Saturday, 29 November 2014

True Patriotism or Nationalism

This rant is a lot less objective than  I usually am but I am getting really sick of politicians and the press appealing to a bogus sense of patriotism and I despair of parties that should know better such as the :Labour party for abandoning core values of the basis of socialism such as that what ever country you come from shouldn't matter as to how you are treated.

Dr Johnson a person, who given my instintively left wing sympathies I would not have had any sympathies with, summed the current situation up precisely, when he claimed that patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. It seems to me that both Alex Salmond and his successor Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage are all scoundrels in that respect. Their so called arguments are essentially appeals to the lowest denominator of tribal instincts.

None of them appeal to what has actually made Britain great (and  I use that word delibrately as opposed to Scotish or English) the Britain that  makes me proud is the contribution to the intellectual and aesthetic contribution to the world not the flag waving nationalism of those who thought it right to display a saltire during the referendum or a St George cross in rochester.

No, the Britain that makes me proud is the scientific acheivements of Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Charles Darwin, Crick and Watson, and Fleming and Peter Higgs, the mathematical achievements of Napier, Hamilton, and Wiles, The poetry of Shakespeare,. Dryden, Milton, Pope, Byron Shelly Keats Coleridge, Wordswith and Burns. The novels of Austen,. the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy and George Orwell. The philosophy of Locke, Berkely Hume, J S Mill, and Bertrand Russell. The music of Purcell, Handel (who spennt most of his compostional life here), Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten. (And I am sure there are plenty of others who I have missed)  

How many of those idiots who feel it necessary to drap a Saltire or a St George cross outside their windows even know who most of the people I have mentioned above are or even appreciate what the afoerementioned people have achieved. 

No it's all a bogus appeal to the lowest common denominator of tribal instinct to enable the scoundrels who dress themselves up in the nationalist flag of whatever country be it Scotland or England without any appreciation  of the people in their countries who have achieved lasting achievements which will transcend the vagaries of the current political situation, as opposed to an appeal to the lowest common denominator of flag waving nationalism of the worst kind.

If that makes me snobbish  I don't give a monkeys.

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