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Who knows what patriotism will feel like if Scotland becomes independent

26 July 2014

3:30 PM

26 July 2014

3:30 PM

If Scotland goes independent in September, who knows what patriotism will feel like. This may be a last chance to savour some of this magazine’s most passionate expressions of British pride. In 1828, this article laid out the difference between a ‘genuine Briton’ and a Liberal.

‘The disposition of a genuine Briton is to make up his mind upon what he ought to do, and having once determined that, to adhere to his resolution with a fixedness of purpose, which more frequently proceeds to the length of obstinacy, than deviates into vacillation and uncertainty. Now this is a character quite opposite to that of the Liberals, and much to be preferred before it; for while the Briton of the old school may possibly carry his principle to an extent which is not right, he of the new or Liberal school will most probably tumble through sheer weakness into what is wrong. In the Liberal there is a total absence of the sound healthy firmness, which is absolutely essential to eminent usefulness – he yields this; he concedes that; he compromises the other thing; he winds, and twists, and hesitates; and when he wants to accomplish a thing, chooses rather to do it by a trick or stratagem, than by candour and plain dealing. You are never sure of him; you are doubtful as to his object, and quite uncertain as to the means he will adopt. Even his principles he yields to circumstances, and he is particularly deferential to a vague impalpable something, which he is pleased to call the spirit of the age, but which, on investigation, appears to be nothing more than the affected tone of the weak trash which the press pours forth in such quantity. Your Liberal has cast away the anchors of the old law, and national feeling, and exclusive privileges of Britons, as mere prejudices, and useless shackles to his enlarged comprehension.’

It turns out that this mysterious emotion often finds itself at the centre of a battle between progressives and patriots. Nearly 150 years later, W.F Wentworth-Shields expressed similar sentiments in the letters page:

‘Sir: Nobody with any claim to be ‘progressive’ could regard himself/herself as a patriot. Patriotic sentiments are as benighted as was heresy to the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Modern patriots, like former heretics, are outside the pale of the modern community. Modern fashion does not allow death by fire; but it can, at least, punish the patriot by making him/her feel a social outcast — a grim fate, when the prevailing doctrine is that every one clamours to belong to a national, or social, group.

Well, Sir, I am a patriot, without equivocation, shame or regret. I am heartily proud to be British; and I believe that the way out of our ‘progressive’ difficulties, as they crowd upon us — spiritual, economic, political and social — is the recovery of national faith and purpose and, with them, of the historic qualities of British self-respect, self-reliance and self-responsibility.’

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In the middle of the First World War, there was a debate about how to instill the principles of patriotism into children. The Spectator acknowledged that ‘you cannot define the mystery of patriotism any more than you can define love, or sleep, or death,’ but argued that did not make it unteachable:

We do not want a vainglorious and militaristic conception of life; but we do want—what is the exact reverse—such a well-applied love of one’s country that every child may grow-up to think it worth while to devote his life so far as he can, or to lay it down if necessary, in order to maintain this country as the inviolate home of liberty, and as a great exemplar of the political art of conceding liberty to others. A child can be taught that it is base to consent to tyranny, and it is nonsense to say that such teaching as this is impossible. You can justify patriotism even though you cannot dissect it. You can tell children how great and good men spent their lives or lost them in stamping out cruelty or injustice; and how our administrative services throughout the Empire labour in the tradition that we must govern for the good of the governed, and not, as was the way of ancient Rome, to enrich the central Treasury. If those things be taught successfully, ceremonial reverence for a flag may be, and ought to be, practised with spiritual profit because every child will know that the flag is respected for what it represents.

Without Scotland, the English won’t have Walter Scott or Dr Livingstone (a point reiterated by James Forsyth in The Spectator a few weeks ago); without England, the Scots won’t have Charles Dickens or the Duke of Wellington, but if it’s as instinctive as the article suggests, perhaps we’ll all feel just the same when Jerusalem echoes around a sports field. There’s just one final warning in the article: patriotism ‘can scarcely be handled without being defiled. It is simply for the elementary schools to make it noble or detestable.’

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Show comments
  • Siddhartha9208

    “Without England the Scots won’t have the duke of Wellington.” The Duke of Wellington was Anglo-Irish, born in Dublin and bred in county Meath. He was an MP in the Irish house of Commons and even represented an all-Ireland selection in cricket. Just another example of the withering complexity of a so-called homogeneous British identity.

  • McQueue

    Great Britain is the Island, not the government. I don’t want to be ruled by a privately educated, monied elite who time and again have demonstrated they do not have the people’s interests at heart, and I’m English. Show us the way, Scotland.

  • paulthorgan

    Just keep playing people Elgar until they get it.

  • davidshort10

    All the senior people at the Spectator are Scottish. What will they do if the home of the magazine they work for is suddenly a foreign country? The anti-immigration views of the magaziine will certainly be reviewed if Scotland becomes a country that is not part of the EU? Wiil they up sticks and go to Edinburgh and Paisley and let Englishmen run an English magazine?

