The English Defence League has been busy answering its nation’s call of late, volunteering its time and energy with all sorts of gusto. They’ve been on the news and everything.
But are they, one can’t help but wonder, representing England in the best possible light? As compared, for instance, to some famous Englishmen and women of the past, who, in their various ways, helped to make England a country worth defending in the first place.
Let’s play a little game of Spot the Difference to find out! Read carefully. I promise there are some differences each time – you just have to look in the right place for them.
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,–
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
…& Ronnie Two Boots
Once stood waiting for the night bus home, coked-up and drunk, shrieking in the direction of some confused by-standers, Nah, I fucking love my country, me. Born and fucking bred, mate. England till I die. I’m England till I die.
Once painted Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhoon coming on:
…an extraordinary rendering of a truly wretched event – the deliberate drowning of 133 slaves by the captain of a slave ship in 1781 – that remains, almost two centuries later, one of the most vivid and visceral evocations ever created of man’s capacity for evil.
…& Terry Bulldog
Once came up with his own idea for a tattoo, now emblazoned across his sun-burned back: the flag of St. George with some flames either side of it and the words “Too Hot to Handle: b. Didcot 1968” underneath.
One of the greatest scientists who ever lived, forever known in our collective consciousness as the man who ‘discovered’ gravity when an apple fell on his head.
…& Big Jim Shagger
A Newcastle football supporter who once got chined in the face by an angry Sunderland fan, resulting in almost fatal mental impairment. (After claiming rather too vigorously, You’re fat and your team are shit.)
A complex man who successfully overcame bouts of depression and a reoccurring drinking problem to galvanize and lead the Allied war effort in its eventual defeat of the Third Reich and other Axis powers, thereby becoming a revered figure both at home and abroad.
…& Quiet Dave
An out-of-work short-distance coach driver with a drinking problem, who wantonly succumbs to bouts of depression every night after the pub closes and there’s no place else to go, save for the local kebab shop run by “smelly rag heads, innit you fucking cunt.”
A fearless political activist at the heart of Britain’s suffragette movement who advocated passionately for a vital cause, even though doing so led frequently to persecution and incarceration.
…& Tommy Robinson
A male idiot.