On Britain and the EU
Adam Rope writes: Re. "Will David Cameron sever Britain's ties to the EU?" (Friday). The issue about the UK and the EU for me (as an Anglo-Celt from there myself) has always the sheer ignorance, arrogance, blatant racism and fear behind the blinkered "Little England" Conservative and conservative mindset. Which as Charles Richardson’s article rightly says: "British voters have a deep need to believe that their country is still great". The English don’t see themselves, ideologically and geographically, as being "in" Europe. They talk of not being invaded since 1066, conveniently forgetting William of Orange, of standing up to, and defeating the Germans twice last century, three if you include 1966 -- but don’t mention recent international football tournaments. They like to think they are different to Europeans, simply because of the geography of 20 miles of water at Dover, despite the obvious European source for the majority of the populations gene pool: Germanic (Angles, Saxons), Nordic (Viking), and French (Norman). The prime example of this thinking is that the vast majority of Brits, when embarking on a holiday to another European country, talk of going "to" Europe. Not "to" the continent, but "to" Europe, as if England was somehow separate from Europe, and not just some little island off the coast of the European continent. It’s a convenient, simple and effective tribal security blanket for those with other issues which can quickly be forgotten when their very Englishness is brought to the fore.