  • davidshort10

    Given that this is The Spectator, I presume the author has been published not for hre authority or eminence but because she comes from a rich, privileged family. If Scotland goes independent, it will not make a scrap of difference to those of us who live south of the border. Even though I have a Scottish heritage, I did not cross the border until I was in my forties, and it doesn’t bother me a bit if they go their own way or not. It will not make any difference to my life or to anyone else’s that I know. We don’t care.

  • Ordinaryman

    Although the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish were part of the British Empire, the reason for that being so was totally different from why other countries became part of the Empire.
    Whereas, the other countries were colonised for, in the main, reasons of trade (although, I accept, in some cases it was to prevent the expansion of rival empires), the Scots, Welsh and Irish were brought into the Empire (via the earlier union of kingdoms) to prevent the Spanish and French invading the English through the back door.
    This is no longer the case, making the United Kingdom irrelevant.
    Therefore, there are only four reasons why the Scots would now not vote for independence, which are:
    1) They are financially better off staying in the Union
    2) They like basking in past glories ( I suspect this lies behind the thinking of most Unionists)
    3) They lack the courage to go independent; or
    4) They have a genuine affection for the Union and want it to remain intact.

  • 1Freedom

    As a Yes voter I am fully convinced that democracy is under attack across the UK from fraudulent postal votes, the No vote will profit via the recent surge in postal application / votes, the majority of which +80% will be No, enough to tip. There is no doubt the majority want Scottish independence but simply won’t get it because Westminster undermines democracy at every turn, ergo English voters consistently denied a vote by the liblabcon on the EU.

    • Kerr Mudgeon

      No doubt? You think? No poll ever has indicated that a majority of Scots want to break up this united kingdom.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Agree with you on postal votes, but isn’t the Scottish government hoping to inflate the independence vote by signing up as voters lots of European migrants?

    • The_greyhound

      Another nationalist halfwit forgotten to take its medication.

      The rancid little SNP got just 10% of the electorate to vote for it in May. The majority of voters in Scotland don’t want independence, have never wanted independence, and wouldn’t piss on salmond if he was on fire.

  • beenzrgud

    That first description of a liberal sounds a lot like Jean-Claude Juncker.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Britain was a construct foisted on the respective nations by the establishment. By dislocating state from country, the British state became an amoral vehicle to pursue commercial interests, and though it occasionally rose beyond the requirements of the money men, of late it has again become the degenerate play thing of commercial interests where all values, sovereignty, culture and nationality have been discarded so that this country, beyond being a transit camp for a cheap itinerant workforce , is a completely meaningless construct.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Britain is a plc & it’s population replacable & interchangable units of labour.

      • Blindsideflanker

        And it is not as if this is a new British state strategy, for this was the policy it pursued as a colonial master. It called the natives of the countries it ruled as lazy, ill educated good for nothings, so shipped in an cheap itinerant workforce, leaving in its wake racial disharmony as we see in Fiji, Celyon, East Africa, Malaya, etc

        The polices the British state pursued for the interests of the money men abroad, are exactly the same policies they are pursuing here. They have called us lazy good for nothings, and on the back of that they have shipped in the cheap itinerant workforce. The future we have to look forward to is the racial disharmony.

        • Damaris Tighe

          They created these lazy good for nothings themselves with their welfare policies – & then complain about the results.

  • rtj1211

    Well, the logical expectation is that the US is still hankering for a United Ireland (just as it did when it was funding terrorists decades ago), so that would leave Wales and England.

    Now would England still be sycophantic to Capitol Hill? Because there’s absolutely zero patriotism associated with that……

    Until America is faced down and until the various parts of the British Isles, in whatever political constellation they might finally emerge, are able to operate as an independent entity, the concept of British Patriotism really is about as relevant as American democracy.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Reading that first quote from 1828 on the old Liberals I realised how little has changed.

  • aurila

    a vote on independence for England ASAP

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Ironic isn’t it? William Wallace fought and died for Scottish independence, now it’s being offered on a plate and Scots are dithering whether to accept it. What are you waiting for Jock? Grab it with both hands.

    • Bonkim

      Scots are a canny lot Jack – you haven’t a clue what they are playing at.

  • Donafugata

    If the Scots choose independence, British patriotism will become English patriotism and all the stronger for it.

    There will then be a clear distinction between the English and the colonists who have been given British passports.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Yes, true. But I don’t welcome this. The colonisation has happened & all we can do now is try to incorporate them in a British identity, rather than they incorporate us.

  • RoxanneRoxanadana

    This would be one of the foulest moments in British history. The price of single malt might well double!

  • The_greyhound

    I don’t see the point of articles about something that isn’t, and was never, going to happen. The Scottish national thing never extended beyond its natural constituency of the low intelligence and the poorly educated. Today the Weirs’ independence campaign lies dead in the water, as it has done for months. All that’s left is to observe salmond’s last desperate throw before he passes his sell-by date on 19th September. Some people confidently expect that he will disavow independence in the coming weeks and say a yes vote is a vote for devomax. It won’t make any difference. No one believes what the SNP says, and nothing can recruit any support for salmond’s irrelevant dream.

