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Sunday, 11 August 2013

UNIONISTS are NATIONALISTS too!


Here is an interesting article by a leftwing supporter of Scottish Independence who has correctly diagnosed the agenda of many of those who claim to oppose Scottish, Welsh and English nationalism. These opponents are mostly not opposed to nationalism per se, they are actually opposed to any other nationalism than BRITISH STATE NATIONALISM - although he does miss that some are proponents of EU-ishness!
Here is the article. What do you think?


Unionists, come out and declare your ‘nationalism’!

Gerry Hassan, The Scotsman, August 10th 2013

The story is familiar: there is a pesky, partisan, immature nationalism out and about influencing our body politic.

This is the account of Scottish nationalism put forward by a range of commentators and public figures. Yet it could as easily be articulated about the ideas of unionism because unionism is at its heart a form of nationalism – British state nationalism.

Scottish nationalism has its faults and limitations. It is cautious, conservative and shaped by the characteristics of the society from which it was born. It is also a nationalism, but at least it understands itself as such and is seen as such a phenomenon by everyone.

Unionism doesn’t comprehend that it is a nationalism. It is an obvious point when you think about it. What state does unionism declare its allegiance and loyalty to above all else? The British state. Yet unionism is in denial that it is such a thing as nationalism; it thinks nationalism is about others and not about itself.

For this reason, unionism is not at a very mature stage in the development of nationalism, being intransigent about the British state and parliamentary sovereignty in relation to the EU, and even worse, hung up on superficialities such as flags, symbols, borders and border controls, which have traditionally transfixed certain types of nationalism.

The fact that unionism is a form of nationalism, a point accepted as uncontroversial in political science debates, does not make it any less legitimate or a mainstream part of Scotland and the UK. But this lack of self-knowledge and self-acceptance limits and damages our political debate.

Many pro-union writers of intelligence such as Brian Wilson in ‘The Scotsman’ or Hugo Rifkind in ‘The Times’ believe that they can take the moral high ground by dismissing Scottish nationalism for a variety of reasons. These include that it is all about emotions, past history, imagined grievances, and shaped by a bourgeois set of priorities irrelevant to economic and social concerns.

The emotional dismissal of Scottish nationalism is an interesting one. Brian Wilson argues that the economic case put forward by Alex Salmond and John Swinney is a cover, and that if it could be proven that an independent Scotland would be less well off, Nationalists wouldn’t reverse their position. Thus the argument goes that this isn’t about economics, but emotions and instincts and can therefore be dismissed.

Yet the opposite argument is just as true and revealing. If Brian Wilson found out that an independent Scotland would be economically better off and socially more just, he would not give up on his belief in the UK. The reason is the same – his attachment to the UK is not economic, but that of an emotional nationalist.

British nationalism if it wanted to start engaging and being relevant at this point would embrace the idea of a serious, long-term project of nation building at the British level which addressed the multiple challenges and crises of Britain. It would come up with pan-British projects beyond the tokenism of the Olympics and Southern connected focus of HS2 which tried to tackle the realities of the disunited kingdom.

It would deal with the quasi-independence of London as a world city from the rest of the UK, the over-concentration of public infrastructure projects and investment in London and the South East (to the huge detriment of the North West and North East of England), and the absence of any political will in the Westminster classes from doing anything about this.

The United Kingdom is one of the most unequal states in the rich world, with one of the most uneven regional patterns of development anywhere, and an economy, hugely imbalanced and skewed towards short-term, predatory capitalism. For all of the talk of ‘rebalancing the economy’, the UK in investment to GDP ratios is 159th in the world on 2012 figures, with a mere fourteen countries below it, seven in the sub-Saharan Africa.

An intelligent, reforming unionism would address these long-term challenges and crises which link to the decline in authority of the various British establishments, political, business, media and civic, and the collapse of trust in public institutions. This relates to the decline in the idea of Britain which can be seen across the four nations of the union, and which won’t be reversed by words and bluster, but need deeds which so far look impossible.

