Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The curious paradox of the self-confirming Englishman

At the weekend I was saddened to see someone post on Facebook:
[the] EC debate has reinforced how out of tune I feel with any nationalistic sense of being "English"
For me, this statement was a genuine paradox in the proper logical sense. Because the only people I know who are embarrassed by their nationality are English. I don't know a single Scottish or Welsh person who isn't proud to be - Scottish or Welsh. I delight in my part-Irish background. Yet there is something in the poor tortured English soul that produces a kind of national self-loathing. So bizarrely, by proclaiming that you don't feel English... you show how English you are.

It's time we grew up in England and realised that being proud of your nation is not the same as fascist-style Nationalism. People who assume this are falling into a classic either/or logic error. Such people assume that if you don't loathe your nationality you have to be a Nazi - but, of course, the vast majority of people in the world are very happy with their nationality and proclaim that to be the case. It's time we reclaimed our right to be English without being guilty about it.


  1. Nope Brian, we Swedes are also quite embarrassed by our Swedishness. To the extent that calling something "un-Swedish" is high praise! To be fair, though, this has something to do with us, our food and our culture being as drab as wet, grey woolly underwear, at least until someone suddenly sprung ABBA on us.

    1. That must be why we enjoy Swedish TV so much.