    What an utter waste of time, just to satisfy the monstrous ego of Scotland’s own heir to Blair.

  • justejudexultionis

    We hope that the Scots will take the opportunity in September to stick it to the Wastemonster machine. No longer will Scots have to take part in British Nationalist imperialist adventures in places like Iraq. No longer will Scottish soldiers die in pointless foreign wars. No longer will Scotland’s wealth and talent be siphoned off by London.

    SAOR ALBA – THA M’FHEARANN SAIDHBHIR!

    • Damaris Tighe

      Ah, the Irish language of Scotland.

    • Redneck

      Justejudexultionis

      “Wastemonster” a good term for the excesses of Big Government, I like it.

      Do you really think Holyrood is / would be the new byword for minimal Government intervention and a small state?

  • Malcolm McCandless

    English patriotism will replace British jingoism if Scots vote Yes. That is something peoples from both sides of the border will welcome.

    • HookesLaw

      British jingoism exists only in the mind of the perverted observer. Wither exists Scottish jingoism?

      • vieuxceps2

        Care to explain the last sentence please?

      • Jacques Strap

        EU fanatic…

      • Wessex Man

        halfwitted nonsensical toss as usual.

  • Smithersjones2013

    When, according to the 2011 census 85% of those who identify with English or Welsh nationality (in excess of half the population) do not identify with being British at all Add to that a similar proportion of Scots along with several million who do not identify with being British or its home nations and its clear that over two thirds of the population do not share the concept of British Patriotism sufficiently to consider themselves at all British.

    Furthermore, given the majority of the other third is likely made up of naturalised immigrants or their offspring and already the idea that British patriotism stands for anything of worth is questionable. The reality is that being British these days is a political construct that largely still exists almost solely to identify naturalised UK immigrants and as a convenient poltical device by which to control the people of these islands.

    Consequently if Scotland does choose to leave the union the impact on British Patriotism will be very little. It pretty much died along with the empire.

    However it is likely to provide English and Welsh patriotism a tremendous boost given it will alter the balance of power in the remaining Union against the so called progressives.

    • Redneck

      Smithersjones2013

      You may well be correct about those figures but, as someone who is honoured to think of himself as British, I can’t help but feel that there has been a very effective damning of any claim to be British over the years.

      The term has been subverted to imply a loutish nationalism and our Union Flag is a symbol now too often used as a shorthand for racism etc.

      It makes one ponder: cui bono? Who will benefit from a strong sense of nationhood, national pride and an instinctive trust in one’s fellow-citizens, most of whom, ideally, would share a reasonably similar moral code? Who would want to see that true bond of countrymen broken-up?

      The United Kingdom has been usurped from within and our demographic make-up changed beyond recognition in about 25-years. Think about that, in our generation we have gone from being a country where we could go anywhere within its borders and know pretty much everyone would share a kindred identity.

      • Wessex Man

        and your point is?

        • Redneck

          Wessex Man

          Unfinished! The website stopped responding hence too lazy to re-type I sent my unfinished comment: apologies.

          The point I was trying to make is that being British is now seen as being a bit toxic; not quite at the stage where to admit being British will lose you your Public Sector job but not far off.

          What I’m not clear about is who benefits from destroying a British ethos and turning us all into “world citizens” or some such.

          • Damaris Tighe

            I suspect big business benefits. It doesn’t like borders (hence its support of the EU) because it want to be able to set up & hire with minimum restriction. It also wants to import more ‘suitable’ workers without restriction.

            • red2black

              The point you make is becoming more and more difficult to put across to people in working class areas, being pretty much steamrollered by their having to deal with the sometimes negative effects of the new arrivals in their midst. An area close to where I live was subjected to an EDL visit and an AFL counter-demo, which some local residents felt only made matters worse.

              • Damaris Tighe

                Don’t understand your point red2black – serious question, not polemical!

                • red2black

                  As opposed to the ‘multicultural’ explanation for high levels of immigration, which seems to be winning the day. (I had to look-up ‘polemical’).

                • Damaris Tighe

                  I think that high levels of immigration have been driven by perceived labour needs for businesses & the NHS. Once immigrants were here in large numbers Britain developed the doctrine of multiculturalism to deal with the presence of alien cultures. But with the last Labour government multiculturalism became an end in itself, to ‘rub their noses in diversity’. We thus started to accept immigration for no other reason than ‘enrichment’.

                  And of course we’re committed to migration without restriction from the EU. Businesses love the freedom to recruit cheap labour. Add to the pot that working class kids have been badly let down by our education system & social policies so that businesses find migrant workers more employable.

                • red2black

                  Thanks for your reply.

    • vieuxceps2

      Thanks Smithers.You’re correct of course,we have only hyphenated British now.
      “British” as an ethnic,political or historical concept has died.We have to be specific now. Somali -British, Asian-British and the like. Soon,we’ll perhaps need to specify British-British.Better to become English once again and leave the newcomers to their own choice of nationality.

