An Idiot and his Flag

I am often accused of being unpatriotic. Im not sure what a patriot really is but I know its not something I aspire to be. Ive known a few in my lifetime. Some were products of their age and background, some just thought it was expected of them and a disproportionate number just struck me as needy simpletons looking for something to fill the space where their imagination should be.
When I was little my grandad told me about his four years of muddy, bloodsoaked torment in the trenches defending imperialism because thats what the King wanted. He hated it and it haunted him for the rest of his life. I asked him why he hadn’t just said he wouldn’t go and stay at home with gran eating cakes,smoking cigs and reading the Echo instead. I assumed he had done that all of his life. He told me that would have been ‘unpatriotic”, wealthy people who never held a gun distributed white feathers, and thats when I probably decided that it sounded like a bum deal.
Don’t be offended and feel free to wave your flags, defer to your monarch and scream adoration for mentally challenged footballers. People who couldn’t spell ‘pomp and circumstance’ if you glued a dictionary to the inner thighs of their favourite WAG. I just don’t feel the love. I dont identify with these people and the parasites they look up to. By chance, I was born on this particular lump of rock surrounded by sea. Like people everywhere else, I share that island with others. Some are good, some are bad and ive never encountered the vast majority. I don’t like the political system, social priviledge or spiteful greed, I want to fight it, but thats just how the cards have fallen. People sing a song about a deity I dont believe in saving an unelected Head of State. They have a flag which is a coloured pattern on some cloth. I don’t care, let them enjoy it. I care about the woman I love, my kids and a few friends. I dont have a song for them or a special banner but they have my loyalty. The rest is just the backlot of the film I live in.
Many years ago, I lived in a place just south of London for a couple of years. I had neighbours on both sides. One set were left wing and cared deeply about society, justice and compassion. The others were uber patriotic fanatics who despised vast swathes of humanity. The first were kind, clever and fun to be with. The second were horrific and stupid That has been my experience.
A couple of days after I moved in, the drooling racist invited himself round to see what was now living next to him. After endearing himself by telling me that ‘scousers are low life scum but i’m prepared to give you a chance’, he nailed his colours to the mast with the subtlety of a puppy taking a shit. He made a number of references to ‘our uninvited friends of a darker hue’ and mourned hanging though it was ‘too good for them’ and told me about his recurring dream. In this dream Elvis was still alive living in a bunker and plotting a solution to the ‘Jewish problem’. I mentioned that I did not realise a problem existed. He filled me in with a tale of stealing babies, making up the Holocaust, fixing Eurovision and owning Hollywood. At this point I asked him to leave and not to engage me in any conversation ever again. I may not have put it exactly like that. As he scuttled out he noticed a small poster of Che Guevara and muttered ‘ what can you expect from a man who keeps pictures of Stalin’.
We never spoke again but he gave me hours of amusement. He made a flagpole out of an old ladder and, every morning, he would pull a tatty old Union Jack up it. He would salute it looking like Benny Hill in his black nylon ‘Elvisly Yours’ jacket. Shortly after his mental disintegration accelerated. Coming home drunk he was admonished for trying to mount his wife, who could only walk with the aid of a frame, in the front garden. Luckily I missed that but did see the ‘Pakis go home, stop selling to coons’ he painted on a wall opposite the local estage agent. I have corrected the original spelling for him. This breakdown was apparently hastened by his first grandchild being born not as white skinned as they had anticipated. Karma is a genuine motherfucker friend.
I always picture him whenever somebody mentions UKIP. He would have loved them. I use the past tense as I later learned that God has taken him to live with Churchill and the other nice white heterosexuals.
If you want me to be a patriot improve your role models. Better still start caring more about the people round you and not the myth that subjugates you.

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