Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Just do not say you are English.

Goodbye to my England!  So long my old friend!

Your days are now numbered, being brought to an end.

To be Scottish, or Irish, or Welsh is just fine

But don't say you're English, that's way out of line.


The French and the Germans may call themselves such,

So can the Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch

You can say that you're Russian, or maybe a Dane

But don't say you're English, not ever again.


At Broadcasting House that word is taboo

In Brussels they've scrapped it, in Parliament too,

Even schools are affected, staff do as they're told

They mustn't teach children of the England of old.


Writers like Shakespeare, and Milton and Shaw

The pupils don't learn about them anymore,

Nor about Normandy, Arnhem or Mons

When England lost hosts of her vary brave sons.


We are not Europeans, how can we be?

Europe is miles away, over the sea.

We're the English from England, so let's all be proud

Stand up and be counted and shout it out loud!


So let's tell our Government, and Brussels too,

We're proud of our heritage, the Red, White and Blue

Fly the flag of St George, or our own Union Jack

And let the world know – WE WANT ENGLAND BACK!


ANGELA said...

And so say all of us Tommy.
When Jim & I are being 'Grumpy OAP's',being English is one of out major gripes.What is more upsetting is that we don't have an option.
We've just filled in the Electoral Role & our options are British or Commonwealth!!!
Jim & Angela WAKENELL

yvonneh said...

If it is so great to be english, why are so many english people emigrating and professing how great their lives are now.
I for one am proud of being English but am also aware that there is a great big world out there. And I am not proud when I see english footballs hooligans behaving as they do in someone elses back yard or even in our own. I am not proud when I see the National front gaining control in England as that is how it started in Germany with the black shirts and we all know what happened to our brothers and sisters there. I am not proud when I see people dying needlessly, from gang warfare and knives. All in the name of drugs .I am not proud when drunken english club goers attack the police and abuse passers by. I am not proud that our elderly are frightened to go out at night or that the pensions do not keep in line with inflation any more, so everytime the council tax goes up or their rent those on the border line get poorer. I am not proud that our bank managers
polititions, and big business continue to fleece the workers and when they complain, sack them knowing that because thatcher decimated the unions they have no come back. Even when firms are bought out for their pension funds that the workers have been forced to pay into for years. They cannot complain. I could go on and on but perhaps these are some of the resons our english friends emigrate. One of the funniest statements I heard was from a couple moving to Spain " We are going to live there because we are fed up with all the foreigners coming here" Does that mean that all the spanish are moving out because of all the English foreigners taking over their country, it beggars belief. Anyway I have aired a few of my feelings on why I shouldn't be proud to be english. I will in the forthcoming debate tell you why I love being English. Angela, I always cross out british and commonwealth and write in english, they havent sent my forms back yet. Tom the kids at school do learn about the bard and the world wars. My g grandaughter wanted to know what we did in the 1st world war,as they had been told about it by the teacher, she is five, they acknowledged rememberance Sunday albiet was on the Monday they had a service and two minutes silence. It depends on the school and its staff.

JohnB said...

70 years ago yesterday on
September 1st. 1939

Adolf Hitler's Germany invaded Poland.

German forces attack Poland across all frontiers and its planes bomb Polish cities, including the capital, Warsaw - and Britain and France prepare to declare war.

We should be very proud that so many of our own men and women gave their lives to defeat such horrors of Hitler's extreme nationalism.

Love of country and culture is one thing, but misused this word patriotism can mean something quite different and abhorent.

(Latin:-Patria or "Fatherland")

JohnB said...

When I first went to the south of Spain it was still like Spain, now apart from the weather, it's more like Southend.

However, I do hope that England can keep as much of it's Englishness as it can, it's still a wonderful country, with so much history, it's great capital London, a beautiful countryside, castles and parks, a great Queen, great pubs, great people, with a terrific sense of humour.
No wonder we all love and miss it so much and still call it home, it truly is a gem.
The heritage that's been handed down to us is a precious gift.

Eff said...

Rupert Brookes
'The Soldier'
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven

I read this on a headstone in a British war Cemetary in one of the ocuntries I have visited. It reduced me to tears, not only for the poor soldier who had died in combat but his English parents who had inscibed on his headstone the first lines of this verse.

JohnB said...

William Shakespeare

The royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war; This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea.

Paul Holt said...

