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Don’t cancel Rule Britannia… Tweak it

August 24, 2020 - 7:53am

The outrage machine was in full cry over the weekend, thanks to reports that the BBC is considering axing the songs Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia from the Last Night of the Proms.

The argument has been raging since July, when BBC Young Musician of the Year judge Richard Morrison used his BBC Music magazine column to call for the end of the “toe-curling, embarrassing, anachronistic farrago of nationalistic songs” in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

From one perspective, the idea that we could better accommodate black and minority ethnic Britons in the Proms experience by dialling down the patriotism seems itself a touch racist, assuming as it does that only white British-born citizens are capable of patriotic feeling. It’s hardly in keeping with the idea that citizenship of modern Britain is capacious enough to welcome all comers.

This, though, assumes that patriotism is a positive value. And the bien-pensant view is that patriotism itself is now outdated, an understanding that sets Proms organisers increasingly at odds with Proms attendees.

The petit-bourgeois ticket-buyers who flock from the shires to enjoy Proms events have for some time now been drifting apart from the cosmopolitan arts professionals who deliver those events. The former remains attached to symbols of British national identity; the latter, not so much.

Hitherto the two groups have been yoked together by the necessity to sell tickets. It’s not wise to outrage paying customers by confiscating their favourite singalong moments. But this year’s Proms will have no audience, thanks to the pandemic. So absent the discipline of ticket sales, we can hardly blame the high-minded mavens of the music scene for wanting to shed all cultural traces of a group whose values they do not share.

And yet it’s hard to escape the sense here of minority interests being used as sock-puppets for a moral agenda driven largely by the (predominantly white) haute bourgeoisie. Proms modernisers may claim the mantle of post-colonial empathy, but their goal is less multicultural sensitivity so than the abolition of national identity in favour of some boundary-less, universal human fellowship.

Doubtless the self-aggrandising music of imperial-era Britain plays differently to those British citizens who are descendants of colonised peoples rather than the colonisers. We should be mindful of this. But the idea that patriotic fellow-feeling as such is incompatible with a multi-ethnic citizenship is not just false but actively destructive to social cohesion. For example, one poll by British Future suggested that minority ethnic Britons identify not less but more strongly with the idea of ‘Britishness’ than their white fellow-citizens.

We could (and probably should) try and loosen our death-grip on imperial-era sentiments that today evoke more bathos than anything else. But that doesn’t mean we should abandon the celebration of national belonging — quite the reverse. If we need to tweak the lyrics of popular songs to accommodate a post-imperial re-evaluation of Britain’s past, let’s do so. But let’s not stop singing together.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago

I agreed with this until the last paragraph, Mary. Why bother tweaking Rule Britannia at all? The nature of these woke puritans is to take a mile if they are given an inch.

People were willing to be kind to the poor mentally ill individuals with gender dysphoria; the woke puritans responded by demanding genital waxing from vulnerable women, getting those who disagreed with them fired from their jobs, and imposing drag story time on toddlers.

People were sympathetic to the historic mistreatment of black slaves; the woke puritans responded by burning their own homes, tearing down our historic monuments, and demanding reparations equal to 80 times the GDP of the entire planet.

As for Rule Britannia itself, it is hard to shake the feeling that what they really hate about it is the final line of each verse: “Britons never will be slaves.” That is not a sentiment that they can allow to persist if they are to persuade Britons to kneel in humiliated subjugation before the Communist BLM-Antifa movement.

jwbuckee
jwbuckee
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Right on!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

“Never shall be slaves”, otherwise an excellent riposte.

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

A l’exemple de Saturne, la révolution dévore ses enfants.

