Monday, 2 November 2009
Having recently visited the blog of my Aussie friend Al, I have become motivated to address the strange question of being English.
Those of you not from this Sceptred Isle, will have differing views on your personal experience of the English whether through literature, music, humour, war, marriage, education or invention.
I would suggest that we are an oddball people, who as the Americans would say,punched above their weight on the World stage for quite along time.
We view ourselves as different from other peoples, not in a superior way, just different.
I believe the origins of this go way back into the dim mysteries of our past.
Over the centuries waves of people have come from mainland Europe to live here, most of them trying to escape some form of persecution.
This has created an island race who are fiercely independent, with a great mistrust of Europe, and rightly so, our graveyards are full of young men sent to fight vicious European wars.
We now find ourselves dominated by two European nations who over the centuries have caused us alot of grief, namely the French and the Germans.
Even our country's name can be confusing! To some we are Great Britain, to others The United Kingdom.
Some would have us break up the Union with Scotland and Wales, and whilst we like to banter about our fellow Britons, it has served us well to remain united.
We are in a phase of what I would call navel watching, we have given up our Empire, joined a political union with countries who have only had democracy in our terms for the last ten minutes and find ourselves a little uncertain as to the way forward.
However the English have a long history, built on our ability to adapt and change.
I strongly believe that we must forge our own destiny and no longer continue to implement US foreign policy, which invariably is not in the interests of our people.
We have many friends in the World who have been dismayed by our lack of independent thinking, and they are right, our history shows that by taking our own route, we achieve more for England and other peoples when we stick to our principles.
A recent good example, was the quelling of the civil war in Sierra Leone, an ex-colony where the local people welcomed our soldiers in restoring peace and security.
This is what we are good at, we have fought oppression both at home and abroad for 1000 years!
I still believe that my people have something to offer the World, that is good.