British National Identity

8214 Words May 12th, 2011 33 Pages
BRITISH NATIONAL IDENTITY

What is national identity in postmodern Great Britain?
21st century Europe. Postmodernism. European Union. Capitalism. Fragmentation. In search of a new identity. Divided and together facing the rest of the world. History turns to be an invaluable source for the researchers to tackle properly the term. But history was written by the conquerors. The truth is probably in-between.
In The importance of not being English, David McDowall states that national identity nowadays might have different perceptions.
“A Canadian recently touring Britain discovered, in his own words, ‘There’s no such thing as the British, only English, Irish, Welsh and Scots.’ Ethnic minority communities apart, there is considerable truth in
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London allowed the Northern Irish to govern themselves, wishing to benefit economically while being rid of the ‘Irish problem’. It was a profoundly short-sighted arrangement, and neglected the fact that every generation since the Planters had seen outbreaks of sectarian violence. Northern Ireland became controlled by a Protestant oligarchy. Every election for the Northern Irish government at Stormont was about Ulster’s future - whether it should remain part of the United Kingdom. The Protestants excluded the Catholic minority from political power, gerrymandering the electoral system when necessary. They also excluded them from local government and exercised gross discrimination in housing and employment. London ignored these glaring abuses of basic rights.

With the decline of shipbuilding in the early 1960s, Northern Ireland became one of the poorest parts of the United Kingdom. The poverty was not equally shared. Catholics were significantly disadvantaged and their anger grew. In the autumn of 1968 Catholics, supported by many Protestants, demonstrated on the streets, demanding civil rights, basically fair participation in political and economic life. Ulster Loyalists confronted them and the police, who were overwhelmingly Protestant, failed to act impartially or keep order. The violence soon resulted in deaths, some caused by