      • Damaris Tighe

        But that’s just where British identity is useful. I see the English as the indigenes. British is the formal nationality that all can subscribe to.

  • misomiso

    It would be a tragedy if Scotland left.

    BUT the rest of the UK should act quickly if it happens and seize the opportunity to re constitute the nation if they leave.

    1) Leave the EU
    2) Form a united football team to hold the rest of the Nation together, with provisions for N.I. Citizens to play for the Republic if they wish.
    3) Abolish Welsh assembly as there has been a massive down swing in confidence following Labour’s management of the NHS and Schools.

    We should use South Korea as a model of a Independant, Economically and Culturally strong Nation that flourishes.

    • justejudexultionis

      It would certainly be a tragedy for England, but a triumph for Scotland.

      SAOR ALBA – THA SINN DEISEIL 2014!

      • The_greyhound

        Why do you keep posting your nonsense in Irish?

        Don’t you have a language of your own?

        • vieuxceps2

          The language of the Scots who invaded what’s now called Scotland was Irish as theycame from Ireland.Of course,they were driven away by following waves of German and N. European colonists just as in England the Welsh were.
          Poor old Juste…not only has no language of his own, he even steals his name from the other invaders, the Romans!
          Of, he also writes in English……

          • Damaris Tighe

            The Scots were invading Irish & they weren’t driven away. They continued to live in the Highlands (at least until the clearances). There were people who lived in Scotland before the Scots – they were Britons (related to the Welsh) & Picts (who may also have been Britons).

            If the Scots Irish hadn’t invaded the Highlanders would probably be speaking Welsh today.

    • Randy McDonald

      Why abolish the Welsh assembly? Would the Welsh actually want that?

  • Bob Thomas

    The United Kingdom ceased to be an independent sovereign country when the Tory Party decided that the British people should be subjected to supranational treaty rule without ever having given their informed consent. Until magazines like the Spectator and other legacy media outlets recognise that simple fact and inform their readers about the extent to which our sovereignty is circumscribed belonging to this anti-democratic organisation they will continue to be laughed at for being feeble irrelevances that are demonstrably part of the problem.

    • HookesLaw

      We are not subject to supranational rule. Stop the hysteric pretence. Are you talking about the UN – where we have to abide by UN resolutions like the rest of the world?
      Or NATO where we would be drawn into war if a fellow member were attacked

      • Bob Thomas

        Neither NATO, nor the UN are supranational bodies – they are both intergovernmental – as I am sure that you well know. The EU, however, circumscribes the United Kingdom’s sovereignty in all manner of policy areas.

        • Wessex Man

          Hooky babe knows that full well, in reply to you either he or tele babe will come back with thier idiotic nonsense that peace in Europe has been maintained by the EU!

        • WhoAmI

          But you have no shame of your colonial past when you decided their future without their consent , probably its karma

      • Jacques Strap

        So why cant we control free movement, agriculture, fishing etc?

  • john

    Britain has an appallingly outmoded sense of patriotism.
    We still think we run the Empire (now feebly renamed Commonwealth). Our Head of State (also House of Lords and titles) is an undemocratic, class defined hangover from centuries gone by. We have a silly pantomime royalty industry that must give foreigners a real giggle.

    • Colonel Mustard

      You give me a real giggle. Who the H are you to decide what is outmoded you arrogant so and so.

      And have you no censure for the “silly pantomime” of the appointed, unelected BARONESS Ashton?

      • Andy

        Thanks be to God for Queen Elizabeth. She saves us from cretins like him.

        • Archibald Heatherington

          God save the Queen! Long may she reign.

    • justejudexultionis

      Exactly. Functional modern democracies such as Germany and the United States have long since abandoned monarchy as an outmoded and irrational form of governance having no place in the twenty-first century.

      • vieuxceps2

        And Denmark, Sweden,Norway, Netherlands, Spain- Are they not “functional modern democracies”?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Er, after “abandoning” the Kaiser I wouldn’t call the progress of Germany a “functional modern democracy”. The one did not beget the other you fool. Germany did not become a functional, modern democracy until about 1989, 70 years after the monarchy was “abandoned”. It is infinitely arguable whether that 70 years would have been better and cost Europe less with a German Kaiser on the throne.

        And the President of the United States behaves in many ways as a surrogate “monarch” with as much pomp and ceremony as any constitutional monarchy in Europe and sometimes more. Why do you think a woman who just happens to be married to the President is honoured as the First Lady?

        You egalitarian republicans always manage to conflate rule by its construction rather than its effectiveness. Much blood has been spilled because of it.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Indeed. It’s always been unclear to me why some electorially-sanctioned charlatan is better than a constitutional monarch, however dim.

          • Randy McDonald

            The charlatan can be gotten rid of?

            • Damaris Tighe

              To be replaced by another charlatan.

        • The_greyhound

          Brilliant comment!

