ARE we seeing a rise in English nationalism? I ask this question as England ponders introducing its own national anthem as cricket fever grips the nation.
But I think it would be unwise to dismiss this new feeling as just sporting fever. Devolution in Britain has been successful but it has left England without its own parliament, which is grossly unfair. The prospect of Scottish and Welsh MPs effectively being able to vote twice is also rather undemocratic. Scottish and Welsh MPs can't vote on English matters but English MPs can't vote on issues north or west of the border. But I think this sudden increase in Englishness, has something to do with the fact that the next Prime Minister will almost certainly be Scottish and for many years, key members of the Blair administration have been from north of the border. I was in favour of devolution because I did fear that there could be a break-up of the United Kingdom. I still believe that it is vital to maintain the four home nations as part of the UK but I do feel that the government has to be careful. England should have its own national anthem because I don't understand why England always has to represent Britain while the other home nations can keep their own seperate identity (especially when we, English, are winning on the field!). While for many years the Scottish and the Welsh have felt discriminated because they were always been labelled as being English, these days the balance has certainly swung in their favour. Perhaps, if we had a combined home nations soccer team it would add to the feeling of one nation. Judging by England's performance in Belfast on Wednesday I think many England fans would agree!
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