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Why nationalism matters Captain Tom Moore embodied the two sides of British patriotism

Captain Tom: hero of the pandemic. Credit: PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images

Captain Tom: hero of the pandemic. Credit: PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images


February 4, 2021   6 mins

Huge numbers of people stood outside their homes last night, clapping in tribute to a man who came to symbolise the country during its worst ordeal since the war he fought in. Captain Tom Moore lived for a century and in a nation transformed beyond recognition. When he was born, the BBC did not even exist. He left the world, amid a national outpouring of grief, with tributes from the Prime Minister, Queen and White House, with almost 400,000 Twitter followers.

I suppose what some people mourn is the passing of time and the disappearance of a generation, but Capt Moore was also able — unusually — to cross over two different types of British patriotism, symbolised on one hand by the Spitfire and on the other by the NHS rainbow, and in doing so acquired a sort of symbolic status.

These two types of patriotism, like so much of the British psyche, date to the Second World War, and are the sort of yin and yang of collective identity — warfare against a common enemy, and welfare for the weakest. The Tories feel more comfortable with the former, Labour with the latter, and I wonder if the Capt Tom effect will come to be seen as the holy grail of politics from now on. 

Patriotism is something that Labour has particularly struggled with in recent years. The latest thinking is that the party must make “use of the [union] flag, veterans [and] dressing smartly”, which makes many MPs and activists uncomfortable or angry.

From a strategic viewpoint the leadership is right, since the number of people who don’t feel at all patriotic is pretty small, and concentrated in safe seats where the party can afford to leak a few votes to the Greens or some crankish minor party.

And yet even the most inoffensive and saccharine appeals to patriotism by Labour politicians attract criticism from a section who view all patriotism and nationalism as essentially as morally suspect, and anti-Left-wing.

Jeremy Corbyn personified this worldview, a man for whom patriotism was not just repulsive but almost inexplicable. The Corbyns of this world cannot understand why a person would prize their own country, and its citizens, over another. There’s nothing immoral about it — it’s just that most people don’t feel the same way, and successful politicians can’t really get away with publicly admitting to deeply unpopular opinions.

Labour moderates argue that by not embracing patriotism they risk ceding it to the Right (and extreme Right) — just as once happened to the Union Jack. By this reckoning patriotism is a social good, as opposed to nationalism, its darker cousin; indeed patriotism might almost act as a vaccine against nationalism, inoculating us against its dark magic.

This argument was most strongly articulated by Orwell, who famously distinguished between the two in his 1945 essay Notes on Nationalism, in words which are often treated like gospel. Patriotism, he wrote, was “devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.”

Orwell was writing during the dying days of the Second World War, and someone’s views on nationalism in war is probably going to be as jaded as someone’s view of love in the middle of a painful divorce. And the distinctions between the two, of good patriotism and bad nationalism, seem pretty arbitrary. Patriotism has such positive connotations that when Clive Lewis condemned flag-waving he said “it’s not patriotism; it’s Fatherland-ism”, even though that is literally what patriotism means.

Patriotism is a bit of an Alice in Wonderland word that can mean whatever someone wants it to mean, often in a very solipsistic way. What some people say makes them feel “patriotic” about their country are really feelings about a political system or ideology. For certain types of liberals, it was the 2012 Olympic Games and its opening ceremony, representing globalism, liberalism and multiculturalism. For some socialists it is the various radical political movements that flourished from the Civil War to the 19th century, such as the Diggers and Chartists. (Then, I suppose, if your vision of patriotism is filled with kings and castles, you are also buying into a certain ideological idea of England, too.)

Nationalism, in contrast, is largely viewed as a mindless, Right-wing hostility to all things foreign. Yet this certainly hasn’t always been the case – indeed the opposite was once true.

Modern nationalism begins with the French revolution, with the “patriots” who wished to overthrow the old monarchial and clerical order. Nationalism and liberalism went hand and hand, and although it seems counter-intuitive now, Adam Ryan wrote in On Politics that in central Europe “liberal nationalism was not merely common but during the nineteenth century [was] the most prominent, if not the most passionate, form of nationalism”.

Liberalism and nationalism were condemned together by Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus of Errors in 1864, seen as twin evils of the modern world that threatened the reactionary establishment.

The link between liberalism and nationalism began to dissolve partly because the Right were able to offer a more satisfying version of nationalism — satisfying until your leg is blown off in a trench, that is — while in contrast liberalism became more and more internationalist.

The parting of ways began to show 150 years ago when Germany was united in Versailles. As Katya Hoyer writes in her recently published history of the Second Reich, Blood and Iron: the brutal militarism of the ceremony, with the Kaiser leading his princes in military uniform, “was a far cry from the democratic unification of which the liberals had dreamed. At Versailles, there were no reminders of 1848 — no tricolour, no ‘Deutschlandlied’. Just marching bands and formalities in the heart of a humiliated enemy.”

While liberals increasingly began to see the ugly side of nationalism, the Right became aware of how much they could use it, and present their opponents as unpatriotic. In 19thGermany, socialists were called vaterlandslose Gesellen (fellows without fatherland); in our time Norman Tebbit called the BBC the “Stateless Person’s Broadcasting Corporation”, while Theresa May’s “citizens of nowhere” speech upset lots of people who were collectively choking on their [insert vaguely foreign foodstuff].

Socialism, unlike liberalism, is internationalist by definition, so the criticism is often valid, yet the nation-state is the best mechanism for carrying out social democrat policies, especially the welfare state, which in Britain was mostly created during a period of intense patriotism after 1945. It’s also the best environment for liberalism, which thrives where competing identities play a minimal role in politics; there is a reason that liberalism first flourished in Amsterdam and London, not in multicultural Constantinople or Beirut.

And so progressive politics and nationalism are mostly certainly compatible, as long as the latter is micro-dosed. It is often lamented that Scottish nationalists get a pass that other nationalists — especially English ones — don’t, but Scottish nationalism is arguably a more authentic, liberal form of nationalism than most. There is nothing contradictory with liberal-minded people supporting a nationalist movement.

And nationalism has real, practical benefits, the vaccination programme being a very obvious example. Nation-states have clearly proved to be the most effective at enabling the mass production and distribution of vaccines; the supra-national EU in contrast has turned out to be hopelessly incompetent and, when that has proved evident, has behaved in a bullying manner reminiscent of past empires. The most successful vaccinating country of all, Israel, is the one western state that, for tragic historic reasons, takes nationalism very seriously. This sort of vaccine nationalism has been effected — without contradiction — through international cooperation and the work of scientists from dozens of nations working together, with government support. Liberal nationalism at work.

There are no limits to the number of vaccine shots that can be produced, just as there aren’t huge limits to how wealthy a country can become (up to a certain point, of course). One nation-state’s success is not usually another’s loss, yet it is still a competition in which we wish to outdo our rivals.

Few people wouldn’t prioritise their own country’s vaccine roll-out because most of us are neither pathologically internationalist, as much as the WHO would like us to be, nor are they xenophobic. Of their neighbours most people take the view of Sir Bronn of the Blackwater: they like them, they just like themselves more.

Nationalism is the understanding that political systems are best shared among a group with enough of a commonality that good government can flourish; most importantly of all, that loser’s consent exists. You might argue that patriotism is the active ingredient required, or that patriotism is whatever you are prepared to die for, but it is hardly a separate, distant idea.

Most people, Labour and Conservative, have contrasting ideas of what they like and dislike about their country, but most understand that there is still something worth preserving and celebrating. And I suppose, for many people, Captain Tom Moore personified that.


Ed West’s book Tory Boy is published by Constable

edwest

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Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

“but Scottish nationalism is arguably a more authentic, liberal form of nationalism than most.”

I suggest you take a look at what is going on with the SNP at the moment, the rape threats made to the traditional lesbian Joanna Cherry by other pro trans (men are women if they say they are) lesbians within the party. Cherry objects to some of the most authoritarian hate speech legislation ever imagined, don’t bandy the word ‘liberal’ about in relation to Scottish Nationalism.

The Scots are not liberal, their instincts are far closer to the Napoleonic. They adore rules and regulations, they define their intelligence by their ability to keep track of them. The Anglo Saxon, common law attitude, everything is allowed unless it is forbidden is liberal, not the Scots’.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Yes, with that one statement Ed West reveals himself to be completely out of touch with reality or current events. The SNP is currently engaged in a programme to ban free speech even within the home among friends and family. They are the most authoritarian political party these islands have ever seen.

Martin Price
Martin Price
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Let us not forget they attempted to remove the guardianship of Scottish children away from parents and place it with government appointed officials. They failed but the idea illustrates their thinking.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Price

Essentially the rise of the SNP is the fall of Labour, and more particular the Red Clydeside Labour of SWP and Marxist fellow travellers.

These people have decamped to the SNP where as followers and party hacks they are imposing their Corbynist agenda, because they think having repeatedly failed in the UK, entering and controlling an independence party in a smaller country is their best chance of imposing their ideas inside an ostensibly democratic framwework.

The destruction of family life is a well known trope of Marxist *direct action*, Humza’s hate speech bill aims to tackle the problem from a different direction.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

And people vote for them…so there you go.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

They tried for two years to implement *aspects* of their equally sinister Named Person Act, where a state appointed *named person* could hear allegations from children about their parents, then share that information with Police or social services or whoever, and never even tell the parents.