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Better that than a load of socialist nutters like you destroying our freedoms at every turn laddie.

  • Barakzai

    ‘ . . . the Scots won’t have . . . . the Duke of Wellington . . .’

    No matter. They’ll have Blue-faced Mel Gibson.

    • MichtyMe

      Duke of Wellington, wasn’t he Irish, so lost him long time ago?

      • Barakzai

        He didn’t like to be thought of as Irish. ‘Being born in a stable does not make one a horse’, he is supposed to have said on the subject . . .

      • Andy

        He was of the ‘Anglo-Irish’ Aristocracy.

        • justejudexultionis

          Most definitely not Irish then. Wellington was asked if he was Irish and replied ‘if I was born in stable, would it make me a horse?’

      • Inverted Meniscus

        No he wasn’t. He spent a period of his life in Ireland but was an Englishman.

    • The_greyhound

      “They’ll have Blue-faced Mel Gibson.”

      not to mention “Sir” Sean Connery, subject to his not paying income tax, of course.

  • dado_trunking

    The independent people of Bangladesh, Botswana and Barbados are giggling and slapping their knees with laughter as to the profound and lacklustre sense of nationhood put on display by the Scots.

  • Colonel Mustard

    As a sovereign nation Scotland has the right to determine its own identity and to make its own mistakes. The British government has no part to play in that except to honour the outcome in a spirit of goodwill.

    Anything else is federalism of the worst kind, dictated from the centre.

    • Andy

      And as a sovereign nation ENGLAND has the right to determine its own identity.

      • Colonel Mustard

        It ought to but the occupying puppet government will fight tooth and nail to ensure that never happens.

        • Andy

          Like the Fascists who created the current devolution mess.

          • Wessex Man

            precisely.

          • Randy McDonald

            Fascists?

      • justejudexultionis

        Great. So why don’t you do everybody a favour and declare your independence from Scotland?

        SAOR ALBA

        • Colonel Mustard

          Because we don’t have a government, not even a pretend, devolved one. We are only a people but even that identity is denied by the Westminster government which refuses to define the indigenousness of the English and wants us not to exist within a regionalised, multi-cultural mass. And when an Englishmen beseeches his right to the distinct national identity he enjoyed for a thousand years before the Fabians showed up he is called racist and bigot.

          • Wessex Man

            Well said Colonel, never forget it was a Welsh Deputy Prime Minister and an unelected Scottish Peer who tried to force Regional Assemblies on the English!

    • Randy McDonald

      What is wrong with federalism, exactly?

      • Colonel Mustard

        When it is the worst kind, dictated from the centre…

  • Colonel Mustard

    “…he is particularly deferential to a vague impalpable something, which he is pleased to call the spirit of the age, but which, on investigation, appears to be nothing more than the affected tone of the weak trash…”

    It’s called socialism now, promoted with the two impostors of “equality” and “fairness” which turn out to be neither.

  • http://figh.tk/ Peter Dow

    YES FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE!. http://scot.tk Scottish National Standard Bearer website. http://scot.tk/forum/index.php?c=4 The “Scotland” category of forums in the For Freedom Forums for bravehearted debate.

  • proculharem

    Who cares? England will then flourish.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Love the name. I remember listening to Whiter Shade of Pale under the sheets after lights’ out.

  • http://figh.tk/ Peter Dow

    The United Kingdom is an anti-British state. It is the patriotic duty of all Britons to quit the UK.
    The UK imposes a monarch and kingdom upon Britons, denying us a right to elect a British president.
    Would the last patriotic Briton to leave the UK please switch off the lights.
    What remains is for Britons to draw the sword of home nation republics from the UK stone.
    In founding a NEW BRITAIN Britons shall be guided by Condoleezza Rice.

    Condoleezza Rice with Excalibur, King Arthur’s sword, at long last!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKntGxcxuQs

    • Colonel Mustard

      What a lot of twaddle.

      • HookesLaw

        It takes a nutjob to know a nutjob.

        • Colonel Mustard

          So what does that make you then?

          😉

        • Jacques Strap

          Why do you insist on insulting people all the time? It cheapens your argument.

      • http://figh.tk/ Peter Dow

        J’accuse Andrey Lugovoy with the Polonium 210 poisoned tea in the Millennium Hotel.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Right-o

    • Andy

      Bullshit.

    • Michele Keighley

      Don’t you think you should wait for the hangover before commenting? It would make a little more sense I think.

      • http://figh.tk/ Peter Dow

        Not only am I not drunk but I don’t drink alcohol, nor any other intoxicating substance.

        So if I wait for my hangover that will never come I would never comment and then, well, you’d miss out on my wisdom.

        • Wessex Man

          Your previous comment sounded as if it was the comment of a sterile humourless sad person.

        • Colonel Mustard

          We might have fallen for that if you had a different avatar…

  • thomasaikenhead

    Patriotism relates to love for ones country, Great Britain was never a country, just a political entity.

    It will not be missed when the Scots vote for independence.

    • Bonkim

      But that entity was greater than the sum of its constituent nations.

