petej + nationalidentity   115

Patriotism needn’t be negative – but it has to be honest | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
Patriotism is very much in the eye of the beholder – a web of arbitrary values, easily distorted, that not everybody claims even when they hold them. Nonetheless, over the past few weeks several Labour politicians have claimed the party must become more patriotic if it is going to win back the traditional strongholds it lost last month. Leadership contender Rebecca Long Bailey has called for a revival of “progressive patriotism rooted in working life”; former cabinet minister Liam Byrne evokes a “radical patriotism [that lights] up [a shared future] with a pride in our favourite bits about our shared past”. And Labour’s housing spokesman, John Healey, insists that “the most successful movements of the left have shown pride in the national flag”.

Each points out theirs is not your common-or-garden patriotism. It “needn’t be rooted in nostalgia” (Healey), should avoid “immigration or citizenship policy” (Byrne) and be “internationalist” (Long Bailey). But ultimately they all smack of strategic desperation, ideological vacuity and racial pandering.


Refusing to cede the ground to the right on patriotism is a fine idea so long as you have tilled the soil first. But that has not been done. A YouGov survey from 2014 showed that 59% of Brits felt the empire was something to be proud of rather than be ashamed of (19%). Celebrating all the workers’ struggles in the world won’t rid British history from the stench of colonialism – a word that does not appear in any of these rallying cries to progressive nationhood. We need a story that is hopeful. But it also must be honest.

Which brings us back to Stormzy. What would these “progressive patriots” make of a young black man who personifies a positive story about what is possible in Britain, and articulates the banal if brutal reality that prospects for advancement among those who look like him are limited and the country is in denial about it? Would they hold him up as the trailblazing pioneer for an evolving and inclusive culture who would appeal to youngsters; drop him as the foul-mouthed, race-baiting ingrate who talks down his country and scares their grandparents; or would they hold him at arm’s length, happy for him to be seen, hoping he’s not heard?
UK  politics  patriotism  Stormzy  racism  identity  nationalIdentity  nationalism  fascism  colonialism  honesty  dctagged  dc:creator=YoungeGary 
18 days ago by petej
A massive shame RLB has launched her leadership campaign under the sign of 'progressive patriotism'. This is a really bad thing to do, for 3 main reasons, broadly moral, intellectual & strategic
A massive shame RLB has launched her leadership campaign under the sign of 'progressive patriotism'. This is a really bad thing to do, for 3 main reasons, broadly moral, intellectual & strategic
UK  politics  LabourParty  leadership  Long-BaileyRebecca  patriotism  identity  nationalIdentity  nationalism  dctagged  dc:creator=NivenAlex 
22 days ago by petej
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
British passports will be navy blue after Brexit, says Home Office | Politics | The Guardian
"The humiliation of having a pink European Union passport will now soon be over and the United Kingdom nationals can once again feel pride and self-confidence in their own nationality when travelling, just as the Swiss and Americans can do."
UK  EU  Brexit  passports  nationalIdentity  HomeOffice 
december 2017 by petej
Unlearning the myth of American innocence | US news | The Guardian
American exceptionalism did not only define the US as a special nation among lesser nations; it also demanded that all Americans believe they, too, were somehow superior to others. How could I, as an American, understand a foreign people, when unconsciously I did not extend the most basic faith to other people that I extended to myself? This was a limitation that was beyond racism, beyond prejudice and beyond ignorance. This was a kind of nationalism so insidious that I had not known to call it nationalism; this was a self-delusion so complete that I could not see where it began and ended, could not root it out, could not destroy it.
USA  politics  culture  history  exceptionalism  nationalIdentity  nationalism  patriotism  segregation  racism  prejudice  class  BaldwinJames  Turkey  travel  Islam  journalism  Istanbul  AKP  Erdogan  PKK  conspiracyTheory  deepState 
august 2017 by petej
Dunkirk reveals the spirit that has driven Brexit: humiliation | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
I fear we are about to rehearse the cycle of shame and resentment all over again. There are two routes ahead, neither free of humiliation. The enactment of Brexit will complete an economic, diplomatic and strategic devaluation that is prefigured already in sterling’s post-referendum slide. Britain will be measurably smaller on the world stage. The reversal of Brexit, or its dilution into some pale simulation of the status quo, requires a plea in Brussels for more time and a fresh start. That will be hard to distinguish from a grovel.

Either way, there is disappointment in store for many leave voters who anticipate a national renaissance. If they don’t get Brexit, their democratic will is denied; if they do, and it makes them poorer, their faith is betrayed. Each path risks incubating more bitterness.

The case for pressing on, in deference to the verdict of the ballot box, has undeniable political and emotional urgency. And once that course is set, a kind of dogged British stoicism sets in even among many Brexit-sceptics. It is not quite optimism, but a determination not to be defeatist. Surely there is some muddle-through solution, some Dunkirk-spirited, make-do-and-mend compromise that gets us all to the other side of Brexit with national dignity still afloat. I certainly hope so. But it is a risky business, seeking comfort in history’s miraculous escapes. They are, by definition, exceptional.

Also, we are not at war. In the national story Britain tells about itself, Dunkirk is a preamble to heroic isolation followed by magnificent military redemption. It is a powerful tale but a rare one. It masks a more banal lesson from the evacuation: retreat is no one’s favourite manoeuvre, but sometimes it is the best one available. Sometimes, when a plan goes wrong and disaster is visible on the horizon, it is time to swallow pride, and turn around.
UK  Dunkirk  defeat  history  humiliation  nationalIdentity  WorldWarII  France  Germany  DeGaulle  EEC  EU  Brexit  trade  economy  negotiations  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
july 2017 by petej
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