Patriotism, nationalism and phobias

Research in Scotland shows that despite the Scottish National Party’s attempts to promote an inclusive and tolerant Scottish nationalism the sentiment driving its supporters is a strong Anglo-phobia. Despite Hume’s talk of a “New Ireland” and the United Irishmen mantra of “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter” sometimes adopted by republicans, is the same true of Irish nationalism? At the core does it remain “Brits out” in all its forms?

  • Pete Baker

    Fair Deal

    “Research in Scotland…”

  • bootman

    Anglo-phobia is perfectly natural when England occupies your country. Thankfully, in Ireland the republican movement has lead the way in campaigning for a secular, inclusive society; the antithesis of what unionism stands for.

  • I’d say if you included the entire island of Ireland you’d find that the majority had passed anglophobia and moved onto a more progressive and open mindset; the way multi-cultural Ireland has panned out in recent years would justify that assumption IMO; it started with a lot of whispers and claims of people asylum seekers getting free this and that but quickly matured, and when it comes to foreign nationals coming to work I’ve yet to hear a modern “taking our jobs” crap in relation to Polish, Lituanian, Latvian people etc.; in places like Finglas, Dublin a run down little newsagent was bought out and turned into ‘Kalinka’, specialist in Eastern European foods and no one batted an eyelid (and off topic but important all the same this kind of occourance is more important than the areas that crop up in Dublin, this is intergrated and doesn’t run the risk of being a seperate cultural centre from the rest).
    Now, as far as Northern Ireland nationalists go, I wouldn’t be quite as confident; I think the tide is changing finally and it’s getting there but I don’t know if the majority of the people there really consider an all island state as a logical step in the betterment of its people rather than an idealogical push to reclaim what they see as their own, stolen long ago.
    Obviously the NI Nationalist community are the ones that need to convince the opposing side of their intentions if there is to be any possible future unity (and that’s only if it proves to be a sensible solution for all, economically, culturally,etc etc.).
    Frankly we’re a long way from a UI if there is ever going to be one at all, I think that even when the entire nationalist community gain the trust of unionists that they do not wish to subvert their culture they will still differ on which solution holds the greatest potential for the 6 counties.

    Rant over… 😀

  • Scotsman

    Interestingly, Islamophobia is less prevalent among SNP supporters than among other political groups.

    There are 400,000 English-born people living in Scotland. I wonder how many of them vote SNP?

    I’m not 100% sure how to define Anglophobia. But the famous nationalist/communist poet Hugh McDiarmid listed Anglophobia as one of his hobbies in “Who’s Who”, so it’s hardly news.

  • seabhac siulach

    Fair Deal:

    “…the United Irishmen mantra of “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter” sometimes adopted by republicans…”

    This is not sometimes adopted, it lies at the heart of true republicanism…(not that all who use the word republican to define themselves are entitled to do so, at least by their actions…)
    By “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter” is meant Catholic, Protestant and Presbyterian Irishmen/women, so it is not correctly related to any discussion of anti-Englishness. Republicans wish to break the link with England (the political state), but that, of course, is different to anti-Englishness, e.g., on a personal level.

    ‘Brits out’ was the slogan of the republican movement, not of nationalism, during the troubles…Brits in this case exclusively meaning those from the neighbouring island (more specifically meaning just the Brit. army and administration).
    And really, read for Brit., English…
    Irish republicans, of course, consider Unionists as Irishmen/women, not Brits so it would be a bit illogical to take the meaning from this slogan that republicans wanted Unionists ‘out’.

    As to whether nationalism in Ireland is anglophobic, I think any fair assessment of the general population will show that this is a declining sentiment…especially south of the border where a new confidence makes these old emnities pointless and irrelevant. There is a lingering romantic form of anti-Englishness, but this is generally only seen these days during Internationals when it is fun to do ‘battle’ with the auld enemy.

    Anglophobia in Scotland is a useful tool for the Scottish, by using it they can differentiate themselves from the English. In the South of Ireland, at least, and for Nationalists there, this is no longer necessary.
    North of the border nationalists can see that it is now not the English preventing settlement of the political situation, rather it is Unionist intransigence…so what need for Anglophobia? The English, rather, seem rather keen to wash their hands of the six counties, so in this they are at one with nationalists…

  • Brian Boru

    “Despite Hume’s talk of a “New Ireland” and the United Irishmen mantra of “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter” sometimes adopted by republicans, is the same true of Irish nationalism? At the core does it remain “Brits out” in all its forms?”