I always put English in the "others" section but it annoys me to think I have to be an "other". Thatcher did undoubtedly tip the balance too far in the direction of the bosses but why has no-one redressed the balance? Could it be because a lot of the politicians of all parties are also company directors? I'd also be interested to know just how many of our politicians are English? Why is our country so sick that so many are prompted to seek a better life abroad? Because of the fear, because of the grime, because of the services, because you can feel better treated abroad, because of the weather. Lack of respect,I think. Respect needs to be taught at an early age but we have been indoctrinated by the same do-gooders that have banned discipline that respect has to be earned. Rubbish! respect should be freely given and children should be taught to respect all until they prove themselves unworthy. You don't know the old woman or man slowly walking to the post office to draw some money but they deserve respect none the less, how can they possibly have earned it. Instead they get ridicule and possibly mugged on the way back. It is not England or English that you feel you can't be proud of, Yvonne, it is the system that short of revolution, ordinary English people seem to have little influence over no matter which way they vote, you can't fit a postage stamp between the parties. There are plenty of English people and events to be proud of but when publicised are they called English or are they called British?
As for schools, in geography for instance England has disappeared from EU maps. It has now become official policy to call England “Britain”. The Prime Minister, Mr Brown, announced that “Britishness”, whatever that is, will be taught in English schools but not in Welsh or Scottish schools. He says “this country” (not England) when he refers to health, education and transport in England. Supermarkets flag up Scottish and Welsh produce with their national flags while English produce usually bears only the Union flag. Henry VIII is described as a “British king”. My English nationality is not recognised by the British government.

yvonneh said...

Well done bruv, nice to have you aboard, I cant say that I agree with all you said, but generally I agree with some of the sentiments. You would soon see the difference in the Health service, transport,education and public services were the tories to gain power again, as all the money would go into private education and private medicine not forgetting lining the pockets of the greedy rich through their golden handshakes.and over inflated pensions, and who will pay for it, you and me. Look what happened to the pension you were going to retire on it was bought out by an american firm who stole it from the workers and then made them redundant. Thatchers tories whom cameron was a part of rubbed their hands with glee. Even at the worst times there is always a difference between who and what the parties represent, You would certainly have to give your bus pass back and there would be no winter fuel allowance. In fact there would be no post offices to collect it from. The banks would probably see that as another way of making money by charging to withdraw it.

Paul Holt said...
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Paul Holt said...

Ah! another party political broadcast............... big sis but why haven't they righted or even attempted to right the wrongs of Thatcher as was promised? You are missing my main point, which was a little hidden, and that is what you describe as why you are not proud to be English is exactly why you should be proud to be English. Being English isn't a physical thing, it's something you feel in your heart in a similar vein to why you are a part of Cuckooites and what you are describing as failings on the part of English are more likely to be because we have lost our English identity and have allowed negative influences to take over, whereas if those people commiting the acts you are not proud of had been part of the English ways and values we were brought up with they would not be acting in the way they do. They are not English they are the new British and the new way, which is a result of systematic and deliberate devaluing of the old standards in favour of new modern ideas. Has it worked? I think your original statement shows it hasn't.

Be proud of what is English and try to recover some of the values that have been lost. It's the wrongly directed negativity over the years that has led to this sorry state. They tried to do away with Middlesex, the people didn't want it. They tried to do away with Perivale, the people didn't want it, all in our own best interests. Be positive about what was good about Englishness, people need identity and roots. It's what's in your heart, even if it wasn't all rosy and good it's a damn site better than what we have now.

yvonneh said...

Listen little bruv. I cant compete with your Drayton manor education, but you did contradict yourself in the last paragraph is English and was english!!!!! make up your mind.
I am Proud to be English and I am also proud to be part of the rest of the world with all its differing cultures. But I am not proud to be part of some of the people who try to destroy our heritage through greed and posture.

Paul Holt said...

Hi Yvonne typical diversionary tactic. Pick up on what was not a contradiction merely a grammatical error and ignore the point. What are you proud of about England or being English? You said you would tell us. The things you say you are not proud of are not necessarily English or Englishness, quite the opposite, in fact and the reason why so many want to bring back the old values. It really should be was rather than is as England doesn't exist any more if our leading statespersons have their way.

jim davis said...

Oh! I do like you Paul, and I like you argument even more.

jim davis said...

