In response to Cheer for England – it makes you a patriot, not a racist;
Sport is one of the few areas in which England is allowed to express its own national identity. I badly long for the day when we are a nation at peace with ourselves who have a positive, celebratory English patriotism which is shared by all our people.
As George Orwell put it: ‘In Left-wing circles it is always felt there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings.’ He was right: In no other progressive European tradition – from the French Socialist party to Spain’s Podemos – do you find a similar reluctance to fly the flag.
Comments coming in thick and fast! There is one point that doesn’t seem to have been brought up and that is the support the England team enjoy outside of the UK. Those Labour ‘ashamed of my country’ types should really go overseas, preferably to a Commonwealth country that has not qualified for the World Cup. I would love to see the expression on their faces when they come across locals (not expats) in unmistakable white England tops!
Oh, and for Audre Myers: Don’t worry about the US going out at the pool stage. You guys were runners-up (behind Fiji) in rugby sevens! (I remember thinking, ‘Couldn’t you Yanks stay out of other people’s games …’)