Jacqueline Meyer

England is first the homeland of my birth, the land I grew up in, the land I love with a passion; indeed, if it were ever needed, the land I would die for.

Why? Because England is my land, it is the land of my forefathers who lie buried beneath its soil, and have done for generation after generation. It is the land of green rolling hills, and winding rivers. The land of the Yorkshire pudding, and Lanchashire hotpot, of the Cornish pasty, and the Cumbrian sausage. The land of the pie and eel shop, and the cream tea restaurants. The land of the fish and chippy. The land that gave the World, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Newton, Nightingale, Constable and Turner, Willberforce, Nelson, Wellington and Churchill, to name but a very few. The bluebell woods of Kent with their dappled sunshine. The thatched cottages of the Home Counties. The rugged coast of Cornwall, the beautiful moors and solace of where earth meets sky in quiet solitude of the Yorkshire dales. The bustle of the old London, and the real cockneys (of whom my mum was one). The maypole on a village green, morris dancers in the English countryside, and the game of bowls or cricket on a summer’s afternoon.

Unfortunately so many of our English children are not brought up knowing this as it is not taught to them any more in our schools. So many of them even feel ashamed to admit they are English because of the negative things they are taught about their own people (the English). Many do not seem to know that being British is not the same as being English – Britain is made up of four different countries, these being Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England. England is a country in its own right just as the English people are a people in their own right, and they have their own culture. I am British yes, as I am part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but first and foremost I am English, as England was the land of my birth, and my parents were English.

I am proud to be English. Being English is not however just about being born here, it is about love. Love for England, love for the English people, love for our past, and love of our national heritage as a race – and that race is English. The very essence of England flows in your blood if you are truly English. It is not just history that makes us English or our people English, it is our very character, nature, culture that makes us Englishmen and women. It is a gut feeling, a certain knowledge and pride in our country and in our people. I feel that many see England as a soft touch. They mistake the English tolerance for weakness, and the English sense of fair play for stupidity; many have found out they have judged us English wrongly in that.

Yes we are fair minded and we are tolerant, but we have a lion as our emblem, that roars; and a bulldog, that when pushed too far bites.

England has contributed much to the world, and I am sick of hearing only of the bad we did. We did a lot of good too. As in railways, education, hospitals. England needs its own Parliament, just as the Scots have, the Welsh have and Northern Ireland has . Westminster is Britain’s Parliament, it is not England’s. England has no Parliament, and this is unjust and an affront to the English people . We do not want Scots, Welsh, or Northern Irish MPs deciding matters that only affect England, while they have their own elected represenatives to decide matters that affect them exclusively. Yes stay as a United Kingdom in matters of defence etc., but give us English our own Parliament. To end my small contribution on what England means to me, I will say this, I am English and proud that I am of English blood and of the English soil. I am entitled to that pride in my nation and people, the English.