Ed Miliband needs to go further on Englishness


1:39 pm - June 8th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Ed Miliband’s speech on Englishness yesterday has attracted the usual reaction from the usual quarters, on the left and right. I like Rafael Behr’s line:

…the spectrum ranges from those who think it was a superficial intervention on an important subject to those who think it was an important intervention on a superficial subject.

Though I suspect many are also in the Owen Jones camp that it was a fruitless intervention on an irrelevant subject. I disagree, and I think Ed Miliband should go further.

1) Ed Miliband will and should ignore the usual suspects
There is a significant proportion of English socialist opinion that hates the idea of national identity. There is also a proportion of liberal-left opinion that finds it very uncomfortable (I suspect this includes Ed Miliband).

The Guardianistas can be persuaded if they think this isn’t simply catering to the far-right, in the way that Britishness is now a much more acceptable term than it was a decade ago. The socialist left generally seem to hate any form of nationalism so much they’re a lost cause.

The fact is a large proportion of people (especially working class) do find national identity important. Not engaging with them on the issue is not just silly, it is a missed opportunity to start a progressive discussion about the future of this country.

A politician can only talk to people in their own language and to their own concerns (which aren’t just housing!) – they can’t plant a flag and expect people to come to them instead.

2) The past is somewhat irrelevant
Owen Jones reminds us that English history also involved “the deaths of millions of Indians under English”.

As a keen student of Indian history I’m perfectly aware of this. But that doesn’t mean you hold grudges forever.

For comparison, many Hindu extremists in India still hold Muslims responsible for the Mughal invasion and rule. But the past is the past: you acknowledge it, learn about it, promise to never repeat the mistakes and look to the future.

This idea that a future English identity cannot be inclusive because of England’s imperial past is rubbish, frankly.

3) This is only a start
The debate was started around the Union but should go further. I hope it does not turn into a stuttering failure that was Gordon Brown’s Britishness project.

National identity is about all of us. It is about our common bond when our society is becoming more atomised, individualistic and multi-cultural. It relates to immigration, to integration, to 2nd / 3rd generation British minorities and to the entire country.

If we want a more cohesive social glue that binds people together, Ed Miliband needs start articulating what sort of country he wants to see. If that country involves a strong welfare state where the rich pay their share for being part of this country – he should say so boldly.

He needs to put the meat on the bones not just through policy, but also in stronger, emotional language. This was a good start but he needs to go much further.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. flyingrodent

Speaking as a Scotsman, I suggest calming, wearing a skirt, watching your team get repeatedly stuffed at all sport and getting pissed.

It works for us, and you never see anyone up here getting all angst-ridden about it.

Sunny:

There is very specific reason why so many of us feel that politicians banging on about ‘Englishness’ and ‘national identity’ is a fruitless intervention on an irrelevant subject, one that was perfectly articulated by George Orwell a little over seventy years ago…

“England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare’s much-quoted message, nor is it the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control – that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.” The Lion and the Unicorn.

I no more need politicians to define what it means to English than I need them to define who my own family is- there is no singular English ‘identity’, just a loose collection of common but unspoken understandings which cannot be readily be defined, constrained or shoehorned into a cosy little straitjacket to suit the needs of politicians, migrants or anyone else.

Sorry, but the very act of trying to define ‘Englishness’ is about as un-English as it gets, which is why politicians invariably fall flat on their arse when they try to do it.

3. Luis Enrique

If we want a more cohesive social glue that binds people together, Ed Miliband needs start articulating what sort of country he wants to see.

I think you vastly overestimate the reach of politicians. Sure, he can say “I think we want a country in which rich people pay their fair share” and if people like that idea they may vote for him, but he’s not going to create a “cohesive social glue that binds people together” by speechifying

4. the a&e charge nurse

[1] a nation secure in it’s national identity, a phenomena that seems to apply everywhere else in the world, except poor old, self loathing england?

“Englishness (according to one Scottish comedian) is having racial tension in your football squad and deciding to drop the black guy” – were did all go so wrong?

a nation secure in it’s national identity, a phenomena that seems to apply everywhere else in the world, except poor old, self loathing england?

Except that if anywhere is secure in its national ‘identity’ it’s England.

Insecurity tends to manifest itself in terms of success for nationalist parties, obsessing over foreign words entering the language and overweening emphasis on the creation of portmanteau ‘identities’ none of which are features of English culture.

I’m sorry, I specifically _do not want_ Englishness to be defined.

