In our last column, we mentioned the London Telegraph’s suggestions concerning the core components of the British national identity. Among them were "the sovereignty of the crown in Parliament" ("the Lords, the Commons and the monarch constitute the supreme authority in the land"), "private property", "the family", "history" ("British children inherit… a stupendous series of national achievements") and "the English-speaking world" ("the atrocities of September 11, 2001 were not simply an attack on a foreign nation; they were an attack on the Anglosphere").
George Monbiot, writing in The Guardian, reprinted in the Sydney Morning Herald, 11 August 2005, believes these non-negotiable components are not sodifferent to those of the terrorists.
Monbiot’s position is that of the elites, cosmopolitan and unattached to a particular country or its culture.
He argues that the non-negotiable components of British national identity mean that instead of an eternal caliphate, an eternal monarchy, instead of an Islamic vision of history, the one born of Britain’s elite boarding school system, and instead of the Ummah, the Anglosphere.
If there is one thing that could make Monbiot hate his country, he says, it is the Telegraph and its "non-negotiable components"!
“I do not hate Britain, and I am not ashamed of my nationality, but I have no idea why I should love this country more than any other.
There are some things I like about it and some things I don’t, and the same goes for everywhere else I have visited.
To become a patriot is to lie to yourself, to tell yourself that whatever good you might perceive abroad, your own country is, on balance, better than the others.
It is impossible to reconcile this with either the evidence of your own eyes or a belief in the equality of humankind.”
Until next time,