I made the mistake, today, of agreeing with Stephen Glenn on Twitter about the stupidity of a particularly repellent piece of racist campaign literature by Racist UKIP. I say it was a mistake, because I then spent most of the day being bombarded with messages from members of Racist UKIP, trying to claim that their clearly racist policies are, in fact, not racist.
But, you know, fair enough. If they want to go around being racist and then denying it, they can go ahead. That is, after all, what racists do.
But what I won’t accept is them – or any other ‘anti-immigrant’ (racist) party – trying to claim they’re patriotic. I’m no patriot myself – patriotism is one of those things for which I am just not wired – but I understand it to involve loving your country. Now. when *I* think of Britain, I think of things like:
Parliamentary democracy – our Parliament, of course, being created by Simon de Montfort, a Frenchman.
Winston Churchill – son of an American immigrant
Doctor Who – created by a Canadian, first episode written by an Australian and directed by a gay Indian
the Carry On films – starring Sid James, a South African
Queen – lead singer Farrokh Bulsara from Zanzibar
our great theatrical tradition – playwrights like Shaw, Wilde, Beckett…
The Beatles – ‘Lennon’ and ‘McCartney’ of course being good old Irish names
The Goons – created by Spike Milligan, an Irishman born in India
Prince Philip – a Greek
Our pioneering scientists – such as James Watson, who co-discovered the structure of DNA in Cambridge, and was American
2000AD, featuring Judge Dredd – created by an American and a Spaniard
Queen Victoria – daughter of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Fish and Chips – invented by 19th century Jewish immigrants
The brave Spitfire pilots in World War II – especially all the Polish ones
Presumably Racist UKIP, and the ‘B’NP, don’t like any of those things, what with them all being the work of the immigrants who they wish to keep out. I’m just wondering what, precisely, about the UK they *do* like then?