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January 24, 2007

Britishness is dead. Long live…?

Union Jack The British are feeling less so than ever before. Over the past decade, the number of people calling themselves ‘British’ has fallen from 52% to 44%. And while Scots nationalism has increased, Wales has remained ambivalent about its own identity.

Ask a Scot whether they are British or Scottish, and according to the British Social Attitudes Survey, nearly 80% will say Scottish. Ask a Welshman whether they are Welsh or British, and 60% will say they’re Welsh (the same figure as 30 years ago). And half of Englishmen claim to be British.

This shows a few things…

  • We seem to be heading nearer and nearer completely separate identities.
  • The English identity is relatively weak
  • And the Welsh seem unlikely to want further devolution, even though the Assembly is considered toothless.

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