      • Iain Hill

        Not now. That is surely the point.

        • Bonkim

          Britain still punches above its weight in world affairs in relation to its population. English is the universal language of business and education, British £ is the second most used reserve currency and Britain has a higher PR across the globe compared to all other countries.

          British patriotism is underplayed – that is its strength – no need to shout if you know your strength.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Actually Great Britain was and is a country. The political “entity” is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, also a country by the UN definition of that word.

      • thomasaikenhead

        No, Great Britain has never been a ‘country’.

        Scotland was and is a country, as is England, Great Britain and the UK never were!

        • Colonel Mustard

          You are wrong.

          • Wessex Man

            He may or may not be wrong but hopefully after September it will be no more and the Westminster Village will have acknowledge the existance of England.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Keep ranting laddie but it will not make you right. Great Britain is a country as defined by the UN.

    • HookesLaw

      Great Britain is a country; I suggest you go back to sleep.

      • thomasaikenhead

        Please do share your knowledge and explain Great Britain is ‘country’?

        It may well purport to her a state but that is not the same thing as a country, is it?

        • Wessex Man

          He can’t explain, ignore.

      • Jacques Strap

        What about northern island? Moron, idiot, ignorant (etc insults, hookeslaw style)

        • Iain Hill

          Call a doctor

      • Iain Hill

        No, Scotland is a country. Britain is a state. Historians know the difference.

    • monty61

      Rubbsh. Your narrow viewpoint may be that of a few zealots but most Scots get the point of the Union perfectly well and have benefitted hugely from it.

      That’s why your chances of achieving secession are remote.

  • Radford_NG

    I object to Blake’s mystic poem about the Boy Jesus being used as a nationalist anthem;just as I do The Ode To Joy being used as the European Imperial anthem.

    • Wessex Man

      I love the tune of Jerusalem ringing out at the Commonwealth Games, it should be used at all England Interational Football matches rather than the terminally boring God save the Queen!

      • MichtyMe

        God save is the Royal Anthem and is also used in places like Canada etc when appropriate, it should be reserved for Royal occasions and National tunes used on others.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Hey Wessex Man, we finally agree. It’s a wonderful, inspiring anthem & I’ve often wished it replaced God Save, which makes me lose the will to live.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Jerusalem
        Commonwealth Games
        England International Football matches
        God save the Queen

        Have we nothing in common!

  • English Majority

    Our nation was our precious platform; our home; a place where we could be safe, happy, prosperous and live beautiful lives.

    But its been stolen from us by masses of Third World immigrants.

    • Damon

      “As for Scotland: we English can’t wait to see the back of it.”
      Another Little Englander who PRESUMES to speak for everyone in England.

      I’m an Englishman; I admire Scotland; and I consider it an integral part of OUR shared country.

      So, you don’t speak for me, do you mate?

      • Archibald Heatherington

        Nor me. I’ve lived all my life in England, as has my family for nearly 100 years, but I’m British, damn it, not English, BRITISH, and I won’t have that taken from me by the selfish myopia of the SNP and English Democrats!

        • Wessex Man

          All of you English Majority, Damon, thomasaikenhead and Archibald Heatherington are wrong. I wish the Scot Yes campaign well and hope they win. Let’s have a end to this artifical Union which is now used as a vanitity project by the Westminster Village to try to stride the World Stage but end up as the Yanks useful idiots.

          Let’s haver that breakup and get on with our lives!

          • telemachus

            On the grounds that it does not matter now that we are all equal participants in Europe

            • Wessex Man

              I see tweddle dee snd tweddle dummer are working together again for the greater good of the European Empire, well done you dummies!

          • HookesLaw

            Thick hysteria.

        • Colonel Mustard

          And where did your family live before 1914?

          Usually those who don’t care much for the English have escaped here from less agreeable places and then lecture us on what is wrong with the country and are vociferous in their proposals to ‘improve’ it.

          • Archibald Heatherington

            I care for the English a great deal! They’re the greatest nation on Earth, in many ways. I just don’t really feel I’m one of them. I am, on the other hand, proudly British.

            I much preferred this country before those lecturers started: That’s why my family came here!

            Since you’re interested, we came from Russia, Austria and, in a few cases, France. A couple of us had been in England for a couple of hundred years before, and liked it here very much then as well.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Thank you.

              • Archibald Heatherington

                Quite all right – I just want to keep my national identity without having suddenly to develop Anglo-Saxon ancestry. I’m pleased we seem largely to agree.

                • Wessex Man

                  I certainly don’t! what gives you the right to rant at any English person who wishes to have self determination for England. I see nothing wrong with England being given the same democratic rights as were given to the rest of the United Kingdom in 1999!

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Why do you use the word ‘rant’ when you simply disagree with that person’s position? What AH was saying was put enthusiastically & benignly, but was most certainly not a rant.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Understand where you’re coming from. It’s important to make the distinction between British, which denotes citizenship, & ethnicity which of course includes the splendid English but also other ethnic groups which now inhabit these isles. ‘British’ is what binds us together as long as the multicultis don’t make in obsolete.

