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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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50 thoughts on “”

  1. I watched that on the telly she backtracked pretty quick
    But she said it and meant it .

    If the choice was her and her team under the union flag
    Er butchers apron or living
    Under the EU flag I would choose the EU every time.

    She forgets the oath of allegiance is to the crown
    And not the part of the Tory party who hates foreigners
    And most other human beings

    Liked by 6 people

    1. She only backtracked when she realised that she had given the game away.

      You will be patriotic or you will be shot! Oooops I meant, isn’t it a lovely day for a walk in the county, is what I meant to say.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am now dusting off my Postgraduate Degree in Nitpicking, Pedantry and Boring the Pants Off People. Be warned!

    There is one fundamental error – or lie – underpinning the perversion of patriotism to mean something pretty foul. Love of your people and the country you live in is normal and good and praiseworthy, because you are supporting the common weal, the common good, the common people, the community. However…

    We like to put certain people in charge of certain things, and certain people just love to be in charge of just as much as they think they can get away with. Down with the common weal, up with Me Me Me! It is Louis XIV who is reputed to have said “L’état, c’est moi”. Confusing oneself (even when one is the monarch, or autocrat) with the State is the same error as the one that conflates the idea of the State (us) with the State (the Government and the apparatus of the State’s governance). The same error can sometimes be found in our concepts of sovereignty: here in Scotland, there is general agreement that the people are sovereign, or, in other words, Scotland’s sovereignty is derived from its people. In England (sensu lato), sovereignty rests with Parliament (and the monarch), although most English people would quite likely beg to differ, if they think about it. There is a fundamental error right there in the foundations of the constitution, and it’s the reason why we are British subjects, and not citizens.

    It’s an error that is all too common, in particular among those of an authoritarian tendency: it’s the error they make (for example) when they accuse you of antisemitism if you dare criticize the actions of the Israeli Government, and it’s the same one (whether unconscious error or deliberate lie) that they make when they describe dissent as unpatriotic at best, and treason at worst.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Agreed.

      I don’t feel much sense of patriotism. Not for Britain; not for Scotland.

      I feel an affinity with decent people from no matter where. Iceland to New Zealand; Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. I feel no particular loyalty to Queen Elizabeth; I don;t necessarily take Britains, or Scotland’s side in arguments. The sound of GSTQ or indeed Flower of Scotland, doesn’t fill my heart with any more pride than if I were to hear the National Anthem of Niger.

      So all this patriotism is a bit of a mystery to me, and if the likes of Leadsom tried to ram it down my throat it is likely to make me like it even less.

      You are right. We should care about our community; we should care about people, and animals, and the environment. We can be grateful that we do not live in a society which makes its people worship a particular god (although we used to). We can be grateful that our country is in a temperate region of the world and doesn’t have earthquakes, typhoons, 5-year droughts or rattlesnakes.

      That doesn’t make me patriotic. It makes me grateful for the things that I’m grateful for.

      By the same token I could wish that we lived in a country that didn’t put money above everything else. A country that thought it was wrong to spend hundreds of billions on nuclear weapons; and m ore billions on nuclear power plants, and even more on doing up palaces … all while there are people living in tinder boxes.

      I could with then, maybe to live in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway.

      But even then I’d never worship a country or a state. I’d just be grateful that the King had to get a bus to work rather than a golden coach.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I feel the same, although you have put it much more eloquently than I ever could.

        National anthems and flags have never moved me. For many years I’ve seen myself as a citizen of the world, albeit one that supports Scottish independence. I feel that only then will all the peoples of this island will truly share it. (over to you Wales).

        Liked by 5 people

    2. It is sad that I could not agree with you more.

      I have spent this evening listening to comics talk about their inability to satirise this government. Stuart Lee writes satire and it is taken as truth, Frankie Boyle is frankly gobsmacked.

      When satirists are beyond commenting, there is something rotten in the State of Denmark. It seems that nothing, no ridiculous statement from HMG can be challenged. Because it is beyond parody. Somewhere in heaven, or hell, a certain author must be astounded.

