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To be ashamed of being British?

(159 Posts)
Morgana Tue 10-Oct-17 23:25:57

Just watched Panorama. Reminiscent of Germany in the thirties - made my flesh run cold. Pity no mention of the role of the gutter press.

Nonnie Wed 11-Oct-17 10:39:37

As lemon says we are pretty good at accepting foreigners. I think the British don't stand up for themselves enough and don't take a pride in what we should be proud of, especially the English.

If we are so racist why do people queue up to come here? Why trek all across Europe to sneak in at Calais?

Did the programme make reference to the lack of white working class people getting into university? I thought the statistic about the success of those from the Chinese community was interesting. Pretty sure that showed that the big influence in these things is parenting.

Perhaps we have tried too hard to be multi-cultural which has led to very distinct areas where people from each country live. Perhaps we should be working towards integration rather than separation?

Our family is quite diverse. We live in the countryside but have an Indian Muslim dentist and and Indian Hindu doctor and they are certainly integrated.

henetha Wed 11-Oct-17 11:00:57

I am absolutely not ashamed to be British. Nor ashamed to be English. That doesn't mean I agree with everything we have done, nor the way this country is right now. There is a lot that needs putting right. But, there is still much good, especially amongst ordinary everyday people. Too many acts of kindness to be counted. But the press seem to concentrate on the bad, and it seems to me that some people these days just look for things to find fault with.
There is too much negative attitude and not enough positive. Let's stop being grumpy Britain and become Great Britain again.

POGS Wed 11-Oct-17 11:01:27


Good post.

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 11:06:09

I agree with lemongrove. I do not feel ashamed to be British. There is a minority of people who should feel ashamed of their own behaviour, but they don't speak for me or mine.

Morgana Wed 11-Oct-17 11:19:04

Thanks White wave for your comments. I guess for anyone who didn't see the programme it is difficult to imagine the invective and violence against others. What was also shocking was that in the mobile footage of incidents on the train/tube, no one stood up for those being attacked verbally. We cannot just say 'not in my name' can we?

TriciaF Wed 11-Oct-17 11:27:49

Quote Morgana
"What was also shocking was that in the mobile footage of incidents on the train/tube, no one stood up for those being attacked verbally."
It could be that people are dterred from helping because there have been some cases of the 'helper' being prosecuted for causin harm to the offender.
In France I think there's a law that it's an offense NOT to help.
But OTOH many french people are much more openly verbally racist than the british.

Greyduster Wed 11-Oct-17 11:56:31

Henetha I could not have put that better myself.

GillT57 Wed 11-Oct-17 12:14:45

I have always found nationalism and pride in one's country of birth a strange concept to be honest. It wasn't my decision where I was born, and is random as is race, skin colour and religion of parents. I am glad I was born in Britain, like paddyann I was born in Scotland, but I am saddened by the ravings of the nationalists. I realise that in the lottery of life I was lucky to be born healthy, have food, and a home and a family who love me, and have no fear of my front door being kicked down by the secret police. I am sickened by the behaviour of loutish, vulgar, racist people of all classes, races, colour and nationality and have, unwisely, sometimes stood up and told people that their behaviour is unacceptable ( in a restaurant when a well spoken, but drunk arse of a man was shouting at a Eastern European waiter). I am saddened by my reaction when I see someone 'flying the flag' whether it is from their car, their house or on their t'shirt because I immediately class them as right wing extremists and 'Little Englanders'.

Grandma70s Wed 11-Oct-17 12:23:56

GillT57: very much my thoughts, too.

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 12:34:46

I agree with almost all of your post GillT57 but wonder why we should be made to feel ashamed for wanting to fly the English flag when it seems okay to be proud to be Scottish, Welsh, Irish and fly their flags?

Not that I do, fly a flag mind you. I just wondered.

I have always thought of myself as being British anyway.

GillT57 Wed 11-Oct-17 12:51:13

Agreed gillybob, and I don't know why I feel this way, but when I see a flag of St.George flying from a house I imagine shaven heads, tattoos and extreme right wing nationalism, I feel sad that the flag has been misappropriated to represent something which I dislike. I do not feel the same way when I see a Scottish, Welsh or Irish flag flying, just assume that the person living there is proud of their nationality, but I do not classify them in my own mind as narrow minded nationalists. Odd isn't it. I live here because I like it and it suits me, but would happily move to another country if I felt as happy and safe there as I do here, I have no great allegiance to GB, and have always, even since childhood, felt uncomfortable with the singing of the National Anthem and heartily dislike the braying of the last night of the Proms with all the nationalist type music. I do not wish to offend anyone with this btw.

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 12:58:55

I hate really dislike "our" national anthem too GillT57 which in my opinion is not a national anthem at all, its a royal family anthem (and that's another thread entirely).

I really can't understand why the English been made to feel that they are "right wing nationalists" if they fly the English flag?

For example my DGS (7) eats, sleeps and breathes football. (Not sure who he takes after mind you) but is it fair that because of the narrow-mindedness of some, he should not be proud to wave the flag of the English team during the forthcoming world cup?

