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Blackleaf

We have to fly the flag for Britishness again

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This is a turning point: we have to fly the flag for Britishness again

By Boris Johnson

(Filed: 14/07/2005)

I have already had enough about how perfectly normal these young men were, and what charming fellows they were, and how there was nothing they loved more than serving in dad's chip shop or helping an old lady across the street or a good game of cricket in the park.

"All he wanted to do was have a laugh," said one of the neighbours last night, about one of the sick quartet responsible for killing themselves and at least 52 others in London. "He was sound as a pound." Yeah, right. If these four young men were perfectly normal Yorkshiremen, then what the hell is happening to this country? Of all the shattering revelations of the past few days, the worst has been that these suicide bombers were British.

They were our very own. They were as British as a wet bank holiday. They were as British as Tizer, and queues and Y-fronts and the Changing of the Guard, and the chips that made them what they were. They were born in British maternity wards, and attended by every comfort that the state could give.

They went to British primary schools and learnt about Britain from British teachers, and when they murdered so many of their fellow Britons it was the British emergency services who tried to save what lives they could.

That shocking fact of their Britishness tells us something frightening about them and about us, because, as suicide bombers go, they are unusual. When the Palestinian bombers attack Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, they usually come from miserable lives in Nablus or Hebron. When the 19 suicide bombers destroyed the Twin Towers they originated, without exception, from the Arab world, mainly Saudi Arabia.

We seem to have pulled off the rare feat of breeding suicide bombers determined to attack the very society that incubated them; and the question is why. Why does America import its suicide bombers, while we produce our own? Last summer we had a magnificent holiday driving around America, and for a cynical Brit it was astonishing to see the way the Americans fly that flag of theirs.

On every porch, on every flagpole, on every bumper: there were the stars and stripes, unabashed, exuberant, proud. Contrast our treatment of the Union Flag, which is endlessly being cited in racial harassment cases, on the ground that it is provocative merely - for instance - to stick it on your locker. Remember Bob Ayling, the Labour-supporting businessman who succeeded the late, great Lord King at British Airways, and decided that the Union Flag was so too embarrassing that he stripped it from the tailfins of his planes.

The Americans would be mystified by our approach to a national symbol. For them the flag is a vital agent of integration, a way of asserting that, in that vast immigrant country, each person is not only American but equally American, and has an equal stake in society. That is why American children still begin their day at school by pledging allegiance to the flag, and that is why the Americans show a patriotism and a simple enthusiasm for their own country that our jaded British sensibilities find childish.

Well, if you consider what is taught in British schools - and when you think that one of the killers was actually a primary school teacher - it is hard to deny that in their assessment of what a nation needs to stick together, the Americans are right, and we are tragically wrong. It is not just that most British children no longer know much about British history (13 per cent of 16- to 24-year- olds think the Armada was defeated by Hornblower, and six per cent ascribe the great naval victory to Gandalf).

The disaster is that we no longer make any real demands of loyalty upon those who are immigrants or the children of immigrants. There are many culprits, and foremost among them is Enoch Powell. As Bill Deedes has pointed out over the years, the problem was not so much his catastrophic 1968 tirade against immigration, but the way he made it impossible for any serious politician to discuss the consequences of immigration, and how a multiracial society ought to work.

In the wake of Powell's racist foray, no one had the guts to talk about Britishness, or whether it was a good thing to insist - as the Americans do so successfully - on the basic loyalty of immigrants to the country of immigration.

So we have drifted on over the intervening decades, and created a multi-cultural society that has many beauties and attractions, but in which too many Britons have absolutely no sense of allegiance to this country or its institutions. It is a cultural calamity that will take decades to reverse, and we must begin now with what I call in this morning's Spectator the re-Britannification of Britain.

That means insisting, in a way that is cheery and polite, on certain values that we identify as British. If that means the end of spouting hate in mosques, and treating women as second-class citizens, then so be it. We need to acculturate the second-generation Muslim communities to our way of life, and end the obvious alienation that they feel.

That means the imams will have to change their tune, and it is no use the Muslim Council of Great Britain endlessly saying that "the problem is not Islam", when it is blindingly obvious that in far too many mosques you can find sermons of hate, and literature glorifying 9/11 and vilifying Jews.

We have reached a turning-point in the relations between the Muslim community and the rest of us, and it is time for the moderates to show real leadership. That is why I want to end with the words of my Labour colleague Shahid Malik, MP for Dewsbury, who said yesterday: "The challenge is straightforward - that those voices that we have tolerated will no longer be tolerated, whether they be on the streets, in the schools, in the youth clubs, in the mosque, in a corner, in a house.

We need to go beyond condemning. We need to confront." Well said, Shahid; and it is time for the imams to follow.

Boris Johnson is MP for Henley and editor of The Spectator

www.telegraph.co.uk . . .

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I think someone must have wrote this for the poor man,cause it makes sense tongue.gif

Back to being serious,many people have been saying this for years behind closed doors ,to scared to open up in public incase the PC brigade crucify them with the usuall (racist) jibe.

I have always said what needs to be said ,and many times have been in trouble for it,my answer to it was so what ,i am only saying what millions are talking about but are to frightened to say,have a backbone and open your mouths.

Boris talks about being proud to being british,its weird to hear many people calling themselfs pakistani,indian,romanian etc while being born hear before calling themselfs british,that i dont get ,is it what they are being taught in the youth clubs,home mosks i wonder

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,im of ,dogs just p***ed my floor thumbsup.gif

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boris bloody johnson..

boris is a **** , an entertaining one at that, but still a **** and a tory **** at that.

im proud to be british but over priveledged rejects like him sometimes make me wonder no matter what he says.

