January 18th, 2006 · 1 Comment

The wonderful MUB has offered me a fantastic opportunity, I can blog without having to be concerned with am I attracting enough people, upgrading wordpress software ad infinitum ad massive boredom-induced coma.

So, what I can do is contribute to this fantastic site as an official Briton. I’ll make a post regularly, I’m aiming for once a week. Sometimes I’ll bitch about what it’s like to live and work here but I’ll try and present either an alternative news perspective on things that you have read about Britain in the news or, things that you have no idea about but I feel are important aspects of Britishness.

What would make this even better was if I was an American living in London and posting on MUB, but I think it’s important that until that happens, and once that does happen, you hear the voice of the Great British public ergo me.

At the moment England is trying to choose an icon that best depicts it. Now, basic geography, the United Kingdom, Great Britain, England and London are four totally separate things. The United Kingdom is the sovereign state comprising England, Scotland and Wales – these are three separate countries (and territory in Northern Ireland) that came together in the Acts of Union started Elizabeth I’s reign. (Northern Ireland and the Eire is a matter best dealt with somewhere other than here, but they came later that the rest of the Acts)

Great Britain is basically the great big lump of land north of France. England is the main one, the ‘famous’ bit and London is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom.

Now, back to icon choosing. There’s a bit of despondency flying around these English parts, they’re all feeling a little sad as Englishness is increasingly hard to identify. Recently Scotland and Wales received powers to set up their own governments – they’re not sovereign countries but in essence it works a little like the difference between a State and the Union as a whole.

England's flag - the St George Cross

Also, the George Cross, the flag of England, has been synonymous with racism and flying it would be considered by many as an act of aggression. The choice of Icon is proving a little difficult to pin down, some things are either intensely regional – such as my namesake – The London Eye or Lincoln Cathedral (recently home to Tom Hanks and Sir Ian McKellen whilst filming The Da Vinci Code). People have come up with ‘tea’ and ‘policemen’ and ‘the Queen’ but these are either a bit naff (trans: they suck) or aren’t really any different to British icons.

Now, as independent observers, tell us all – what do you think are icons that define Englishness? Make sure to vote on the icons site and leave a comment so we can keep track of what’s popular in the US.

One Response to “Iconoclast”

  1. sunny bunny Says:

    Pigeons! :p

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