One Nationism Unleashed
Our Kingdom recently published an article by David Rickard on English politics and identity. It’s an extraordinary piece (‘We can’t resist privatisation until we restore the national’)
We are the nation referenced in the very name of the National Health Service. And the nation in this instance, as in so many of the other examples, is England.
The palpable sense of entitlement is almost as overwhelming as is the bad maths, as is the narcissist history.
What we are seeing is political-cultural role reversal in which English political voices replace the shrill chippy Scots of yesteryear with a grievance culture all of their own. In the circus of One Nationalism with Ed Miliband in the top hat and Nigel on the unicycle it was always pretty clear who’s nation was being espoused. But compare this spasm with the confident work of Yes, the National Collective or the Commonweal:
Privatising English services involves privatising, and by that very token abolishing, England itself as a public, as a commons and as a civic nation. A precondition of that English asset stripping has been to exile England from the public square: suppressing any national English voice or consciousness, and even banishing from public discourse any concept of England’s ownership of the services that are being taken from it.
Welcome to a world of delusion. But if David Rickard is so concerned about the asset-stripping of English culture and identity and the trauma of privatisation, there is of course something he could do about it, unlike people living in Scotland: he and his fellow Englishmen could vote for something different. That’s the difference, and all else is a paranoid dream. The extent to which there’s a conscious disavowal of agency is striking, but it shouldn’t go unchallenged. This is a hubris born from supremacy and now faced with the discomfort of change. But the state power, cultural hegemony and in-built parliamentary authority that England has over Britain is unquestionable.