It’s a chunk of rock where a wide variety of people live, who have a wide variety of different things in common with different chunks of each other, but nothing which binds together every single one, except for the things that also bind together every person on the planet.

The second you define some things as “English” you define everything else as “Not English” and you tell some people that they do not belong here. And much though some unpleasant part of me would like to define, say, the BNP as being Not English and kick them out – the truth is that this is as much their home as it is mine, and declaring any of us as “Not being _really_ English” is just another way of making people feel bad.

7. Chaise Guevara

@ 6 Andrew Ducker

+1

“There is a significant proportion of English socialist opinion that hates the idea of national identity. There is also a proportion of liberal-left opinion that finds it very uncomfortable.”

I only typically object to politicians banging on about Englishness or Britishness because they are usually doing it in order to imply to a group of potential supporters that they’re on their side against some group those potential supporters consider non-English (e.g. Muslims, immigrants), while avoiding actually saying anything which can be specifically criticised.

If politicians can find a purpose for rhetoric about Englishness other than using it in that way, I have no great problem with it (although as someone who’s suspicious of nationalism and half-Scottish anyway it doesn’t have any appeal to me personally).

9. the a&e charge nurse

[5] According to O-Jo ‘There is no coherent or cohesive “Englishness”. It is a catch-all term for all those who live in England’s borders, who have a range of identities, interests and histories’ – so no cohesive englishness – ‘Except that if anywhere is secure in its national ‘identity’ it’s England’.

So does this mean being secure in our lack of cohesiveness – or put another way, being english is whatever you want it to be?

Slight tangent, but isn’t nationalism only second to religion when it comes to most of the worlds ills?

“National identity is about all of us. It is about our common bond when our society is becoming more atomised, individualistic and multi-cultural.”

No it’s not. National identity formation, like all identity formation, is about either falling in with, or reacting against, how ‘others’ outside the group define us. The reason there has been no English identity is that unlike Scots, we were too powerful to be defined by others in terms we could be forced to hear. History does count, though not especially the history Owen Jones refers to.

Until it’s understood that identity is not a thing, but a relationship, we’ll get nowhere.

I thought the dude interviewing him was being a bit of a twat. He seemed to keep repeating the question. Fair play to the odd sounding one for pretty much repeatign himself word for word.

Personally if abroad and a local asks me where I’m from i usually say manchester.

@ Sunny

“Ed Miliband needs start articulating what sort of country he wants to see. If that country involves a strong welfare state where the rich pay their share for being part of this country – he should say so boldly.”

Yes, he does. The problem is that he hasn’t, and neither has his party, whether over the 2 years since their defeat at the last GE, or indeed in any coherent manner since the birth of that monster New Labour.

The reason the SNP have been wiping the floor with Labour in Scotland, and the reason the Union is in peril, is not that the SNP are particularly brilliant, or that Alex Salmond is a political genius; Labour’s failure lies in it’s ability to convince Scots that their preferred social model can be preserved effectively within the Union.

The roughly one third of Scottish voters who are undecided how to vote in the referendum in 2014 need to be convinced by a positive case that their interests are best served by remaining within in the Union, and that further devolution (which two-thirds say they want) is achievable. Unionist parties in Scotland and the UK generally have not really done the former very well, and have failed to do the latter at all.

Shooting the nationalist rabbit would have been relatively simple if Labour and the LD’s (along with other pro-Union and devolution civil groups) had combined to promote a reasoned, coherent argument in favour of the Union, and a detailed plan on how to deliver devo-max whilst addressing the West Lothian question.

Their failure to do so does not make independence inevitable….. but it is increasingly obvious that it makes it more likely. The closer Scots get to 2014 and the prospect of being denied further devolution, and watching 24 months of unedifying squabbling amongst the Unionist parties, the more likely many of them are to chose independence rather than the status quo.

Miliband might like to be bold, but it is vanishingly unlikely that he has either the political nous or the wiggle room in the face of growing English disquiet about what many perceive as unfair concessions to the celtic fringe, to deliver on any proposed vision which will convince Scots he and his party have the answer, still less that the forces of Unionism as a whole do.

13. flyingrodent

The reason the SNP have been wiping the floor with Labour in Scotland, and the reason the Union is in peril, is not that the SNP are particularly brilliant, or that Alex Salmond is a political genius; Labour’s failure lies in it’s ability to convince Scots that their preferred social model can be preserved effectively within the Union.

