Race Colour Creed

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I would say it is true that unless you have been an oppressed minority you probably shouldn't try to speak about how ‘they ought to behave differently.'

We were children of two immigrants in London in the fifties. A white creole mother who did voodoo and faith healing and wore long flowing robes and beads but was a churchgoing Christian and an Irish dad whom no-one could understand when he spoke but who eventually earned the love of his neighbours.

When we were young we actually got petitions signed by all the residents in the street telling us how to behave … or to move on.

On top of that I was disabled … apparently … and there was no political correctness then, at least among my contemporaries. So I know a little about being an oppressed minority.

I've been very annoyed by a lot of things this year. Scottish Nationalism, Nigel whatsisname and ‘they're takeing our jobs', soldiers murdered, Muslims murdered, Jews murdered.

So I wanted to talk about cricket!

So I'm English. I could never see a cricket ball but I always loved cricket. I had a Colin Cowdray cricket bat. He was England captain. I wanted to play for England. We might have played Ireland. We would certainly have played The West Indies.

So if I'd gone out to bat for England against the West Indies … would I have taken a bribe because my mum was West Indian? Like f…k I would, I'd have tried to hit the bastards all over the park and win the game for England! But on another day if the Windies were facing the dreaded Aussies I'd be backing them with all the extra fervour of supporting my kith and kin. What's the problem in that?

I was on the tube two weeks ago. Cup final day. I was attending a sad memorial so wore my only dark tie. My Spurs tie. Into the carriage came twelve roudy singing Arsenal fans. The game was against Hull … but all the Arsenal fans wanted to do was chant about how Spurs were tossers!

Opposite me sat a guy with a headset and an Arsenal scarf. He caught sight of me hastily trying to tuck my tie into my shirt, gave me the thumbs up and pissed himself laughing. Good bloke.

So why can't I fervently hope we beat Arsenal and Chelsea 9 : 0 every week and that Everton pip them to the Champions League spot but still hope that an English team … Arsenal … beat the Dutch in their Champions League match?

Is that too complicated? Can't you be passionately pro your homeland and your kinfolk without needing to despise and want to distance yourself from the rest of the world.

I'm really sad the Scots want to break away. Really sad. I'm particularly sad when they talk about it in a them and us sort of way. I'm sad when Nigel whatsisname wants to put up border posts with guards. I want the whole world to put an end to that.

I want the words of the late great Wole Soyinka to ring out

"I dream of a world in which the children play in and out of the empty windows of abandoned embassies in a borderless landscape."

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