For years the BBC pursued a policy of denigrating England and suppressing any sense of English national pride or identity. They were eventually forced into changing their attitude towards England by a series of public embarrassments and criticisms that I’m proud to say I played a part in.
It seems that ITV have decided to fill the anti-English void left by the BBC directing marginally less hate towards England though. They have started conflating English and British like the BBC used to and promoting Britishness whilst portraying Englishness as something dirty an dangerous. Their coverage of England’s football matches this week shows the lengths they’ll go to to promote Britishness.
There were hundreds of English flags in the crowd in the game against Ecuador on Wednesday but ITV managed to find an English flag with a union flag in the corner that they zoomed in on while the British national anthem was played for the English team before panning round the England fans and finally finishing on the flag again but zoomed out so you could see the whole thing.
If it was an isolated incident you could dismiss it as crap camera work but it happened again tonight before the Honduras game – they managed to find what must have been the only union flag amongst the thousands of English flags in the crowd to zoom in on while they played the British national anthem again.
If I was a suspicious person I might wonder if we were being prepared for a rebranding of the English team bearing in mind FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s well known opposition to an English team, the British government’s desire for a British football team and the FA’s willingness to run the Team GB football team for the Olympics despite the very sensible opposition from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish FAs. I don’t trust the FA, I don’t trust the British government and I don’t trust FIFA. There is more to this than meets the eye.