Ian Matthews
Ian Matthews
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

personally I disagree with all aspects of Woke behaviour and its attempt to validate the anti colonal rant. I read an article from a Nigerian (Black) journalist trying to put some balance to the colonial debate that I totally supported but that article is an extremely rare event and would certainly be censored by the herd of BLM that for me is exponentially increasing racial divide in the UK by ignoring the fact that most ordinary citizens are not racist but do have pride in their history. Both good and bad events serve to make us who we are. Today the UK considers slavery to be totally abhorrent , they consider hanging 15 year olds for shop lifting abhorrent and the abuse of domestic staff by aristocratic bullies abhorrent but it happened and we learned from those events. I’m not asking for compensation because my great great aunt froze to death in her attic bedroom when she was 18 because her aristocrat employer didnt care enough to provide her with any heat many years after slavery had been outlawed by our judicial system.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

So the discriminatory, divisive, racist and profoundly insulting and obscene ‘BLM movement’ pokes its corrupt nose into yet another aspect of our British culture through the congenitally stupid, utterly superficial and nauseatingly sycophantic ‘woke’ morons supposedly organising this year’s proms! BLM, which seeks among other things to destroy capitalism in its absurd ‘aims’, is, I suggest, abhorred by the very great majority in the country and thus, in counter-productive manner, created differences between white and black people which previously had not been existent – well done, BLM!

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Well said, Chris. I don’t believe Mary’s heart is into changing any of the lyrics. She never says what changes she would be willing to accept. The UK isn’t my country but I hate what poltical correctness has done, and may yet do, to the lyrics for “O Canada!”, and wouldn’t wish the same thing on another country. This is what the American national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”, has to say about the British:

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.”

If “Rule Brittania” has to be rewritten, how can “The Star Spangled Banner” ever get a pass?

Jeremy Stone
Jeremy Stone
3 years ago

Perhaps I am in a very small minority, but I find it hard to see the point of putting on reduced peformances by socially-distanced orchestras in an empty Albert Hall. This is to capitulate to the absurd repression of civil culture that neither allows the audience to attend nor the winds to blow, nor the choir to sing. If these things are not to be permitted, it would be less dispiriting to wait (in silent protest) until they are. When it comes to the bureaucratic managers of this great national festival deciding to make it politically correct, as it were in vacuo, this seems to be woke opportunism of the nastiest kind. The ideology of Rule Britannia is tacitly universal; it articulates the determination that none of the audience (all of them British, for the nonce) shall be slaves (and this in a general sense that is invalidated by our current knavish politics). The idea of changing, or expunging, Rule Britannia, is not just depressing but devious and mean as well, as it is to be done under cover of a lockdown that now affects the arts more than any other sphere of life. The imperialism of Land of Hope and Glory has always been a bit more questionable, and there could be a debate, in a better year, about letting it go; allowing it to be stopped as a form of virtue-signalling by a visiting Finnish conductor is pathetic.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Stone

Well said.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Stone

The conductor in question is very upset that an ‘anonymous BBC source’ put the blame on her quite falsely. One unpleasant consequence is that the usual weirdos then bombarded her with threats and abuse.

Jeremy Stone
Jeremy Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

This itself reflects very badly on the BBC, as well as on the weirdo community. If the BBC did not play these silly games, the whole unpleasantness would have been avoided.

Jay Williamson
Jay Williamson
3 years ago

No tweaking at all. If some don’t like it – tough.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Jay Williamson

Absolutely ol boy, couldn’t agree with you more, the blighters, I mean really . I am sure zgood Queen Bes would agree with you as she harbours her criminal son

Geoff Cox
Geoff Cox
3 years ago

Politicians from all Western democracies have let in millions of immigrants. However, I don’t believe any but a relatively small number of those want to change the culture of their new host country. But in their name a tiny, tiny minority of cultural marxist in power have set about trying to destroy everything the West stands for. Societies change, of course, but these people simply don’t care if they throw out the baby with the bathwater. We, in Britain, desperately need a new right of centre patriotic party to emerge and replace the Conservatives.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Cox

I think you’ll find that there are tens of millions of immigrants across the West, namely those who adhere to a certain religion, who are very keen on changing the culture of their new host country. And the tragedy is that they will succeed over the decades to come.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago

