The English Defence Tourist Board
Mr John Major, former wearer of Y-Fronted undergarments and ex beau of Eddie “Mixed Vegetable Korma” Currie, once said “fifty years on from now, Britain will still be the country of long shadows on cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pools fillers and, as George Orwell said, ‘Old maids bicycling to holy communion through the morning mist’ and, if we get our way, Shakespeare will still be read even in school”. What a load of ol’ cobblers. But all those ol’ notions get tourists flooding into the country with their Yens, Dollars, Euros and the odd Paraguayan Guaraní. “Attract more Paraguayans” is our watchword, their National Anthem is entitled “Paraguayans, Republic or Death”. Love those guys, so upbeat.
In terms of upbeat, Mr Robinson and his followers, who all appear to favour tattoos of flags, lions and unicorns alongside their general disdain for hair products and the English language in general, don’t quite cut it. If, for example, some of these less than sprightly young chaps were to offer travel advice, it would probably begin and end with “Go Home” to every touring foreign Johnny. Hardly welcoming, on any level, and certainly not reminiscent of “old maids bicycling to holy communion through the morning mist’.
But these chaps clearly have a penchant for the urban milieu: London, Sheffield, Liverpool and now Birmingham, have become the focus of their adoration. So great is their love of the urban that they try to share urban materials with all manner of other folk: bricks with your run of the mill British Bobby, cobbles with your average shopper, timber with chaps whose opinions differ to their own.
On second thoughts the English Defence Tourist Board isn’t quite as appealing as one would initially believe. Actually, it never was that appealing any way.