The Brexit referendum, on whether the UK or ‘Great Britain’ is to stay in the EU, passed, and by a respectable margin.
The headline of this article, from the UK Daily Mail, says ‘This was the day the British people defied their jailers.’ Was it? The Scots vote indicates that they strongly favor staying in the EU. The Welsh seem to lean in that direction. London itself, being demographically very un-English, and even un-British, voted to stay in the EU.
So it was primarily the English, that is the people who are of ethnic English (Anglo-Saxon) origin, who ‘defied their jailers.’ Not the British; the term ”British”, though used very loosely and incorrectly as a synonym for ‘English’, includes the Scots, the Welsh, the Ulstermen, and the Cornish. It’s a civic term, ”British”, and in terms of this election, we see that the term ”British” does not describe a homogeneous or monolithic group of voters. Just as the term ‘American’ can encompass people as disparate as Alaskans and Manhattanites, the term ”British” is not an ethnic descriptive; there is kinship between the various UK nationalities, but they are not the same folk. The Scots, the Welsh, and anyone who identifies as Celtic will assertively tell you they are not English; some will claim the term British but many disown even that.
In any case, the fact that Brexit passed is to be credited to the English, whether they thought of it in those terms or not. Sadly, many ethnic English have come to think of themselves only as their civic identity, ‘British’ or perhaps they use the two terms interchangeably, not really thinking about it.
The English who think of themselves by their civic identity, ironically, resemble many Anglo-Saxon descended Americans, who identify primarily, or only, as ‘Americans’, which is another civic identity, like the umbrella term ‘British.’
To be ‘British’, or ‘just American’, implies nothing about one’s ancestry, especially in this day of mass immigration, ethnic cleansing, racial displacement/replacement, and loss of identity.
The term ‘British’ and the careless way in which it is used when the ethnic term ‘English’ is really meant, is another method of identity erasure, just as the ‘American’ identity has now become stripped of real meaning.
In any case, I hope this vote today, if nothing else, becomes a turning point, and a re-awakening of a sense of heritage and specifically Anglo-Saxon roots in the UK. The ‘Celts’ in the UK have their own aggressive nationalisms, which seem these days to be based mostly in hostility towards the English, but the ethnic English have yet to awake.
Here’s to an awakening of the sleeping English. Sent from a kinswoman across the Atlantic.