To explore a constructive relationship with Europe
The entrance to lively debate, informed learning and measured discussion for a new foundation in Europe for European Britons.
On line live discussions, interesting and informative written contributions, web debate (blog), networking and reference material. The hub where European Britons meet, discuss, debate and exchange views to contribute to an evolving European future.
A New Identity for the UK Diaspora in Europe
Sadly, words, like everything else, wear out. They change their meaning, like ‘silly’ from happy or blest through weak to the modern foolish, or they acquire baggage, like British. No longer a description of a relationship to the British Isles, it has unshakeable associations with Empire and a misplaced sense of superiority. Now only a source of pride to people with an outdated view of the world. Hence Briton which harks back to an earlier and perhaps core sense of identity.
Semantically, the word Briton stirs up a deep-seated, gut feeling of identity, as in ‘Rule Britannia’*. It evokes the fortitude of the people who initially resisted the Romans; confident in themselves, bravely confronting invaders by painting themselves with woad thus protecting themselves from infection of their wounds.
Sociolingusitically, and this is not entirely separated from the semantics, ‘British and Britishness’ carry an awful lot of ‘expat’, baggage, both for ‘Brits’ and, perhaps more importantly, for other Europeans. Most of them do not know ‘Rule Britannia’ and hence do not see the word in an imperial context.
* See Blog "Britons will never be slaves"
A new identity, a clear label is sorely needed especially by UK citizens who consider themselves to be European yet branded as ‘citizens of nowhere’. Feeling 'ignored and abandoned' with nothing to fill the void of 'identity oblivion', a relevant and newly conceived name presses. European Britons brings the cherished mongrel identity of the island race(s) to prominence, while giving ‘European’ pride of place to the satisfaction of non-British Europeans.
For 'identity' to be meaningful it has to be set in the context of a relevant narrative. Furthermore, this can be reinforced by association with a cause. Europe has set its course to establish a unique community in the global village of tomorrow. The pathway from waring nation states to this new order is long, winding and steep. It is work in progress.* Within the legions of Europeans grappling to come to terms with a changing world, the cohort of European Britons has a place to engage, contribute and benefit from a challenging yet exciting epoch.
Nostalgia for the past is a fruitless and dangerous preoccupation which leads to the division of peoples and the failed paradigm of the nation state and, with it, the panoply of binary political thinking. Increasingly 'old world' thinking is less appealing to growing numbers of people who reject the failed and unsustainable solutions of the past. They feel that is not for them; the 'not me' people! However, a negative proposition is meaningless and so the time is ripe for a constructive and positive future.
Ignored and Abandoned + Not Me = New Identity + New Cause
European Britons contributing in Europe