No Patriotism Please, We’re British


Only in North London’s leafy enclaves would a shop selling British goods and memorabilia be at risk of being run out of business by snarling locals convinced that union jack cushions are one step away from fascism

Another day, another painful reminder that London voted strongly against Brexit and is, in many ways, a different country within a country.

Local newspaper Ham&High reports:

A shopkeeper has defended his novelty gift shop after it has been boycotted by shoppers who branded it ‘pro-Brexit’ and ‘racist’.

The shop in Muswell Hill caused a storm on social media with owner Chris Ostwald, 54, forced to remove his British flags on the opening day on November 26 because he received so many complaints.

One of the shop assistants, who is Spanish, left after just one day because of all the snide remarks she received.

The shop sells British-themed gifts and homeware. Their products include condiments, such as brown sauce, London underground tea towels and “Muswell Hillbillies” mugs, which references the Kinks album. There are also suffragette aprons and stocking fillers such as old fashioned compasses.

Mr Otswald, 54, told the Ham&High: “The shop is in no way meant to be ‘political’ or ‘pro Brexit’, but we have had a lot of complaints saying it is or we are ‘racist!”

“A guy came in the other day and said, ‘what’s this, a charity shop?’ and we said, ‘no, not at all’, and he said, ‘well it’s racist’, and stormed out.”

Mr Ostwald added: “People have been coming in and just tutting and walking out.”

There have been other comments on Facebook, with one person arguing that the name is not inclusive.

One man wrote on public Facebook group Muswell Hill and Friends: “Chris, while I applaud you setting up a business in Muswell Hill and employing local people I’m curious as to why you decided to call your shop ‘Really British’ (besides the obvious point that you will sell British made goods)?

“Like many people I live in London because of its international nature, and for me personally having a big sign on the Broadway saying ‘Really British’ makes me feel you’re implying that other local businesses in the area are therefore somehow ‘not really British’.

“Some will no doubt say I’m over-sensitive but I can’t help thinking that given the recent divisive referendum and the current political climate you might have chosen a more inclusive name in 2016.”

This invidious disease of proud anti-patriotism is particularly British. In America, whether you are on New York’s Fifth Avenue or Main Street in some small Mid-Western town, a shop which celebrates Americana and American heritage would be celebrated and universally popular. In France, shops which sell traditional French produce and goods are happily frequented by tourists and locals alike.

Only in Britain are we cursed with a sub-population of pinch-faced killjoys who have been bred to believe that any expression of pride in Britain is “scary” and somehow tantamount to racism. Only in the fashionable and gentrifying parts of London and Britain’s other major cities does one find this pitiful tribe of people who are allergic to their own flag.

Only in places like London’s Muswell Hill do people hold the country which gives them life and liberty in such horrified, sneering contempt.


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6 thoughts on “No Patriotism Please, We’re British

  1. stue1967 September 17, 2017 / 10:43 AM

    Living in Muswell Hill, which appears to be an issue for you as a writer, the biggest problem that most people have with the shop is that it is selling pretty naff tourist tat. I don’t think there is some insidious political undercurrent in leafy N10. I just think we don’t really fancy buying the stuff he is selling. It isn’t something we “need’ in the way that you need half a dozen eggs or a new pair of shoes.
    You guys need to get out of your self-created echo chamber a little more often.


  2. britishawakening December 13, 2016 / 11:48 AM

    I feel as a Cis SJW I really must complain, you have chosen to write this blog solely in English a clear power dynamic against the Inuit minority of London who speak only in Inuktitut.
    I’m off to my safe space now to build an igloo.


  3. Derek December 10, 2016 / 9:02 AM

    Top marks to Chris Ostwald. I was born in Wood Green, just the other side of Ally Pally from Muswell Hill, and during my childhood through the 50’s such a shop would never have got off the ground. We were all British, save the few immigrants on the buses and the Underground – we didn’t need reminding of it. Women wore printed aprons and headscarves when out shopping, and got their veg by the lb still with dirt on tipped straight into a string bag from the scales. I have worked all over London for the better part of my life. The sixties saw fashion shops selling Union Jack’d items and perhaps spawned ‘Quadrophenia’, from which has grown shops like Ostwald’s. What’s next on the list – banning remembrance Sunday? Oh yes – some would love that.

    Londonistan has taken over from; Jews in Golders Green and Indians in Southall. Go into a supermarket in St. Albans and you will hear Latvian, Polish, and Arabic. It’s International alright, and a place I will never return to from my retirement in Shropshire. I’d like International to be a place visited that is abroad. Xenophobic am I? No – I’m just British, the same as a Frenchman is French, and like many, should be proud to be a member of a nation for its history and general character, not for racism or xenophobia – these are elements created by a destructive thought process claimed to be based upon integration and harmonisation, when in truth they are the destroyers of morals, customs and individualities that make nations and their peoples what they always have been. That wasn’t any cause to go to ‘war’ over anything. But to have our own nationality so vehemently despised by our own people, is a discrimination that has been brought on by that very integration and harmonisation program whose cover title has been: “peace brother – we are the big melting pot”. No, it’s a furnace of dissatisfaction and hatred in the making. A destroyer of peace.


  4. Chauncey Tinker December 9, 2016 / 11:39 PM

    No doubt we should all now rally around and “tolerate” a religion that encourages its followers to smite us on the neck and smite all of our fingertips off us (Koran 8:12), in line with Theresa May’s truly insane “British Values”.


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