The Rise and Fall of the British Nation is an unorthodox history of this troubled island.
Its author David Egerton has no tolerance for the mythology of the British Nation.
At the turn of the century Britain was a thriving trading nation. A centre of a mercantile world.
The Nation’s empire fuelled by greed and discrimination was proclaimed lost or given up. Edgerton states it was taken away by military defeats and popular resistance. The idea of the Nation was central to British Policy encouraged by the Labour Party who were “the true party of the Nation”.
With the end of the Empire – focus was turned inwards. The lauded Welfare State was nothing special by European standards. Highly militarised in peacetime Britain’sgoal was economic nationalism. Other countries’ success created an insecurity, a national anxiety leading to the joining of the European Economic Union. To become more European.
Thatcherism in the 1970s Edgerton claims – oversaw the peak of social democracy not the decline. International economic challenges created unrest and crisis. The state was strengthened not weakened by the expansion of the security services fighting in Northern Ireland. Thatcher’s euroscepticism was futile.
The national economy became global creating “a nation of shop-workers” not shopkeepers. In which ‘the greatest and easiest returns came from ownership of property”, and the poor were increasingly stigmatised.
It is easy to see the path leading to Brexit.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2018
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique