Letter: Britishness defined

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The Independent Culture
Letter:Britishness defined

Sir: You allude ("Ask a silly question", 14 September) to the foolishness of the Dome organisers in trying to go straight from the wide-embracing concept of British identity to represent-ative things and people.

A first round which focussed on abstract concepts of our nationalism might have brought out some more long-standing ideas, which particular British people and inventions could then convey.

For a start - obsessive love of and deference to pet animals, religious intolerance, educational elitism, alcoholic socialising, gardening, competitive team sports, support for organised charity, mechanical ingenuity, professed sexual reticence, affection for tradition, indulgent gambling, coveting yet condemning inherited wealth, make-do-and-mend, countryside rambling, recreational fishing, suppressed emotions, geographic exploration.

Of course, only the weighted assembly of such concepts, not any individual one, epitomises the British identity.