This was after it was thrown out for clearly breaching all sorts of rights to Family Life, Privacy by our Supreme Court.

That it would create the near certainty a legion of Carl Beech fantasists (The *Nick* of recent lamentable noterierty) to step forward and settle scores with relatives through confected lies about imaginary acts they would come up with, seemed to escape the SCottish Govt.

As ever their *intentions were good* (those things that in all people always are unable to ever be verified) and the outcomes in the real world were beyond alarming.

That following the attempt at legislation being ruled *illegal* they should attempt to bring parts of it, simply to avoid having to accept the entire judgement of blame says everything about the party.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Nothing explains the difference between the Scots and the English better than a piece I was reading recently about the tradition of maypole dancing in Britain. A friend of mine in Austria was surprised that I’d still done this at school in Yorkshire in the early 90s and asked me about the history of it. It turns out that in Britain, maypole dancing wasn’t so much an unbroken tradition as something that had been reintroduced in the 1800s as part of a romantic “Merrie England” drive. The English went for it in quite a big way, but the Scots thought of it as too superficial, too airy-fairy and generally a bit too much fun to be healthy. And banned it.

Definitely not very liberal.

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I can imagine that dancing round a pole would be met with stern disapproval by any self respecting Calvinist in that era. The phallic symbolism remains to this day of course in the form of pole dancing which is permitted in Scotland and regarded by some as a healthy and strenuous form of exercise, indoor pursuits being better suited to the frequently inclement Scottish weather.

Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

Great observation. Innocent kids dancing around a may pole considered improper but grown up women gyrating naked around a pole for the gratification of men in some sleazy club is just fine.

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

Yes, whilst I was being somewhat facetious, maypole dancing was a fertility ritual banned by the Puritans for the licentious behaviour that (not surprisingly) accompanied the ritual

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

Is there any greater example of phallic symbolism than ‘tossing the caber’?

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Benjamin Jones

Well I am sure that suggestion stands but as long as they don’t have virgins dancing round it while it’s being tossed, I see no harm in that

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

You owe me a new keyboard

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

As Billy Connolly said, Scotland, with its windy weather, is a great place to practice standing at 45° to the ground. Open up your coat and you could land in Oslo!

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Another way to look at it is that English are “fake” protestant (I want to get married again, let me start my own church). The Scots are Calvinistic.

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Old Henry does have a lot to answer for.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

Hopefully is in hell

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Surely not. Does it even exist?

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Do you need to ask?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

As an Epicurean, no.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

For what exactly?

Simon Hannaford
Simon Hannaford
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

As some card once said “English Catholics are Protestants protesting against Protestantism”.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Your use of ‘Scots’ and ‘Anglo Saxon’ suggests you think differences in political outlooks are somehow ethnically determined. Is that the case? Or are you using them as shorthand for different elements of the Scottish and English political establishments and systems?

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Agree with you – but I think Mr West is using Liberal in the more modern ‘woke’ virtual signalling manner – rather than traditionally liberal.

And the SNP very much ride on that bandwagon

Colin K
Colin K
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

You seem to be confusing Comrade Sturgeon and the SNP with “Scots”.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin K

Sorry, I said the same later and didn’t see your post.

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin K

I agree, this is a good point.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I upvoted you for the first paragraph. Living up in the Highlands I think you’re confusing the SNP with Scots generally.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Your rant may be true if you believe that independence is synonymous with SNP. At the moment, the SNP is leading the charge but it is like a never-ending battle. When Sturgeon falls, another entity will arrive.

Alan Healy
Alan Healy
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Aye . Right .

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Yes, very glad you made these points. Couldn’t agree more.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

An astonishing statistic from a study in 2009 is that there are a million Scots who don’t live in Scotland. That’s 20%.

It’s as though 11 million English hated living in England so much that they emigrated.

This affects my view of Scotland. On the one hand I want there to be a referendum that the SNP loses, because they’re a party of hate and it would be fun to frolic in their salty tears, hear the lamentation of their women, etc.

On the other hand I want them to win so we can point and laugh at them as they then fail.

On balance I’m for the latter because the only ones I care about, the smart and ambitious ones, have clearly “vooted” with their feet and already left.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

What a load of tosh.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If that 1m had all emigrated to proper foreign parts, you might have a semblance of a point, but I suspect the vast majority are in England, which, given the union, is not any more unreasonable than someone from Carlisle moving south for work

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

So there’ll be an employment boost in England post-Joxit, when we send them all back and get our jobs back?

Good luck finding work for a million more people in Scotland.

Graeme Morrison
Graeme Morrison
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Joxit! ðƞ€£

Alan Healy
Alan Healy
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Our Scots character is far from Napoleonic (whatever that is) . John Knox and his successors created a righteous , communitarian people , utterly certain of the true path , unbending and conformist , disputatious and schismatic . That is why we cleave to a single political party at any time . It’s also why the woke atheists of Sturgeon’s clique are Presbyterian woke atheists , determined to impose the new absolute morality on society . The SNP occupy their current position by default , Labour’s passing hegemony having collapsed . Their time , too , will pass , perhaps through the schism they are currently undergoing , perhaps through the glaring contradictions in their case and their total lack of any plan beyong “independence”.

Alan Healy
Alan Healy
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

You’re mostly right , but English was confined to the Lothians and Borders on the east coast until Inglis/Scots started to come in through David I’s founding of burghs . In the western Lowlands the native British language doesn’t seem to have been fully displaced by Gaelic at all , while in the northern lowlands (above theForth) it had taken over from Pictish for several centuries .

Alan Healy
Alan Healy
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Healy

It was the same Cumbric , not Pictish . Alt Clud (Strathclyde) went from Dunbarton down to Penrith at times .

jonathan carter-meggs
jonathan carter-meggs
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Great article in the Spectator clearly describing how the Scottish assembly, lacking an effective opposition or second chamber, is really a totalitarian state government.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

But if that’s what you vote for, that’s what you get.

charltonman
charltonman
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Great points. Check out the SNP actually prosecuting Rangers administrators out of sheer hatred.

gardner.peter.d
gardner.peter.d
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Does that make the SNP National Socialists, the proper name of the Nazi Party?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

How far into Fife and Angus did the Angles settle by say the Ninth century?

opn
opn
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

King Ecgfrith of Northumbria was defeated and killed at the Battle of Nectansmere (Dunnichen) in 685. But I do not know about subsequent northward expansion of the Angles.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  opn

Thank you.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  opn

Thank you.
I only ask because it seems a bit of a mystery as to how say, Perthshire, Angus, Fife etc ended up speaking something like English by the 11th century.
Then off course today it is not called English but Scots or even old Scots, but it remains essentially a Teutonic not Gaelic tongue.

So “light the blue touch paper and stand back” as the Gaels pile in!

opn
opn
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

That would be a Gael Warning ?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  opn

Yes, otherwise known as Jockstrop.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I am not 100% with you on this because I actually think (having lived in Scotland) they’re not really any different from the English, Welsh or Irish.

There have been many surveys on social attitudes etc that have shown this.

Where I do agree 100% with everything you say is where it is applied to the Scottish Nationalist Party and core support.

The entire prospectuses has been built on lies and fantasy. The fact free cosmos of thought has created a party that is as bombastic in tone, and as near to totalitarian, as any we have had in the UK.

That fragile unity built on lies is splintering all over the place. Not only in that bizarree home made video Sturgeon in a panic made to the Trans *community* the other night, but in both the ignoring of Salmond;s behaviours when it suited them, and then the decison to use those behaviours when THAT suited them.

And in their recent panicky attempts to purge all dissenters.

However their recent defeats on their own NEC by more Salmondist (and indeed Cherryist…if than can be a thing) and the long overdue focus finally been shone on them by the UK media (hell will freeze over before a supine Scottish media will ever gather itself to call Ms Sturgeon and her party to account) are revealing the reality of a party breaking itself apart…and long may that continue.

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Excellent. Thanks.

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
3 years ago

I’ve lately begun referring to the Corbyn / Blackford tendency as the treacherous left. It is apt in my view. They hate everything about what this country once was and what it stood and ought to stand for. Any foreign riff raff is preferable in their view, to our own nation and government, especially if they seek to diminish us. It is they who are repulsive, not patriotism.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

Had Corbyn been around with the same views while the Battle of Britain was on, he would have been rooting for the Luftwaffe.

This follows because Corbyn is pro-Soviet, and in 1940 the Soviet Union had a treaty with Nazi Germany (= good guy) and was at war with Britain (= bad guy). This is what Corbyn thinks anyway, so not much of a leap.

The sight of RAF pilots spinning to earth in burning Spitfires would have warmed his heart, because these were his hated class enemies.

Corbyn is exactly who Orwell was thinking of when he came up with the Oceania-has-always-been-at-war-with-Eurasia thing in Nineteen Eighty Four. In 1932 a Communist sympathiser such as Corbyn, obtaining all his opinions from Moscow, had to believe that the Western democracies were the most loathsome enemy. In 1933 this changed to Nazi Germany being the loathed enemy, but only until 1939, when Nazi Germany became an ally and the Western democracies were again the devil incarnate. In 1941 Nazi Germany became the loathed enemy one more but only until 1945, when it was back to hating the capitalist West once more.

