One of the things I find annoying on Facebook is the tendency to spread hatred around, but on the pretext of opposing something that you might consider wrong. It’s the Straw Man argument, against something that isn’t really there. What do I mean by this?
England Football Shirts
One example of this is the banning of England Football Shirts because they may cause offence to immigrants! The copied status or image goes on to say that if they find our football shirt offensive they can bugger off back where they came from.
Of course this is complete nonsense. Who has banned England Football Shirts? Er… Nobody! Who is offended by them? Er … well I wouldn’t say nobody, but I would say maybe people who can’t stand football. In other words, not because of their own origin. Living in a multiracial part of East London, I do see people of all colours and nationalities wearing England football shirts.
So why would someone start such a rumour if it’s not true? Try racist organisations like the BNP and EDL for starters. If there isn’t any shit to stir about foreigners, they’ll invent it. Don’t be taken in by their filth.
Banning the Union Jack
The other one was that your council won’t fly the national flag over the town hall or allow it to be flown locally, in case it offends foreigners. There used to be an element of truth in this a long time ago, but that was the fault of another racist organisation called the National Front. Back in the 70s, these neo-nazis used our national flag as their own, whilst organising street attacks on Asians. Of course some people then associated the Union Jack with this organisation, and yes, it was banned in some areas to stop the National Front from using it. Of course it was then these very same neo-nazis that objected to our national flag being banned. But it was the National Front that was to blame, no-one else. Nowadays people fly the flag and no-one raises any objection. Apart, of course, from in the sick imaginations of various neo-nazis.
If my poppy offends you…
There have maybe been one or two isolated cases of burning poppies, but generally there are a number of things that I find wrong about it. When the collection for the British Legion came round at work, many people put £1 in and took a poppy. I put in £5 but didn’t wear a poppy. Why? Well for one thing, I believe that disabled soldiers are no different from many workers in the sense that their employer uses them until they get hurt and are no further use, then discards them. So while I’ll put in a few quid to help out these people, I don’t think I should be. The government ought to make sure they are taken care of. They shouldn’t have to rely on charity.
There are two other things about a poppy which, to me, make it a bad choice. One is that the poppy is the source of heroin, a drug that has claimed many lives and ruined others over the years. The other is that the use of the poppy is taken from a poem which is not about armistice and peace, but about revenge.
So I think the burning of poppies by a few nutters who I’ll come to later, shows an abhorrent lack of respect for the dead and injured, but at the same time, I’ll reserve my right not to wear one.
Of course the real irony here is that the “official” reason is the ending of World War 1, and I guess we can add World War 2 to that. A war that defeated fascism, and yet it’s fascists using the poppy to stir the shit.
Good Old English St George!
He was a real patriot was St George! A true Englishman. Er.. no, he wasn’t either of these. He was a Palestinian Christian who served as a soldier in the occupying Roman Army, which banned Christianity (and all Abrahamic religions) at the time. If we were occupied by a foreign country, what would you say about one of your compatriots who went to serve in their army? Not only that, he had no connection with England and never came to England. He was made a Saint because he refused to renounce his belief in God, and was eventually executed by the Romans. For that reason, he is one of the few Christian saints who is also venerated by Muslims.
He is the Patron Saint of more countries than any other saint. As well as England, he is Patron Saint of Georgia, Egypt, Bulgaria, Aragon, Catalonia, Romania, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Iraq, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia. He is also patron saint of the cities of Genoa, Amersfoort, Beirut, Botoşani, Drobeta, Turnu-Severin, Timişoara, Fakiha, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg, Kragujevac, Kumanovo, Ljubljana, Pérouges, Pomorie, Preston, Qormi, Rio de Janeiro, Lod, Lviv, Barcelona, Moscow, Tamworth and Victoria. And of the Boy Scout movement, too!
So again it’s a mystery to me why, every time April comes round, there is this big thing about not being able to celebrate St George’s Day in case it offends someone. Who, exactly? Looks like it could be one of the most inclusive parties ever, that is, if people took 5 minutes to find out who St George really was and who he represents!
Racist Nutters / Islamists
I work with people of all backgrounds and religions. Most of us just want to get on together. Actually, more than that, as public servants suffering from this government’s attacks on our pay, our jobs, our conditions, and on the society around us as a whole, we need to get on together, we need to be united. What Islamists (that’s not any Muslim, but the particular bigots that want to impose their beliefs on the rest of us) and groups like the EDL/BNP have in common, is that they want to keep us apart, fighting each other. Those bailed-out bankers, those heads of corporations whose personal wealth increases as the rest of us get poorer, they are laughing at us, the poor people, fighting among ourselves, whilst the real culprits continue to thrive. Ultimately both forms of separatist are two sides of the same coin, and they serve the purpose of the super-rich and their hangers on.