Today I bought a half-price Union Jack canvas print from Wilkos. No real reason, just fancied it and having made some pennies from Ebay and UglyCakes, I thought I could splash out on £2.50. It is going to come with me for our New Flat in Regina, wherever that may be.
Usually I am not keen on buying Flag paraphenalia. It’s something about the British character – unnecessary, unprovoked displays of patriotism make most of us slightly uncomfortable. Whereas there are some things about the UK I do love, and will miss, I couldn’t really say I am ‘proud’ of this country. For example, our out of touch, idiotic, nepotistic, fraudulent and corrupt governments, cosying up to America unquestioningly whilst remaining an aloof detachment from our nearest neighbours in continental Europe, illegal immoral unjustifiable wars, the rise of the bog-eyed loons – sorry – I mean the far-right political parties, the “too cool for education” Chavs, the “binge-drinking toddler stole my wheelie bin”/ “immigration causes global warming’ says BB star Chlamydia, 23-from-Essex” style phone-hacking tabloid media, the arrogant reliance on monoglotism, erm, general xenophobia, and the persistently enormous consumption of instant coffee – (pauses for breath) – are just a few of the things I fail to have any pride in.
This clip has already spread its way around the interweb, but it just about summarises everything inherently wrong with the UK!
Funny EDL Interview – Incoherent Anger, Muslamic Infidels
But enough with this negativity! Like I said, there are things I do like about being British (not English – I still prefer to include the other three parts of the UK, and regretfully, the far-right really have hijacked the St George flag, ironic considering St George was also the patron saint of Georgia and Portugal…). I mentioned our uncomfortableness with conspicuous patriotism: I’d argue that the same is true of any public displays of emotion or celebration. Admittedly, the vast majority of the population seemed to go nuts when Princess Diana died, but as I remember the media did as much as it could to whip up some sensational reactions rather than it being truely spontaneous. Prince William and Kate’s wedding was met with a resounding nationwide “meh” – in fact, Carl was one of the many thousands of men who bought the “Thanks for the day off” unofficial souvenir t-shirt. Hosting the Olympics is at best, uninteresting, at worst, actually unwelcome especially given the economic climate. We are Not Good at celebrating, and I actually LOVE that. Cool, cynical, laconic stoicism. Believe me, it’s the way forward.
Good advice folks!
I will miss some of the food. Namely, Big Stodgy Stuff. Pies, pasties, heavy stodgy puddings, potatoes as the staple. Not very good for you at all, but not because it’s all fried, it isn’t, it’s just very heavy. Hopefully my Uglycakes will be enough to keep this tradition alive overseas! Oh and Real Ale. In proper pubs. Yus.
And I couldn’t talk about Britishness without the national stereotype: the Cup of Tea. Often run into one word, “cuppatea”. It’s not just a drink, it’s a social norm, fulfills many an emotional need, establishes routine and comfort and is something to rely on in times of stress. Working hours are negotiated around tea breaks. Andit has to be Right – strong but milky and brewed in a tea pot. I don’t even like the stuff but I appreciate its social status. Even the Queen drinks it!