I love being English. Not in a St George’s Flag yobbo way, but in a George Orwell, Barnes Wallis, Winston Churchill, Vera Lynn, Turner seascapes, Emily Pankhurst, Jo Grimond, Nigel Kneale, Nevil Shute, George Harrison, Trevor Phillips, John Redwood, Kate Hoey, Beast of Bolsover, Spike Milligan, Morecambe & Wise, Stan Bowles, brilliant advertising, monocolour movies, Disraeli and David Hockney sort of way.
True grit, searing honesty, grounded intelligence, crafted artisan creativity, zero cant and pure genius. And the overriding joy in being zag not zig that can be one-worded as Maverick.
My lust was always for Lena Horne (the most beautiful woman who ever lived) and my DNA is 25% Paddy, but my heart and soul is with English eccentricity.
The bloke who used to cycle down Telford Avenue of a morning (as I left for the Agency) sporting a Brunel top hat, as his rear wheel drove a record player round blaring out George Formby tracks.
Lord Sutch’s Monster Raving Loony Party.
The love of queuing, and the desire for separate tables.
Understatement typified by calling its rulers ‘the Middle Class’.
On and on it goes. Or rather, it did. Now, it’s almost gone. And with its disappearance, sadly, has come a desire to spray praise everywhere….especially where it isn’t merited.
The only thing that’s left of the Englishness I embraced for much of my life is the amateurish muddling through. But here too, this once charming feature has become arrogant, privileged and typified by everything State organisation in general and Whitehall in particular does.
I left England for good eight years ago. I will never go back, because England will never come back to its senses, and seems incapable of the ‘Action This Day’ that made Churchill’s benign dictatorship so successful in the crucial 1940-45 period.
We have become the Nation that trumpets World Class efficacy before it’s finished, and then insists everything is going well as the triumphalism turns to SNAFU.
I watched as Boris Johnson answered PMQs today, and much as I loathe pretty much everything his stand-in adversary Angela Rayner stands for, it was impossible to ignore the fact that every accusation she made was justified. Test and Trace is a shambles, in much the same way as decisions on Lockdown, self-isolation, advice on masks, supply of effective masks, rules on social distancing, supply of frontline worker protection and overall Covid19 strategy has claimed to follow medical science while rushing off in an opposite direction, the better to pursue Global Pharma greed.
I am not a particularly bonkers bloke. But even here in France (where I hide from contemporary madness in an essentially commonsense agrarian region) the New Normal Zeitgeist has rendered me “L’Ecrivain Anglais qui a des vues excentrique”.
England’s image here – and sad to relate, it is justified – is that of a country that couldn’t organise a shag in a brothel.
What really made Olde Englande special was not just its bravery in sticking two fingers up to the Church of Rome and the Spanish Armada: it was the ability to study outdated naval battle tactics, and then apply creativity to defeating the enemy.
Huge ladles of Labour Party hate are aimed at the Party opposite – but as always, post-industrial Labour misses the point. Boris Johnson’s Tories may be in Office, but they are not in Power. The power in 2020 lies with an obnoxious liaison between incompetent bureaucrats, fanatical globalist financialisers, cultural Marxist bloc fans, and rapacious peddlers of all things toxic as the cure for baseless fear.
I love the country of my birth. I despise the political cynics and external influences that have consigned it to Fin de l’Empire narcissistic, gutless anarchy.