The culture war against Englishness

The culture war against Englishness

Fear of the masses fuels the elites’ suspicion of Englishness.

Tom Slater
Share
Topics Brexit Politics UK

This is an edited version of a speech Tom Slater gave at a panel discussion titled ‘Towards a civic English nationalism’. It was held at the Henry Jackson Society in London on 7 August 2019.

I’m going to talk about why I think Englishness, English national identity, can be so awkward and uncomfortable for the political and media elites these days.

Sitting here, in 2019, in the tolerant, open country that we are, it is not immediately obvious why so many influential people have such a problem with Englishness. Why does it unsettle them so much, given that, on all kinds of measures, English national identity seems increasingly benign, if not in some ways positive?

English is – naturally – the most widely shared national identity in the UK. But the vast majority of English people see themselves as equally British. Englishness is not, therefore, a narrow and parochial identity. It maps neatly for most English people on to the broader British collective identity.

Most crucially, Englishness is an increasingly post-racial identity. A recent survey conducted by the Centre for English Identity and Politics at Winchester University found that just one in 10 people in England now think that being white is important to being English.

This survey updated research first undertaken by the British Future think-tank in 2012. The change in attitudes it reveals, over just seven years, is remarkable – in 2012, more than two in 10 people thought being white was important to being English.

We still have some way to go. But we are a multiracial society that seems more at ease with itself than ever before. Culturally, we are comfortable with diversity. The sports and pop stars who young people look up to are testament to this.

What’s more, this shift in attitudes is not just a case of the bad old days slowly dying off with the bad old people. Just 16 per cent of over-65s today think whiteness is an important part of being English, compared to 35 per cent in 2012.

This shift in attitudes among older people is backed up by other evidence. In the wake of the Windrush scandal, according to one YouGov survey, Brits aged over 65 were actually the most supportive of the Commonwealth citizens who were treated so shamefully by the Home Office.

(Incidentally, the most supportive UK region of the Windrush children, according to that survey, was not London – it was the rest of the south of England.)

Englishness, therefore, is an increasingly inclusive, benign identity, and yet it is still treated with suspicion – certainly in relation to, say, Welsh or Scottish identity. And every once in a while that suspicion bubbles up to the surface.

Labour MP Emily Thornberry was famously forced to step down from the shadow cabinet in 2014 when she tweeted a picture, from Rochester and Strood, of a house draped in England flags, with a white van parked outside.

She offered no comment on it. It is to this day unclear what she was trying to achieve by posting that image. But for many, it represented a disdain for English identity that many politicians and commentators seem to share.

It was a presentation of working-class Englishness, in particular, as something between a museum piece and an exotic specimen – something sort of alien and strange, and perhaps a bit dangerous.

More recently, the writer Afua Hirsch – author of the book Brit-ish – summed up the feelings of the London intelligentsia in a TV discussion in 2017, when she said that Englishness, for many English people, was a ‘tribal white identity’.

In sum, despite the growing evidence that Englishness is an increasingly civic rather than ethnic identity, this discomfort with Englishness among the elite persists.

Why this is the case might seem obvious at first. The St George’s Cross is, for some, still synonymous with National Front thugs, and, more recently, the English Defence League and Tommy Robinson.

It is easy to forget how far we’ve come in a relatively short space of time. For many black and Asian Britons you don’t need to have been around that long to remember not just a less ‘inclusive’ England, but a deeply racist one.

But it is still striking that the suspicion of Englishness persists even as the content of Englishness is arguably more inclusive than ever before.

You could say that Englishness is a casualty of our new culture war. The spectre of racist, ignorant English folk – ‘gammons’, in the new lingo – is the caricature against which commentators pose as switched-on and virtuous.

But I think the elites’ dislike of Englishness also expresses something deeper. The culture war against Englishness is, I think, bound up with anti-majoritarianism – a discomfort with mass democracy, and a fear and loathing of the ‘little people’ who democracy empowers.

And this is where Brexit comes in.

To adapt a favourite adage of Will Self, not all Remain voters are metropolitan elitists, but all metropolitan elitists voted Remain. And indeed, the Brexit vote brought to the surface that elite section of society’s deep disdain for democracy and for supposedly ‘low-information’ voters.

And given how the votes fell, England was where most of these ‘horrendous’ people could be found. England voted to Leave, where Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay. England backed Leave at a rate higher than the national average – 53.4 per cent. Every English region outside London backed Brexit.

