Monday, 8 June 2009

Shedding Light on English Britishness

From "Britology Watch"'s worth a read.

Britishness / Englishness: What Brown says about ‘Britishness’ could just as easily be called Englishness. And that’s because he IS essentially talking about Englishness, as the Britishness he outlines is what he needs the English to think of as their true, underlying ’national identity’ – whereas, in reality, it’s Englishness that is the underlying national identity of Britishness: “We have shown over three centuries that a common ground of Britishness, of British identity, can be found in the stories of the various communities and nationalities that inhabit these islands. . . . On one side, our nurturing Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English identities and sensibilities – now, of course, added to by many others . . . . On the other, carefully balanced and held in tension, the organisations and operations of a British state that, shorn of nationalistic baggage, are the patriotic aspect of the nation state”.

Eugh? Decoded: ‘British patriotism (patriotism, you understand, not nationalism) is the acceptable face of the English nationalism (and national identity) that originally subjugated the other British nations and the colonies, who are now (after three centuries) England’s equals within a common Britishness’.


Wyrdtimes said...

Most of the time when Brown is talking about "Britain" or "our country" or "the country" he is talking about England. That's because 90% of law has been devolved. Leaving the majority of legislation handled in the UK parliament; English legislation. Yet we still have Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs voting on our issues.

He talks in the terms of "Britishness" to hide the fact that he represents a Scottish constituency and to avoid the inconvenience of the WLQ. He doesn't want it widely known that he can't touch 90% of the law passed in his own constituency!

The UK has stripped England of nearly all vestiges of identity - there are no English institutions. British Museum, British Library, British Council - British this British that - English nothing. Even the cricket board has Wales tacked on...

British nationalism is not English nationalism at all. In my experience the vast majority of English nationalists want shot of the UK as much as the Welsh, Scottish or Irish nationalists do.

kerdasi amaq said...

I've always thought of the WQL as a pointless irrelevance, as long as Welsh and Scottish Labour and Tory MPs vote in accordance with their party whips, what's the problem?

Eventually, this will be even be less than an irrelevance, when the sovereign political parties surrender all lawmaking powers to the European Union and Parliament adopts a role of little more than a glorified town council.