Quite regularly, well-meaning friends of mine will “pass on” an email that claims to be trying to get people “British again” or some similar bit of nonsense. Normally these are along the lines of a heroic soldier, suffering for God and country and I am sure most people have had exposure to them in some shape or form. This is doubly ironic because, 9.9999 times out of 10, these emails are actually written by and for Americans (clue is often in the spelling or claims the country was founded on Christian principles) and they are invariably tipped towards a religious argument. These supposed friends of mine are more than slightly aware of my position on both the Americanisation of the UK and religious beliefs. Still they send the emails…
Anyway, today I got one which bucked the trend slightly. It weirdly manages to hide the merest kernels of truth in a whole package of myths, but then I suppose that is the goal. I assume that who ever went to the trouble to make up these bits of nonsense are trying to stir jingoistic pride in something which never existed.
The most recent of these is weird because it isn’t about the UK or the US as such. This time Australia is the source of cultural wisdom. Titled “Britain Needs A Leader Like This!,” the email goes on to explain why “Prime Minister John Howard – Australia” is a great national leader. As you can imagine, it is crying out for a point by point dissection…
Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques. Quote: ‘IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.’
Ok, while not a real quote it hints at a line taken by John Howard. Oddly this pretty much dates the message to February 2006, so we get the first hint that this is just nonsense that has been running round the internet like a ghost in the machine.
‘This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom
Wowser. This is good. Again, I can find no evidence it was actually stated by John Howard, so I now suspect this is the opening line from the emails actual author.
It is nice how this glosses over how the Australians “sought” freedom – I am sure the aboriginal tribes will have a different concept of “victories” and certainly a different idea of what freedom means.
‘We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!’
Again, this seems to be more an American worry than an Australian one. I never realised Spanish and Lebanese were significant languages down under. Even if it is genuine Australian it has two big flaws that are often overlooked by bigots.
First off, “mainly” is an important qualifier. Yes, English may be the language spoken more than any one other language but how does that reflect on the sum totals of other languages? Why, in such a vitriolic hate filled speech would you put a weasel word like “mainly” in? Secondly, but more importantly, what to the actual natives of the island of Australia think about this? What about their language and culture? Oh yeah, they don’t count because this Australia is one nation under God…
‘Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.’
Even more crap with a side order of bad history. Australia was not founded on Christian principles. The founding of Australia is clearly documented. The real history of Australia admits no “founders” to speak of and is a fascinating bit of reading. It really is. Spoiling it with this revisionist nonsense is a shame and a lie. And we all know that not only is lying for Jesus a sin, but lies make baby Jesus cry. So Hermes only knows why the obvious Christian who wrote this nonsense felt the need to lie so much.
‘We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.’
Hmm. “We will accept your beliefs” as long as they are the same as ours is what the email is basically saying.
‘This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,
“THE RIGHT TO LEAVE”.’
Well, this is looking very un-Australian. “Our Flag” and “Our Pledge” scream out American to me, but I might be wrong. Now, if only we could get the aboriginal natives to apply this with precedence as being the real inhabitants of the country. If we assume for one second that this really is a true Australian view point, it becomes interesting how nations which came to be by systematically exterminating the local inhabitants are the most vocal when it comes to claiming rightful ownership of their land. Is it because they are scared others will do unto them as they did to others?
‘If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.’
More irony about prison colonies…
Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, British citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths.
Here we go. Does a collection of badly written lies and myths give people backbone? When the original author speaks of “British Citizens” does s/he just mean the white ones? What about the vast diversity of cultures who have CITIZENSHIP in the UK? Don’t they count any more?
If you agree please SEND THIS ON
I don’t so I didn’t send it on. If who ever emailed this to me is reading this – “you are an idiot – learn to spot nonsense.” If you are reading this and you have forwarded this message (or any of the similar bits of crap) on, then you are also an idiot – please stop.
P.S I think this also goes for us when going to other countries as well!
I wonder if this PS was part of the original.