Saturday, 13 September 2014

Jingoism

Today has been something of a wash-out. Much as I'm pretty sure I still have jet-leg, I confess to having slept pretty solidly for 12 hours last night, waking up periodically through the night after experiencing a series of vivid dreams. In one of them, my mother was suggesting I wore a suitcase full of smart clothes from the 1990s, which were all box-shouldered and shiny.

I drove in the late morning to Brent Cross and got stuck in traffic which made me re-route and eventually lose my way. I wanted to buy a copy of the film Milk, which is about Harvey Milk. I don't know why I bothered. I had thought finding the film would be a needle-in-a-haystack scenario, what I didn't expect was that finding a shop which sold ANY form of DVD was the futile search. It would appear that no-one buys their DVDs or CDs in shops anymore, which I think is a desperate shame.

I came home and watched a lot of telly, falling asleep in front of The Queen, which struck me as a rather silly, somewhat pointless film. Who can be sure what was going through the Queen's head when Diana died, and more importantly, who cares? I have never been a fan of actors playing real-life figures when they're still alive. Everything feels like conjecture and nothing seems that believable... You can't help but wonder if the Queen herself watched it, and sat wondering what on earth was going on!

I got sucked into watching The Last Night of the Proms, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I always do if I'm honest. I love a bit of jingoism, and who could fail not to be stirred by Jerusalem, or, indeed Benjamin Britten's take on the National Anthem, which is the first time I've ever semi-enjoyed that terrible piece of mush. It upset me a little to think that this could be the last time we get to celebrate the UK in this manner. This particular night always makes me feel extremely moved and very proud to be British. Actually, one of the reasons why I think Scotland is contemplating going it alone, is that we never get enough opportunities to celebrate our special union, and seeing people in the different parks around the country waving Welsh Dragons and St Andrew's Saltires made me suddenly aware of the fact that we have something here which we are duty bound to protect.

Actually, what this county needs is further devolution, so Yorkshire people and Cornish people and Midlanders can all feel proud and noticed and, above all, responsible for their respective corners of this wonderful country. And then we all need to get on with not feeling guilty for having had the Empire and the Crusades and slavery, and enjoy being the country which excels in all the things that the rest of the world envies; the arts, high fashion, pharmaceuticals and IT. I think the time has come for us to relish the brand and become Britain again. Come on Scotland. What do you say?

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