Scotland’s well-behaved nationalists

One thing that really stuck me about the leaflets from Ukip and the BNP for the recent European Parliamentary election was the fact that they were stuffed full of cheesy patriotic symbols — Union Flags, Spitfires, Winston Churchills and so on. Any electorate in the world will have a certain contingent who are enticed by […]

Christmas vs. New Year

At work, we are given a choice between working on Boxing Day or working on the 2 January. I have always opted to take 2 January off, even though I tend not to drink much on Hogmanay — certainly not enough for me still to be hungover two days later. Sure enough, this year I […]

Policies from Un-America

I don’t know whether or not the proposed bailout in the USA is a good idea. But it does amuse me that one of the more widely-quoted arguments against the bailout is Senator Jim Bunning’s view that it would be “un-American”. It’s another aspect of American politics that I find to be a turn-off. That’s […]

Why politics and sport shouldn’t mix

I have written before about how I struggle to understand how people feel ‘pride’ in their country at, say, sporting events. For me, being proud of your country is a bit like being proud of this week’s lottery numbers or something. I just don’t get it. For whatever reason though, patriotism undoubtedly exists and it […]

Sport and the state

Apparently Scotland did wonderfully well at the Commonwealth Games. Sixth in the medals table does indeed sound pretty impressive. But on the other hand, it probably just emphasises the inherent pointlessness of the Commonwealth Games. Jonathan Calder has a good post about the fact that this success has led to politicians taking the credit. His […]

Britishness and patriotism

Everybody seems to be talking about it at the moment, and today (via Dead Men Left) comes another interesting piece, this time from George Monbiot. I don’t hate Britain, and I am not ashamed of my nationality, but I have no idea why I should love this country more than any other. There are some […]