Tuesday, June 28, 2005

To the memory of a great Englishman

Today I have taken a day off work. Together with my younger daughter, I am taking part in the 200th Anniversary celebrations of England's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, and of the sacrifice made for that victory by England's greatest warrior, Admiral Lord Nelson. Today's celebrations involve a Royal review of an international fleet of 160 warships off Southsea, followed by a son et lumiere reconstruction of the battle and a firework display.

Our politically-correct establishment is so averse to any patriotic feelings on our part (since all our loyalties are due, in their view, to them) that they have decided that the battle reconstruction this evening should be "Blue vs Red" rather than "England vs France/Spain". As Nelson's great great great grandaughter commented yesterday, this just makes us look fools. The French and the Spanish know who won the battle. So do we.

England has often been accused of being too much in love with history. It's sometimes true that we hanker for past glories, but I don't think that is the case on this occasion. However much we despair of the stupidity and ignorance of our current leaders, few would exchange 2005 for 1805. Thousands of English people will be there tomorrow simply to honour the memory of the men who fought at Trafalgar, and to remember their brilliant and courageous leader. He, and many of his men, died for England. Not that she should never change, but that she should be free to take her own path forward in peace and freedom.

Those men would be dismayed to find that the England they fought for has embraced house arrest without trial; putting her in the company of such brutal regimes as Myanmar, North Korea and Cuba. They would be dismayed to find that habeas corpus - already an ancient remedy to them - should be lost to us. They would surprised to learn that while they were intelligent enough to sit on a jury in complex cases, we are (in our benighted government's view) too stupid. They would be shocked that the presumption of innocence itself is in danger, with the right to silence (which is its logical consequence) already abolished. They would be amazed that our government so fears and despises us that it is prepared to spend countless billions on surveillance technology to monitor our daily lives.

Perhaps a few English hearts will stir - as they have always stirred - when Horatio Nelson is remembered. This humble son of a Norfolk parson was inspired by love of country to achieve greatness. Of all patriotisms now, the love of England herself is the only one forbidden us. They can forbid it all they like. It will never die.

Today I will try to forget my anger and bitterness at what the New Labour/New Stalinists have done, and continue to do, to England. I shall try to forget the pathetic failure by the Conservative Party to do its duty as England expects. I shall try to focus instead on the glorious memory of Horatio Nelson. He famously did not understand fear, even as a small boy. We must try to be the same. For as long as we remember him fondly, England will live.

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