The Chancellor Gordon Brown is trying to promote Britishness.
Britishness is a very artifical thing – there is not actually a country called Britain, Although we’ve shared a monarchy since 1603, it was not until 1707 that Scotland formally joined England and Wales in the Kingdom of Great Britain, where Great Britain was the name of the island. In 1800, Ireland got joined in, making the United Kingdon.
If I’m asked what country I’m from, I usually say the UK. But if asked what nationality I am, I say English. Brown wants a national day – but the countries in the UK already have their days, even if they are based on Saint days.
Brown wants to promote a national identity, to promote patriotism in a multi-cultural society. There’s a lot more needed to do this than promote one single national day.
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