That’s five reversals of allegiance in 12 years, the obvious hypocrisy being a large part of why the past had to be erased all the time.

I wonder if Corbyn’s ever read that book? He should, because he’s in it.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

He’s also in The Road to Wigan Pier, where Orwell has a lot of criticism for the type of socialist who hates their own country.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Corbyn never read anything. His views were pre-packaged and fifth hand. You are quite right that he would have rooted for the Luftwaffe, just like the Scots Nats of the time.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Story

Indeed – did not both they and the Irish government commiserate with Germany on the death of Hitler?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Rather than indulging in time-travelling fantasies of the most absurd kind, why not consider the historical fact that many Conservatives favoured Hitler because he was brutally suppressing both the Left and the Jews? Even in 1940, there were some Tory MPs who were interned under Regulation 18B.

And which newspaper wrote “We need someone like Herr Hitler in Britain” and “Thank goodness for the Blackshirts” [British Union of Fascists]? Any guesses? It was the dyed-in-the-wool Conservative Daily Mail. Yes, the same newspaper whose more recent headlines took us back to 1920s Germany with judges labelled as “ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE” and calls for voters to “SMASH THE SABOTEURS”.

opn
opn
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You are wrong. Captain Archibald Ramsay was the only Conservative (well, actually Scots Unionist) to be interned under Regulation 18B. His son, incidentally, died on active service in 1943. Sir Oswald Mosley was, of course, a former Labour minister.

john.hurley2018
john.hurley2018
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

i was listening to Radio NZ and I heard a woman say: “my friend says she wouldn’t cheat on her husband, but she would for Jeremy”. Shows what we have to put up with.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

How do you view the Tory subservience to the US with regard to US citizen Anne Sacoolas accidentally killing Harry Dunn and then skipping out of Britain to avoid charges for causing death by dangerous driving? While the Trump administration and the odious Mike Pompeo declared in effect that Americans are above lesser breeds and do not answer to them.

The lefty newspapers, which I’m sure you hate since you have taken it upon yourself to regard democratically elected politicians as traitors, have published stuff about Boris’s hard right Tories, particularly the very right wing Dominic Raab, saying one thing to the Dunn family while colluding with Trump. But I’m not sure whether that kind of information has penetrated the right-wing echo chamber.

Is that a case of “Any foreign riff raff is preferable in their view, to our own nation and government, especially if they seek to diminish us” ? Can you find a way to blame the Government’s collusion with the Trump Administration on Labour, rather than right-wing Conservatives?

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It is foolish to conflate issues like you have here. The Sacoolas business is nothing at all like the loathing of the left for anything British and their contempt for the white working class.

I would not in the least disagree with your characterisation of the odious Pompeo, and the disgraceful doctrine of exceptionalism people like him exude. Of course, loathing that, and opposing the idea that citizens of a certain country can not be held to account, is one thing. Forcing change is another. What do you propose – sanctions? How would that benefit us in relation to our largest trading partner?

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Whats the average of Black and White ? Computers think Binary. Yes or No . No in-between.
And thats the problem with the Left. Everything that isnt their Left version of life is wrong.
The Left are always upset for someone else (as they sit in their million pound London houses) . The left hate the right .Look at their leader, Lawyer, knighted, Millionaire, lives in million pound house etc.
While the Right actually couldn’t care less about the Left (which annoys them even more) can give to charity and eat in fine restaurants with a clear conscience.

Neither of these tribes is wholly right but on balance I prefer folk who dont hate everyone else with a different view.

And which country has its flag on the most flag poles and labels ? The EU . So if you are looking for Nationalism …..

opn
opn
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I was under the impression that the reason Mrs. Sacoolas cannot be extradited arises from the distinctly non-reciprocal extradition arrangements with the United States introduced by Mr. Blair.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

“These two types of patriotism, like so much of the British psyche, date
to the Second World War, and are the sort of ying and yang of collective
identity ” warfare against a common enemy, and welfare for the weakest.”

I wouldn’t even separate them out into two aspects. Both the continued attachment to memories of WWII, as well as the nigh-on worship of the NHS is all part of the same element of the British character which is a sense of duty. This also explains the widespread love of the Royals and admiration for the army. It’s about respect and admiration for people who sacrifice themselves for a higher purpose – be it the Crown, national security, or the public health.

Captain Tom also taps into the sense of pride in small things and doing what you can to make a contribution that earlier generations really took to heart. My grandparents were typical working class people and lived most of their lives in the same rented semi on a council estate. It wasn’t a luxurious life, they didn’t have foreign holidays or anything like that. But what I remember is that they took pride – in their appearance (always getting dressed properly in the morning) and in their things. My grandad had the same pair of shoes for decades because he took a great deal of care of them. Their tiny corner plot garden was a source of great joy and always immaculate.

The abundance of a consumer society has swept these kind of things away in favour of new things all the time, more and more and then thrown away…and for what exactly? Perhaps the pandemic and its aftermath, when most people (self included) will have to do with less, is a time to get back in touch with that kind of pride and care and attention to what you already have and rediscover that kind of wealth.

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“The continued attachment to memories of WW2” – this is selective. Whilst we are constantly refighting the war in Europe against the Nazis the war in the Far East is almost forgotten. I note that Capt Sir Tom, and the other recently departed greatly mourned centenarian Dame Vera Lynn both served in the Far East.

john freeman
john freeman
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I like the reference to the same pair of shoes lasting for decades. If we all bought one pair of Northampton shoes, and repaired them as necessary, we should never import Chinese trainers again. More domestic employment, less overall consumption, fewer imports.

Graeme Morrison
Graeme Morrison
3 years ago
Reply to  john freeman

I’m with you in essence, but in the real world, the Chinese trainers are more comfy and you’d need three or four pairs of bench-made Goodyear-welted shoes to rotate – because they should be left to dry out between wears!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘Jeremy Corbyn personified this worldview, a man for whom patriotism was not just repulsive but almost inexplicable.’

Corbyn was an enthusiastic patriot when it came to Venezuela, the Soviet Union, Cuba and others. He was particularly fond of the DDR.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

Don’t wish to be mean about this, but whilst Captain Tom gave almost all of what he could (and good for him -I don’t wish to detract from his personal efforts one iota), it strikes me as abysmal that this is the best symbol we can come up with as a nation, to represent our engagement with this virus -the image of a geriatric man, infirm and unable to stand, barely able to move, walking forever in circles around his own back garden, and getting money from the public to keep doing so, in order to pay for the NHS. It does not fill me with patriotic vigour -more rather intense pathos. It is absurd that someone who had already contributed so much to this country should have had to feel it was even necessary to go this extra mile, and even more so that it should stir such ridiculous bombast when we should mourn and rage that it were ever so…
I’m afraid the hullabaloo which surrounds his activities reflects better the bankruptcy of thought and ideas from our establishment figures and its leaders in confronting this crisis -and their wish to deflect from this.
And the choice of talisman is interesting too -someone you can’t possibly criticise without fear of being rounded upon. So just to be clear -I’m not criticising him -I’m criticising that the fact of him should be considered either necessary or desirable.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago

I agree with your comment re. the fact of him being necessary but not with it being desirable. Surely part of what you call the ‘hullabaloo’ is that it shows that an individual can make a difference which is desirable and inspiring.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago

Yep, totally agree. If this old man, god bless him, has been made the symbol of the so called ‘battle’ against Covid-19 something is seriously wrong with the world we live in. What kind of society sacrifices future generations for the elderly? Has anybody any thoughts about the tens of thousands of children being almost beaten to death by their parents due to lockdown-stress? I can’t hear you, bunch of motherf*kers

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I agree. Of course, I would never criticise him and his efforts in the style of the cretinous clergyman, but is all incredibly mawkish and disturbing. As you say, it’s a distraction from the serial failures of the state (and most of the population) to respond to the virus with any reason or proportionality.

Richard Middleton
Richard Middleton
3 years ago

I think you completely missed the point of Captain Tom. We were all locked down and feeling powerless. Here was a man who was already powerless, who stood up and did something powerful. Trying to diminish this in your attempt to cast shade at the Tories is rather sad.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

There you go -I write explicitly that I don’t want to reproach him or his efforts but am wondering about what it all means, what it says, and back comes a very defensive reproach.

Firstly there is nothing in what I wrote which is attempting to specifically ‘cast shade’ on the Tories -that’s entirely your projection. I have no confidence that Labour or the Lib Dems would have handled this situation any better (in fact I think they would have done a lot worse). I have no political skin in this game. I think the point is that almost all our leaders -in whatever class, role or estate -have been dismal in this -including especially the MSM and the various myth peddlars.

I think you missed the point of the point I was making about Captain Tom but you make it yourself -picking a powerless person as a symbol of power and defiance -it speaks volumes for the perverseness of this situation.

tom j
tom j
3 years ago

Yes I agree. The attention give to Captain Tom was all a bit patronising.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

“..the image of a geriatric man, infirm and unable to stand, barely able to move, walking forever in circles around his own back garden, and getting money from the public to keep doing so, in order to pay for the NHS…”

But, that’s just how “our” NHS is funded, isn’t it?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Yes, good point. I found Captain Tom very heartwarming and inspiring…for several reasons which I already mentioned in my post. But the cloying emotion that went with it was a bit disturbing. It seems to me like the British were projecting all of their anxieties about who they are and what Britain still means (if anything) and where this is all going onto this old gentleman. I think we’ve been using the war generation and their characteristics (real or imagined) as a crutch for our collective identity for so long without injecting anything new or fresh into that identity that people just want to cling on madly to that old ideal – knowing it’s mawkish and pathetic, but genuinely fearing that generation’s final demise. Because then, we’ll really have to face up to and answer the question: WHO ARE WE NOW?