                • WhoAmI

                  But you are ok with changing Australian, chogos island, plus other colonies ethnicity but not ok if someone tries samething on your land.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Quite right and in my opinion when these people say ‘improve’ they invariably mean ‘severely restrict your freedoms’.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Well, scratch the surface and you often find resentment and a desire for little more than a revenge born from their own prejudices and insecurities. Inferiority complexes have been the cause of tremendous strife and misery throughout history. The left have propagated the tendency by assuring the chip bearers that their burden is the fault of others. A nation of grievance merchants and offence takers has arisen from this and the Gordion knot of hierarchical victimhood grows bigger and more complex to unravel.

              Of course this benefits the party that grows the knot in order to be able to make promises to unravel it.

        • telemachus

          Well spoken
          We are reminded with the splendid commonwealth games overlapping the anniversary of WW1 that Glasgow 100 years ago was the second city of the BRITISH empire

          • MichtyMe

            And these Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders all now sovereign states, nasty nasty separatists the lot of them, bah.

            • telemachus

              I seem to remember that the Scottish Parliament voted to join the remainder of the United Kingdom voluntarily
              Why leave now?

          • Smithersjones2013

            Your every sickening slimy patronising post makes my skin crawl.

            • Colonel Mustard

              You are not alone in that sir.

        • Damon

          Quite right, Archibald, and well said.

        • MichtyMe

          Hmmm, the embrace of Britishness has waxed and waned, 100 years ago most “British” were African or Asian.

          • Donafugata

            That is still the case, the only difference is that they are all over here now.

        • Smithersjones2013

          Well the bad news for you is that according to the census well over two-thirds of the UK population no longer identify with being British at all. You sir are an endangered species

      • thomasaikenhead

        Damon,

        Other English people wish an independent Scotland well.

        They do not feel threatened, intimidated or rejected, they simply acknowledge that a union created by subterfuge, bribery and corruption has come to a well overdue end.

        • Holly

          I wish Scotland….Well…
          Scotland should be wishing Scotland well.
          If they do by some fluke vote for independence they will have a choice of Salmond, or Bozo, because you can bet your bottom dollar the ex-Prime Mentalist would just love to rule a country where he can spout all his ‘prudence’, ‘no more boom’ for a wee while, or ‘bust’.

          • Jambo25

            How out of touch are you? There is absolutely no chance of Brown achieving high office in any future independent Scotland.

            • Holly

              We’ll see eh.
              I just hope the people of Scotland have woken up enough to see how Labour have held them back for so long.
              I still think the ex- Prime Mentalist will ‘have a go’, because he still believes he ‘did nothing wrong’ while in office 1997-2010.
              Wrecked Britain, but saved the world eh?

              • Jambo25

                Delusional.

      • Holly

        Maybe if the Scottish had not been going on about their independence from England and the Westminster government, (conveniently when Conservative are in office) for god knows how long, then maybe, just maybe, at least 8 of us who agree with English majority would not be so glad to ‘see the back of them’.
        Personally I have never believed they have the bottle.

        Salmond thinks it’s ‘all about him’, and has campaigned as such.
        I just hope that when they vote to remain part of the United Kingdom/Britain, they will then pipe down about how they dislike being governed from Westminster, and simply moan about it like the rest of us. Regardless of which political party it is.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Doubt it somehow. The precedent for repeating the exercise until the biggest bullies get the right answer has been well established now.

        • Iain Hill

          Let’s stop moaning and press for reform instead.

        • Wessex Man

          Holly, there have been at least three Cybernat nutjobs stating on these threads that if they lose, they’ll start again. Having said that I hope they win!

          • The_greyhound

            The SNP bunker has for weeks been sending out messages to its trolls telling them to prepare its embattled supporters for defeat. “Only a temporary setback” they’re being told, apparently.

            In reality salmond will be gone on 19th September, and the SNP will have disintegrated before the next elections. I wonder what the nutjobs will do with themselves for the next 307 years.

            • Jambo25

              The SNP has a healthy lead in the opinion polls for the Holyrood parliament and looks like it will keep it. There is absolutely no sign of either the Tory or Lib Dem parties making a come back.

      • Andy

        Why are you so busy insulting him by calling him a ‘Little Englander’ ? I assume you call Salmond & Co ‘Little Scots’ ?? He sees things differently to you, that’s all.

        I’m English and I belong to a very old English family. My ancestors served Queen Elizabeth I and then King James VI & I. We served earlier and later Sovereigns, so I am proud of our contribution both to England and to Britain.

        Whatever the result in September might be things will not be the same. The ‘West Lothian Question’ must be answered in the only possible way – by creating an English Parliament. Some talk about ‘OUR shared country’. Well that might be so but it requires mutual respect and understanding. As an Englishman I want an equal measure of respect for England, the ancient Kingdom of England, and I want we English to control our own affairs.

