Lord Baker of Dorking, Tristram Hunt and the Museum of Britishness

 The Telegraph has been getting very excited about the idea of a museum of Britishness, promoted by Lord Slughead of Dorking.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/11/nbrit111.xml

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main.jhtml?xml=/portal/2007/12/14/ftbritish114.xml

Tristram Hunt doesn’t like it because it will serve up the wrong sort of fabricated narrative of Britishness.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2240969,00.html

One of the interesting things about the frequently cited crisis of British/English identity (this is a disease to which the Scottish and Welsh are seemingly immune), is that it seems to be a malaise that only affects newspaper columnists and politicians.

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Published in: on January 16, 2008 at 10:31 am  Comments (3)  
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  1. (this is a disease to which the Scottish and Welsh are seemingly immune)

    Not sure about this. I think we English tend to find the debate about Britishness ridiculous, whereas the only people I’ve run into who don’t think the whole thing ridiculous are Scottish Labour-supporting Unionists, and some of these seem to take it very seriously indeed (including some quite sensible colleagues of mine). And if that’s right, then perhaps it’s not so surprising that it’s a Scottish Labour Unionist Prime Minister who has decided that this is something that matters. It’s the Scottish Labour elite, after all, that has the most to lose from the break-up of Britain.

  2. In spite of many letters to the press over the last few years from people calling for an English Parliament, and letters from people calling for an end to New Labour’s britishness campaign,it goes on and on.England’s National and local press refuse to acknowledge this enormous con played on England and the English.

  3. Ok, the debate on British identity is of no interest to anyone other than Scottish Labour Unionists, bloggers, the media and former Conservative home secretaries who now hold life peerages…

    I met Baker once (he was my local MP). He’d come as our school was taking part in Newsround’s 1992 mock election (in which I was standing as the Labour candidate). I’d imagined that he would be there just to do a bit of glad-handing but instead Baker began a lengthy denunciation of me as an agent of socialism. I was obviously deeply flattered by this. Despite (or because of) Baker’s efforts I nonetheless managed to double Labour’s proportion of the vote in my bit of Surrey to a whopping 20% (I think I came second behind the Lib-Dem).


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