Anti-Brexit anger, therefore, quickly became mixed up with a kneejerk anti-Englishness. Brexit, writes Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, represents a ‘mix of arrogance and ignorance, a very English amalgam’. The vote, she adds, has damned us to ‘dull small island life, grey, inward, with shops full of pies and chips and blue passports in our bags’.

These nominally anti-English tirades were, at least in part, not about England at all. They were giving expression to the anti-majoritarian, anti-democratic inclinations of the elites. This is because England is not only by far the largest bloc of people in the UK — it is also that bloc most often painted as wrongheaded and backward, particularly by the liberal-left.

People once talked about the Labour Party’s problem with southern voters – its ‘southern discomfort’, as a Fabian Society pamphlet put it in 1992. For the best part of three decades now, southern working-class voters have been, in some circles, all but written off. They have been bought off by Thatcher, they are culturally conservative, they are not people to be dealing with.

But the chasm between Labour and its northern heartlands has also been growing all this time. In the wake of the 2010 election, Professor Philip Cowley warned of Labour’s ‘universal discomfort’. And this certainly came to the fore with Brexit.

The biggest majorities for Brexit in 2016 were delivered by the East Midlands, the West Midlands and the North East, encompassing longstanding English Labour heartlands. In those three regions, the Leave vote almost touched 60 per cent. Meanwhile, over 90 per cent of Labour MPs backed Remain.

It is due to these political shifts – which have taken place over recent decades, but came to a head with the Brexit vote – that the English have become a byword for the brutish throng.

There is certainly a discomfort with the idea of national identity in general in certain cosmopolitan circles today. But I would argue that the relatively sympathetic hearing the likes of the SNP or Plaid Cymru get from liberals in England shows that something else is going on here.

Scottish independence, in particular, is increasingly met by sections of the British left with either ambivalence or tacit support. This is a shift that John McDonnell’s explosive comments this week, where he said he was open to the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum, underlined.

I would argue that, in part, the project of Scottish independence is driven by the anti-majoritarian impulse I’ve been talking about. Scotland is presented – by the Scottish National Party – as the centre-left tail that cannot wag the Tory dog. England is supposedly lost to the forces of reaction, and thus Scotland must go it alone.

In turn, in England, Scotland has come to be seen as a kind of haven on a heartless isle. In an interview in the Guardian over the weekend, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon even urged disaffected English voters, angered by Boris and Brexit, to move to Scotland. And I dare say there will be some among the English metropolitan set who will be tempted.

So to sum up, I would argue that the liberal-left’s discomfort with Englishness is an expression of its discomfort with democracy, and the liberal-left’s distance from English identity is an expression of its distance from millions of their fellow country men and women.

But, turning to the central question of this event, the question of fostering a ‘civic English nationalism’, of cultivating a positive English national identity… I’m a little unclear about what that actually means.

I don’t think national identity is anything to demonise. It can in fact offer a more inclusive and expansive identity than the limited racial, gender and sexual identities pushed today by the identitarian left. National identity can provide a framework within which we can transcend our differences.

But while I don’t think we should demonise Englishness, I don’t think we should fetishise it either. We shouldn’t treat it as something fixed and definable, something that either needs to be rediscovered or built from the ground up. Society is more fluid and complex than that.

What I think we should do, however, is argue for some crucial principles – for democracy, for freedom, for universalism. And I think we should defend the nation state as the one construct we have at the moment capable of giving those principles meaning.

For it is those principles – of democracy, freedom and universalism – that I think are most often caught in the crossfire of the culture war over Englishness. And it is those principles on which any progressive nation must rest.

Tom Slater is deputy editor at spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater_

Pictures by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

Nick Branson

16th August 2019 at 12:05 am

Given a choice the majority have adopted the advantages of the west. No temptation to return any of it back, infact just the opposite. The freedom to do things differently was carved out and established here. Slavery was abolished in England on the signing of magna carta way back. Yes English slaves had a market in Ireland and Iceland and were shipped out from Bristol before 1200. The ‘one eyed’ voices of criticism seem share the same ignorant attitude as the worst imperialist of the 19th century but blinded in the opposite eye

Tommy Peters

12th August 2019 at 11:07 pm

Folks, three words. Richard Von Coudenhove-Kalergi. It is not surprising the founder of Pan Europa, the embryo of the EU has gone under the radar in history but his fly in the ointment, the Charlemagne Prize, that promotes the on-going ‘mongrelisation’ of Europe literally spelt out in his time-warped manifesto, Practical Idealism, is still celebrated by recipients such as Merkel and Pope Francis, to name a few.