    I don’t think so. I think separatism shouldn’t be confused with hostility to people from the country you want independence from. I am proud of the founding-fathers of the Irish Republic but that does not mean I am “anti-British”, no more than the Americans are anti-British for leaving the British empire in a conflict situation. A distinction needs to be drawn between wanting independence and hating those of the national-identity you want independence from.

    I would actually argue that anti-Britishness is now far, far less in the Republic than when under British rule. Because we are making our own decisions and we an agreed framework to fix NI, most of the resentment there used to be towards our neighbour has gone. Regarding Scotland, I doubt it would be partitioned on independence (if it happens) unlike what happened in Ireland, which reflects the realisation of the madness that was partition in 1920. I think anti-English feeling in Scotland would reduce on independence as the frustration with being dragged into wars that don’t affect you and having decisions made for you that you don’t like e.g. loss of North Sea oil revenues to England, would have gone – as long as a row over the oil post-independence doesn’t become the Scots version of our long row with the UK over NI.

    I don’t mind British immigrants coming to Ireland. They are also from a rich country so it’s hardly going to be anywhere near the scale of developing world and Eastern European migration anyway as the desperation to come “for a better life” just isn’t there. And as they speak the same language as us, they integrate very easily. Unlike in the 1600’s….

  • Harry

    There is no evidence that Britain wants to get out of northern ireland, only a lot of talk about it. More to the point, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

  • Brian Boru

    “There is no evidence that Britain wants to get out of northern ireland, only a lot of talk about it. More to the point, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.”

    The 2001 Guardian poll indicates otherwise, with only 25% wanting to hold onto NI and 41% wanting a UI.

  • seabhac siulach

    “There is no evidence that Britain wants to get out of northern ireland, only a lot of talk about it. More to the point, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.”

    What evidence would that be? Perhaps you mean the new MI5 headquarters to be opened in the 6 counties…? What can be opened can also be shut, depending on the possible outcome of upcoming talks. Is there other evidence?

    The consensus is that we are looking at closer North-South links, either through the form of 7 super-councils or a form of joint-authority (lite?), thereby lessening the control of Britain in the 6 counties. By this, I mean they are washing their hands of the place, as they are shown willing, for the first time, to effectively pool sovereignty (in all but name) for help in administering it. One could also mention the curious decision of the Brit. govt. to move all troops/barracks to a line roughly East of the Bann, leaving the West of the six counties in Paisley’s words, ‘bereft’…very curious…
    These are not the actions, statements of a govt. in the the long haul or one with any great interest in maintaining the link. Or perhaps, I am wrong?

  • Rory

    I’m very tempted to say that if anglophobia is good enough for Hugh McDiarmid, it’s good enough for me. Except of course I don’t suffer from it, living and working in England as I do, married to an English wife and with two English daughters and countless English friends with whom I have been on many demonstrations and worked on many initiatives against British injustice in Ireland (and, in England and elsewhere)it would be difficult to hate and fear the English.

    I also usually take the “anyone but England” line in football and am easily tolerated for this by my English friends (some of them hold to the same line because of their disgust of the England fans and the general press xenophobia). Indeed on the occassions when I do support England (when they play Germany) they look a bit askance at me and wonder if I’m having an identity crisis. There is also so much of the culture that I really admire, a great body of literature (apart from Martin Amis of course), some notable poets, a musician or two and the odd painter of note. Not bad for a small country not far removed from the Dark Ages.

    But I am sure that anglophobia among those nations that have been subject to English conquest and pitiless rule is a very healthy expression. Indeed it is the anglophiles among those so conquered whose mental and spiritual welfare I would be most concerned about – William Joyce, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ for example. The phobia disappears with the ending of oppression and a guarantee that it will not be repeated – reparations while welcome are not even necessary. Then parity of esteem may be allowed to develop.

    Parity of esteem in the school playground is often best achieved when the victim of the school bully stands up to the thug and punches him right in the nose and the bully, seeing the error of his ways, apologises for past behaviour.

    I have seen lifelong friendships result from such eruptions of the downtrodden and I’m kinda all in favour of them meself.

