Following on from the Morrisey post and why I find it bizarre that people think immigrants are diluting British culture, I was walking down the street yesterday and I saw someone asking two young soldiers (who looked about 12 and 14 respectively) to pose for a photo.
This gave me mixed feelings. On one hand I was grateful that the guy was making the soldiers feel important and valued. I'd guess most of our soldiers know the two most recent wars we've been involved in are deeply unpopular, and whilst they also hopefully know that we hope for their safety and mourn at their deaths, it really must be psychologically gruelling knowing that you enlisted to defend the country but you could be horrifically maimed or killed for a war that the people don't want, and which has no ultimate goal. For this I thought it was quite touching.
On the other hand I think that it is dangerous to sentimentalise the military. I find that's a path that leads to the demented Fox News world whereby the very people who think no cause is too stupid to send American soldiers out to be killed in are the very ones who claim to be backing the military.
Anyway, as I was pondering this dilemma an astoundingly gormless (but nonetheless very confident) middle class young man started doing wolf whistles at the soldiers and saying 'sexy'.
That really annoyed me more than I expected. Bearing in mind the two soldiers didn't look old enough to shave, I thought that it was exceptionally disrespectful and offensive.
As far as I feel, Britain is a changing country. Thankfully I think overall Scotland has changed less than the rest. But I really don't see what migration has to do with it. Being a bit of a nutter, when reading for friends' children, I keep hoping they'll ask me to read a Dick and Jane book because I love the Britishness of it all (my friends kids are half-Greek by the way). But frankly, I'm sure that few modern Brit kids do read them: they're probably more likely to be shooting cybernetic police men on their playstations. The rudeness of modern culture is quite astounding, but instead of inventing straw men to blame (like immigrants) it's as well to try and make the case against such rudeness and trying to speak up FOR traditional British values.