but it is always important to manage expectations sensibly. Nobody wants to get ahead of themselves. Not in this day and age.

As Rupert Brooke would have written, had he lived to see the present:

The British Patriot

If old Blighty should find itself a-cropper,
Think only this:
We cracked the duty-free Toblerone market,
So the rest shouldn’t be too hard.
We’ve got jam and biscuits, and flags,
And all that.
I can’t see what people are complaining about, quite frankly.
Now blow out your bugles!

I will concede to my critics, in advance, that my views are not those of an educated man – but they are all the better for that.