BLAISE TAPP: The UK is the belligerent drunk at the end of bar

Not just the domain of White Van Man.
Not just the domain of White Van Man.
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It’s fair to say, we are living in a country that feels far from united right now. It’s almost two years since 17.4 million people backed Brexit and voted to leave the European Union.

In that time we have gone from being the continent’s grumpy old man to the belligerent drunk at the end of the bar, endlessly picking fights with himself.

But, don’t despair, there is a good chance this prolonged period of niggle and narkdom is soon going to change because we stand on the brink of yet another World Cup.

Granted, this current crop of Three Lions stars are far from favourites to claim the famous old trophy in Russia, but I have a feeling even a good run in the knockout stages of the tournament will put a smile back on the nation’s face.

Boy do we need it. Last week a YouGov poll of some 20,000 people showed that the Love Island generation have far less of a feeling of national pride than their elders do. Just 45 per cent of those 18-to-24 year olds questioned said they were proud to be English, compared to a resounding three quarters of those aged 65 and above.

Then there is the St George’s flag, which, as it stands, will only be flown or displayed by a fifth of us during the World Cup, if another survey is to be believed. Draping your nation’s flag out of the bedroom window is a common sight across globe, especially if that country is competing in a major sporting event.

But in recent decades there has been a reluctance by many of us to associate with the English flag. Part of it is snobbery – there is a view among some that displaying a St George’s flag is for White Van Man.

Then you have the flag’s links to the knuckle draggers on the far right and nobody with more than an O-level in woodwork wants to be associated with that lot.

But my view is that the reason for apathy surrounding the flag is that the English have had very little to shout about in recent years and a run to at least the quarter finals, which this ever hopeful fan thinks they are more than capable of, will change everything.

There will be flags everywhere and we will be united again. I hope.