Flying the Flag for the British

Gr8 Britain.jpg

Calling for the re-Britannification of Britain:

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

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

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.

53 thoughts on “Flying the Flag for the British”

  1. Must practise to be clear on the…tion . Still can’t get this tongue-twister….


    Got it now! Are you re-Britannified? – all pronounced smooth as honey – I must set out to re-Britannify others today – new mission

  2. Jagged edges

    What is this article actually saying? That the tolerance and embracing of other cultures and cultural requirements is another root cause of terrorism? It

  3. I continue to find it illogical to be “proud” of a geographical area which one happens to be affiliated with. There is such a huge range of personalities, values and types of people in Britain that “Britishness” as a concept is vague and artificial. Technically, I am as British as they come – I was born in South-East England to an ancestry composed entirely of Celts and Anglo-Saxons – but I don’t feel British. National identity is a non-existent facade invented to persuade people to follow a dubious and dangerous ideology which they would otherwise see straight through. Much like Islam, come to think of it…

  4. Boris is of course opening up a lovely can of worms here which will give everybody, whatever their tastes, indigestion.


  5. It appears that the double decker bus that exploded in London last week may have had a Muslim male on it. The English Imperialist Blair, and the Confderate Nazi Bush, of course, use the word “terrorist”, but we all know what they really mean.

    We witness the same bigoted practice of racial profiling every time a bus explodes in Israel and they automatically blame it on the Palestinians. “Ooh, it was the Palestinians! The Palestinians! Let’s park a bulldozer on top of Rachel Corrie!”

    Why is it always the Muslims who get fingered? Why not the Swedish Rotarians? Why not the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? There were probably more non-Muslims than Muslims on that London tour bus. By the laws of probability, the culprit was most likely an obnoxious American tourist.

    Like Bush…

    By the same laws of probability, the chances that a random bus will spontaneously explode for no reason are slim to none. Yet 9 out of every 10 exploding buses has had at least one heavily-clothed, extremely sweaty, Middle-Eastern Muslim male on board. Which raises the question – Why are Bush and Blair targeting young muslim bus passengers for extermination?

    Is this part of their unholy crusade against the Religion of Peace? Are they trying to disrupt the G8 summit so they can duck their responsibility for global warming – a phenomenon that has spawned a monster hurricane which is at this moment slamming into Bush’s Guantanamo Gulag, washing away all evidence of his crimes against the Holy Quran? How convenient.

    If, by some bizzare twist of fate, the blasts were actually caused by ‘muslim terrorists’…

    (I have been disgusted to hear the Zionist media propagating terms such as

  6. They were British, Boris, but they were also Islamic. I’m not an expert, but as I understand it, once someone pledges allegiance to the ‘Nation of Islam’, their loyalties over-ride national boundaries.

    So where the bombers were born is irrelevant. And I’m afraid it’s equally irrelevant whether we suck up to a historical symbol of nationhood every morning, like the Americans do. If you want a symbol of Britishness, look no further than the stolid calm that came over London last Thursday. Our national spirit is not in doubt, and we don’t need to get hysterical about flags and schools to prove it. Look at London, and be glad for what we HAVE learnt in school about how the British behave.

  7. Mind you, it seems to me you’re absolutely right on a couple of points:

    This IS a problem for British Muslims to solve, because it is primarily a problem of faith.

    ID cards will not be any help whatsoever. I’ll go to the barricades with you on that one.

  8. …I just saw a parish priest on ITN’s lunchtime news who said that we shouldn’t question Islam just because the terrorists were muslim. The proletarian genius then said that we may as well distrust all cricket fanatics because one of the terrorists loved cricket…

    So remember when the terrorists speak of acting in the name of Allah and Jihad, they could just as easilty be dong it in the name of better cricket.

    Make Property History!!!

  9. Boris,
    You may have innadvertently hit the nail on the head with your comment, “…(they) learnt about Britain from British teachers…”. So what did they learn, moral relativism?, the guilt burden of western culture?, multiculturalism in which all life styles no matter how bizarre are equally valid?
    And when they went to the mosque, traditional and radical Islam.

    It all sounds like a potent brew to me.

  10. Comrade Smirnoff…

    Say WHAT?

