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Flat Bear

How Many People Feel British?

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I was born and have lived in "England" all my life. Both my parents were born in "Wales" and moved to England shortly before I was born and have stayed here ever since.

Both my parents say they are Welsh although they now live in England?

I feel I am English.

No one in my immediate or extended family feel they are "British" apart from my father (85 years old) and some of the equally aged members who feel they use to be British.

Non of us believe we are now British because there is no such place as Britain. The only people that call themselves British are the minority goups who normally have Britain as there 2nd or 3rd nationallity after the one they or their parents were born in and others they aspire to, or recent migrants.

So Britain or feeling "British" is solely for these people, who by definition favour somewhere else and have little regard for any of the countries forming the UK

The other small group, which I almost forgot, is the "Royalists". These people can be those that feel superior (close to the queen) and still feel they own the place, those that hanker back to days of empire, or misguided superiority. The largest concentration of this group is in Northern Ireland where many of them for some strange reason feel they are more British than Irish although I dont believe they neccessarily feel in any way English, Welsh, or Scottish (few might feel Scottish)

So in essence there is no real place called Britain, and is only in some peoples minds.

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I was born and have lived in "England" all my life. Both my parents were born in "Wales" and moved to England shortly before I was born and have stayed here ever since.

Both my parents say they are Welsh although they now live in England?

I feel I am English.

No one in my immediate or extended family feel they are "British" apart from my father (85 years old) and some of the equally aged members who feel they use to be British.

Non of us believe we are now British because there is no such place as Britain. The only people that call themselves British are the minority goups who normally have Britain as there 2nd or 3rd nationallity after the one they or their parents were born in and others they aspire to, or recent migrants.

So Britain or feeling "British" is solely for these people, who by definition favour somewhere else and have little regard for any of the countries forming the UK

The other small group, which I almost forgot, is the "Royalists". These people can be those that feel superior (close to the queen) and still feel they own the place, those that hanker back to days of empire, or misguided superiority. The largest concentration of this group is in Northern Ireland where many of them for some strange reason feel they are more British than Irish although I dont believe they neccessarily feel in any way English, Welsh, or Scottish (few might feel Scottish)

So in essence there is no real place called Britain, and is only in some peoples minds.

Interesting question.

British presumably means a native of (or citizen of the UK living in) the island of Great Britain. NI has nothing to do with being British on that basis.

This is something that has always been confusing to me. The official name of the country is "The United Kingdon of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", so what is a citizen of this country called? Usually they are called British, as in British Citizen"

The UK is rather unique in this regard. Are England, Scotland, Wales and NI actual countries? They are not nations in their own right. Strange setup really. Confusing.

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Interesting question.

British presumably means a native of (or citizen of the UK living in) the island of Great Britain. NI has nothing to do with being British on that basis.

This is something that has always been confusing to me. The official name of the country is "The United Kingdon of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", so what is a citizen of this country called? Usually they are called British, as in British Citizen"

The UK is rather unique in this regard. Are England, Scotland, Wales and NI actual countries? They are not nations in their own right. Strange setup really. Confusing.

I think you'll find some of the people who live in NI feel they are British and are quite adament about it, although I agree with you they,re technically not.

So whos voted for being British and why?

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I think you'll find some of the people who live in NI feel they are British and are quite adament about it, although I agree with you they,re technically not.

So whos voted for being British and why?

This is what's confusing. If they hold a UK passport, then they're a "British" citizen. Weird.

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I was born in england, my father was born in england, my grandfather was born in england I do not feel 'english' or 'british' I think they are redundant labels, people are the same all over the world, sure you get a few vocal nationalists in every country, but they don't represent the majority, just as all people from london do not self identify as a cockney and talk in slang.

Edited by enrieb

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I was born in england, my father was born in england, my grandfather was born in england I do not feel 'english' or 'british' I think they are redundant labels, people are the same all over the world, sure you get a few vocal nationalists in every country, but they don't represent the majority, just as all people from london do not self identify as a cockney and talk in slang.

This is sad

Do you feel you dont belong anywhere? Or maybe ashamed of this country area of the world you live in?

We all need identity and one of the reasons some people "support" football teams many who dont understand football but still feel an infinity towards.

