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Sunday, 22 April 2012

On Shakespeare's birthday (and St George's day) English nationalism is a rising "tide in the affairs of men".

The enemies of what LibDem Charlie Kennedy attacked as the "IDEA of England itself" can see that, in England, English nationalism is Shakespeare's rising "tide in the affairs of men". Rather than take it "at the flood" they would rather try to confuse and dissemble, well knowing that a dishonest "friend" is more dangerous than an open enemy.

Here's the latest article in the Daily Telegraph's "Campaign for Britishness" - which would have been more accurately entitled as 'Threequarters of people in England say St George's Cross is NOT racist'!

The article reports uncritically a "Report" done by "British Future".

British Future's website claims it "is a new independent, non-partisan thinktank seeking to involve people in an open conversation, which addresses people’s hopes and fears about identity and integration, migration and opportunity, so that we feel confident about Britain’s Future.
We want to ensure that we engage those who are anxious about cultural identity and economic opportunity in Britain today, as well as those who already feel confident about our society, so that we can together identify workable solutions to make Britain the country we want to live in."

British Future's Director, Sunder Katwala, is revealed, by a cursory Wikipedia search, as:- " Sunder Katwala is a British political activist and former general secretary of the Fabian Society. He was previously with The Observer newspaper, as a leader writer and internet editor, and was Research Director of The Foreign Policy Centre think-tank from 1999 to 2001. He became Fabian general secretary in October 2003, and held the position until July 2011.

Katwala also writes for The Guardian newspaper, for the Liberal Conspiracy blog, and most regularly for the Fabian blog Next Left.

The Daily Telegraph has included Katwala at number 33 in its list of the '100 most influential left-wingers in British politics."

Given the last paragraph it is hard to accept any proper motive for why this "Report" is given this uncritical treatment by the Telegrpah (with the exception perhaps of sloppy research?)

Here is the Telegraph article:-

"St George’s flag is a racist symbol says a quarter of the English
The English feel far more patriotic about the Union Flag than the St George’s Cross, according to a new poll.

By Jasper Copping

22 Apr 2012

The survey found that while 80 per cent linked the British flag with such feelings, only 61 per cent associated them with English one.

By contrast, the Scottish and the Welsh were far more likely to feel pride in their flag – the St Andrew’s Cross and Red Dragon respectively – than the English in theirs.

The survey was carried out by the think tank British Future as part of a report analysing how people from around the UK view their “national identity”. It will be released tomorrow, on St George’s Day.

The organisation say the results show that more needs to be done to encourage a sense of “English patriotism” if the Union is to survive.

In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, signed by academics as well as MPs from all major parties, the think tank also calls for the introduction of a new English national anthem to help foster a greater sense of identity at sporting and national occasions.

The organisation, which has also written to the Prime Minister and other party leaders, suggests holding a popular vote to select an anthem such as Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory, I Vow to Thee, My Country, or Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, which could be adopted by the English and be used in the same way as Flower of Scotland by the Scots and Land Of My Fathers, by the Welsh.

The report, This Sceptred Isle, shows that only 61 per cent of the English said they associated the St George’s Cross with pride and patriotism, compared to 84 per cent of Scots and 86 per cent of Welsh, when asked about, respectively, the St Andrew’s Cross and the Red Dragon.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent), of the English said they considered their flag to be racist, compared to 10 per cent of Scots and seven per cent of Welsh, when asked about their own flags.

The report blames the “extreme street hooligans of the English Defence League” for “toxifying” the St George’s Cross, although it says politicians should also take responsibility for failing to “speak up for the inclusive patriotism of the English majority”.

It draws a clear parallel with the situation in Scotland and Wales, where civic leaders have done more to “counter rejectionist or exclusive versions of national identity”.

However, by contrast, the English have far more positive associations with the Union flag with 80 per cent linking it to feelings of pride and patriotism, compared with just over a half of Scots (56 per cent) and just over two thirds (68 per cent) of Welsh.

Despite the continuing pride in the Union flag, the report warns that English anxiety over its own flag risks damaging the Union.

It states: “England, the land of Shakespeare, seems uncertain how to find its modern voice. Historically an understated Englishness has been conflated with being British.

"It is ignoring England that now presents a greater threat to the Union than anything else.”

Sunder Katwala, the director of the think tank, said: “We’ve done nothing in the era of devolution to give a voice to England as well as Scotland and Wales, which has left English identity too open to an extremist fringe.

“The EDL with their street yobbery are not the only ones to blame for the unusual anxiety that too many people in England feel about their own flag of St George.

"They share the blame with the politicians who haven’t spoken up for a modern English patriotism, as well as our British identity.

“While the devolution debates in Scotland and Wales appear to have modernised the Scots and Welsh associations with their flag, attitudes to the English flag are lagging behind.”

The poll, conducted in the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, also show varying levels of support for the monarch.

Eighty per cent of the English said the Queen evoked feelings of pride, compared with 41 per cent of Scots and 35 per cent of Welsh.

The poll was conducted for British Future by YouGov, and involved 2,600 from across the UK.

The relatively new think tank is a non-partisan organisation, with members from across the political spectrum. It is dedicated to investigating the concept of national identity and patriotism in the UK."

I wish everyone a Happy St George's day! I shall be spending part of mine giving evidence to the McKay Commission on WLQ/Devolution! Later I shall be at our St George's Day dinner.


  1. It's quite useful that the BF suggests correctly though paradoxically that the lack of English patriotism is now the main danger to the Union. We will have to wait for the full report on 23 April to find out what BF means by this. As reported, it implies that if the English were prouder of England (or allowed to be) they would be more willing to promote the Union.