      All together now:

      “And did those feet in ancient time
      Walk upon England’s mountain green?
      And was the holy Lamb of God
      On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
      And did the countenance divine
      Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
      And was Jerusalem builded here
      Among those dark satanic mills?

      Bring me my bow of burning gold!
      Bring me my arrows of desire!
      Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
      Bring me my chariot of fire!
      I will not cease from mental fight,
      Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
      Till we have built Jerusalem
      In England’s green and pleasant land.”

      Is that what we are reduced to?

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Lanark: It’s kind of you to say I put it eloquently. I think I could have done better and you certainly made a point I didn’t.

      I too like to think that I’m a citizen of the world. And I’m in favour of Scottish independence because I think it’s the only way we will ever get a government that we voted for. I know you can say that in ’97, 01, and 05 Scotland voted Labour and there was a nominally Labour government in the UK. It just wasn’t what most Labour supporters would have called a Labour government. I’m pretty sure our Labour man, Niko, would agree with me there. (I’d add the rider that Blair, before he got so entangled with the idiot Bush, did some good stuff. Devolution was a good move, even if for all the wrong reasons, and despite the fact it was a botched job.)

      In my lifetime we have never had a real Labour government. A natural Labour supporter, Blair made me see that independence was our only hope of being less like the USA and more like Norway.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Lanark: It’s kind of you to say I put it eloquently. I think I could have done better and you certainly made a point I didn’t.”

        Trispw, you underestimate your own abilities. Lanark was right. You write extremely well, and have several USP, like you are so self-effacing, and angry by turn that you attract people to you. An interest in stuff beyond Scottish Independence – soppy Sunday stuff – is also good. Perhaps you are the Mhairi Black of the blogosphere?

        It is given to few folk to attract 1990 followers on a shoestring. And that is entirely down to you.

        You, and your blog are great.

        Stop being so self-effacing. This is an extremely good and increasingly important blog.

        Best wishes.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. You are more than kind, Douglas.

          I always think that the comments make it what it is.

          Often all I do is put up a pic or two
          And it gets loads of people talking. That’s cool

          Funny to think that it’s nearly 9 years since Munguin’s Republic was born, thanks to direct orders from dear old Spook, and a push from Subrosa.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I well remember the arch-bastard Blair claiming that criticism of his god-awful mess in Iraq as being lack of support for British troops..

    Liked by 4 people

    1. There was a slogan going around back then:

      “Support the troops – Bring them Home!”

      I would add “pay their retirement, since you crippled them” to the end of that, but it makes it less catchy.

      The fact that the Erskine Trust needs to exist is a disgrace, and an embarrassment to the government.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Our disgusting pay, and treatment of folk that were on our side – for their reasonable understanding of what ‘our side’ actually was – is perhaps the contempt that knows no shame. From Gurkha’s to Iraqi Translators we we leave a midden of broken promises and lies behind us.

        The French have a ‘right of blood spilt’

        You maybe able to translate this, I just get the general impression:

        “L’idée qu’il existe un droit de la guerre concerne d’une part, le jus ad bellum, soit le droit de faire la guerre ou d’entrer en guerre, supposant un motif tel que se défendre d’une menace ou d’un danger, suppose une déclaration de guerre qui prévient l’adversaire : la guerre est un acte loyal, et d’autre part, le jus in bello, soit le droit pendant la guerre, la manière de faire la guerre, qui implique de se comporter en soldats investis d’une mission pour laquelle toutes les violences ne sont pas autorisées. Dans tous les cas l’idée même d’un droit de la guerre repose sur une idée de la guerre qui peut être définie comme un conflit armé, circonscrit dans l’espace, limité, dans le temps, et par ses objectifs. La guerre commence par une déclaration (de guerre), s’achève par un traité (de paix) ou un accord de reddition, un acte de partage, etc. Définition de la guerre et doctrine, reprises en 1801 par le droit, par Portalis, juriste qui a rédigé le Code civil français, qui prévalent jusqu’

        Somewhat different from the ignorant English establishment.

        Though it might be a recipie for soup, for all I know.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s kind of a definition of what war should be. It was written by the bloke who was responsible for writing the Civil Code back in Napoleon’s time. Interesting though.