    Errr. Either you’re a spoof (in which case I’ve been had)…

    Or you really should learn a little about forensic science, among other things. I don’t trust the authorities any more than you do, but I don’t believe for one minute they blamed the bombings on Muslims JUST BECAUSE there was a Muslim on the bus. I think we can be pretty damn certain their forensic evidence places the bomb in the hands of that Muslim. Especially when there was corroborating evidence from two other scenes-of-crime.

    Criticise the actions of the West in Iraq and Palestine by all means. But don’t be bloody stupid about it. This is a serious business.

  11. A quotation from the Enoch Powell speech: “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

    This had historically happened to all those Romans, Aztecs, indiginous North Americans, Tasmanians, recently East Europeans, etc. – they invited their Barbarians, Spaniards, English and Russians in. Now is our turn.

    Mr Powell merely observed that in Britain the process was in 1968 well under way. And just like Mr Johnson today, he believed that it can be stopped or significantly slowed down. Instead Heath and others panicked, invented PC and opened the flood gates. Today, it’s unlikely that Shehzad Tanweer would choose Union Jack and his country in preference to shortcut to Heaven and 72 Virgins – an excellent book BTW.

  12. I agree with you on the need for patriotism, I think it’s one of the reasons America is a success. (I’m an American, raised in California by my British mother.) But strong patriotism doesn’t prevent people from turning to evil. Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma City bomber, and John Walker, “American Taliban” captured in Afghanistan, were born and raised in the same America I was. It doesn’t surprise me that many of these bombers are close to my age (I’m 30). Everyday, I see many in my generation who are lost, I don’t know if I can explain it, but I often feel as if our parents didn’t prepare us for the world we live in now. Society has changed so quickly, I think many are searching for guidance, making them vulnerable to a cult, gang, or an extremist group.

  13. Green Goose…

    Say WHAAAAT?

    ‘Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad’ ?????????

    What in the sam hill has that got to do with anything? Or even the rest of your comment?

    Jesus. Are you seriously suggesting that London was hit by suicide bombers because Edward Heath invited refugees to come here? Because if you’re correct in that analysis we’re going to have to throw out all the descendants of:

    18th century Huguenots
    Jewish refugees from Nazism
    The Norman French
    The entire Anglo-Saxon race

    Read your history books: we’ve been inviting people in since they first invented boats. For heaven’s sake, it was in the news last week: even the ROMANS came by invitation.

    Those whom the Gods wish to make mad, they first send to the Boris Johnson blog.

  14. As smooth as honey , eh? You should know Melissa. Your very name qualifies you to use that adjectival phrase.

    I disagree with the sentiment that Enoch Powell was essentially a racist. He was a realist; with the realists love of the truth. At the time of his prophetic speech, his thoughts were not anti immigration, per se, but of difficulty of integration. Already , at that time, there were concentrations of immigrant workers, bordering on the description of ghettoes, due entirely to the economic situation of the inhabitants. Things have changed somewhat , and the more affluent of those original immigrant families have in some measure have generally been accepted as neighbours , without reservation, by right thinking native families. There are still, however , places where the ghetto mentality is , or at least was , until recently, the norm. NO go areas in places like Oldham, wher A/S looking people were getting beaten up until the police , at last made their presence known.Not quite the ” Rivers of blood” scenario, presented by Enoch. Unless it’s your blood that is innocently flowing.

    Hate , preached from street coeners and rogue lecterns is fuel for the internal fires of dissatisfaction in receptive , conditioned brains. This must be stopped by the overwhelming majority of peace loving Muslims themselves. Others , the BNP for example, whose message of hate against immigrants and second generation immigrant families, are muzzled, and rightly so. Why is the law so unwilling, or hamstrung, to muzzle the extremist hate spewing Imams and other Muslim orators, many of which are kept in relative luxury , by public funds.

    At last , this government has promised action against these few: and not a moment too soon.

  15. Two points: one, if my brother or one of my aquaintences does something awful (to any degree you may care to mention), am I guilty for not knowing about this or denouncing him publicly afterwards? Of course not, so why the other 2 million muslims must eat crow because of four ****s is beyond me. I ain’t my brother’s keeper.