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I think the answer to this important question is reflected in the grotesque mistreatment of young people in this pandemic. Who are we now? Well, by the looks of things many of us are frightened, impotent and bereft- not just of ideas- but also of the capacity to keep thinking under fire. If the great war has a continuing use as a metaphor it is surely this ability to keep thinking when under fire. Perhaps, deep down, this is why we keep returning to it. I wonder now what Captain Tom was thinking about when he was doing his walking! I wish someone had asked him. He might have said, ‘well, no one else seems to be doing anything of any great use’.

I would say that as a culture we have been stupefied and infantilised to such an extent that we no longer know any more the proper grown up response to difficulty. No wonder the kids are abandoning us -increasingly by falling into serious states of mental illness. I like to think that if I were younger whilst I would take the responsibility of keeping grandma safe I would have no truck with the rest of this nonsense. I hope the kids are still alive and thinking…

Jon Mem
Jon Mem
3 years ago

It’s not like its WW3 or anything! Our mothers and fathers survived without too much whinging…And who are to blame for stupefying and infantilising our young people, for allowing them to get away with thinking they have rights without taking any responsibilities, pushing the pathetic idea of safe spaces and letting them get away with gobbing off, thinking they know absolutely everything as soon as they leave their brainwashing camps…sorry Universities, putting old people down, when really it’s the older wiser people that have seen it, done it and heard it all, gained from years of experience…That’s far left dogma for you, and you can keep it!

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Mem

I have heard arguments about how bad things are jobs wise, and how bad they could beome with unemployment not seen since the late 70’s or early 80’s.

This set right alongside people saying this generation has it so much worse than the Baby Boomer generation….those being the ones trying to get jobs back in the late 1970’s and 80’s.

So many debates today seem to contain those sort of contradictions and I feel that as part of the fall out of losing the *class war* thanks to Thatcher and Blair, the party has created this idea of intergenerational war in desperation, along with dabbling in all sorts of minority identity war type situations.

It’s ordinary stuff, one should respect older people and their lived experiences while honouring the right of young people to make their lives. To be fair most people do view it like this and not as many columnists and bloggers try and portray it.

irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Who are we now? Not a patch on what we were then.

We want to bask in what we were without having to live up to it.

We allowed Muslim grooming gangs rape our underage daughters with impunity for decades for fear of being called ‘racist’ or ‘homophobe’ (natch England, not Britain). Unique in that respect to any other nation in western europe with a large Muslim population. Sweden has a Muslim rape crisis but they protect their children.

And now Parliament has overwhelmingly made paedophile grooming in schools compulsory. What LGBTQ RSE means is if little Johnny doesn’t accept getting buggered is normal, he’ll be punished for ‘homophobia’. ‘RSE’ has a silent ‘a’.

Stonewall has acheived everything in our schools PIE set out to, which isn’t surprising when one considers its leading co-founder Peter Ashman openly endorsed paedophilia.

All the leading advocates of LGBTQ RSE have a paedophile agenda.

Google ‘Graeme the Guiri Nightmare on a Journey Through Time’

Next up, abolition of the age of consent.

I suppose reverence and sentimentality about our glorious past means we do have some hope of getting our pride back, but very little by the looks of things.

irishcustard64
irishcustard64
3 years ago

Sheesh. Sad.

David Froster
David Froster
3 years ago

The idea that Scottish nationalism is liberal (and different from any other form of nationalism) is a myth cleverly cultivated by the Nats and unthinkingly embraced by some sections of the media (I suspect on the basis it’s anti-Tory). I can’t help thinking some of the aforesaid media are in for a rude awakening when the drive for indyref2 really gets going and the anti-English rhetoric ramps up. Or maybe not – in some camps racist views on the English get a free pass.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 years ago
Reply to  David Froster

Spot on. For the last 60 years, the most common sentiment I have overheard from scot nats is “I hate the English.” Forget the cosy ‘liberal’ facade, this is their primary motivation.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

The words of Flower of Scotland say it all.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Indeed it does, but “Proud Edward’s Army” returned in the form of Oliver Cromwell.
He off course, gave the Scotch a ‘damned good thrashing’ at Dunbar, Inverkeithing and finally Worcester. Occupied the place with four great fortresses and sacked Dundee for good measure.
Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, repeated the lesson at Culloden, and left magnificent Fort George as a reminder.
Vae Victis!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

When you’re in a pub in Scotland and they play this at chucking-out time, most people stay quiet until:

‘And stood against them, Proud Edward’s Army, and sent him homeward to think again.’

This bit always brings the roof down.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

QED.

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Where on earth does this happen? I have lived in Scotland for decades and never heard of such a thing.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

Edinburgh when I lived there. In the Grassmarket.

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Fair enough. Haven’t lived in Edinburgh for many years. Will be cautious when visiting.

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

The Edinburgh-dwelling offspring have never heard of such a thing either. Suggest you find another pub if this is a regular occurrence.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

In the Grassmarket. Can’t remember the name of the pub, only that a blind man playing a guitar was the entertainment for the evening.

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

“When you’re in a pub in Scotland and they play this at chucking-out time” made this sound like some sort of SNP dictated nightly ritual which is why I asked where this was happening. Glad to hear that that is not the case.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

No, I do say somewhere above that I used to live in Scotland, not that I live there now. There was a blind man who sang a bit and at close of play he had to sing F of S. Everybody gathered around and then as I say.

Fiona Mortimer
Fiona Mortimer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Sounds utterly dire: either the worst night out ever or the opening line of a bad joke.

Alan Healy
Alan Healy
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Mind me no and go there .

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona Mortimer

Moray Place perhaps?

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

As my dad said when the Corries wrote this dirge in the 60’s … “Weel, he thocht again, an’ cam back an’ blootered us!”

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

To be fair, the county of Kent is often referred to as the Garden of England. But yes, this does sound less nationalistic and is designed as a compliment for Kent rather than England as a whole.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  David Dreebin

That would be because Kent is in, er, England. It could hardly be the garden of Scotland, which is Glenrothes.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The bailiwick of the wretched Gordon Brown Esq?

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

That’s all right I hate the SNP

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Agree with both David Froster and yourself. For example, I have heard from a few people that if some Scots were in the pub watching a football match with England against Germany they’d support Germany.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David Dreebin

And English fans would bang on about WW2.

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

True, there is that too.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Dreebin

Of course. And if England were playing Wales, Ireland, N.Ireland, Iceland or Cameroon they’d support them, too. What’s your point?

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

My point was that Scotland, in football anyway, are more in favour of a different country (who incidentally, in the case of West Germany, were a rival to England in the World Cup of 1966) than one of our home nations. True, they’d probably support Wales, Ireland, N. Ireland – and Iceland too – being the perceived underdog.

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Actually, I have to admit that I was (secretly) pleased when Iceland beat England in the World Cup of 2016 following the result of the Brexit referendum. But part of the point I was making was that if Scotland were playing against Germany, would English supporters support Germany instead? Some might, but I suspect the majority wouldn’t.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Dreebin

Maybe if you’d chosen, say, Brazil instead of Germany.

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Maybe, yes. As I’ve just said in the comment slightly above this, 2016 was, of course, the year of the European Cup.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Dreebin

Doesn’t that just mean the English really dislike the Germans (sibling rivalry)? While the Scots are seen as plucky first cousins?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

English have never forgiven the Germans from outperforming them economically since 45.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Nonsense, we did that ourselves.

Don’t forget ‘Dipso- The Wine Republic’ when you hit Luxembourg.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Dreebin

When England were playing in the world cup in 2014 (I think, could have been 2010) and Wales weren’t, my local council set up an expensive site in the middle of the town (very poor town) wishing good luck to ………. Poland in the competition.

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Sorry, silly me, the 2016 international footie competition was the European cup not the world cup!

Alan Healy
Alan Healy
3 years ago
Reply to  David Dreebin

I remember an example of this from the early 90’s when most of the pub were supporting Germany and growling at we few unionists . That is until my pal who had been a navigator on an RCAF Halifax throughout the war , and who despised the Germans , came in . He set them right !

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Healy

Ah, the ‘Halibag’ with four Bristol air cooled Hercules engines, a far superior beast to the much vaunted Lancaster.

No doubt your friend was with No 4 Group, not perchance with No 78 Squadron at Breighton?

Colin K
Colin K
3 years ago
Reply to  David Froster

The SNP are a globalist party not a nationalist party.

Lee Floyd
Lee Floyd
3 years ago

Goodness, that was confusing. Scottish nationalism is liberal? Incredible. As in, not credible.

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago

So a prominent member of Church of England clergy believes clapping for Captain Tom is a “white British nationalist cult”. How dare he and what reprimands will this faux Christian face?
This kind of racist click bait attack not only shames the individual but the CofE itself. I’m afraid patriotism and nationalism are needed even more when you have people like this living in our midst.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

Did I miss this?

