One particularly painful memory of the late eighties is a song by Billy Brag, called The Few, although most of us will only recall the refrain, which goes
"what do they know of England, who only England know?"
Its message is that we have to know all about our oppressive Empire history if we are to understand our particular awfulness as a nation. Upbeat!
But there is another, even more basic ignorance in Britain, which may be much more damaging than the ignorance of skinheads who don't know about the Seige of Ladysmith or the Great Game.
This excellently written article has more than one highly informative anecdote.
"After the event I went to get some fresh air upstairs and as I looked out at a quaint old mill on the Quay a young English Muslim in a long robe and head covering asked me about this place where we stood, Canary Wharf. I told him it had been decimated and nearly obliterated by the Luftwaffe in the Blitz and that the conflagration could be seen as far away as Hertfordshire. I pointed out the lone mill and said it had miraculously survived the relentless wartime bombing raids. He looked at me and said, 'Who did you say did the bombing?' I replied, 'The Luftwaffe.' He said 'Who are they?' I said, 'The Germans.' He said 'Really? Well, I've learned something today.'"
I think we've all learned something today. A very large tranche of immigrants in Britain know nothing of its history, culture, traditions and folkways. Not only that, they disdain to learn them. As Ms Gould reveals in the rest of this piece, they are lauded in doing so by a largish contingent of socialists, liberals and academics- men and women who wear their hatred of their own people and culture like a badge of pride. I am no reflex patriot, and I believe that nationalism should always be balanced by humanitarian concerns and friendliness to other peoples, but there is something highly disfunctional about hating your own folk, your own kith and kin. Billy Bragg did, Michael Mansfield QC does, George Galloway does, many individuals in the Liberal Democrat party do, including my MP Lynne Featherstone. What must we do about that?
We must make sure that this alliance between our self-proclaimed enemies, and the people of Britain who would help them towards their goals, are prevented from achieving them.