One of my dearest dreams as an American is to attend the Proms in person rather than watching them on YouTube. The singing of Land of Hope and Glory brings me to tears every time I hear the crowds united in song. Does it remind me of the blackest days of the British empire? Not a bit. What it reminds me of is the courage and fortitude of ALL Brits of all races who alone withstood the Germans during bombing raids and in a very real sense saved civilization for all of us – Americans included. I can only assume that the WOKE people -like the WOKE over here – have no knowledge of history or indeed of the PRIVILEGE they have to live in a country where they are allowed to chew gum without having their hands chopped off . A strange world this has become.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

I think you are forgetting the 2 million Indians, the Aussies, Canadians etc. If it brings you to tears the brainwashing has worked.

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago

As dorothy referred to the British empire, I think anyone but the dimmest could understand the “2 million Indians, the Aussies, Canadians etc”were not forgotten.

If the German bombing campaign had resulted in the capitulation of the United Kingdom, then it wouldn’t matter what the other parts of the empire did, the war would have been lost.

Sorry if that’s a bit complicated for you.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Tye

“All Brits” does not include Indians or Aussies, Stephen. Whether it would have been lost or not is not the argument, you do tend to stray with that razor-like mind of yours.

william83
william83
3 years ago

Stephen made the essential and indisputable point that the communistically inclined mind refuses to acknowledge:
“If the German bombing campaign had resulted in the capitulation of the United Kingdom, then the war would have been lost.”
And so it would have been.
I lived through that bombing and witnessed the people’s firm and undaunted spirit encapsulated in their own patriotic qualities; which included the conviction that they, the British, would: “never, never, never be slaves.” And that: “Nations not so blest as thee [Britain] must, in their turn, to tyrants fall, while thou shalt flourish great and free: The dread and envy of them all.”
It was those qualities – magnificently expresses in the song – that kept the world free from German domination, and, subsequently, capable of defeating the domination ambitions of Communist Russia. However, a free world does not accord with communistic concepts that still infects some peoples minds. Thus – as in your case – the hostility towards patriotism.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  william83

What about the networking of the allies?

Kathryn Richards
Kathryn Richards
3 years ago

Presumably you missed what Dorothy wrote:
“What it reminds me of is the courage and fortitude of ALL Brits of all races” of ALL races.
As for the networking of the allies, had we not declared war on Hitler none of that would have happened.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

At the time, the world was less sensitive to international movement and immigration. I quote from HMG “Until 1949, nearly everyone with a close connection to the United Kingdom was called a ‘British subject’. All citizens of Commonwealth countries were collectively referred to as ‘British subjects’ until January 1983.”

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Those who fought alongside people from other countries did not forget. Those who forgot were the types who did not experience combat. I suggest you examine the large numbers of medals of bravery from the VC/GC downwards awarded to those who served from all over the Empire: Noor Inayat Khan GC being an excellent example.

The reason J Lumley supported the Gurkhas was because her Father was a Gurkha and Chindit officer whose life was saved bya Gurkha who won the VC. If you examine the Chindit memorial there are regiments from all of the Empire. Mounbatten called Kohima the Empire’s Thermopylae.
There are cartoons and stautes from before 1815 showing RN sailors with Sub Saharan features.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

I read a book about the Royal Navy which stated that 3% of the combatants at Trafalgar were black. (In a time before photography, a list of sailors manning a ship was accompanied by physical description, probably for purposes of pay, and in case of desertion.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
3 years ago

May I direct you to the fifth line containing “….ALL Brits of all races…..”.
That said, I do think that the contribution of the people of the Indian subcontinent in particular tends to be underappreciated (and in WWI too).

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Apparently the BBC plans to resume the old tradition of playing the national anthem at the end of each evening’s viewing. Yes, the Iranian national anthem on Monday, the Venezuelan national anthem on Tuesday, the Zimbabwean national anthem on Wednesday, the North Korean national anthem on Thursday, the Pakistani national anthem on Friday, the Indonesian national anthem on Saturday. And, of course, they will top it all with the EU anthem on Sunday.

