Monday, 13 June 2016


(OFFSTAGE - an insistent bass drum bangs, a sole trumpet plays the refrain from the Dambusters March, the sound of smashing glass, of screaming. An idiot choir bellows the strange and primitive chant of ING-UH-LUND)

There is a violence and a racism ingrained at the heart of much of what might be called English culture. That's what's shaping this referendum, that's what's fuelling these idiots in France.

It starts with the royals, works down through the politicians, cops and media and ends up with pricks in Union Jack t-shirts singing Ten German Bombers and No Surrender to the IRA. We commandeer the local pubs, chuck a few chairs about, and it's all OK because its banter and lads and all that fucking tired shit.

Our royal family hunt defenceless animals and get celebrated as "characters" when they make racist gaffes. Our captains of industry fleece pension funds and dodge taxes, our media hack dead kids phones and ruin countless lives. We celebrate wealth and privilege without challenging it. We have Children in Need as an annual event, a fucking televised celebration of our continuing to elect governments in thrall to the idea of a Great Britian with a seat at the Security Council and a fuck off warship ready to send innocent kids to their maker at a moment's notice. Paedophilia isnt a barrier to office, it's one of the perks. We call our soldiers our brave lads and then fail to look after them when they return home. The two best selling papers in the UK are obsessed with demonising foreigners as terrorists, thieves and cowards.
Our nation's greatness, politically speaking, came from building an empire based on exploitation, enslavement and murder. We didnt fight the Germans in two World Wars for any other reason than that they threatened our cash flow. We didn't defeat them for any other reason than the intervention on our side of bigger military forces. And yet, our obsession with the myth that we showed Europe who the top boy was, that we were the sole saviours of the day persists.

No surprise then that when our football fans go abroad, they feel entitled to wreck the place and get caught up in all manner of idiocy. The Russian hooligans came with an agenda, getting a reputation as the "top boys" of Europe. Had our own "top boys" not behaved with such vicious recklessness the last 40 odd years, the events of the last few days may never have happened. The parallels between hooliganism and our colonial past are clear - we cover up the crimes of Empire with "Boy's Own" adventures, we let our hooligans off the hook with adjectives like "laddish", "high spirits" and "boisterous".
Quick aside - hey Wales fans - when you stop needing police shipped in from other parts of the UK whenever Cardiff play Swansea, when there isnt a single sad little SOUL CREW book for sale in every bookshop in Cardiff, when you've sorted your own little hooligan problems out, feel free to tell us how great your fans are. You've behaved impeccably so far this tournament, and credit to you for that, but let's not pretend that this somehow makes you the better nation. Because once you start to believe that kind of stuff, you're on the road to being just like the hooligan neighbours you affect to despise. It's not such a great leap from Facebook groups like "Welsh not English" to ones like "Britain First."
Our arrogance, our much trumpted superiority to "Johnny Foreigner" couldn't be better summed up than by us having a referendum about being part of Europe - shouldnt it be them having one about wanting us there at all?

Come June 23rd, there's a reasonable chance that all 3 British teams will be out of the European Championships one way or another. I suspect that the relief felt by terrified locals, sick of cleaning up after us will be echoed all across Europe if we kick ourselves out of the EU too.

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