Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I Vow To Thee My Country

After a summer of sport where, yet again, we have been urged to get behind "our" teams, Rich Moran returns to Inside Left to launch a broadside against nationalism.

As the multi-billion pound gravy train that is the English Premier League gets underway, infesting our screens with a game that has long since ceased to be beautiful, let us take a real look at the resurgent racism, hypocrisy, double standards, greed, historical revisionism and ignorance, which (in many cases inspired by a government, seeking to deflect blame from those really responsible) for me renders this country as bad, if not worse than the USA.

Whilst the British and Irish Lions were winning in Australia I had several conversations/ arguments with people who stated they were reluctant to support them simply because of the predominance of Welsh (Six Nations Champions and by far the best current Northern hemisphere side) players. On many occasions I was told that there should have been more English players in the team, although no-one could quite tell me why. Yet when I ventured the suggestion that they only got my support as they were the British and Irish Lions and had they been (as before) the British Lions I couldn't actually give a toss, I was met with predictable outrage. Going on to certain websites only served to confirm the view as many of the posts were of the same "too many Welsh players" opinion with a significant amount unashamedly English racists.

Likewise Andy Murray's magnificent achievement in winning Wimbledon (naturally co-opted by the press as being British). Again not only did I personally hear so many times that he was just "a Scottish (you can fill in the blanks, but usually wanker)", but he was also "dour," (Alan Shearer, Lewis Hamilton, Damon Hill and most British premier league footballers of course being masters of witty, engaging, intelligent conversation)!
The real cause of their ire (repeated endlessly on the net) was his joke, after being relentlessly caned by Tim Henman and a Sun  journalist (now there's an oxymoron) about the poor performances of the Scottish football team about wanting "anyone but England" to win the World Cup. Even if he did mean it, so what? He is Scottish and perfectly entitled to an opinion voiced far less offensively than I have heard English people refer to sporting contests (and much else) against Germany, Ireland, Wales, Argentina, Scotland, Australia etc.

At a time when the government, the Labour party and certain newspapers as ever, are seeking to deflect from the crimes of the bankers, politicians, warmongers etc by blaming immigrants, benefit recipients and disabled people with a slew of programmes such as 'I love my country' (possibly the most cringe-worthy piece of crap I have ever seen) "Why don't you speak English" and several shows about the benefits system, a significant proportion of the British (although Cameron as usual claimed to speak for the whole nation) public have lauded the birth of a son to Prince William and his wife.

Am I the only one who saw the irony of a child being born into the ultimate family of immigrants (before we get to the German connection of the Saxe-Coburg Gotha's, as that odious racist who happens to be married to the queen is Greek, surely Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward are half Greek) who just so happen to be the biggest benefit scroungers in the country to boot?

The English cricket team have recently retained the Ashes, as ever with a significant presence of South Africans, Pietersen, Trott and Prior. Nick Compton was also I believe born in the RSA. Over the years Tony Grieg, Allan Lamb, the Smith brothers and several others have represented England, as have Graeme Hick (Zimbabwe), Mike Denness and Douglas Jardine (both Scottish) and even the so called quintessential Englishman, Colin Cowdrey, (with his MCC initials) was born in India. Strangely enough, one of the only cricketers of colour to hail from Southern Africa was Basil D'Oliviera, shamefully left out of a tour to the country of his birth, whilst a few years later, scumbags like Gatting and Gooch who took the apartheid rand were allowed to return to test cricket.

Bradley Wiggins (knighted for riding a bike) is another who seems to be seen as British without question (he did win, which always helps), despite being born in Belgium with an Australian father. The fact that he is an arrogant tosser who complained that the behaviour of a cycling fan, would be more suited to football in a sport that is riven with drug cheats is surely mere coincidence.In golf, US open winner, Justin (English) Rose is another born in South Africa.