          Like

    2. Yes, I remember that too. The man that sent them there with poor equipment, bad kit and disgusting food supplies, whined at us that we were unpatriotic and were against our brave boys. Anything to deflect the blame from himself.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. LOL Trump lives in a lie bubble.

          “I’ve done more than any other president”.

          More golf?

          The only time I heard May take responsibility, it was to her back benchers after the election. And that was “I got us into this mess; I’ll get us out of it”.

          So far only the first part of that is true.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Good one David. He is indeed a King Penguin.

        I wonder if he’d like to be king of Scotland as apparently none of the Saxe Coberg Gothas actually want the job.

        Like

      1. Sorry, I missed the announcement that she’d been made an honourary Colonel. Makes sense though…gives her plausible reason for meetings with the spooks from 32 signals.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I think it’s inappropriate. Can you imagine what the press wo9uld make of it if Nicola had accepted that kind of role.

          I saw a video where she said that there was much to do and she was looking forward to it.

          I was tempted to say “Day Job”

          Like

  4. Continuing my travels around t’internet thingy.

    Owen Jones is perhaps the best interviewer in the UK.

    Anna Soubry MP (Conservative) is not your typical Conservative. He lets her speak. The highlight is Anna Soubry recalling a doorstep conversation where she told a constituent (i.e. voter) that she thanked him for not voting for her as she didn’t want the racist vote. Why isn’t she PM?

    David Lammy MP is a decent human being. David Lammy near to tears, and – I have never seen this with another interviewer – being supported by Owen Jones during what was a clearly emotional interview for David over Grenfell Towers:

    https://uk.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=Owen+Jones+and+David+Lammy#id=1&vid=d1e2fb90294635367a8e6313bad0ddc2&action=click

    Oh! And Frankie Boyle. ‘Tis a pity we can’t vote for him. You want intelligent analysis? You go to a comedian:

    Like

  5. Anna talked a lot of sense. She has a sort of block as far as Scotland is concerned though. She famously wanted to move as far away from Alex Salmond (physically) on a tv show, presumably to show her disgust for him.

    She talked there, rightly, about how crap the Labour opposition is, or was (and still may be). She said that opposition to the government has been left to Tory MPs. Particularly, given her stance on the EU, single market etc, it was amazing that she refused to mention that the SNP were opposing the Tories.

    Likewise, Owen Jones talks a lot of sense, but he too is blinkered when it comes to Scotland.

    David Lammy has been fantastic throughout this Grenfell tragedy. Of course, he was a personal friend of someone who died. I’ve seen several interviews and his question to May. Very impressive.

    Frankie Boyle is intelligent and funny too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Didn’t know about Anna Soubry’s anti-nationalist politics. Not a complete surprise. It is probably because London, England is the capital of the Planet Earth, if not the entire Galaxy, in their hard wired brains. Some of the wiring must have got misaligned in her case. Quite refreshing really. Sadly not enough for a second referendum on independence, but the Borg are not in complete control. Thought she came across as sane. Which I doubt I have ever said about a Tory before. Someone we could talk to if she replaced May?

      Well, someone has to replace May pretty soon, I think. All other options are horrendous.

      David Lammy came across as genuine to me. If I wanted Labour to succeed, which I don’t, I’d have him as Leader of the Opposition tomorrow. Decent human being.

      Frankie Boyle. What do you say? When comics get serious, as he did on that clip, everyone else ought to worry.

      Young Mr Owen has a way about him. Perhaps if we stuck him in a room with, say, Lesley Riddoch, he might become more amenable to reason on the independence debate. For it goes far beyond the SNP.

      Still think he is one of the few journalists left. Which is pretty sad.

      Just my thoughts, and thanks for your response.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t disagree with you. I though Soubry was impressive and I’ve always like Owen Jones. Some English people seem to have a complete block when thinking about Scotland.

