The man most responsible for irreparably damaging this country’s sense of national pride and unity, now tells us that we should have a National Day on which we celebrate our Britishness.
This shallow, transparent, cynical and downright patronising proclamation by Gordon Brown makes me sick to the core. Sorry, Gordon, but all you are doing is showing us all just how desperate you are to exercise your selfish and conceited desire to occupy Downing Street and we will not buy it.
It is shallow because it is the sort of statement so commonly issued by this wretched government. It is all about headlines and sound bites and designed only to promote the individual making the statement. Sadly this time, I fear it may happen, if only because it involves wasting a vast amount of tax payers money organising a party designed to get Labour re-elected. They have done it before and we are still paying for the Dome to this day.
It is transparent because Brown knows that in 2009 the primary obstacle to his re-election will be his Scottish-ness. He knows that by then Blair will have used Scottish MPs’ to force through unwanted legislation that affects only England. England will want revenge and he will be the loser.
It is cynical because Brown and this New Labour administration have been wholly responsible for undermining everything that makes us British. Their wholesale destruction of our constitutional pillars is enough to make you weep. They have neutered and vandalised the House of Lords; demoralised, regionalised and deceived our Armed Forces; sidelined and subverted the Monarchy; politicised the police and the civil service; marginalised parliament and taken the people of this country to war on a false prospectus. Christ knows what they are still doing in power.
The Telegraph leader today sets out the essential qualities and characteristics of being British:
“Ask any schoolboy in Banff or Bangor or Banbury what it meant to be British and he would have had a ready answer. It meant cheering for the underdog, seeing the other chap's point of view, standing up to bullies, bridling at injustice. The trouble is that, for decades, Britishness has been derided and traduced by our ruling elites. Britain's extraordinary contribution to the happiness of mankind - ending the slave trade, bringing justice to less happy continents, three times saving Europe from tyranny - is presented in our schools as something to be ashamed of.”
But they miss one very important point.
Brown’s statement is so patronising because, as a died-in-the-wool socialist (communist, frankly) he believes that the state can tell its people not just what to do and how to do it but how to feel as well. New Labour has always hated the fact that, no matter how hard it tries to bring down the old order, the people of this country have only ever really come together to celebrate or assert it national character in recent years under the banner of the Monarchy (be it funerals or anniversaries).
Brown wants to politicise this feeling as he has sought to politicise so much of British life. It is as insulting as it gets that he chooses to cite the sanctity of Remembrance Day as an option for our new politicised British Day, but in his desperation for power, his sense of decency has lost whatever boundaries it might once have had.
Brown will fail no matter how much money he throws at it, and he will fail because national pride cannot be instructed, demanded or bought. The British have never been told how to feel. National pride comes in one flavour only – natural. You either feel it or you don’t and right now, we DON’T.