I don’t think this is right. Support for independence is mostly contained within the Nationalists’ core supporters, plus a few outliers.

By and large, the Scottish situation is this – everyone hates the Tories and the Lib Dems for obvious reasons, and Labour are regarded as a bunch of soulless Westminster suck-jobs. The minority Nat administration we already had didn’t bring ruin upon the nation, and Salmond can at least string a sentence together – thus, as a plausible alternative, they got the “Why not, they can’t be worse” vote and a majority in a parliament explicitly designed to prevent majorities.

That’s pretty much it. Most Scots barely think about the union unless forced to by nationalists twats; many others would like some more powers for Holyrood. Actual independence and even the topic of the union itself is a hobby horse ridden by the Nats themselves, and almost nobody else.

The solution for Labour* here isn’t “Let’s show the Scots how awesome the union is”. Most have no interest in discussing the union at all.

The solution is “Let’s try not to be perceived as a bunch of soulless, London-centric, corporate, pandering suckjobs”.

In other words, it’s Mission: Impossible.

*Not that I think Labour can be saved from themselves, BTW.

Well… the people I expected to come here and reject idea of national identity have done so. I refer you to point 1 😛

15. flyingrodent

Also worth pointing out that the SNP’s heartlands are rural and northern. There’s a substantial overlap between “Supporting independence” and “Knowing how to drive a tractor”.

I throw it out there, just to further mess up a thread that’s supposed to be about English identity and not your annoying neighbours.

@13 flyingrodent

“Support for independence is mostly contained within the Nationalists’ core supporters, plus a few outliers.”

Not so; all the evidence I’ve seen, and recent polling, shows a fairly solid more or less equal 3 way split, with one third pro-independence, one third pro stays quo, and one third undecided. Most, but by no means all, supporters of independence are probably SNP supporters. Similarly, not all SNP supporters actually support or will vote for independence in 2014, hence the SNP majority at Holyrood.

“That’s pretty much it. Most Scots barely think about the union unless forced to by nationalists twats; many others would like some more powers for Holyrood.”

I’d disagree that it most barely think about it, and over the next 24 months it is likely to figure somewhat more. It isn’t just “many others would like”…. all the polls show an overwhelming majority for more devolution in some form, whether devo-plus, devo-max, full fiscal autonomy etc., etc.

The issue for Unionism as a force (whether within Scotland or UK wide) is how they square the circle of delivering what 70% of Scots have consistently expressed a preference for, whilst keeping the Union together. The Scots are unlikely to be impressed by the “jam tomorrow” argument being touted by the Unionists that if they dutifully vote “no” in 2014, then further devolution can be discussed. It didn’t happen after 1979, and it isn’t likely to happen post a “no” vote in 2014.

What’s this “we”.

Multiculturism seems the way to go if we don’t want to integrate.

If this island is just a piece of rock, and its inhabitants see no need for “nation”, then there is no need for community.

No nation, no social responsibility – great for we misanthopes.

@15 flyingrodent

Both off topic and inaccurate. Way to go!

The SNP didn’t become the majority party at Holyrood on the back of the tractor driving loons of Moray, Banff and Buchan.

The need for people to feel both english and british should not be underestimated. The concept is always poo poo’d by high minded people and i think this is a big mistake.

The case against it seems to be lack of clear definition. Im pretty sure it will be easier to define england on it’s own than the whole uk! All nations and whole nation states are a pretty broad collection of character. English see national pride in wales and scotland and quite rightly ask why not here? And if the BNP try to get in on the act, call them the racist scum that they are. Its not a bloody license to be racist is it?? And if people are re-assured that their nationality is not being surpressed, who knows maybe ethnic tension’s and hostility may ease?.

“1) Ed Miliband will and should ignore the usual suspects”

By that do you mean the real left?

“There is a significant proportion of English socialist opinion that hates the idea of national identity.”

No, but there is a significant proportion that regards it as neither here nor there, something that exists but is basically irrelevant to what we actually want and need.

“There is also a proportion of liberal-left opinion that finds it very uncomfortable (I suspect this includes Ed Miliband).”

No there isn’t, liberals (yuck) love Englishness now more than ever.

“The socialist left hate generally seem to hate any form of nationalism so much they’re a lost cause.”

The socialist left is the only left, my friend. Liberals are just purveyors of reheated Thatcherism. Discard us and you end up with nowhere to go but back to Tory orthodoxy.

