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.