Paul & Yvonne I think you both have valid points in your discussion but who is going to take any notice. I am not joking when I say, at the next election it would be great if loads of people voted for the Monster Raving Looney Party. They will not get in we all know that. But as Paul said you cannot put a postage stamp between all of the parties, so does it really matter who gets in. Perhaps the world laughs at us because of the way we let our politicians etc feather their own nests and get away with it. If we had a big turn out for the Monster party, we could walk around with our heads held high laughing, and I am sure the world would laugh with us not at us. It would also be a brilliant slap in the face for politicians in all of the main stream parties.

Paul Holt said...

Here here Jim. I don't know about the Raving Loonies but wouldn't it be nice, for a change to get politicians that actually did the job they are elected for and represented the will of the people rather than their own ideas of how we should be ruled "in our own best interest" which is insulting to suggest that they know better than everyone else just because they have bigger egos and have learned never to answer the question asked rather the question they would like to be asked. That filters right the way down to local government. As you said none of them listen,in fact they don't even ask any more, they have become so complacent. They are so alike these days that if one has to resign because they have been exposed for something, they are replaced by a clone.

JohnB said...

The English are not the only nation that complains about what they have or have not.
Many of them did venture abroad to find something better, only to find that on arrival in some foreign land far from their social security blanket, the welfare state, the streets were not exactly paved with gold and that their new working hours were much longer and harder, no better paid and with much less holidays and days off.
They may have encountered much hotter summers and very cold and snowy winters. Higher utility bills due to extreme weather conditions.
Plus they have to pay through the nose for healthcare insurance and huge deductibles etc.
In spite of the hype and publicity other countries may put out,or what you have heard about them,
it's still not a perfect world anywhere.
Some of us may have a political preference, but it's still up to the individual to make the best of it. Folks over here complain about the illegal immigrants from Mexico, who risk their lives crossing the border to earn a crust, being paid less than the meagre minimum hourly wage, and taking on very neccessary, but low totum and hard working manual labour jobs that most US citizens would never do.

To use one Americanism; "There's no such thing as a free lunch!"
England may not be what it once was, but it still has many positives and there are still people clamoring to go and live there.
I wonder why?
It can't be that bad after all, can it?

Paul Holt said...

Ah! yes John there may be worse out there but we've known better. The main point that got diverted by the politics is that these days we are not allowed to be English let alone proud to be English, good or bad. The official policy is that we are British which just doesn't make sense as the Scottish are both Scottish and British and the Welsh and the Northern Irish, so why cant we be English and British?

JohnB said...

Thank you for clarifying that point Paul.
With the right attitude folks can be whatever they want to be as far as I'm concerned.
As for me, I'm still a "British" citizen and not a Yank.
The truth is I'm 1/2 Italian, 1/8 English (whatever that means), 1/8 Hebrew, and a 1/4 of Scotch (Gordon Highlander) and (Whiskey too). A real mongrel.
And classified here as a permanent resident alien.
I can choose to remain English (or British) or choose to become American or Italian, ...what a dilemma, I think I'll just be me and fly my own bloomin' flag.

JohnB said...

Regarding the hooliganism that came about in England in the 1960's (I think it was about then) and the mods and rockers battles, and in the late sixties and early seventies, the gangs of 9 year and 14 year old kids, that would attack and mug an old age pensioner or anyone else they thought was an easy target.
I was alone on White City station one night, changing trains, after late shift at the newspaper, when I was confronted by such a gang.
I singled out what seemed to be the ringleader and stared him down, and visualising that he would be the first to land on the train tracks should they come any closer. They must have read my mind and got the message as they backed down, ran up the stairs and left the station.
The shocking and horrific thing is that they were the children of our generation, how on earth did they become like that.
What drives kids to become like savages, it's like something worse than a chapter from Lord of the Flies.
We ran wild when we were little and there were bullies and gangs were practically non existent, but we were never like that, we were too busy having fun. Besides just think what our parents would have done to us if we were.
That's what upsets me about about nationalism and flying flags etc.
It can easily be adopted by such bad elements and used for a rallying cry to don studded bovver boots. shave their heads, paint themselves blue or tattoo red crosses on their chests, and mug and scare the living daylights out of law abiding senior citizens such as we are now.
As a lover of heraldry and pageantry however, I would not mind seeing this Englishness or the right to be English expressed in a more entertaining or creative way.
What that would be I'm not sure, maybe by wearing badges, designer clothing with little St.George crosses emblazoned thereon, or whatever.
Just as long as it's intelligently discussed, civilised, peaceful, reserved and true to the English tradition and perhaps over a cuppa and a cheese and water cress sandwich.

yvonneh said...

