I’m English but I’m also British (and a bit Irish and a bit Welsh and few other odds and sods)

My nephew, Shaun, posted this to me on facebook:

Love this explanation of Nationality from the BBC website;
 “The English are British and lots of people think the British are English but that annoys the Scottish and Welsh because although some think they’re British and some think they aren’t and some think they are but don’t want to be, they all agree that they definitely are not English. The Irish mostly think they are Irish, apart from the ones who are Northern Irish. Some say that makes them British and Irish. But others disagree and say they should just be Irish and then some say they aren’t British either but part of the United Kingdom. People from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland can all play cricket for England because they’re British as can those from Ireland even though they aren’t British. So can South Africans. The English play football for England unless they aren’t that good when they might try to play for Ireland.”

The resurgence of Nationalism, on these  islands does seem strange, when so much of our blood is mixed.

I understand the wish to know who you are, to know your roots (as per Alex Haley) but people can over-identify with their local group.

Personally, I revel in the successes of LFC (Istanbul was special) and  I’ll feel pleased about whatever Olympic medals Britain manages to garner, even though I won’t be watching them win them.

However; we need to bear in mind that we are a mix of different blood lines.  I liked that Danny Boyle included Danny Boy in his British pageant, acknowledging that many of us Brits have Irish blood, as well as English Welsh, Cornish and Scots. I regard myself as English by virtue of my birthplace and my upbringing but I am aware that I can’t disown my ancestry and that it goes right back to Eve, in Africa.

Some thoughts on ancestry. I recall reading that all the people living in Wales are mainly Anglo-Saxon, in respect of their DNA. People in Scotland and Northern England have a preponderance of Viking (Danish and Swedish) DNA. The English that we speak is derived from the language of the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands (Germans). Welsh (the original, as opposed to the modern invented Welsh) was thought to originate in the Middle East. In fact all European languages originate in India.

Why aren’t Afro-Americans just Americans. Many have more European genes than African ones, it’s just that African genes tend to be more dominant. One shade lighter and Obama would have difficulty classing himself as Afro-.

For me, it’s me and mine, whether blood kin, or adopted. Those links spread out becoming more tenuous but going as far as Human over Tiger and Tiger over Snake.

Patriotism and even Racism are innate to all of us.

We should accept that, as fact, but moderate it.

If you read any anthropological studies, the common theme is that you don’t attack strangers for being strangers but you unite against strangers, who attack those with whom you  have strong, unbroken links.


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2 Responses to “I’m English but I’m also British (and a bit Irish and a bit Welsh and few other odds and sods)”

  1. Nonny Says:

    “I recall reading that all the people living in Wales are mainly Anglo-Saxon, in respect of their DNA”

    I think you need to do some research here, as in fact the Welsh have next to no Anglo-Saxon dna

    • wiganshale Says:

      I tried but got bogged down by this sort of stuff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_history_of_the_British_Isles#Research_projects_and_influential_publications.
      The comment that I made is fair enough in that I do recall reading this somewhere.
      I just can’t remember where, in order to check it.
      The point that I tried to make is that we are one people, despite the fact that Smiths and Jones can trace their family lines back through generations and despite the fact some facial features are recognisably Welsh, or even Scouse.
      The statement is as I remember reading it but I’m quite prepared to accept that maybe the writer should possibly have said that all the people, now living in Wales, have some Anglo-Saxon DNA (perhaps not “mainly”).
      I wish I could find the original article.
      Nevertheless, the point that I had intended to make was that we are not different enough to warrant splitting up.
      I’m happy to see the home nations competing at Rugby etc. and I’m happy to cheer on team GB in the Olympics. I do find it grating when some people refer to Andy Murray as Scots, when he loses, but British, or even English, when he wins.
      However, I understand why they do it.
      Just as I understand why you’ve picked me up on what I had considered as a trivial point, when I made it.
      You might, if you’re Celtic, find this of interest:

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