Sunday, 27 June 2010

Which country do I belong to?

This is an interesting question. Having lived over here in BC for the past three years, I found my day to day thoughts on the matter challenged by Youngest this morning. I made a sarcastic remark about the piss poor playing performance (They pay them how much?) of the England team in the 2010 World Cup, and she shot back; "You shouldn't be disrespectful of your country."
My reaction was; whose country?

This gave me pause for thought; I've still got the accent of course, but the question this raises is; am I still English? I would say not. My reasoning is that since I left the shores of England both it and I have changed irrevocably. As far as I'm concerned, arch traitor Gordon Brown signed the Lisbon Treaty and effectively overnight changed my citizenship status. Without either my tacit or overt consent. Does that make me a refugee of sorts?

Hey, nobody asked me whether or not I wanted to be a 'Citizen of Europe'. We were promised referendums on the subject, but nothing happened. True, I was born English of mixed antecedents and still have a UK passport. My Canadian residency status is still officially 'temporary' pending confirmation of 'permanent' but somehow I don't feel English any more. Mrs S and I both have a BC Driving license, health insurance bank account, Job and credit cards. We recycle extensively because we want to, not because we might be fined if we didn't. We do our bulk monthly shopping at Costco and buy fresh veg closer to home. We're members of several local societies and attend meetings. We volunteer. We fit in here.

Tell you the truth I'm beginning to prefer watching Ice Hockey to Rugby, or Baseball to Cricket. Not one hundred percent sure of the rules, but then that was always the case with Cricket or Rugby.

This blog of course, predominantly links with UK bloggers perhaps because I need someone to feel sorry for. To sympathise with. Sometimes I think it's like having sympatico for a small fish struggling on an oversize hook, or someone in an abusive relationship who can't simply walk away. All you can do is watch and make comment.


Angry Exile said...

Jeez, with a few changes I could have written that, and coincidentally I've got a blog post forming in the back of my mind along similar lines. I'm a permanent resident and obviously ice hockey would have to be changed to Aussie Rules, but other than that we're in very similar positions. We even have a Costco in Melbourne now, though my preference is still for market produce. While I'm obviously not an Aussie I'm sort of not quite English anymore either. That's partly because I hold myself up to the Tebbit test and feel obliged to shout for Australia first, and partly for the same reasons as you, that the UK is not the place I left and therefore isn't there to go back to. I may have burned my bridges but it was others in the UK government who smashed the foundations and put in barbed wire and land mines where they used to be.

England is where I started from but Australia is where I've made my home and that decides my loyalties for sport etc: England first, as it has always been, unless Australia are involved. In that case it's Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi. I blog mainly on UK issues because I'm still very fond of the old place and would rather it became a better and freer place to live.

Bill Sticker said...


The phrase I was looking for is "I didn't leave my country, my country left me." The feeling of disenfranchisement is sometimes, for want of a better word, hollowing. You feel like a marionette with most of your cultural ties severed, flailing around for things to take their place. As you point out, this process has its good points.

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