I do not profess to have the answers you are looking for, but What I do know is the english flag was always the union jack, now we are talking about having a red X on a white background which I believe is the union jack plagerised by the national front, or the name they like to use now bnp. Which as you rightly say are a bunch of bald hooligans with the red x tattood on their bodies and foul mouths, who believe hitler was a saint and the holocaust is a fairy tale brought about to discredit hitlers and his aryan race. I would not follow any flag that they were associated with. I also feel that it would be raising an old potato to say bring back national service.
In my veiw one of the problems with the young generation these days is they dont have the freedom that we had or the fields and places to play. Even their school playing fields were sold off when Thatcher took money away from schools and they had no choice but to sell their assets ie: playing fields, school trips were affected,
gym equipment , in fact most things that allowed youngsters to let off steam. They also had a future, some to follow fathers and grandfathers into the pits, apprenticeships, factory work, these days you have young people with degrees fighting for jobs in Tescos or Sainsbury's. There is no pride in anything and no respect for anyone We must remember that we are talking about a minority of youngsters as the majority you dont hear about as they live normal lives without creating any waves. As a society we should take this rotten core of individuals and deport them to some barren wasteland where they can spout racist remarks to each other till they get tired of it. Or perhaps I am being too lenient.

Paul Holt said...

Hi John, I'm one of those children of the sixties and was in one of those groups you mentioned. However, although there were inter-gang fights none of the guys I was involved with or indeed the ones on the other side, most of which I knew from school and various neutral clubs we used to go to were known to attack anyone other than each other. One or two involved themselves in criminal activity against businesses, such as breaking into factories and shops but mugging etc. would have been considered unacceptable by their peers. There was a code of practice and things you didn't do.

Things started to change drastically when the generation grew up that had not been subjected to school and home discipline. When, in an effort to stop children being subjected to bullying by a small number of teachers and parents they threw the baby out with the bathwater. Instead of re-educating or getting rid of the perpetrators they made laws to protect childrens' human rights. Towards the late sixties, early seventies families had more disposable income partly due to the unions and partly due to the fact more women went out to work. So monetary bribes started be common amongst parents to try and keep some semblance of order. Where there was generally more money in the pockets of youth to buy the initial drug hits, then once hooked even that was not enough so easy targets were sought to feed the habit. There were drugs about in my sixties youth but it was expensive not easy to find unless you were a part of the 'smart' set, mugging wasn't even a consideration, didn't enter their heads and you could get hammered at the pub for less. I am aware this is a generalisation and in parts of London drugs were more available but this is how it was around the Cuckoo estate in my circle of companions and aquaintances.

Most of us in England have mixed ancestry but it's not about that. It's about identity and belonging and what you deep down feel you are even if that appears irrational. It's not that long ago that our council banned the flying of the cross of St George and threatened court action. Not any other countries flag, just England. For a while I had never seen so many England flags, in windows, in cars. The fact that the symbol has been hijacked by distasteful groups is no reason to abandon it. That is not the fault of the mass that thinks of themselves as English, it's the fault of the authorities that have failed to address the problem. Whatever the politicians and others say I will always feel English. The fact there are many thing wrong should be an incentive to improve and make right, not just blame it on the title and give it another title without solving the problems.

Paul Holt said...
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yvonneh said...

Well said Paul, the only thing I disagree with you on is the flag and I believe it was banned in Ealing because of its national front implications,Our flag has always been the union Jack why should we abandon it for some wishy washy redx on a white background,?

Paul Holt said...

Sorry Yvonne, I have to disagree about the flag of England.The Flag of England is the St George's Cross. The red cross appeared as an emblem of England during the Middle Ages and the Crusades and is one of the earliest known emblems representing England. It achieved status as the national flag of England during the sixteenth century. Saint George became the patron saint of England in the thirteenth century, and the legend of Saint George slaying a dragon dates from the twelfth century.

Or are you re-writing the history books?

In the 1600s, a new flag to represent the regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (also representing Wales by implication), (a red cross with a white background, known as St George's Cross), and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire with a blue background, known as the Saltire or Saint Andrew's Cross), would be joined together forming the flag of Great Britain and first union flag. This royal flag was at first only for use at sea on civil and military ships of both Scotland and England.

