Friday, June 01, 2007


Every Thursday I go and see my Dad, we have a chat, a nice meal, a glass of wine. I look forward to it, he is a lovely man and we get on really well. So I got really annoyed last night when I found out that he was being accused of racism. Especially when I found out that those making the accusation didn't have the gumption to do so to his face, but instead started a wispering campaign behind his back.

To explain, I need to give a little background, my Dad is a very helpful obliging chap and very active in his community. One (of the many) things he is a member of is his local (CofE) Church, All Saints Upper Norwood. Now to celebrate St Georges day back in April they had a fun Social event, my Dad got asked to do a bit of entertainmet for it. He didn't want to, he feels that at 79 he may be getting a bit old for this kind of thing, but he was prevailed upon. So he found a really amusing monologe to do, about english schools (will post this later, when I find a copy) and a Flanders and Swan song 'A Song of Patriotic Prejudice' The lyrics of which I have reproduced below. In deciding if the song is racist you should note that Donald Swan was born in Wales to Russian parents!
It is a completely tounge-in-cheek piece of fun, he got the audience to sing along to the corus... The English The English...etc. Now the Welsh, Scots, Irish people in the audience were not offended, neither were the ladies from France or Greece or the German gentleman who was also there. Now, one particular person from an ethnic group which was not even mentioned or alluded to in the song decided to take offence and started ringing up friends to put it about that this was some sort of appalling piece of racism, though not having the guts to say anything to my Dad's face. What is wrong with people that they can't have a bit of fun, are they so insecure that they think a silly song extolling the virtues of the English is some sort of BNP anthem. It was St Georges Day. It was Fun. Some people need to get over themselves. What do you think?

The English, the English, the English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest.

The rottenest bits of these islands of ours
We've left in the hands of three unfriendly powers
Examine the Irishman, Welshman or Scot
You'll find he's a stinker, as likely as not.

Och aye, awa' wi' yon Edinburgh Festival

The Scotsman is mean, as we're all well aware
And bony and blotchy and covered with hair
He eats salty porridge, he works all the day
And he hasn't got bishops to show him the way!

The English, the English, the English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest.

Ah hit me old mother over the head with a shillelagh

The Irishman now out contempt is beneath
He sleeps in his boots and he lies through his teeth
He blows up policemen, or so I have heard
And blames it on Cromwell and William the Third!

The English are noble, the English are nice,
And worth any other at double the price

Ah, iechyd da

The Welshman's dishonest and cheats when he can
And little and dark, more like monkey than man
He works underground with a lamp in his hat
And he sings far too loud, far too often, and flat!

And crossing the Channel, one cannot say much
Of French and the Spanish, the Danish or Dutch
The Germans are German, the Russians are red,
And the Greeks and Italians eat garlic in bed!

The English are moral, the English are good
And clever and modest and misunderstood.

And all the world over, each nation's the same
They've simply no notion of playing the game
They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won
And they practice beforehand which ruins the fun!

The English, the English, the English are best
So up with the English and down with the rest.

It's not that they're wicked or natuarally bad
It's knowing they're foreign that makes them so mad!

For the English are all that a nation should be,
And the flower of the English are Donald (Michael)Donald (Michael) and Me!

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At 4:27 pm, Anonymous t said...

What can I say, we're racist for patriotism. We have a massive parade in London for St Patricks Day but not St Georges. Local authorities ban us from flying our own flag yet no-one seems offended when they go abroad to see the country they visit doing exactly the same thing.

The problem as I see it is, we're that scared of offending the minority that we end up offending the majority instead.

And you know the ultimate irony? We're often told that flying our own flag encourages misguided nationalism and helps promote far-right groups, yet its actually the discouragement thats more likely to push people in that direction.

At 9:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad - your poor Dad doesn't deserve this treatment. Instead of focusing on constant dubious claims of rascism what about respect for your elders? I currently live in a poor part of North London and unfortunately having a St Georges flag in your window is synonomous with being a charver (just drive round thamesmead)- while fotball has become a trendy pastime for the 'educated' displaying a flag still has those conotations and I can't see that changing. (this is coming from a dodgy short and dark skinned welshy!)

At 9:11 am, Blogger Hugh said...

Once again the po - faced PC brigade completely fail to recognise satire. I reckon that classic BBC comedy shows like "Round the Horne" would never get made today as they would be judged as insulting to too many groups. The fact that it was so influential and subvertive would leave them cold.

Kenneth Horne (as Admiral Nelson) "Kiss me Hardy".
Kenneth Williams (as Captain Hardy) "I can't sir - my lips are all chapped".
Kenneth Horne (as Admiral Nelson) "Well, another chap won't matter then!"

At 6:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

absolutely brilliant and funny lyrics. a great example of England's sense of irony, which is unmatched by any other English speaking country. I'm not English, but, sadly, American (sorry!) and I think that all this excessive political correctness, inherited from my (not so fare) homeland is absolute rubbish and needs to go! why can't people have a laugh at their own expense and that of others, with a sense of irony and fun. shame on those small-minded twits for their comments about your dad's bit of fun.
Dr P x


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