I have never been particularly nationalist or even patriotic, having lived and worked in a number of different countries. I usually hope that the England football team loses because they such a bunch of over-hyped namby-pambies. But even I am starting to become somewhat patriotic, because I know that the BBC and its fellow travellers wish to turn the country into an Islamic version of Venezuela.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Can you buy those goldfish bowls thst are being used as crystal balls?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

”Jerusalem” Was Written by A Socialistic Mystic poet,Artist &French revolution sympathiser ,I thought these puritans,Wouldn’t be so Ignorant &stupid as to ban this & Rule Brittania by Dr Thomas Arne ,the 2nd Verse is highly apprporiate on Scotlands dictatorship by Sturgeons &her Green acolytes.. .So I want all Verses sung….BBC seems hellbent on disappearing by Subscription…..To Inform &educate &politically neutral have been forgotten…

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

You thought they “wouldn’t be so ignorant and stupid”? Have you checked out cultural warrior Liam O C’s replies to your and other comments here? Gives you some insight into what passes for thinking in that quarter.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

Ralph please, it matters not who wrote it John Lennon wrote Revolution and it was used and abused by the blind multitudes. Cultural warrior indeed, the purest form of brainwashing imaginable. Culture and belief in it is for the zombies of this world it should be given its place in your teen years and should no longer contribute to a mature worldview. As an islander, I do believe you should seriously hold it up to the light. If thinking does exist, this topic would not be an issue.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

“Don’t cancel Rule Britannia”Š Tweak it”

Absolutely Not. Just leave “Rule Britannia” exactly as it is.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

“And every shore it circles, thine” yeah blah blah blah hot air, that has sent many a young man to his death. A load of crap!

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago

Well, Liam, you’re in a bilious mood aren’t you chum? I know Ireland (or its government, unlike a lot of its young men) sat out WW2 and that old fraud Dev sent condolences to Germany after Hitler topped himself, so i should really take against all those bombastc old Irish rebel songs. But actually I quite like them. You can enjoy a good song without necessarily endorsing all the sentiments they express. Lighten up ffs.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

Nothing like a good ballad, as long as you don’t live it unfortunately the ‘Great Unwashed” have taken it on board. Even the best songs can grind the nerve ends, even your lovely Irish ballads especially with the type of propaganda contained within. Crap, but dangerous crap, have a walk around the graveyards here in France and Belgium and see what those ‘wonderful” songs contribute to.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

Another silly article from an “intellectual” – it reminds me of the George Orwell quote.
The “intellectual” of this country would be more embarrassed to be seen standing up for God save the King, than they would be if caught stealing from the poor box in church.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago

God save the King, get rid of the overpaid, oversexed, and redundant group of idiots as there is no place for these creeps in modern society. As islanders I suppose they brighten one’s island existence

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

No, devote the “Last Night” entirely to Requiems, Cherubini, Dvorak, Haydn, Mozart and many more.

Let us celebrate appropriately, the greatest self-inflicted wound in modern history, “The Great Panic”.

For a nation that is prepared to even desecrate the dog’s grave of a war hero, we deserve no better.

Perhaps in a year, we may feel that our “Land of Hope and Glory” has returned, but I very much doubt it.

sallygordon1
sallygordon1
3 years ago

Any one who tried to get rid of rule brittiania or tweak it should also be also done for racism.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  sallygordon1

Good girl yerself Sally, spoken like a true patriotic zombie.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

How long until the BBC demand that the song is renamed to Land of Woke and Guilty” …?

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Maybe wakening is needed as the zombies gather to discuss the hot air that they normally throw up when asked for a song…the puppet masters have you all by the goolies. Get a life!