The current and second Union Flag dates from the 1800s with the Act of Union 1800, which merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The new design added a red saltire, the so-called "cross of Saint Patrick", for Ireland.

yvonneh said...

God that I should have such a clever brother, Why then were we all given union jacks to wave at the coronation and at the end of the war, we were not given redx. There is also a proper way up to hang the union jack, I am proud of that flag it means something to me. The insignificant flag goes with our terrible national anthem. I believe that should be. And did those feet in ancient times or Land of Hope and Glory. I get fed up at the sports venues hearing the strident anthems from other countries and ours is so paltry,

Paul Holt said...

Because those events were British as part of the union not specifically English.

Paul Holt said...

Ah! yes don't get me started on that topic. Singing the British National Anthem at sporting events where the teams or competitors are specifically English whilst the Scots and Welsh have their own anthem.

jim davis said...

Yes you are 100% right Re' the English flag Paul I am glad you told her and not me. Our national anthem I would like to see it changed to this. If you go on utube you will probably be able to play it on there. Merle Haggard. The Fighting Side Of Me. Writen about thirty years ago and it is even more relevant nowdays.

JohnB said...

Isn't there a white cross behind the red cross representing St.David patron saint of Wales or is that also a white saltire?

I admire your use of the heraldic term saltire.

How come the Welsh got the dragon passant, gules?
I guess that's because old Georgie boy slew ours.

I imagine this is all because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland want to remain independent members of the EU or something, rather than the English wanting to be independent of the rest of the UK.

Perhaps it's time for a totally new flag, although I must admit I rather like the Union Jack.

How about we do away with crosses if that's not too sacriligious and go back than King Richard The Lionheart days to King Arthur's realm, what did he fly, it wasn't BA, I know?
Although I think he was only King over Wessex or something like that, so that wouldn't work.

You could adopt, argent, a lion rampant guardant gules, holding a pennant argent, emblazoned with a cross gules.

Or just use St.George and the dragont I don't think St.Edmund would care for that.

Were you a Mod or a Rocker Paul?

Did you know a guy called Barry Troop at Drayton Manor?

JohnB said...

I'm sorry, I didn't know that the National Anthem was an endangered species too, can someone clue me in?
Is it Rule Britannia or God Save The Queen that is no longer politically correct?

How about "I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" or "Roll Out The Barrel"

Oooops! I hope I haven't offended anyone, I don't want to be locked up in the coal cellar or dungeons agin and I absolutely hate that cold, damp and drafty Bloody Tower.

They sound more English and lighthearted to me.

yvonneh said...

No John it is not an endangered species just boring . dull. and non musical Certainly these days means very little, even the words are outdated, When it is sung at events that the queen attends even she looks bored, send her victorious happy and glorious, what does it mean, at least the american anthem has fervour and meaning. Surely we have enough talent for someone to come up with an anthem that is rousing and meaningful. Perhaps the one they sing at the proms.
I vow to thee my country
All earthly things above,
and perhaps our flag should bear the cuckooite emblem

Paul Holt said...

With my limited knowledge, as I understood it, the George Cross was the flag of England which at the time Wales was part of. Again, I am not certain but I think the original British flag as it was known was made up of the St. George cross over the St. Andrew cross. Later at the time of Union the cross of St Patrick was added, so, I believe the cross of St. David is not and never has been part of the Union or British flag. (I think)

JohnB said...

You mean like
"God Save The Cuckoo"

God save our old Cuckoo
God save our young Cuckoos too
Send us all on a big bus
long may they poop on us
God Save our Cuckoo,
Come and rejoice with us,
Happier the more of us,
God save me and God save you too.

Hip, Hip, Hoorah!

Or something meaningful like that??

JohnB said...

This page is getting as long as a toilet roll.

Paul Holt said...

As to the National anthem, it is the British National Anthem not the English National Anthem so why is it sung at events where England compete. The British National Anthem is not rejoicing in our Union merely praising our Monarchy and I make no comment on the rights or wrongs just that most countries rejoice in song their country not their Monarch or head of state, the idea being that no individual is more important than the country and it's populous. There is no rule, law or decree to say that we have to use that song and I certainly believe we should have a separate song to the Union song.

yvonneh said...

Exactly what I said Paul but in laymans language. I love the words John but whats the tune. I thought it wouldnt be long before you sent our serious conversation into the toilet.