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I feel Welsh, British, European and Other.

Welsh because I was born and grew up in Wales

British because I'm a Briton

European because I'm a citizen of the EU (edit: and hold to the values of European civilisation more than any other kind)

Other because two of my grandparents came from China.

So an either/or poll can't capture how I consider myself; I suspect it will be the same for many.

Edited by huw

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I was born in england, my father was born in england, my grandfather was born in england I do not feel 'english' or 'british' I think they are redundant labels, people are the same all over the world, sure you get a few vocal nationalists in every country, but they don't represent the majority, just as all people from london do not self identify as a cockney and talk in slang.

I have a certain sympathy for that view. Labels can engender a dangerous tribalism and/or nationalism. American style jingoism is taking hold in this country (Oz) and it is not pretty IMO. For some reason the limbic system (the reptilian part of our brain) takes over on such matters and reason goes straight out the window.

But there is no question folks are culturally different depending on where they live (or influenced by where their ancestors lived). " English" or whatever is a valid tag on that basis and you are undoubtedly English, or British or something o that basis, even if you don't feel it.

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Dare I ask what this has to do with the housing market? <_<

But since we're on the subject: I am 100% English by any sensible definition, but I have always and will always describe myself as "British" when asked my nationality. It is as good a label as any other, but without any overtly nationalistic overtones.

To me, Britain means "that lump of the British Isles that is not the Republic of Ireland". I know that I am British because I will automatically apologise to someone if they step on my foot. And because I spell "apologise" with an S.

National identity is not something that I get hung up about. In the grand scheme of things, lines on maps cause more problems than they solve.

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I feel Welsh, British, European and Other.

Welsh because I was born and grew up in Wales

British because I'm a Briton

European because I'm a citizen of the EU

Other because two of my grandparents came from China.

So an either/or poll can't capture how I consider myself; I suspect it will be the same for many.

I dont consider myself British and I definately dont want to be thought of as British. I dont think I am a citizen of the EU as again it does not mean anything. The EU is a union of countries to aide economic cooperation they are also trying to get "cultural" uniformity ie make everyone think the same which will be a non starter as we simply dont and a diverse ways. I feel a closer infinity to say Australia than say France as the people, their culture, political views are akin to our own (at least mine) or even more so.

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I'm a strong advocate for saying that national identities (and other forms of identity for that matter) only become really important to people when they feel particularly threatened.

With increasing movement of peoples around the world there is a temptation to suggest that nationality is less important while I think the truth is that it is just much harder to define. On an individual level nationality is much more rooted to one's own individual morality rather than a broader understanding of what, for example, British-ness means.

I suspect that there are 1000 different personal interpretations of what British-ness is, essentially making the term meaningless. I'd like to think that most people appreciate this but it seems to be a concept beyond the wit of politicians.

For what it's worth I said I was English simply because I was born and live in England. What else am I supposed to be? How can I claim a wider nationality when I have no experience of life in Ireland or Scotland. I might as well call myself a European or 'citizen of the world'.

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It's an interesting question. My grandparents were Norwegian, Romanian Jewish (via Germany), English and English. I voted British.

This may be to do with the fact that I tend spend my time in metropolitan left-leaning circles where English nationalism is bad form.

On the other hand I am well aware of the absurdity of a "multicultural" society where the dominant culture is somehow considered less worthy of protection and respect than the minority cultures.

So intellectually I know I should say "English" and be proud of it, but odd as it may sound, my instinctive answer is "British".

Edited for clarity.

Edited by Selling up

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I feel Welsh, British, European and Other.

Welsh because I was born and grew up in Wales

British because I'm a Briton

European because I'm a citizen of the EU (edit: and hold to the values of European civilisation more than any other kind)

Other because two of my grandparents came from China.

So an either/or poll can't capture how I consider myself; I suspect it will be the same for many.

I have similar thoughts to you

I am Cumbrian first then English, British and European (but live in Scotland)

You can trace my family back for generations and they are all English (there must be a bit of Scot in there somewhere I am sure) but I don't feel particularly English ever. If I am filling a form in for anything I would write British.

But I am equally proud to be all four.