Francis Lonergan

12th August 2019 at 1:40 pm

This is perhaps evidence of the death of Europe. When anyone can walk into any European country and claim to be of that culture, then there is no distinct culture. I could live a thousand years in Japan but never be Japanese.

Winston Stanley

11th August 2019 at 12:12 am

I reject English identity not so much as a political stance motivated by universalism but personally as motivated by individual autonomy. I will not take my identity from the society in which I happen to have live. I am me, as I see fit, and the society gets no say in that. I do not define myself in terms of other people who just happen to live in the same country as me. They are them and I am me and I do not confuse the two. I am not subject to them in my identity, culture, values or anything else. All of that is my personal prerogative.

Winston Stanley

11th August 2019 at 2:08 am

Btw. I do not define myself personally as British either, British is just a State with which I do not identify. Obviously I have British civic status but that is not a personal identity, it is a legal status.

My personal identity is simply “me”, and I find that quite adequate and satisfying.

Wider identities seem to be mainly about state loyalty, social control and conformity, the absorption of the self into the other. That does not appeal to me. It is inauthentic and self-denying. I do not put the identities of other people above my own or wish to become them.

I would prefer to look back on my life and to say “I was me” than “I was this, that or the other”, some other things that are not me. To genuinely have lived as oneself rather than to have mimicked or confused oneself with others. To discover the self, rather than to allow it to be buried beneath the contingencies and illusions of the particular time and place in which I lived my life. “I was.”

Peter Spurrier

10th August 2019 at 4:44 pm

Sorry to spike the argument of this article, but I do regard ethnicity as relevant to Englishness.

William Stubbs

9th August 2019 at 10:14 pm

A nice ‘pat on the head’ article for the English, as always. I’m English and would like to see England remain as English as possible in the future. And why not? England needs and deserves its own government to look after its best interests. The present chaos with Brexit proves that beyond any doubt.
As an aside, why are the Scottish Nationalists, the Irish Nationalist and the Welsh Nationalist, accepted, not to say loved so wholeheartedly and then subsidised by the British Parliament, but when they detect the tiniest interest in English nationalism they manage to get into mighty fits of rage.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

9th August 2019 at 9:45 pm

A mendacious article that completely fails to address the history of English imperialism over centuries. The treatment meted out by Anglo-Saxons to the Celts (the Irish in particular) is particularly heinous. The (largely unnecessary) death of 1.5+ million irish in the 1840s, unjust partition of Ireland, and near-destruction of Cornish, Welsh and Scottish Highland culture tell a different story. If the Brexiteers of Essex are unaware of this shameful history, then perhaps they should get themselves educated.

SAOR ALBA

Jerry Owen

10th August 2019 at 10:39 am

Boo hoo!

d. PAYNE

10th August 2019 at 5:02 pm

AAh, Amelia Kantor or same zombie school?

Amelia Cantor

12th August 2019 at 11:43 am

Thank you, Zenobia. You are another voice of reason and moderation in this cisgender-white-male-infested comment section, which is why you will be dismissed with the same stupidity and misogyny as I am.

Hana Jinks

12th August 2019 at 11:05 pm

But aren’t you a white dude?

Winston Stanley

9th August 2019 at 8:37 pm

Some food for thought. Regions simply do not do well within the UK. Investment and development are concentrated in London and the south, and they have been for decades, b/c that provides the best return as things stand. Scottish independence, like Irish unity, is simply the progressive path forward for those countries. Just as Ireland does really well economically outside of the UK, it may be anticipated that Scotland too can do much better for itself, when it runs its own country and in its own interests.

> Scotland has the same population as Denmark, with much the same resources, infrastructure and talent. Once it was richer by far. Today its GDP per person is £33,000 against Denmark’s $63,000 (£52,000). I am sure the slide lies in Scotland’s long economic dependency on the UK.
Denmark would no more think of re-entering its former union with Norway than of leaving the EU. It enjoys small-state autonomy, and clearly prospers from it. It is a rich, happy country. (Guardian)

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 7:10 pm

And not that I’d mentioned prayer, but it actually works 100% if you know how. People make the mistake of praying for things of “their” will, when what they’re praying for might not be of His will. Through personal communion, these things are learnt.