JohnB said...

This is a brief account from a very lengthy history of the flag we know as the Union Jack that I copied from Wikipedia the on line encyclopedia...if anyone is interested in reading what they have to say about in more detail it verifies much of what Paul has already said...however I did find this on there...

A thin white stripe, or fimbriation, separates the red cross from the blue field, in accordance with heraldry's rule of tincture where colours (like red and blue) must be separated from each other by metals (like white, i.e. argent or silver). The blazon for the old union flag, to be compared with the current flag, is Azure, the Cross Saltire of St Andrew Argent surmounted by the Cross of St George Gules, fimbriated of the second.

Wales had no explicit recognition in the Union Flag because Wales, having been annexed by Edward I of England in 1282 and following the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, was legally part of the Kingdom of England and was therefore represented by the flag of England.
The present-day Flag of Wales and St David's Cross emerged, or re-emerged, in the 20th century: the former based on the historical emblem of Wales, the Red Dragon, and the latter based on the arms of the Diocese of Saint David's.

I agree a nice more emotive anthem that says more about the beautiful country and perhaps some of it's great acheivements or spirit of it's people would be nice.
I always liked the soundtrack of chariots of fire but that may have too many negative connotations and probably too hard to lyricize, if there is such a word.

Although contraversial, in all this has been an informative and interesting post.

yvonneh said...

Are you telling us to shut up John?
I think there is more to come and I think we are doing credit to Toms heading

JohnB said...

No I'm not...not yet anyway.

I thought this was relevant too and also from Wikipedia;

Campaigns for a new Union Flag

In 2003 a private individual started a campaign – dubbed "reflag" or "Union Black" – to interpret the Union Flag in a racial context, and introduce black stripes in it. The proposal was denounced by MSP Phil Gallie as "ridiculous tokenism [that] would do nothing to stamp out racism". The campaign received little support from any quarter and is now defunct.

Since there is no uniquely Welsh element in the Union Flag, Wrexham’s Labour MP Ian Lucas proposed on 27 November 2007 in a House of Commons debate that the Union Flag should be combined with the Welsh flag to reflect Wales’ status within the UK, and that the Red Dragon should be added to the Union Flag's red, white and blue pattern. He said the Union Flag currently only represented the other three UK nations, and Culture minister Margaret Hodge conceded that Mr Lucas had raised a valid point for debate. She said "the Government is keen to make the Union flag a positive symbol of Britishness reflecting the diversity of our country today and encouraging people to take pride in our flag". This development sparked design contests with entries from all over the world; some of the entries incorporated red dragons, St David's Cross and even anime characters and leeks.

Now, excuse me but I must get on with my project.

yvonneh said...

John is that project not finished yet. I am amazed at the info you come up with I cant remember any of that. Are you going to design a flag and write an anthem then

yvonneh said...

perhaps we should have a competition for the best flag and the best words foe an anthem

Paul Holt said...

Rocker John but we were more likely to be known as greasers on the streets away from the tabloids. I'm afraid the name doesn't strike a chord in my memory but that's no surprise as I remember very few of the Drayton pupils, nearly all my friends went to Brentside.

Paul Holt said...
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JohnB said...

If you were a rocker Paul, that's cool, I think it was the later skinheads that caused the mugging problems, not sure about that though. I think they originated abroad in Europe.

The Drayton pupil I mentioned I think was probably post that era.

No Yvonne I'm not going to re design a new flag, I think the ones that are both flying on Tower Bridge (see Grace's photos) are of great historical import and both are a part of our proud Heritage.
As for the Anthem I'll leave that to the more talented Englishmen and or Englishwomen.

I'm not sure if my project will ever get done at this rate, still back to the grindstone for me.

Paul Holt said...

I also found some interesting info on

Paul Holt said...

Ha! I'm a skinhead now........... :-)

JohnB said...

Nope, sorry that's not what I meant.

I should try and re phrase that if I can.

I meant that there were some at a later period in time from Germany who may have been an influence on the young kids and the muggings, I did not mean that you were one.
Besides you said you were a Rocker and Mods weren't really skinheads either, or were they?
It all seems so long ago.

Thanks, I'll check out flagspot.

JohnB said...