  • rafa benitez

    Despite Hume’s talk of a “New Ireland” and the United Irishmen mantra of “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter” sometimes adopted by republicans, is the same true of Irish nationalism? At the core does it remain “Brits out” in all its forms?

    Eh, no. I’m an Irish republican, south of the border. I wach English tv, support an English football team, listen to English music, shop in English owned food chains, buy English products and have had a laugh with any Englishmen I’ve had the pleasure to meet up with. At no stage has this effected my view of Irishness, or somehow diluted my love for my country.
    This would go for all my friends and, well anyone I know.
    It’s a completely different world down here now. Aren’t the Brits the ROI’s largest ‘ethnic’ population at the moment?
    Instead of posting up an article (which provides no info on how the survey was done and provides no figures)maybe you should spend your time clicking on a few of the links provided on this site. You may find one of them leads to an indept survey done on Irish attitudes to British people in general. Here, let me help you:
    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/reports.php

  • Conor

    Parity of esteem in the school playground is often best achieved when the victim of the school bully stands up to the thug and punches him right in the nose and the bully, seeing the error of his ways, apologises for past behaviour.

    eh? what school did you go to?! Anyone who stood up to bullies in my school usually got their melt knocked in! Apologies weren’t often forthcoming either as I recall…

  • Alex

    Isn’t it odd that within a week of the SNP hitting the front in Scottish national opinion polls, this guff is published as the biggest story in The Scotsman, ahead of the Valencian train disaster?

    How very British of them to tie a desire for self-government in with a hatred of England. That is about as valid an argument as saying Tories are ‘most likely to agree with Hitler’ or ‘Labour voters most likely to see the good side of Stalinism’.

    I would say that this is a sign that the political and socio-economic argument has been lost by Scottish Unionists, but then they’ve been peddling this obfuscation for decades to good effect.

  • Nic

    In a way, modern Irish nationalism has always defined itself narrowly as freedom from Britain.
    But even in spite of (or perversely, because of) independence in 1922, we have become even more economically, socially and culturally intertwined with Britain.

    We may as well be Wales.

    This lack of anything meaningfully credible that could be labelled uniquely “Irish” has meant that to be Irish means… emmm… you’re not English!

    But as each generation of people born in Ireland becomes more confident in their Anglo-Irish heritage, anti-Englishness becomes more and more token and cosmetic.
    Recognising partition would never have been accepted in a plebiscie thirty years ago, but the Irish voted overwhelmingly for the GFA.

    What a shame the IRA and their useful idiots in Sinn Fein refuse to accept the verdict of their people.

  • English

    Anglophobia is both annoying and tedious, a week doesn’t pass by without a comment about the English, and threefold during the World Cup (mostly in jest) in Northern Ireland.

    One cannot help where one is born, and I am not personally responsible for government policy, and especially not thr behaviour of Irish Unionists!

  • Brian Boru

    “But even in spite of (or perversely, because of) independence in 1922, we have become even more economically, socially and culturally intertwined with Britain.”

    Agreed except for economically. In 1972 80% of our exports went to the UK, compared to 18% now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_Republic_of_Ireland And the continued decline of the Irish language may make us more similar to them outwardly, as well as the fact we largely watch the same programs. However, we are remain a separate nation with a strong separate identity and that is not going to change. We still haven’t forgotten what happened to us at the hands of Britain, and while we won’t let that alone get in the way of good relations with Britain, it is a crucial element of Irish identity that we threw that out in the 26 counties (and good riddance).

    “But as each generation of people born in Ireland becomes more confident in their Anglo-Irish heritage, anti-Englishness becomes more and more token and cosmetic.
    Recognising partition would never have been accepted in a plebiscie thirty years ago, but the Irish voted overwhelmingly for the GFA.”

    LOL. We are Irish not “Anglo-Irish” in identity. Ask the Americans if they feel “British”. Yes many Irish intermarried but the dominant bloodline goes back to the Mesolithic peoples who were the first inhabitants of the island, as shown in a TCD study carried out in the Republic and revealed in 2003. The scale of English settlement in the Republic was far smaller than some claim (though they owned nearly all the land) with the possible exception of Dublin but persons of Anglo-Saxon origin don’t feel British either because of intermarriage or assimilation (at least among the Catholics). Also I believe the “Anglo-Irish” identity is declining among the Protestants too in favour of an “Irish” identity.