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 4:17 pm

If you are a globalist then Englishness is redundant , if you are a globalist you are not going to entertain what is in essence a local flag.. you will fly the largest flag available, the EU flag.
Those that have a problem with the St George flag because TR uses it ( one man for goodness sakes ) or the EDL does, have problem with it in the first place, these are simply excuses.
The Scottish can’t get enough of their flag and the ginger midget always seems to wear blue and white ( latterly not quite as much ).
I don’t care who flies my flag , I respect it because I consider that I have been lucky to have been brought up in a (formally) good country, I like many others have had a stable career and life compare to those countries around the globe that suffer wars, famine, cyclones, etc.
This country has had one of the most benign Empires.
In short my country has been good to me as it has to probably all on this site compared to life for many under communist regimes as the other examples I cite. I wear my flag with pride.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

9th August 2019 at 9:59 pm

‘This country has had one of the most benign Empires.’ —

I almost choked on my potato when I read this. The British (which, of course, includes the Scots and Welsh) flooded China with opium, stole native American land on a massive scale, instituted racial segregation in South Africa, bankrolled Apartheid for forty years, used concentration camps during the Boer War (*only* 60,000 dead!), committed genocide in Tasmania, created arbitrary borders in the Middle East that laid the foundation for the anarchy of recent decades, engaged in a murderous, pointless and illegal imperialist war in Iraq (destabilising the entire region and killing 100,000+), helped to kill three million Indians in the 1943 Bengal famine (through Churchillian hubris), etc. Of course, this is not quite as bad as Hitler’s Germany or Stalinist Russia or Leopold’s Congo exploits but still…

The Scots have let go of the Empire. The English still have delusions of imperial grandeur, which has led to this Brexit farce. England must grow up but I fear that the English will have to learn about economic reality the hard way now…

Jerry Owen

10th August 2019 at 10:42 am

Read my post again. One of the most benign. . No empire is perfect . But the positives are still visible today. Great Britain.. it earned that title , and I am proud of my heritage.

Claire D

11th August 2019 at 3:31 pm

I agree with you Jerry, I think the benefits of the British Empire far outweighed the bad. It does’nt help that so many young people today have been taught History with a strong Feminist and Left-wing bias. They have little if any understanding of how our legal and political systems came about and take them for granted as a result.

robin cross

9th August 2019 at 3:19 pm

It’s much deeper in the psyche and way back in the mists of time than your article suggests.
It’s the myth of Avalon and King Arthur.
It’s only a myth though but one that is worth savouring and holding onto for all time.

Jonnie Henly

9th August 2019 at 2:51 pm

“not all Remain voters are metropolitan elitists, but all metropolitan elitists voted Remain”

That’s not remotely true though is it?

Since when have the likes of the Daily Mail, Express, the Sun, the Spectator etc not been part of the metropolitan elite?

Tom’s claim is straight up BS.

Christopher Tyson

9th August 2019 at 1:37 pm

Interesting article, there seems to be a disjuncture between all the people from Scotland and around the world who want to come and live in England and the negativity about England and the English. It seems that they are only here for the money, the economic opportunities while resenting the country and its people. Some of this may be due to anachronistic views as highlighted in the article. Immigrant can also feel insecure and as well as family and other ties at home, there is always that underlying fear that a turn of events would make them unwelcome in their adopted land and they prefer to keep their options open, like a form of insurance, that they always have somewhere to return to. I think that people who come to England need to take a more positive view of England and to be committed to England to face down does those who say ‘send them back’. This will be good for England.

christopher barnard

9th August 2019 at 12:54 pm

Many self-described liberal and progressive people think it is a mark of their intelligence and sophistication to run down the UK and Englishness.

But it is simply a mark of their misanthropy. They despise most of the people around them while idealising those of other nations and cultures who live further away.

d. PAYNE

10th August 2019 at 5:11 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head here. We have all met them, these terribly painful “Liberal and Progressive” types who think they are superior to all and sundry and look down their noses at everyone else. They spit in the faces of people who are just like them, because they desperately need to convince themselves that they truly do belong to that little clique on the pedestal and then spurt out childish positive comments about every single other group in the World as long as that group is preferably “very foreign”. ” Ooohhh, I am sooo superior and International – look, I have a facebook picture of me grinning like a Cheshire Cat with a couple of black people. Ooooh, I am so cool”.
Pathetics.

