Good to see more articles on Englishess, prompted by LabourList.
This article by Rick Muir says:
The English left needs to reclaim English identity – otherwise there is a dangerous vacuum in which all sorts of resentments over devolution, and immigration get channelled through the prism of a reactionary and belligerent Englishness. We all know the signs of this – and ippr research has found that concerns about immigration are often articulated through a sense of aggrieved English nationalism.
This is not to argue for an English parliament, but rather for the left to re-discover its radical English heritage and defend our interpretation of our national history against that of the right. It is also a call for Labour in office to give some institutional or cultural recognition to England, so we can promote the same kind of shared civic identity that has been so successfully fostered in Scotland and Wales.
And Sunder Katwala:
If we want to remain British – as I do – then we have to sustain majorities for British identity in each of the British nations. The idea that this is best done by suppressing other national identities is wrong-headed, and denies the history of Britain and Britishness too. As a civic identity for a multi-national state, Britishness was inherently plural from the start. Just as, after Thatcherism, devolution to Scotland and Wales was necessary to save the Union so is demonstrating that British identity has plenty of room for Englishness too.
The British left should have more confidence in its engagement in our national conversations. If some on the left have had an apparent allergy to expressions of national identity, that has never been universally true.
Yes to both.
I wrote about Englishness a few weeks back, and have nearly finished a follow-up article.
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Filed in: British Identity