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

Rule Britannia could be replaced by Arne’s setting of ‘Blow, Blow Thy Winter Wind’. Then every year the Proms attendees would get the chance to remind Proms organisers and any bossy immigrants who, having been generously received and encouraged to settle here, are now full of complaints about the country they chose to move to, how chilling the effect of their sneering ingratitude is.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Indeed.

jwbuckee
jwbuckee
3 years ago

Or, the Proms will disappear into nothingness, that other English things have.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago

I reread the words yesterday: there is nothing the slightest bit offensive in any of the six verses, or the chorus.
The poem – by a Scot, James Thomson – was put to music by Thomas Arne in 1740 as the final number in a masque celebrating King Alfred’s defeat of the Danish invaders. Nothing the slightest bit imperialistic about that. The reference to slaves is not about slavery in the BLM sense but about the subjugation of a people by an invader.
We need to stand up for our shared heritage before the “frighty whiteys” at the BBC decide for us what our heritage, if any, should be.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
3 years ago

Having seen this “Rule Britannia” debacle, and heard the term “Empire 2.0” one time too many, here is my take on those little issues. The left’s obsession with imperialism is ironically warping it into an imperialist party.

https://littleconservative….

https://littleconservative….

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
3 years ago

So far as I understand it, there will be no audience for the last night and probably no choir either, certainly not a massed one! So the community singing element of it is probably going anyway, though it would be great theatre for the conductor to turn to conduct a non-existent audience and silence comes back.

What would Sir Henry Wood have done? The Proms were partly his brainchild and his intention was to widen the audience for classical music and to do so he incorporated some of the traditions of the Music Hall and Variety Theatre. But he built his audience and he developed it. Far from being a musical stick in the mud in the first half of the last century he introduced to Prom audiences many new music from Continental Europe and the list of works given their first performance at the proms under Wood’s direction is impressive. While under Sir Malcolm Sargent things in the 50s became a little more conservative from the 60s onwards the start of the modern development of the Proms began with a much wider range of repertoire and performers, imaginative programming while still at an acceptable price. We can say that the Proms are one of the best classical musical festivals in the world which, when combined with the incredible growth in the number and standard of British composers and performers in the last 60 years as something that we as a nation have every reason to feel national pride in; I certainly do

The last night though has always been an outlier. In the earlier days there was a Jamboree First Night, a Gilbert and Sullivan Evening, a Viennese Evening and the Last Night. Under Wood, the Last Night did not always have the same items, the speech was short and that was it. What happened was that quite early on the second half was televised and developed a different audience to the rest. Sargent was nothing if not a showman and played it up as much as he could in a way that Wood would not have countenanced. It has very little relationship now with the rest of the season. The Last Night reminds me of the final assembly each year at my old Grammar School, same jokes as last year and you could misbehave a bit as you would be off for 6 weeks.

The Proms in the Park have shown a good way forward and when it is possible they should continue so that those who wish to state their conviction that our Empire’s bounds shall grow wider still and wider and that we will rule the waves can continue to do so.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

An escapee from ‘care in the community’ perhaps?

However as the adage goes ” one shouldn’t mock the afflicted “, but in this particular case, you are correct to make an exception.

James Brennan
James Brennan
3 years ago

Well – any kind of a farrago is a change from Farage. But – to take just one point – sure, Richard Morrison is a Young Musician of the Year judge and writes in the BBC Music Magazine, but his principal paymaster is The Times, not widely known as a major employer of mavens, whatever they may be. And surely one item of the Last Night used to be “Jerusalem”? The second half of the Last Night so beloved of television is very largely still the creation of Sir Malcolm Sargent, and belongs to the end of Churchill’s lifetime – it doesn’t really “celebrate” Imperialism with a capital “I” so much as its survival beyond 1945. But surely in 2020 (or more likely 2022?) the British music machine can manufacture a better excuse for a party at the end of – like it or not – a concert season celebrating European music and what it means to “Britain”?

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
3 years ago
Reply to  James Brennan

There is a huge amount of British music as well which can be enjoyed without waving a flag or singing words no-one in their right minds really believes in. As I understand it, for Covid-19 compliance there will be no audience and no choir so community singing will be a little muted.

