Friday, August 19, 2005

Who are the British nationalists?

nationalism - Oxford English Dictionary

noun 1 patriotic feeling.... 2 advocacy of political independence for a particular country.

The above most definitely applies to us as Welsh Nationalists, but it's been brought to our attention that some people are uneasy about us using the term 'British nationalists' to describe our friends in the Labour Party, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.

They believe it unfairly associates these British parties with the racist BNP (unlike our Labour friends, who would never try to imply that Welsh nationalists are similar to the racist BNP, of course!). So, we decided to put this to the test:

Labour/Tories/LibDems v BNP

1. Believe Britain is a nation - ditto
2. Can't stop calling Britain the 'nation state' - ditto

3. Want to retain the Queen as head of state - ditto (there's a trend here)

4. Believe Britain should have seat at UN - erm, ditto again

5. Believe immigrants to Britain should learn English - yup

6. Believe immans should preach in English - same again

7. Wrap themselves in the Union Jack every opportunity - luv it!

8. Want to control immigration into Britain - yup

... and we could go on.

Do we believe Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems are the same as the racist BNP? No! But they're still British nationalists and Welsh nationalists don't agree with most things which Labour and the BNP do. Do we believe Plaid Cymru are a Welsh version of the BNP? No again, but doesn't stop Labour insinuating that they are. The Labour and the BNP's contents to the British pudding are different - but it's still a British pudding.

So, if a person who believes Wales has the moral right to become a nation state with its own head of state, a seat at the United Nations and full member-state status of the European Union is called a 'Welsh nationalists', then, it stands to reason, logically, that a person who believes the same moral right exists for the 'British' imagined community should be called a 'British nationalist'.

It's the tactic of all nationalisms, which are the nationalisms of the dominant imagined community, to paint the aspirant nationalism of nations within the state as dangerous, racists or abnormal. That's the tactic throughout history from the Russians in the USSR, to the Turks viz a vis the Kurds; the French ascendency within the Belgian state against the Flemings; the Indonesians against the East Timorese.

Not refering to yourself as a nationalist doesn't make you less of a nationalist, it just means the
nation you indentify with isn't threatened. Calling the Labour party, and the other British parties, British nationalists isn't an insult, it's just telling the truth. It's pointing out that the emperor has no clothes ... or in this case, is clothed in the Union Jack.

Welsh nationalists are proud to call themselves nationalists because they believe Wales should be a nation state with it's own head of state a seat at the UN and full national status in the EU. Why don't our Labour, LibDem and Tory friends make the case for British nationalism with the same confidence?


Bratiaith said...

Because we're not all nationalists?

Britain is indeed an imagined community as is Wales as is Europe.

Some of us have enough imagination to see beyond our regional and National identities to a wider Internationalism. A significant number of labour members reject the Unionist British Nationalism best characterised by Llew Smith & the Kinnocks. We see how damaging it is. But we also reject Seperatism. We reject all ideologies that attempt to seperate people and characterises human beings as "other".

I respect that you are not personally xenophobic, but your ideology is.

Kinghob said...

What nonsense bratiaith.

I don't believe that Labour supporters are in any position to intimate a community spirit with the world at large-especially since the Labour government have dragged 'britain' into a conflict that put them at odds not only with an imagined 'enemy' but also our own allies!

There is no xenophobia in 'separatism' which is the very term the British leader Blair uses instead of Independence.

"We reject all ideologies that attempt to seperate people and characterises human beings as "other".

Wow, how noble-but only mere words that are not demonstrated within the leadership of Tony Blair, or the Labour Party in general unless I missed a meeting?

It is a constitutional right of ANY nation or country. especially one that languishes at the bottom of the economic table of Europe to seek sovereignty, and better reasons to allow you to sum up the Independently minded of UK constituent countries as xenophobic would be impossible.

Scotland, where i live is a country- Britain isn't, and it is in the interests of apologists like the labour supporters to imply that using our democratic right to vote ourself out of a union that fails to serve us under labour (as it failed under the Tories) is in any manner xenophobic.

Get a grip mate.

Ciarán Ó Ceandúbháin said...

Why does this party want indepndence for Alba agus Eire agus Cymru?
I myself am from Ireland and would like to see independence for Wales and Scotland as they are proud Celtic nations and I despise the English political and historical regime

david said...

london brings in 50% of the uk entire gdp i say have your independance and london can stio supporting you all.

david h jones said...

Bratiaith - I suggest you read Richard Wyn Jones's book on the ideology of Plaid Cymru - 'Rhoi Cymru'n Gyntaf' - much of which deals with your conceit.

I repect you, but your views are consistant with those of mundane nationalism. Youre imagined comminunity is in the ascentant and is the 'normal' national identity. Doesn't make you less of a nationalists, it just means your concept of national identity, or the one you identify with, isn't under threat.

There are different shades of Welsh nationalism, your one shade of British nationalism, which wishes to intergrate Welsh identity within a larger 'imperial' British indentity. You still believe in the concept of a nation-state, it's just a different nation-state concept.

"We reject all ideologies that attempt to seperate people and characterises human beings as "other"." - oh please Bratiaith - this is terrible. No doubt, you believe all nationstates are by definition xenophobic then - that'll include Andorra, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein or Slovenia? More blood has been spilled in the names of 'uniting' people than in seperation - Turks 'uniting Kurds; Nazis uniting other Germans and other Europeans, Britishers uniting peoples in the Empire etc etc.

Jenny Walks-Riise said...

Labour nationalists? Don't make me laugh!

What would you say about, for example, the Socialist Worker's Party or the Communist Party of Great Britain? Both stand and recruit Britain-wide, but you could not say that they are nationalists!

Please check out my latest post for a discussion on the BNP's policies


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