SATURDAY November 2, 2019. 9:00am GMT. Mark it down in your diaries. It is the day when England will attempt to win their second world title in the Rugby (Union, of course) World Cup.
Our politicians will start to talk about it now. After years of complaining about the evils of English nationalism, you’ll see the flag wavers in Parliament, congratulating England on making the final and wishing us luck. The same people who decry English patriotism while celebrating their own – see the SNP. The same people who denigrate the working patriot while claiming to speak for and represent them – see Emily Thornberry. The same people who, like the BBC, would normally shrink from pictures of fans dressed as knights or monarchs or with their faces painted in the red and white of St George, deeming it to represent the murky side of England’s past – the empire and colonialism would probably get a mention.
Watch out for it because it will happen. In a month’s time, when all has died down and the messages of congratulations or commiserations have faded, our MPs and media will be back to their day jobs, denouncing the evils of nationalism and celebrating the ideals of globalism (through their favoured bloc).
As for me, I’ll be joining the throngs of England fans watching the game, either at home or in pubs or, if they are lucky enough, in Japan. Win or lose, our boys have done the nation proud. They have played with courage and heart, and have given the people of this country something to be proud of. Our politicians and media could learn something from that.