The need for British patriotism

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the global Islamic terrorism phenomenon, but specifically in its European forms. We know that the problem is homegrown. Young, angry, Muslim men and women are growing up in Britain, going through the British education system, living their lives amongst other Britons and still not identifying as British. Part of the reason they are able to blow children up with nail bombs is because they see Britons and probably white Britons in particular not as part of their own community, but part of an out group that seeks to oppress them.

How is it that you can grow up and spend in many cases twenty years within a nation and feel no affiliation to that country, its values or its people? The answer in part lies at the door of multiculturalism and the diminished role of patriotism within society. Because we have crafted a society into which millions of people from diverse cultures have flooded, we now no longer as a country have a definitive set of values that pull us together into a community with a direction.  The UK, especially its cities are now just mass sprawls of all of the world’s nationalities pushed into a blender and expected to not only co-exist, but to thrive. This has its benefits, the diversity it brings is enriching. However, it also brings with it issues.

Britain has essentially no identity, without a national identity what will bring millions of different people from all around the world living in the same space together? This problem has arisen from a skewed portrayal of history, one that seeks to paint Europe as having no historical upside, only pure death and destruction. It usually goes something like this… 400 years of pillaging the rest of the world, all of it’s cultural, artistic, philosophical, economic and technological advances stolen from the cradle of other civilisations and built on the backs of minorities. Because we have allowed such clearly politically and ethnically motivated views of history to become mainstream, we have simultaneously allowed the belief that Britain has no worth to become a perpetual idea amongst this country’s youth. To identify as British and to be proud to be a citizen of a nation that allows great freedoms and equality to its present inhabitants is met with disdain.

And so when migrants flood into this country with values and cultures widely different from that of the Britons that have lived here for thousands of years, we collectively pat ourselves on our backs for our tolerance and do everything we can not to let any dissenting voices urge caution. The general result has been a fractured society, in which communities from around the world come to live in Britain in segregated hubs. This is how terrorists grow up in this country with no affiliation to Britain. They live in their own secluded, non-diverse communities, seeing themselves as not part of a wider group of people, but part of a frustrated, minority clan fighting against the oppression and tyranny of the majority community.

How will this country look in the future if this is the norm that is set to continue? The birth rate amongst the British populace has been consistently lower than necessary in recent times to ensure that our numbers aren’t dwindling and so migrants are brought into the country in order to prop up the economy. If these migrants go on never to have any understanding or respect for Britain’s history, traditions and values, when they eventually come to replace us, which they will unless current trends reverse, what will become of the ideas and values that have become pillars of Britain and Europe? Values that are a rarity on the global scale. Is that what we have collectively, subconsciously decided? That this country needs a rebirth without the baggage of its imperial past and the best way to do that is throw everything out and start again?

I think if this country is to avert the risks that come with segregated communities living in friction, it needs to find its national identity. The country needs to start teaching in schools that it is ok for the nations’ youth to be proud of Britain’s achievements. That migrants who are looking to put roots down in this country, have children and be part of the nations future are British and what it means to be so. Teach the bad, but teach the bad objectively and teach the good along side it. Use the great figures of our past to inspire future generations, concentrate not on notions of race, but on notions of British values as homogeneous values for its multi-racial people. Find the common values that our youth can get behind to be part of a single community instead of a maelstrom of alienated, pocketed groups.

I’m not suggesting we tell incoming migrants to forsake their own cultures and heritage and somehow adopt Britain’s, I’m merely suggesting that having a strong patriotic sense in this country and an agreed upon set of values for all inhabitants might aid in pulling together people from diverse cultures around a common theme and implementing this through the education system would go a long way to aiding this. But that would need to start with telling history properly and for the anti-patriot elements of society to lose their current footing atop the pile of popular discourse.

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