Proud to be British

It was all very well for Tony Benn to talk about being ‘proud to be British’ when he saw the Concorde in flight, but surely it was people like him who damaged pride in Britain in the first place. Certainly it was the left who held back national unity.

That, at least, was the argument put by Labour home secretary Jack Straw in a speech reported in the Guardian on 12 October 2000. It was always going to be hard forging ‘a single shared identity’ in a multicultural society, but this ‘was made even more difficult by the way those on the left turned their backs on the concept of patriotism and left the field to those on the far right.’ Straw himself, meanwhile, really was ‘proud to be British’.

Guardian 12-10-2000

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