My country has no flag. Its has no national anthem, although some of its citizens are partial to folk music and Morris dancing. No seething, populous crowds cheer my country on, with loud or incoherent cries in the street. Its citizens do not rally round meaningless symbols and engineer fake outrage at nonexistent bans, nor does it pay much attention to third-century Palestinian saints (although my country does incidentally support freedom for Palestine.) My country’s citizens never paint red crosses on their faces, to reinforce their aggressive bellowing at others; nor do they dangle such crosses on plasticated handkerchiefs from their cars or vans.
My country does not wage war on other countries; nor does any other country ever need to act aggressively towards it. It welcomes with open arms those who flee their own countries, whether from political oppression, fear of violence, or because of economic conditions that impact severely on their quality of life. It gladly acknowledges the debt that its health service and other public services owe to immigrants. It embraces their cultures—different yet similar—and celebrates the richness they contribute to millennia of development of my country’s multiculture, my mongrel nation.
My country does not imprison children in Yarl’s Wood. It does not detain people without trial. It does not mistreat those in prison or on remand, and has respect for international human rights. It does not clamp down on free speech and the right of those like Brian Haw to free and fair protest. It is liberal, loving, compassionate, and socialist, and gives the world’s weak the benefit of the doubt.
My country does not submit teams to sporting events. It does not embarrass itself in international arenas. Its more physically fit citizens do not take over any television channels to broadcast their halfwitted observations. My country does not reward stupid people, who merely have the stamina to run around a lot after footballs, with sums of money which would prop up whole hospitals and provide untold benefit for the lives of the sick and disabled.
My country is in my heart; but in the worlds of politics, sport, finance, journalism, commerce and international affairs, it invariably finds itself represented by its weird, slobbering, deformed twin; this twin gladly affirms it will do all of the above on its brother’s behalf, and spuriously in its brother’s name; and this twin is called, ridiculously, mock-proudly, “Ingerland.”
My country is currently trying to obtain some sort of legal separation. All donations to its costs will be gratefully received.