The English approach to nationalism is very odd. There is no British car manufacturer any more after MG Rover closed. UK firm BAE Systems wants to sell its share of Airbus and few people seem to care – the French would never sanction such a sale in the current climate of economic patriotism. So how else should this nationalism manifest itself?
I was given a partial answer while on the way home from work today. At traffic lights, a smart, shining, brand-new BMW 3-series car like the one pictured pulled alongside the bus I was travelling in. More than Ã‚Â£20 000 of Munich’s finest engineering, the epitomy of the best of German industrial production. Yet hanging from the rear-view mirror was a large Flag of St George air freshener (similar to the one pictured). Has being English become no more than a symbol, and indeed a symbol that has become so tainted by the violence of the fans of the England football team over the years? And while I’m sure the air inside his car was very refreshed, I’m sure his approach to politics was not!