Somalian born, Mo Farah, wins, smiles a lot and wraps himself in the Union Jack, so he is of course accepted as British, whereas East End born Lennox Lewis was often derided for being Canadian. Perhaps for the benefit of that anti-immigrant rag, the Daily Mail, we better not mention Zola Budd!!!

And so to football, where once again the pathetic demise of the England teams in the European tournaments this summer, is as ever with the senior team blamed on the proliferation of foreign players in the premiership. Yet fans, managers, pundits etc who risibly claim to have the "best league in the world" (check the comparable statistics for La Liga since the inception of the Premiership and even you should be able to work it out) are quite happy to buy, wear shirts festooned with, accept the truckloads of cash and praise said foreigners, who are the ones who make the Premier league, possibly the 2nd or 3rd best. Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville are the latest examples of this rank hypocrisy, calling for academies to not buy foreign players, so English kids get a chance.
This much echoed (racist) bullshit of course comes from many of the same people who are totally against having quotas for Black coaches and managers.

England (whose elevated world ranking is an absolute joke) failed to reach the World Cup in 1974 and 1994 (and may not make it next year) when there were little or no foreigners playing here. Whose fault was it then? I hope all those Liverpool fans and players who actively supported the racist Suarez now feel suitably sickened that he wants to leave. Again with archetypal English hypocrisy (or maybe just the famous ironic sense of humour) I have seen many opinions of him by these fans couched in racist terms.

Likewise as I have mentioned before, those Chelsea fans, players, hierarchy and the England players who had the cheek to go to Auschwitz during Euro 2012, knowing what the odious John Terry had called Anton Ferdinand make me sick to my stomach. Once again before it is pointed out that Terry was cleared in a court of law, there are plenty of innocent people in prison and plenty of guilty people walking the streets. I wonder If Roy Hodgson thought about the apartheid rand he so gladly took whilst he was there, or even more pertinently given his location, the anti-semitic abuse he dismissed that Eyal Berkovic was subject to when Hodgson was at Blackburn, but I think I know the answer!!!

As I have stated many times before sport is often a microcosm of society and with racism so prevalent (and my prediction, although I sincerely hope I'm wrong is, for a huge upsurge in football hooliganism and violence this season) it reminds me of my old P.E. teacher, who shortly after I moved to the south coast from London informed me that he probably couldn't play me in the football team because "you lot don't like the cold". Strange that because I have vague recollections of cold weather in tropical Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and New Cross! This is of course leaving aside the fact that millions of my immediate ancestors were dragged all over the world from Africa, worked to death, beaten, raped and robbed of our basic rights and dignity as human beings, yet 90 minutes in a touch of wind and rain with white boys was obviously a bit much.

Societal parallels also feature heavily in the too many foreigners in the Premiership, not giving our poor boys a chance argument. Yet (and I have heard this so many times) the world's greatest footballer, one Lionel Messi has apparently not proved himself, (because of a comment uttered by a moron and repeated by others) because they would like to see him on a wet Wednesday night in Stoke.

That just about sums up the jingoistic, xenophobic, arrogant superiority complex that I hear pretty much every day. Mr. Messi may have to prove himself to his countrymen (many of whom consider him to be more Spanish, although he has turned down citizenship) by winning a World Cup, but that is all. Why is it that so many deemed here to be "world class" have not proved themselves at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Dortmund, Milan, Inter, Juventus, Bayern Munich etc. The simple answer is the much vaunted Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Hart etc are not wanted or needed, because they are not good enough, which they consistently prove for their country at World Cups and European championships.