Brian Burnell

11th August 2019 at 5:37 pm

Precisely.
I’m reminded of the Thatcher years, the Brixton and other riots, and Apartheid South Africa, when the leftie wealthy elites thought it really cool to support Peter Hain’s Anti-Apartheid Movement, while caring not one jot for the plight of Brixton’s black youngsters.
Black kids in Soweto were a safe distance away, while Brixton was on their doorstep.
As always, self-interest and hypocrisy ruled then as now.

Amelia Cantor

9th August 2019 at 12:47 pm

“Fearing the masses”, as Slater tendentiously puts it, is just common sense.

Who perpetrated the Holocaust?

The masses.

Who stood by as the Atlantic Slave Trade wrenched millions of members of communities of colour from Africa and sent them across the Atlantic (only part-way, in countless cases)?

The masses.

Who allowed homophobic laws to crush and sometimes murder the LGBQTIA+ community for centuries?

The masses.

Finally, who voted for the insane, evil and 100% racist / xenophobic decision to leave the EU?

The masses.

The masses are dangerous and England has a long, horrible and deeply shameful history of racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and exploitation to expiate. Democracy only works when the demos are enlightened and are on the right side of history. Brexit proves that too many in England are neither enlightened nor on the right side of history.

It was held at the Henry Jackson Society in London on 7 August 2019.

More collaboration with neo-cons, more proof that Spiked are not the enlightened progressives that they pretend to be.

Frank Sutton

9th August 2019 at 2:39 pm

Are you part of “the masses” yourself? If not, how do you distinguish yourself from them?

Amelia Cantor

10th August 2019 at 11:55 am

It’s simple. I distinguish myself from the masses by being intelligent, educated, moral and (as a white) not in denial about my own racism.

Hana Jinks

12th August 2019 at 11:09 pm

Your the the thick, amoral product of a marxist-indoctrination centre, so at least you aren’t in denial about, Ameliorate Cant.

Hana Jinks

12th August 2019 at 11:09 pm

*about that

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 3:31 pm

A Cantor
Thanks for reminding me it’s tea break !

Marvin Jones

9th August 2019 at 7:06 pm

Good grief! hope that you do not reside in this country that is controlled by the ignorant masses as you put it. I t must be so wrong to want one’s country back from the hordes of uncivilised world spreading to a never ending third world bazaar.

Stephen J

9th August 2019 at 9:12 am

Good stuff Tom.

The English, by their very location on a small island in the cold north of this planet are demonstrably not inward looking types.

We have shown this by the manner in which we developed a very humane constitution, which allows both rich and poor to live in peace together. Our detractors claim that if a people does not have a globalist view of the world, they must be filthy “nationalists”… a word that they spit out like some venomous asp.

The truth is that the human being is a social animal that visualises the family group as the workable unit. We struggle with bigger concepts, but have invented democracy to cope with it. However history has demonstrated that there is a practical limit to the size of a nation and so we English have stuck our heels into the ground and stated “thus far and no farther”.

So the practical alternative to globalist view, is the “outward looking nation state”… England is NOT nationalist, it is “INTERNATIONALIST”, and its rational is rule yourself but keep the channels open for the trade of goods, services, and ideas across the planet.

Bronk’s Funeral

9th August 2019 at 9:08 am

Arrested? And thrown in *jail*?!

Margaret Potter

9th August 2019 at 8:39 am

“case of the bad old days slowly dying off with the bad old people”. Why caricature patriotism as bad old days. Surely patriotism for England is what the ‘bad old people’ felt when they fought and died for this country. And constantly silencing a section of society from expressing their Englishness because they are white and therefore viewed racist by liberal left only serves to alienate and disenfranchise, leading to more fracturing of society ?

Claire D

11th August 2019 at 3:06 pm

I agree with you. I am pleased about being English. If it was’nt for our laws, legal and political systems, hospitals and schools which we spread around the world during British Imperialism (the good side of the British Empire) the world would be a very different, more frightening, backward place than it is.

John Millson

9th August 2019 at 8:28 am

I agree with the much of this: the defence of ‘democracy, freedom and universalism’, which can be ‘felt’ more in a nation state.
However, when our representatives speak out in defence of a retrogressive, belligerent nationalism, for example, against the EU, it is repulsive.
And when just one person attempts to ‘define’ ‘Englishness’ ethnically, it is replusive.
(Having grown up in an era (late 1970s) when ‘Englishness’ did mean white racism, exclusivity, privilege, (what’s really changed there, with the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg etc?) means I can never be comfortable with it entirely.)
And can only hope the usual historical trajectory of: national ‘pride’ to protectionism to aggressive/ unreasonable diplomacy to war, never occurs.

