Every now and again a wave of hysterical patriotism sweeps over a country, leaving those who do not wholeheartedly embrace the flood, stranded on their own rooftops, surveying a watery wilderness.
The recent royal wedding was the spur for a positive tsunami of such sycophancy. Normally intelligent and rational journalists, who might ridicule the posters and statues of despots in autocratic regimes across the globe were nevertheless reduced to describing the floral arrangement for the wedding or interviewing loyal subjects who had got up at four a.m. to get a good place in the crowd outside the abbey. In
Even little children were affected. While I was pushing my grandchild around the park in an attempt to get him to go to sleep I came across an area where children had chalked out numbered squares for a hopscotch game. What caught my eye, however, was the union jack that had been drawn beside the hopscotch frame. Beneath the union jack the child artist had written the slightly ambiguous slogan: 'Go Queen!'
Punchier and less dreary than our national anthem but the message is still the same.