I would more readily accept some of the bullshit I hear if it had any knowledge of history behind it. This week I have been subjected to the classic "I hate Paki's" line along with the pathetic racism of Godfrey Bloom. So many Asians are apparently not wanted here, yet it was OK for the British to occupy India and when that pesky Gandhi etc decided they wanted independence a British cartographer created Pakistan in roughly the length of the school summer holidays, causing (along with slavery) the biggest forced migration in history, leading to the slaughter of approximately one million people who were left on the wrong side of the lines. It was called Partition, maybe some of you should read about it sometime.
That's without the slaughter at Amritsar and the small matter of the Bengali famine that killed about 2 million people and one Winston Churchill refused to stop. So hats off to him and Mountbatten eh!
Some British people moan about assimilation. In all the places you invaded did you ask whether people wanted to keep their own culture? How many English/British people spoke Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Yoruba or Ashanti? Having lived in places such as Tokyo and Tenerife I did not meet too many English/British people who were able, much less willing to speak the language.
Imagine if you will, newspaper and indeed public reaction if millions of Greek, Spanish and Cypriot kids came over here every year and pissed, puked, fought and indecently assaulted women in Brighton, Bognor, Blackpool, Southsea, Skegness, Southend etc the way the British do in Malia, Benidorm, Ayia Napa, Magaluf, Ibiza et al (often condoned by their adoring parents on programmes like 'Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents).

If you want to complain about aid to "Bongo-Bongo land" and other such places, perhaps you should first find out about how long and how much money this country paid to the USA under the lend/lease scheme, which was part of their condition for joining World War 2. I think you will be (unpleasantly) surprised.

It would seem though, that English/British people are quite happy to have the Commonwealth Games (a stunning example of colonial power and arrogance) where all the former dominions come together. To this day I still really don't understand why, particularly the African and Caribbean countries don't tell the British to stick them where the sun set on their Empire.

So after being told again this week in that patronising tone I have heard so many times, which came not long after the suntan joke, which is of course completely original, that (when it suits you) I am as British as you are, let me clarify this. I was born in London to Nigerian parents. I have a British passport. I was adopted by an Anglo-Irish family. 
The blood that flows in my veins is 100% African. I consider myself Nigerian, although (owing to my adoptive dad), I support Celtic.
Had I been good enough to play international football, I would have chosen Nigeria. I support them along with Ireland at international level. The cross of St. George  and the Union Flag are actually anathema to me. I feel far more affinity with Ireland and "A Soldiers Song" than I ever will with "God Save the Queen" (I am an atheist and a republican for a kick off), 'Land of Hope and Glory', 'Rule Britannia', 'No Surrender' and all the other rubbish.
As I explained (and there are plenty of other examples already given) when again (yawn) I am told that because I was born here I am English/British, Cliff Richard and Spike Milligan were born in India, ain't Indian though are they?

Do not ask me to revere Churchill, that most vile of racists, responsible for the torture of the Mau Mau (including Barack Obama's grandfather), Bengali famine, the Black and Tans, advocate of violent death for Gandhi, shooting of miners wives in Wales and a whole lot more besides. Don't tell me to regard Elizabeth 1st, Francis Drake or John Hawkins as anything other than the slavers they were. I will not teach my son that Enid Blyton (10 Little Nigger boys) was anything but the bigot she was.
How can I laud the Rolling Stones (Jagger, another vile racist), The Beatles, or the likes of Clapton (who despite making a career of ripping off every Black  American blues guitarist that ever lived was still the reason Rock Against Racism was formed) plagiarists of Black music all?

Before you continue to insult and patronise me, study your own history, because I find so many are willfully ignorant of it. Perhaps if more attention was paid to that instead of to Simon Cowell, Jeremy Kyle, Jeremy Clarkson, Gordon Ramsey, reality TV, Heat magazine, The Sun, Mail, Express and Telegraph etc, people might just start to realise who is really  responsible for the ills of this country. It would also save me listening to the staggering amount of ill informed bullshit I am subjected to. Nigeria only gained independence from Britain in 1960. The union flag still flies over the Northern part of my adopted dads homeland.
So to the BNP, EDL, Traditional Britain, UKIP, Arthur Graham, Dave Mackay, Bobby Ferguson, Chic Bates, Lou Macari, John Turner and so many, many more . I know exactly who I am and where I'm from.

Do you?