Orwell had the Guardian columnists of his time in mind when he wrote in “The Lion and the Unicorn”:
England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during “God Save the King” than of stealing from a poor box.
On seeing Paul Mason’s tweets and flag-emblazoned cheeks last night John Denham pulled him up “Remember: no one made you say ‘I do not want to be English’” Mason retorted that “It’s still my position – My ethnicity is British – my nationality proletarian”. Which is of course bollocks. “British” is not an ethnicity and proletaria is not a place. Rather than knocking Mason let’s celebrate his coming home to that most English of things – football. His emotional connection to the flag and the national sport shows that, underneath the buzzword-laden ideological ramblings, he is still a human…
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