    I also would take issue with your comments on the GFA. We weren’t voting for the principle of permanent partition, but rather to leave it to the principle of consent and whatever it decides to do. A recent Prime Time poll on RTE1 found 77% still support a United Ireland. I resent my vote being interpreted as partitionist.

  • Brian Boru

    “We still haven’t forgotten what happened to us at the hands of Britain, and while we won’t let that alone get in the way of good relations with Britain, it is a crucial element of Irish identity that we threw that out in the 26 counties (and good riddance).”

    “That” being British rule.

    “This lack of anything meaningfully credible that could be labelled uniquely “Irish” has meant that to be Irish means… emmm… you’re not English!”

    I don’t agree that it’s just about not being English (though that is part of it). It is also about Gaelic games, interest in preserving the Irish language, a written constitution (which Britain hasn’t), the absence of a state-church (unlike the UK), and neutrality. These are all significant differences and part of our identity too.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Alex 5.04

    Spot on. A Unionist paper with a point to push. In truth no-one I know is against the English per se. England, the state that dominates and uses my people. Aye.

  • “Anglo-phobia is perfectly natural when England occupies your country.”

    Deep fried Mars bars all around !!!!….. get over it & move on.

  • Della

    Anglo-phobia is perfectly natural when England occupies your country. Thankfully, in Ireland the republican movement has lead the way in campaigning for a secular, inclusive society; the antithesis of what unionism stands for.

    Posted by bootman on Jul 04, 2006 @ 03:32 PM

    Er, you forgot just one thing, bootman. Most of the top government jobs are held by…… Scots. Blair also boasts of being part Irish. 1 million Scots live in England and only 50,000 English in Scotland. Considering England has 10x the population of Scotland, its hardly a tourist entourage, so describing the English as occupiers, is quite frankly, bordering on insanity.
    And you wonder why we laugh at you?

  • Prince Eoghan

    400,000 Anglo’s(white settlers) live in Scotland, we are bored with ruling you, so we will be happy to give Engurland her independance. Good luck on finding others to laugh at. Isn’t this what idiotic arrogant nations do besr;¬)

  • Della

    LOL Which is it, ruling us, or we occupy you? I didn’t notice anyone in England marching in the streets, sorry to see you get your own Parliament? We thought we’d get one, too. Your policiticians just can’t give up the gravy train and proving to be the most corrupt government in living memory – and probably much further back.
    You’ve had 300 years to clear off. We’re fed up with having hopes raised and dashed again, so we’ll do it for you.
    Have a rant and then have a nice day.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Ah go an bile yir heid wummin. Back tae the dishes where ye belang;¬)

  • Della

    You smoothe talker, you

  • fair_deal

    Just want to offer some congratulations to the contributors on this thread. It has been the most on-topic discussion on one of my threads in a longtimes. Cheers

  • rafa benitez

    Just want to offer some congratulations to the contributors on this thread. It has been the most on-topic discussion on one of my threads in a longtimes. Cheers
    Your welcome. By the way, did you check out the report I posted the link to? I think you’ll find it a lot more on topic in relation to Republican views of England than the origianl Scotmans article you posted.

  • fair_deal

    rafa

    The link doesn’t work anymore to the Irish eyes report but I read it at the time. The emphasis I meant for the thread was northern Irish nationalism I should have probably made that more explicit rather than implied by the Hume comment.

  • seanniee

    Britz’s out, Peace in.I loved the 70’s

  • lib2016

    The English/Irish wound has been healed or is at least healing astonishingly quickly. I can’t always keep up with the generational change but even when it comes to football the change is extraordinary. We’re all showing our age here!

    Let’s hope the changes in the North come as quick when the dam bursts. There is a theory that it takes 10/15 years for a new scientific theory to become accepted.

    The ceasefires have lasted for a reasonable period and we should soon be starting to see the effects on the generation of people growing up in ‘peacetime’. They may have a very different view of the Troubles…on both sides.

    Certainly I was amazed at how many younger people simply laughed at my gullibility for suspecting that Bush or Blair might know something about secret weapons in Iraq. Most cynical generation ever covers it. What will they think of our politicans?