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Yes, he’s a clergyman recently promoted to a prominent position by the Bishop of London

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

Is this in the article?

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

The topic of this article is Nationalism and highlights Captain Tom. The idiot cleric was not in this article but his comments show why nationalism and patriotism need to be defended and indeed reinforced.
This goes further as everything about being British is being attacked. Just today Captain Cook is being outed by BLM as a genocidal maniac. It’s time to pull the rug on BLM, antifa and all those hypocrites that live here but hate this country.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

Ok, understood. Thanks.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

there is a growing strain of people who manage to see ‘racism’ in almost anything. The same people who tout multiculturalism are the very people who scream “appropriation” when a white girls wears a kimono or something equally ridiculous. The kimono example is real, by the way. Happened in the US. The outraged were, of course, white leftists; the Japanese saw it as appreciation of their culture.

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Multiculturalism is pure evil as the net result is a destruction of society and cohesion. No society can survive without a unifying identity and common set of values. If people want to live here they should integrate not become a fifth columnist or expect our culture to be diminished to make way for theirs.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

They are very slow in speaking out when hundreds of under age white girls get ‘appropriated’.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

To repeat a point I’ve made before not all supporters of multiculturalism buy into the nonsense argument about appropriation you mention.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago

This is all slightly off topic, and I’m not really a fan of cancel culture, but I have a real problem with a mainstream institution giving a platform to a moron like this.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

On the plus side, it does remind us of what a debased organisation the CofE has become.

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
3 years ago

Please don’t tar all the clergy of the Church of England with the same brush. Not all of us have sold out to wokedom by any means. Captain Tom deserves the accolades he’s receiving not least because he did not seek them. His humility shines out. May he rest in peace.

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago

I’m not tarring all clergy but allowing this sort of vile person to continue in the clergy is very damaging for the CofE

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago

I think young Westy has gone a bit off the rails here.
“Socialism, unlike liberalism, is internationalist by definition. . “
Nope. It can be ‘internationalist’ but it can also be ‘Nationalist’ – never heard of National Socialism ?? And before the rabid lefties jump up and down with rage the Nazis were Socialists as you soon discover if you read what they believed in. They were not ‘International Socialists’, but nevertheless they were Socialists.

As to Scottish Nationalism quite how he can write “It is often lamented that Scottish nationalists get a pass that other nationalists ” especially English ones ” don’t, but Scottish nationalism is arguably a more authentic, liberal form of nationalism than most.” The SNP are basically Tartan Nazis and it has nothing at all about it which could be defined as ‘liberal’. It is deeply authoritarian and what underpins it is basically a hate of the English and of England. It has far more in common with Nazism than most would care to admit.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

All you have to do is switch the word English for Jew and

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

I think what you’re doing there is creating a false equivalence between the views of Nazis about Jews and the views of the Scottish National Party about the English. There have been no proposals for mass removal/extermination of the English from Scotland or any suggestion that English people aren’t welcome in Scotland. To draw that false equivalence trivialises the anti-semitism of the Nazis and, in a way, is a form of holocaust denial. ‘The Nazis were as bad as the SNP’. In essence, trivialising the persecution of Jews in 1930s and 1940s Germany is anti-semitic.

David Dreebin
David Dreebin
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Agree, one cannot even compare those two things and, of course, we shouldn’t trivialise the anti-Semitism of the Nazis.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

In Wales there have definitely been suggestions that the English should go home. When we had the first lockdown there were people walking around with banners saying, “English, keep out.” The Welsh Assembly actually spoke for a few minutes about trying to stop English people from buying property in Wales. Just a few minutes.
Social media shows many anti-English tirades and I can’t see why they are not racist.
I worked then on a police panel and we were talking about hate crime at the time – defined as a crime if the victim believes it to be a crime. Welsh against English ‘crimes’ totalled 21 in the year 2019 and that was 100% of the racial hate crimes of this particular force.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

What about the Cottage burning 80’s?
“Come home to a real fire, buy a cottage in Wales”.
Prosecutions zero as I recall.
The 1969 Investiture saw the death of a soldier . Free Wales Army, (FWA) responsible?

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

If you study 1930s Germany you see that ‘extermination’ of the Jews came later. The persecution began at once, low level to start and gradually increasing. In Scotland the Tartan Nazis are just starting out, but the persecution will increase just as it has done over the last 20 years.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

See my more recent post about 5 paragraphs up. It starts with a few words and banners, then a bit of car scratching, then who knows?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Yes English history is like Jewish history.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Is that a joke Jeremy?

You will have to better than that when you move from Quislington to Luxembourg.

Don’t forget ‘Dipso’.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

The SNP are basically Tartan Nazis

12 people voted up the comment. Good lord

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Because it is the truth, as you well know.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

As ppl below have mentioned Scots Nationalism is the worst kind, motivated by hate and grievance. See their online outpourings of hate, the physical violence in the indy-ref1 campaign and vitriol poured onto the likes of Andy Murray for not sharing their narrow white supremacist/national socialist view of the world. No wonder most of the good ppl from there leave! * Imagine if the English had the same sort of obsessive hate on those who’ve invaded, defeated, and bettered them over the years. Where to start? Beaker People, Romans, German Saxons, Danes and Norse, Normans, USA? *this includes my wife and large parts of the medical, engineering and legal professions, though they witter on about the glens, lochs and midges they seldom go back apart from weddings or funerals.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Actually I have always hated those bloody Beaker People. They come over here, demonstrating the superiority of their drinking vessels…

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Was your wife one of the Beaker People?

Charles Rae
Charles Rae
3 years ago

Don’t kid yourself about Scottish nationalism being more liberal. Tell that to those English people, or even, God help us, those who SOUND English, who have been made feel unwelcome in bonnie Scotland. Underneath the thin veneer of so-called ” civic nationalism” festers a good old-fashioned dislike of the English.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rae

I have a good friend who comes from a very old and grand Scottish family. She speaks with a very cut glass home counties accent, but the level of hate and bile she receives in Scotland is shocking and very sad.

charltonman
charltonman
3 years ago

The SNP simply drape their Blood and Soil hatred fuelled national socialism in virtue signalling window dressing.
Check out their most recent malicious prosecution of Rangers administrators ( that will cost the tax payer around £100m) simply because of Ranger’s supporters affinity to the UK. Or Sturgeons face contorted with hatred at a recent “rally” in George Square.
Come on Ed .

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago

The socialist Left and woke Left are literally ceding national symbolism to the Right. As a few have already said, what party can be trusted to govern a nation if it does not feel affection for it and its citizens.

In this era of increased social complexity, rejecting nouns like patriotism and nationalism without first considering an adjective to accompany it, is political suicide.

As such, as you point out, civic patriotism is different to ethnic patriotism. Multicultural patriotism is different to monoculture patriotism. Liberal patriotism is arguably different to conservative patriotism.

However, simply walking away from the debate as a defiant gesture of cancel culture simply demonstrates that the socialists and the wokeists are unable to process social complexity.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Gwynne

As I tried to point out in another comment, which seems to have vanished into moderation hell, the old East German national anthem “Out of the Ruins” proudly proclaimed Deutschland Vaterland. Some nationalist pride was fine even with the hardest core Commies.

Jeff Mason
Jeff Mason
3 years ago

Nationalism, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. If a population sees itself as one large group rather than a hodgepodge of smaller ‘hyphenated’ groups, it can better weather political, economic, or pandemic storms by pulling together. There was that kind of shared purpose during WWII when people set aside their personal priorities for the sake of the country. Lately, globalism has come into vogue to the detriment of many. Companies worry only about their bottom line and not the neighbors they used to employ. A little nationalism by Ford and GM would be appreciated by the people who used to work in their factories in Michigan and Ohio. Government’s love affair with ‘free trade’ has only shifted jobs to low cost countries like China where workers work under horrible conditions. We have exported not only our jobs but 19th century working conditions too. A little more nationalism in trade would be a good thing. When the US or the EU negotiate like globalists’ while China negotiates like a ‘nationalist,’ then the globalists will lose every time.

Louise Henson
Louise Henson
3 years ago

It’s impossible to take anyone who could write “Scottish nationalism is arguably a more authentic, liberal form of nationalism than most” seriously. Scottish nationalism is expressed increasingly openly by hatred of England and the English. It is also the party who wanted to make children subject to a state guardian and is currently introducing a bill to ban free speech in the home, let alone anywhere else.

‘Liberal’ my eyes.

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago

Imagine, for a moment, if the UK had stepped back and let Germany unite europe by winning WWI (or even WWII).
Europe would a federation of German states, millions of lives would have saved. And, who knows, the British Empire might have hung together until the late 20th century. Brexit would never have been a thing.
What motivated Britian to intervene in WWI? It was not nationalism. Whatever it was, it may have done more harm than good.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

That is an interesting question but sadly the answer is so long it would drive UnHerd readers to boredom, if not worse.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

Under the 1830 Treaty which created Belgium we were honour bound to defend her.

The actions of Prussia were due to the Thirty years War, conquest by Louis XIV and Napoleon and penalties imposed after defeat at the battle of Jena.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

IMO, a wide variety of this that or the other ‘ist’ or ‘ism’ is the sign of a healthy society.
By all means, set up a stall and hawk your wares.
The people ultimately decide and the the fortunes of the vendors will ebb and flow accordingly.