Land of Hope and Glory is an unhappy marriage. The music which is from his “Pomp and Circumstance Marches, No1 (look up incidentally where the quote “Farewell to the Pomp and Circumstance” comes from) is a superb example of an orchestral quick march, however, it doesn’t work for community singing. The big tune has a raange of more than one octave, the first time it is in Gmajor when it goes too low, the second in D major where it is too high. (in his coronation ode he splits the difference and puts it in B flat) The tune has a lilt to it which is obliterated by the words.

A few years back Daniel Barenboim (no-one’s idea of a Gammon) played it as an encore and those listening had a rare opportunity to hear the fantastic orchestration of a composer at the peak of his powers. So if it is wordless this time round you are in for a treat

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago

The Revolution will be televised.

Now that I am usually minded to reverse the logic of anything that our Cultural Marxists demand, I found it intriguing that the Marxist rejections of ‘Britons never will be slaves’ and ‘haughty tyrants’ are the two very statements that symbolically alert us to the need to defend against the increasing Marxist Cultural Oppression within our society.

In other words, it could be argued that the Marxists and their Left Liberal allies are slowly removing the patriotic symbols which inherently embody resistance to their authoritarian agenda.

For anyone interested, this illuminating article articulates how the Marxist agenda is not pluralism or democracy but authoritarian autocracy. He further argues that ‘Liberal Institutions’ are falling in line with their enslaving demands, not because of love of freedom and liberty but because they fear for their own loss of freedom and liberty.

https://quillette.com/2020/

It is therefore not surprising that the BBC has now cancelled songlines which specifically impress upon us our patriotic duty to protect one another’s freedom and liberty since their agenda and the Marxist agenda are now one, the cultural enslavement of the British people.

The deeper question is whether the Marxist agenda is actually fuelled by justifiable retribution and revenge and so will eventually fissile out as their demands are met or whether it is one that does actually seek to enslave and thereby enact its own form of retributive imperialism or in their vanguardist words, Revolution.

In this respect, Chris Martin below certainly has a point.

David Isaac
David Isaac
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Gwynne

There really is no limit to how far the left will go.

The only thing that might save us is a comprehensive restructuring of the education system to promote a realistic and positive view of Britain’s history from pre-school on. Without this all resistance to the wokocalypse will in the long run be futile.

Boris……are you there?

Richard Morrison
Richard Morrison
3 years ago

“Rule Britannia”, “Land of Hope and Glory” and “Jerusalem” are now sung, partly out of pride (which may or may not be justified), but more because they express certain aspirations, which I believe still hold good for all Britons of whatever ethnicity: in particular that we shall never be slaves, that we are free and that we aspire to building a better society despite the existence in our country of “dark satanic mills”. These ideals strike a profound chord not only among British people but with a worldwide audience. A German friend of mine told me that the Last Night is enormously popular in Germany because its expresses – romantically, even quixotically and with a smile – ideals which they share.

Andrew Shaughnessy
Andrew Shaughnessy
3 years ago

There’s a tendency on the left to conflate patriotism and nationalism, when they’re actually very different. Patriotism (whether military or cultural) is essentially defensive. The Russians rightly called their part in World War 2 “The Great Patriotic War” because they were defending the motherland against foreign invaders. Nationalism on the other hand is inseparable from the pursuit of power.

David George
David George
3 years ago

“Nationalism on the other hand is inseparable from the pursuit of power.”
That’s imperialism surely; nationalism and patriotism are essentially the same thing by a different name.

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago
Reply to  David George

I think the key insight is that these words do not have objective meanings. They are not words like “nitrogen” or “tiger” that point to something specific. They are just vague words we use to describe a very complex range of things.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

I smoked two tigers last night and then went out with a nitrogen.

Jean Fothers
Jean Fothers
3 years ago

Are you sure it wasn’t marijuana you were smoking. You sound like you are as stupid as that drug makes people.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Jean Fothers

Oh check out the big, normative brain on Jean

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago

And it shows in your comments mate.