The fact is, no one has ever given a good reason why “talking about Englishness” is a useful activity. What does it actually do? Does it increase a sense of social solidarity? I doubt it, I don’t see how it could. There is a constant struggle going on in which the left ought to be playing a party – that is the struggle between labour and capital, the struggle for socialism. Talk about Englishness if you like, but don’t think that it’s a political issue. That’s not politics.

21. Chaise Guevara

@ 20 Chris

“The socialist left is the only left, my friend. Liberals are just purveyors of reheated Thatcherism. ”

Oy! Must I point out that “liberal” =/= Liberal Democrat, that liberalism and socialism are not mutually exclusive, and that the two philosophies are not even on the same axis?

I’m a liberal, and I’m about as far from purveying any brand of Thatcherism as you can get. Cos I’m also a socialist, y’see.

22. Mr S. Pill

@20

Hi Chris, outside of your tub-thumbing Marxist vision millions of working class people do actually care about “Englishness”, even if the conclusion is inevitably one of shrugged shoulders and tea. Seriously, go to the pub and ask someone. Or just walk down the street and witness all the flags. Or watch the repeats of the Jubilee bonanza – you really think none of that had anything to do with some kind of national pride? You may not like it but it’s there.

Bizarrely enough you can find the debate about Englishness interesting and AT THE SAME TIME be massively concerned about the class divide. Oh and stop using “liberal” as a dirty word you numpty. Freedom as JS Mill defined it is rather important and people like you do the left no favours whatsoever by pissing all over liberalism. As Chaise points out, liberalism is not synonymous with Liberalism or the Lib Dems.

23. douglas clark

I always quite liked the idea that if you lived in a country, England say, and you said you were English, you were English. Obviously there should be no compulsion in it, nor artificial barriers – ‘cricket tests’ for example.

Doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

24. Chaise Guevara

Hey, S Pill. Good to see you around the place, it’s been a while.

25. Mr S. Pill

@24

Hey CG 🙂 yeah I more lurk nowadays tbh – still the odd opinion mind! Anyway back to the thread… 😉

The emergence of Englishness has been on of the quieter developments in popular culture for the past twenty years: the popularity of the England flag since Euro 1996, to the chagrin of some older comrades; the turn in popular music back to folk, as described in Rob Young’s recent book; the runaway success among the theatre-going classes of Jez Butterworth’s ‘Jerusalem’, a modern myth of Englishness; best-selling polemics from the green-wing such as Paul Kingsnorth’s “Real England’. So the argument is already going on, and it is by no means the prerogative of nasty EDL types, who are if anything are bandwagon-jumping a turn they didn’t expect. Obviously there is more to think about with English nationalism, and you shouldn’t sweeten the grittiness, but ideas are already changing and Labour should have something to add to it.

27. Abdul Abulbul Emir

Mrs A says

These Anglo-Saxons were smart cookies Abdul.

They enslaved the poor Celts softened as they were by Roman multi cult and uanble to resist.

Making them serfs under a sophisticated apartheid system they took over England for hundreds of years.

Did you know that Abdul ?

But now we the dispossessed and formerly despised 3rd worlders can dare to call ourselves ENGLISH.

Just because that Sunny person says so .

Words mean nothing today only what the speaker wants them to.

When Sunny comes in the shop make sure you thank him Abdul.

Peace

Douglas Clarke:
“I always quite liked the idea that if you lived in a country, England say, and you said you were English, you were English. Obviously there should be no compulsion in it, nor artificial barriers – ‘cricket tests’ for example.

Doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

In which case the notion of belonging is so loose and vague as to mean nothing. If I’m Somalian, Argentinian, Fijian, Faroese etc. and I have lived in a flat in Edinburgh for the five days since I flew to Scotland for the first time and landed at the airport, I am Scottish. But if I then move to, say, Newcastle and live there for a few weeks, am I still Scottish? If not, at which point did I become English? Essentially, it’s tantamount to saying “wherever I am, that’s my nationality”. It all depends on what is meant by “live”.

Trofim: you’ve missed the significance of “said you were”. Which is the whole effing point. If you live in Scotland and say you’re Scottish and British, you are. If you live in Scotland and say you’re English and living abroad, you are.

I’ve spent various periods living and working in the US, Africa, and India. In no case did I intend to stay; in no case did I seek to present myself as a local rather than a visitor.

However, I now live and work in Australia and do, probably, intend to stay; as time goes by, I’m increasingly comfortable taking on that identity (although not to the extent that I feel I’m not English or British).