But time and time again ideological zealots show up and ruin it with their deadly combination of blinkered belief in the unparalleled quality of their own product and impatience.
They see that selling a vision can often be an arduous and slow process with no guarantee of results.
Incapable of acknowledging that their product maybe defective or their sales pitch is wanting the natural recourse is to simply eliminate those that refuse to buy.

Name any ‘ism’ you want.
When the zealots take over it always ends badly.

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago

I’m sure Mr Moore (only officers of field rank and above are entitled to use their rank post service) was a decent old cove but he didn’t symbolise anything other than the shallow manipulation by the media and politicians. He did indeed serve in WW2 (mainly it seems in a non-operational training role, nothing wrong with that) but so did millions of others. Walking around your garden, even at 99, is nothing meriting national hero status. I’m glad he made the most of his last year especially at a time when millions of others of all ages were having their lives destroyed by the self-same media and politicians. Dying at 100 while still having all your faculties is more than most of us can hope for, especially surrounded by your family when thousands of others have been deprived of that basic right by our authoritarian government and their accomplices.

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago

Hmm, not sure I would sign up to the idea that Captain Tom personified what I value about the UK. Yes he was obviously a very well intensities person and yes he was an example of the many hundreds (thousands?) of people who every year put in a great deal of energy and effort to raise funds for many good causes. But is this in anyway a feature of just the UK ? Is it a ‘British’ thing that I feel proud of? To be honest I feel slightly sickened by the way in which the Government has used the whole thing in an attempt to make us all proud and patriotic – especially so as from what I recall, Tom’s efforts were sparked by hospital staff not having anything like enough PPE – remember those days when staff were crying out for Gowns, gloves and masks in response to which the Government was saying there was plenty of PPE but it wasn’t in the right place ( or some similar spin and excuse). So for me it’s well done Tom – as an individual you did your best to try and ameliorate typically dismal British Government planning. Your efforts shouldn’t have been required and no I don’t feel at all proud of that terrible failure.

On a different point nationalism and patriotism mean different things depending on the context – I am not sure I would feel happy declaring that I am a patriot if that term was in any way associated with its meaning in relation to American Partiots of Trumps world. Just like Nationalism, Patriotism has both good and bad manifestations

Saul D
Saul D
3 years ago

Nationalism comes in two forms and rarely are the two adequately separated by writers (usually deliberately) as they are very very different. The nationalism of small state independentism, where the aim to to build a state around the needs of people in a geographically defined area – Ireland, Scotland, Estonia, Finland, Malta, Cuba, Bolivia. This is an inclusive nationalism of people working hard together to improve each others lives for each other under similar geographic circumstances. The Nation-State as the source for ‘liberty equality fraternity’, or ‘for the people by the people’, ‘votes for all’, a nation in it together, but tolerant and supportive, and a refuge for dissenters.

The insidious form of nationalism is ‘Greater-good Nationalism’. The imposition of a mono-culture or single political viewpoint onto a state and subservient states, invasion into other lands, a desire to rule with authoritarianism, and pressing for glory, and suppression of counterviews. The rejection of ‘foreigners’ and foreign cultures – suppression of their language and symbols; and technocratic control of the state with censorship and indoctrination and a false past and deification of cultural symbols. This to me always has tighter links to ‘Patriotism’ and its symbology, than the ‘small-state nationalism’ above.

Marie Morton
Marie Morton
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Scotland is not a defined area – Great Britain, being an island, is. You don’t necessarily have to be small e.g. Australia

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Greater-good Nationalism usually leads to empire building. Your second paragraph is a good description of imperialism.

Alec Jordan
Alec Jordan
3 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Your second paragraph is a very good description of the nationalism exhibited by the SNP, bar (for the moment) the invasion of other lands.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

Some 18% of the world’s countries are by most people deemed sufficiently enjoyable or tolerable or decent to live in. The others (82%!) are not.

Proof of this assertion is that people from poor countries and the Third World seek in large numbers to come to countries among the 18%. Such vast quantities attempt – succesfully again now that Biden is President – to enter the USA that the election of 2016 was about mass immigration and the belief of many Americans that they needed a border wall on their frontier with Mexico.

Hardly anybody strives and struggles to reside for life in one of the 82%. If someone can provide me with a long list of instances of people currently emigrating to Rumania, Moldova, Yemen &c &c &c, I will take these statements back humbly.

Might not nationalism be, in our day, a desire to hold onto the cultural traditions which have helped make our country (and others like the United Kingdom) the relatively civilized viable
polities which they have been and – just – still are?

And does not this impulse make vitally important sense for EVERYBODY on Earth?

If any more Latin American paupers get into the USA (along with large numbers of Somalis – see contemporary Minnesota), then that country will turn into a Third World state and
international humanitarian rescue operations will be hamstrung; because it is in that domain that the Americans have made by far the biggest contribution over the post-WWII decades in terms of matériel, money, skilled personnel sent to earthquake and flood zones and lands
plagued by disease.

If we continue to let mass immigration from the poor and Third World countries tilt onward into Britain, all sorts of amenities we currently rely on will disappear. More and more people will cheat their way to benefits, gaming the system, en masse, queues will become violent scrums – whether in shops or at bus stops, and much else in a concatenation accordingly. Already massive voter fraud has been found in Tower Hamlets, an enclave of Third World migrants.

The ‘Liberals’ of the present (= unthinking nihilists) are the ones who ought to be put on the spot and made to declare good reasons for making the United Kingdom a place more and
inhabited by people who have not had a culturally British upbringing.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

Between 25% to 33%of the world’s population lived within the splendid Pax Romana.
One them actually told us what it was like, ” to hunt, to bathe, to play, to laugh, that is to live!” (Occ est vivere!).

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

You seem to have missed the fact that the culture of the usa is the result of mass migration from troubled poor countries. And the fact that Britain is a collection of nations greatly enriched by immigration past and present.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  K Sheedy

The last time Britain was ‘greatly enriched by immigration’ like that of the past 24 years – i.e. in huge numbers – was the 6th to 10th centuries A.D. when Germanic and then Nordic peoples came to its island.

What was entailed was population replacement. The Celts fled to the fringes, the mainstream of British citizens become Teutonic in origin.

I am not skilful enough to evaluate whether this was,culturally speaking, absolutely a gain or a loss.

It has certainly meant centuries of tension, not yet resolved, between the nations – on the one hand – of Ireland, Scotland and Wales – and on the other England.

If the Alliance between Big Money and the Far Left desires population replacement (as it does) then it would be more honest to say so, than trying to achieve it by government policy – as in the USA, the UK, Canada &c – and defending their intent with allegations of ‘racism’ to anyone who calls it out.

Whom does mass immigration at high speed (i.e. little assimilation) benefit? As Bernie Sanders said in the FIRST HALF of the past decade, the Chamber of Commerce everywhere, which desires cheap labour.

The other big beneficiary is the Far Left which hopes to recruit tribal voters en masse from countries like Venezuela which have shown year in, year out, that however often a Marxian kleptocrat takes their people for a big ride, paupers a land oil-rich and disappoints the electorate, that same electorate will vote for the very next Extreme Left corruptocrat who comes along with specious rhetoric.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Patriotism and nationalism do have different meanings to different people. To me it simply means wanting the best for your country and appreciating its past, its future and its reality today. I could not sign up to patriotism as illustrated by Macron in France in that everyone must assimilate to extinguish their cultural differences. To me, patriotism celebrates such differences as well as individuality. Patriotism over a healthcare system seems misplaced to me. I’m also glad that the US doesn’t have an imperial past to try to get over. I find that sort of past consumes people in the UK, some mourning it, some ashamed of it.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Surely it depends on the culture? India and Pakistan play cricket against each and have fought three wars. We used to have a culture of free speech, writers supported the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover now people lose their jobs because people are offended.

Culture changes. The problem is that we are no longer sure of our culture.

When it comes to our imperial past, the largest volunteer armies in WW1 and WW2 came from India and people fought with such bravery they won the VC and GC. In WW1 a Pushtun was awarded a VC and commissioned as an officer. By 1947 there were Indians who were brigadiers. People only fight bravely for those they respect. It is said the victors write the history; the problem is that most writers never experienced the reality about which they write.

Most left wing writers are suburban types( Box Wallahs ) and would not have had the character join the ICS or Indian Army. After Independence, Indians used to still wear the ICS tie. Someone who does not appreciate their own culture will not appreciate someone elses. One needed to be very tough; someone who did not thrive on the rugby field and boxing ring would not be able to earn the respect of a Pushtun or Sikh. Marching up and down the mountains of the NW Frontier in summer and winter is only for the tough. In the Indian Army it was the senior Subedar Major or Havildar Major who decided whether a British Officer was acceptable, not the Colonel. The SM consulted the regiment and if the officer had not learnt the languages and customs, especially religious and dietary, he was rejected.

