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By Jason Michael

IT WAS ONE OF THE WORST DAYS OF MY LIFE. I know for a fact it was the worst day in at least two people’s lives. In the early hours of the morning the phone rang. On the other end of the phone my friend was speaking to me in a stranger’s voice. Her husband was beside himself with shock and grief, and she was calmly explaining to me what had happened. I say ‘calmly,’ but this wasn’t calm. It was emotionless, a sort of thousand-yard stare of a voice, producing something that sounded for all the world like the person I knew while she was somewhere else. This voice was absent, it was hollow, and this voice woke me up. Their beautiful baby daughter had died in her sleep.

An hour later I was standing by this little angel’s cot, receiving her into my arms from her mother. I spoke to her gently. I spoke to her as though she was alive. I reminded her of what I first said to her, that she was so lucky she didn’t inherit her daddy’s looks. Now there was a calm, an awful island of peace in a world suddenly torn away and turned upside down, a moment of quiet and familiar normality before the painful journey to the grave began and before the years and years of agony and unsatisfiable longing started to work itself out in these two people’s lives. For the first time, not the last, I listened to a mother crying like a wounded animal. The darkest despair surrounded the room we were in. Soon we would open the door and let it in – but not yet.

Later that day, in a world entirely of my own, I took the tram into the city to meet a friend all three of us shared in common. It would be the first chance I had all day to sit down for a coffee and take a break from what was going on – if that doesn’t sound too insensitive. All I could concentrate on was not bursting into tears when I saw him, my friend. Funny the things that preoccupy us at such times. Hoping I wouldn’t cry, praying to God he wouldn’t give me a hug, I sat on the tram as the world went about its business. By the doors there was a bit of a commotion which didn’t register with me until a man started shouting. His sudden raised voice brought me back to reality with a jolt.

He was maybe in his 60s, drunk, and cradling a tin of what looked like cheap cider. Seated next to the doors were two Roma women trying desperately to pretend what was happening to them wasn’t happening to them. This man had taken exception to them, exception to them being on the same tram, exception to them being in his country, exception even, I’m sure, to their existence. By this point he was just letting it all out; all the failure and frustration of his own life, all the boiling rage he felt at his own inadequacies, and all the hate – all the stinking hate he could muster. The other passengers were looking away, he was only a drunk. Getting involved would only make it worse.

No, I thought, I’m not taking this. Shamefully, as I have come to think of it, my chief annoyance wasn’t his treatment of these two women, it was at him imposing his pathetic and noisy shit on me – on a day like this, didn’t he know other people have their own stuff to be dealing with? In a fit of rage, I stormed over to him, towered over him, and blasted a torrent of rage right back in his face. When the doors opened at the next stop, I manhandled him and introduced him to the platform outside. Pointing in his face, I roared that if he tried to get back on I would … you get the picture. It was the rudeness, a term – rude – that was defined for me in that moment as inflicting on others your petty, ignorant, and self-obsessed nonsense; something we encounter every day.

Make yourself comfortable, there are a few things I have to get off my chest.

Watching far-right louts kicking off on the streets of London on Saturday reminded me of that obnoxious drunk on the tram. Racism is wrong all the time and everywhere it crops up, but we are in the middle of a global pandemic and coming out of a lockdown that is unprecedented in its scale and in its impact on our lives. Many of us have felt the emotional wobble, we’ve felt the fear, we’ve been anxious. Two of my neighbours have signed themselves into mental healthcare facilities on account of the isolation and the worry, the suicide rate is rising, domestic violence reports are soaring. In the past three months I have been to more funerals than I have been to in the past decade. I saw more people die in April than I have in my whole time in parish ministry. We may not fully realise it yet, but this is a monumental personal and national trauma waiting to make itself felt. And after all this, we have this monstrous legion of ne’er-do-wells stomping through the heart of London reminding the world of what a drunken arsehole of a nation England is.

Don’t even think of asking for an apology for that comment. There’s worse to come, and I stand by every word. These bigoted, undereducated bampots – blisters on the backside of the universe, that they are – are not the real problem here. They lack the intelligence to be the real problem. Their ugly little display is nothing but the latest symptom of England’s sickness, a sickness that has intoxicated its people with myths of imperial greatness and fables of their national and racial superiority. This filth has come from the top, not the bottom of English society. It has come from the cesspool of a public school system soaked in the blood and viscera of the victims of its psychopathic history, from a royal establishment that saw a white saviour in Herr Hitler, and from a political system that has since its inception served as the vanguard of the wealthy and powerful.

