Englandism, "a regular irritant at Comment is Free and elsewhere", asks why being pro-England isn't more of a mainstream political position.
Is it nasty? Is mentioning the English Votes for English Laws venturing into what both Jack Straw and Des Browne describe as dangerous territory where ferocious monsters lurk ready to destroy the Union? Can the call for an equitable English settlement ever sit comfortably with Conservatism? I suggest that it can and that it could help win the next election.
JS Mill's description of Conservatives as inherently dimwitted and irredeemably nasty is a favourite default, copy and paste, kneejerk riposte for the progressively smug and English 'nationalism' is, clearly, seen as both dimwitted and nasty. Current Conservative policy is to tread lightly toward whatever Gordon Brown determines to be the centre ground and, therefore, English aspiration must be firmly suppressed because acknowledging that the English democratic deficit exists might be seen as a lurch to the right.
Why to the right? Why is the just settlement of the English question so readily equated with all things nasty, xenophobic, racist and BNP shaped? The Scottish and Welsh versions of nationalism are celebrated as a legitimate expression of cultural identity and tradition and, in the Scottish case, a progressive and enlightened march toward some distant but heroically achievable socialist utopia.