A bizarre and sinister growth which has been assiduously cultivated for the past century. That growth is widespread Anglophobia amongst those with power and influence in England, the majority of whom are English born and bred. Let us call them the England haters. This masochistic inverted racism has reached potentially mortally damaging proportions. It has long been the fashion for latterday liberals and the more overtly malevolent Hard Left to look askance at the very idea of Englishness. Now this mentality has now become the official policy of the state and is part of the ideology of the British elite, a group which consists not merely of politicians, but mediafolk, senior public servants, important businessmen and those in charge of our schools and
Be you black or brown or yellow or Irish or Scots or Welsh or Muslim or Hindu or Jewish or Buddhist, indeed, be you anything but English and your right to enjoy a sense of cultural or racial separateness is not merely acknowledged but positively insisted upon by the liberal establishment. But if you are English, that privilege – the most fundamental of psychological and social balms, a sense of belonging, a literal “natural right” in the sense of an innate need – is energetically denied to you by the very people who make a totem of ethnic diversity. Let the mildest display of English pride enter the public fold and gargantuan is the media led furore about “English nationalism”. Offer our elite any opportunity to gratuitously insult and belittle the English and England and they are as happy as liberals in cant. Where the elite do not belittle, they studiously ignore. In their brave new world, of all the peoples in the world only the English are to be denied national self-expression.
But the very frequency and vehemence of the denigration of Englishness tells its own plain tale, for no sane person attacks so frequently and with such force that which he does not fear. Far from doubting its reality, the England haters recognise perfectly and fear greatly the granite nature of England, a community so well nurtured by time and cumstance that uniquely it is not in need of incessant vulgar displays of chauvinism to reinvigorate and restate its ational identity. Indeed, the sense of what it is to be a people and the creation of a political entity which goes beyond the theocratic, the dynastic or the tyrannical are such vigorously grown, deeply rooted and entwined English plants that England has first claim to be both the progenitor of the nation state and even to this day, the most complete and natural of nation states, despite being officially submerged for centuries in the irons of a spurious and state sponsored “Britishness”. It is in such great distinctions that the essence of Englishness lies, not in the tourist board tokens of nationhood such as food or dress.
But as strong and as natural a nation as the English are, the incessant attack upon them is dangerous. For thirty years or more those with authority in education, assisted by politicians and those in the mass media, have conspired, in the sociological sense of creating a climate of opinion, to produce a public ideology designed to remove any sense of pride or sense of place in the hearts of those who are unequivocally English. A whole generation of English men and women have been bred without a knowledge of their history and who see any display of English national pride treated as something shameful by those who control public life. It is scarcely surprising that this denigration, allied to the deliberate policy of the state to deny English children knowledge of their past, has dented English self- confidence.
The native Anglophobes have also given a spur to the many people abroad with an axe to grind against England. The Irish in America with their support for the IRA are perhaps the single most obvious and dangerous example of foreign Anglophobia. But there are less obvious examples of the behaviour, such as the insidious demonisation of the English through the compulsive use of the English as villains or fools in recent Hollywood films, which may well be more damaging in the long run. (Ask yourself when you last saw an American film with an Englishman in a positive role.)
This revitalised international Anglophobia has had another effect in lands whose origins are found in England. There is a curious state of denial in America and the old white Dominions of their English roots. The mentality was neatly encapsulated in the verse Maya Angelou read at the Clinton Presidential Inauguration. The work extols the racial and cultural diversity of America by a litany of ethnicity: “Native Americans”, Greeks and Irish, “African-Americans” and Chinese, Italians and Poles and a dozen others jostle for attention. What is signally missing is any mention of the national group which caused the USA to exist and which formed, through the character and customs of its people, the institutions and moral values which to this day set the tenor of American public life, namely the English. A most curious thing in the land with the most obsessive promotion of “roots”.
As for non-English Anglophobia nearer home, anyone who has visited Scotland, Wales and Ireland in the past ten years will have been left in no doubt that the there has been a considerable increase in overt insult and expressions of hatred against England and the English. Again films play their part. Some such as Braveheart and In the name of the father are no better than incitements to racial hatred of the English.
In England itself, ethnic minorities have been emboldened to place their culture before that of the native population. All this is scarcely surprising when the English elite display such a religious dislike of their own country and people, a dislike which is shown at its most virulent when born and bred Englishmen and women amongst the elite solemnly claim to be Scots, Irish and Welsh because they have one grandparent who was not English. These fantasy Celts would be simply figures of fun if they were not part of the general wave of denigration and dislike, (as a film director said of the English raised actor Daniel Day-Lewis: “I knew Daniel before he was Irish”), but in the present political climate, they stand as potent symbols of the England haters’ idea that to be born English is not a boon but a misfortune.
It is in the light of these melancholy circumstances that I write. My frank purpose is to provide an antidote to this deliberate attempt to damage England to the point of oblivion. I do not pretend that this essay is anything other than polemic. It is expressly designed to provide the English with a reason to feel proud of England and the historical and ntellectual ammunition to fire at those who would tell them that their past is shameful or insignificant. To that end I have provided an outline of English achievement and of what the English are heir to in a manner which is sympathetic but not one-eyed. I show English warts as well as unblemished skin, but unlike the England haters I do so by setting the warts both in their historical setting and in comparison to other nations and peoples. I deliberately emphasise the positive and the exceptional in England’s past. I catalogue her many great sons and daughters. I dissolve in the acid of fact many of the more pernicious myths which the England haters peddle. In short, I do what those in authority in England might be expected to do but which they have long since ceased to do: I instinctively seek the good not the bad in England. That will be the watchword for this blog.