Martin Spencer

9th August 2019 at 6:05 pm

“And when just one person attempts to ‘define’ ‘Englishness’ ethnically, it is replusive.”

But it clearly is an ethnic identity, just as are Navajo, Zulu and Maori, because there is currently no state called England.

In contrast, because UK citizens are referred to as British, that term can refer to both political and ethno-cultural identities.

Nation and state aren’t synonyms, or there wouldn’t be the term “nation state”.

Winston Stanley

9th August 2019 at 5:23 am

Pride in Englishness is more associated with whites, the older, Tory voters and Brexit voters. Less than half (45%) of the younger are proud to be English, and less than a third (32%) of non-whites. English identity correlates with nostalgia for the past and with pessimism. Pessimism is dominant among residents of England. Those who are proud to be English tend to see the present as a decline and do not foresee a better future.

> Pride in identifying as English is weaker among the young (45%) and stronger among the old (72%). This is the reverse of the experience in Wales where the strength of the Welsh identity reduces with age. In Scotland, over 80% of all age-groups say they feel strongly Scottish.

In England, Conservative voters are much more likely to say they are proud to be English (77%) than those who support Labour (45%) and the Liberal Democrats (42%). Among leave supporters in the Brexit referendum English pride is 75%, among those who voted remain it is 44%.

The sharpest divide in English identity is associated with ethnicity. While 61% of people who describe themselves as white are proud to declare their English identity, among ethnic minorities it is just 32%. British identity is strongly felt by three-quarters of the BME population.

There is more than a hint of nostalgia about people’s sense of Englishness. Almost three times as many of its residents think England was ‘better in the past’ than believe its best years lie in the future.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, by contrast, significantly more people think their country’s best years lie ahead rather than behind them.

So while the rest of the UK feels pretty optimistic about their prospects, England seems particularly glum. The more English people feel, the more retrospective they are, and English wistfulness is particularly strong among those who voted to leave in the Brexit referendum.

England’s Christian tradition is important for almost half of Leave voters, but only 29% of remain voters. Leave voters are significantly more likely to talk of Englishness in terms of history, fair play, tolerance, plain-speaking and friendliness than those who wanted to remain. (BBC/ YouGov)

Jim Lawrie

9th August 2019 at 10:46 am

“Feeling Scottish”, is increasingly code for anti-English. And pro-EU is the same, because the EU is seen as taking the “nasty, racist” English to task.
England voted 53.4% to leave, 46.6% to stay.

Most Scots flatter themselves that this is a reflection of the racist English unlike the right on Scottish. What they cannot deal with is that many Asians and Blacks voted to leave. The way they handle this is exactly the way you describe the leftist anger at the working class. They call them traitors. As this is based solely on their race, the Scots let slip their own view of non compliant Blacks and Asians.

Spіked mention the rape of thousands of white working class girls only when they want to display “solidarity and support” for the working class.

Winston Stanley

9th August 2019 at 2:41 pm

We want out of the EU and Scots want out of the UK. Why is that any different? Brexit does not make us anti-European so why would Indy make Scots anti-English? Scots independence is not defined by England except in the sense that they are presently in a union with it. I am sure that most of us would wish Scots all the best after Indy. Support for Welsh independence has also risen, to 41%. England may have to go it alone without its appendages. Many English would welcome that, it all amounts to English independence.

Jonnie Henly

9th August 2019 at 2:53 pm

““Feeling Scottish”, is increasingly code for anti-English”

Citation needed.

Peter Friel

10th August 2019 at 4:01 am

I’m not quite sure whether you are ignorant or stupid, or possibly even both. If your basis for believing that Scots are anti-English comes from watching the antics of SNP MP’s in Parliament then extrapolating that to include all Scots then I could understand but still wonder at your ignorance. whenever I have met English people who have holidayed in Scotland they always remark on how friendly they were received, their only complaint being about the midges, which seem to be anti-England, as I’ve never encountered them in England. I should mention that I, a Scot, live in England and have done for most of my life. I married an English girl and my son supports the England football team, quite rightly as he was born in England. Virtually every one of the people I know is English and I’m quite happy with that situation. Perhaps it’s you, with your ‘Little Englander’ attitude who see’s anti-Englishness in every corner of the UK.

