It always happens doesn’t it? You’re in a good mood and maybe life isn’t so bad after all? You’ve got the feel good factor; happiness abounds. Then somebody comes along to p*ss on your strawberries!
Singer Morrissey (is he still going?) describes the home reaction to the success of Team GB at this summer’s Olympics as nothing more than "blustering jingoism" and comparing the mood in the UK to Hitler’s Germany in 1939. The latter statement is presumably apocryphal and has little if any evidence base attached to it – Morrissey was born in 1959.
Whilst the nation has largely got behind Team GB’s medal-winning exploits, the ex-Smiths front-man remains impassive to the bonhomie that has engulfed the Kingdom. In a web address to his fan club, he writes: “I am unable to watch the Olympics due to the blustering jingoism that drenches the event”. The Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now singer (Miserable? You don’t say!) asked: “Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism? The 'dazzling royals' have, quite naturally, hi-jacked the Olympics for their own empirical needs, and no oppositional voice is allowed in the free press. It is lethal to witness.”
Morrissey, who left Britain to embark upon a European tour after complaining that he had not been invited to participate in the Opening Ceremony, said London was being “suddenly promoted as a super-wealth brand” as the rest of England “shivers beneath cutbacks.” Why would you invite this doom-merchant to gig at an event as celebratory as the Olympics Opening Ceremony anyway? It would be a massive turn-off! Remember this is a bloke who prances about on stage with a bunch of gladioli shoved down the back of his trousers! If you ask Joe Public if they would prefer to watch a spectacular Olympics Opening Ceremony that showcased aspects that have shaped our Kingdom in such a dramatic fashion or sit through a 90 minute Morrissey concert – I think I know what the answer would be! Morrissey has undoubtedly misjudged the mood of the nation.
He confuses patriotism with national pride. This is not 1915 England at war with Bertie Bosch. Lord Kitchener does not need me. I have not offered to take the King’s shilling. Jingoism is extreme patriotism usually expressed in terms of aggressive foreign policy; typically a practice used in times of conflict to safeguard national interest. What we are witnessing is an understandable welling of British pride in our athletes – it has bugger all to do with jingoism, in all honesty.