One of the major problems with contemporary debates about “Englishness” is that England does not really exist as either a coherent idea or a concrete political reality. Because it has so few political institutions that are truly its own — no parliament, no legal system, few cultural references to distinguish it from Britain as a whole

That legal system thing. Elton John certainly found out that England (OK, England and Wales) has a different legal system from Scotland, no?

46 thoughts on “Weird”

  1. I was under the impression that contemporary debates about Englishness was hate speech and possibly illegal. Certainly likely to result in a visit from the police.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Those they wish to eliminate they must first humiliate and de-legitimize.

    The problem is that the English exist and voted for Brexit and the Tories. So let’s start by pretending they do not exist so getting rid of them isn’t a crime

  3. Heh. Trust a Guardian writer to imagine a national identity can only exist with him and his ilk having cushy jobs in its institutions.

    A lot of would be English nationals dream of a place where a Guardianista would fear to tread. One not defined by pompous mask holes arbitrarily power.

  4. “In-ger-land” has become a rallying cry for people whose sense of disgruntlement about a perceived lack of national empowerment borders on visceral rage. Even if this impulse is hard to understand in a country as powerful and privileged as ours, the underlying emotion is real enough.

    It’s so hard to understand why these people object to their kids being raped and their cities turning into a live action Um Bongo advert, but with more drive by shootings. Maybe white supremacy is to blame?

  5. Perhaps Mr Niven could start by looking at Henry V by Shakespeare with its comical English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish characters. Then perhaps listen to Flanders and Swann

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    On the subject of weird, people some times say that if you go far enough to the Left, you meet up with the Far Right. Well, it seems that the Smithsonian, of all places, have become so Woke that they are positively up all night burning crosses.

    So I take it, it is now mandatory among the Wokest of the Woke to say that Blacks are lazy, poor at time keeping, rude, dishonest and incapable of being loyal fathers and husbands?

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/15/smithsonian-pushes-racist-material-claiming-white-culture-is-nuclear-family-self-reliance-being-polite/

  7. Smfs my jaw dropped when I read that but unfortunately the post didn’t go on to sketch out the other side of the coin. Which probably means the Smithsonian doesn’t either, leaving it to the viewer’s imagination. And we know that woke people have defective imaginations

  8. i picked up a 2nd hand book purely on the strange title.- the beginnings of english society. I was kind of intrigued what the author actually thought that was or what it might be. Turns out it was about the anglo saxon period and how innovations such as wirgild (man money) were an attempted improvement on the endemic vendetta/feuding of the germanic groups which must have carried off far more than actual died in pitch battles. And this worked for a while until the pagan scandi’s (vikings) turned up. They were unreformed blood feuders and the long process had to start again.

  9. National identity is an obstacle to those who wish to create an ethnically and socially-balkanised population. 55 million Englishmen and women are hard to bully but divide them by race, culture, sexuality etc etc and they are more easily cowed.

    Astounding that an establishment such as the Smithsonian is entirely ignorant of the continent of Asia and the 4.6 billion people who live there. Many of that 4.6 billion would be very surprised to learn that promptness, education, hard work, politeness, future-planning etc were ‘white’ values.

    We are always told that it is Yanks in ‘flyover country’ who are woefully ignorant of the rest of the world, but it looks like the alleged coastal elite is even more clueless.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Weirdness does not stop today. The Courts have just said Shamima Begum has to be allowed back into the UK.

    I think I have said here before that the Establishment will not rest until she sits in the House of Lords.

    The Tories pretended to do something about her. Despite *years* in which they could have acted, they waited until the day after her son was born to pretend to strip her of her passport. Knowing full well that the mother of a British passport holder cannot be deported.

    Alas that son died. So the Tory government put aside £3 million to help her appeal their decision. Oh what a shame it would be if the Courts forced them, just forced them, to let her back.