Those officers who tool part in ” The Great Game ” depended upon the loyalty of Indians and this would only be given by those they respected which meant courage and profound understanding of for their traditions. The officers took pride in their language skills and being able to pass off as a native. Richard Burton spoke 12 languages( most officers spoke 4 languages) and use to hire a shop and pass himself off as a merchant in order to collect Bazaar gossip. Britain founded The Royal Asiatic Society because of a profound respect and interest in Asiatic culture and languages. It was the British scholars in the 18th century who recognised Greek and Sanskrit were related. Britons took pride in learning

Forgotten Voices Burma by Maj Gen Julian Thompson records comments by those from all over The Empire who fought in Burma – Havildar Umrao Singh VC. “When I went to London to receive my VC, I had a wonderful moustache in those days. And a lot of women came and kissed me on the moustache .” p368.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Interesting post. I love the blending of cultures as we have in the US, I would not want to live in a homogenous society.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Thank you. There are vast numbers of cultural practices which we do not want in a Western Country. Also there are vast numbers of conflicts which we do not want brought into our countries- multi generational vendettas for starters.

What was amusing was a friend of Sinhalese descent living next door to a Tamil from Sri L.anka. When was the first conflict between India and Sri lanka recorded, 2 or 3 000 years ago?

As a generalisation warrior cultures and where men travel away from home, Beduin, Vikings, Mongols and steppe nomads, Dutch trading families of of 14th to 18th centuries, British military/trading families, Sparta and Japanese Samurai afford women the most freedom.

Sparta was highly patriotic and the culture of patriotism including training women in athletics and wrestling. If a women died in child birth she was given the same funeral rights as warrior dying in battle. When asked by a woman from Attica: ‘Why are you Spartan women the only ones who can rule men?’, she said: ‘Because we are also the only ones who give birth to men.’

If one looked at the physical toughness of Spartan women very few in the West could match them. They also expected their sons to die in battle for Sparta; is that a culture we wish to follow ? Sparta despised luxury and there was no obesity.

At present north western European Protestant society gives women the most freedom but this could decline.

What cultural practices do we want ?What happens if the cultural practices we want lead to collapse as did the Western Roman Empire in 410 AD? What if we need to follow the cultural practices of Sparta to survive ? Is it all down to character?

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

The British should be fighting for their rights and freedom not standing around clapping a man who did fight for freedom and who had a good innings.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

We are, but rather slowly it must be said.
However there are enough to save “This blessed throne of Kings, this sceptered isle………”

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
3 years ago

I’ve no time for Corbyn but a lot of comments about patriotism on here are clearly from a political viewpoint. It’s hard to think we’re all in it together patriotically when we are in fact the world’s biggest enabler of tax avoidance partly through the convenient fiction of our overseas territories. It’s the equivalent of three times the cost of the whole NHS annually. This is so grossly unpatriotic as to make the feeble Corbyn a mere bagatelle. Perhaps it would sound wrong to include the late Duke of Westminster as a venal traitor- paying almost no tax on his estate? I forgot- that’s wealth not earnings. By that measure the ordinary PAYE salary earner is the uncomplaining patriot- the egotist wealthy wrap themselves in patriotic emblems but really they don’t give a damn.

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago

‘Scottish nationalism is arguably a more authentic, liberal form of nationalism than most’ …
ahem!??

Joffre Woods
Joffre Woods
3 years ago

As someone who has on occasion been perceived by my hyper liberal peers as having undergone a swing to the right, this is a subject close to my heart. As a musician I’ve always love Englishisms in music from Elgar to the Libertines & beyond to grime which is as cockney as Chadndave. In the 90’s Nu Labour embraced this, lauded Union flag bedecked parochial guitar bands, got the working classes on side and swept to power on a wave of patriotic optimism. No one in my circles questioned it. I often consider that time now, and how blatantly acceptably, fashionably patriotic it was. Then the death of Diana- more national unity in grief. The Captain Tom phenomenon reminds me of that. The pendulum began to swing with 9/11. By 2004 I was working in an Irish cultural centre by virtue of being Anglo Irish. It was openly anti English/British/Protestant in there and it was the first time I’d been forced to consider my English ancestry & culture as a bad thing. A force for wrong. I began to stand up to what I considered racist baiting & bullying and my employment there was eventually discontinued. That experience and the rise of the anti English, anti George cross etc vibes that swept through the nation in the noughties, forced me to consider my own patriotism; was it wrong? I decided then that though I would to all intents and purposes, continue to be extremely liberal, that I was a patriot. That I loved the very land, the very smell of the land, it’s people, it’s history & its freedoms. I began to embrace my new found rediscovery of Englishness once again but this time I was fully aware of what I was doing and what it meant. I continued to work in the poorest & most diverse ends of London in community based services and loved often being the only white English person in the room. I never hid my pride in who I was, and it was always curiously acceptable to the many different nationalities I worked alongside & bonded with throughout those years. Having a love affair with one’s own roots & culture was something we all shared. We’d have long discussions about England and our own individual relationships with it. This all transpired through the war on terror and on to Brexit, and beyond to lockdown. I learned that to not define oneself by what one dislikes, but to define oneself by what one loves and sees as positive, is key to multi cultural living- and living in general-and is perhaps the difference between patriotism & nationalism? I now see love of country as the same as love of a child, or family member or very close friend. We don’t love them because they are perfect, they may show you up at times, or annoy you, they may disappoint or worry you. Nevertheless you love them unconditionally with all your heart. That for me is patriotism and that is a good way to be. I’m also a lifelong Tottenham supporter, so I have plenty of opportunity to practice loving something that often worries, annoys and disappoints me on a regular basis.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Joffre Woods

Great post – except the bit about being a Tottenham supporter.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Now that I’ve replied the post has been marked as spam. Is it me or the bit about Tottenham?

Oliver McCarthy
Oliver McCarthy
3 years ago

Pius IX did not condemn nationalism in the Syllabus of Errors. The text is on line. The briefest of Google searches will confirm it.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

I’m no scholar of Pius IX but thanks for pointing me in the direction of the Syllabus. What did he mean by listing as one of his errors ‘That the State, as being the origin and source of all rights, is endowed with a certain right not circumscribed by any limits.’ Genuinely interested.

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
3 years ago

I disagree with Orwell. I do not have a “desire for power” nor do I want to secure more power and more prestige for England or Britain. I want to be left in peace to enjoy the God-given blessings we have been given and to share them with my fellow nationals and with those we permit to be resident with us.
The testimony of the Bible is that nations are part of God’s plan for His Creation and that their diversity of race and culture reflect something of His diversity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God loves the nations but is averse to empire. We showed a good instinct in saying no to the empire building creep of the EU.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

Glad that’s cleared up. The natural order of nations is determined by a mythical omnipotent creator intelligence being as represented by a collection of fairytales.

Meanwhile, back in the vaguely real world….

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

“vaguely real” indeed…

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

No, I wasn’t trying to clear anything up. I was stating what I and millions of Christians down the ages and across the world today believe. The nations of the earth are part of the created order of the Sovereign Lord God of the Universe who has made Himself and His Will for humanity known in His Holy Word which we call the Bible.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

hiberneander
hiberneander
3 years ago

From FRENCH AND ENGLISH, an essay by G.K.Chesterton in All Things Considered, published a few years before the outbreak of Great War.

It is obvious that there is a great deal of difference between being international and being cosmopolitan. All good men are international. Nearly all bad men are cosmopolitan. If we are to be international we must be national. And it is largely because those who call themselves the friends of peace have not dwelt sufficiently on this distinction that they do not impress the bulk of any of the nations to which they belong. International peace means a peace between nations, not a peace after the destruction of nations, like the Buddhist peace after the destruction of personality. The golden age of the good European is like the heaven of the Christian: it is a place where people will love each other; not like the heaven of the Hindu, a place where they will be each other. And in the case of national character this can be seen in a curious way. It will generally be found, I think, that the more a man really appreciates and admires the soul of another people the less he will attempt to imitate it; he will be conscious that there is something in it too deep and too unmanageable to imitate. The Englishman who has a fancy for France will try to be French; the Englishman who admires France will remain obstinately English.

http://www!gkc!org!uk/gkc/books/All_Things_Considered!html (dots replaced by ! in case Disqus delays it.)

Rich Pageant
Rich Pageant
3 years ago

Definitely ‘Herd’ Article.

Richard Kenward
Richard Kenward
3 years ago
Reply to  Rich Pageant

So why not put your point of view?

Rich Pageant
Rich Pageant
3 years ago

Thanks – appreciate the request for civil discourse. My point of view is rather that the article doesn’t have one. I don’t come to Unherd for a gentle meander through topics and if I could be tempted into a Comment-able position it would be that the piece and its flaccid conclusion are symptomatic of the lassitude in debate which allows the topic of its title to be unresolved.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

Nationalism or patriotism? These are very different concepts.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Point 1
I have not read Katya Hoyer’s book so I am going to rely on the passage quoted here. Liberals failed in 1848 because they didn’t grasp the geopolitics of unification – Bismarck was right about Blood & Iron Speech. He succeeded because he truly understood that France would never tolerate a united Germany in its Eastern Border. Nor would Austria tolerate a United Germany led by Prussia. War was simply inevitable – even more so after Napoleon III (trying to imitate his uncle) decided to undo the European geopolitical map/order.
(Italy too was unified through military victories and not speeches.)

By 1914 Germany:
– had the 2nd largest economy in the world and had pioneered the 2nd stage of industrial revolution
– it had the best educated population and the best education system in the world
– it had the most sophisticated modern/welfare state and a superb bureaucracy
– it dominated high culture and science (for over 100 years)
– it had the largest workers party in the world (with seats in parliament)
– it had the biggest and best organized peace movement in Europe.
– it had an electoral franchise bigger than UK
– it had enjoyed (ever since 1871) a constant expansion of democracy, liberalism, political/economic freedom and of the middle class.

