Posted by: secretperson | February 18, 2008

Don’t Define Britishness

Janet Daley in the Telegraph writes on Jack Straw’s plans for a British Constitution to enshrine “British Values” and the on going debate about defining Britishness. She is right that we don’t need to define it. Especially as I consider myself English first and British second. I have written before on What England Means to Me.

In the comments many people mentioned English/Welsh/Scottish as different to British, the threat of the EU etc. But the thrust of the piece was not about devolution, but about multiculturalism. The idea that this unifying British identity is about integrating minority groups (and lets face it they mean Muslims). It is summed up well by it’s last paragraph

What is at the heart of the aggressive form of “multiculturalism”, as most ordinary people suspect, is not tolerance but self-loathing: the deprecation of our own culture and history that elevates almost anybody else’s values above our own. It is not the indoctrination of some mystical sense of Britishness that is required but a restoration of the quiet pride and conviction that used to enable Britons to maintain the highest standards of civil behaviour in the world.

Replace Britishness with Englishness (for Scots, Welsh, Cornish and Irish pride is not deprecated to nearly the same extent) and I couldn’t agree more.


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