Peter Friel

10th August 2019 at 4:14 am

Further to my previous comment, you won’t find a better example of anti-Englishness than the above-mentioned Afua Hirsch, as exemplified by her quote “Tribal white identity” and her tendency to blame the English, and sometimes the British, for the entire slave trade, missing out the part her forebears, the Ashanti, played in suppling the slaves.

John Millson

9th August 2019 at 10:48 am

Proud to be ‘English’? Think about it for even a short while and the whole thing is ridiculous. But, ‘we are where we are’. Many ‘English’ experience it as ‘post-pride’ maybe – a studied, tactiturn understatement (so, flags are ‘vulgar’), which could be seen as unbelievably arrogant, maybe?
Personally, would feel a huge amount of geunine pride if more things could be invented and ‘made in England’. As I don’t follow any sport, don’t really give a toss if England wins or loses. (Well, a little ‘leap’ if England does win, yes.)

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 1:42 pm

Winston Stanley
Your cut and paste efforts are an improvement on your drunken efforts on the other thread ‘ why we need PR’ .. Please take my advice , don’t post when pi**ed , it’s a policy I adhere to myself, saves the embarrassment later on!

Winston Stanley

9th August 2019 at 2:55 pm

As you say, we are all prone to a drink and a mouth off. It does not matter. The “embarrassment” is a chemical reaction as the brain returns to normality. Humans act differently when they are plastered, who would have guess it? So what?

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 3:51 pm

W, it’s actually a spirit, as opposed to chemicals.

Winston Stanley

9th August 2019 at 5:07 pm

Hanah, I guess that you would concede that it is at least a bit of both. The brain is a chemical machine. I do act unusually when I am plastered. But if we are going to have a culture that tolerates alcohol then we have to accept that people sometimes do that. But for the blanket ban on all psychoactives, I would be microdosing with mushrooms and 1plsd which clinical trials demonstrate to work wonders for equilibrium. Also, synthetic alcohol was in development, that lessens some of the more “negative” effects but that is halted now under the same approach. The society limits the options and sometimes that is what happens.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 6:36 pm

If l did that, then I’d be lying. Any chemical activity at that time would be a separate and independent thing. The first thing l asked you was whether you accepted and believed in the existence of the spirit-realm. Common cold? It’s actually a spirit. Andvthey still wonder why they can’t find a cure. We’ve all felt down, but have you ever been proper-depressed? Well, that’s actually a spirit, too.

I had some mushies for the first time in ages around a year ago. Some government lab is cultivating spores from all around, and thru a friend’s friend got to try some from South America. It was a very different affect and experience to the Aus one’s, but once they come on, you’re still stepping into the spirit-world.

Winston Stanley

9th August 2019 at 6:50 pm

Hanah, that sounds pre-modern to me. The common cold is a virus with a fast reproduction and mutation rate that allows it to adapt to drugs that target it. We understand those things now. Medicines have a high success rate for all sorts of ailments. How do you interpret that, is medicine a form of witch craft that combats spirits? Should medicine be banned or avoided as a pagan practice? Practitioners of folk medicine used to be hunted as witches, do we want to return to that? On the other hand, it is statistically demonstrable that prayer does not work, for viruses or anything else. I would rather stick with medicines than rely on prayer and a fear of spirits. Otherwise why use any human technology or do anything at all, if all can be achieved by prayer? Why not just lie in bed all day and pray? If “faith can move mountains” then why work down in coal mine? Universal human experience tells us that we cannot live that way. One has to engage life in a pro-active manner and medicine is a part of that. That also means that if one got too plastered, then cut it out for a bit and tone it down. Same ways, trial and error.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 7:03 pm

I’d entered a dungeon-like pool-hall in Osaka around midnight, and as we were going to our table, l noticed a glowing white “thing” about the size of a cricket ball oscillating at around head-height in the far corner of the room. A split-second after l registered it, it was in me and l had a cold.

It’s not easy to accept that the supernatural exists if you don’t know it does. And I’m not lying or making things up.

Winston Stanley

9th August 2019 at 7:04 pm

H, have you ever had an exorcism? Would you perform one, maybe for a common cold? I could picture the chairs and plates all in the air and swirling around the room.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 7:05 pm

I watched it as it crossed the 15 or so metres of the room before it flew into me.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 7:16 pm

Sorry if this is repeated, but the last post didn’t seem to go thru.

