AS a nation England is a disgrace. It should not be up to us to decide whether or not to Leave or Remain. Europe should kick us out.
Repeller by our xenophobia, our pathetically exalted view of our regional and international status, our inability to hold our drink in the warm sun (the two most valued commodities Europe has to offer, according to us sodden Brits) and our general air of snarling superiority, the continent of Europe should reach straight for the red card and march us right back to Little England, there to Remain caged and condemned never again to Leave.
And I DO mean little England, land of ignorance and fuzzy, largely invented memories of greatness and Empire and conquest and 1966 and All That. I’m lumping neither the warm-hearted Welsh, go-it-alone Scots nor the largely (and newly!) peace-loving Irish in my mass mea culpa.
Brexit? I’m not talking Brexit and I’m certainly not referring to the comparatively minor issue of membership of that EU trading and political club in which our continued involvement, the so-called opinion polls tell us, is about to be decided by the skinheads, Ukippers and other Far Right racists.
No: I am talking about something which matters far more to the majority of Far Right-thinking Englishmen and women. I am talking about Euro 2016, the latest manifestation of the UEFA cash cow which benefits big business, enriches television networks and wreaks havoc on state security budgets across the continent and on those unfortunate citizens of whichever country’s turn it is to stage the contest.
Yes, just as with the other little matter of this nation’s future, IT IS ENGLAND WOT WREXIT!
How much longer must England see its flag and its honour dragged through beer-muddied streets abroad, heads broken and bodies bloodied in bottle-strewn foreign bars, our remaining shreds of dignity and national honour destroyed by feuding football gangs?
“A tiny minority” you say? “Why should the silent, peaceable majority suffer for the sins of the Few?”
It is BECAUSE of that very silent, very peaceable majority – including the English Football Association and our politicians (domestic and European) – which turns a blind eye and says or does nothing about its lumpen countrymen’s behaviour on foreign soil that a nation suffers this quadrennial humiliation.
Violence breaks out at every major European tournament between nations and at many of the inter-club matches within European competitions. Wherever there is English participation there is invariably trouble. Is that so surprising? The game developed in 13th century England when whole villages chased pigs’ bladders across open countryside and, at the same time, meted out violence to unfortunate neighbours. Both traditions continued and strengthened through the centuries; pitch invasions and violence were commonplace in the 1800s and spread worldwide during the 20th century. And we are still doing it.
So is it not time for resolute action on the part of the English FA? Doubtless they will ease back in their club chairs and nurse their brandies as well as bruised feelings at being ‘wronged’ with the news that UEFA plans to investigate the part played by Far-Right, racist Russian thugs in the Marseille stadium violence but so far takes no action against England fans whose day-long drinking in the streets earlier resulted in bottle-throwing violence against an army of 1,000 armed police and, according to one Guardian reporter, the following selection of taunts:
“Fuck off Europe, we’re all voting Out,” a catchy refrain said to have originated among the more vocal Brexit supporters back home;
“Sit down if you hate the French,” a sort of ‘thank-you’ chant typical of the gratitude displayed by English supporters to their profiteering hosts who encourage such national invasions with all-day drinks and largely lax dress requirements beyond the usual recommendation of ‘smart tribal’ ;
Anti-IRA chants (presumably to pre-celebrate Northern Ireland’s game against Poland the following day) and a selection of anti-German songs inspired, no doubt, by recent commemoration of the century-past Battle of the Somme and the Daily Mirror’s 1996 ‘Achtung! Surrender!’ Songbook.
No, it is high time we took the matter into our own hands, bit the blank bullet (I don’t want to be accused of further inflaming the situation) and staged a dignified retreat from the competition. No one is more sickened at the prospect than I, a determined and lifelong follower of club and international football. But this calls for the smack – and I would love it to be a real smack – of firm action.
After all, if you took your children to a family party and they were as naughty as the Wrexit bovver boys you would take them all home and apply an appropriate punishment, wouldn’t you?
Yes, everyone suffers, but you regain some sort of control and you earn kudos and the grateful thanks of the rest of the partygoers. After missing one or two more upcoming events, the naughty ones learn a lesson and grow up.
And wouldn’t it make some of you Little Englanders feel good about leaving a bit of Europe WITHOUT a referendum?