So, I thought I'd publish a mini-thesis on the problems facing Britain today, which I've called "the Singular Root".
My theory is that there is a single, major cause for most of the problems facing Britain today that the General Election and its preceding campaigns and debates will highlight: there is a "singular root" for all the problems, and that "singular root", I believe, is fading national identity.
The cause of most problems facing politicians today is that the identity of Britain has radically changed in recent decades, and the British public no longer feels "British" because it perceives that "British" has lost its meaning as an adjective, and thus the British public is no longer proud of being British.
What's the problem? Well, it's in the questions of "what makes the British people British?" and "how is Britain British?". Britain has lost its culture, particularly in larger urban centres, where the "British culture" has been more greatly influenced by cultures from overseas. As a result, British people can't see what's so "British" about their society anymore, and so because of the fading national identity of the UK, we are having several problems, including the rise of European Union withdrawalism, the Scottish Question and the rise of extremism.
Proof? My first proof lies in Europe, UKIP, and the latter's previous election results.
With this problem of fading national identity, which is this "singular root" that I believe lots of our current problems stem from, I think that UKIP has sourced a large proportion of its voters. Whilst I myself haven't assessed its election results in great detail, I have been told that the more rural areas of the countryside are more favourable towards the rising party, and I think this is explained by these areas being more culturally conservative, and thus not having experienced so many problems with this fading national identity; however, of course, what the country says spreads to the cities, and vice versa.
I think that the British public has been led by UKIP to believe that the problem with our fading national identity and British culture is caused by Europe. Personally, I don't believe this is the case, and whilst I have fundamental disagreements with the UK being ruled by foreign lawmakers on foreign soil, I believe that European withdrawalism is not the solution, given the various trade benefits that it gives us. Nevertheless, returning to the focus of this thread, I think that UKIP, in blaming Europe for the fading national identity, has gained a large amount of voters supporting it, who believe that the solution is in reform of or withdrawal from the European Union. In conclusion, UKIP has highlighted the fading national identity of the United Kingdom, and has gained supporters by blaming it on Europe.
I believe that fading national identity is also to blame for the current question regarding whether Scotland should be independent or not, because seeing as the value of being "British" has faded, the Scottish electorate, for the first time in generations, has seriously considered breaking apart from a nation that is, for the most part, now perceived to no longer be culturally intact. Again, here, we can observe that more culturally conservative rural areas of Scotland voted in favour of independence, which would have undoubtedly resulted in a rise of nationalism, which is what is happening anyway now to some extent with the rise of UKIP, and as we can imagine, nationalism is the obvious solution to cultural disintegration and a fading national identity. Here again, I feel as if the problem in the Scottish Question is the fading national identity of the United Kingdom, and the solution given is further devolution in a move towards independence, which again I disagree with, because whilst I personally will never go against the will of the Scottish people, I think will only contribute negatively to the fading national identity of the UK.
My third proof for the "singular root" is the 'rise' of extremism. Whilst it is fair to point out that extremism has become a major problem in most of the world now, and that Britain is not the only country from which QSIS militants are being drawn from, it seems clear to me that a common cause for British citizens to be fighting in Iraq and Syria now is this fading national identity. If Britain were to be more united as a society in a stronger national identity, then surely, the threat of extremism would be severely diminished, because with people being able to relate themselves to the British culture, they will feel less inclined to fight elsewhere for countries that go against "British values", as they have been termed. So again, I feel as if extremism within the UK is a problem caused by fading national identity within the UK.
So, what can we conclude?
1. The British public no longer feel British and the national identity of the UK has faded.
2. The above has led to problems over Europe as political parties, namely UKIP, have blamed the European Union over this.
3. The above has led to calls for the political disintegration of the United Kingdom in order to reflect the cultural disintegration, as people are associating themselves more with their individual member states (e.g. Scotland, England, Wales, etc.) as opposed to the United Kingdom as a whole.