    Ermine here we come

  11. Maybe the shark has been jumped. Check out #blackportraiture for possibly the most pointless activity ever. Is it woke? I don’t know. But over 4000 people from the media and arts world seem captivated by it. To me it is like a kid dressing up. I suppose they have to be seen to be following it or else, consequences

  12. In-ger-land” has become a rallying cry for people whose sense of disgruntlement about a perceived lack of national empowerment borders on visceral rage. Even if this impulse is hard to understand in a country as powerful and privileged as ours, the underlying emotion is real enough.

    If you want “visceral rage”, read the Guardian or see what they write on Twitter.

    Anyway, 180 fewer of these Guardian wankers after yesterday’s news. It’s a start.

  13. I found this Guardian headline quite encouraging
    “Dutch city ends ties with Polish twin declared ‘gay-free zone'”

    Maybe Poland is the place to be

  14. Rob,

    “Anyway, 180 fewer of these Guardian wankers after yesterday’s news. It’s a start.”

    How do you have 110 people in advertising and Guardian Jobs? Guardian Jobs runs on someone else’s job board software. That means you should need a dozen people at most. Even if you have a sales team for ads, that shouldn’t need 100 for that. You let software manage a lot of the work.

    And I’ll bet they were all in that expensive Kings Cross office, rather than sticking people out in Slough.

  15. SMFS,

    Well, she’s allowed to come here to make her appeal.

    Of course, there’s a fair chance that some soft judge will ignore the law and let her stay because he thinks it’s fine. And the Home Office will make some “unfortunate decision” statement rather than firing the judges involved for failing to do their job.

  16. I read recently that the expression England, or its frequent use, applied not to England in today’s sense, but was instead used to distinguish the part ruled by Germans from the part ruled by Danes.

    In any substantial long-lasting sense England was established by Frogs in 1066. Danish Frogs, I’ll grant you.

  17. I don’t really think I’m English. Like, I don’t particularly feel connected with Mancunians, Geordies and Londoners.

    I think there’s something to be said for the old kingdoms like Mercia and Wessex. Do we need a country of 40m people? Switzerland is 11m and does pretty well.

  18. “Dutch city ends ties with Polish twin declared ‘gay-free zone’”

    It’s the Guardian so you just know that latter part is the lie it smells like. The Poles have declared themselves “free from LGBT ideology”, a horse of a different colour.

    Because this is just a mere comment on a blog rather than a well-financed mainstream national newspaper, you get a bit of research with opposing source material:
    https://www.julesgomes.com/single-post/poland-declares-itself-lgbt-free-as-gay-parades-turn-blasphemous
    https://progressive.international/wire/2020-03-30-30-percent-of-the-polish-population-lives-in-the-lgbt-free-zones/en/

    You can see from both sides that this is about the cultural control of the government. It’s not about beating up Quentin Crisp on a side street.

    And hey, will the Dutch city end its ties with Amsterdam? A West European Capital which, due to diversity and inclusion, is fast becoming a de facto gay-free-zone.

  19. ‘One of the major problems with contemporary debates about “Englishness” …’.

    As if he cares, the simpering humbug. All he’s done is climb atop a platform he despises to mock people he wishes dead.

    It’s like me pontificating about the latest rift between Progressive Group A and Progressive Group B.

    In reality, I’d just snigger let them get on with it. Because I am not as big a cunt as is this Guardian cunt.

    As for the Begum bint*, I do find myself wondering whether parliament can ever rouse itself to recover its sovereignty over anything but properly licensed motorists or unbenappyfaced proletarians propping-up the public sector yoke.

    Just kidding. Cawse I dahn’t.

    * Yes, Tom, you’re right: parliament should not arrogate to itself the power to strip a subject of ‘is subjecthood. Personally, I’d just ban the bint from entering so that no such question enters into it. And I’d stop importing and giving subjecthood to these savages.

  20. Are you M4ish, Mr on M4?

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve more in common with my slippers than I do with Scallies. But still.

  21. @ dearieme
    The part inhabited by Angles was mostly within Danelaw, so whoever told you that didn’t deserve a place at Cambridge.

  22. @john77: Wessex was ruled by Germans and wasn’t in the Danelaw. So it was part of England. Ditto Sussex.

