Well, if the furore about the Daily Hate’s egregious attack on Ed. Miliband’s father has proven one thing, it’s this….patriotism is infecting British politics.
Now, bear with me, I’m not using patriotism in it’s classical sense, but the Americanised sense.
As in “I’m a good old fashioned patriot and….” a sentence (in various forms) which often precedes paragraphs of lazy racism, parochial sexism and the sort of armchair jingoism found in Conservative clubs and Masonic lodges up and down the UK.
When I say Americanised I’m not criticising the patriotism of any individual American, BTW, but the way it’s used over there, and increasingly over here, to stifle dissent, lest the dissenter be “outed” as verging on treasonous .
The way the right wrap themselves in the flag as though its a shield against all critique.
And it was working. Until the Daily Hate scored a spectacular own goal by trying to discredit a man who’s increasing reputation for integrity(whether or not you agree with him politically) and courage is scaring the bejesus out of the likes of lord Rothermere and Paul Dacre.
By attacking his dead father.
A Jewish refugee who fought for this country in the Royal Navy.
Even senior Tories admit this was a step to far.
Though I have to wonder if they’re saying that just to distance themselves from such tactics when it became clear that the British public won’t stomach them,rather than actually having any real conviction regarding their morality.
Well HA. HA. BLOODY HA.
You see, I’m a socialist.
And a veteran of twenty years service in the Royal Navy.
And maybe this is the beginning of the end for a meme which has been used by armchair generals and faux patriots in a manner which cheapens everything they claim to stand for.
True patriots love their country enough to admit its faults.
True patriots love their families, and by extension their country.
True patriots encourage and defend dissent as signs of true freedom.
They don’t hide behind flags as a psychological “boo-shield”
And they hardly ever refer to themselves as patriots.
Plus, thanks to the Daily Hate, they’re taking back the flag.
I’m joining them, are you ?