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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, June 28, 2006
    Progressive Nationalism
    I got annoyed when a regional church publication chose to open its editorial with that shoddy joke currently going the rounds which equates flag-flying football fans with bad driving. I wasn't sure quite why I got so annoyed, because I'd laughed at the joke myself, first time around. I guess it got me thinking about where that joke came from - with its thesis of footy fans and flag-flyers being, by definition, boneheaded. And I've begun to recoil from that liberal disdain of any kind of show of support for, or affirmation of, England.

    Thankfully the sheer ubiquity of the English flag this summer shows that the ordinary citizens have begun to reclaim it from the fascists. Thankfully also I note that the think-tank Demos have recently published a report called Progressive Nationalism: Citizenship and the Left, in which the author David Goodhart 'seeks to establish a more coherent and confident basis for centre-left thinking on the nation state and citizenship.'

    In it he challenges

    This will make good reading before, (probably not during), and after England's footballers play their last World Cup match this summer. Whenever that may be.