    I’ve never seen any analysis of the use of “Angles” vs the use of “Saxons” that seemed to me to make much sense. Maybe the use changed sufficiently with time, place, and the individual speaker/writer that no coherent account is possible. Or maybe I’ve been unlucky with my sampling.

    I suspect that even Bede was trying to impose orderc on a muddle.

    “whoever told you that didn’t deserve a place at Cambridge”: ah, that must why he graduated from Oxford and taught at UCL.

  23. From wiki

    in the late 9th and early 10th centuries, the kings of Wessex defeated the Danes and liberated the Angles from the Danelaw. They united their house in marriage with the surviving Angle royalty, and were accepted by the Angles as their kings. This marked the passing of the old Anglo-Saxon world and the dawn of the “English” as a new people

  24. @BoM4
    How do you have 110 people in advertising and Guardian Jobs?

    Guardian Jobs only exists because some organisations (shamefully, mostly ‘government’ ones) still advertise jobs there preferentially.

  25. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said: ” To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots.”

    The denial that there is an English people and that England is their homeland, or that they have a distinct culture and identity has been going on since at least the end of WWII.The insistence, despite all evidence to the contrary, that England has always been diverse and that creatures like Lammy and Khan are actually Englishmen are simply a part of the left’s efforts to distort reality to suit their own aims.

  26. Let her come here to make the appeal on citizenship.
    Of course, first, she must face summary execution for being an illegal civilian combatant in a war zone, in accordance with laws of war. Then she can make her appeal. 🙂

  27. I’ve been watching old episodes of Auf Weidersehen Pet on youtube, I’d say the writers of that caught a pretty good snapshot of what Englishness is about.

  28. “You can see from both sides that this is about the cultural control of the government.”

    Correct. It would be a civil war, but our side isn’t fighting back.

    The Smithsonian’s objective, along with BLM, is to replace Western Civilization with a culture from somewhere between Mogadishu and Mombasa.

    English are to be replaced by Somalis. People like Niven will be the first to be necklaced.

  29. @Diogenes: yes, that’s schoolboy history, after a fashion. But if you told it to historians expert in the period they’d giggle.

    In particular the claim that the “defeated the Danes” implies that it was a final conquest and of course it wasn’t. By 1016 Canute/Cnut was in charge. A different WKPD entry:

    After his 1026 victory against Norway and Sweden, and on his way back from Rome where he attended the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor, Cnut, in a letter written for the benefit of his subjects, deemed himself “King of all England and Denmark and the Norwegians and of some of the Swedes”. The Anglo-Saxon kings used the title “king of the English”. Cnut was ‘ealles Engla landes cyning’ — “king of all England”. Medieval historian Norman Cantor called him “the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history”.

    I don’t know what he meant by “effective” but perhaps that he had genuine power, rather than nominal authority, over nearly all the area that’s now England.

    Anyway William the Bastard centralised power and established a rule that ran through Norman and Angevin kings until – perhaps some time in the 14th century – they thought of themselves as English or, at least, spoke English.

  30. @ dearieme
    I think the names “East Anglia”, “Essex”, “Wessex”, “Sussex”, “Middlesex” might give you a clue as to which bits were Saxon and which bits were Angles (Kent being Jutes). Most of what is now England was occupied by Angles which is why united kingdom under Athelstan was called Angel-land (pronounced Angle-land).
    Danelaw included East Anglia, half of Mercia (Angles), all of Northumbtia (Angles) – no clear whether it included Cumbria which was British. The only Angles not within Danelaw was the south-western part of Mercia.
    May I suggest that you look at a map and see how much of the area north of the Thames, excluding Essex and Cumbria, lies southwest of a line from London to Chester and how much lies north-east of it?

  31. “no clear whether it included Cumbria which was British”

    Cumbria didn’t exist til 1974. My ancestors were snatched from CUMBERLAND.

  32. ‘I think the names “East Anglia”, “Essex”, “Wessex”, “Sussex”, “Middlesex” might give you a clue as to which bits were Saxon and which bits were Angles’: you miss the point. What do “Angles” and “Saxons” mean? In spite of what Bede had to say they don’t seem to refer to which bit of Germany or Scandinavia your ancestors purportedly came from. So what do they mean? Nobody that I’ve read seems too sure (apart from the schoolboy level stuff).

