OPINIONSrnEnglish Tractsrnby Derek Turnerrn”England, with all thy faults, I love thee still.”rn—William Covvper, The Task, 11rnThe English: A Portrait of a Peoplernhy jeremv PaxmanrnUmdon: Penguin; 309 pp., £7.99rnEngland—An Elegyrnhy Roger Scndonrnlondon: Chatto & Windus;rn270 pp., £16.99rnF or the last ?00 ears, “England” andrn”Britain” liave been largely synonvnious.rnWhen Glasgow-born General SirrnJohn Moore lay dying at Corunna, hisrnlast words were “I hope the people of Englandrnw ill be satisfied. I hope m- eoiintrv’rnwill do me jnstice.” Meanvyhile, Nelson’srn”England Expects…” signal is snpposedrnto have been hoisted bv a Scottislirnsignaller.rnBut die specifically English componentrnof the British body politic wasrnbound eentuall to obtrude itself intorndie public e’e as governmental policiesrnweakened the links between the constituentrnparts of Britain. De’olution hasrngien Scottish and Welsh MPs the rightrnto vote on matters concerning England,rnbut not the other wa}’ around. The blatantrninjustice of this “West Eothian Question”rnunderstandably annoys man}- Englishrnpeople. Meanwhile, NorthernrnIreland is also being edged out of thernUnited Kingdom, thanks to the postcolo-rnDerek Turner is the editor of RightrnNOW!, published ill I/indon.rnnial expedient of turning insurrechonistsrninto government ministers. The 2()0dirnanniversary of the Act of Union passed inrnJanuary 2001 without any governmentrnrecognition.rnOther factors are increasing Englishrnsclf-avyareness. The government is steadilrngiing greater powers to its beloedrnE.U. bureaucrats, who envisage dividingrnEngland into nine regions, while leavingrnScotland and Wales as single entities.rnBehveen 150,000 and 175,000 non-E.U.rnimmigrants (irtually all of wdiom willrnend up in English cities) are expected tornenter Britain every year unhl 2005. Thernempire has eaporated. All Brihsh inshtuhonsrnarc now officially “inshtutionallvrnracist,” and the government-commissionedrnParekh Report states that Britishrnhistor’ needs to be “jettisoned.” On toprnof these specific problenrs, such universalrntendencies as globalizahon and advancesrnin comnrunications potentially endangerrnall identihes and cultures. Small wonderrndiat some English people are beginningrnto worry about their communal future.rnThis concern has not vet manifested itselfrnpolitically, perhaps because of ourrnelectoral sstem. But an ever-greaterrnnumber of newspaper arhcles, televisionrnprograms, and academic texts are concernedrnwith the nature and fuhire of therncountry Emerson called “Mother of nahons,rnmoriier of heroes.”rnEor different reasons, both left andrnright want to keep a lid on inteshnal Englishness.rnLeftists say diat, ii England existsrnat all, it should be suppressed in therninterests of “anti-racism,” while rightwingersrnattempt to discom’age Englishrnconsciousness in die interests of presen’-rning British unit}’. But a sense of Englishrnunicjueness and embattlement has alreadyrnbecome more widespread. Thisrnwas demonstrated forcibly during the lastrnEuropean Cup, when even middle-classrnpeople felt empathy toward the Englishrnfootball team. Today, Londoners seernhundreds of St. George’s Cross bumperrnsHckcrs on London’s black cabs. As JeremyrnPaxman says in ‘i7it’ English: “Somethingrnis stirring out there.”rnJeremy Paxman’s and Roger Scruton’srnbooks are important and entertainingrncontributions to this swelling debate.rnEach is an excellent example of one ofrntiie two main schools of comment aboutrnEngland —die demvstihing and the reniystifrning, respectively.rnPaxman is a waspish BBC televisionrnMAY 2001/23rnrnrn