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Dec 132006
 

You often find the far right making ridiculous claims about the virtues of the ‘anglo-saxon’ race and assuming that the modern English people share those virtues. They use this as a justification for being hostile to modern immigrants as though the English race is something special that needs protecting. It is curious that these people are so ignorant of the history of the English people given they are so proud of it.

Nothing wrong with being proud of being English and of being proud of English history … I’m both. But please lets put to rest this idea that we English have any kind of racial purity.

The name for these collected islands is “Britain” which originates from the original “Brython” being the Celtic name for these islands. For many centuries, the Celts had these misty isles to themselves, but then the Romans arrived and stayed for a while. Of course it was not only Romans who came but many people from all over Western Europe who had some reason or another to visit our islands. Then they left, except of course they did not really … at the very least they left many reminders of their visit, including not only Roman civilisation (which many of the Celts readily adopted and modified) but intermarriage is never as rare as people think.

We mistakenly believe that all the Celts up sticks and moved to Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany once the Angles and Saxons started arriving, however that is very unlikely. Sure many Celts moved to those places, but most probably stayed right where they were and stayed peasants under different landlords.

The concept that the ‘anglo-saxons’ were a single people is similarly mistaken … they were Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (at least … we do not know for sure that there were not others as the Romano-Celts had tried hiring mercenaries from wherever they could find them and many of those stayed). Although the three named tribes were probably pretty close, they were still distinct people.

Then of course we had the Vikings, raiding, raping, and eventually settling. And then the Normans (of course being Vikings who had settled in Normandy) turned up and threw the Anglo-Saxon royalty out on their ear.

Then far more recently we had a world empire (by far the largest the world has ever seen) where we had people from all over the world visiting, staying, and intermingling.

These are just the big waves of immigration. Many smaller waves of immigration have happened throughout our history. Almost everybody in England will probably have a mixture of Celtic, Anglo, Saxon, and Viking blood with a small pinch from almost anywhere.

Channel 4 recently had a TV programme about DNA testing of a random sample of English people to test what their ancestry was … and the results indicated that most had very mixed backgrounds. Not really much of a surprise given our history.

The idea that the English have any kind of racial purity is ridiculous and that is a good thing. We should celebrate that we are a mongrel race, because that is what we are and if we have any kind of greatness it is because it is what we are. It is our mixture of backgrounds, and influences from all over the world that has given us greatness.

So if anything modern immigration is a good thing because it gives the English people more of what made us great.

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