The Identity Angle

No Comments

Until now, you might have had the impression that identity politics was one of the leading obsessions of British political life. ‘Community leaders’, ‘ethnic arts’, multiculturalism versus integration... and of course the Saltire-waving crescendo of a nationalist campaign to chop off Scotland.

This week? Now that the discussion concerns English representation, I find myself reading weirdly abstract ideas about the administrative utility of regional ‘governance units’. Even people who are advocating political representation for England as a whole seem to be basically concerned with fairness (equal devolution); I’ve seen little that speaks of England as (like Scotland) a kingdom within the U.K. with a national culture and identity shared amongst its people. There seem to be more people fretting about ‘the sleeping giant of English nationalism’ than actually grappling with the real existence of the English nation; and that’s leading people to write silly things proposing ‘governance units’ that would ignore the connections people actually have, even if they were given names like Wessex and Mercia.

It’s not that I want this debate to be taken over by identity politicians. I’d just like to know where they’ve gone...

Would you like to be the first to respond...?

Comments usually take time to appear, because they are manually scrutinised for signs of spam. Please wait for your host to come along and set matters to rights.