Monday, January 23, 2006


Is Britishness in decline?

Do you think we need this flag, boys? I read an interesting article in the Sunday Times (hat-tip Slugger) which highlighted the hostility towards Britishness in Kirkcaldy, home town of Gordon Brown, the guy tipped to be future Prime Minister of Britain.

You might remember Mr Brown's recent call for a day for Britain to celebrate Britishness which I posted about on Wednesday here.

Interestingly though, Mr Brown's constituents don't seem too enamoured with the idea as journalist Paul Lamarra discovered when he took a stroll around Kirkcaldy wearing a Union Jack T-shirt.

"I wait to be flooded with a sense of overwhelming pride, the kind of resolute spirit that carried the day at Balaclava, the siege of Mafeking and Dunkirk.

"Instead I am immediately overcome by an urge to explain to those trying not to stare that I am not racist, an Ulster Loyalist, or a Little Englander."

Lamarra concludes:

"Removing my T-shirt I slip it back into a bag where it will stay until the day when we take a holiday, hang out the Union flag and light fireworks in celebration of our Britishness. More likely it’ll end up as a duster."

It seems that there is a growing English national consciousness and that this is resulting in a reevaluation of Britishness which,it seems to me, is leading to many people in Britain turning away from Britishness and associating more and more with their own national identity, whether it's Englishness, Scottishness or Welshness. Perhaps this in turn will lead to a growth in popularity of Irishness in Ireland's north by those who have previously renounced it? One can only wait and see.

I haven't done a poll in a good while so with that being said, I have added a new poll to United Irelander which asks the question...

Is Britishness in decline?

Please take the time to scroll down the page and vote in the poll on my sidebar and use the comments box of this post to explain which way you voted and why.

Personally I voted yes because, as I pointed out above, it seems to me that Britishness is on the wane in Britain and that the people are realising that their national identities respectively mean more to them than an artificial, constructed identity that came about due to an enforced political union.


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