I think it is very reasonable to say that living in England at the present time I feels as if I am living in a country that is more divided than at any other time of my life.
The reason can be put down to what happened just over two years ago when the Conservative Government in order to ‘unify’ their own political party saw the need to hold a referendum in which against their own expectations 17.4 million voters across the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.
To be fair the Brexit vote itself was primarily carried by voters in England who for years had been told that they were being ripped off by the EU and that the country was either overrun or about to be overrun by bloody foreigners the majority of who were illegal immigrants.
Donald Trump may think that building a wall will stop illegal immigration into the USA -well I have news for him – we have a 26 mile stretch of water and that hasn’t stopped the determined and desperate from making the crossing.
However – and of course we know those who were saying it are serial liars – the country wasn’t and isn’t being overrun but it is fair to say for forty years of membership of the European Union the country – and especially England – acted like a bad tempered grumpy old man who couldn’t get his own way.
Now following the referendum result England has moved on and has instead become a population of bad tempered – OK I see the similarity – drunkards who stagger about the country picking fights with anyone and everyone who shows the slightest indication that they disagree with them.
The result is that I now live in a country which is polarised to an extent I even now find hard to understand or imagine.
How is it that we have arrived at a point in time when instead of sensible and reasoned debate we have sunk into a gutter of abuse.
How in England have we arrived at a point where abuse of those who disagree with each other had now not only become normalised but has and is being condoned by the political elite.
Why is it that those who are left of centre liberals remain people have taken to calling their fellow citizens who are right of centre leavers ‘gammons’?
On the other side of the equation how and when did it become acceptable to use abusive terms such as ‘Remoaners’ or ‘Snowflakes’ to pigeon hole and describe those who want to remain in the European Union.
It isn’t so long ago that I was happy to describe England as the most tolerant nation on earth – unless that is we were under threat from a foreign power when you could guarantee we would fight back – sadly not any more can I honestly make such a claim.
So how to unite or reunite a Nation divided.
Well there may be a chance that it may happen today because England are still in the World Cup and if they win today they will have advanced to the quarter finals.
Up and down the country we are seeing St George’s Flags being flown from cars and hung out of bedroom windows some people have even erected flag poles in their gardens.
Now I’m of an age where I actually remember watching the World Cup Final in 1966 and just like everyone else of that era can still recite the England team and recall the England flag being proudly flown proudly across the nation.
Since than of course there has been a gradual embarrassment and reluctance to fly the flag mainly because it is associated with and has been hijacked by the racist fascist elements of the ultra right wing nationalists – I guarantee they won’t like that – with whom no-one who has an intelligence above that of an amoeba would wish to be associated
Of course another reason for the nations reluctance to fly the flag or support the England football team is that for decades they have simply not delivered at a major tournament.
I recall at the World Cup eight years ago the England Captain after a very poor performance that saw us knocked out of the tournament stating the players had found it difficult to get motivated for the game.
I simply say that the attitude across the country was best summed up Richard Digence In his song ‘Letter for Afghanistan’ and leave it here.
If I had my way I’d play it to the England team tonight.
It explains a great deal about the demise of our national game that instead of talking about going to win the tournament all of the talk is about how if we reach the last eight it will be regarded as a success.
However given the current state and divisions in England I’ll accept the sight of England flags being flown as a unifying symbol behind the team and if only for a short while living in a country that is united.
So…. Come On England