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A great article. The U.S. news was talking on the tube, the other day, about the British 'losing their identity'.

The Re-britainnification of Britain sounds great! This article was very informative.

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The Re-britainnification of Britain sounds great!

to some

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That shocking fact of their Britishness tells us something frightening about them and about us, because, as suicide bombers go, they are unusual. When the Palestinian bombers attack Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, they usually come from miserable lives in Nablus or Hebron.

This is exactly why the west is now suffering from suicide attacks. Because he bought into this excuse quoted above.

The fact is that your average Palestinian suicide bomber usually originates from a middle-class, well educated family.

For instance, the 18 years old highschool student who blew himself up in Natanya the other day, have done so after being informed that he scored pretty high in one of his highschool diploma exams.

He shaved off his beard, and disappeared few hours later.

The fact is that the poor ones are too busy concerning for their families and so usually look for jobs instead of playing in polotical movements.

They can't afford to be part of a terror group, because they use their spare time to work, so they could have something to eat and place to sleep in.

The rich ones don't blow themselves up because they don't concern themselves with nationalism - most rich teenagers like to play in being socialists and being concerned about global issues rather than local things.

The fact is that suicide bombing originates from one source - hatred and hate culture.

The west's inability to understand those facts early on have caused such attacks to appear on the streets of New York, London, Madrid, and unfortunately soon in other european large cities (this is inevitible).

It is also a fact that two British Pakestinians have participated in a suicide bombing in Tel-Aviv two years ago - and used the same explosives the terrorists in London were using (in other words, Tel-Aviv, as usual, was used as an experimentation area for islamic terrorists before they advance to other western cities).

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The Re-britainnification of Britain sounds great!

to some

735248[/snapback]

No, to tens of millions

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boris bloody johnson..

boris is a **** , an entertaining one at that, but still a **** and a tory **** at that.

im proud to be british but over priveledged rejects like him sometimes make me wonder no matter what he says.

735149[/snapback]

So even know the man talks sense,you wont listen because he is a tory blink.gif

Who sounds like the **** know,and this from an under priveledged one

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The Re-britainnification of Britain sounds great!

to some

735248[/snapback]

What do you mean?...What's the other side to this?

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i think he means the Scots, Gaelics and North Irishs that didnt identify themselfs whit the British Kingdom.

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Posted (edited)

I'm all for being British again. We were not allowed to wear our England shirts on St Gorges day in school becuase and i qoute "There is no need to celebrate St Gorges day". I'm all for immigrants coming here and work, not the one's who come here claim and expect us to change our way of life for them.

Edited by british_patriot

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i think he means the Scots, Gaelics and North Irishs that didnt identify themselfs whit the British Kingdom.

Is it that obvious laugh.gif I'd also add Welsh and Cornish to that list. thumbsup.gif Also Gaelic a language. tongue.gif

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Posted (edited)

if the United Kingdom does split it means less tax spent on the people on the dole in Glasgow, which has the highest unemployed rate

Edited by british_patriot

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The highest employment rate you because England takes an unequal share of British industry I notice you neglect to point out.

Anyway if we're such a drain on you, why are you so desperate to keep us in the union *cough*oil*cough*

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yep we only use you for oil.

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Well at least your honest about it thumbsup.gif

Oh, we're also usd for dumping nuclear waste on. Not just British ironically, but also American waste

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no i love the Scots. Why do many feel they want the UK to split, i thought we have a good relationship

United we stand

Divided we fall

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no i love the Scots. Why do many feel they want the UK to split, i thought we have a good relationship

Probably because most do, something like 75% of Scots say in the attitudes sureys they are not British. 60% Say they want independent (which rises if you remember 10% of the population is English). Problem is only 30% of Scots will bot for it, because they buy the 'small countries don't make it on their own arguement' ... which is nonsense considering many of the richest countries in the world have populations around the 5 million area like Scotland.

United we stand

Divided we fall

I take it your pro-United States of Europe then? Good for you thumbsup.gif

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Posted (edited)

United we stand

Divided we fall

I take it your pro-United States of Europe then? Good for you thumbsup.gif

735868[/snapback]

I hate the fact of being governed by other countries espically the French Grrr.... angry.gif

fixed quote

Edited by Tommy

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.... I don't understand. You say you hate being governed by other counties, yet in Britain the English govern Wales, Scotland and North Ireland. huh.gif

Understand at all what I'm trying to point out here as a reason why the celts want Britain torn up?

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Posted (edited)

Maybe Scotland will prosper if we split up, most likely England will, but Wales.... would could they do?

Edited by british_patriot

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Posted (edited)

Wales is bigger than Luxemburg which only gained independence from France a century ago and Liebenstein which only gained indepedence from Austria after WW2 and they're happy. Wales will survive.

Its not the size of a country which counts anymore, hasn't for a long time. Nether is population a huge issue since we're no longer threatened by invasion.

Any country can economically survive nowadays as long as it has industry, and Wales has that.

Also, even when we go our seperate ways, we'll still be trading partners, we'll still have miltary alliances, and hell we'll even certain policies will be similar do to cultural similarities. grin2.gif The only differences will be that we don't have to feel we're dominated by foreigners in another country, and you don't have worry about foreigners in Westminster. thumbsup.gif

Edited by Talon

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Oh, and it means no longer will I ever have to correct another ignorant foreigner who calls the UK England. Blissssssssssssssssssssssssss grin2.gif

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lol

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scotland's used as a dumping ground?

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