Identity Crisis

Scooch“There are no French Rolling Stones, no German Beatles; there is no Italian Bond, no Spanish Rowling, no Dutch David Bowie” tweets the Official Conservative Party Press Office, presumably under a hail of phlegm and free range organic projectiles.

It’s an intriguing idea and a great example of the almost pre-Copernican Anglo-British idea that they are at the centre of the universe and hold some exalted position, whilst simultaneously proclaiming that “there’s no such thing as British nationalism. .One of the glories of the UK… A nation of nations without nationalism”.

Such levels of self-deceit are rare. It betrays a desperate parochialism that is matched only by its extraordinary backward-looking time-shift. It’s 2015 and the Tories greatest claim to fame for British culture are acts from fifty years ago. This is Tory Dad Rock.

As unmuzzled Tories urge each other on to cut pensioners winter fuel allowance (now!) whilst surrounded by snipers, as Cameron’s ‘Party of the People’ with 2000 inside and 60,000 outside held at bay by vast ring of steel, we are wondering about this inherent greatness, this supreme cultural ascendancy. What are you to make of a country that could consider Moonraker as a cultural asset? Or favour JK Rowling over Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra or José Ortega y Gasset?

There are no French Wurzels, no German Scooch, there is no Italian Mr Bean, no Spanish Jeffrey Archer, no Dutch Des’ree.

What is this all about? Is it just an extension of the ‘England Expects’ meme, the profound cultural superiority that pervades much of English society and inevitably leads to people donning Cork Hats and spluttering into their Fosters with giggles at the latest, endless plight of the Giants? 30 Years of Shame? Wear the Rose.

If I was British I’d be embarrassed.

Comments (36)

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  1. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh says:

    Mike Small writes: “There are no French Wurzels”.
    —–
    – Plenty GERMAN Wurzels, of course, even if mostly gone to ground… 🙂

  2. Dougie Blackwood says:

    We really mustn’t sneer at our English friends. We are still part of their empire and until we have the bottle to leave we must suffer all these things. My favourite that’s repeated fairly often is “They think it’s all over”, etc..

    1. Independent England says:

      There is an alternative scenario. England calls a halt and declares independence. Don’t think we won’t do it!

      1. John Mooney says:

        Yes Please,when are you leaving,can I help pack your bags? :o)

        1. Broadbield says:

          I’ll even give you my winter fuel allowance, that I usually give to charity, if I am still to get it.

        2. Independent England says:

          Pack our bags? It’s Scottish Welsh and NI constituency MPs who will be packing their bags!

      2. Dougie Blackwood says:

        Unfortunately England need our balance of payments surplus and our tax revenues to keep afloat so there is little chance of your suggestion getting off the blocks.

        1. Independent England says:

          Thank you. I needed a good laugh on this wet and dark evening.

          1. Rab says:

            My fantasy wish is for England to vote for it’s own independence. That would be an incredible slap in the face for No voters for Scottish independence and i’d probably die laughing of the irony. England is a beautiful place with beautiful people just the same as anywhere else in the world and I wish England all the best in it’s endeavours to form it’s self in a modern world as a progressive society. Thanks pal, I’m right there with you.

          2. Independent England says:

            Well said Rab. It would be funny if it was England that ended the Union. Hear the cries of ‘Little Englanders’ from the NO mob if that happened. However I hope that the Scottish will now see through the British Unionist and media lies and vote YES in a second referendum.

      3. Saor Alba says:

        Oh go on, please do it. You know you want to.
        Make it soon.
        I fear that Dougie has pointed out why you will not, however.

      4. James Coleman says:

        FFS Hurry up.

  3. bill fraser says:

    Where will all this stupidity emanating from the Tories/Unionists end.Who thinks all this drivel up? Is this aimed mainly at the E.U. or a slight dig at we Scots.And why Roger Moore as their J.B. when it is a Scottish innovation and the original and by a distance the best was Sean Connery .

    1. Independent England says:

      I always smile to myself at the scene in You Only Live Twice when Connery’s Bond, unzipping the girls dress, says ‘the things I do for England’.

      1. James Coleman says:

        Scripted actors’ words.

  4. david stewart says:

    As of the weekend, there is no English Rugby team either…

    1. Iain Miller says:

      Aye, the wheel fell right aff their chariot on Saturday!

    2. catriona grigg says:

      that was fun!

  5. Pam McMahon says:

    Aye, they keep on coming on, at the behest of, and with the support of the mainstream media and the BBC. One day, hopefully, people might start to realise exactly what they are voting for, but most of us will be long dead by then.

    Better luck to all our grandchildren and the generations of Scots still to come.

  6. dunderheid says:

    Is that really that contraversial….there are very few if any, musicians, film franchises or authors from the countries listed to make the global impact those listed have made…is it that wrong to be proud of that? And given that it includes a proud Scottish author and a film franchise whose main character is 1/2 Scottish has been played by Scot and and Irishman it is hardly the most English-centric of lists.

    By the way I am not arguing that they are necessarily better than anything produced in those countries (or even our own) just more globally popular and influential. I know nationalists have trouble accepting the popular will but this is a bit much….

    1. deewal says:

      I know nationalists have trouble accepting the popular Tory will.
      Fixed that for ye.

    2. James Coleman says:

      You have clearly been infected by the cringe virus.

