I have been casting about on the net for some more stuff on English identity, and I’ve found an intriguing paper called Mythologies of English Constitutionalism.
Krishan Kumar has recently suggested that English cultural identity was long ago sacrificed to the greater aspirations of ‘Greater England’, and in time ‘Great Britain’; devoured by the demands of successive imperial ventures. Today, however, there is a veritable cottage-industry springing up around the English ‘question’.
The author Ian Ward notes this important point:
The idea that a distinctively English, and republican, constitutional tradition ‘somehow slipped out of our hands and drifted across the Atlantic’ has been recently suggested by Jonathan Friedland.
It could be argued that the founding fathers of Irish republicanism, Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen were also a product of this tradition. maybe England need to ‘bring home the revolution’ from Ireland as well as from America.