Monday, 23 April 2012


as the red cross of saint george
once again flutters uneasily in the chilly april breeze
my thoughts return to the eternal question
what does it mean to be english?
what does it mean to be an english patriot?
when so much of this country's history
is drenched in a bodily fluid the colour of the cross
when this nation state cannot give up its chronic addiction
to bloody conquest abroad
being english means living with an appalling legacy
of (neo-)colonism
the evils of empire and slavery
'the white man's burden'
(never the white woman's)
the absolute corruption of absolute power
being english means being marked by an indelible class-consciousness
from its anachronistic monarchy down
which pervades all relationships
which divides and conquers
being english means inheriting the culpability
for setting in train the merciless tide and squalor of industrialisation
which has harnessed the 'ghost slave' machines of the fossil fuel age
in short being english means acquiring all the trappings of civilisation
how have we treated even our closest neighbours?
especially our closest neigbours?
the welsh
the scottish
the irish
the answer is aboninably
it is hard to be a patriot in this regard
unless one aspires to being the playground bully
thankfully these horrors are leavened a little
by some more palatable elements
the climate and landscape of this sullied but still beautiful land
the plants, flowers, animals and birds
the magical language of english itself
the folklore, music and art that this land has inspired
the good food and ale
last but not least the people who genuinely love our unhappy land
unfortunately a small minority
but worthy fellow resisters to the fascism of the 'good germans'
who enter into a mestophalesian pact to sell england to the devil

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