    Besides, should we be so keen to cast the first stone? How many white Christian/Secular nutters in the UK would do what these ****s did, if they had the same access to and support from an international extremist and terrorist network?

    It wouldn’t surprise me if in the next few years white supremacist groups start taking note of the Al Qaieda model of decentralised, well-trained sleeper cells and start copying it wholesale. After all, Osama seems to have liked the Turner Diaries, especially that bit about crashing planes into big buildings. What if the influence went the other way too?

  16. As a Briton I think the way most Americans blindly worship their flag as some sort of psuedo-god is really quite obscene, even scary.

    Again and again, they have tried to make “flag desecration” (ie safely burning a scrap of arbitrary material, in ones own home) a criminal offence. Similar laws have attempted to make flying a dirty flag, flying a flag at night, or even letting a flag touch the ground when lowering it worthy of jail!

    I’m proud of our flag. I’m proud of my British heritage it represents, and our worldwide reputation it earns, but I won’t start pledging allegiance to it every day!! Its part of being British that we’re understated, not obnoxious and arrogant (like the Americans!).

  17. A flag is a mere representation of an ideal; no more : no less.

    I am a Briton, neither proud nor sorry that I am what I am. My Britishness , as countless others, was an accident of birth. Had my parents been less occupied with being good parents, and more occupied with being in tune with whatever then was the IN thing ; I would probably not have had the loving , if not exactly privileged ,balanced family life which I,together with my brothers,as children, enjoyed.

    To those fortunate people, who have no direct connection to the trauma of having lost a relative, of whatever degree of closeness, I would say, please do not try to give the impression that you ” understand” the sense of loss engendered by someones premature and unnecessary death; since this is absolutely impossible. My eldest son was murdered; knifed to death by second generation, teenage immigrants to Holland, merely because he was trying to defend his family and property, which they were in process of attacking . His widow, much loved,then, and no less today, was an immigrant from the Caribbean, who was left, with a young son, totally bereft of the love and protection of her loving husband and father, by the actions of these criminals. I , and my family, who would possibly have grounds for racial hate, have none: we have pity that they found it necesary to kill, rather than talk .
    “A criminal is a criminal” ,a murder remains a murder regardless of colour or creed. Normally, such publicising of personal grief is uncalled for, couild even seen as self serving. and could even be regarded as mawkish sentimentality: I have no wish that this should be the case. I have closed the chapter, however painful.God rest your soul Philip.

  18. I’d rather see a proper British flag, rather than the ‘UK’ flag, which has completely lost its meaning; the only bit of Ireland we’ve kept doesn’t recognise St Patrick, so the continued inclusion of his cross is churlish. Take it out, and put a dragon in the centre of the British flag, you’d have something we can all be proud of.

    I’m an English, British European. Proud of all 3.

  19. On the need to celebrate our ‘Britishness’

    Boris Johnson has a thoughtful article in today’s Telegraph about the need to re-evaluate our interpretation of what it means to be British and our need to reassess suitable ways of displaying our pride in our nation, all this

  20. Boris: “too many Britons have absolutely no sense of allegiance to this country or its institutions. . . . we must begin now with what I call in this morning’s Spectator the re-Britannification of Britain. That means insisting . . . on certain values that we identify as British.”

    That seems to be the core of the article.

    On the first point – “no sense of allegiance” – Boris is right. Many of us do not have a sense of allegiance. Why? Because most of us are (rightly) dissatisfied with our political system. The answer to this is surely not to wave flags, but to reform our elections, parliaments etc. If we respect our system, then minorities, immigrants, visitors etc. (who come here pre-disposed to be influenced by us) are also more likely to. The more robust our democracy, the stronger our society becomes.

    What does “certain values that we identify as British” really mean? Are we referring to British values, or English values, or ‘le fairplay’ at the Henley Regatta? Is it tea drinking, or bingo, or HP sauce? Is it something to be decided by the Home Office when they establish so-called ‘citizenship classes’? Or is ‘Britishness’ just shorthand for a series of traditional attitudes which appeal to the Conservative Party and elderly retirees living on the south coast of England? Can anyone tell me?

