A weird people the English.
Before you throw the toys out of the pram just consider the view from outside. It is difficult for the rest of us to imagine how a nation which has given so much to the world has become so ashamed or reluctant to acknowledge it. This is abnormal.
Most Scots deep down suspect that there is a worldwide conspiracy denying us our rightful place in the world. We know from infancy the self-evident truth that if there was anything worthwhile invented, from the raincoat to radar, from the breech loading rifle to beta blockers, there was a Scot behind it. The English on the other hand are embarrassed to acknowledge that they have actually contributed the best and most important that this world has to offer.
The people occupying the greater part of this damp island on the edge of Europe transformed the world. This was not just through the expansion of the English speaking world, and the British Empire was really the English Empire; or even the creation of the USA, the most powerful nation in the world. It was through the ideas that arose in England, those political institutions and legal principles which are the bedrock of Western civilisation.
Those freedoms which we value were actually the invention of the English. They were born and nourished in Britain, but mainly in England. England is a special place, not because of some spurious racial superiority, and not because of the land; it is special because it gave birth to revolutionary ideas and did not just dream about them but put them into practice.
It was in England that the rule of common law emerged, by which independent magistrates administer justice and in principle the Government is just as bound by the law as the governed.
It was in England that habeas corpus saw the light of day. From this seed we find the concept of individual liberty emerging. The individual is free; to associate freely, to buy and sell freely, to believe, think and speak freely.
Through the centuries, by fits and starts, there emerged the idea of representative government. The idea that the people of the State have the right to choose their own leaders, and those leaders are accountable to the people who can say, ‘Throw the blackguards out’ and out they go.
We take these things for granted but they are not. A free press, regular elections, a jury system and being held innocent until proven guilty; these are the exception in world. Most of the population of the planet today can only dream of these institutions. The concept that the State is the servant of the people, not the master, is seen as dangerous and revolutionary in much of the world.
These ideals did not arrive by accident but were hard come by. The English fought civil wars to bring about the supremacy of Parliament, and thus the people, over the monarch. The American Revolution which created the most powerful, and freest nation on earth, was in reality the final round in the English Civil War.
America was an English colony. There were many Scots there when America was a colony, as well as Dutch, Germans, Irish and others. George III even called the American Revolution his ‘Presbyterian War’ and the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence was John Witherspoon, a Church of Scotland minister. But it was an English colony mainly populated by English people and run on English principles; and it was those principles the American colonists fought at great cost to implement.
It was in defence of those same principles that the peoples, who share more than a language, united and fought to defend freedom against a monstrous totalitarian regime determined to destroy freedom. Yet, throughout the country a multiculturalist educational establishment is dedicated to denying English children the knowledge that they are heirs to a unique political heritage of which they should be proud.
The elite suffers from a severe case of oikophobia, they are ashamed of being English and distrust those who are proud of being English. This was most vividly demonstrated in the case of Lady Nugee (aka Emily Thornberry) who famously sneered at those who flew the flag of St George, and is today Shadow Foreign Secretary. Only among the progressive elites in England could it be thought that the best person to represents the interests of the people to foreigners was someone who sneered at those same people.
As long as the elites sneer at any form of pride in England and associate it with the BNP and other knuckle-draggers, so long will they be empowered to pursue their multicultural agenda to transform Britain. An agenda in which every culture is valued except the one which has provided the freedoms they use. The progressive elites are afraid of England recovering a sense of national pride. Not because it will bring violence to the country as they prophecy, but because it will spell an end to their project.
Why should a Scot want the English to regain a sense of pride in their national identity? Partly, because we are in this together. If there is a mouse in bed with an elephant and the elephant rolls over, guess who gets squashed? If you fall, we all fall.
But it’s more than that. Put it down to simple respect. Most Scots have an admiration for our nearest neighbours. The great Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean wrote of the legendary heroes of the Gàidhealtachd, and concluded with an image of a hero just as great as those mighty men, a scrawny Englishman in shorts tending a gun at El Alamein. MacLean knew of what he spoke, having himself been wounded severely at El Alamein.
You cannot share history, the good and the bad, without growing to know and respect each other. The great pity is that the English do not appear to respect themselves.
(Image: Kathryn Yengel)