And that’s the point. If you’re (in your own mind) a tourist, an expat or a guestworker, then you are; if you’re a New [Person Of Country X], then you are.

30. Graham Street

Socialists despise national identity, and specifically Englishness to justify the racism that the Labour party and public sector perpetrate in London.

Labour ethnically and socially cleanse English people from housing and public sector jobs, and incentivise fast breeding immigrants to maximise benefit dependent immigrants and exclude English non-labour voters.

And before you liberals start complaining, look at your local birth, housing and public sector job stats to see how ideological Labour policies and London council’s are delivering social cleansing that fascists would be proud of.

Socialists appear to be ideologically racist again English people.

john p: “If you live in Scotland and say you’re Scottish and British, then you are”.

And if everybody else you meet in Scotland says you aren’t, do you still maintain that you are?

Some things have an objective reality, or are, at least something which has to be confirmed by others. If I say I’m a koala bear, or the world’s best lover, it doesn’t follow that I am. But then socialism is, par excellence, the triumph of wishful thinking over reality.

The idea that, if you live in Scotland and say that you are Scottish, you are, is basically nominalistic. It implies that there is nothing essential about “Scottish-ness”, i.e., that being Scottish is more or less meaningless.

I don’t really understand: if national identity is not about celebrating the content and nature of a country’s history, then what is it about? It seems to me if it isn’t, it’s devoid of content, and if it is, it’s not something we should be embracing.

I don’t think playing up to the electorates’ prejudices is the left’s job. Yes, it’s more difficult to do politics without exploiting them, but doing the right thing is difficult. There’s no point doing the right’s job for them.

34. Chaise Guevara

@ 31 Trofim

“But then socialism is, par excellence, the triumph of wishful thinking over reality.”

Really? What would you call Graham @30 then?

Chaise Guevara: socialists aren’t alone in wishful thinking.

Having once tried being a socialist, I found that they tend to think categorically, so that things either belong to a category or not, whereas the world is not like that. Properties exist in degrees. Thus although robins and ostriches are birds, robins are recognised by people as somehow more typically birdlike, whereas a penguin or an ostrich, is more marginally a bird. Certainly, if asked to name a bird quickly in a psychological test setting a subject is more likely to say “robin” than “penguin” which mirrors the concept’s cognitive storage, typical exemplars being stored more centrally, atypical ones peripherally. There is a continuum of typicality, and I suggest, that nationality as a property has the same characteristics. Some English people are more English than other ones.

The ever-insightful Norman Geras states something similar:

http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2012/06/englishness.html

“Some things it is possible to define by reference to a small number of features: triangles, for example; or electronic calculators; or passports. But other things are not so readily definable, without being any less real for all that. Wittgenstein famously wrote that there is nothing that all games have in common, but we can generally recognize a game when we see one. Englishness is unlike triangles, electronic calculators and passports, and more like certain historical and cultural ensembles, in being a combination of many features no single one of which constitutes a necessary condition of its presence.”

vimothy @ 32: perhaps you could explain what “essentialism” is. I haven’t quite grasped the concept. Or perhaps someone else could.

Trofim,

The idea that things have essences goes at least as far back as Plato. The Ancients thought that all things consisted of both matter and form (Aristotle called these “hyle” and “morph”). To take your example, there is something that makes a bird a bird and not a dog, or a piece of cloth, or an aeroplane.

Contrast this with nominalism, which is the modern way of understanding the world, as bequeathed to us by our many overpaid English professors and “cultural theorists”: reality is what you make of it, and nothing more. In other words, things don’t have essential properties, we just stick them into arbitrary linguistic boxes. It’s a philosophy that takes the meaninglessness of the universe as its starting point.

If there is nothing essential to being Scottish, if being Scottish can mean anything to anyone, then being Scottish is meaningless. Now, many people here struggle with what nationality means in any case. Hence these sorts of threads, where we get some people saying, “we need to talk about what it means to be English” and some people saying, “that statement doesn’t even make sense”.

The sad truth is that it is the modern understanding of the world and its attempts to re-engineer it that drains meaning from nationality. The reason that we need to talk about what it means to be English, and yet can’t because it is impossible, is that we are us, i.e., modern liberals in the general sense.

38. Chaise Guevara

@ 25 Trofim

“Having once tried being a socialist, I found that they tend to think categorically, so that things either belong to a category or not, whereas the world is not like that. Properties exist in degrees.”