  21. All religion and nationalism is irrational! They are both flipsides of the same problem. Indoctrinating people in nationalism as Boris proposes is no better than indoctrination in religion. There is no-one more proud to be British than BNP supporters. Does Boris want us all to be like them? What we need is more honesty overall rather than all this bull.

  22. I would disagree with you Neil. I’m proud to be British, as proud of my Britishnes as any member of the BNP and frankly I personally think considerably more so. Being proud of your heritage and history does not mean pouring scorn on those of others. Being proud of your heritage doesn’t mean hating immigrants – our heritage is intrinsically intertwined with that of those people who have come here to live. Nor does being proud of your nation mean unquestioning happiness with its state of affairs – nothing is more patriotic than to question the actions of your nation when you believe they are going the wrong way on an issue.
    What you are saying is precisely the problem with the erosion of alliegance today. It is quite simply wrong to give thugs and bigots such as the BNP carte blanche to steal their blinkered and warped view of our nations identity and then hide the love of home under a carpet of shame.
    It is right to be proud of one’s nation, it can give a nation great strength and it is the tool to combat extremism of all forms, especially that of the BNP. If truly political parties of that spectrum are the only ones capable of manufacuring some form of nationalistic pride is it any wonder there is disenfranchisment in our political system.
    You speak of giving people a sense of identity and of pride as if it were somehow brainwashing. This is utter nonsense, of course if you want to take the extreme view it can be, it’s been seen before and the results are well documented. But what is being said here is not extreme it’s moderate. It is saying let the ordinary British subject take back that sense of identity and offer it as a gift to those who come here and wish to share in our society.
    By educating people properly in the history of the nation and its place on the world stage. By showing people what it is to be a good member of this nation is not indoctrination, instead it gives them the power to look at their place of residence or birth with wiser eyes. To resist unpleasant influences upon it (such as the suspension of habeas corpus or the compulsory identity card scheme) for being frankly un-British. But hatred of immigrants that is not British. We have a long history of immigration from all parts of the world and a proud history of living in relative peace with those who have come here to enjoy our society and build a life they have choses to lead.
    If this makes me some brainwashed, irrational nationalist with a jingoistic streak. Personally I can’t see it.

  23. AS for flags, I find the American use of their flag mystifying. Why are they so obsessed with it? It is flown in every classroom in the land and every morning the children have to swear allegiance to it. If that isn’t brainwashing I don’t know what is.

    America. That 3000-mile wide country with 3000 miles of ocean on either side where no other country exists. Not even Canada or Mexico. Well, perhaps Mexico, because that is where all the problems come from, they would have you believe.

    There is no news in America except about America. They have no world-view. Nowhere else exists. So why do they have to flag-wave all the time? Perhaps they are afraid that people will think freely and the whole edifice will evaporate if they don’t.

    We don’t need that. We manage quite nicely without.

    And everything an American buys has to be made in America.

    They’re obsessed with it. So there is no world integration for them.

    And as for freedom; did you say anything outspoken, Boris? Or were you too afraid?

    I was once taken to a bar in Austin, Texas by an American friend. It was themed as an English bar and served (apparently) English beers.

    I sat around a table with a crowd of Americans who were proudly discussing their beers. AS we know, Americans do not drink beer, they drink lager.

    Eventually I said “As far as I can see the only good thing about Budweiser is that you don’t have to piss it yourself.”

    I have never heard a room go so quiet so fast. How the Brit walked out that night I do not know.

    There is no freedom of speech in America and little freedom of action. I could go on, but let me just say that I am not at all sure I want America to be our big friend in the playground.

  24. Neil wrote: “All religion and nationalism is irrational!”

    To say that nationalism is irrational is simply not true. Nationalism, to some extent, is a necessary result of organising politics around the nation state. Without nationalism this model of politics can not function properly. There are good and proper arguments that using a nation state model for politics is not the best model to use (not that I agree with them) but to decry nationalism as irrational is not a good and proper argument.

  25. Field – spot on! couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Boris – what’s british then? born to immigrants into a ghetto where all around the culture is foreign, the religion foreign and the expectations, influences, even food is foreign (they don’t eat fish and chips every night and drink Tizer) That’s british is it then Boz? Like I said, a few can integrate but many collect and stay the same, doesn’t matter what the soil is called, could be anywhere.

