This Is England?
Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on July 27, 2009
I was just looking at my friends pictures that she took while she was on holiday in England last week. She is Japanese, and like many people from outside England she come to England with a preset idea of what it’s like. The England that most tourists see is, well… tourist England, the England that the Government wants tourists to see and experience. What Country wouldn’t want to show it’s best side? Just a shame England’s best side is also it’s backside! Anyway, most Tourists don’t leave the home counties, which is most of the south and the south-west of England (except central London because it’s full of poor people and working class scum) unless they’re going North to Scotland and stop off on the way to see old castles in Yorkshire.
The sights and hot spots people come to see are things that are viewed as being quintessentially English, and most of the sights are in the Home Counties. Old London Streets, Old buildings, the Palace of Westminster, Old Villages in Oxford and other home counties. What I want to say is, this is not the real England! Many of my friends from outside the UK have an idea of the UK and England that doesn’t exist. These views you hold of the UK are most likely rubbish, not everyone drinks tea, eats crumpets and has afternoon tea, we’re not reserved, we don’t all speak with Standard accents, Cricket is NOT the national sport it’s a game played almost completely by the upper-classes, as is Tennis. The places they visit are the places where the RICH upper classes lived and still live (except parts of central London) exclusively after kicking or forcing the farmers off their land and in to the cities when the Industrial Revolution began.
The graduates coming out of the Oxford and Cambridge Universities are not the best the country has to offer! They are not prestigious or the ‘crem de la crem’, most bought their way in or their family is well ‘connected’. There are many thousands of intelligent working class/poor people in England that never get the chance to go University because they simply can’t afford it or they’ve been told they’ll be better off going for a lower paid easier to obtain job. When working class people enter in to higher education and come out of the other side with a degree that’s equal or better to a job applicant that’s been to Oxford, they’re still more likely to be turned down in favour of a Oxford graduate because they’re working class. The elitist class system still exists in England and the UK, quite a few of the top jobs and positions in the Civil Service, National Government, Law and even the sciences are filled by the upper classes. The Class ceiling is still in place.
It pisses me off the side of England people see or are shown is the upper class or old historical side. And I can’t relate to or take pride in that. It wasn’t my way of life, nor my ancestors! The view you see is what the Government and tourist board want you to see is an upper class, Aristocratic, elitist, Edwardian or Victorian super power country governed by a Monarch. There was fuck all “Great” about Great Britain! Yes the Aristocracy and the rich went around the world to make money but later on said it was to bring democracy and to civilise the lands, democracy they didn’t even have or attempt to deliver in their own country! How can you civilise and bring democracy to a new land when your own country isn’t a democracy or civilised. Life in these new lands was better than life in England, you had a better quality of life and lived off the land, something you couldn’t do in England as the land was owned by a Lord, Earl or some other private land owner, and you could go to prison or be killed if you dared to hunt to feed your family.
Britain and England was far from great when the upper classes were Empire building. At home Children were bought to work in factories, mines and generally made to work in environments and long hours children shouldn’t have been doing. Adult workers and children alike had no pension, wages that were meager, bad housing and bad health! Victorian Britain (1837-1901) was the richest country on Earth! Yet during this time the population of this supposedly, rich and powerful country lived in poverty! Why was it so bad? Greed! The vast amount of money that was made was not passed down to the back-bone of the country, the working classes! What annoys me about this time is the peoples’ love for the queen and the system that kept them in the living conditions they had and left them with no way out of it! What also annoys me about this period in time is the way modern Brits refer to this time as the “Good old days” and then start chanting “Rule Britannia”. Then, as now, the system has a plethora of propaganda justifying or placing blame else where for the poor living conditions, low or bad wages, greed and all else that goes on in the country. The fact is the Government and the powers that be make it that way, and the majority of the population don’t believe it! Well this is just a pop at those flag waving Brits and English – past and present – who have the piss taken out of them by the Government and upper classes and think back to a time their ancestors lived but they didn’t and say “Ah, the good old days!”.
You cheered on the same people who were your suppressors, the same people that kept you poor and ignorant. The people you cheered are the same people who look down on you with such contempt that they think you’re some kind of lower, inferior human. You took your place on the Social ladder and accepted these people as your “betters”, when you could have been the same as them if they hadn’t denied you an education. Even Winston Churchill, one of the supposed GREAT Britains was guilty of this, he said “Keep them (the working classes/poor) out of the Libraries and in the Pubs.”. Well fuck you Winnie, you aint a Great Britain in my eyes! I see pretty much all of Britain’s historical heroes like Winston, if Winston had those opinions just have a think at how bad the other upper classes and historical figures viewed us? And still do in fact! Another reason why I don’t feel an affiliation with the rest of the current flag waving Brits who chant ‘Rule Britannia’. There’s another prime example of Britains unwittingly endorsing their own slavery, Rule fucking Britannia! “Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves: Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.”. Funny how millions of Britain were slaves to rich Britains when that song was wrote. Have you ever read the lyrics to Rule Britannia? It’s like the upper classes were actively poking fun at the peoples’ willingness to cheer their masters that kept them poor and ignorant.
Modern England is far removed from the image the Government and tourist industry push. The reality is more disappointing and depressing, though England has come forward out of that Aristocratic, elitist snobbery that it used to have – it still has some way to go to become an equal society. Social mobility is still a problem and the wealth divided between North and South England is growing. As I said earlier the Class ceiling is still in place and that still stops poor/working class talent from getting places at University or jobs in the good positions.
The country as whole is not as good as the Government and patriotic Englishmen would make out. Though there’s been an improvement in the standards of living those standards don’t stretch across the whole country. There’s no job security anymore, if there’s no job security no-one will be able to pay their mortgage, not so many people will own property. The are, or was jobs before the recession, but most were in services, our old industries have been obliterated in favour of making and saving money by sending them jobs overseas and then importing from over seas. Public transport is a complete joke, trains and buses are uncomfortable, small, smelly, overcrowded, late and expensive. Good food, Electricity, Gas and Petrol are all expensive. Law and Order is a joke too, the prison population is growing while running out of space, so lots of minor offenders are let out and serious offenders are given easy sentences, so you can imagine how crime would be. There’s no guarantee of a pension, if you put it in a company pension plan and that company goes bust or gets bought out, you may lose everything. Even wages are falling now. The Political system is corrupt and pretty much no-one has faith in it anymore, besides the right-wing Tory party and its followers.
So this is why I don’t feel any affiliation for historical England or the present day Historic, Aristocratic elitist, best of the best, Monarchic view that is sold to tourists and now defines our nation. Having that as our National Identity is like having the White apartheid minority as South Africa’s identity. I’m not saying it’s not part of English history because it is, I’m arguing that it isn’t my personal history or identity, it isn’t the history or identity of the majority of people in England either, it’s the identity and history of the rich upper class minority of England. The vast working class history and contribution to the nation has been over looked or omitted completely in favour of the aristocratic Monarchist identity. The Monarchs, Generals, Industrialists, their way of life, tastes, their fashions… these are what constitute England today.
Why should a minority represent a whole country’s identity? It shouldn’t, anyone that clings to that idea besides the upper classes is kidding themselves and taking an identity that isn’t theirs and carrying on their servitude to the upper class and furthering the lie that they’re better than you and only their idea of what England is should be presented.