        So to those of you who who throw the ‘Little Englander’ insult around we, the people of England, want respect so don’t presume you speak for many of us: you don’t.

        • Damon

          Andy, thanks for taking the time to reply, but there are two further points I must make.

          (1) “[W]e, the people of England, want respect.” There you go again. That’s exactly what I mean. You’re presuming to speak for all of us. I’m as English as you. I, however, don’t go about writing, “We, the Unionist people of England.” It’s your side that continually claims to speak for everybody down south, and frankly, it rankles. Please try to understand that I care for Britain as much as you obviously care for England. Tell you what. If I agree to respect your English patriotism, you agree to respect my British variant. Deal?

          (2) “Why are you so busy insulting him by calling him a ‘Little Englander’?”
          Read the original post to which I responded. He wrote, “As for Scotland: we English can’t wait to see the back of it” Don’t you consider that insulting? I do. English Majority was rude about the Scots, whom I consider my compatriots and fellow-countrymen, and so I stepped up to the plate to say a word on their behalf. That’s all.
          Moreover, as insults on the Spectator Comments pages go, ‘Little Englander’ is hardly the worst of them. I’m sure English Majority will live.

          With best wishes for continued amity within a UNITED Kingdom,
          Best regards,
          Damon

          PS I agree that West Lothian, and many other issues, must be addressed after the vote.

          • vieuxceps2

            “Compatriots and fellow-countrymen”-Are they different people nowadays?

            • Damon

              Touché; duly noted and edited. 😉

        • Iain Hill

          We Scots want you to have the same. No more Westminster

          • Wessex Man

            Quite apart from the fact that if you vote for independence it will be none of your business where Parliament is held.

        • AtMyDeskToday

          “we, the people of England, want respect”

          From the man who wrote this…

          “Unfortunately the Scots cannot be relied upon to vote Yes. They hope to screw more powers and more money out of Westminster.”

          Respect is a two way street.

          • Andy

            So when you Scots going to stop hating the English ?

            • AtMyDeskToday

              You are completely deluded, and suffering a persecution complex, if you think that we do. We just can’t suffer idiots that think that way. It’s worth pointing out that 10% of the Scottish population is of English origin. I’ve yet to meet one, just one, that says they are hated and want to leave. There are parts of the highlands and islands where you would be fortunate to meet a native Scot, there are so many happy English immigrants (and quite clearly prosperous so could presumably live anywhere in the UK, but choose Scotland).
              I was in Arran last week, over a pint, in 24C heat looking out over a pond-like sea (thoughts of Mallorca), I conversed with a guy from Kent who had just dropped off his grand-daughter at the ferry. He’s been there 15 years, loving it.
              Is he deluded, are they all deluded, or are you.
              I guess I’m at risk now of lots of posts saying… I went to Scotland once and they were not nice to me.

              • Andy

                Everything is always so perfect in Scotland. And yet anti-English racism is a problem, a problem you refuse to admit. Anti-English hate is what underpins much of Scots Nationalist sentiment, something that is subtly stoked by the ghastly Salmond & Co. Having been of the receiving end of anti-English racism in Scotland and knowing many people who have been treated in a similar manner merely because the are English I am sure you will be only too quick to dismiss these comments as ‘deluded’. And come the 19th of September if you Scots vote ‘No’ we want you out of meddling in our affairs. We want an English Parliament.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  “we want you out of meddling in our affairs.”

                  You sound like the racist here, aside from being a deluded, asinine idiot. Good luck in your quest for an English parliament.

                • Andy

                  The ‘asinine idiot’ around here is you.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  LOL!

        • English Majority

          Beautifully said, Andy.

      • English Majority

        Things have changed, Damon.

        When a couple’s relationship is terminally degraded, and there’s no love at all between them, the answer is to separate and go your own way.

        Further to that: If said metaphorical relationship isn’t dissolved at this point, it gets worse, and worse, and worse, until it all ends very badly one way or the other.

    • John Lea

      Blimey, for someone so passionately English, you have a truly dreadful grasp of its language and grammatical construction. (Note the lack of apostrophe in my use of the word ‘its’, and the erroneous lack of it in yours.) I would guess that some of those lecherous immigrants you refer to have a better understanding of the Queen’s English that your good self.

      • vieuxceps2

        Yes, its and it’s are often misused But where doe it that immigrants are “lecherous”? Are you sure of your own skill in English?

      • Right-Minded

        Pull your head out of your …. It’s the Spectator Blogs, he’s not writing to the Queen. Here’s some free advice, you’re not impressing anyone by highlighting grammatical errors in comments sections. Get a life pedant.

    • Iain Hill

      Nor we of you, but we will welcome immigrants, not being racist!

      • Colonel Mustard

        You can afford to because you already have your own parliament and no-one denies your Scottish national identity which you rightly celebrate. No-one is trying to regionalise Scotland, eradicate your national identity and turn your flag into a racist symbol. Also no-one has imposed mass immigration on you for party political purposes.

      • Liz

        Not English ones you won’t.

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