Sunday, 12 June 2016

Britishness

The whole issue of leaving or staying in the European Union has brought to the forefront of my mind the issue of Britishness.  I believe we have been in the EU for forty years or thereabouts.   So for a moment I ask myself, do I feel British or do I feel European?

Then, yesterday, I saw Trooping the Colour with HM The Queen and Prince Philip, both still incredibly gracious and upstanding at such advanced ages.  I always find the whole ceremony impressive.   I don't consider myself to be a monarchist particularly, but then I look at the alternatives.   I hardly need to mention surely, Donald Trump and the possibility that he might get into the White House.   Or the harsh regimes of some other countries - would they be a better alternative?  I come to the conclusion that we are a Democracy here in the UK with a wonderful figurehead.   Surely this is the best of all possible options?

Then I switch on the late news on the television and see the dreadful football spectator violence.   They spared no punches in the filming of it on BBC - hitting one another with chairs, kicking people on the head once they had been floored, throwing unconscious young men into the river.  Much of the violence  was orchestrated I understand.  I wonder what I would have thought had I had a son of an age to be there and to be involved.   I certainly was not proud to be English after that display of violence.

And so the scales still waver.   Is it better to be a European or is it preferable to be British again?  We are not given any facts by all the so-called politicians pontificating across the country at the moment.   If they are asked a question then, with the usual cleverness of a politician, they manage to never give a straight answer.

All I know is that after the spectacle of Trooping the Colour followed by the crowds as the Royal Family appeared on the balcony for the fly past I felt I was lucky to live in such a civilised country.  Then the football violence certainly did not make me proud - it just made me sick.   

What is the answer?   Is it just me, or does the whole country feel like this?

18 comments:

Heather said...

I think we all feel as you do Pat. The football hooligans are a disgraceful minority. Think of the thousands of people quietly making their way down the Mall yesterday in a very orderly fashion on their way to cheer the Queen and her family. We are British first and foremost but have also always been European whether as part of the EU or not.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Most of the football violence was created by Russian supporters, French thugs, terrible planning by the French and UEFA. However, in no way would I attempt to justify or condone the actions of any drunken English idiots who were there. As a football supporter myself, I never drink alcohol before matches. The two things shouldn't mix in my opinion and bars around the The Vieuz Port in Marseille should have been alcohol-free zones.

As Heather says, we will always be European - whatever the result of this stupid referendum. However, I am Yorkshire first and foremost, English second, British third and European fourth. By the way, when I was a lad my parents would take me and my three brothers with our caravan to a place they called "the continent" - as if Great Britain was not part of that continent.

Linda Metcalf said...

As an American I have always looked upon England a very civilized, upstanding and proper. I am amazed at the history and the people of Britain. I too am appalled that we could even consider Donald Trump as leading our country and making any decisions for our country. Such a hatred for other nationalities ....are we to be all blue eyed blonds? Another Hitler? If there were ever a second life....Let me be born in the UK.

Derek Faulkner said...

It is a terribly confusing issue Pat and I have fought shy of watching the various debates and their tit-for-tat scare mongering, although I firmly believe that Cameron wins the award for the most pathetic, scraping of the barrel versions of it.
Myself, I shall be voting Leave purely so that any decisions that affect this country, will be made by us, not thrust upon us by a European Court dominated by probably two major countries.
As for the English football hooligans well, that was as guaranteed as England not winning a game. Instant expulsion now for both Russian and English football teams might wake the fans up to what they will cause, but that takes authority with balls.

Mac n' Janet said...

My country is so full of hate I feel like I'm living in a foreign land. This is not the country I grew up in.
Too bad that you haven't been given the option of having economic ties with Europe without all the other stuff they insist on.
I don't like Hillary Clinton, she's slimy without Bill's charm, but I loathe Donald Trump, can't believe he's gotten this far.

Dave Martin said...

I like to think that the embarrassment caused by drunken louts at football matches and on stag dos are more than overshadowed by the things we can rightly be proud of.
Personally, I've always considered myself English - definitely not European.

Joanne Noragon said...

Has anyone seen Solomon?

A Heron's View said...

In feeling to be a European is not being disloyal to Britain for even to be British means that you have to be something else as well, such as Cornish, English, Manx, Scots or Welsh.
Whatever the Referendum on June 23rd returns will be a democratic decision, the will of the people. I am rather glad that I do not get a vote because I can understand and see both sides of the coin however, I do feel that a totally united Europe must eventually be born and by that I mean all of the countries of europe including Russia even though that might not be for quite awhile.

Dawn McHugh said...

I consider myself British and proud to be British, I hate being classed as european and hate having a euopean union passport, Whatever happens I will never refer to myself as european, I am voting leave.

The Weaver of Grass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Midmarsh John said...

Things don't change do they? Remember the days when bank holidays at the seaside could be shattered by the rivalry between mods and rockers? As in the rest of the animal world a section of the male population seems to have to prove its masculinity and dominance over others. Yobs by fighting, politicians by stealthily making laws to keep the plebs under the thumb.

I get more cynical every year though I have always thought that people who answer straight questions with straight answers will rarely become politicians. I can't remember how long ago I first heard the joke: How can you tell when politicians are lying? Their lips are moving. Many a true word .....

Whenever I am asked my nationality I always answer English.

Tom Stephenson said...

The whole country.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I'm sick and stressed of the whole thing. The whole debate has been toxic, and very often blatantly racist, talking about stuff that isn't even anything to do with EU.

The Weaver of Grass said...

It seems that we are all rather like-minded about the whole thing. Hopefully in another month we shall all have forgotten about the whole thing and we can get on with what passes for normal life. Thanks for putting your point of view.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I think the violent and vulgar minorities upset every country that is involved. Donald Trump is no exception - a narrow minded, bigoted bully - he does not represent America - though has brought out the ugly side of one of our political parties. He won only because there were so any candidates at first and he would win a state election with only about 25% of the vote - the rest being divided up among far too many candidates - they should have gotten their act together and joined forces to defeat him - and now we have this horrible example of a human being feeding the lowest of the low with his hate.

There are so many good people in our country - and in all countries - and it gladdens my heart when I see the good that people do for each other - and the hate breaks my heart - Orlando, Florida is suffering from the worst kind of hate - may we all pull together to make the world better in any way we can.

thelma said...

I like the Queen and have nothing but respect for her, but she supports a whole edifice of antiquated customs and rituals which leave me in some doubt as to whether we are too nationalistic. When it comes to the vote, I shall vote remain, but it will be for my children and grandchildren. As for football hooligans, back to the stocks for them;) though if I were to read a second story into Marseilles troubles, are the Russians not playing a dirty game off the field?

Derek Faulkner said...

I agree with Thelma's point about the Queen and I think that we need to bring the royalty into the modern era and appoint William and Kate as the new King and Queen of England. To see the younger element of the royals walking the crowds Sunday afternoon was quite inspiring for somebody who is not the greatest royalist.
Re. the football troubles, I believe that Russia is hosting the next Football World Cup in two years time, dread to think what violence Russian supporters will inflict on visiting fans there.

Camille de Fleurville said...

I suggest very respectfully that you divide the country into the tribal state it was long before it was "unified" (if such a word can be used about the so-called United Kingdom) - and when unified? Not so long ago. Still, there is Ulster to give back to the Irish as it has no part in being "British".
When back in tribal mode, you will able to have passports or no passports, able to have your ow administration, your own coinage, your own imposition system, and your own army.
Good luck!