Sir, Thursday, 13th March 2014
The Great Escape Failed But It Was Worth It´ (Daily Telegraph, 13 March 2014)
Why is it that I despair as an Englishman (one who did plum picking and blackberry picking among other mundane working-class pursuits as an undergraduate at Oxford in the 1960s) in reading the entrenched anti-Englishness and indeed anti-Britishness of the Daily Telegraph?
Your columnist Allison Pearson (how would she wish us to judge her as, presumably, an English journalist) tells us that Latvian and Lithuanian nannies are better than English ones, not to mention Turkish, Spanish, Brazilian, Hungarian and Filipina (!!) ones. This is on a par with references, as recently in The Times, to lazy and incompetent English plumbers. No wonder Manchester City and Arsenal have so few English players in their teams. English cricket teams are stuffed with South Africans and Irishmen, the rugby teams with New Zealanders. The list is endless.
There is only one phrase to describe this catalogue of undisguised contempt, and that is anti-English (or occasionally anti-British) racism, consolidated by class hatred (as manifest in the treatment of the miners and their families in 1984). I wonder why and how British national newspapers get away with this kind of thing whilst at the same time deploring racism among less well-educated football players (thanks to the destruction of the grammar schools by public schoolboys from Westminster such as Wedgwood Benn).
Even our Great Escapers (a multinational group led by an Englishman) are failures according to the scandalous piece by Jasper Copping (p.13). Let me inform the writers of the Daily Telegraph that the Great Escape was a triumph of that kind of resistance to the end (exemplified by such heroes as Douglas Bader and Guy Gibson) that was vital to the winning of a world war. And it has long been recognised as such by supremely competent judges:
1. Hitler: he had 50 of the escapees murdered. A supreme accolade
2. The Americans: they produced a fiction of The Great Escape (1963) in which the leading heroes were Americans and Roger Bushell was relegated to an inferior role with even his name disguised from public view.
What is shameful about the Great Escape is the shameful British habit of denigrating English heroes such as Roger Bushell whilst at the same time honouring disgusting specimens of humanity such as Savile with knighthoods. No medals for Roger Bushell to date. May I suggest a posthumous VC for him on 24 March 2014, together with one for Staff Sergeant Jim Wallwork (Salford GS), the first man on the ground in Normandy at 12.16 on 6 June 2014.
The denigration of the English must end. We are English not British and you are teaching us to hate the British as many have done before us. If you wish to save the union you must learn to respect those who made it once great. And they were not Lithuanian or Latvian or Turkish or Spanish or Brazilian nannies (whatever their merits). Among their number were thousands of miners and their wives and children. And plum pickers at Longhope.
Very best wishes,,
Gerald Morgan, FTCD (1993)
English Parliamentary Party (2001)