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Time For Some Independent Thinking In Wales

The kind of jingoistic, chest beating English nationalism we’re currently seeing across England will eventually drive a wedge between our two countries. Will it prove to be the catalyst for an English Parliament in the near future? It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Similarly, the Brexit fall-out appears to possess all of the dynamics necessary for a rapid disintegration of the union. Or maybe we’ll find ourselves being run as a post Brexit toothless, decaying (even more so than now) province of England governed by a hard line, reactionary English nationalist government keen to ditch Wales altogether.

After Brexit, the UK’s old-fashioned economy will lose its clout

'I want to challenge the toxic side of Englishness': folk legend Shirley Collins on making a comeback at the age of 82 | The Independent

“I want to challenge the toxic side of Englishness,” Collins says. “I was brought up in a family that loved the countryside and English literature. That’s England to me."

Brexit may be seen as the moment when English nationalism was uncorked - David Williamson - Wales Online

English nationalism used to be described as the “dog that hasn’t barked ”.This suggested that the passions routinely on display in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland could one day course through England.

Losing identity after Brexit? - Perspecs News

Britishness is an elusive national identity, slipping from our grasp when we finally believe we have caught a definition. Consult a dictionary - Britain's own Oxford English Dictionary - and it will describe Britishness as "the quality of being British or of having characteristics regarded as typically British". But that's not particularly useful when you do not quite understand what it means to be British in the first place.

For many, free movement causes more pain – and Brexit seems to be the cure | Deborah Orr | Opinion | The Guardian

If progressives want to change the minds of Brexiteers, waiting for them to see the error of their ways isn’t going to work. What people need is a quid pro quo that offers them tangible improvements in their lives right now. That, and only that, will keep Britain in the EU.

Bristol City fans banned from displaying England flag | Daily Mail Online

Football fans were left outraged after they were banned from displaying the St George's flag at a game because it would 'antogonise' Welsh away fans. Hundreds of loyal Bristol City fans paid £500 for red and white cardboard squares to hold up in the form of the St George's Cross before kick off on Saturday.But after the club realised it was the English flag they were aiming for and not a Remembrance poppy -  the club vetoed the display over fears it would 'antagonise' Cardiff City supporters.    

Former English Democrat Steve Uncles' employment tribunal claim against NHS England rejected

A disgraced far-right activist who was jailed for electoral fraud earlier this year has had his claim of unfair dismissal against NHS England unanimously rejected.Steve Uncles – who stood for the English Democrats in the 2010 and 2015 general elections and as a candidate in last year’s Police and Crime Commissioner election – took the organisation to an employment tribunal on the grounds he had been discriminated against.

Scottish public spending higher than UK, finds new report - The Scotsman

The average Scot receives £10,651 in public spending, compared to £9,159 for the rest of the UK. The gap of £1,492 grew by £72 over the past year, the figures show.

The New York Times says no one knows what Britain is anymore - but look who they asked - UnHerd

“No one knows what Britain is anymore” screamed a headline in this weekend’s The New York Times Sunday Review. A clickbait title no doubt, but the piece is no less crass. It demonstrates a lazy misunderstanding of Britain.Let me summarise the argument: Britain is “embracing an introverted irrelevance”, a “full-blown identity crisis,” because Brits holding an “exclusively white and backward-looking version of Englishness” have taken their revenge and voted to leave the European Union. It’s trite, biased and superficial, and here’s why.

England mayors call for more tax control - BBC News

England's regions should be given more control over taxes instead of relying on government grants, its elected mayors have said.At their first summit, they said the UK was "one of the most centralised states in the western world".

Brexit, Catalonia, Scotland... Yorkshire? 'God's own county' is pushing for devolved independence | The Independent

There's nowt so queer as folk... but the Yorkshire folk who want their own financial autonomy are on to something. Separation’s in the air across Europe, and the biggest county in Britain wants to take control of its purse strings

English by Ben Fogle review – Marmite, queuing and weather | Books | The Guardian

Unlike Fogle, who describes himself as a “proud Englishman” throughout his book, I have never felt able to describe myself as proud in that way. Reading his book makes me wonder just how English I am. Tea? Check. Weather small talk? Check. Always apologising? Check. Wellies? Umbrella? Sunday roasts? Check, check, check. Yet Englishness is an identity that has eluded me at best and excluded me at worst.

For England and St George?

Professor John Denham, Director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics, explores the newly-published results of a survey carried out by University of Winchester students into attitudes around St George's Day and national identity.

Gordon Brown: North of England must come together during Brexit | LabourList

Gordon Brown calls for an all-party Commons revolt to give regions and nations more powers under Brexit.Defective Brexit bill should be rewritten to transfer European Union powers and money direct to the nations and regions of the UK.Highlighting regional inequalities, former prime minister argues £1.5bn of European money should be distributed directly to devolved authorities across the countryBrown proposes a UK-wide constitutional convention to give more powers of initiative to the North as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Campaigner warns Theresa May ‘greedy’ DUP and SNP could destroy UK | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

Eddie Bone, director for the Campaign for an English Parliament, said not enough was being done by Theresa May to support England. He told Express.co.uk Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were being disproportionately financially rewarded with the Barnett Formula and it was time to put England first. He said the situation was exacerbated by the huge £1 billion contribution Mrs May promised the DUP in order to prop up her minority Government.

'Becoming English': Nationality, Terminology, and Changing Sides in the Late Middle Ages - Medievalists.net

 Late medieval English chronicles contain several puzzling references to the idea of people ‘becoming English’ by changing allegiance, usually in the context of war. How does this fit in with the predominantly ‘racial’ understanding of nationhood that permeated late-medieval English literary texts and official rhetoric, based on well-established ideas about birth, blood and heredity?

Catalonia-style split 'could occur in England' campaigner warns Theresa May | UK | News | Express.co.uk

After a controversial referendum on Catalan independence earlier this month, one campaigner has warned the Prime Minister similar movements could destroy England. Eddie Bone of the Campaign for an English Parliament told Express.co.uk he was concerned Mrs May did not appreciate the threat facing England. 

Is federalism the answer to the Scottish constitutional question? - The Scotsman

“If the UK was a truly federal multi-nation state, it would somehow have to accept that some decisions are subject to the consent of not just a popular majority, but a majority of the nations that constitute the UK.“But geographically, this is difficult. I think one of the weaknesses of the UK set-up is the absence of regional governments in England or the absence of an English parliament.”

Westminster's broken: To rescue our British parliament, establish an English parliament - UnHerd

Scotland and Wales already have devolved governments with responsibility for health and education, local economic growth, housing and infrastructure. The UK could rebalance its lopsided constitution if England had the same – together with an English Parliament. Those could be situated in the North (not in Manchester, but York – England’s second capital and a small and beautiful city with room to grow into a great city, free from the planning mistakes of the post-war era).That would allow a smaller, more focused, UK Government and Parliament to reform itself back in London. With many fewer MPs, Peers, Ministers and Civil Servants, we could finance the regeneration of Westminster by selling-off surplus parts of the sprawling Parliamentary Estate (which extends well beyond the Palace) and by dispensing with various undistinguished government buildings.When you’ve got a bloated establishment sitting on some of the most valuable land on the planet, it’s an opportunity, not a problem.

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