4. The above has contributed to the rise of extremism in the United Kingdom as people associate themselves less with the UK and more with foreign countries and foreign cultures.
5. As a result, the disintegration of British national identity is dangerous to the future of the UK as a united and peaceful society.
Is this a problem? Yes. And what's the cause of the disintegrating and fading national identity? Frankly, the Briitsh people themselves no longer feeling patriotic, probably helped by the fact that they are subject to foreign culture in their daily lives, whether it be through the food selection at their supermarket, the fast-food restaurant choices, the music they hear being played on the streets, or the like.
It's not helped by the fact that patriotism isn't seen as a desirable trait in the UK, and that many national flags have negative connotations. If anything, they ironically feed into the problems: by not wanting to seem as extreme nationalists, British people do not associate themselves with British flags.
What are the solutions? Well, these are some potential initiatives, some of which can be adopted by the ordinary folk just like you and I:
1. Reform of the European Union so that it becomes more like the economic collaborative organisation that it was meant to be rather than a supranational government.
2. Compulsory citizenship education for all British schoolchildren, as well as the teaching of patriotic British songs at primary school level, such as God Save The Queen, Rule Britannia, etc.
3. Subsidiaries for the establishment of companies promoting "British culture" - e.g. traditional tea rooms, pubs, 'chippies', etc. - almost as a declaration of economic war against foreign TNCs promoting foreign cultures.
4. Re-conversion of the country into a tea-drinking nation.
5. The flying of British flags above all public, nonreligious buildings, including libraries, schools, community halls, etc.
6. The speaking of the British English language whenever possible on public streets, i.e., avoid speaking foreign languages or using foreign accents when outside.
7. The encouragement of public marches celebrating British values and Britishness.
8. The making of St. George's Day in England a national holiday, and the making of "regional" holidays as well, e.g. 22nd of June for St. Alban in Hertfordshire
As you can see, these are all tiny things, but all of which contribute in their own way to the problem of our fading national identity. I think the tininess of all these things feed into the fact that we haven't identified the singular root so greatly yet: we don't assume that because we don't hear British English on British English streets on our daily commute, we're blaming Europe for immigration problems, or as a result of us eating foreign foods in the stores and premises of foreign companies, we don't associate ourselves so much with the British culture.
I think it's worth pointing out that the above six initiatives are obviously, asides 1, 2, 8 and maybe 3 and 7, initiatives that shouldn't be enforced by legislation, seeing as they transgress on the British value of individual liberty. Equally, I'm not saying that in order to fight our fading national identity, we should get rid of foreign culture: I'm saying that anyone who lives in Britain should, whilst associating themselves with foreign cultures at their own liberty, also associate themselves with the British culture, and strongly so.
As a final note, I, as a student (ofc, it is this website after all that I'm posting in), often talk to classmates who don't call themselves British at all. They might be born and bred on British soil, and they might be second- or even third-generation descendants of immigrants, and they might not speak any other language than British English or eat any other foodstuffs than those associated with British traditional cuisine, but they will still emphasise their foreign descent as opposed to their Britishness: our generation wants to be unique, and this is just going to make the problem a whole lot worse, because if everyone tries to be unique, then what binds everyone together?
And this is the exact problem. British values, British culture and Britishness no longer bind the British people together, because the British people no longer feels British, and so we have this fading national identity, and as I hope to have expressed in this awfully long thread, I believe that this disintegration of British culture and of British national identity is at the very core of many of the problems facing Britain and British politics today.
Politicians would do well to respond to it, as UKIP have done, and offer different solutions to the British public.
God Save The Queen.
On the Subject of Outstanding Major Problems for Politicians: the Singular Root watch
View Poll Results: "The fading of British national identity is a major problem."Strongly Agree25.00%Slightly Agree25.00%Neutral00%Slightly Disagree25.00%Strongly Disagree25.00%Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll
- Thread Starter
- 27-01-2015 23:52