The hypocrisy of pro-Union Brexiteers

At the Spectator, on the prospect of yet another referendum. It would also create the strange situation where a British government that had just left the European Union would be warning Scots that leaving a larger union will have catastrophic economics consequences. Surely no one involved in Brexit, or who supported Brexit, can make any argument against Scottish independence except emotional ones: that the British are a nation and for that reason should stick together. That point was… Read on

In defence of small nation states

At the Spectator. Scotland would do fine as an independent nation. They gave the world Adam Smith, after all. It’s not just Scotland; Catalonia is next in line and Flanders may also break away. In Nigeria Biafran secessionism has returned and one of the likely results of ejecting ISIS from Mosul will be Kurdish independence finally coming together. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of groups who would like independence – and the world would probably be a better… Read on

The depressing rise of English nationalism and the decline of British patriotism

Happy St George’s Day, everyone! I love all the old St George’s Day traditions – newspaper articles asking what Englishness means, stories about councils banning St George’s Day celebrations, ultra-tedious Guardian pieces about how the “real” St George was Turkish or Palestinian and this only shows how vibrant and diverse English identity has always been and can we get Mary Seacole in there? Another recent tradition we’ve come to love is Labour politicians saying we should “reclaim” our flag from… Read on