    Oh and Boris – are you going to tell Ian Hislop he’s welsh? and can I watch?

  26. Greg: “I’m proud to be British, as proud of my Britishness . . .It is right to be proud of one’s nation, it can give a nation great strength . . .”

    As a political statement that is fine, but why do you think the ‘British’ are a nation? Should we stop considering ourselves English, Scottish and Welsh? And are the Irish excluded?

    I know of three definitions of the British: (1) the people of these island before the Angles, Saxons and Jutes etc. arrived in the 5th century, represented today by the Welsh, (2) adherents of the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and (3) a term of convenience used by foreigners, notably Americans. (In contrast (and leaving the flag waving to one side), the Americans have a clear idea of what it means to be American. It is an inclusive concept. In a sense they are all immigrants that have chosen an identity.)

    So what is ‘Britishness’? Can anybody tell me?

  27. Greg, I agree with you, being proud of ones country doesn?t mean looking down on others. I am happy living in different places, having friends of different nations, speaking different languages and cooking different things, but I am British (English actually, but let’s not go into this subject). But some times I feel like going back to Britain and getting myself elected and being in charge of education. The same feeling I had today as I was reading my Italian newspaper. A couple of days ago there was a letter to the paper (the Repubblica) about London’s reaction to the boming, the man in charge of the letters replied a talked about the English, mentioning the fact that England is a warrior nation, even if most Europeans have an idea that the Germans are so, and that the English go about with umbrellas and bowler hats. Mr Augias has lived in London for years as a correspondent, and he knows English history quite well, mentioning Nelson’s England expects (or Gandalf’s England expects). Today a Mr Ray Conway, an Englishman in Italy wrote that the English are warmongers not warriors, the colonies were an aberration, during the II world war we were not alone, ect… Mr Augias answered in an calm way, simply reminding about the dark aspects of British history (concentration camps in the Boer war and Amritsar), but reminding that all countries have these horrors in their history, and that England has given the world the Magna Charta and the words self-control, fair play, privacy and humour. I have written this long winded story just to show that what is being teached in schools in Britain today is misleading and dangerous. I love history, and I have studied it for work and pleasure, I can put things in an historical prospective that is not being taught these days in the British schools. One cannot have pride in ones origins if they are not being taught, the British flag is not enough. British history is dirty, bloody, heroic, horrible, exciting, sad and uplifting; so is the history of all countries. Today we English (only us, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are victims of warmongering English) are the scum of history, we must atone all our sins, but you cannot have a healthy society if the past is used in this way. One side you have the Mr Conways of this country, that cannot see anything good in being British, on the other the BNP that cannot see anything wrong in what they think. All of us that seek a middle way between them have the duty to be heard. I don’t want to have the union jack on my front door, I have it in my heart, but I want future generations that know what being British means, how history made us they way we are and how we can learn to be better and not repeat past mistakes (ask the VI century Celts about mass migration, you might get answers that would make Powell sound like a soppy PC liberal). Finished.

  28. Never before have I been on the web to comment on any article, in any newspaper, but it was while reading my fathers paper yesterday I saw your comments Boris.It was a revelation to me. Someone had voiced my own opinion in matters of pride of country, something sadly,I no longer feel about the United Kingdom because, it is not united.

    My family and I spend a lot of time in Florida where we have a holiday home, and the way the American people fly their flag with such pride astounded me. Their patriotism knows no bounds, just listen to Toby Keith, (the angry American) and Daryl Worley (have you forgotten) (famous country music stars) and you are given some idea how far reaching their pride in their country goes.I listen to K92FM every day while at my office desk working on the computer(i highly reccomend it) and at 11am our time, the start of Americans day 6am, the national anthem is played. Go to a sports venue in any state, and again the national anthem is played before the start. “Fly the flag for the British”, you must be joking! you are asked by the council to take it down so not to offend the ethic minorities! When was the last time you stood for the British national anthem at any public occasion? not often enough.I also went on a tour of six states in America and completed 6,000 miles, never anywhere within those states did their patriotism waver or their belief that they were, a “United States of all people”. I agree we could learn a lot from the Americas ability to unite citizens and integrate all under one belief; that they are all in their country together.

