Wednesday, 4 December 2013

If Alan Rusbridger loves this country, why does his ghastly newspaper appear to hate everything about it?

Leaving aside the unfortunate fact that it was the Labour MP Keith Vaz who questioned the Guardian editor’s patriotism yesterday, and while the question could undoubtedly have been couched in less emotive terms, it strikes me as a reasonable question to ask, as the Guardian appears to hate almost everything that makes Britain distinctively British.

I don’t believe that there are a distinct set of beliefs all of which a Briton has to sign up to in order to qualify as a patriot – for instance you can be a republican or have doubts about the role of the British Empire and still be considered a patriot. But if you subscribe to a whole set of beliefs which would suggest a hearty disdain for Britain’s traditions, history, achievements and institutions, and a cavalier disregard for its indigenous culture, political independence and ability to defend itself, then you shouldn’t be surprised to find your loyalty being questioned.

Cast an eye over the following list of beliefs – all of which the Guardian and, one presumes, most of its staff subscribe to:
You believe in even closer integration with the European Union (presumably on the grounds that there are same areas of our national life which aren’t directly controlled by foreign bureaucrats).
You believe sterling should be abolished and the euro adopted (so that Britain’s elected representatives will relinquish any control of the economy).
You believe the British Empire was an unalloyed evil, and that Britain owes a debt in perpetuity to those countries which it so ruthlessly exploited, and that colonialism excuses the behaviour of those countries who once laboured under its brutal yoke.
You’re a keen supporter of mass immigration, especially from countries which have no historical or cultural ties with the UK.
You feel it’s the job of indigenous white Britons to accommodate the culture of immigrants rather than the other way round.
You’re convinced that all national cultures are equally valid, i.e. that Britain has no right to feel culturally superior to, say, Yemen or the Central African Republic.
The sight of the Union Jack makes you feel guilty, and you think anyone displaying the flag of St George is a racist thug.
You think Britain would be better off as a republic.
The phrase “English-speaking peoples” instinctively makes you shudder.
You would publish secret documents which might place members of Britain’s security services operating abroad at risk.
You feel that pursuing economic policies which favour Britain’s interests over those of foreign countries is selfish and probably racist.
You’re convinced that the most Britons are fundamentally selfish, greedy, narrow-minded, xenophobic racists who should try to be more like the Swedes (except not so tall, white and blonde, of course).
When you see British servicemen, you instinctively feel that they’re being exploited, probably up to no good, and only in uniform because they can’t get a decent job.
Any traditional British ceremony – the State Opening of Parliament, the Remembrance Day parade and service at the Cenotaph, the Trooping of the Colour etc. – strikes you as silly and somehow shameful.
You’d like the House of Lords to be replaced by an elected second chamber – preferably full of public sector workers with regional accents.
You always dismiss any threat from foreign countries (besides, of course,  America, which is utterly untrustworthy) as entirely imaginary.
You invariably oppose any increased spending on defence or on strengthening the UK’s borders.
You find anyone who enthusiastically expresses a love for this country contemptible.

As I said, you can hold a handful of these beliefs and still be considered patriotic – but to imagine you can hold every single one of them and yet claim to be a proud Briton strikes me as either delusional or dishonest.

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