When the powerful ask for lists to be made of foreigners they make it permissible for those who “belong to the nation” to alienate and victimise those who have been made outsiders by the lists and the whims of nasty government policy.

We can only imagine the outcry in the London media if the Scottish government ever asked businesses in Scotland to compile lists of their English employees with snappy slogans like “Scottish jobs for Scottish people.” By the end of the week – if we even lasted that long – Scotland would be out there with other pariah states. We’d be the North Korea of Western Europe. It would only be a matter of time before comparisons were being made between us and the Germany of the 1930s. Scotland wouldn’t do that of course, the nationalism of Scotland is the nationalism of a state-becoming of and for the people who live here and make this country their home.

But nationalism has a number of faces; where the nationalism of the SNP and Plaid Cymru is a nationalism of the shared idea of belonging, the most powerful nationalism emerging south of the border after Brexit is that of blood and soil. One is British (read: English) by the providence of superior racial blood and the intrinsic holiness of sacred English dirt. That nationalism is the nationalism – British Nationalism – that can demand with impunity that lists be written up of foreign workers “stealing our jobs” and “defiling our women.” This is the nationalism that is now giving energy to Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Let’s dispense right now with the idea that this is all only words. People really believe this nonsense, and that certainly came out both during and after the Brexit vote. Here we’re not only talking about that element of the English white working class that is forever reading the Sun as it powers itself along on its knuckles; we’re talking about the privileged, privately educated élan of English supremacism – the Boris Johnsons and who have you. This is the nationalism of British establishment opinion, and their ideas and words have a power – once let out the box – that no one can control. Tonight those ideas are out the box.


None of this ever stops with lists. Bureaucratic lists, designed to alienate people, demanded by government transmit the message that it is good, right, and patriotic to alienate those who are not part of the nation. We know this because we have seen it all before. We have been here before, and in the end it led to other lists; lists compiled by the Red Cross looking for tens of millions of human beings sent up the chimneys of extermination centres and blown away by the winds of total war. All of this begins with lists, by insignia others are forced to wear to identify them as other to the nation. This is precisely the nationalism of Westminster. This is only the beginning.


JUIF – Jewish Name Branding – June 1942 Paris, France


030 029 008

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