Britishness vs Englishness

#1
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/01/international/01letter.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

...in England itself, Britishness tends to get confused with Englishness — a narrower and equally elusive definition that sometimes seems to have been hijacked by right-wing, anti-immigrant extremists.
...
But there is a more subtle tie between Englishness and Britishness. The two are not synonymous, though some values may be claimed by both. Consider for instance, Rupert Brooke's World War I sonnet, "The Soldier," which muses:

"If I should die, think only this of me
That there's some corner of a foreign field that is forever England."
Your comments?
 
#2
Pretty simple really.

Anyone with the right passport can call themselves British but only the English can call themselves English.
 
#3
Steven said:
Pretty simple really.

Anyone with the right passport can call themselves British but only the English can call themselves English.
So who is Rt.hon.learned mr.Howard, former Conservative leader? Can he call himself English? Or Welsh? Or only British?
 
#6
I used to call myself British till I realised how despised the English are by the rest of the constituent parts of the UK! Since then I've said I'm English.
 
#9
Agreed. The French call the UK Angleterre, which equals England. They teach them that at school, and when I tried to convince my sister (who is in France) she should tell her teacher they were wrong, she said I was wrong! Personaly, I think that's the French being awkward (Sacre Bleu!), and refusing to ackknowledge the empire that England indeed founded.

As a welshman, it irritates the hell out of me, most of the world regards Britain as England, and most English play along. When I was asked by English people living in France when I was returning to England, I replied I'm wasn't. So when they said why not, I would reply I don't live in England. Fast forward a few seconds, whilst their brain chews this over, and after the penny had dropped they gave me an obviously disgusted "oh...".

Anyway, at the end of the day, it's not ideal, but sod it, theres more important things in life to worry about. Personally, I'm pretty happy about my roots in Wales, but I'm also fond of us as British. End of story.
 
#11
English

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.
 
#12
DrStealth said:
my dads irish, my mums welsh, i was born in england, i consider myself more 'british' than english.
Is it forever or after 10-20 years you could feel yourself English?

My grandmother was born in Catholic Polish family. She didn't speak Russian in her childhood. But eventually became Russian, called herself Russian, attended Russian Orthodox Church. And nobody doubted her Russian-ness despite her obviously non Russian name Malvina.

Is something like this possible in England?
 
#13
KGB_resident said:
DrStealth said:
my dads irish, my mums welsh, i was born in england, i consider myself more 'british' than english.
Is it forever or after 10-20 years you could feel yourself English?

My grandmother was born in Catholic Polish family. She didn't speak Russian in her childhood. But eventually became Russian, called herself Russian, attended Russian Orthodox Church. And nobody doubted her Russian-ness despite her obviously non Russian name Malvina.

Is something like this possible in England?
Its certainly possible in most parts of Britain - look at the arabs with cockney accents, fed up with the racial hatred thrown their way. They argue they are British, and in our tolerant multicultural system (like the French's, except the tolerant bit), I'd agree with them on their genuine say so.
 
#14
welshblokemiles said:
Agreed. The French call the UK Angleterre, which equals England. They teach them that at school, and when I tried to convince my sister (who is in France) she should tell her teacher they were wrong, she said I was wrong! Personaly, I think that's the French being awkward (Sacre Bleu!), and refusing to ackknowledge the empire that England indeed founded.

As a welshman, it irritates the hell out of me, most of the world regards Britain as England, and most English play along. When I was asked by English people living in France when I was returning to England, I replied I'm wasn't. So when they said why not, I would reply I don't live in England. Fast forward a few seconds, whilst their brain chews this over, and after the penny had dropped they gave me an obviously disgusted "oh...".

Anyway, at the end of the day, it's not ideal, but sod it, theres more important things in life to worry about. Personally, I'm pretty happy about my roots in Wales, but I'm also fond of us as British. End of story.
That's just the French for you. They also teach their children that they had the biggest empire the world has ever seen. I had an argument with a Frog about this and they seem to think that their empire of vast tracts of sandy Sahara 'trumped' our empire that included most of North America and India! He had never heard the phrase "The sun never sets on the British Empire".
 
#16
KGB_resident said:
obviously non Russian name Malvina.

Is something like this possible in England?

More likely in Argentina, I imagine.

I do not see how someone can 'become' English simply by being there for a period of time. We had a teacher at school who was a foreigner; lived in England for almost 30 years, but still a damned Frog.

Perhaps Sergei, we should ask if Kim Philby is thought of as Russian by the Russians?
 
#17
It can be seen that with the increased cross border mobility of people and the globalisation of culture all national identities are being eroded to some extent. In addition to this ethnicity is emerging as a counterbalance to nationality, you may be English and born of English parents but culturally you define yourself as Indian British or similar

This further confuses issues surrounding nationality and belonging. An Oxford think tank has been pondering this long and hard and have developed a test (still somewhat blunt) to identify those who are fit both cultural and ethnic definitions of “English”

Essentially you answer the following questions

Do you have red hair?
Do you smell of wee?
Are you an alcoholic?
Do you do drugs you buy from Children?
Do your children buy drugs?
Do you bang on about the “auld enemy”?
Do you have coronary heart disease?
Do you speak with a mouth full of flem?
Do you sing close harmony at sporting events?
Are you unemployed?
You do not own a Car?
Do you own a suicide belt?
Do you pray for death?
Do you think stoning is a reasonable on the 21st century?
Would you kill your sister if she got pregnant outside of marriage?
Have you slept with your sister?

If you answer yes to more than four of the questions you are probably not culturally English
If you answer yes to more than eight you are probably not culturally or ethnically English
If you answer Yes to more than ten you are a Piss stinking lashed up Scottish / welsh suicide bomber.
 
#18
biscuits said:
As the man says, your passport says you are British, your soul tells you that you are English.

And a love of cider :wink:
Exellent answer but suppose that dark soul of Pakistanian-born would be terrorist tells him that he is English then would you regard him as an Englishman?
 
#19
Paradoxically, the more Westminster fills up with mal-placed Jocks, the less I consider myself British and the more militantly English I become.
 
#20
KGB_resident said:
biscuits said:
As the man says, your passport says you are British, your soul tells you that you are English.

And a love of cider :wink:
Exellent answer but suppose that dark soul of Pakistanian-born would be terrorist tells him that he is English then would you regard him as an Englishman?
Officially, you are whatever nationality you have citizenship of. To him/herself, the person is whatever they think they are. To an outsider, they use their own judgement based on these 2 points. It's basically that, a point of view. The more xenophobic the country, the less welcome you are in terms of adopting their nationality in their eyes. That's why you raise the point about England - the UK government bangs on about ethnic integration, and we accept foreigners as British without too much effort. Well, outside of BNP constituencies :lol: !
 

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