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It was never about Europe. Brexit is Britain’s reckoning with itself | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
Paradoxically, this drama of departure has really served only to displace a crisis of belonging. Brexit plays out a conflict between Them and Us, but it is surely obvious after this week that the problem is not with Them on the continent. It’s with the British Us, the unravelling of an imagined community. The visible collapse of the Westminster polity this week may be a result of Brexit, but Brexit itself is the result of the invisible subsidence of the political order over recent decades.
UK  EU  Brexit  identity  nationalism  nationalIdentity  England  GoodFridayAgreement  indyref  Scotland  welfareState  democracy  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan 
january 2019 by petej
Of all the many delusions that have gripped British politics, this is perhaps the most destructive. It's what I call "The Tinkerbell Theory of History" - and it's carrying us down the road to ruin. [THREAD] 1/13
Far from being nostalgic for empire, the dominant folk memory of British history is of "plucky little Britain", standing with its backs to the wall in the face of overpowering odds. It's the story of the underdog, hopelessly outnumbered but somehow finding a way through. 3/13
UK  EU  Brexit  Britishness  nationalIdentity  delusion  myth 
december 2018 by petej
Corbyn’s right. It’s not as simple as having ‘pride’ or ‘shame’ in our history | David Wearing | Opinion | The Guardian
Various figures on the centre-left have, from time to time, urged progressives to reclaim patriotism, as though the problem were not the fact of national self-satisfaction but merely the tone of it. What we really need is to re-imagine our national community as somewhere more open, more welcoming, a little more respectful of others, and a little less pleased with itself. If we can finally have a grownup, frank and above all inclusive conversation about our country’s history – and in so doing finally shed the imperial hangover – a healthier relationship with others and with ourselves will surely follow.
UK  politics  nationalism  nationalIdentity  xenophobia  colonialism  history  culture  CorbynJeremy  dctagged  dc:creator=WearingDavid 
october 2018 by petej
Why is the far right dominated by men? | Cas Mudde | Opinion | The Guardian
But just like extreme right groups, many radical right parties espouse a strongly gendered discourse, in which they appeal to a frail masculinity, threatened by emasculating feminists, effeminate liberals, and overly virile “Others”. While women are mainly presented as victims, particularly of the latter – rape of white women by non-white men is an age-old favorite of the far right – men are called upon to protect their “nation” or “race”.

By defending their nation, and protecting their fragile women and children, men will not only regain their masculinity vis-a-vis “Other” men (eg black men, immigrants, Muslims) but also vis-a-vis their women. It restores the “natural” gender roles that decades of “cultural Marxism” threaten to destroy – which is, for example, why Viktor Orbán’s government is trying to shut down the gender studies departments in Hungary.
USA  politics  farRight  extremism  men  masculinity  victimhood  fear  nationalIdentity  gender  race  culture 
august 2018 by petej
Why would young people love a country that seems not to love them? | Zoe Williams | Opinion | The Guardian
The TUC is right: young people should join a union; workplaces should recognise collective bargaining; if this is a class cohort, nobody could tell you more about mobilising as a class bloc than a trade union. But any explanation for young people’s failure to do so that relies on personal deficiencies will turn out to be catastrophically complacent.

Also this week, the young were revealed to be less proud of their Englishness than ever before, with one in 10 saying they were actively embarrassed. There is nothing more corrosive to patriotism, of course, than hearing your situation blithely, constantly misrepresented by your countrymen. A lack of national pride may feel like the least of our problems, set against the damage done when there’s a surfeit of it. Yet it speaks not of cynicism, but of a failure of reciprocity. It’s hard to love a country that shows no sign of loving you.
UK  youth  millennials  tradeUnions  post-industrialism  work  insecurity  precarity  gigEconomy  exploitation  England  Englishness  nationalIdentity  dctagged  dc:creator=WilliamsZoe 
june 2018 by petej

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