If you go into a primary school in London, or any major city in Britain, and ask the children whether they are proud to be British, how many will raise their hands? And if you ask them who Alfred the Great or Isambard Kingdom Brunel was, or why the English Civil War is so important to how the country works today, how many could answer?
The pity of it! The absolute pity! This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, is now bound in with shame! The millions who have sacrificed their lives for these shores have, it seems, done it all in vain! For we are no longer a strong and proud nation; we are a hollow shell of one, a mass of fractures, divisions, of idleness and demoralisation, a shambling corpse staggering to its inexorable death.
Well, I say – what legacy is that? What testament, to our victories and achievements in the past, can we hold up now? A generation of people who will grow up not knowing, and worse, not caring, about the history of the land in which they live? Is it not our duty to ensure that the Britain which we know and love is passed on to our children? We already have a generation of young people who are somewhat apathetic towards Britain; they feel no real association with it and would not take pride in being British.
People today, in general, do not have much hope for Britain in the future. People who say that they believe in the power and potential of the British nation are cast off as delusional fools. We have been thoroughly demoralised, beaten down like the sick man of Europe. Movements like Moggmentum have taken off spectacularly, which give hope for the Conservative youth, but I feel that that can have only limited effect as it is a purely political movement. There needs to be a patriotic movement, for all ages, in which we can celebrate, and take pride in being, British.
Let us think back to the Britain of 1945. We were scarred and broken, with whole swathes of the country destroyed by bombing raids, families broken by the losses during war, and yet we rebuilt. We rebuilt because we had a love for Britain. We were not motivated by the selfishness which pervades modern society, but by our traditional stoic attitude and our belief in the nation. Life was hard, and we endured years of rationing, but we believed in Britain.
The message that is being given now, in Brexit Britain, is fear. “Fear! Fear! Fear!” They say we cannot do it. They say that we will collapse if we are not tied umbilically to Brussels. There are millions of Britons who have bent the knee to this attitude of defeat. They have no belief in Britain. To think! We were once the workshop of the world! It was our inventors, our industrialists, which gave the world the knowledge and technology required to transform industry. And they think that we cannot do it again.
I want to create a movement in which we can take pride in our country again. And I don’t mean just when the football is on – I mean in daily life, when, even in the most menial of jobs, we think not of what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. I’m not going to pretend that this will be easy – it’s going to be bloody difficult – but, having seen the potential which Moggmentum showed for creating powerful movements, I am sure that, if we all work hard, we can make #BelieveinBritain a force to be reckoned with. I want to reach out to the hearts and minds of people, to wake the lion sleeping within.
You may be wondering exactly how this is going to work – and I’m not going to pretend that I have all the answers. The movement is entirely open, and everyone can take part. In the beginning stages I hope to create a strong social media presence, relying on the motto ‘Believe in Britain’, and when the motto has been propagated enough to generate its own momentum, then we can branch out into other ways and means. I am just a girl from a council estate in the North – but I have only one dream, and one question. I believe in Britain. Do you?