In 1914 Germany was (arguably) the most admired country in the world. Nations looked at Germany (not UK, USA, France) as a symbol of modernity, high culture and competence.
In 1914 Germany was not Sparta. France, Russia and UK all had fought more wars of aggression (1871-1914) than the United Germany.

Point 2
A few years back The Telegraph (or Spectator) had an article about the returns of the wolves in East Germany and the conflict with the farmers. Half of the comments were about WW2.
There is a segment of British population (many comment here) that grew up post WW2 reading WW2 comics – and they are gloriously fighting WW2 in 2021 – led by Field Marshall Bill Cash.

Point 3
Plenty of rich countries (Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Korea) have failed to vaccinate their population – so like the death rate (the argument between lockdown or no lockdown) I really can not see “triumph” of the nationalism/patriotism when it comes to vaccination.

Point 4
SNP is rising because of Brexit, Tories and Boris. Long term rise of Scottish nationalism (from people that know British history better than me) is the byproduct of the death of Empire.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

At the end of the day, Germany, despite those wonderful achievements you speak of, threw it all away by murdering 6 million Jews.

Thus it will remain in the ‘pit of eternal stench’ for the next thousand years or more.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

A pit of stench which has won the peace and annihilated our industry.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Well we certainly helped to destroy our industry as well. Little investment 1945-50, expensive Imperial nostalgia etc, and is it turns out, the wonderful yet unaffordable utopian dream that is the NHS.

Did Germany win the Peace? They are territorially substantially smaller than in 1939, and are not really sovereign in that they are (quite correctly) denied Nuclear Weapons. True they dominate the EU, but at considerable cost the German taxpayer.
How long will they be able to carry that putrefying Albatross around their neck?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

I think that they have set themselves up to be unassailable in manufacturing, even allowing for Asian competition which is hindered anyway by not having a free ride into Europe.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

If one looks at the area surrounding the Alps, people developed an exceptional mentality geared to craftsmanship in metal. Japan has this attitude to craftmanship as shown by the creation of swords, calligraphy, pottery , kimonos etc. If one examines the clocks in town squares and the toys made where a doll played an instrument using a punched metal cylinder as a memory card one sees exceptional craftsmanship. The respect, if not veneration for craftsmanship combined with an aptitude for maths, physics and chemistry enables the German speaking world to thrive; it is cultural.

Britain started losing this veneration for craftsmanship in the mid 1850s.

Since the mid 1960s our education has become superficial, shallow, lacking any respect for facts, maths and applied science/engineering, attention to detail, patience, craftsmanship ( no cooking, sowing, needlework, wood or metal work ), slapdash, could not care less, near enough is good enough.

I read sonewhere that the arm of robot in factory has to move to an accuracy of 0.01mm.

The most effective use of resources occurs when there are people with the knowledge, experience, ingenuity, innovation and foresight making the decisions. If one wants an example of Britain got it correct was Dowding’s devlopment of Fighter Command and integration of radar, Observer Corp,etc.

If Britain decided to adopt the Swiss attitude to craftmanship/engineering, then my prediction would be that 90% of the humanities graduates in the Uk, especially in the public sector would howl in protest.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

“the wonderful yet unaffordable utopian dream that is the NHS.”

UK spends a smaller proportion of its GDP on healthcare than France or Germany. And HALF the proportion of the US, where it is almost 20% of GDP.

Unaffordable? Come off it.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Is it just about money? Or how it is spent?

Whatever, squillions have been spent on the NHS since 1948, yet when it comes to its first crisis 72 years later, the cry is “Protect the NHS”!!!!!!!!

Perhaps I am under the mistaken impression that the NHS is there to protect me? What have I been paying for all these years?
Answer me that.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

That’s playing with words. Healthcare systems of different types across Europe and the US are stretched to the limit. If you imagine that 9.5% of UK GDP buys you a healthcare system which can cruise comfortably during the biggest pandemic for a century, while France and Germany spend 2% more of their larger-per-capita GDP than we do and have had severe hospital problems, and the US spends almost 20% of its much-larger-per-capita GDP and has also had massive problems, then that’s fantasy land. Was that actually what you were suggesting?

There is particularly a problem, of course, when the golden conveyor belt of privilege transports a third-rater like Boris Johnson and his Cabinet of loyalist lightweights into power. For example, compulsory supervised hotel quarantine for travellers arriving in the UK – to avoid importing new mutations of the virus – was being recommended in mid-December, but here we are in early February and Boris’s Government has not even discussed it with airport hotel chain managements whose hotels would be required. One of those hotel chain managers said today that if he ran his own business like that, he wouldn’t be employed.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

No, I was expecting a much better performance from the NHS than we actually got.

What on Earth do you expect when the clarion cry is “protect the NHS”?

Is it some form of archaeological treasure like a Sutton Hoo?
To take but one example, what about all the unused Potemkin-Knightingale Hospitals?

Frankly this whole catastrophe is an outburst of national hysteria, amply assisted by the NHS to the lasting detriment of many other problems such as cancer, renal and numerous other ailments that have been conveniently placed the ‘back burner’. Bravo!

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Thus it will remain in the ‘pit of eternal stench’ for the next thousand years or more.

Don’t know how you measure that but export numbers (people willing to vote with their money) disagree with you.
More tourist visit Germany than UK.
So I would guess that most people simply don’t care at all.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Europe will feast on the carcass of German largesse for as long as it lasts.

However, nobody will ever trust them again, and should they ever stumble, they will find themselves friendless.

Harsh perhaps, but between 1939-45 they betrayed everything that Classical-European civilisation stood for, and that will never be forgotten or even forgiven.

Vae Victis!

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

However, nobody will ever trust them again, and should they ever stumble, they will find themselves friendless.

You are projecting – but that is normal.
In 1990 USA slapped down UK and pushed for German unification.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Correct, but Mrs T’s instincts and for that matter her husbands Dennis were correct. “Never trust the Hun!”

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Dennis Thatcher, not Derek.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Yes, sorry, that dammed Alzheimer’s again!
Forgot to take the pills.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

And the USA were wrong. In 1945 the very name Germany should have been wiped off the face of the earth. Germany should have been broken up into a small collection of states pre 1871. That would have dissipated the ‘German problem’.

The USA were not the only ones to miscalculate. Mitterrand did the same, arguing with Maggie that Moneary Union would tame and control Germany thinking the French would be able to manage the Germans. Maggie warned him that he was making a serious mistake and basically the opposite would happen. Guess who was right ? And it wasn’t old Vichy Mitterrand.

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The sins of the fathers shouldn’t be visited on their children.

But neither should it be forgotten that reunited Germany is only 30 years old. It’s other appalling past was the DDR, an utterly foul regime. One can only wonder what the younger ones of its “organs of the state” are up to now. I saw it first hand. It was vile.

That Corbyn & Abbott could holiday there without condemning its inhumanity, lies, cruelty and oppression is very clear evidence of how unfit they are to be MPs. Let alone Corbyn become PM.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Are Russia and China similarly condemned to live in a pit of stench because of their mass killings?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Yes, unequivocally.

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

And not just the Jews.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Mushroom

Correct, also those with Pink, Green and Red badges. Those with Pink being particularly unfortunate as they were harassed by the Allies on their release.
Do you recall the excellent play ‘Bent’ with Ian McKellen & Tom Bell?

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

There were also the untermensch, the inferior people: enslaved, tortured, bombed, raped, worked to death in their millions. Ask the Poles and Russians.

No, I haven’t seen the play.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Mushroom

Off course the paradox is that the Germans, by their very conduct are now the Untermenschen! The world of Bach, Mozart, Goethe and Schiller is as nothing compared to Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belsen and Dachau.

Sadly ‘Bent’ must have been over thirty years ago. For an OF like me, yesterday, for you, a lifetime perhaps.

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

The sins of the fathers should not be visited on their children.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Mushroom

In a perfect world yes, but some things are never forgiven.

One of the many failings of that species of African apes sometimes referred to as Human Beings.

Although it only seems like a few years ago since I saw ‘Bent’, it was in fact 1979, sorry about that!

Terry Mushroom
Terry Mushroom
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Forgiveness isn’t needed for those who didn’t commit the crime. Hence, the sins of the fathers shouldn’t be visited on the children.

Forgiveness is the way to a perfect world.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Mushroom

Agreed, but it will be a long, long, slog!

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

On Point 1 you fail to mention that the Germans specifically planned the Great War – see Prof Rohl’s account of the War Council held in December 1912. It was German Imperialism which plunged the Continent into War, and it was German Imperialism that caused War in 1939.

For all the culture, for all the high learning the crimes of Germany 1939-1945 are even today mind boggling. They were such that in 1945 the very name ‘Germany’ should have been wiped off the face of the earth.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Every body had plans for war in 1914. Undisputed historical fact.
German imperialism – as you say – wanted an Empire. How was that any different from France, Russia or UK?
Germany is still here and is “killing you softly”

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

No. The Liberal Party did not want war, it wanted to increase welfare spending, neogtiate the women’s vote and sort out Ulster. Britain had a very small army.

Perhaps you ought to assess German rule of Belgium and N France.