Rule, Britannia?

‘I am proud to be British’ they announce.

As if Britishness had become a foreign concept- as if it something elitist to say ‘I am British’. What does that even mean? To me it’s just a nationality, written on a passport, attempting to define me. It really doesn’t.

The raucous claims of Britishness, the people behind the noise, are mesmerised by the call to restore what is ‘Great’ about Britain ricocheting between the mouths of each party leader. Is it only those with a general understanding of the history of the last 100 years who understand that this plea to national identity is the most obvious form of propaganda? Can our modern day politicians find nothing better to string us along with? Are we no more developed or intelligent that our 1930s Russian and German counterparts? Build a common enemy- reinforce patriotism- embed nationality in education. Surely it’s not just me who can see the undeniable parallels?

A common enemy: immigrants, haven’t they always been. Clearly nothing changes, or no politician is imaginative enough to change anything. What about the tax evaders- are they a not more worthy enemy? But, of course, they deliver such important ‘services’ to the U.K that their criminality can go unnoticed. (Did the Queen forget to remind you to pay your taxes whilst she was knighting you Gazza?)

How many times have we heard a politician serenading Britain with constant reminders of her greatness? Their faces begin to merge into one grotesque mask: Cameron, Farage, Miliband (and the other, useless one, what’s his name?) a super-beast of political inadequacy. With ease this gusto infiltrates education: a heinous announcement to make the study of English in schools wholly British in an attempt to indoctrinate the young- what a load of bullshit. Michael Gove can go shove that where the sun doesn’t shine (his conservative arse). How can one study English without understanding its roots and links with other countries. It’s disgusting enough that African literature doesn’t even get a word in let alone American literature being banished as well. But of course, the English language is heralded as one of the mighty triumphs of the British. I am in utter despair. Perhaps History should have a more prominent place on the curriculum?

If only plagiarism was to the student as stealing past political tactics was to the politician- if only.



American Psycho

The coverage of the 20th of July cinema shooting was more than extensive. Almost everyone can recall the crazed look, orange hair and those eyes of 24 year old James Holmes; former neuroscience PhD student and murderer. But what about the even more recent Sikh temple shooting? The face of Wade Michael Page should haunt us too, but the media has not contrived him of the lunacy that James Holmes abhors; although each act equally cries lunatic, fanatic and pure evil. James Holmes was motivated by pure insanity, randomly killing innocent people with no particular reason. Maybe this is what makes us more scared? These are everyday people, visiting the cinema, just like us. No particular age, gender or race was targeted which in the media has fuelled more fear. However, Wade Michael Page is motivated by hatred and racism to an exclusive group: Sikhs. This kind of behaviour is not unbeknown to us, and for the majority we are not part of this group. In adherence to this, media coverage on the Cinema shooting completely outweighs that of the Sikh Temple shooting. But is this right?

America, a country never celebrated for it’s acceptance of other races simple disregards this shooting as another racist attack- nothing different from the lynchings of Black Americans in the 1920s, the mistreatment of Native Americans and the restrictions upon certain ‘types’ of immigrants also in the 1920s. When will they ever move onwards? Even our own media reflects this idea though; the notoriously right wing Daily Mail have put stories about fraudsters and benefit cheats above a serious and shocking incident: the Sikh Temple shooting. However, the Daily Mail had the story on the Cinema shooting as front page news and have followed it meticulously since. This difference in coverage is wrong. Both stories should be treated equally.

The only difference that I can highlight is that of race and this is something that we should be more scared of: 

this blasé attitude towards racist acts.