Thursday, 18 September 2014

Day of Destiny

Well yes, here it is at last, after a campaign that seems to have been going on an awfu' lang time (as they say Up There). There's a fine, clear-headed summing-up of the whole sorry business by expat Scot Daniel Kalder over on The Dabbler. But at one point he says that the 'Better Together' campaigners 'failed completely to articulate a positive sense of Britishness'. Well, I'm not surprised. Speaking for myself, I have never felt a positive sense of Britishness, and have no clear idea of what it would feel like if I did. I feel a very strong and positive sense of Englishness - never more so that when I spent a year living in Scotland, which seemed to me then and still seems to me now to be essentially a foreign country. And this was 40 years ago - in oh so civilised Edinburgh.
 I've never had any very strong feelings about that country being united with England in an entity called the United Kingdom - it seemed to work, which is the main thing, and I was happy to overlook the fact that it was increasingly working in favour of the decidedly junior partner. But now it's all up in the air, and who knows where the pieces will fall? We should never have started on this road (thank you, Tony Blair) and, now that it's come to the crunch, we should have handled it with a great deal less panic-stricken ineptitude than has been displayed recently. If ever there was a thing that should be left firmly alone, it's the British (English) Constitution. No good will ever come of tampering with it, especially for ideological reasons.
  Meanwhile, here's a simple test. When you're abroad and someone in the ordinary course of conversation asks you your nationality, do you reply 'British'? I don't recall ever having done so, and I doubt I'd be well understood if I did.

3 comments:

  1. I feel a very strong and positive sense of Englishness - never more so that when I spent a year living in Scotland, which seemed to me then and still seems to me now to be essentially a foreign country.

    But you need to take into account that you're a very English Englishman, Nige. I suspect you'd also feel pretty foreign living in Liverpool - or at any rate, more foreign than a Scouser would feel in Glasgow.

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  2. You're right there Brit - I even have my doubts about Bristol...

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  3. On the other hand, you've taken to Derbyshire (perilously close to being northern) very well, Nige.

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