Orwell and Nationalism


I am fed up with the malicious British press, our sloppy ‘status quo forever’ media, and Labour naked in bed with brutal neo-con Tories, all holding hands with puerile, pig-ignorant internet DUP and UKip trolls, misquoting George Orwell’s views on nationalism.

Orwell did not say, ‘All nationalism is bad and leads to intolerance,’ or any variation of that fictitious slogan. In his 1946 essay, ‘Notes on Nationalism,’ he wrote:

“A British nationalist will defend self-determination for Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency.”

This has been redacted and bastardised to the moronic, generalised, ‘Orwell hated nationalism,’ a falsehood conveniently used against Scotland’s mass movement for self-determination.

In his collected essays and letters Orwell has a lot to say that is highly relevant about the intolerance of English to foreigners and intellectuals, and, (even in his day) the growing power of London over the rest of the British Isles, something he saw as destructive and economically unhealthy. Readers can find much of his writing online. I quote from my copy of his collected letters, essays and reviews published by Secker and Warburg.

Orwell warns of British nationalism – the kind that states or implies ‘we are superior to all other nations and cultures, we are an exceptional nation.’

After decades of an ingrained cringe imposed by ideological occupation, told and believing our accent, our writing, our art, our very existence is of a lower order, Scotland has damn well had enough. We are angry. We are very angry.

Better Together asks us to remain meek and mild, to accept more of the same.

Scotland’s confidence conveys a positive message. It asserts the right to full and genuine democratic structures and powers, to own the mechanisms to take its place in the world that is more than a holiday destination, a wholly different creed to big country imperialism or colonial arrogance, or disdain for anyone or anything different.

If people wish to quote Orwell don’t sully his reputation – quote him correctly!







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4 Responses to Orwell and Nationalism

  1. mary vasey says:

    Excellent post G B thank you

  2. Hugh Wallace says:

    Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    “A British nationalist will defend self-determination for Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency.”

  3. JimnArlene says:

    “A British nationalist will defend self-determination for absolutely any country and oppose it in Scotland with no feeling of inconsistency.”
    Just a wee update.

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    Aye, a neat tweak.

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