I think you need to replace “socialists” with “the entire human race” in the above. Or at least present some evidence for your claim that socialists are more inclined to this sort of thing than other people. Personally I suspect you’re making some category errors yourself, along the lines of “these few socialists that annoyed me must be representative of the group as a whole”.

And yes, I’m aware of the thing with robins and penguins, and of the generally fallacious instinct to put things into neat little boxes when you’d be better using a continuum. It’s a good lesson. Another good lesson is that, when you discover errors in human cognition, *you shouldn’t immediately seek to accuse people you dislike of these errors while turning a blind eye to your friends*.

39. Chaise Guevara

@ Trofim

As we’re comparing notes on rationality, have a gander at this: http://lesswrong.com/lw/he/knowing_about_biases_can_hurt_people/

The basic message – that we need to avoid bias when identifying biases – seems so obvious as to be patronising. But the thing with biases is that people usually don’t deliberately fall into them. So it’s perfectly possible, in fact probably normal, for someone who knows about confirmation bias (say) to check sources he doesn’t like for confirmation bias much more thoroughly than sources he does, and not even notice the irony. Avoiding biases means getting into the habit of consciously watching for them; I try to do this, and still fail regularly (and that’s just the times I know I’ve failed!).

Hence my connection to your analysis of socialists: “Oh, here’s an example of how people don’t think logically, bet those people I disagree with are guilty of that!”

@32 Vimothy

“The idea that, if you live in Scotland and say that you are Scottish, you are, is basically nominalistic. It implies that there is nothing essential about “Scottish-ness”, i.e., that being Scottish is more or less meaningless.”

Hmmnn… you think? Not a line I’d advise you to use to any group of Scots I can think of, sober or not! 😉

Perhaps the acid test of what “essential Scottishness” actually is (or essential Englishness, Danish-ness, Frenhcness etc. for that matter) is simply that it is the collection of cultural, social, linguistic and moral values shared by those who self identify as belonging to that group, and are regarded by others as belonging to that group.

In my view it is correct that anyone who lives in Scotland gets to vote in the independence referendum, and that if it succeeds, anyone resident in Scotland will be entitled to citizenship. Similarly, provision will be made for people like me who were born in Scotland but don’t currently live there to chose Scottish rather than UK citizenship.

There are plenty of fellow Scots I probably have little in common with politically, socially and in other spheres…. but in many other respects and areas, our shared values will make the bonds between us as Scots closer and more important than the the things that link me to my English neighbours, American co-workers or European business contacts. Similarly, I’ve often felt more akin to Europeans in terms of social attitudes, than I have to Amercians for example, even though linguistically and historically our ties with the USA are deeper.

I don’t think many English people without direct links to Scotland really “get” how different it is… and I’m sure much the same could be said in reverse. The important point now, is that the level of “disassociation” seems to be increasing, and beginning to outweigh the weight of former ties. The drift apart began some time ago, but seems to be accelerating to me, and I think to many others.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Janet Edwards

    RT @labour52rose @libcon Ed Miliband needs to go further on Englishness | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/dTogdWfx via @libcon >Well said SH

  2. Liz McShane

    My response to Ed M's speech yesterday and @OwenJones84's response: 'Miliband needs to go further on Englishness' http://t.co/9UkaKrEo

  3. Rob Lane

    Ed Miliband needs to go further on Englishness | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/QjnPC5WM via @libcon

  4. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Ed Miliband needs to go further on Englishness http://t.co/bQg7MYer

  5. Paul Cotterill

    Just to be clear. @sunny_hundal is wrong http://t.co/l0N3Edsm and I am right http://t.co/QAa8WO8v on 'Englishness'

  6. Derek Bryant

    Just to be clear. @sunny_hundal is wrong http://t.co/l0N3Edsm and I am right http://t.co/QAa8WO8v on 'Englishness'

  7. sunny hundal

    'Ed Miliband needs to go further on Englishness' http://t.co/9UkaKrEo << my view on the subject (icymi)

  8. BevR

    Ed Miliband needs to go further on Englishness | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/1mBsP0SZ via @libcon

  9. Roy Ellor

    'Ed Miliband needs to go further on Englishness' http://t.co/9UkaKrEo << my view on the subject (icymi)

  10. Rachel

    'Ed Miliband needs to go further on Englishness' http://t.co/9UkaKrEo << my view on the subject (icymi)

  11. Murray Robertson

    @MediocreDave @MarthaRRobinson I'm assuming it based upon the articles he's written. http://t.co/w2b3ovDe





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