I was giving some thought the other day

About the word "community"

And how being Scottish, Irish or Welsh

Can be boasted with impunity.

And how a multitude of ethnics

Within the population

Can claim a similar title

And do it with immunity

Yet if someone says they're English

Have you noticed - there's every chance

They'll be ignored or even derided,

With looks at best askance!




🌷 (3)


ENGLISH HILLS - an audio version ►


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M.C. Newberry

Sun 27th Aug 2017 16:59

Keith - what fun though!!

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keith jeffries

Sun 27th Aug 2017 15:57

Dear MC., Thank you for your comment on my poem The Nation State. I believe that we are, more or less, of one mind. I shall try to desist from anymore comments as we could be responsible for serious civil unrest. You are spot on about London. Regards. Keith

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 26th Aug 2017 17:23

Colin - a most interesting read from your "Welsh" arts input.
Wales has never lost its ability to produce great art and
artists, or, for that matter, politicians of stature. From a
population perspective, it punches above its weight
in these fields: witness the reputation of its singers for
example. It also has a front rank symphony orchestra in
the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with its roster of
international conductors.
But the fact remains that England, with its substantially
greater industrial origins and population, is able to offer
its own formidable range of the above in greater relative
numbers. London on any given day offers an unmatched
range of material across the artistic spectrum without
the need for "festivals" or otherwise.
London has risen from a Roman city (when the latter
didn't bother too much with what lay beyond Hadrian's
Wall) to achieve its centuries-old status as a world
centre of pretty much everything. Even country-
dweller William Wordsworth had to admit its splendour
when passing through (on a Dover-bound stage, I seem to recall).

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Colin Hill

Sat 26th Aug 2017 16:48

The Welsh perspective - not necessarily my opinion but an interesting article nonetheless. Published yesterday by Wales Arts Review for anyone interested - topical in relation to Brexit and the recent Edinburgh Festival.

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Colin Hill

Fri 25th Aug 2017 19:09

fear not Harry, I recognised your cheeky sense of humour in your first comment. But it is an interesting question.

What is undeniably daft about all this national culture business and the search for some kind of self-identity is that the more we dig into our ancestry the more it becomes apparent that we are not wholly who we think we are. Watch any Who Do You Think You Are? programme and nine times out of ten there was a mix of Irish, Scots, Welsh or whatever genes somewhere back in the chosen celebs' near distant past. And that goes for pretty much all of us.

Heaven help us if we ever arrive at a time when we cannot laugh at each other's idiosyncrasies and be able to shake hands over a pint.

So how would you describe English modesty and humour Harry? No, no! I'm only joking 😃

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Harry O'Neill

Fri 25th Aug 2017 18:30

Lads! lads! lads!
It was a joke!...I was just having a traditional English whack at my Co- Britonians in Scotland, Wales, and (despite my name) Ireland (I missed out the Isle of Man somehow).

(so was the peein` thing)

Where`s your English modesty...(or English sense of humour.? ) 😃

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 25th Aug 2017 14:38

All comments gratefully received and read. Thanks to
everyone giving their views.
There's a readiness to attach "blame" to deeds past (or
even present) to the English identity instead of praise
where it's due, with a blithe tendency to forego the fact
that numerous other lands and their rulers have been
busy acquiring empires/colonies/wealth at the expense
of others just as busily if not as successfully as the
English....perhaps the more civilised "Romans" of recent
times for what has been given to the world in the wake
of the above. We cannot change the past but compared
with the contemporaries of those days, we have no more
to apologise for - and arguablya lot less! Witness how
many still use our language (thanks Keith) and the legacy
of residual "systems" (the law, medicine and railways
anyone?), and choose to come here to live if they can.
My ask is simple; why is the term "English" so
rarely heard in use now? Is there a policy in existence to
"absorb" the identity in the convenient contemporary (more globally acceptable?) appellation: "British"?
Colin - the Cornish have a connection with the Welsh,
and, of course, trade beyond our shores, and have felt
(with some historical justification) ignored by a distant
Parliament and its national considerations when its
people were in need of more direct and deserved help
and attention back in the day. As a Devonian (born),
I can't recall my fair county being so remorselessly discontented, but we had Drake and Gilbert, and a more
easy-going frame of mind to see us through the hard
times of the past. Moaning wasn't at the forefront of
our mental state...more milk and the hope of some honey perhaps? 😃 But we had pride in being English, I can
tell you that much.

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Wolfgar Miere

Fri 25th Aug 2017 11:07

Considering the accident of birth it all seems a little Ridiculous to me, of course there are events to be both proud of and ashamed of connected to established states.

Why we as individuals should accept blame or credit for things we have no control over is beyond me.

I love this land, as in "this land". It's people and their transgressions or excellence? well I can only be accountable for my own actions whether good or bad.

I didn't storm the Normandy beaches, but neither have I owned a slave or extended empire.


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keith jeffries

Fri 25th Aug 2017 10:52

Colin and Harry, we may ask where is our culture? We have a language which is incomparable and I say this as someone who speaks Spanish every day, German and Arabic. We have a temprament which no other nation has, one of being calm in the face of adversity. Our writers and poets are world acclaimed as is our inventiveness. We do not need traditional clothing or emblems because we know who we are with supreme confidence. Thanks to all. Keith

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Colin Hill

Fri 25th Aug 2017 09:35

how should we define 'our pure English culture' Harry? Much of what the rest of the tourist world comes to see is based on Castles and Monarchy and Traditions rooted in Victorian Empire chocolate box embellishment. Being the holder of a British passport has always set one apart as being top of the global heap so to speak but even that has less significance nowadays. A 'gift' indeed Keith, I am undeniably lucky. But am I so proud as to wear my identity on my sleeve as the Scots, Welsh and Irish do? Perhaps it has something to do with being the oppressor rather than the oppressed. Regardless, I have never understood what English 'culture' is. Any suggestions or definitions would be gratefully appreciated.

MC, you forgot the Cornish. Don't they want independence too? Can of worms this one. Respect to all opinions. Col.

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Harry O'Neill

Thu 24th Aug 2017 21:46

Hear,Hear, M.C.
The sooner we purify our pure English culture
from all the detritus of sporrans, leeks, and shillelaghs the

the other day a foreign- looking guy alongside me in the gents smiled and asked: Eur-a-pean? (I nearly punched him
till I realised that he only was asking was I a peein` 😃)

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keith jeffries

Thu 24th Aug 2017 14:55

MC. Thank you for this as it is so very true. From experience to be proud of being an English person can even be attributed to being an extremist or a fascist. I find this strange. I am an Englishman and what a gift it is to be as such. Keith

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