  29. As predicted, the worms in the can opened by Boris are not very digestible.

    Tactically I think it is a mistake to get side tracked into talk about Britifying the population. The heat is currently on the Muslim establishment in this country and that is where it should be applied. They have a lot of explaining to do. It seems amazing to me that Sir Iqbal really had no idea what is being taught in the Islamic schools in Pakistan or that impressionable youngsters from the Pakistani communities in Britain were being sent there on a regular basis, or that the schools have close contacts with the Taleban and Al Queda. Does he really need to go all the way to the North of England to find this out? By the way I

  30. Boris,

    Do you think that encouraging Catholics in Northern Ireland in 1969 to fly the Union Jack in their gardens would have solved the problems there?


    I have not had an opportunity to reply to your point about the numbers of Iraqi deaths, since my ADSL has been mostly non-existent.

    The figure I quoted was, obviously, from the Lancet. I’m aware that it has been disputed. But I believe that the Lancet said that the figure represented all “excess deaths” since March 2003. Therefore, it would include people dying of illnesses and infections and deprivations etc caused by the “war” situation.

    However, a new figure has just been published by an Iraqi humanitarian organization and the number they give is 128,000.

    “The 128,000 figure only includes those whose relatives have been informed of their deaths and does not include those were abducted, assassinated or simply disappeared” … “figures conflict with the Iraqi Body Count public database compiled by Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies. According to the Graduate Institute of International Studies’ database, 39,000 Iraqis have been killed as a *direct result of combat or armed violence* since March 2003.”


    [“Iraq Body Count”s script (from has been running on my website (as opposed to my blog) since it began. So I am well aware of the job they have been trying to do from media-reported civilian deaths, thanks.]

    By the way, you know that the Pentagon has admitted using MK 77 — the latest version of napalm — in Fallujah? By naming it “Mk 77” they claim that they didn’t use “napalm”.

    You throw a lot of figures around yourself.

    Are you aware that the oft-repeated story that Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds at Halabja is open to question? In January 2003, an article by Stephen C. Pelletiere, senior CIA political analyst during the Iran-Iraq war was published in the New York Times. He says that the US Defense Intelligence Agency’s report found that both sides used gas during battle, and blamed the *Iranians* for the Kurdish deaths. He says that the Kurds died of cyanide-based gas that Iran, *but not Iraq*, had at that time.

    The original source is here:

    but it only gives a summary, as the article is archived.

    The full text is here:

    If we are to accuse Saddam Hussein and try him, let us accuse him at least of the *correct crimes*.

    We are now getting video from Iraq with no audio. Is Saddam perhaps talking about weapons given to him by the USA? Or is he saying that the Kurds at Halabja were not killed by him? I think that our TV channels should refuse to accept these (US controlled) videos without audio.

  31. Nora –

    Sorry about the mix up over authorship of the post.

    As for Sadaam why do you talk about weapons given him by the USA when most weaponry came from the USSR/Russia and France?

    So who do you think killed the people at Halabja?

  32. Sorry – didn;t see your previous post.

    If it was the Iranians then I suggest we press on to Terehan and hang teh Ayatollah as a war criminal.

    As for the use of napalm, I wouldn’t rule it out but clearly there is a moral requirement to be careful how it is used in built up areas. But make no mistake – civilians had every opportunity to leave Fallujah before the battle commenced. What do you suggest we do – leave Iraq to be ruled by people who think nothing of blowing up children with sweets in their hands?

    The Lancet figure was absurd based on a sample of 1,000 homes in I believe the Baghdad area – a biased factor in itself.

    I’ll be interested to see what the basis for the Iraqi Humanitarian Org. figure is. Is that “humanitarian” as in Maryam appeal?

  33. I watched napalm canisters, elongated ovoid evil loads of painful death, as they tumbled, end- over- end, onto hillsides in Korea:as they landed , there was a brief pause: then Whoosh!!Spreading flame engulfing whatever and whoever was in its way.

