27 05 2010

When lay people stray into sociological territory strict common sense tends to be their compass. Their research tends to come from the method known as “Chinese Whispers”. These methods are a boon for the amateur sociologist in a hurry because  everything they hear is self-evidently correct, well it must be if it’s what everybody else thinks. The Jet Set has uncovered a recent example of this.

We reported a few months ago that the wearing of England shirts could be banned in pubs. We applauded this as a stylistic and karmic triumph but we may have celebrated too easily. Our article aroused the heckles of the hard done by English patriots, precipitated the trampling of human rights and helped our society  pander further to minority groups.

Behold the facebook group title,  “I Am Against The Ban On England Shirts During The World Cup.”  Unfortunately this group has gained a lot of admirers, just over 66,ooo to be exact. If you’re so inclined you may think “That’s a lot of morons” but you’d  just be another part of the loony left PC Brigade. We tried to find related groups on facebook in order to test the “bunch of morons” hypothesis.

30 seconds later we found a group containing the following entry;

“what a joke us proud brits should be aloud 2 waer our shirts because we are proud of our country the things that makes it racist it the forigners come to our country and speak there own language i thinks thats unfair for us english because how do we know what there saying”
Jesus, forigners speaking there own language, how very dare they!!! A bit further down the page someone had actually typed this;
“…we are a minority in our own country!!”

Of course  the ban is a complete load of bollocks.  Even though these stories are invariably a load of bollocks the lay sociologists still believe them. Why do they do it?  The English a minority in their own country? “the Muslims” get special treatment? “the foreigners” should go home? We had to stop reading the contents of the second group, it was too depressing.  The thinking time these people must have  saved over the years could have be put to better use than watching ITV1, they could have read the complete works of Dickens, Orwell and Ben Elton for instance.

The shirts issue picks up on the threads,  all tinged with racism/xenophobia, of various arguments.  “Pc-infested Britain”…. honest,  decent, hard-working white people…….Christmas is banned to avoid offending non-Christians……. You can say Blackboard anymore……. This kind of crap happens to be propagated by the right-wing press in order to justify their intolerance.

If you analyse the issue of the banned shirts the ranters are really highlighting what they think is wrong with modern Britain, and who’s to blame for it. The subtext in a lot of the ranting  blames  “The Muslims”. “The Muslims” are the latest in a long, long line of scapegoats (Irish, Jews, French, Illegal immigrants…) for the problems “we” face.   Some people can say with a straight face that Muslims aren’t proper citizens of this island nation. They are aliens, the “Other”. They’re not truly British even though they’re born in Britain.  Ever since September the 11th this shit has had a justification.

Think about the idea that someone can be considered ” not properly British” just because they follow a different religion. If you remember your history lessons you will remember that Henry VIII and his children tried to lay down the law with religion. At this time belonging to the wrong religion meant that you were disloyal to the country. The thing that made this difficult for the British population was that the correct religion could change on the whim of a monarch. The ranters probably don’t realise that they are using ideas that were popular more than 500 years old? What a scary thought that is.

If you were to say that the simpletons believing the ban of shirts were on a par with NF scumbags  racially abusing England players on a plane from Brazil in 1984 (see Point 4), you ‘d be a bit of a simpleton yourself. But looking at the subtext of the ranting you notice the distance is not that far, rather scarily.




2 responses

1 06 2010

Well you could think that about Wales, being a different football country and all, but the reality is somewhat different.

We can’t move for cars with flags on them. Most shops seem have a special world cup (Another way of saying England) section, every card shop sells England flags, every corner shop sells England Gingerbread men and most pubs seem to extol the virtues of watching England within their walls. If Wales had’ve qualified we couldn’t move for Wales memorabilia, that would be just as bad.

29 05 2010

As Stewart Lee says – “you can’t even write racial abuse in excrement on someone’s car without the politically correct brigade jumping down your throat”. I wish there there were a ban on England shirts in pubs. You guys in Wales are lucky that they’ll probably be thin on the ground where you live. I just rolled up at home to find a next door neighbour has a flag of St. George emblazoned on his porch – and we are still 2 weeks away.

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