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Dare I ask what this has to do with the housing market? <_<

But since we're on the subject: I am 100% English by any sensible definition, but I have always and will always describe myself as "British" when asked my nationality. It is as good a label as any other, but without any overtly nationalistic overtones.

To me, Britain means "that lump of the British Isles that is not the Republic of Ireland". I know that I am British because I will automatically apologise to someone if they step on my foot. And because I spell "apologise" with an S.

National identity is not something that I get hung up about. In the grand scheme of things, lines on maps cause more problems than they solve.

Not a great deal at all but there are so many threads that have "lazy indigenous British workers, chavs, people, etc" these same posters wouldnt dare say English because they would be told where to get off. Even if they said Scottish or Welsh or Irish people may have something to say about it? and maybe would have as much right as us English. (well not quite as much as us, as we are the powerhouse of the economy and generally have more to be proud of)

As regards "English chavs" There is nothing a good kick up the backside and show of disapline coupled with giving them some pride back in themselves by taking away their support and letting them stand on their own 2 feet.

It is those that appologetically say they are British who need to be thrown out of England.

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I'm a strong advocate for saying that national identities (and other forms of identity for that matter) only become really important to people when they feel particularly threatened.

With increasing movement of peoples around the world there is a temptation to suggest that nationality is less important while I think the truth is that it is just much harder to define. On an individual level nationality is much more rooted to one's own individual morality rather than a broader understanding of what, for example, British-ness means.

I suspect that there are 1000 different personal interpretations of what British-ness is, essentially making the term meaningless. I'd like to think that most people appreciate this but it seems to be a concept beyond the wit of politicians.

For what it's worth I said I was English simply because I was born and live in England. What else am I supposed to be? How can I claim a wider nationality when I have no experience of life in Ireland or Scotland. I might as well call myself a European or 'citizen of the world'.

I think this is a good anwser although still asks the question

lulu

I have similar thoughts to you

I am Cumbrian first then English, British and European (but live in Scotland)

You can trace my family back for generations and they are all English (there must be a bit of Scot in there somewhere I am sure) but I don't feel particularly English ever. If I am filling a form in for anything I would write British.

But I am equally proud to be all four.

lulu why are you proud to be British?

Do you feel an exile outside Cumbria?

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Guest AuntJess
I'm a strong advocate for saying that national identities (and other forms of identity for that matter) only become really important to people when they feel particularly threatened.

With increasing movement of peoples around the world there is a temptation to suggest that nationality is less important while I think the truth is that it is just much harder to define. On an individual level nationality is much more rooted to one's own individual morality rather than a broader understanding of what, for example, British-ness means.

I suspect that there are 1000 different personal interpretations of what British-ness is, essentially making the term meaningless. I'd like to think that most people appreciate this but it seems to be a concept beyond the wit of politicians.

For what it's worth I said I was English simply because I was born and live in England. What else am I supposed to be? How can I claim a wider nationality when I have no experience of life in Ireland or Scotland. I might as well call myself a European or 'citizen of the world'.

Pretty fair answer and one that I would make too, despite having some Irish, Scottish and Welsh blood in my veins from a few generations ago.

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Guest Shedfish

in an abstract sense i'd say i was british, with some scots, norse and welsh blood. i've never identified with being english as such, though i've lived in england all my life. no idea why that is! never understood how some welsh folk find the 'british' label distasteful, as these isles are named after the brython celtic tribes from which they, the cornish, and bretons descend (unless i have my wires crossed). either way it's no longer a genealogical notion.. just felt like sharing some cod conclusions based on a couple of romans who were probably wrong.

my big big big issue with all this is for me to actually feel any -ness at all i'd need to believe i have a stake in the place i call home. spending the next 50 years paying a bank for the privilege of owning a piddling little strip of land does not satiate me or instill any national pride. neither does watching the rapid erosion of civil rights, a jackbooted foreign policy, or being taxed to the point of grand larceny.

if i had a good second language believe me i wouldn't even be here. i've not always felt this way, but all my reasons for staying have gradually disappeared bar my monoglot status.

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If i had a good second language believe me i wouldn't even be here. i've not always felt this way, but all my reasons for staying have gradually disappeared bar my monoglot status.

Sounds like a bit of an excuse to me - how hard is it to learn a second language? Millions do it at all stages of their lives.