      “there are very few if any, musicians, film franchises or authors from the countries listed to make the global impact those listed have made”

      What nonsense! All of those countries have their own cultural icons some of whom are FAR better than those chosen for England. Just because you an English speaker haven’t heard of them doesn’t mean they don’t exist

      1. dennis mclaughlin says:

        Two of my favourite ‘furriners’are
        Django Rheinhardt & Stephane Grapelli…..every bit as popular and loved by millions wordwide as these ‘Britishers’!.

  7. Broadbield says:

    Their duplicity, arrogance, lying, and sheer, breathtaking hubristic perversion of language is unmatched: they are now the “party of labour” and the “centre ground” and this from a man who is on the hard right and is devising ever more scandalous schemes to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich, destroy the last vestiges of the welfare state, the (English) NHS and impoverish those who are already poor, disabled or out of work.

    Voted into power by 25% of the electorate (over 30% didn’t vote) and sticking 2 fingers up to the 75% who don’t want them. How do we get out of here and when?

  8. willie says:

    And there is Ruth Davidson now saying her party speaks for 2,000,000 Scots.

    A bit like Herr Hitler saying he spoke for all of Europe it does seem that we are going to get the Tory medicine because we voted for it.

  9. mike cassidy says:

    They will be tweeting next there is no black in the union jack!

    1. Monty says:

      I suspect they won’t

  10. Shona McPherson says:

    À la recherche du temps perdu.

    The dying embers of empire.

    Warm beer, nanny on her Burke and cricket on the village green.

    The white cliffs of Dover, etc.

    I listened to cameron this morning and he was on about building something or other for a 1000 years, best economy in the world and enemy of the world.

    In the real world, osborne went to China last week and begged for money and the poorest families in Scotland through benefit cuts are paying for inheritance tax cuts for home owners in South East England.

    The tories are devoid of any morals, remember iain duncan smith, after loosing the tory leadership he sought to rebuild his career based on compassion for the poor, at the time many of us said…….

    Strange how Germany seeks to raise its world image by showing compassion to refugees and uk seeks to raise its image by becoming the low wage sweat shop of Europe?

    1. Brian Fleming says:

      Did Cameron actually say that??? So, all hail the Tories’ 1,000 year Reich? This is already way beyond farce.

  11. john young says:

    if/when it suits England they will go ahead and rightly so,what surprises me is that they still want to hold on to a nation that is 50% cowardly/subservient no good can come of that for them in the long term.

    1. Independent England says:

      We English don’t want to ‘hold on’ to Scotland. It’s the British who want to keep this Disunited Kingdom going. We English would be very happy if Scotland declared independence. Don’t believe what you read in the media or hear on the tv. Surely the Scottish have learned that by now with all the lies that the Unionist biased media spewed out during the referendum campaign.

      1. Dougie Blackwood says:

        Unfortunately the UK Tory government is desperate to hold on to us; they even put aside their tribal squabbles to produce enough lying scare stories to frighten off some of our older and unconnected people.
        We know all too well about the unionist media lies. Our local Glasgow Herald has just joined them. It used to be reasonably unbiased although unionist. Every story in there now tries to rubbish any independence party.

  12. Ted Parry says:

    No German Beatles? The Beatles’ trademark haircuts – and their earliest recording deal and the greater part of their pre-fame playing experience – came directly as a result of working at Hamburg’s Star Club. Which resulted, upon their return to Liverpool, in the poster byline ‘Direct from Hamburg’. In Liverpool, that was briefly interpreted by the locals to mean that they were German.

    No Dutch Bowie? Perhaps not, but there was certainly a German Bowie. Otherwise why would his fans bang on about the creativity of the ‘Berlin period’?

    No French Rolling Stones? That’s just not true. In 1972, the Rolling Stones decided to avoid British taxes – and chose the south of France as their address. Hence, possibly, the ‘exile’ described in one of their most famous album titles.

    There may be similar points to be made about Bond and Rowling too, if you rate them highly enough to bother.

    But what really sticks out about all those listed is just how very long ago their heyday was. Rowling has signally failed to make the transition to respected author of literary fiction – and her teenage readers have largely grown up and forgotten her. Bond is mired in debates about the choice of actor for the film franchise that reflect his inability to adapt to a less (explicitly) racist and sexist world. The Beatles split before I was born, and I’m middle-aged. Bowie’s latest album dwelt on age and grey mortality – and even included self-conscious musings about being able to take a bus across Berlin without being recognised.

    It couldn’t have happened to Ziggy Stardust.

    These are not the defining ‘film franchises’, musicians and authors of our own period. These are tired hangovers of “Yesterday”: still dominating a lazy media, but shorn of the breadth and global vision that informed them at their best.

    An appropriate set of metaphors, maybe, for Britain and the Tory Party.

    1. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Bowie’s error was in outliving his alter egos….

  13. Reviresco says:

    There’s no Fabulous France, Glorious Germany, Swish Switzerland, Posh Portugal, Spiffing Spain, but there’s a Great Britain. How naff. And don’t let them tell you it’s a geographical term. Bullshit. Do they think the rest of the world believes that?

  14. Graeme Purves says:

    …and there’s no Hungarian Conrad, Belgian Abba, Irish Pavarotti or Greek Kafka …or am I missing something?

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