English Exceptionalism

Great fun tonight…fair play to England…they worked hard…defended deep and deserved to hang onto the draw in the end 👏#ENGvSCO. Andy Murray

You would not believe that the above tweet from Andy Murray would offend some people, but it did. The fact that he dared to talk about England the way the English talk about Scotland is viewed as offensive because to many people England can only lose. The team they are playing cannot possibly cause the English team to play badly by playing solidly and by nullifying the English game, it can only be England playing poorly that would stop a win.

It is exceptionalism in the extreme and something that has got much worse over the past half decade. English fans bang on (and on and on and on) about the England / Germany football rivalry that has lasted for decades, but it simply does not exist. Ask any German what they think about the England / Germany rivalry and they will not know what you are talking about. They see the Netherlands as their rivals and England are just another football team that last won a major tournament 55 years ago. But, the English get very excited, angry and upset about the whole thing every few years and no one outside of the UK notices.

This exceptionalism is what caused Brexit; the sense that we are somehow better and should not be tied to other countries. This exceptionalism has caused the current lack of people available to do jobs in hospitality, to drive in the haulage industry and to work on farms. Brexit cause the initial drainage of people, but in the long term it is driven home by the fact that so many could not possibly consider working in such a manual way. They don’t want to be in the EU, they look down on other nations, they don’t want foreigners in the UK and then they moan at the lack of people available to do the work they do not want to do themselves.

The English do not teach the real history of England either and any mention of the ‘dodgy’ past is either cancelled instantly or quietly hidden from most educational establishments.

It is very much an English thing in the UK, it really is. Scotland did not vote for Brexit, Northern Ireland didn’t, Wales did (they already regret that), but England swayed the vote due to population numbers and here we are today. We have a situation where some ex-pat Brits are having to come back to the UK from Europe (note how they are called ex-pats and not immigrants) which is viewed as wrong because ‘other countries should be lucky to have us!’ and this arrogance remains strong to this day, to the point that the English will suffer in the long term.

The English suffer a government that pushes a flag waiving agenda, the notion that England is a great and powerful nation, and the overriding sense that the English are somehow exceptional. Flags do not, however, put food on the table, they do not help us to get good quality trade deals with other nations (look how terrible the recent Australia deal really is) and the flags have been hijacked anyway.

If you see a flag emoji next to a Twitter handle you can tend to expect what the content of said Twitter person will be. If you see the St George’s Cross hanging from a house you can tend to expect what views the inhabitants will have and so it goes on.

America can, to a point, get away with its overt exceptionalism because the country is big and powerful, and it has multiple huge industries. England seems to be modelling itself on America, but it does not have the weapons to be one of the big boys.

The really sad thing is that the majority of English people simply have pride in their country and do not feel exceptional, but the sense of exceptionalism is getting stronger as the country gets weaker and that can only go one way. It can only head towards giving the government more power and fewer freedoms for the rest of the population, and that is already happening.

PS. Scotland were much the better team last night😗

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