1. Exquisite Tweets from @JeremyCliffe, @simonjhix, @patricksturg, @stephenkb, @kieroleary, @ian_a_jones, @drjennings, @DEHEdgerton

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    I'm pondering a theory. Britons (innate make-doers) were never happier than during WWII and crave the need to Keep Calm And Carry On. Is hurtling towards a beans-hoarding, mustn't-grumble, darn-yer-socks sort of a no deal Brexit some sort of nation-level wish fulfillment?

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

  2. I was having exactly the same thought. There’s something about British psyche to feel excited at the prospect of extreme hardship seemingly imposed by foreigners. “Blitz spirit” and all that.

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

  3. no, the 'blitz spirit' is actually a myth, there was a great deal of unrest & anger at government incompetence. The wealthy retreated from London of course. See here: bbc.co.uk/history/britis…

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    patricksturg

    patsturgis

  4. Interesting. But surely the false memory of is central to modern British identity

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    simonjhix

    Simon Hix

  5. This is v poor history: in reality, the rich fled the bombing, racketeering and petty crime were rife. But I think the cultural memory that “in the end, we were fine” is a crucial part of why UK has tended to be a poor European.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  6. Seeing as some are reading this tweet as, err, "the Blitz was good", 'happier' was clearly not the apt adjective. To clarify: I'm asking whether the collective sense of unity & pride created by overcoming WWII's privations explains Britons' striking faith in their own stoicism.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    Non-Brits I talk to routinely raise two things that strike them about Brexit Britain: 1) how odd it is for a country to inflict such privations on itself, 2) how prominently real & imagined memories of WWII feature in the UK's psyche & self-image. Valid to ask if there's a link.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    This from @adam_tooze is, for example, an interesting observation: twitter.com/adam_tooze/sta…

    Adam Tooze @adam_tooze
    You can add another layer with reference to @DEHEdgerton by arguing that what is really at stake here is the retrospective construction of self-sufficient island nation, dating to the postwar consolidation of British nation state.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

  7. Note to self for future research paper: Dad's Army and the rise of Euroscepticism twitter.com/ian_a_jones/st…

    Ian Jones @ian_a_jones
    Permission to share data, sir. #dadsarmy

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    drjennings

    Will Jennings

  8. WW2 was the first - involuntary- Brexit. It led to massive British relative decline and domination by the USA and within a few years a desperate need to reintegrate into the European economy. Of course it is remembered differently. See my blog Davidedgerton.org.

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    DEHEdgerton

    David Edgerton