Next year’s independence debate can be interpreted as one between two competing claims of nationalism. One (Scottish) is ‘out’ and self-aware and self-reflective about its characteristics. The other (British) is mostly in denial and lacking in self-knowledge and self-awareness as a version of nationalism.

A choice between two nationalisms does not to put it mildly give us a very varied, dynamic political conversation. Nor does it address the central issues which have shaped much of the Scottish debate. Nationalism is at its core a reductive philosophy, one that is about the competing claims of nations and the form of states.

This is a reason Scottish nationalism has pitched its appeal on the centre-left of politics, but we have to make the break more explicit and widen the choice. We have to address what kind of Scotland do we want to live in, which just doesn’t mean self-government versus the union, but what kind of values and priorities do we want to champion as a society?

This should not be about one nationalism versus another, and nor should we let the bunkum of one nationalism pretending it isn’t one, while patronising and caricaturing the other, shape the political environment.

There is an element of condescension and attempted delegitimisation on the part of a generation of senior and former Labour politicians such as Gordon Brown, Alastair Darling and George Robertson.

Rather than engage in their endless posturing, it would be more useful for all of us, if thoughtful unionist voices addressed how they plan to put back the disunited kingdom that characterises the economic, social and political facets of the modern UK. Unionism must have more to say on the big challenges of our day rather than just hectoring and insulting its opponents; but that requires confronting the many unpleasant truths about the state of the UK, which is a bit more difficult than empty rhetoric and denial.

(Here is a link to the original article >>> http://www.gerryhassan.com/uncategorized/unionists-come-out-and-declare-your-nationalism/)

22 comments:

  1. There cannot be such a thing as British nationalism, even 'State' nationalism, because Britain is not a nation, but a union of four countries - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

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  2. "["British nationalism"] would deal with the quasi-independence of London as a world city from the rest of the UK [and England], the over-concentration of public infrastructure projects and investment in London and the South East (to the huge detriment of the North West and North East of England), and the absence of any political will in the Westminster classes to do anything about this." - Gerry Hassan in the above article.

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  3. The future is 'identity politics'/'the politics of identity'. It was reported on BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House this morning that in Scotland the Scottish government has decided that all Scottish schools must teach Scottish Gaelic.
    As the director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor, pointed out in 'The History of the World in 100 Objects', from the earliest times Gaelic was not spoken widely outside of the Highlands.
    What the Scottish nationalist government is trying to do is to make Scottish Gaelic the national language of Scotland, because they don't regard Scots (Scottish English) sufficiently distinct from international/British English.

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  4. I can imagine Leeds as the new English capital, with Manchester, having Media City in Salford, being to Leeds as Glasgow is to Edinburgh.

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  5. Gerry Mc Hassan dare not mention English Nationalism, period.

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  6. I mentioned elsewhere about yesterday's programme on the Eisteddford as a celebration of Welsh culture and national identity. I said that we should have something similar for England which obviously would have to be called the Folkmoot. This would be on the understanding that it is a celebration of English culture and identity and not a drop of multiculturalism is allowed to seep in - they won't allow it of course.

    London, the capital of England has not become a world city by accident, it is the work of greedy globalizing capitalists and insane Marxist multiculturalists. Of the former we hear today that the wages of British workers have dropped in real terms by around five per cent, one of the biggest drops in standards of living in the EU - surely not more than Greece or Spain? This is globalization for you. The wages of those at the top have probably doubled in the same period. However, could this have happened in Britain because more than most other countries, our employers have brought in cheap immigrant labour and countered any opposition with cries of racism?

    As for the London ethnically cleansing its cockney natives to create this world city, I pray daily that they never manage to do the same thing to the whole of England, although it seems we are heading that way.

    As regards multiculturalism, I thought the following from an American website would be of interest. The blogger wrote: "I had dinner with some of the typical open borders crowd. They knew I was a conservative and so said nothing until challenged when I replied; We have embarked on a breathtaking, bold and exciting venture to create the greatest multicultural civilisation in the history of the world. This has been tried many times in the past and I have yet to find an example of where such an experiment worked. If anything the experiment has destroyed every civilisation that has tried it. And nobody has been able to show me a civilisation that has succeeded in this experiment. As far as I can tell we have no plan B. When I had finished you could have heard a pin drop." As Sir Kenneth Clarke in his Civilisation series said, civilisation will only disappear if we lose confidence in ourselves. When he spoke those words in 1969 he knew that disaster was looming. We have been made by the left to lose confidence in ourselves as English men and women. We are now at five to midnight.