    1. I think you have to look carefully at the activities of BF to grasp their agenda. They are a pro immigration group. Their concern is how immigrants fit into this society.

      I think in part their concern is that historically immigrants have identified themselves as British. Often using “British” as a prefix or suffix to their ethnic or religious identity; black British, British Muslim” etc.

      English is still largely, despite seventy years of the establishment’s best efforts, seen as being an ethnic identity. If the Union does end and therefore Britain no longer exists, how would members of the BME identify themselves?

    2. You are correct in asserting this. This is the main concern of this group. God, how many pro-immigration groups does this country have? It is very annoying that these groups are trying to make Englishness an all-inclusive identity so that ethnics can fit in! Any real national identity by its very nature is exclusive and not inclusive.

  2. Later I shall be at our St George's Day dinner. I shall raise a glass to you at 9.00pm

  3. Terry Smithemen is the owner of the Anti EDP filth blog England watch.
    Terry Smithemen is also known as Anglo Staffs on the BDF.
    Terry Smithemen is west midlands leader of the one england party and Terry Smithemen is also a UKIP member.

  4. There were plenty of St George's flags flying yesterday. These were presumably flown by terrible English racists.
    More work needed there then. Surely 61% is still more than twice 24% and how many of the 24% were ethnic English. What bugs me is how people from the Sub-continent get into positions of power and influence so quickly and then think they can rubbish and denigrate the opinions and feelings of the indigenous English. Is there any other people in the world that would allow this to happen? Can you imagine a European or a black doing it in India, China, Japan or an Indian or European doing it in black Africa. Perhaps the British were arrogant in the old imperial days but I find Asians much more arrogant than any Englishman. And of course nobody ever dares take them to task over it. Has anybody publicised the odiously arrogant Keith Vaz's statement that he want to make Leicester an Asian colony? Enoch Powell said that the day would come when the black (or brown man) would have the whip hand over the white. Looks as if he was right there as well. He was right because we dare do nothing to contradict any of them for fear of falling fowl of anti-racism legislation. I am sick to the stomach of being sneered at by people who have chosen to make what was once the land of Henry V's "happy breed" their second home. We have only one.

    1. As Robin says, use the laws they have created to protect yourself too. The only thing bullies don't like is defiance and bravery.

    2. Yes but the bullies have the full panolply of the law at their disposal and are using it on an almost daily basis. I think of a recent case where a man - I think he was drunk otherwise he may have kept stumm - told an Asian that this is his country why doesn't the Asian go back to his. Up before the beak and sentence handed out in no time at all. And yet I have heard many people mutter the same thing to one another. Just musing on "this happy breed". A breed implies common blood and ancestry. "These happy breeds" implies no similar cohesian or integrity and yet that is what we now have. Not that they are happy, the blacks aren't. the muslims aren't, the natives aren't. The Indians probably are because they think they are going to be the winners in the end. The best that can be said is that strange English phrase, "we rub along together", although this is probably a gross exaggeration.

  5. I have just read that five terrorism suspects have been arrested in Luton but that the police took great care when issuing the search warrants to have respect for the muslims' "religious and cultural identity". When did the English turn into such a bunch of nancies? God, we have so many potential enemy aliens in our towns and cities and we treat them as if they are harmless little old ladies. We don't deserve to survive but survive we will when the majority of English men and women who still have some balls ( apologies to the ladies but I was speaking metaphorically ) finally take back control. We can't allow ourselves to be pushed into the gutter and trampled on any more. Nobody likes Rupert Murdoch but good for him for dropping his "friends" - the slippery twins - Dave and Tony in it today. Obviously they just thought the chap was a really nice fellow and wanted him as the godfather to their children or to go on holiday with him. It could be nothing to do with being desperate for the Sun to back their parties? Corrupt the whole bunch of them. We need to clear the decks and start again. Shame that Gordon Brown threw a hissy fit when Rupert said he didn't love him and his party any more. If they were at all decent they wouldn't need the Sun to brainwash the British proletariat for them. Janice Atkins in the Mail seemed to have realised that the spoilt baby boomer generation who were doing universal love, flower power and Marxism at university in the 60s and 70s are to blame. But she hasn't explained the economic collapse - I think she's looking for the B word i.e. Bankers. And it was the "unbalanced" Gordon Brown who deregulated the banks. She seems concerned but not surprised at the rise of the "far right" but we have seen off the "vile BNP" (just keeping the NUJ from chucking her out). We didn't always respect our colonials' religious and cultural identities (perhaps Bedfordshire police fear another Indian mutiny) when we had the Empire but if it was so horrible why oh why do they want to come here to be looked after by us? plus France's ex-colonials, too.

  6. a problem with invoking Shakespeare in support of English nationalism is that what he often had in mind when he was wrote 'England' was Great Britain, c.f. 'This Sceptered Isle'. James1 promoted the term 'Great Britain'.

  7. Shakespeare did more than anyone since William the Bastard to undermine the Germanic identity of the English and their language

    1. Yesterday I realised how much more direct and vital the Anglo-Saxon heritage in English is than the Norman French overlay. This was in relation to the words Power and Might and Powerful and Mighty. They should mean the same things but whereas the Norman French Power, modern French pouvoir, is typically gallic limp-wristed. The words Might and Mighty are like a sock between the eyes with a mailed fist. Still "This happy breed" is still all Anglo-Saxon, "Contented progeny" doesn't quite have the same impact. Not sure that Shakespeare really was wanting to include Scotland and Wales, "This sceptered peninsula" doesn't sound quite the same, does it?