If you're serious then just get out there and do it!

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Guest Shedfish
Sounds like a bit of an excuse to me - how hard is it to learn a second language? Millions do it at all stages of their lives.

If you're serious then just get out there and do it!

as soon as my customers realise i'm sh!t and stop sending me work 24x7 i will! :rolleyes:

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This may be to do with the fact that I tend spend my time in metropolitan left-leaning circles where English nationalism is bad form.

It's not nationalism. It's devolution. And equality. Freedom for England, from the oppressive yoke of empire.

All good left leaning principles.

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I don't feel anything anymore. I was born in England, and my mother is English, but my birth father was Hungarian and my birth certificate father was Welsh. My Welsh grandmother and great aunts had a major role in my upbringing. I am married to a Scot. However, I only recently returned to England after spending 20 years in New Zealand, and I have New Zealand citizenship by naturalisation. My children were both born in New Zealand and have joint citizenship. The trouble is that when I was in NZ, I never feel entirely kiwi, since I wasn't born there, and have no family there other than hubby/children, and my cultural history was British. In the UK, I've missed 20 years of change and tend to look at things with a jaundiced eye. Neither is foreign, exactly, and neither is home, exactly. (And I will definitely be supporting the ABs in the world cup).

Health warning to intending emigrants: think about how you will feel when you are in your 40s or 50s before you burn all your boats ...

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in an abstract sense i'd say i was british, with some scots, norse and welsh blood. i've never identified with being english as such, though i've lived in england all my life. no idea why that is! never understood how some welsh folk find the 'british' label distasteful, as these isles are named after the brython celtic tribes from which they, the cornish, and bretons descend (unless i have my wires crossed). either way it's no longer a genealogical notion.. just felt like sharing some cod conclusions based on a couple of romans who were probably wrong.

my big big big issue with all this is for me to actually feel any -ness at all i'd need to believe i have a stake in the place i call home. spending the next 50 years paying a bank for the privilege of owning a piddling little strip of land does not satiate me or instill any national pride. neither does watching the rapid erosion of civil rights, a jackbooted foreign policy, or being taxed to the point of grand larceny.

if i had a good second language believe me i wouldn't even be here. i've not always felt this way, but all my reasons for staying have gradually disappeared bar my monoglot status.

I feel you are being honest. I believe your response epitomizes the feeling of the majority.

I think I can learn to be proud to be English despite the connotations of yob culture and racism that people have tried to label it with, I believe it can be reclaimed although I believe there will be much civil striff over the coming years to do so. I think "Britain" on the other hand has too many negative connotations as well as being a vague concept. Hopefully the Scots can get full independance which I think will give them a new vigour and self determination which can make them once again be a proud nation, which in turn will help England and Wales think about their own destinies. One thing for sure, we would have a better relationship with Scotland as both countries would have more respect for the other.

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Guest Skint Academic
I'm a strong advocate for saying that national identities (and other forms of identity for that matter) only become really important to people when they feel particularly threatened.

... or when they are missing an identity. Your identity can help formulate your values in your own mind.

I was born and raised in England. My dad is German but the ancestry of my mother is Celtic (Welsh and Scottish) with some English geordie thrown in for good measure. She identifies as English but I never have. I have always been aware that I am different and that my values are different as well. It was only when I moved out of England that things started to make more sense. So I used to call myself British rather than call myself English but that sticks in the throat. I found my husband in Scotland.

The problem comes with not just what you think you are but what other people think you are as well. If they don't match up then you just end up a 'wannabe'. But as I value being a free-thinker over any form of identity it's not too much of an issue.

But I am proud of the fact that all the branches of my ancestry were at war with each other at one time and that I am the end result :)

Edited by Skint Academic

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If you are unsure what a word means, check the dictionary!

Its a shame many on here like to piss over our country. Britain is actually doing pretty well, sure it doesnt do anything perfectly, but it does many things better than most of the world. I think part of the problem is that, as the stereotype goes, we are a nation of whingers. For example, most of us secretly enjoy hearing about large scale failures because we relish the opportunity to have a good moan. And we chose to ignore our succcesses - and yes they do exist, you have just chosen to ignore them!

Gl all :)!

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