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Why we Emphasise British History



A Force For Good defends Henry Dundas in Edinburgh on 20-6-20, against the attacks of the SNP/BLM rally. We called for a statue to commemorate the Royal Navy sailors who lost their lives to abolish slavery.


BRITISH HISTORY MATTERS TELLING the BRITISH STORY

A Force For Good has developed a reputation for seeking the roots of our British union – in the widest sense – far back in the mists of time, long before the Union of Parliaments in 1707, and further back than the Union of the Crowns in 1603.


Indeed, we coined the phrase "our 5,000 Year Old Union" in order to emphasise the broad stretch of time over which we find, and tell, our national story. You can read that article on our Legacy Site.


Every day, across our social media platforms, we post facts and stories about British history.


This is part of our on-going work to educate, to inspire and to encourage us to see the value of the United Kingdom, and to help us appreciate being British.


After all, if we don't have a British Story then we don't have a British Nation. If we don't have a story to tell about ourselves then how could we even exist as a nation?


In telling these stories, we aim to weave together the connections of us all throughout our Islands, to create a full, inter-connected, and rich story about our land.


This helps to give overall context to our lives; to help us understand how we got here; to know that we didn't just come out of nothing.


Our history gives us organic roots in the past.


David Starkey, developing upon Edmund Burke's view, has said:


"If society is a contract, it is an inter-generational contract between those dead, those living and those yet to come. It is literally organic. It is like a plant that is seeded, grows, dies, then becomes the soil from which another plant seeds, grows and dies."

David Starkey, 29-10-21,

"David Starkey: Why I've Launched My Own YouTube Channel"

youtube.com/watch?v=3rIeU_Enpn4


Importantly, this helps us better understand our responsibilities and duties to the future.


As we always say: We don't know where we're going if we don't know where we are, and we don't know where we are, if we don't know where we've been!


The first paragraph of our Wee Book For the Union available here puts it this way:


"Those of us who love the United Kingdom have a Narrative – an overall national story within which we understand ourselves and make our case – which tells us who we are, where we have come from, and where we are heading."


The PAST is INSPIRATION for the PRESENT and FUTURE

We are not looking back to the past with longing, as if we could or should return to those days. We are not seeking "refuge" in the past.


Rather, we use the past as inspiration for the present and the future.


We use examples from the past in order to recall to memory those qualities, in order to invoke them in the present, in order to inspire us today, and for the future.


We are all heirs to our past. We are all connected to the past, whether we want to be or not. That past is intertwined throughout our Islands, and it creates a very rich heritage which belongs to us all, regardless of which part of the UK we come from.


We have a responsibility to try to understand it, and to the extent that some of us are able and choose to do so, to try to live it, and carry it forward.


Of course, we are aware that there are people who will try to put negative interpretations upon the past, in order deliberately to confuse us morally, and thereby paralyse our ability to act in the present. That is a political tactic. However, as long as we are aware of what they are trying to do, then it doesn't work on us.


Some SCOTTISH NATIONALISTS are DISCONNECTED from SCOTLAND'S PAST

For some of them, Scottish history is located almost exclusively in the late 1200s and early 1300s (the William Wallace and Robert the Bruce era), or in the years 1745-46 (Bonnie Prince Charlie).


Very little else appears to capture their imagination for good; and if it does capture their imagination, then it is often only for bad, for the expression of resentment or anger. See for example, their attitudes towards the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, or their disinterest in the role of Scots and Scotland during the British Age of Achievement (late 1700s, 1800s).


They know very little, if anything, about the extent to which the Crown has always been part of Scotland's national identity; or that the Scotsman James VI became the King of England and pronounced himself King of Great Britain; or that the Scots immediately proclaimed Charles II the King after Cromwell executed Charles I; or even that the Jacobites were seeking the British throne.


In the extreme, some of them will even aggressively attack Scottish history.


For example, the SNP (and some people from other parties) will oppose Scottish historical figures, and may even try to defame their memory – see the statue of Henry Dundas in St Andrew Square – if they are deemed politically-incorrect or pro-Union.


In this regard, Prof Tom Gallagher has noted:


The SNP is nothing if not a self-referencing movement: it sees the story of Scotland’s greatness beginning with its arrival on the historical stage. So it is necessary to delegitimise episodes and people from the wider consciousness, especially from the age of achievement that characterised much of the three centuries of parliamentary Union. (tinyurl.com/yxxj2uj3)


Too many Scottish nationalists either ignore large parts of Scottish history, resent it, or actively fight against it.


In contrast, us pro-UK folk embrace, learn and teach about all of Scotland's history. And we have a sense of it all existing within a wider British context. This gives us a massive advantage when telling our national story!

 

"MOTHER OF THE FREE"



Here's a typical example of our approach: Edward Elgar's famous music "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1" was performed for the first time on 19 October 1901, in Liverpool, with Alfred Rodewald conducting the Liverpool Orchestral Society.


Elgar asked Arthur Benson to write words for the chorus after King Edward VII told Elgar he thought the melody would make a great song.


We know them today as:


"Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,

How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?

Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set;

God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,

God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet."


Today, these words are more aspirational than descriptive of reality, especially when we consider the extent to which our freedoms have been compromised and continue to be compromised, by all political parties (across the Anglo-Sphere) especially since early 2020.


Nevertheless, it is good to have these songs and stories which can inspire us to do better.


That's how we understand songs such as these. Not so much boasts of glories past, but as motivation to aspire to great things.


As British people, we are lucky to have that music from the past, which can inspire, encourage and guide us in this way.


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