Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
So, in 1775, said Samuel Johnson.
I think I can understand that. Patriotism is used by governments to persuade us to support something they are doing, which without patriotism, would be insupportable.
Examples of that could be the interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or Syria. We are unpatriotic if we do not support our troops, and the actions they are taking.
Of course, the government don’t really support the troops either. Except in November at the Cenotaph, where they get all dressed up and look solemn for a couple of hours or on Armed Forces Day. Any other time they are taking money away from them, making them redundant and diddling them out of pensions.
So, it worries me that Leadsom is trying to persuade broadcasters that instead of reporting the news as it is, they should filter it through a prism of red white and blue patriotism so that the complete mess they are making of our lives, whether with austerity, mismanagement of the country, or Brexit, can be excused because it’s red white and blue and British… which makes it perfect.
Added to that, I think that the job of honorary colonels of regiments, if we have to have them at all, should be given to members of the royal family, not serving politicians.
I know Ruth is some way away from being first minister, but she aspires to it. It would be wholly inappropriate to have a military person, even honorary, as the leader of our country.
Grenfell was a tragedy in which 79 innocent people died.
The Daily Mail gives us all a spelling lesson.
Let’s hope that, revolution or not, there will soon NOT be a Daily Mail. It’s becoming as disreputable as The Sun.
From the office suite of Munguin
June 23, 2017
The Barclay Brothers
The Daily Telegraph
Dear David and Frederick,
One of my minions, a pleasant enough fellow by the name of Tris, was looking through the papers this morning, and, having made short shrift of the respectable ones, decided to have a glance at the rest.
In doing so he came upon your article about Theresa’s offer for EU citizens currently residing in Britain, as they have every right to, the right to remain there after Britain leaves the EU on March 31, 2019. He noticed that you used the word “migrants” to describe these people, many of whom are the backbone of our NHS, healthcare, catering, agriculture and tourism industries (amongst others) in these islands, and who are absolutely essential to their continued success.
[As an aside, it is interesting to note that much has been made in the right-wing tabloid press about these “migrants” taking British jobs and being responsible for the 1.6 million unemployed in the UK.
Of course, this isn’t really accurate, as I’m sure you well know but the truth doesn’t make great headlines, does it?. Many of the 1.6 million unemployed are very short term out of work. Ending one job and unemployed for a couple of weeks before starting a new one, to be replaced on the register by other temporary unemployed people.
Of the rest, those that might be considered to be “long-term” unemployed, a very considerable number are over 50. The trouble is that people in that age group face considerable discrimination in the employment market for a variety of reasons including health, skills, stamina and image issues.
In the younger age groups, other issues including criminal records, drink and drugs abuse and ill health exclude large numbers for the serious employment market. How many do you employ?]
Of course, it won’t have escaped your notice that even if businesses wanted to employ people from the long-term unemployed categories above, and supposing the necessary skills could be found there, there would still be a massive shortfall, three million being considerably greater a number than 1.6 million]
I note too that your report calls Brits living in the EU, “ex-pats”, and appears to underestimate their number by around a sixth.
[Some of this number are people of working age who could doubtless take up posts left vacant by the departing “migrants” were they to go home. Many, however, are people who retired to the sun and who would/could not.]
To return to the original subject of this letter, could you perhaps let me know why someone who goes from, say Germany to England to work would be considered by your newspaper to be a “migrant”, whilst someone who makes the opposite journey would be an “ex-pat”? Is it biological? Are Brits somehow different to other people, or is it just prejudice on the part of your paper.
Oh and as you are both English nationals and you live in Sark, would you consider yourselves to be ex-pats or migrants?
PS: I love your castle. Very classy. Tell me, is that Breeze Block? Did Donald Trump design it?