What does British mean?

In the subscription based Irish News, Newton Emerson takes a swipe at some members of the Ulster Scots movement, but in the process comes up with a fresh definition of what his ‘Britishness’ means to him:

“…I value my identity precisely because there’s no standard definition of what ‘British’ means. There’s a heritage and a history, but no obligation to regard any of it as positive. You note what your compatriots are doing, but you don’t have to like it. In fact you can pretty much make your own Britishness up as you go along – and you certainly don’t expect some person from Markethill (for example) to start listing the music you should like or the food you should eat to really ‘belong’.”

Mori conducted a poll on British identity for The Economist, though it dropped Northern Ireland from the count. The Life and Times survey provides some raw data on feelings within Northern Ireland. If you know of any more useful links, hit the comments or email me.

Update: There’s an interesting set of findings here on how the British are seen from overseas.

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