It’s Coming Home, Though
From The New Statesman:
The danger is that we allow English nationalism to be defined by the forces of darkness and xenophobia, as witnessed during the Brexit referendum. An important part of what it means to be English is to have multiple identities. “We need to encourage this sense,” says the historian Jeremy Black. “Identity is not a zero-sum game. Nationalism does not have to be blood-and-soil late nineteenth-century nationalism. It’s important to have a sense of national identity but it does not need to be hostile or exclusionary.”
What one seeks, then, is patriotism without rancour and a more confident, harmonious English identity that is not inward-looking and bitter, not captured and defined by the far right or the forces of reaction, but in its diversity, openness, tolerance, rootedness, generosity and commitment to the common good reflects a country distinct from but also part of a larger multinational polity; a country that has struggled for self-definition but seems at last to be experiencing a reawakening, however inchoate it may be. Call it Gareth Southgate’s England.