Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 22 February 2007

We all aspired to be "British" once: it was something deeper than ethnicity

Some of us still do. Just another example of why David Warren is this Kingdom's greatest columnist:My secular creed is drawn from Rudyard Kipling, and is succinctly reviewed in his “If” poem, wherein the applicable text reads: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same.” It is a creed in which, plainly, wailing and gnashing of teeth is for savages. As likewise, hysteria at funerals, chauvinist displays, and expressions of hatred in the public square. Ladies and gentlemen don’t do that sort of thing, and don’t even need a religion to know better. Unmanly behaviour is “not British”, if I might use an expression our Canadian ancestors understood, whether French, English, or whatever. For we all aspired to be “British” once, in the sense just given: it was something deeper than ethnicity.

One's religious creed strikes deeper, still. This is true for everybody, even those whose religion is (for instance) environmentalism. And what one holds sacred, whether it is God or (for instance) "the science of climate change", ultimately determines one's secular creed -- the attitude one brings to politics and public life. For it goes beyond politics. That Kiplingesque outlook (for instance), is not specifically Christian, yet like democracy and rule of law and many other things we also used to call "British", it could only be the product of an essentially Christian mindset, deeply rooted in what is not British at all, because long prior to it. Lent is such a thing, lying much deeper. Deeper, ultimately, than wailing and gnashing.

Postscript: And now look at it. As F.J. Sarto laments, look at the "assault on British nationhood being conducted by its ruling elites, who use ethnic minorities as a wedge to “divide and rule” the populace through bureaucratic diktats..." The ones who aspire to be "British" now run the risk of being smeared as fascists and nutjobs by today's Orwellians.


Anonymous said...

Thank you - that was a very nice commentary to read today. I'm calmer already, though still not in "British" way. But I can imagine what that would be like, which is a start.

Have a good day.

Beaverbrook said...

Here's an analogy for peoples and nations civilised by British experience, what is it greater to be: Romans or Italians? What is it about human weakness that welcomes the decline of greatness and great cultures throughout human history? Where doth the rot emanate?

Unrepentant Jacobite said...

Answer: Italians

Northwing said...

I feel English at home, British abroad, and European in someone else's dreams.

Britishness seems to take on its fullest meaning outside of Britain funnily enough and it's an identity I do respect. Wish we could sort it out back home - I really do.

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

Although my family has been in North America for about 300 years, plus or minus a few years, and I grew up in a "colonial" lifestyle in rural agriculture, I still feel "British" rather than "Canadian".