I can’t believe I failed to acknowledge a rather important anniversary in my last blog post at the weekend. That’s right – on Saturday it was the 35th anniversary of the plane crash that decimated Lynyrd Skynyrd and robbed the planet of one of the greatest rock bands in history. Apparently Sunday saw another anniversary as well, that of the Battle of Trafalgar. I only know this because I saw the tripe below somewhere on Facebook the same day. Maybe I should’ve paid more attention during history lessons at school. Then again, if they put this in a future British citizenship test there’s a good chance I might fail.
Far from a disproportionate amount of Scottish participants being something to celebrate, it actually clearly demonstrates how our people have long been regarded as cannon fodder in times of conflict. However, what’s most noticeable by its very absence is any mention of Admiral Nelson’s famous rallying call, i.e. “England expects every man to do his duty.” It’s sad to think that the peddlers of such tripe amongst oor ain folk probably see nothing wrong with that. No doubt they’ll be the same ones that are relishing the 2014 celebrations of the start of the First World War where again we saw a greater number of Scots killed per head of population than anywhere else in the UK, all in the cause of resolving a dispute between some over-privileged toffs.
Still the spirits of the departed can console themselves that ”there’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever England”. Nothing like your country being absorbed. It’s for our own good though. I personally can’t wait to see the old soldiers marching to the strains of the cheery Second World War ditty ”There’ll Always be an England” just like we see at every Remembrance Service.
There’ll always be an England
While there’s a country lane,
Wherever there’s a cottage small
Beside a field of grain.
Red, white and blue; what does it mean to you, etc.
Hmmm. Yes, quite.
I’m sure we can expect wall-to-wall Dad’s Army on the Beeb in the run-up to the referendum as well. All together now: “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler, if you think old England’s done?” Oh two world wars and one world cup, doodah, doodah…
Moving forward to the Falklands War we had the she devil herself quoting the “forever England” stuff again while the Daily Express were giving it large on England’s great military triumph. I remember that because my old mum called them and chewed them out on the phone for it. You’d think they’d learn but apparently not. Here’s the crew of HMS Illustrious spelling out Nelson’s motto before the 2006 world cup:
Apparently some of the non-English nationals objected but were ordered to do it anyway. To be fair there probably wasn’t enough deck space to fit in “the normal exit on penalties”.
The phrase has long since passed into common use. However, there’s another that’s more relevant and it might even have been uttered by Admiral Nelson’s French adversary: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”
If you’ve enjoyed this post then please share it with your friends using the buttons to the right.