Having attracted the interest of some English nationalists earlier this week, I thought I’d blog about some of the other forms of nationalism around in the UK at the moment.
Right now we don’t have any parties calling for a united Europe that I’m aware of, unless groupings within the EU, such as European Socialists count. On an, erm, national level, we have the British National Party, hoping for a united Britain exclusively for the British indiginous population, however they might be defined. We have UKIP, oft dubbed the middle class BNP, calling also for Britain to get out of Europe and restrict its borders.
Then we step down a level. The United Kingdom consists of four constituent… countries? regions? sub-nations?… each boasting it’s own nationalist party. These tend to be less racist or concerned with immigration, calling instead for independent governance. Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party hold seats in their respective assemblies and parliaments. Ireland provides an interesting variation, as various nationalist groups exist in the Northern Ireland Assembly representing both pro UK and pro united Ireland views. The English Democrats campaign for a parliament of England’s own.
But here we can step down yet another level. What about the groups calling for Cornish independance? What about Government plans to create regional assemblies? At what level do we stop and realise that if we keep dividing we’re going to have nothing left?
Some of us feel allegience to the town we were born in, some to the county, such as Cornwall. Others to the region of the UK, labelling themselves a southerner or a northerner, and others to England or Britain as a whole. Yet more living in the UK might feel more European than British, and then there are people who feel more part of the Commonwelth, and those who consider themselves world citizens. If you are “nationalist” in any sense, be it for a country, region or any particular place, you have to ask yourself, at what point do we stop dividing?
I would love to see the BNP, UKIP, English Dems, Plaid Cymru, SNP, Cornish nationalists and any other group thrown into a room to thrash this out- maybe some sort of bizzarre Question Time. Could get messy, though.