re: British Identity Little Richardjohn - 86th post - 13 Sep 2004 10:34
This is more specifically about England, but applies across 'GB'.
The price we paid for being the guinea pigs of the Industrial revolution was the eradication of our ethnic culture and identity. We're almost unique in this. Nearly every other state managed to retain some basic cultural infrastructure, even our nearest neighbours and those who we just beat to the industrial tape.
So now, almost the only time when most of the people of the country feel part of the same thing - which is a rough definition of 'Identity' to be going on with - is when England play football. And even that is in reality just another way of selling Satellite dishes.
What a state of affairs to be in. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: British Identity kid a - 35th post - 13 Sep 2004 10:46
What a lot of grumpy disillusioned people you are! Britain is now a far better country than it used to be. It is different, for sure, but not many would agree with the pessimistic and defeatist attitudes you have. This country is vibrant, creative, tolerant and has lots of good things going for it - what a pity you can't see it. Sure it has problems, but everywhere has. Try looking on the bright side for once, you miserabilists, and be glad that the ever changing history of this country, and its diverse inhabitants, is evolving positively. And don't blame the BBC for that. Stop reading the Daily Mail, get out and engage with people, you will find it is not what you think.
re: British Identity Little Richardjohn - 88th post - 13 Sep 2004 11:28
Identity is not about success or failure, as Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair would have you believe, and many of the things we nicked or had imposed upon us from outside are great and are all we can call our identity.
But it's not a single identity, probably hasn't ever been and maybe never should, but nevertheless, the question was about the British identity - a collective idea.
So is it possible for Britain to have a collective notion of itself in the same way that France does?
I don't think so, and every time a conscious effort is made to stir up such a thing, it's invariably because of some dreary sporting palaver, or some toff dying. And the result is the most mindless, maudlin, lickspittle exhibition of hysterical mass toadying and hero-worship you could expect to see outside North Korea.
But the opportunities for merchandising - now that we are good at.
If you wanted a demonstration of how deeply the English sense of identity goes, you might have counted the number of St George cross flags hanging from windows the day after England were dumped from Euro 04. No prizes.
Our defining characteristic is the worship of power. 'No Time for LOSERS 'cos we are the champions of the WORLD' as the grand old neo-fascist hymn goes. It should be our national anthem.
re: British Identity P.D.Burnett - 309th post - 13 Sep 2004 11:36
Fashionable nihilist aka: Little Richardjohn:
Simple question: do you believe in a society in which kids are fit to be brought up in?
Or are we resigned to the Little Richardjohn eternity of nothingness.
Make a start for change right now. Why not believe in progress? It's far better than your social sargasso sea. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: British Identity Little Richardjohn - 90th post - 13 Sep 2004 12:14
Yes it is a simple question, so long as we both have the same idea of 'fit'. So what's your definition of a fitting society?
Do you choose to buy into the Rupert Murdoch plastic Britain, with its hankering after a mythical land of chirpy cockneys who loved their old mums but were hardworking and hard as nails with it, or try to understand how we might save the things we love from the ravages of the market place?
And that includes our young people more than anything.
OK, you talk about children, how much more tax would you be prepared to pay to be spent on youth provision? On ways of making young people feel part of the society they live in? At your last local government election, did you vote for the party promising to spend the most on teenagers?
Alright,it's an academic question, because there won't have been any parties offering to spend ANY money in that direction. But if there was one, would you have been prepared to put your money where your mouth is?
Which brings me to the other defining characteristic of the British, the inability to understand that things have to be paid for. That Nurses and Teachers don't grow on trees. But we'll no doubt come to that later. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: British Identity P.D.Burnett - 313th post - 13 Sep 2004 13:18
I also object to the sort of society portrayed by Rupert Murdoch. It's packaged up and manipulated. Above all, I want a moral society; not one based on religious edicts or based on shallow 'values' like human rights.
Agree with last paragraph...you don't get something for nothing, whether its nurses and teachers or rights.
re: British Identity Little Richardjohn - 91st post - 13 Sep 2004 13:39
I don't understand the dichotomy you insist upon between morals and rights.
How can you have one without the other?
I believe that it's morally wrong for you to steal my lawnmower, so I have a right to expect some retribution when you do, and the right to be protected from all lawnmower thieves.
For every moral standard, there is an implicit right to be protected from the consequences of others failing to maintain it. Otherwise, what on earth is the point?
So the universal abhorrence of torture leads to the U.N.'s Human Rights policy. The Victorian acknowledgement that stuffing little boys up chimneys was morally wrong, as well as bad for business, led to legislation to give those boys the right to an education. blah blah Slavery ... blah blah N.H.S.....
The 'Rights' you dismiss so easily are the direct result of morals. Without them, morals would be simply a branch of philosophy.
The point is, who decides what is moral?
And to drag us back to the issue, I object to the British moral code and its subsequent national identity being determined by big business for the purposes of making money. That is not nihilism as I understand it.
re: British Identity P.D.Burnett - 316th post - 13 Sep 2004 13:57
You seem to think that 'morals' is is a sub-branch of 'rights', rather than the other way around.
Human Rights have been discussed for a few centuries now and are the secular response to the vacuum left when you trash religion. They are no more than ink on pieces of paper regardless of the willingness of liberals to die for them. I reject religious ethics, but to substitute with such thin gruel as 'rights' just won't do. This is my reference to 'nihilism'; for me 'rights' barely overlaps with ethics. It's too vacuous.
re: British Identity Little Richardjohn - 92nd post - 13 Sep 2004 17:35
No I don't, I did explain. Really.
Rights are the implementation of morals. How can your morals exist without being made flesh in the form of an agreed code of prohibition. Laws.
You just seem to want to exist beautifully. How does that get the baby washed? And the centuries over which we've discussed them have seen the end of dozens of barbaric hangovers from the days when people believed in god. Blah blah Slavery blah blah.
This 'thin gruel' changed millions of people's lives for the better, yours included, probably, unless that is you're from an aristocratic family which can trace its lineage - and income - back to The Civil War at least. So to say they are merely 'ink on pieces of paper' is a bit offensive, actually. The right to vote, the right to free education, health care, justice - all thin gruel. So how would you give your brand of ethics a social form. What sort of society would it be, structurally. In other words, what would be its IDENTITY?