People took to the streets to speak out and speak up for people of colour, people the conservative British establishment can’t even bring itself to recognise as human beings, and this provoked a disgusting response from those in Britain who presume to call themselves its leaders; Boris – fucking – Johnson and his shower of gammon-headed, double chinned Tory pals. One of them even tried to explain that slavery was somehow acceptable in the past because it was the past. To a man and a woman, they ran and hid as people threw themselves from the highest windows of Grenfell Tower – a symbol, if ever there was one, of the evil that infests England – the decrepit and nasty drunkard of Europe.

England and its bloated synonym Britain are by-words for every conceivable species of vice and corruption the world over. From the soft nationalism of the pitiful furore of an American woman making a cup of ‘British tea’ to the hard symbolism of its emblems and flags, the world has England’s number. It robbed and starved and raped the tea from India, Sri Lanka, and anywhere else it could, and there’s a few damn good reasons people from Ireland to Burma know its flag as ‘the butcher’s apron.’ National pride? Britain has nothing to take pride in, and it’s only the English who appear to have a problem understanding this. The world is laughing at them.

Responding to Black Lives Matter protesters who pulled down a statue of a slave trader – a slave trader for fuck’s sake, the Prime Minister used the term ‘thuggery,’ a term that has been used to describe and dehumanise young black men in the United States; exposing them to the violence of the police officers of a racist state and the reason these protests are taking place in the first place. But we don’t expect any better from Johnson, do we? – the man who thought it just swell to recite the putrid racism of Kipling in a Myanmar temple and denigrate British Muslim women. No one expects anything any better from these people, and that is exactly why these morons are rampaging through London – because he’s giving them precisely what they want.

Smart people listen to protest. They learn from it. So, kudos to those English councils and London boroughs that have done the right thing. Well done Liverpool for formally apologising for the money you made from the transatlantic slave trade, and thank you to Ken Livingston for doing the same when you were Mayor of London. History is long and it will remember those who did the right thing. Their names will be recorded forever in the Book of Life and their trees will flourish on the avenues of the righteous. But, while the world watches on, the guardians of the English state continue to disgrace their nation. Rather than confront, as the wise do, the sins of their fathers – and there are many, they play idiotic and infantile games of whataboutery; what about the ‘statue of Karl Marx?,’ what about that old ‘racist king,’ Robert the Bruce, up in Scotland?

Why blame Karl Marx for Black Lives Matter? What is that all about? Is everyone who asks difficult questions of the British state a Stalinist? No, their outriders on social media call him an anti-Semite, the greatest Jewish political thinker of the modern age they call a Jew-hater. But then, antisemitism is used and weaponised by these dolts so often they actually think it means anti-Conservative. They have made the label of antisemitism the new antisemitism, and they’ve achieved this while reaching whole new depths in their Islamophobic rhetoric and behaviour. Who are these people, and how exactly did they survive to adulthood? Surely to God, the red man was too much of an obstruction to them and their race to make money. It must have been inconvenient advice, just like the advice not to let Cheltenham go ahead, not to send sick people to care homes, not to lift the lockdown – stupidly and wilfully ignored advice that has claimed the lives of 70 thousand people. How are these dunderheids still alive?

Wake the fuck up, Britain. We who are fortunate enough not to be trapped in your backward little has-been state don’t respect you. We have been perhaps a little bemused and amused by your quixotic bullshit over the years. We have always known you as the slumbering wife beater; good for a laugh in the pub, with your open shirt and your yellow teeth, but we’ve always known what you really are – an arsehole no one wants to be around. You and your ‘family of nations.’ Is it any wonder Scotland, Wales, and the north of Ireland are right now calling the helpline and looking for refuge in the shelter of freedom? England, you are that pathetic old man on the tram rudely embarrassing yourself in front of all your neighbours. But we have other, more important shit to be dealing with right now – and trust me, anything is more important than you. You’re not funny. You reek of piss, and we are sick to our back teeth listening to your incoherent rubbish. We are sick to the stomach taking your abuse. Get off the tram, get out of Europe and don’t come back. Fester until the end of time in your own irrelevance. So long, farewell. Auf Wiedersehen, adieu.

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Righ-twing protesters clash with police in London


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63 thoughts on “The Drunkard of Europe

    1. In the best traditions, this is the modern outsourcing of yelling Pish#@& at the TV.

      There is something so important about avenues for the communal yelling of Bullsh*! in this age of digital media overload and no accountability, Particularly when some are so much better at it and way more cutting than most of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow just wow bout time someone said that bout England ,the way England is is why I’m a English woman living and Scotland and can’t wait for Scotland to get independence.Scotland knows how to treat its people ,I wouldn’t move back down south for all the money in the world

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are kidding yourself. I don’t know where you live but if you think us Scots are oh so progressive, understanding and welcoming compared to the English, your deluded. Were we to have the level of immigration that parts of England does you would soon discover what a bunch of viscous bastards we are.

