top of page

National identity .... does it have a falling and ultimately limited relevance?

There is a lot in the media about identity politics .......

But what makes someone, for instance, British? This is quite good.....

But I would argue that for a great many nations, number six (with the obvious exceptions) would describe them too...

Although, now, it can be argued that in this world filled with communication and ease of travel a national identity is really not so applicable anymore. What purpose does it really have?

I worked with a guy, born in America to Russian and 'American' parents, and lives between London and Geneva. I know a large number of people born and educated in the UK who have lived for two decades or more overseas.... Do these people have a national identity?

Within my own family tree it is mainly Scottish ancestry, although there is a swathe of Irish in there and I only need to go back a little way to find some English/French taints.

But my kids also have half their ancestry as English and lowland European, just a generation later.

With the added complexity of continuous immigration into the United Kingdom for hundreds of years the variety of people that we find on this island really is quite vast. The associated links with other countries and cultures are incredibly extensive.

Defining someone as British, Welsh, English etc is really almost pointless. I'm not even sure that we do it for much more than tribal type reasons.

Over a third of my relatives work for multinational companies.

Within a generation living in a different part of the country, or the world, to your family home or place of birth, has become a norm rather than a rarity. It is almost inevitable that the younger generation will have much more tenuous links with their home towns/nations/countries than their parents.

A lot of the globalisation that we have now would have been unthinkable a generation ago. It is very easy to lose sight of how fast things have changed and are changing.

It seems strange that with what seems a very natural improvement of links around the world and between cultures that is developing globally that, at the same time, there is such a push for nationalism amongst some.

I wonder if the underlying reason for this is not a need for national identity as the younger generation are quite obviously comfortable without, but the desparate need of a small number of people to control the fates of the rest of us.

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page