    The Welsh and Gaels referred to the whole pack of them as Saxons. Per contra, the country eventually became named only after the Angles. But why? Nobody seems to know. Dark Ages, when the distinction was first made, wunnit?

    It’s like trying to find out why they invented, or introduced, Open Field agriculture. Complete mystery.

  33. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke on M4 July 16, 2020 at 12:35 pm – “Well, she’s allowed to come here to make her appeal.”

    An appeal we are all paying for because they want her to have top legal representation.

    “Of course, there’s a fair chance that some soft judge will ignore the law and let her stay because he thinks it’s fine. And the Home Office will make some “unfortunate decision” statement rather than firing the judges involved for failing to do their job.”

    That is not a fair chance. That is the point. Can’t put her in the Lords if she is in Bangladesh. They want to fail. Because the British government will not allow a single Islamist to be deported if they can avoid it.

  34. I’m naturally selfish. Thus I work on the basic rule; if you leave the murderers in Syria they can only murder Syrians. If you bring them home they can murder you.

  35. @SMFS

    True. See convicted child rapists in Rochdale that were meant to be sent to Pakistan after serving their jail term. Only 5 years and counting since their release and no sign of them going anywhere.

  36. Dearieme, the fact that the Welsh word for English is “saesneg” and Scots call us Sassenachs is intriguing. No references to Jutes and Angles at all

  37. dearieme- “I suspect that even Bede was trying to impose order on a muddle.”

    yes that sounds right- i found the book i was referring to. (Its a pelican so more of a primer rather than high academe 1956)

    “neither we need to worry to much whether Bede’s attempted reconciliation of this tradition of thereefold origin [Angles,Jutes and Saxons] within the political divisions of his own day can be accepted as accurate in every detail. Slightly older Northumbrian writers do not observe Bede’s racial distinctions, but call their own people Saxons, though the Northumbrians are Angles according to Bede. Even Bede himself does not keep during the rest of his work [Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation 731AD] to the division laid down in this one chapter [on the origin of his race].

  38. @ dearieme
    Who knows what Angle and Saxon mean? Those living in the area now called “England” in 800 obviously thought that they did!
    It is incredibly and intolerably arrogant of “Revisionists” to claim that they know better than the guys (and gals) on the ground at the time as to what actually happened. The distinction between Essex and East Anglia could have been between those who danced clockwise and those who danced anti-clockwise around the maypole but I prefer to think that it related to which areas were predominantly Saxons and which were predominantly Angles.

  39. @ Gamecock
    Cumbria was a descriptive term for centuries. The local government region of “Cumbria” was created to include the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland but is not an exact match with ancient Cumbria. Some bright civil servant proposed the name “Cumbria” because he, correctly, thought that the use of an ancient and partially relevant name would make the merger more acceptable.

  40. “Who knows what Angle and Saxon mean? Those living in the area now called “England” in 800 obviously thought that they did!”

    Except that the people who could write obviously did not know. Give us a break, lamebrain

  41. To put this so simply as to be wrong. When the Angles and Saxons and Jutes came in the East Coast the West Coast remained Romano British. From where Glasgow is now – Strathclyde. Then down the west coast “Cumbria”. Then Wales, then the pointy bit at the bottom, Cornwall.

    Strathclyde and Cumbria got conquered along the way at some time or other. Wales became the Wales of today….

  42. “Cumbria was a descriptive term for centuries.”

    [Citation needed]

    I can find no reference prior to 1974.

  43. @ Gamecock
    Maybe you should read the occasional book instead of replying on wikipedia. Seventy years ago, the mountains in “The Lake District” were described as Cumbrian while those in Wales were described as Cambrian. In books about Britain in the first millennium AD there are many references to Cumbria, which was the last outpost of Britons in what is now called England. Cumbria was frequently allied to its cousins in Strathclyde (roughly equivalent to modrn Ayrshire).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *