Monday, September 28, 2009

Quote of the day

Albert Camus:

"I love my country too much to be a nationalist."


Toque said...

Don't let a French Communist put doubts in your head about your British nationalism!

O'Neill said...

1. A true communist would never admit to loving his nation...
2. British nationalist or patriot?
3. I'll get that article I promised you soon, honest!

Anonymous said...

Communists have never been afraid to use nationalism when it suits them.

Toque said...

Ah, the old nationalist/patriot waggle dance ;-)

You don't need a parliament and government to be a patriot - that's what the Unionists tell us English nationalists. They're English patriots almost to a man and woman in the Tory Party.

The reverse is also true, you don't need a British state to be a British patriot.

I'm happy to be called a patriot, but I'm a nationalist too because I'm concerned with gaining political expression for the nation. I believe that you are interested in retaining political expression for your nation, your nation just happens to encompass mine.

I have to say thta I don't agree with the English Democrats and their slogan "English, not British". My English nationalism does not mean that I want to deny to you your Britain, it just means that I want the English nation to have a voice of their own that is distinct (but not necessarily always separate) from that of Britain: Nationalism not separatism.

But I think you already know this about me. Pleased to see you publishing Wildgoose's piece for discussion, there's room for some common ground there.

O'Neill said...


"Communists have never been afraid to use nationalism when it suits them"

Communists using their own version and interpretation of marxism; pure, text book communism surely has no place for the nation state.

O'Neill said...

"Nationalism not separatism."


I think that sums up my instinctive reaction when I hear the expression "British nationalism". I see the other individual "nationalisms" within the UK as looking to separate from the united body rather than to work alongside it. I want the various national identities to be part of the bigger whole.

But following your definition, I am a British nationalist and following your definition that's nothing to be ashamed off!

Re the Wildgoose piece, there is a implied federalist tendency in much of N. Irish Unionist thinking- I'm just not sure if the full implications of a completely federal state have also been thought through.

Toque said...

Bernard Crick:

Over many years I have fought a losing battle to impress on sub editors the use of an upper case for separatist `Nationalism' and lower case for cultural `nationalism', for strong national
consciousness that is not necessarily separatist. Gordon Brown in the 2001 general election attacked fiercely, as he said, `nationalists' in the name of the advantages of the Union. I was pompously moved to write to him to suggest that he either gave the SNP its real name or firmly polemicised against `separatist nationalists'. For I humbly pointed out that, to my old English and new Scottish immigrant eyes, nearly all Scots were nationalists, in the sense of having a strong feeling of national identity: the majority were not separatists. I suggested that attacking nationalism as such, lumping separatism and patriotism together, could cause offence as well as confusion and drive some cultural nationalists into separatist politics.

Unionists would, I think, be well advised to apply Bernard Crick's advice to English nationalists too. The vast majority of English nationalists I know want an English parliament, or at the very least recognition of England's right to determine whether it wants an English parliament. I regard England as a nation and I believe that the English people have the right to determine their national future, whether that future is inside or outside the Union. For me 'nationalism' is the democratic right to self-determination, and that includes the right to choose union AND the right to choose separation.