What a wonderfully uplifting phrase that is! It gladdens the heart to see the words displayed at so many football grounds around Europe.
Unlike the appalling "No Refugees!" and "Refugees Out!" banners sometimes seen at clubs whose so-called "supporters" still exist in the Stone Age, which rightly fall foul of FIFA/UEFA regulations on political statements, "Refugees Welcome!" is an enlightened and apolitical sentiment that should be endorsed by all right-minded people.
Let me type it again. "Refugees Welcome!"
How heartwarming the words are.
One might almost say "Christian", but one best not, as this may understandably offend some of the very refugees we are welcoming.
Anyway, tonight we expect to welcome large numbers of would-be refugees. They are from a place called "Sarf Lahndun", where different values and cultures to our own are in vogue. These values and their associated customs may be very different from those with which we are familiar but, of course, they constitue a culture of equal merit to our own.
We should be careful not to offend our welcome guests, so, to that end, I've been researching the behaviour we can expect from our visitors.
Flags and banners are an integral part of the Sarf Lahndun culture. Like Thangka flags in Tibetan Buddhist society, they are central to the belief system and it is important that we understand their significance.
The flag of Tuscany is seemingly of prime importance. Many centuries ago, Tuscany allowed anyone, from any country, to simply pitch-up and settle there, no questions asked. If I'd had time, I would've liked to procure a Hackany flag, as the similarity between our modern community in the east and ancient Tuscany is plain to see.
Flags of "freedom fighters" will also be prominently displayed. Flags of the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War are popular, as are those of Yugoslavian factions. Apart from Serbs, obviously. And anything connected to Pavelic.
Brave Irishmen, Italians and Germans, who fought valiently against despotic Imperialist and capitalist regimes in the 1970s and 1980s - from a prudent distance and strictly by remote control - are also lauded in banner form.
The plucky underdog is also celebrated in this manner. As with many of the right-thinking fan groups with which we are more familiar, the flag of the Philistines is often prominently displayed, commemorating the selfless sacrifice of the outrageously overmatched Goliath, who was disgracefully defeated by the underhand tactics of David. (NB: as a result of his disgusting behaviour and subsequent "Hand of God" claim, flags that may be associated with David are NOT welcome.)
The flag of Catalonia has recently begun to appear. This is cautiously welcomed, but I gather a meeting of tribal elders will be held shortly to rubber-stamp its officially sanctioned status.
It seems there is also a proposal to name the bar at the visitors' citadel the "Visca la Republica Bar." (NB: the bar is currently a seemingly sensitive subject and conversation on the topic is best avoided. Any reference to the story that said bar was previously named after a female unperson in SE Asia is highly offensive.)
This brings us on to alcohol.
Alcohol plays an important part in Sarf Lahndun culture and liberal imbibing is viewed as essential in many quarters. However, while we might enjoy a pint or two in The Dog & Ferret or The George, Sarf Lahndun citizens purchase their alcohol at stores with strange names, such as "Tesco" and "Sainsbury", and consume it al fresco. It would appear these Tesco and Sainsbury emporia are broadly similar to the Waitrose and M&S Food outlets in which we do our weekly shopping but, rather than being liveried in our own tasteful and understated green, they are branded in vibrant colours, such as blue & white or orange.
One would think blue, white and orange would be an excellent colour scheme for a vibrant flag, celebrating the oppressed in somewhere like southern Africa, but apparently not.
Speaking of southern Africa, facial hair is an integral part of Sarf Lahndun identity. A multiplicity of moulded masculine mandible muff will be visible on our visitors, much of it unique to the owner. There was a strong rumour that a very important refugee, with famously facial follicles on his upper lip, would be in attendance tonight after arriving in Sarf Lahndun and successfully applying for asylum under the "Refugees Welcome!" policy. However, a broadcast from the presidential palace yesterday suggested the potential asylum-seeker was staying put. A would-be refugee deciding to stay in his own country shows just how culturally diverese these refugees can be.
Finally, a word about finances. Unlike in our capitalist economy, the notion of paying a market rate - or even paying at all - for goods or services in Sarf Lahndun is regarded with suspicion. Property is often appropriated, without the need for a financial transaction, or purchased at a substantial discount from the back of a lorry. Actual work and gainful employment are frowned upon, with most people preferring to exist through the payment of "benefits" and stipends, which apparently come from a money tree, planted by a mistrusted but seemingly benevolent rival tribe called the Evil Tories, who tend to eschew facial hair and have a less-than-diverse taste in flags. The practice of "Bunking-in" is also a fundamental part of fiscal culture in Sarf Lahndun and I sincerely hope it will be viewed sympathetically this evening, as the planned donation of a small gratuity is unlikely to satisfy the cultural requirement for subsidised existence endemic in our valued visitors' society.
Let's hope they enjoy the game.
- A noble gesture by Mike Cox13/11/2017 12:41Mon Nov 13 12:41:17 2017view thread
- Re: A noble gesture by Pink Panther14/11/2017 11:38Tue Nov 14 11:38:24 2017
- Refugees Welcome! by Morgs21/11/2017 11:59Tue Nov 21 11:59:50 2017
- Dulwich, Kevin Rye... fascinating. by Morgs22/11/2017 15:50Wed Nov 22 15:50:18 2017