This is from Flagspot;

Earliest Use of the Flag
Although St. George was known in England in the 5th Century and his legend was brought back to England by stories from the 1st crusade, there is no mention of the 'Cross of St. George'. If, as I am led to believe, Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199) saw a vision of St. George with a red cross banner, I can only assume that Richard brought back the red cross. This seems to be at odds with the history of the Genoa flag where Filipo Nocetti gives information that English ships bore the cross so as to have safe passage into the port of Genoa, subsequently paying the King for this safe passage. Filipo gives the year 1190 some 9 years before Richard returned, so if our Italian correspondent is correct then the 'Cross of St. George' would have been seen in England before the second crusade.

Interestingly Paul, the Italian Genoa flag born by English ships is the same design as the England St.George Cross flag.

I couldn't really tell if there was a purely English flag before either of these dates though.
So I guess the Cross of St.George is about as English as we can get.

Also I believe it's the City of London (or Westminster??) has the same flag with something else in a canton or one of quarters, I believe that's what flies on Tower Bridge along side the Union Flag.

Paul Holt said...

This is very interesting and I liked the flagspot site.

John, I know, I was joking that I'm a skinhead NOW, as in, I have no hair nowadays. Sorry for the confusion.

Paul Holt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Holt said...

It was the mods that transmogrified into the skinheads with both existing together until the transformation was complete. The rockers were always rockers even up to the present day where they are more likely to be middle aged business men often called weekend rockers but apart from minor changes the modern image is very similar to the original.

JohnB said...

Since living in the States, I have not followed football (soccer) much, but as I remember the English team wore something similar to the English Banner as a badge. Which was; Gules (red) three leopards passant guardant Or (gold).
Then this was later changed to the English Flag, the St.George cross, is that correct?

In my early teens I had a Greaser's (Teddy Boy in those days) hairstyle, a Tony Curtis with sideburns, slim Jim tie or bootlace tie, sky blue jeans, lime green socks and crepe sole desert boots.
Then at art school I was a Beatnick for a while, with a Marlon Brando hairstyle, shirts with Edwardian starched rounded collars, a goatee, levi jeans, Donkey jacket and Chelsea boots.
Drove classic 1940's old cars.
Then later wore more Mod (although I was not a Mod exactly) gear.
with an Italian boy hairstyle, sinatra style straw hat, seersucker jacket, ivy league shirts, knitted tie, levi jeans, and tan moccasin style casual loafers. Drove American '50's cars.
Then later became a hippy, longer hair, goatee, 3/4 length leather jacket, fire engine red shirt, no tie, Lee jeans, boots and drove a faded red Nash Rambler, 'til I straightened out and dropped back in again and landed on my feet in Fleet Street and drove a Triumph Spitfire.

Still a fifties person at heart though. Thinking about getting a Harley, maybe do the Easy Rider thing, got the leather jacket, boots and jeans, but need a bandana and some cash.

sally said...

I think being English is keeping up with our old values.Also with our way of life. I wonder how many of you now drink out of these horrid MUGS instead of a tea cup.use tea bags and instant coffee.Nothing is more English to me than making a cup of tea in a teapot letting it fuse and then taking it to where you are going to drink it on a tray with milk jug and sugar bowl.Enjoy x x x x

yvonneh said...

Sally I agree put an extra cup out and I will join you, John Brian used to wear short jackets with rounded shirt collars but he also wore winkle pickers shoes sometimes in snakeskin but with long points, he had a cookie, hairstyle brylcreamed which he was always combing. was that not a beatnik , and didnt mods have motor scooters and had rallies at Southend

JohnB said...

Not sure if that's a beatnick but it certainly sounded stylish, apart from the Brylcream that is.
"A little dab 'ill do ya" was the slogan.
Mods rode scooters, Vespas or Lambrettas and Greasers Motorbikes, Hot Rods and Hoodmobiles (cars that is).

At the college rag dances, we'd dress up roaring twenties style, with spats, striped jackets, and straw boater hats etc.
Not exactly PG Tips more English
P.G. Wooster style.

I think being English is a lazy sunny afternoon, drinking a pint of best bitter at a village green pub and watching and listening to a game of cricket.
Or watching the old fogies at Pitshanger Park in the white jackets and straw hats on the bowling green.
Or punting on the Cam, rowing on Thames and just generally having jolly good time mucking about on the river, with Ratty, Moley, and Toad.
Then pottering off home for some tea and scones, or toasting crumpets by the fireside seated in a leather upholstered wing chair in the library reading or doing The Times crossword and listening to the third programme on an October day.

