Monday, July 15, 2024
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Our national spirit is being sapped … stand firm and stay British


IT ill becomes the British people to hyperbolise, much less claim victim status. But something needs to be more widely acknowledged and directly confronted: We are under all-out assault from within. Few of us expected it; none of us deserves it.  

Quite why the Leftist metropolitan elite are hell-bent on making this sceptered isle a septic isle eludes our fullest comprehension. That it isso inclined, and is making more than steady progress towards it, is surely no longer a matter of debate.     

For all its imperfections – okay, longer and warmer summers would be welcome – we won life’s biggest, most consequential, lottery in being UK-born. Our achingly beautiful landscape, immeasurably rich history and culture and, above all, the singularity – I venture to say latent nobility – of the national character, justify the claim.   

From where this fortunate author sits on a sunlit early summer’s day, within walking distance of the South Downs, the landscape remains in rude health; we can still lay claim to being ‘a precious stone set in the silver sea’.  

Though to be sure, the proliferation of on and offshore wind turbines, unused cycle lanes and unsightly new builds, among other Man-made intrusions, have left unwanted and unnecessary blemishes.  

Alas, not so our history and culture – much ink has been spilt in chronicling their joint traducement. Aided and abetted by demographic changes it has so assiduously cultivated, the Left ticks off one woke way station after another on the road to Britain’s defilement. Meanwhile a ‘Conservative’ government, in office but not in power, wrings its hands or is complicit.     

The Left’s remorseless long march through the institutions, lately taking in our sporting high temples for a spot of ritual humiliation, is the well-oiled mechanism by which its ambitions are being realised.  

Education, the law, the Church of England, the BBC, the NHS, the National Trust, the police and increasingly the corporate sector all genuflect to the great god of ‘Anti-racism’ and ‘Diversity’. The rest of us look on aghast; many, particularly in the workplace, have found themselves directly in the firing line. 

But if these developments weren’t sufficiently egregious, a yet more insidious attack is underway, lent added vigour by Covid measures. With the institutions securely annexed, the Left, inadvertently (or otherwise) assisted by the Government, can train its sights on a new target: The British character.  

Seizing and transforming structures, poisoning and erasing our history, can in itself seriously disorientate one’s sense of identity. That’s a major reason for it.  

Nevertheless, Britishness can survive such things if necessary. After all, we take our national identity, our national spirit, with us wherever we are. Indeed, many feel more British when abroad. (Those were the days.)    

Hence the Left, for its victory to be complete, needs to go further on its journey of national evisceration. And therein an even uglier truth emerges: The middle-class woke elite and its allies don’t just have contempt for British institutions; they hate – really hate – the British people.  

This is a Western, not just British, phenomenon. The hijacked Democrat Party and its BLM buddies don’t simply loathe American institutions, such as the police; they despise Americans.  

So let’s not fool ourselves that an impersonal establishment, however strategically important, is the ultimate theatre of battle. Or even that the imposition of an abstract concept like socialism, however far-reaching, is the defining motivation of the West’s wreckers. These are the external manifestations of a deep-seated personal animus towards the essence of the people themselves – their national spirit.         

This is why the response to Covid has been such a boon to the Left. Yes, there was an appeal to display the ‘best of British’, to which the Queen and Captain Tom were duly co-opted. But this was a cynical ploy, stretching the meaning of patriotism to breaking point. On the contrary, Covid regulations have sapped and broken the national spirit of many.  

We’re an imperturbable race; we’ve seen it all before. Hence we’re disinclined to panic when things look dicey, thanks all the same. But that’s precisely what the Government did in March 2020, when Italian TV pictures and Imperial’s dodgy dossier came into view. Worse, egged on by the MSM and its hysterical ‘reporting’, vast swathes of the population followed suit.  

It didn’t make scientific or economic sense then, and it certainly doesn’t now; but beyond this, it wasn’t very British. The Left knew it – and loved it. Ruining small businesses is all fine and dandy, a real feather in the statist’s cap. But to rupture the equilibrium of the stoic British people was a greater prize still.    

We’re also a fearless people, are we not? Heirs of those who courageously charted oceans and mapped continents, traded with the world, fought sanguinary wars, faced down the Luftwaffe, survived the Blitz.  

To have succumbed in such large numbers to state-induced fear, over a virus no more lethal than a seasonal flu, is not only a stain on our reasoning power, but a betrayal of our inherited boldness and equanimity.        

Then there’s independent-mindedness, another national trait. Where has it been during the pandemic? Alive and kicking in TCW and other places, but absent without leave elsewhere, not just in Parliament and mainstream journalism, but in the meek compliance and incurious acceptance of the general populace.  

Don’t take British politeness for granted; with our innate sympathy for the underdog, we don’t like being pushed around or seeing others bullied, either by those in elected office or by zealous high-viz enforcers.  

Yet that is precisely what most people have allowed to happen with the mask mandates, the lockdowns, travel restrictions and now the vaccines. As freedoms have withered in the ‘emergency’, so, in too many of our fellow citizens, has the honourable anti-authoritarian British cast of mind, to the secret delight of the Left.      

It’s not all doom and gloom. Acts of anti-lockdown resistance, whilst predicated on practical aims, have accomplished a more intangible but no less important outcome: Reasserting suppressed national and personal characteristics.  

This applies to the armies of plucky protesters on the streets of London, but also to the lone sans-mask supermarket shopper. Enabling one’s identity to re-find expression in these and other ways goes a long way towards keeping one’s sanity, and emboldening others to keep theirs.   

It may be that our institutions are irrecoverable, at least until the pendulum finally swings back. And perhaps Covid restrictions, in one form or another, are here for a while longer. These are bitter pills to swallow, for sure. But we are fighting not just for our institutions and our freedoms, but for the preservation of our national temperament and disposition.  

So, whatever bastion of British society is next colonised by cultural Marxism, or needless Covid rule extended, let’s by all means lament; but let’s also stand firm and remember, alone or en masse, to exhibit all the immutable qualities of a Brit. Ascendant though the Left may be, its members will notice – and hate it.  

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Stuart Major
Stuart Major
Stuart Major is an independent scholar based in Sussex.

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