      Like

  2. A piece of writing which is by turns heartbreaking, obviously painful and enraging. Personal, public, national and international tragedy laid and linked out with clinical precision.
    Hard to say anything else really. Thank you for writing it and my sincere condolences to you and your friends.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Every single word a true reflection of how I have felt about the ALIEN NATION of england for as long as I can remember. Borne out by not just what I see on TV and read in media outlets, but by personal experience in that place. My negative memories of those experiences among those people will never leave me, and as a Scot in my more youthful years, I was never left in any doubt that I was an ignorant jock foreigner that did not belong there and to remember my place. It brought me to a resounding conclusion even then (mid to late seventies) that engloids in general, we’re heading in completely the wrong direction. And so it has proved.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well you couldn’t have put that better. 46 years I have lived in England 20 years in Northern Ireland. Left due to troubles. I have to say probably felt safer in Northern Ireland. Extreme hatred should have no place in the present day.
    Always harping on about the hatred of the past like they proud of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I totally agree with your analysis. But: you don’t mention the money. Reparations of £20million pounds, must be close to £2Billion pounds now, was granted by the UK parliament 200 years ago when slavery was abolished. This money went as compensation to the slave owners, mainly British people, many of whom have streets, statues, squares raised in their honour, At the time, 200 years ago, Parliament comprised only of aristocrats and wealthy landowners, so they could enable this. These payments have been made to the descendents of the slave owners up to I think only 10 years ago. They have kept this quiet. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that members of our current ruling classes, including perhaps current politicians, have benefited from this and kept quiet, very quiet about it. This needs to be brought out into open debate. Slavery was only abolishe by the British because of monetary compensation for loss of property, i.e Human beings.
    Let here be light on this. Please make it more in the public realm.
    Kind Regards

    Michael Clarke

    .

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well said, that s exactly why people like myself want to leave England behind. Its unfortunate for decent people but they have consistently voted in Tory governments who have used this deluded notion of British ( English ) exceptionalism to exploit and arrogantly control voters with 3 word slogans. If that s the choice just don’t include us in your dumbed down , abusive relationship. You are a toxic partner within the UK and on this route are a wake up call where hopefully enough people in the other nations of UK will seperate….and then probably get on better. You are welcome to Trident and HS2 they are merely expensive symbols of your delusion.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks Jason, you’ve managed to express my own feelings perfectly – the context of someones worst nightmare lends tragic context weight to “the evil of England” – this is a fantastic blog – every word is true. Every word cuts to the heart of the matter

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Woooooow I applaud you so many times over, that rant was even better than mine. I wonder how many people have read this to the end. I salute you. My fine friend, keep fighting the good fight and I wish a lot more people would wake up to these heinous crimes. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you so much for saying in detail all that is wrong and rising in little England.
    Heart sorry they got out in Glasgow too

    But credit to Police Scotland for rounding them up and kicking them out of the city

    Keep doing what you do. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I agree with every word you have written. But I would point out that the poison that has affected my country comes from the elite privately educated Eton and Harrow chinless wonders down through our blood soaked history.Scotland and Ireland have suffered at the hands of the ruling class. As have the poor of this land. Please do not lump all English men and women in with those who have assumed the right to steal the rights of other nations because of the class into which they were born.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe that more people are trying to make things in this country better. Regrettably there remain those who cannot see that a change is necessary and still cling to an out dated view of our place in the world. In time, I hope, even they may realise the error.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. @Vivianne Callender

      Many people in every country stand against brutality. However, I have come to the realisation that when a population votes in a Government knowing full well who they are and what they will do, It is not the government, it is that a large number of our fellow citizens wanted them to actually do that (for their benefit).

      Always be wary of extrapolating the personal to the universal. It is not that views that differ to yours will change on the other side of the country, people are often shocked that it will change at the pup around the corner. Uncomfortable as it is, if you want to gauge where you really stand, look at the undercurrents of elections over time. Not just the 2 majors, but the balance of fringe parties each election and how the weight of manifestos verge right or left.

      England has been on a “boil the frog” for several decades and much of the country is now not uncomfortable with Windrush deportations, Brexit, Covid response and in reality these are indistinguishable from the aims of BNP of 30 years ago. Repeatedly England has shown it has bought into that particular “conservative” aristocracy view of the world.