Andrew Shaughnessy
Andrew Shaughnessy
3 years ago
Reply to  David George

Nationalism can lead to imperialism, but power comes in many forms. Nationalist parties tend to be very controlling when it comes to their own people.

Alan Hall
Alan Hall
3 years ago

Like the Scottish National Party! Both nationalist and socialist and we know where that combination leads.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Hall

Yes, we do, a little extra for the working man?

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago

Aren’t we all brainwashed and have been just by readibg this discussion it seems culture has us all zombie-like

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
3 years ago

Funny that they began by invading Poland and ended by effectively annexing most of Eastern Europe…

Andrew Shaughnessy
Andrew Shaughnessy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

That’s communism for you, again all about power.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

People in glasshouses, give that man a stone quickly or is it self delusion?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

Possibly why Irish, Scots and Welsh Britons often feel patriotic, experience English patriotism as nationalism and find Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory revealing examples of English pomposity and circumstance.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

You took the words right out of my mouth the song is rife with bambastic emptiness, the folly of falling for propaganda put to music. It reeks of misplaced egocentricity, that creates spontanesous headache by anyone who has the ill fortune to have to listen to some inebriated pleb singing his toneless lungs out. Dump it!

Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
3 years ago

A day with you would be truly fun.

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Karl Schuldes

There have been a few acts of hari-kari by friends who couldn’t handle it. I buried them where they fell

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Karl Schuldes

Yes, he’s a real fun guy isn’t he?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Karl Schuldes

Excellent and thanks Ă°ĆžËœĆœ

I was just about to suggest he is a “miserable ****er” but you saved me from the descent …

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

BS. The lyrics of these songs refer to Britain (Britannia) not England. And to the extent that they reference our Imperial past, well, Scots at least, played as big and enthusiastic a part as the English. For that matter, the Welsh and even the Irish weren’t exactly backward in that department either. Nothing wrong with being citizens of top nation as Britain was in the 19th C, common view of English, Scots, Welsh and (some!) Irish. Let’s hear it for Imperialism!

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

Ralph, old boy ye really are in the dark, you do realise the promises made to fill the ranks in those periods. From the dark days when The English used press gangs to get those poor unfortunates to join.
Ralph, I do love it when that thin layer of education wears out and we go screaming into the fray showing our true colours tut tut tut!

David George
David George
3 years ago

Thank you Mary, great essay once again.

Ron Sharp
Ron Sharp
3 years ago

Here is one I (actually my mother) made earlier:

Lands of hope and hazard
One world for all life
May we be your safeguard
Curbing greed and strife/ Rpt

Honour nature’s boundaries!
End the waste of war!
We can guard Earth’s riches
Now and evermore /

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago
Reply to  Ron Sharp

Great sentiment

Liam O Conlochs
Liam O Conlochs
3 years ago

Mr Hopp,
A troll, a Scandinavian breed perhaps.if you are into bloodsoaked flags, maybe you should check out good ol Bomber harris’ the darkest of red.A failure to wake up to the cultural brainwashing that this type of rubbish is part of. I think would be more appropriate. The music itself is fine I enjoy the modulation, but please, it is so passÚ

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

I suggest you read Albert Speers comments on the bombing. It kept about 750,000 soldiers on ack ack duties, 50,000 guns and hundreds of twin engined fighters. The 88mm anti aircraft gun was also a very good anti tank gun; it could destroy any Soviet before they were in range. If soldiers, guns and airplanes had been at the Battle of Kursk, Nazi Germany could have won . If Nazi Germany had had another year there was a possibility of developing a nuclear weapon. The 88mm gun could destroy any Soviet tank before it was in reach. Twin engined fighters firing 20mm cannon could have destroyed Soviet batteries, supply columns and ligth tanks. The large open steppes are ideal for ground attack aircraft.
The destruction of the Dams meant engineers, cement and steel were diverted away from constructing defences in Normandy.
10m people a year were killed in WW2. the quickest way of stopping the slaughter was winning the war.