Not that I’d mentioned prayer, but the reason it doesn’t work is because people pray for things of “their” will, as opposed to God’s. During times of personal communion we can learn of the things the He wants us to pray for, and these things woll always come to pass.

Jerry Owen

10th August 2019 at 10:50 am

We all get plastered at some stage but we don’t post unintelligible garbage like you do. You post IRA supporting crap and don’t forget you actually posted once that you’d happily put a bullet through BON’s head. Keep your lunacy private !

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 11:40 am

Jerry Oven-Kraut.

How about you keep your meddling and officious naziism private?

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 4:14 am

Some pretty gay metrics being utilized here, Pom Prater.

And is the reason you reference Yabber Brown because it’s japes? I’ve certainly found trolling anyone to the left of me to be great sport, and perhaps that’s Puked’s angle too?

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 4:18 am

How would you go outside of echo-chambers if all you can do is resort to censorship against me?

steve moxon

9th August 2019 at 12:57 am

No, Brendan. The Left elite HATE the masses. STOP apologising for the Left, Brendan.
The Left hates the masses because we didn’t follow the Marxist script: ‘the workers’ in the ‘capitalist’ West didn’t act as the ‘vanguard’ of ‘the revolution’, and, therefore, had to be replaced. Marxist intellectuals of the ‘Frankfurt School’ magicked-up the bizarre notion that ‘the workers’ were ‘repressed’ [bogus Freudian notion] by ‘capitalism’ [?!] and in turn ‘oppressed’ their families. So ‘the workers’ had to be considered now personae non grata, leaving women to become the new ‘vanguard’, later to be joined in Leftist weird imagination by ethnics and non-heterosexuals after the New Left in the USA thought they saw in civil rights and the Stonewall movements proto-Marxist revolts. These were only by US ‘blacks’ and ‘gays’, but in the Left’s desperation to get new folk for ‘the vanguard’ they expanded, by no logic whatsoever, to include anyone and everyone non-‘white’ and LGBT, even though most are in no sense ‘oppressed’ by anybody.
It’s time to own your own side’s excrement, Brendan. We’re dumped on by the rabid ubiquitous totalitarianism you rightly spend all your time complaining about, because of a bastardisation of your own political philosophy, that through its appeal to the most base motivations and dumbest cognitive ability, has become hegemonic. To fight this effectively, you need to come clean about what it is: where it came from and how it developed.

steve moxon

9th August 2019 at 1:01 am

[I mean Tom, not Brendan, of course: all the main Spiked guys are of the same ilk: in denial about the hatred the Left has for the rest of us, and the dumbest of the dumb ways in which this farce came about.]

steve moxon

9th August 2019 at 1:03 am

[I mean Tom, not Brendan, of course, but all the main Spiked guys are of the same ilk: in denial about the hatred the Left has for the rest of us, and the lowest-common-denominator ways in which this farce came about.]

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 4:26 am

I’m also having to constantly question his motivations, and to ask him to be truthful to himself. The answer has been Mr Ameliorate Cant.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 4:27 am

That’s where they’re at.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 6:43 am

I use orifice, green-vanned and Queefer. I only heard queefer three days ago, and it’s become indispensable. This is a measure of how insane you are.

Jonnie Henly

9th August 2019 at 2:52 pm

More evidence free Nazi conspiracy drivel from you Steve.

steve moxon

10th August 2019 at 11:01 am

As ever, utter idiocy from John Hen. THERE IS NO “CONSPIRACY THEORY” WHATSOVER IN THE WELL-DOCUMENTED HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF ‘IDENTITY POLITICS’. Just plain old dumb attempts to save face in lowest-common-denominator ruses.
John Hen is in extreme denial of what Leftism has become, in common with most Leftists.
Understandabl but pathetic, and leading inevitably to egg on face when the whole rotten corruption of Marxist ideology (not that Marxism itself isn’t) implodes.

Jim Lawrie

9th August 2019 at 12:56 am

The survey you reference about Englishness only tells us the conclusions and releases none of the data or the questions asked. It appears on a site called theoptimisticpatriot.

I’ve noticed this with Spiked – referencing surveys on the assumption we do not check or read them.

Amin Readh

9th August 2019 at 12:31 am

“but all metropolitan elitists voted Remain”

Actually, they didn’t. Factually incorrect. Many supported Brexit.

What exactly is the purpose of this boring droll speech given to the bigots at HSJ? Then again…

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.