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The Lure of Greatness: the best book about Brexit so far

The drift away from Britishness is generally associated with the rise of nationalism in Scotland and, to a lesser extent, Wales. But Barnett points out that census figures have shown a large majority of people in England choosing “English” as their sole national identity (38 million people did so in the 2011 census, 70 per cent of the English population). His argument is that, deprived of a national democracy, the English took out their anger on the EU, an institution relentlessly vilified by Rupert Murdoch’s empire and the rest of the Tory press.

Scots win lotto: English charities get 50% less per head | Daily Mail Online

English charities are given far less lottery cash than their counterparts in Scotland.Organisers handed £76million to Scottish causes last year – £14.04 a head. But south of the border the figure was only £9.32 per person – £510million in all.

Tory-DUP £1bn payment needs parliament's approval after Gina Miller challenge | Politics | The Guardian

Parliament will need to approve the release of £1bn in funding for Northern Ireland promised to the Democratic Unionist party by Theresa May to secure its support after the general election, the government has conceded.Challenged by the campaigner Gina Miller about the legal basis for releasing the funds, which have not yet been made available, the Treasury solicitor, who heads the Government Legal Department, said it “will have appropriate parliamentary authorisation”, adding: “No timetable has been set for the making of such payments.”

Tony Blair wanted British football league - BBC News

Tony Blair became "obsessed" with creating a British football league as a way of bringing the UK together, the former prime minister has revealed.Mr Blair said he believed merging the Scottish and English leagues would strengthen the bonds between the two nations after devolution.But he said a British national football team would have been a "step too far".

In defence of national sovereignty | Europe | For Europe, Against the EU | spiked

The nation state is uniquely important because it is currently the only framework powerful enough to handle the big issues – defence, taxation, infrastructure, energy, national education and health policy – in a responsive, democratic manner. This is vital. Studies show that people are only happy to support collective projects where they feel some connection to the other people involved. And for this, a shared culture that goes beyond mere political institutions is crucially important.

The Last Wolf : Paul Kingsnorth

Is there anything more tiresome than debating the essence of “Englishness” – or any other national identity, come to that? Millions of words must have been spilt on this fruitless quest over the past century, generating gigatonnes of wind that could have been usefully harvested for energy. Each time, no “essence” is to be found, and everyone goes back to the beginning and starts again.

The Lure of Greatness: Anthony Barnett's punk polemic grasps the magnitude of Brexit and Trump

Clearly, the identities of Wales and Scotland have been renewed by devolution – and, in the latter case, by a party of the centre left that confidently speaks to people’s sense of belonging. Meanwhile, England has continued to be subsumed under the decaying idea of Britain and bossed around by the UK’s essentially 19th-century institutions, leaving it in dysfunctional limbo.

The “English not British” split will help decide the next election – we must talk about it

English taxpayers may only now be realising that they will foot the estimated £1.5bn dowry for Theresa May’s civil partnership with the DUP, while England’s austerity will continue largely unchanged. They could be forgiven for asking “who elected the DUP to decide England’s future?”

Even the Scottish Tory leader thinks Theresa May's plan to cut winter fuel payments is wrong - Mirror Online

The Scottish Tory manifesto not only doesn't include means testing winter fuel payments for pensioners - it proudly announces they will protect Scotland from its own policy

Are the English the real problem? - The Convention

With the English voting 53.4%–46.4 % to leave the EU, some say that Brexit is the triumph of English nationalism over the more European-minded nations of the United Kingdom. Must English political expression take the form of Britishness? Must England enforce devolution on the Scots rather than permit independence? Is a federal union possible, with an English parliament? Why are the English more anti-European than their neighbours? Could an English nationalism become the precursor to an easier, more equitable relationship between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom and the EU?

English Parliament | Campaigns by You

Allow the English People to have their own Devolved Parliament with the same powers as Scotland, and to be elected under Proportional Representation.

Labour will scrap university tuition fees if they win general election | The Independent

The Labour Party will scrap tuition fees “once and for all” if the party wins power, the shadow Chancellor has said.In interviews today, the party refused to say whether or not axing fees – of up to £9,250 per year at English universities – will be in the party’s manifesto.

The British and their exceptionalism | Centre for European Reform

Few countries have allowed their sense of exceptionalism to damage their interests in the way Britain is doing. British overconfidence is unjustified and will come at a heavy price.

The governance of England in the Union

Paradoxically, the election of metro mayors in England will make the federalist case for the UK that little bit harder to answer, since they take off the table the idea that the English regions can be partners with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in a new federal constitutional settlement. For that, England will need national recognition to go alongside devolved city and county governance.

Labour will end hospital car parking charges in England, says Corbyn | Politics | The Guardian

Labour will end car parking charges at NHS England hospitals by raising insurance tax on private healthcare to 20%, Jeremy Corbyn has said.He vowed a Labour government would make parking free for patients, visitors and NHS staff, with the £160m annual cost of the policy paid for by the insurance increase.

The revolt of the country: Brexit, history, and English nationhood | In the Long Run

Having long looked politically insignificant, the idea of English nationhood has resurfaced in the past few years not least in relation to Brexit. Some Brexiteers, like Daniel Hannan, have claimed the English-speaking people as the basis of an international Anglo-sphere that can now be recreated freed from British subordination to the European Union. By contrast, some Remainers and indeed critics of Hannan, see Brexit as an act of English vandalism whereby England is breaking up the British state and isolating Britain from the European continent to pursue an English fantasy of imperial nostalgia. Yet these historical narratives in which with acclamation or damnation English nationhood is equated with a global or imperial version of Britain miss just why the political history of English national identity is actually so potent to the politics around Brexit.

World leaders from May to Trump to Erdogan are all promising to unite their countries while doing the exact opposite | The Independent

People in England understandably resent the way that their nationalism, which they see as merely sticking up for their own interests, is condemned as racist and jingoistic when Scottish and Irish nationalism (or for that matter Algerian and Vietnamese nationalism) are given a free pass as the laudable pursuit of liberty and self-determination. 

Every election, politicians ignore England – here's why

Any demand for an English parliament or devolution to England amounts to English nationalism.However, there is nothing intrinsically nationalistic about the desire to enhance either the process of English governance or the creation of a democratic, institutional civic English national identity to better reflect the increasingly plural and multicultural population of England.

Just what sort of nation might the English seek to create? | Aeon Essays

The vote for Britain to leave the European Union was overwhelmingly an English one and the English are reemerging as a distinct nation, and perhaps soon as their own state (possibly with Wales still tacked on) existing outside the EU. Just what sort of nation the English seek to create – how they will define themselves and their country – is one of the most important, and unexpected, questions in world politics today.

The six Brexit traps that will defeat Theresa May | Yanis Varoufakis | Politics | The Guardian

In truth, Brussels is a democracy-free zone. From the EU’s inception in 1950, Brussels became the seat of a bureaucracy administering a heavy industry cartel, vested with unprecedented law-making capacities. Even though the EU has evolved a great deal since, and acquired many of the trappings of a confederacy, it remains in the nature of the beast to treat the will of electorates as a nuisance that must be, somehow, negated. The whole point of the EU’s inter-governmental organisation was to ensure that only by a rare historical accident would democratic mandates converge and, when they did, never restrain the exercise of power in Brussels.

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