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    1. Someone should put a proposition of this kind to the English Democrats Yearly* Conference,

      "THAT THE FIRST ENGLISH DEMOCRAT GOVERNMENT SHALL BRING IN A LAW MAKING PURIFIED ENGLISH THE NATIONAL TONGUE OF ENGLAND TO BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS AND USED IN GOVERNMENT BUSINESS"

      David Cowley in his books "How We'd Talk if the English had won in 1066", and "Hastings, Words We'd Wield If We'd Won" puts forward some thoughts about how to make a truly English English.

      * English 'yearly' for un-English "annual"

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    2. I hope for a time when the English Democrats can lead the English theed* under a truly English name such as 'English Folkrights'.

      * 'theed' is true English for 'nation'

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    3. I think that the English word 'Folkmoot' should take the stead of the Old French word 'Parliament/House of Commons'.
      Our English 'National Eisteddfod' should be given a name like, maybe, the 'English Theedly Gathering', where 'theedly' means 'national/of the people'.

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  7. Have just been told that the drop in the standard of living has been greater than in Greece or Spain. Where does that leave New Labour, the Labour Party founded to protect the British worker now in a cleft stick because of its love of multiculturalism, open borders and the EU.
    It has had no love of the native British worker since the War. It has betrayed him at ever turn in favour of international socialism - hence the 1960s slogan, if you want an immigrant for a neighbour vote Labour.

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    1. What about the ENGLISH worker? you sound like BNP.

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    2. Yes, and vote Tory or Liberal Democrat if you want your real wages cut, your local council services withdrawn because of underfunding, to pay £30 to see your doctor, or have your local hospital run by 'Mega-Bucks Corp (America)inc.' headquartered in a low tax country.
      Its a shame that Hitler gave national socialism such a bad name.

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    3. Yes, and vote Tory or Liberal Democrat if you want your real wages cut, your local council services withdrawn because of underfunding, to pay £30 to see your doctor, or have your local hospital run by 'Mega-Bucks Corp (America)inc.' headquartered in a low tax country.
      Its a shame that Hitler gave national socialism such a bad name.

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  8. According to today's Guardian, our ethnic minorities will probably sway the next general election in favour of Labour as the Conservaties fail to connect with blacks and Asians and lose votes to UKIP and others.

    This is exactly what Enoch Powell predicted. We are rapidly losing control of our own country to the New Britons. Exactly the same is happening in America where the Democrats overturned a bill to preserve the European nature of America leading to a more than doubling of the population since the 1950s and the prospect of the international socialist Obama or his successors being in power for ever. Europeans are now on the run in their own homelands.

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  9. What the bar chart at the top of this article shows is that the proportion of English people who want the Scots to vote for independence is higher than the number of Scots who want Scotland to be independent.
    Although the question was not asked, there is little doubt that the English feel the same way about Wales and Northern Ireland.
    On the face of it, the majority of English are , de facto, English nationalist who are in favour of independence from the UK.
    This means that there is huge untapped reservoir of support for an English Democrat party with a policy of English independence.












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    1. If the English Democrats adopt a policy of independence. It will be a vote winner (once the electorate has got used to the idea of independence). Independence answers the "English Question" in the only way possible.
      The Tories have swept the English Question under the carpet, because they know that there is no other answer to calls for an English parliament than an independent England.
      Ukip's position is untenable. [1] the UK cannot be taken out of the EU intact. [2] an English parliament is not possible within the UK, because of the strains which having one member with 84% of the population would set up within the union.
      Ukip will not survive the contradictions of their unrealistic policies regarding either withdrawal from the EU, or their opportunistic support for an English parliament within the UK.
      Labour and the Lib Dems (an increasingly irrelevant party) still see devolution to the standard regions as the solution, but the North East referendum showed that the English won't wear it.