      Many in England don’t realise what it actually took for the countries it colonised to take on and believe England’s rent-seeking aristocracy was “mother England”. (Think of what would have to happen to make the majority of England to refer to and treat another country as Mother). It is this same wilful blindness that has also lulled much of its home population into believing those who rule them and how they are ruled is the normal state of affairs. From the outside, if you don’t buy into the fairytale version of castles and princesses it looks as if England’s aristocracy have cultivated a near universal Stockholm syndrome fed on pomp and tabloids.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Firstly condolences to you and your friends for the loss of their daughter.
    A brilliantly written piece. Painfully true. My wife and I have escaped from England. We are so lucky. We watch what is happening from afar with a sense of horror and foreboding.
    The public school system should be abolished and Johnson and his motley crew should be in the Hague for Democide.
    Thank you once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Aw, Jason.
    This post had me roaring in visceral approval of the inside.
    You convey perfectly, the revulsion and disgust I feel at this loathsome geopolitical construct that I currently find myself trapped in.
    When, finally I manage to escape England, my first act upon breaking my journey will be to have a long shower to wash every stinking remnant of this shithole from my body.
    Apart from the occupied territories around Berwick and an occasional necessary visit to Carlisle, never again do I intend to set foot in tge place again!

    I look forward to the day when I can record my nationality as ‘Scottish’ or failing that ‘Irish’.

    Thank you for allowing me to vent mentally through this post.

    Like

  13. Jason

    Stop trusting future history to sing praises of good and noble acts.

    History is full of good who have been wiped from consciousness…and worse when they are then framed as the problem to ensure if anyone accidentally finds them the taint stops the discovery gaining legs.

    Like

  14. Truthing at it’s best. Well said.
    Everything grief represents and no more so in these present times.
    People need to waken up to the truth.
    Personally I believe we need independence in Scotland and not nationalism as that only encourages the morons also living in Scotland

    Like

  15. Unfortunately those of us who have to live here in England have very little chance of getting away from the drunk on the tram, we just have to keep trying to sober him up

    Like

  16. I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a beautiful baby and have to endure such pain. It is beyond any words. Thank you for your following comment. This country I fear is becoming smaller and smaller by the day and will disappear into oblivion unless something happens to awaken its people to face up to what we actually are instead of clinging to the make believe glory days of empire and the dishonest elite British wealthy Establishment regime we have lived under for so long. It will take a miracle of course…….

    Like

  17. That was so well said I agree with everything that you said I do not know what this world is coming to and as my wee mammy used to say to me,Thank God I’m getting out of here

    Like

  18. Jason
    Counter argument.
    …………………………………..
    If you follow Timothy Snyder’s thesis that EU is a place where European empires went after empire (A Speech to Europe 2019 | Timothy Snyder – Judenplatz 1010 – on Youtube).
    Then England has been and will remains at odds in the EU.and with the European nations as long as it retains Scotland. Once oil was discovered, England effectively became the only European empire that retained a resource rich colony (sure it was only 1 but that was enough).

    England has then behaved to Scotland exactly as it did globally – feed veraciously on its resources and making their prey believe they are benign benefactor, and giver of moral institutions (BBC love anyone).

    England is the Drunk of Europe precisely because Scotland has swallowed the myths and then acquiesced to be its colony. England is just being an Empire (mini) and this is what Empires do. Want England to stop, then the only way is for Scotland to remove itself.

    Like

  19. Oh, I’m with you all the way! At 71, I have never felt so thoroughly ashamed to be an English woman, ashamed of my ignorance of the true facts of British Imperialism. My parents died in ignorance too but thankfully my sons and daughters, socialists, anti-racists, humanitarian people save my pride.

    Like

  20. Jason Michael McCann writes an emotionally charged piece that touches the soul of humanity. We are called on to face up to the crap that has been allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged for far too many years. Jason shares the sad loss of a precious little life – its impact and relevance to him, the child’s family and its resonance in today’s world. It leads us to ask, ‘what really matters, and what will we no longer tolerate in the name of humanity.’
    Whether this article wakes up those who regard themselves to be above others and beyond reproach, I am sadly uncertain. I am reminded of the 60+ year-old woman, who, when speaking of Trump, proudly said, ” He can grab my pussy any time.” I was both shocked and heart-broken to hear such a sickening statement.
    These are despairing days, yet, as we live through this major life-changing moment, many of us are taking action in ways that we have never done before, our voices are being heard by those willing to listen and we are listening to voices that are calling for humanity to hear their call.
    Sandra Mahar, Trentham, Victoria, Australia

    Born in Scotland, my family immigrated to Australia many years ago and I hear the voices of its indigenous people, whose voices have also gone unheard for far too long. The British took this land, claiming it as ‘terra nullius ‘ – meaning a land that belonged to no-one: Aboriginal people were not regarded as being human beings, despite Aboriginal people having lived here for more that 60,000 years. My message to the rest of the world is that we must continue to bring our humanity into everything we do. this resonates through Jason’s article. And I do this, by recognising and acknowledging the traditional custodians of this land where I live: the DjaDja Wurrung people of the Kulin nation. I acknowledge my gratitude that we share this land today, my sadness for the costs of sharing, and hope and belief that we can move to a place of equity, justice and partnership together. Black lives matter.

    Like

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