JohnB said...

Much of what is "Typically English" is usually attributed to the ruling classes, such as the tradition of Fox Hunting and P.G Wodehouse's Jeeves, with tongue in cheek was a classic example of how he managed to make light of the upper classes.

But getting back to some fairly early history, you may recall this from your schoolbooks:

English unification
Danelaw, Treaty of Wedmore, Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum

The English population was not politically unified until the 10th century. Before then, it consisted of a number of petty kingdoms which gradually coalesced into a Heptarchy of seven powerful states, the most powerful of which were Mercia and Wessex. The English nation state began to form when the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms united against Danish Viking invasions, which began around 800 AD. Over the following century and a half England was for the most part a politically unified entity, and remained permanently so after 959.

The nation of England was formed in 937 by Athelstan of Wessex after the Battle of Brunanburh, as Wessex grew from a relatively small kingdom in the South West to become the founder of the Kingdom of the English, incorporating all Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and the Danelaw.

The Normans
The Norman conquest of England during 1066 brought Anglo-Saxon and Danish rule of England to an end, as the new Norman elite almost universally replaced the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy and church leaders. After the conquest, "English" normally included all natives of England, whether they were of Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian or Celtic ancestry, to distinguish them from the Norman invaders, who were regarded as "Norman" even if born in England, for a generation or two after the Conquest. The Norman dynasty ruled England for 87 years until the death of King Stephen in 1154, when the succession passed to Henry II, House of Plantagenet (based in France), and England became part of the Angevin Empire until 1399.

Now if you are very good and do your homework, we may have some clotted cream and buttered scones for tea.

jim davis said...

Cor' Blimey my indiference is overwhelming. By the way I wore smart Italian suits with a short jacket and shoulders that were wide and sloped downwards. I also had a Vespa and Yes I was a Mod.

JohnB said...

What about the late 60' and early seventies, and the shiny mohair suits, and "Tabby's" disco club in Ealing Broadway.

JohnB said...

Anyway getting back to the topic of Englishness etc.

I hear that England is experiencing a population explosion partly due to women, who now think there is more to life than a career, have decided to stay home and have more babies.
Estimates project there could about 70 million total people in England within 20 years.
I hope there will be enough jobs for their husbands and they can afford those bigger families.

JohnB said...


I Vow To Thee My Country has always been a strong contender. The song "Rule, Britannia!" has been associated with England since 1740, and is recognized internationally as representing England. Other English patriotic songs which have been proposed as possible national anthems of England include traditional songs such as "Rose of England" an English patriotic song written by Ivor Novello in 1937 for his musical Crest of the Wave, and popularised by Vera Lynn during World War II. The flower to which the song's lyrics refer is one of England's national emblems, the Tudor Rose. Also, "There'll Always Be an England" an English patriotic song, written and distributed in 1940 and highly popular throughout World War II. It was composed and written by Ross Parker and Harry Par-Davies. The words were written by Hugh Charles, and the most popular version was sung by Vera Lynn. As well as modern patriotic songs such as "A Place called England" written by English folk singer Maggie Holland, which won the Best Original Song award at the 2000 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

yvonneh said...

Wasn't Riding along on the crest of a wave and the world is ours, the boy scouts jamboree song. Good but the world is no longer ours, the british empire is no longer, thank goodness!

JohnB said...

Actually I browsed you tube to see what there was.
There's some great stuff, but as you say a bit dated, I am particular fond of pipe and drum music, but it's a bit too Scottish I think.
Also whilst looking at Chariots of Fire, there was some interesting music, and some English Hymns etc. and Amazing Grace etc.

It's hard to find something that is nondemoninational, or isn't about the flag or wartime.
I was looking for something that was more about the colours and beauty of the country, it's trees, mountains, sea, rivers, villages, castles, and spirit of the people etc.
It isn't an easy thing, do you start with the music or the lyrics??

yvonneh said...

Catch 22 eh John

JohnB said...

Now that was a good read.

Stephen Corsham said...

Just want to put in my two bob's worth as an ex-pat Englishman... I still see myself as English (and proud of it), but I cannot deny the "British" bit of my and our heritage. The altercations with Wales and Scotland (not to mention Ireland), political alliances with other European states, our colonial past etc. all contributed to our present-day "Englishness". And I reckon you can still identify with Britain a n d Europe without denying or giving up your Englishness!

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