        I think Owen once did an interview with Mhairi Black.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The most important fact is that both I and Mhairi Black share a similar, and ridiculous loyalty. Which transcends petty politics. She and I are both Partick Thistle supporters. You heard it here first!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I remember that interview; it’s just a shame that their evident personal liking for each other hasn’t translated on his side into an understanding of her politics! The WDG has said – and I agree, languages being my thing – that it’s a damn shame that we use the same word in English for nationalism of the civic variety, and nationalism of the blood-and-soil variety. It really should be obvious to the meanest intelligence that we are Scottish independentistas, not nacionalistas (nacionalistas being the kind of Spaniards who supported Franco). Some of us are (Scottish) republicanos too, and I think that quite a lot of us might have joined the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War…

      The other True Fact is as Tris just said: certain English people have a mental block when it comes to Scotland. I’d add only that the very same thing can be said of our Proud Scots But. I recently came across an e-mail from a former friend saying, re my politics, that he hated nationalism of all kinds. An interesting sentiment, because was then a Barking Yoon and has since become a Britnat Troll as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Isn’t it funny that our nationalism is bad, even though, as you say it is based on civic status, not some supposed superiority of Scots.

        And their nationalism, largely based on the notion that Brits are somehow superior to continentals and others, is perfectly OK.

        I suppose some Scots do think themselves superior to other people. I’ve not met one though.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Kind of agree with you eddjasfreeman. Can we place a little perspective around this though? I doubt in a poll in Scotland too many people – absent the cognoscenti on an internationalist web site such as this – would have a clue who Leanne Wood actually is. For full disclosure I thought her name was Lee Anne Wood. Despite the fact that I think she is probably the second best politician in the UK, behind you know who.

        We all live in bubbles. I recall being in Spain before Franco fell, and, I think they were called the Guardia Civil, sitting on their arses totally pissed with guns. My bubble says no to that. I think Theresa May’s bubble welcomes that. It is a difference in perspective about how a society should be run. And there are circumstances where weapons, on behalf of us, have to be deployed. I was at the Scotland -v- England football match a wee while ago. For the first time in my life I was frankly delighted to see armed Police. They made me feel safer rather than the opposite. Which goes against my fundamental belief that police men and women are our servants rather than masters. However, it was the right thing to do in the aftermath of the London terrorist attacks.

        So, we need allies. So that all the tiny bubbles can prick the huge bubble of Theresa May’s frankly crash course in ruining our society. Hubris might be the definitive word for Theresa May. There are thoughtful people, even amongst our natural opponents, I have more than a degree of respect for both David Lammy and Anna Soubry though I would vote for neither.

        I am no better than any other person, nor worse. We all have blind spots, else I would be out there fighting against injustice everywhere like a superhero. The list is endless. Chagos Islanders, Kurds, refugees….

        I would make a poor superhero. The most I can do is rail against injustice where I can. It is a pleasure to meet similarly minded folk here.

        Best wishes.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. trispw says:
        June 25, 2017 at 16:04

        It is verging on crazy that what we want is, in the minds of others, comparable to the worst excesses of the, largely English Right. That sort of talk, and there is a lot of it, perhaps has to be addressed directly. I am not at all sure how we combat that. A crib sheet would come in handy!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Tris, I’m afraid you’re wrong about Scots not considering themselves superior to other people. The Orange Lodgers and the subset of people who subscribe to the racism, xenophobia etc. of the “popular” press do… as do the homophobes and the sexist types. Jeez, what a downer!

        Another downer: with very many people, you’re on a hiding to nothing if you attempt to use reasoned argument to combat their prejudices and misconceptions. Ignorance is curable only if their is a willingness to learn and a receptivity to new ideas. The rot starts at the top, maybe: I’d describe Theresa May, sadly, as willfully pig-ignorant. Head, brick wall, bang.

        On the subject of Spain and Franco, Douglas, I myself decided to be in Barcelona for the first elections after Franco’s death. Boy, were those Guardia Civil types twitchy… trotting around with their funny hats and (I think) machine guns while everyone else on the street celebrated, mostly in Catalan.

        As for the International Brigades, I think I might have joined up – but I can tell you this, I’d have been sh*t scared the whole time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I guess you are right… but you know, even if they are Scots, these folk are about British nationalism, not Scottish.

          He he…even today the Spanish police have some cool hats!

          Liked by 1 person

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