England? Whose England?
ENGLAND MY ENGLAND
Somebody sent me this as an e-mail, entitled ‘England My England’. It is one of these whining little poems from a whining Little Englander; the type of person who feels that the whole world owes him something and usually can be found complaining about Foreigners who have taken over his country, his home, his job, his women… the usual things that spring from the mouths of these people, not only in the United Kingdom, but all over the world, I should imagine.
Try a Google search with the simple words: England My England’, and you will be sure to find it.
I would have copied it here (In fact, I did), but the Moderators of HubPages in their infinite wisdom, decided that I was infringing the rules of usage, and so all I can do is direct you to the aforesaid “poem” and let you read it yourself.
Just in case time is very precious to you.
In case time is too precious, and you feel you do not have enough of that commodity, I, out of the goodness of my heart (and because the milk of human kindness sloshes around in there in remarkable quantities) have decided to facilitate your understanding of the Whining Little Englander (mentioned above) and according to my limited talents, have paraphrased ‘England My England’ into a vaguely palatable form.
A nice picture to look at because this is a long ramble.
Please note: there are six (6) verses to the turgid little offering…. er…”Poem”, so I will address it, verse by verse.
The “Poet” moans that the days of England are being brought to an end, and that, although the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots are permitted to have a political and (perhaps) an ethnic identity; the English are not permitted to.
A list is now presented; which includes the French, the Germans, the Norwegians, the Swedes, and the Dutch, who are “permitted” to refer to themselves as such, but that the English are not allowed to say that they are English “ever again”.
Then he or she puts forward the idea that at Broadcasting House, the home of the BBC (British Broadcasting Commission) and also in the European Parliament, seated in Brussels, the use of the word “English” is taboo.
Going on from there, he or she maintains that schools are forbidden to teach children about English History. As an ex teacher, I strongly challenge this statement.
Now the “poet” rambles on, mendaciously, to state that the great "English" poets, Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw are neglected in schools, and that the historical battles of Agincourt, Hastings, Arnhem and Mons in which England lost large numbers of brave soldiers are ignored in History lessons.
The battle of Hastings was fought between the Norman William and the Saxon Harold and their opposing armies. England did not exist at that time. Agincourt was between the French and Scots on one side and the English and Welsh on the other.
Mons and Arnhem were battles against the Germans by the whole of the United Kingdom and the British Empire… not just the English.
The reasoning and logic becomes even more erroneous. The claim is made that England is not in Europe… because Europe is “miles away”. England is a European country off the coast of Continental Europe, our nearest neighbour being France, on the other side of the English Channel, or as the French would say, “La Manche”, just twenty-one miles away (thirty-four kilometres)
This is where it gets very, very muddled. The “poet” says that we should tell the Government of the United Kingdom (and the European Parliament in Brussels, for some reason) that we are proud of the Red White and Blue, and that we should fly the Flag of Saint George and the Union Jack.
The Union Jack is the flag that was created by joining the Crosses of Saint George and Saint Andrew (England and Scotland) so this is not an English flag. The Cross of Saint George is Red cross on a White ground… no blue there!
The present Union Jack also incorporates the Cross of Saint Patrick.
Now this is my bit.
Having read the last bit of drivel, I decided to write my bit of drivel in reply.
This is my bit of awful doggerel; as promised. It’s much longer (Sorry!), but I hope you like it a bit more than the other one.
England? Whose England?
(In response to the above)
Why say “Goodbye, England”? Where have you been?
Your old days are numbered. You are a Has Been.
You have been (or thought you were) top of the lot;
Top of Wales, Ireland, Scotland… but that you were not.
You thought that when Britain interfered in the world
And in strange foreign lands the flag was unfurled
That the Cross of Saint George was the only one there.
Well Bollocks! That cross wasn’t even half of a pair
There was Saint Andrew’s flag and Saint Patrick’s as well
And the Welsh; the Red Dragon. Well that went to hell.
It’s not England, my friend, which should go on forever
There are three other parts, equally or more clever.
Don’t say you’re English? Well yes, I agree:
Unless you mean English; there’s a difference, you see.
When the English say English, they frequently claim
Things that are British, and that’s not quite the same.
And why do you think that Auntie BBC
Has dropped the word English by some strange decree?
I’ve heard England or English being bandied about
In discussion of football thugs and lager louts
In school, no restrictions on what there is taught
Whether agrarian reform, or old battles fought
Except, now, you’ll find in historical lists
That other nations matter; not only England exists.
Oh! Listen, poor soul, who penned this sad verse.
Your poetry was turgid, but your reasoning worse;
Extolling England’s great writers, e.g. George Bernard Shaw
My friend, Shaw was Irish, I suggest you withdraw!
And Statesmen and Generals, why didn’t you say
How our “Great English Soldiers” all carried the day:
Perhaps Wellington, the Iron Duke, General and P.M.
But he was from Ireland… and there are far more of them
Disraeli was not from those Golden Few:
Neither English, Scots, Welsh nor Irish… but a Jew.
And of our greatest statesmen, recall, if you can;
Our Winston Churchill’s mother was American.
Britain’s in Europe, so don’t be deluded
It’s a group of islands off its coast; not secluded
In Glorious Isolation as you so allege;
It clings to Continental Europe… just on the edge!
Even our Royals, they that rule and have ruled you,
Weren’t one tiny bit English, not one bit, you poor fool, you.
The Tudors were Welsh; their predecessors Normans
The Stuarts were Scots; then came Dutchmen and Germans.
So yes, I agree, tell the powers that be
That you’re proud of your country; and you’re glad to be free.
But with privilege goes responsibility to all souls, they say;
And labels and names often get in the way.
So forget all this carping and putting the blame
On others because you feel that a name
Has been taken away from you. It’s not a disgrace.
Just face it…We’re a very small part of the whole Human Race.