Anniebach Wed 11-Oct-17 13:03:41

Do others make you feel ashamed of the English flag or do you feel uncomfortable because it reminds you of the louts who use it not with pride but as a sort of weapon . Take it back 😀

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 13:10:52

Well I think GillT57's comments (below) just about sum it up how we, English are made to feel Anniebach

I don't know why I feel this way, but when I see a flag of St.George flying from a house I imagine shaven heads, tattoos and extreme right wing nationalism, I feel sad that the flag has been misappropriated to represent something which I dislike. I do not feel the same way when I see a Scottish, Welsh or Irish flag flying, just assume that the person living there is proud of their nationality

Sad isn't it?

lemongrove Wed 11-Oct-17 13:15:45

Yay! Good idea Annie I think I shall wrap myself in it ( wearing nothing underneath a la Lady Godiva) and ride through my nearest town on a white horse ( if I can find a flag and horse large enough.)🤣

Anniebach Wed 11-Oct-17 13:40:36

Go for it lemon grin, I would do it for my flag , well not the horse riding , those days are no more.

I understand Gilly and when I see it the louts come to my mind, it saddens me that you can't feel the emotions I feel when the Welsh flag is flying , I feel a mixture of love, pride, belonging.b

Could it be England paid too much pride in the union flag for so many years, when I was a child I thought it was the English flag . We hear queen of England , Americans visiting England not the U.K. Much fault lies in the past as well as the louts of today

TerriBull Wed 11-Oct-17 13:41:48

Anyone who has been to France will see the tricolor everywhere, similarly the stars and stripes in America two examples. of different nations who have no problem with overt displays of nationalism. Scotland and Wales are equally happy to display the St Andrew's flag and Welsh Dragon respectively. I have even seen the Confederate flag in America, which I do think is very questionable, not sure why it's even allowed there given the conatations it has particularly in the deep south and the fact that country has very real problems with race relations. Lets face it the Union Jack was hijackd by the National Front at some stage, I'm not sure about the St George flag, but for some unfortuantely it's still synonymous with overt racism. I personally wouldn't fly a flag, but come international football matches and the like then various flags are visible. I don't think people should be castigated for having national pride most of us got behind Team GB during the olympics inspite of the EU trying to add our tally into some non existant EU pot that didn't seem to be recognised by any of its member states. National pride is not perculiar to any country it's there in most nations. Lets not forget how the French tricolor was projected on to buildings here after the terrorist attacks in France to show solidarity. The flag is a symbol of a country and shouldn't always be viewed in a negative way.

Maggiemaybe Wed 11-Oct-17 13:52:19

When my friend and I got lost on our way to an Asian restaurant for a works do, she pulled off the road and screeched to a halt outside a council house hosting a barbecue, with bare chests, England flags, skinheads, a dog on a string - it couldn't have been more stereotypical. I really didn't want to ask directions from them, as she sat there in her sari, but she shouted them over and they couldn't have been more helpful. She gave me a proper telling off for being prejudiced and judging by appearances. She was right. blush

Chewbacca Wed 11-Oct-17 13:55:19

Like others, I am not ashamed to be British just because a minority of British people are ignorant racists, any more than a Muslim should feel ashamed to be muslim because a minority in that culture are linked to terrorism.
I'm not English but I find it incredibly sad that some English people feel that their national flag is a symbol of bigoted, right wing nationalists "covered in tattoos and a shaven head". Perhaps you could reclaim your national flag, fly it with pride and demonstrate that it is something to be proud of. If you leave it only for the narrow minded, ultra right wingers to own, you only have yourself to blame if it continues to be percieved in that light. Reclaim it!

gillybob Wed 11-Oct-17 14:05:12

So those people who call anyone who dares to fly an English flag "Little Englanders" (and much worse) are effectively racist bigots themselves? hmm

Baggs Wed 11-Oct-17 14:23:33

100% increase of something not very big to begin with still makes a very small percentage. Any increase in racism is bad but we need to see it in perspective. Britain may contain some racists but it is not a racist country.

Someone said we should challenge racism. I agree. Only I've never witnessed any racism in my whole life so I've never been able to challenge any.

I'm not, even in the teeniest weeniest bit, ashamed to be British.

Baggs Wed 11-Oct-17 14:24:34

I wonder what someone who is ashamed to be British would rather be instead.

Chewbacca Wed 11-Oct-17 14:25:56

Good question Baggs, I'd like to know what the preference of nationality is too.

Elegran Wed 11-Oct-17 14:26:52

Gilly I believe "God save the king/queen" DID start off as a personal anthem for the monarch, and then was used as a national anthem. We need another anthem which celebrates our love of our country (and there is a lot to love!) without belittling any other country, and without praising just one family.

Elegran Wed 11-Oct-17 14:34:46

One of the contestants for a British anthem is Handel's "Hail the conquering hero comes" from Judas Maccabeo - a great tune, but not exactly one for a United Kingdom, and definitely English, not British. It was written by Handel to celebrate the return of the Duke of Cumberland (Cumberland the Butcher) after the slaughter at Culloden.

Sounds good though.