    At the time, it was considered necessary for purely military reasons becaause the ground forces of the South Korean Army and the remaining, non evacuated, indigenous population were being massacred by North Korean troops , in vastly superior numbers, who were liberally sprinkled with Red Chinese , and supposed but not proven, Russian ‘advisory’ personnel. From our vantage point ,a Royal Navy frigate ,F116, less than half a mile from the coast, we had a grandstand, if grisly, view.. I would not wish to be a witness to anything similar again. We tried with limited success to ferry, under enemy machine gun fire, civilians from the narrow beaches, most of them were wounded by mortar grenades. The invasion of the island( Chong i Do)was, incidentally, eventually repulsed .

    If the areas in Iraq were not evacuated, prior to an attack, by whatever name the infernal stuff hides under today: that should count as an act of terror, and a crime.
    I thought I would add a bit of experience here, although the original theme was , unless I am mistaken, ” Britishness”. If I may , I would like to add a thought about what might happen here in Britain, if the situation is not taken in hand.PDQ. A chance passing remark brought this on:-

    I heard,this very afternoon, ,
    Some news, straight off the press.
    Since little’s done to right the wrong,
    Which brought such cruel distress;
    It seems that many voters,
    Unhappy with ‘Ears’ Clarke,
    Would like to see a Government,
    Which has a bite worse than its bark .
    THe words I heard in passing,
    As I shopped for food today;
    “BNP”: it seems it has new friends:
    While there’s sunshine, they’ll make hay.
    That’s not a pleasant prospect;
    The ball is there to catch;
    If Labour can’t return the serve:
    It’s Game; and Set; and Match.

  34. Iraq should invade saudi arabia. Did you know 70 per cent of the bombers are from that pit of hate. And did you know saudis cheer at suicide bombers blowing themselves up killing children there.

  35. Its all well suggesting that ethnic minorities should be doing more to afirm we are british and swear alligence to the UK but in the same sense being told me we may be born here and rasised but we are still told we are foriegners and go back to where we came from.

    I feel its events like the London bombings where peoples true feelings are come to the for about race and nationality.

  36. Ethnic minorities in this country do need to learn, fast,that they are now in Britain. They must adhere to British standards and morals, not those that would be accepted in the Middle East. It is not right to turn to racism in this situation, however, tighter immigration laws and investigations would go a long way to solving the problems. Left wing liberals who claim Islam is not a problem are wrong. It is a provocative faith that demands from its members a number of things that we in Britain didn’t, until the London bombings, give a second thought to. Things such as Jihad, which in a “peace-loving” religion is not something to have written in your Holy Book.

  37. Is the Bible a Holy Book?

    And what are Bush and Blair — *professed Christians* — doing, unleashing death and destruction on tens of thousands in Iraq?

    I am not an apologist for terrorists. I do not condone the blowing-up and burning to death of innocent people. WHOEVER DOES IT.

    BTW, I said in a message to FM 106 this morning that I would like to see a two-minute silence for the victims of the carnage in Iraq. Another caller replied that perhaps TWO HOURS would be more appropriate.

  38. Boris wrote:

    “they … learnt about Britain from British teachers”

    Aye right.

    More likely they learned from British teachers, that all faiths and viewpoints are equivalent, and suicide bombing is just another lifestyle choice, equally valid with decadent Western values.

  39. Fair play to you Boris. As the son of Catholic Irish immigrants, I’m apparently one of the people who should be offended by people waving the Union Jack and saying they’re proud to be British. Weirdly I’m not and I’d be delighted to see this country become just as proudly patriotic as the Irish are. I don’t know any Irish people who will be offended and I’d imagine that’s true of most ethnic communities. How often do you see actual minority members claiming that the flag is offensive to them, as opposed to white British liberals being offended on their behalf?

    To those people who inevitably drag the BNP into it, I say that shower has been allowed to hijack Britain and the flag. Every time someone says the Union Jack / St George’s cross is a racist symbol, the BNP comes closer to calling it their own. The BNP is a pitiful party whose only two trump cards are that (1) they’re the only party that waves the flag and says they’re proud to be British and that (2) they’re the only party who’s willing to be critical of the negative sides of immigration and multiculturalism – both victories given to them by the cravenness of the other parties.

