Thursday, 9 February 2017

Can you spot the flaws in this Brexiter sign?


I'm pretty sure that almost everyone in the UK with a social media account will have seen an iteration of this Brexiter sign by now. It's been all over my Twitter and Facebook feeds for days.

For me there are three absolutely glaring flaws in the sign. If you have even the remotest understanding of the make up of the United Kingdom then one of the errors is so bad it jumps out and stabs you in the eyes, and another other glaring two flaws are almost as bad.

English only?

Did you spot it? Did you spot that whoever made this sign has completely disregarded the existence of the Celtic speaking peoples of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Cornwall?

The Celtic languages pre-date the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Great Britain by centuries.

How dare the kind of petty minded little Englanders who adore this sign so much that they've spread it all over social media demand that people stop using languages that developed way before the English language, and even before the concept of the English nation even existed?


This "You are leaving the EU" sign clearly appeals very strongly to English nationalists, but it's actually a great big "fuck you" to anyone from the Celtic speaking nations (which, to be fair, residents of the Celtic nations are already getting well and truly used to hearing from the Westminster political establishment and the English right-wing press).

The fact that the sign is replete with Union flags, but tells the Celtic nations so clearly to "fuck off" illustrates the huge confusion that a lot of little Englanders have about Britain. They actually seem to think that England is synonymous with Britain.




This sign is also a great big "fuck you" to the millions of British people who speak English at work, but another language at home. And it's another massive "fuck you" to pretty much anyone who isn't such a pathetically insular coward that they get scared witless when they hear people talking non-English languages on the bus or the train.

I'm actually quite jealous of people who are fluent in multiple languages. Good on them I say. Knowing more than one language is very good for the brain. Keep talking in foreign languages on the train you guys. Most of us are not little Englander savages, we don't mind at all if we can't eavesdrop on your conversations because we don't understand your language.

Petty-minded and xenophobic little Englanders who demand enforced conformity and don't even acknowledge the existence of the Celtic nations don't speak for me or millions of other decent people. They're pushing exactly the same kind of profoundly ignorant English nationalist propaganda as the lawless hatemongering scum at Britain First. They're an annoyingly loud, but thankfully quite small minority.

"LB'S" and other imperial measures

You don't have to be a grammar Nazi to find the superfluous apostrophe to be a total bloody eyesore in its own right, but when the pound symbol (lb) has been capitalised too, well it makes you wonder why someone with such strong English nationalist sentiments would display such hatred and contempt towards the English language.

Aside from the grave insult to the English language that "LB'S"  represents, there's a further point about this fixation with imperial measures.

Don't get me wrong, I quite like driving in miles and I find the pint to be the perfect measure of beer, but anyone who tries to get me to calculate stuff in yards or hundredweight because metres and kilograms are "foreign muck" is going to have a bloody hard time with me.

Everyone who has been schooled in the UK since at least the 1980s has been taught metric measures. There's no treachery in thinking about the world in terms of metres, kilograms and litres, they're just much more convenient and easily calculable measures than the convoluted old Imperial systems.

You can just imagine the mentality of the kind of fanatical little Englanders who would forcibly convert all service stations to selling petrol in gallons and fluid ounces, and who would lynch builders for the treason of using the centimetre side of the tape measure instead of the inches side.

It doesn't matter what this appalling English nationalist enforced conformity mob say: When I've got a piece of wood to cut accurately, I'll continue to measure it in millimetres rather than in sixteenths of an inch. Screw them. They can't tell me what to do.

Carry passports

Anyone who has spent time living outside the UK will tell you that there are two things that are quintessentially British. The first is that our cops don't carry guns as standard kit, and the second is that the British public are free to go about their business without the obligation to carry identity documents at all times.

The idea our freedom to go about our business without carrying ID documents needs to be scrapped is profoundly anti-British. When people are so xenophobic about foreigners that they'd scrap one of our longstanding and quintessentially British rights, it just goes to show that their dislike of foreigners powerfully overrides their professed love of Britishness.

Conclusion


Call me a middle class metropolitan elitist if you like, but to me the "You are now leaving the EU" sign is a display of the crudest most ignorant form of little Englander nationalism.

It's a gross insult to the Celtic nations, it mangles the English language, and it demands extraordinarily unbritish things like forced conformity and the destruction of our freedom to go about our business without having to carry identity documents at all times.

It displays the exact same kind of astounding ignorance as the propaganda spewed out by lawless extreme-right hate groups like Britain First (see image).

If you know anyone who has shared pictures of this "You are leaving the EU" sign on social media then it's evidence that you actually know someone who is ill-informed and gullible enough to buy into the kind of terrifyingly ignorant little Englander nationalism that actual fascists like the Britain First hate mob promote.



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