One of the greatest, and most insidious, myths of “Nationalism” is that Remembrance Day is somehow “theirs”.
The queasy spectacle of Griffin grandstanding at whatever Cenotaph he decides to fetch up at each year has become an annual treat for his dim-bulb followers, and their mantra of “The Britain Of Today Isn't What They Fought For” has been so often repeated that it has entered the Lexicon of Nationalist Truths alongside such old favourites as “Asylum Seekers Get Free Houses And A 52” Plasma Telly” and “They Won't Even Let Us Have Christmas Now”.
Yesterday, along with a few hundred others, my family and I went along to our local War Memorial to pay our respects.
We walked back with a neighbour, “Mr C”. You'll know the sort - getting on for 90, but fit as a flea and still thinks it's fine to try climbing a ladder three storeys to clean out his own guttering. In January.
He never fought in the War. Like my own dad (who worked at Rolls Royce building Merlin engines), he was in a Reserved Occupation (Railway Engineer), but lost a Brother in the Merchant Navy.
Walking home, Some of the talk was about the Poppy Burning Incident. Naturally enough, everyone condemned it out of hand as the stupid piece of rabble-rousing it was. Refreshingly, Mr C's perspective on the whole affair is just a little more sanguine than some.
Like so many people who've reached a great age, he's seen it all before: Apparently, in the late 30's, a group of Communists burned the Flag on Remembrance Day as an anti-war protest. Predictably, there was universal condemnation (including, loudly, from the Communist Party) and Mosley's British Union of Fascists thought all their birthdays had come at once...
To quote Griffin: “There is a strong, direct link from Oswald Mosley to me.”
You don't say.
Just as arrogant stupidity by tiny groups of dimwits runs down the ages, so, it seems, does the propensity for equally revolting groups to capitalise upon it to their own ends.
As with the BUF, who would make a great show of their fake “Patriotism” on Remembrance Day, so with the BNP.
As Mr C said: “That lot aren't fit to show their faces.”
He's right. The BNP, the EDL and all the other groups of flagwaving, xenophobic cretins who like to shout their supposed “Patriotism” have no place at an annual memorial to people who died seeing their lot off the first time around.
P.S: Later on, we had a screening at The Ritz (Derbyshire's Finest Independent Cinema TM) for Remembrance Sunday of Alberto Cavalcanti's 1942 thriller “Went The Day Well?”. Track it down if you've never seen it before: Great, exciting Anti-Nazi propaganda. And if that isn't enough you also get Thora Hird packing a rifle.