  40. Kevin T: As to the craven negative attitude displayed ,in some areas , about flag waving , it is clear that other National flags are allowed to be waved ; to the detriment of the Union Flag: purely in the mistaken belief that the Union Flag will , figuratively speaking, get up someone’s nose.

    London’s mayor for example, amongst many others , is said to have allowed the flag of The Republic of Ireland to be flown, but not our own. I fail to see the logic therein.

    The Union Flag is a symbol of Nationhood, not a challenge to the World, for goodness sake. This is Britain, and the British flag ought never be denied the opportunity to being given a good wave: I would say , that is what it lacks just now. Britain, at one time , did in fact rule the waves.

  41. I am a proud American. We fly the flag because we are proud of the history and sacrifice that it represents. That flag stood between you and a future filled with goose stepping. Tear it down all you like, I still live in the greatest country GOD has created. I live in a country that values liberty and is not willing to sacrifice that to the “alter” of secularism and poltical correctness. I would rather be called a racist and live than be blown up on a bus because I cant point out the obvious, that it is MUSLIMS, that are slaughtering innocents.

    I find it amusing how much selective Europeans are. You condemn the US for Iraq. You claim we created terrorism. When it comes to Iraq, the left seems to place no value on the liberty on that nation. Yet you launched headlong against Milosovich ? You turned away in Rawanda. The only difference is the color of the skin.

    The sad reality is that my country will be ready when you need us, and by God, you will need us, unless of course you want a future that looks like a Mad Max movie.

  42. I thought you went into Iraq to “defend” the USA (which has the most powerful military in the world with bases in 135 countries, an ocean on either side, and wants absolute nuclear supremacy) from the “terrible threat” of Saddam’s WMD.

    Get real. Bush went in there for geopolitical reasons and now it’s a total mess. And a training ground for terrorists.

  43. Fly the flag.

    (I couldn’t paste the picture, unfortunately but please go to BBC website Amir Khan to see the flag.)

  44. Boris is refreshingly marvellous as usual. He appears to have provoked more adverse responses than usual with last two articles. So what?

  45. I would agree that attempting to instill some traditionally british ideals, some faith and pride in a constitutional monarchy, and some trust in our leaders and representatives would be a highly desireable thing.
    I can however see how the people involved in these bombings hold their allegience to an abstract religious ideal as opposed to a tangible political one. As a christian, god has my first allegience, he created me and redeemed me, and has done far more for me than the state has; only out of gratitude if not love I have to follow what he says. It strengthens my faith to know that he commands me to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” -Luke 6:27,28. It is the same root cause though.
    We have to accept the fact that two of the facets of “britishness” that we are espousing, are freedom of belief, and freedom of speech. And to protect these ideals we might have to endure the extreme elements (only a thought…). I wonder if perhaps the only way for us to advance the cause of freedom is to live by example, not to sacrifice our own values in an attempt to protect them.

  46. Well said, Kevin T! The BNP, football hooligans in Europe and similarly inadequate yobbos who have been allowed to hijack the Union Jack and English flag should be charged with bringing our nation into disrepute and punished accordingly. Then, perhaps, those of us who happen to love Britain – and England – will be allowed to say so without being considered dangerously right-wing.

    As has been pointed out already, most countries’ history does not bear close scrutiny, but no other nation seems to wallow in self-loathing like the English do. As a people, were we warmongers? Yes. Empire-builders? Certainly. Arrogant? Without question. That doesn’t mean we still are. We’ve acknowledged our wrongs, expressed regret and accepted with pretty good grace and tolerance changes in our society that were unimaginable 40 years ago.
    But still we can’t forgive ourselves. Indeed, a hideous, guilt-ridden masochism has seeped into our culture: e.g., the BBC’s ludicrously biased “discussion” programme, the Guardian newspaper employing an apologist for Muslim extremists – and as for every topical comedian and commentator under 40, you get the impression they’d rather rip out their own tongues than admit to being proud to be British/English. Are they terrified of being laughed at by other cynics? Pitiful, really, and a lousy way to repay those who died in the Second World War to preserve our freedom.

    If there’s one thing Ronald Reagan did, it was to restore America’s sense of national pride after Vietnam.

    Who’s going to do the same for us?

Comments are closed.