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  10. From an article in the Daily Telegraph

    "Enoch Powell, so right about monetarism and the problems that membership of the Common Market would entail, was so wrong to predict, with Virgil, that the river would foam “with much blood”. We are an island people constantly modifying our composition* and our relationship with the rest of the world. This is a capacity – patriotic rather than nationalist — that any true Conservative should celebrate" - Matthew d'Ancona, Daily Telegraph, 10/8/13

    i.e., for "true Conservatives" patriotism is British and good, but nationalism is English and bad

    * d'Ancona's assertion about "constantly modifying our composition" is not supported by the evidence of DNA

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  11. The problem is that we may be an island but we are a European island and our dna is European with its subsequent European iq level of around 100. Our ethnicity and culture is European and that defined our identity and an identity we were perfectly happy with, so why change it against our will? As for the United States, we are now faced by immigrants from the south ,whose iq levels are not on a par with those of Europe, mostly 20 points below. The same is happening with countries on the Continent and in Scandinavia. And yes, we have not been constantly modifying our position. Britain had the third most stable population in the world and had had hardly any immigration between 1066 and 1948. New Labour managed to introduce more people in their period of office than during those 900 plus years. England will cease to be European at all if things continue the way they are. It will be an afro-asian country. Is this really what readers of the Daily Telegraph want, except for somebody whose father was Portuguese?

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    1. English IQs are a bit below 100, German IQs are around 107. Germany has not had the benefit of immigration for so long.
      The genetic makeup had not changed since the last ice age, until the last few decades.
      The first wave of mass immigration was from the West Indies under Enoch Powell.
      Immigration under New Labour was mostly from Poland which has had the effect of reviving the flagging fortunes of Roman Catholicism. Having achieved that Blair then "converted" to Rome.

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    2. I can't quite follow you reasoning here. I am aware that German iqs are higher but am told that they lack the lateral thinking that the English are good at. Why should Germans be benefiting from the immigration of peoples with lower iqs than theirs? Are you saying that further immigration into Germany would be of benefit to them or are you being ironic? I think they are having enough trouble coping with the Turks and other muslims that they already have. A chuch was burnt to the ground there just the other week.

      The first wave of immigration was from the West Indies but I thought that Enoch Powell was the minister for health at the time and was only interested in nurses. The first immigration was the work of the post-war Labour government. However, by 1968 Powell realised he had made a mistake and wanted to preserve England's historic identity and preserve us from the friction and discord he had seen in the United States and in India. Powell believed in diversity but a diversity of different nations rather than a hotch potch in one nation which would eventually, as is happening here, lead to the erosion and extinction of the host race and culture.

      Immigration under New Labour was not mostly from Poland. New Labour went out to the third world actively encouraging them to emigrate in order to fully multiculturalise Britain.

      Are you suggesting that the half Scottish/half Irish Blair wanted more Roman Catholics here and rather than being a down to earth Methodist at heart was really a closet Catholic? I think his conversion was more to do with the fact that he is a born actor and liked the theatricality of Roman Catholicism compared to the simplicity of Methodism. He loved the bells and smells rather than a good Wesleyan hymn.

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  12. Now that the leader has endorsed independence, it is extremely likely that the English Democrat Party will too. That will put the English Democrats in a strong position to go on the attack against Ukip over the weaknesses in their logic regarding the EU (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will veto any moves to get out) and an English parliament (Ukip's "support" for an English parliament is simply opportunistic and Farage hasn't thought it through).
    At this stage, Ukip has to be the English Democrats principle target, which must be reflected in election material and in dealings with the media.
    The first part of the strategy must be to roll back Ukip where it has made progress in the north of England and the East Midlands.
    The south and west of England is Ukip's home turf and dislodging Ukip there will have to wait upon the English Democrats establishing a bridgehead in the north and midlands building up their resources in manpower and depth of territory from which to breakout and take the south without over extending the lines of communication or exhausting men and resources.

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