Posted by: secretperson | March 2, 2008

Phil Vickery – a Proud Englishman

I watched Al Murray’s Happy Hour earlier today, in which he plays the character of the Pub Landlord. This character is a typical British pub landlord type, mildly xenophobic, sexist and old fashioned. I find the character funny as I see a stereotype of myself (a proud old-fashioned Englishman who likes pubs and pints), although much more as others might see me than as I really am (I think he’d be appalled I speak a bit of French)!

Anyway on the chat show today was England rugby captain Phil Vickery. When asked if it was an honour being chosen as England captain he said (I quote from memory so not exact!)

“Just going out on the field and singing the song… it’s my Queen and my country, I am proud of my Queen and proud of my Country”

It is always good to hear this kind of attitude. I can’t stand sports stars to who representing your country is just another game. It is an honour to represent your country and when Phil Vickery walks out and gees himself up by belting out God Save the Queen it is reflected in his play, 100% committed. Anyway apart from a quick salute to Mr Vickery (and congratulating the England rugby team on an unexpected victory in Paris) this raised some thoughts in my mind.

One, Vickery is a Cornishman, but is obviously also proud to be English. In this Independent article on him it says

“I’m proud of being Cornish,” he says, “proud of being here at Gloucester, and very proud of being English, of representing my country and my Queen, and singing that song.”

Being in English nationalist discussions online I often come across Cornish nationalists. They clearly identify Cornwall as a separate nation and historically this is true. I suspect though that Cornwall is very integrated into England, and while I support any people’s right to self determination, if there are other Vickery’s from Cornwall it may be better off as part of England.

Secondly, he is proud to sing God Save the Queen. Now we all know this is a British not English anthem, but one reason I would have for keeping it is that it has become so associated with England at sporting events it would be hard to change. I wouldn’t want patriots who associate this song with England to feel it had been taken from them. Personally I favour GSTQ as a Royal anthem and Jerusalem for England. Both could be sung if there was a Royal present. Prince Harry is a big supporter of the England rugby team and has worked for the RFU so I think it likely we would get both. Prince William is president of the FA. Just depends how other countries would feel having to put up with two anthems!

And last but not least, how can English parliament supporters use this sporting patriotism? And I don’t mean use in a cynical sense, but there exist few avenues through which people express love for their country, and sport is the main one. This is surely an audience who might be receptive to our message. It is a problem raising awareness of the issues facing England post-devolution, and in sport we have a medium which interests many people and when people are comfortable expressing their national pride. I believe if people out there cheering on England were aware of the situation they would want something done. Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England have football teams. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved government. Spot the difference.

Of course this would leave us open to attack as “In-ger-land” chanting lager louts, the sort of image we normally try to get away from in political circles. But we don’t seem to be doing very well in political circles anyway. Mass popular feeling and threats to votes would force politicians to address the English question, not dismiss it as a minor annoyance. Big name sporting figures would bring attention to the cause, if any could be persuaded to come on board. Maybe Phil Vickery could be our Sean Connery, except not a tax dodger.

Anyway, ideas to think about!



  1. Jeremy Clarkson,Nick Faldo,Will Carling,Ray Winstone, the list goes on……Phil got it spot on with the Cornish,less than quarter are nationalists lots of people mainly retired from all parts of England including my mum,who are not a bit interested in a assembly let alone being aware of anything other,i worked down there for 5 years for the council so i was quite in touch with things,& when England rugby/football games were on TV in the Pub & watch Six nations or Qualifying World cup games i n the usual pubs in truro would have there England tops & hats cheering the England lads on!

  2. Yes these people are all proud Englishmen and Clarkson in particularly is in the public eye. I think he’d only cause the left to hate us even more – but I don’t care what they think. We’ll send Billy Bragg to convince them.

    The problem seems to be awareness, when it is spelled out people seem to agree with an English parliament. Any ‘celebrity’ (god I hate that word) endorsements from fellow patriots for our cause would be worthwhile.

  3. Agree with everything except GSTQ being played. Jerusalem is the answer, its just many English people haven’t woken up to it yet.

  4. Paul – I agree with Jerusalem we don’t want to mix up the UK and England. But I am also a monarchist!

  5. You know why i love my monachy! because …….
    (1) It is English,represents ENGLAND & ENGLISHNESS i know the queen descended from saxsony/germanic, past ,but i dont care!she was born in England just like William& Harry they have spencer stock…aswell
    (2) The Americans & others envy us they would give anything to have a Monachy! so dont ever knock it..
    fair enough if you dont like it ! turn away, but do not ever let it go ……
    (3) the scots welsh irish,& the others wont admit it but they are jealous,they would love to have what WE GOT!
    (4)The Leftys,libs ,commys,etc all hate it! sad people bitter & twisted…. but i love it…. because they dislike… we need to carry on promoting Anglo England across the world!

  6. I hate to argue with someone I think I have a lot in common with but technically number (3) is wrong. Since James the 1st and 6th us and the Scots royal families merged so they can claim her too. We conquered the Welsh and Irish so they can’t though. Bet you the Ulster Unionists love the Queen as much as we do!

    And your reason number 4 – saving the best till last!

  7. Yes ok! a broad statement ! too broad but there are a group of celts who are anti royalists! yes some of welsh scots irish do support the royals/monachy & i should not of overlooked, them but…you get my general drift of the negitve responses England & we English get from certain sections of the U.K. & there is a section within in England a traitorous group,which we must be aware off! & treat them with the contempt they deserve.anyway the high profile representative of England Mr Smiley Richard Branson ought to be banging the England drum he is some-one who started from ordinary surroundings ought to identify with the People of England & support us in our cause for Englands Parliament !BUT like alot that make it! they forget the people they left behind,they become absorbed in the British Establisment, they become Power freaks! they make money for a past time! this man should be gratefull to the people of England for there support. Is not about time Mr Branson thought of his fellow men ….. We have a cause Mr Branson a EnglishParliament!
    Shame on you! turn around! your country is seeking DEMOCRACY

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