Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Friday, 23 February 2007

We used to be "British" once...

After reading Beaverbrook's entry yesterday entitled "We all aspired to be "British" once", I couldn't help but reflect sadly on that ideal as I walked through the snow-covered streets of my hometown of Winterpeg.

Five years after I last visited, the city has descended into an abyss "where crime is increasingly a problem, and where the streets are ruled by guns, gangs and thugs," to quote the Parliamentary secretary to a Manitoba MP. I've been shocked to read of the terrible violence every day in the newspapers since I've been here. The future looks bleak, and the past no longer seems to hold any value unless it's able to bring in money. Kitschy attempts to recreate turn-of-the-century stations are built to promote gambling while a real architectural treasure like the Hotel Fort Garry can hardly be seen anymore, surrounded as it is by new souless highrises. I noticed with deep regret that the Canadian red ensign that once flew alongside the current flag and the provincial flag at the cenotaph has now been replaced by another Manitoban flag. I suppose the powers-that-be feel that, what the hell, it's so much easier to replace the national flag under which so many died fighting aggression in two world wars and Korea with a cheaper and similar-looking provincial one that few would notice as they hurried by rather than go through the inconvenience of having to go out and find the appropriate flag. This view that convenience must triumph over any outdated sense of duty and respect is further strengthened in my mind by the decision to not even bother to continue flying the RCAF flag at the nearby memorial. Lest we forget, indeed.

So it is refreshing at least to have come across this mural on Main Street that serves to remind us of the 1919 General Strike, while indirectly making a reference to the impetus that drove the men to awaken the consciousness of workers the world over for that brief moment; that WE as Britons shall never be slaves. Proud of our heritage and birthright and secure in our identity.

And as the weather begins to warm, the snow sculpture of the Vimy Monument at the Legislative building beside Queen Vic's statue with all those little snow crosses that try to stir us to remember the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge slowly begins to melt...

5 comments:

Scott said...

Canada lost it forty years ago, and the flag nonsense embodied it. Consecrated by the sacrifice of so many Canadians, the Red Ensign should have become, as the stars and stripes did for the Revolutionary Americans, ennobled and permanent in the hearts and loyalties of the nation. What a shifty, low act of those pols to have got rid of it.

Detrimental, too, because in eliminating the Union flag, one the most visible emphases of our shared heritage and brotherhood was obliterated. In Oz it has gone many ways to maintaining that consciousness of allegiance and close relationship.

Beaverbrook said...

where's the mural? Better to upload the photo to blogger rather than depend on some unreliable site.

Beaverbrook said...

I fixed it. Some strange code was getting in the way.

Younghusband said...

Cheers for that, Beaverbrook. I thought I had uploaded it to blogger (clicking on the photo image and then seeing the message 'photo uploaded')- I'll figure it out next time. I copied it from the official Winnipeg site showing all the various murals in town.

rebarbarian said...

Besides the Panama Canal and the Canadian Wheat Board, those "Britons" and their descendants are mostly responsible for Winnipeg and Manitoba's descent into permanent victimhood.