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June 08, 2017

Comments

Like Congress, Parliament has more than a few members that are fit to be hanged...

Is it too early for Woo Hoo!

Are you cheering because it will make the Brexit negotiations far more problematic for the UK? Of because May seems to have made a major mistake? Or for what, exactly?

(I'm assuming that you are aware that Corbyn is to liberalism approximately what the Freedom Caucus is to conservatism: nutjob fanaticism in place of actual connection to reality.)

May and the conservatives had a very destructive agenda. Is there a chance that this will be taken as a rebuke of their extreme ideology, and cause a swing toward moderation? (That would be nice-- wish it would happen here).

Seems that American voters aren't the only ones with bad choices.

wj, I'm well aware. But, like wonkie, I'm hoping that it's a rejection of May's agenda, Brexit populism, and what the British version of Trumpism is all about. I'm not a Corbyn fan by any means (from the shallow knowledge I have).

So that's what makes me optimistic.

Right now we seem more likely to emulate the present day Greeks...

Only if you like to celebrate chaos, Sapient.

Britain's record with minority governments is not an auspicious one.

So what happens if there's nobody available to negotiate Brexit? Or if the only available coalition opposes leaving?

I guess what I'm asking is, if enough leave MPs lose, can Parliament change its mind?

Look wj, you have no idea what you're talking about. It's the Tories who were leading us into chaos: Brexit is chaos, "no deal is better than a bad deal" hard Brexit is the ultimate chaos. It's the Tories that are fanatical about Brexit and have lost touch with reality, just listen to them waxing about all the new free trade opportunities and Britannia ruling the waves again. It's the Tories who have no idea what's going on in society, who wanted to introduce the dementia tax and means test old and disabled people, while ignoring the economic problems of the young who voted overwhelmingly for Corbyn. May didn't have a clue what was going on in this country which is why she listened to Lynton Crosby and David Davis in the first place and called this election - we'll now she knows.

Alas, Corbyn is thought to have secretly supported Brexit (he couldn't say so, but sabotaged Labour's Remain campaign pretty effectively) so no chance of a progressive alliance trying to reverse it. Still, much less chance now of a so-called "hard Brexit", so that's a consolation. And I suppose if the "soft Brexit" eventually negotiated leaves too many unpopular (to Brexiteers) provisions in place, it's just possible there could be a second referendum. But that may just be wishful thinking.

What GFTNC says re-Brexit.
it would be nice to think that this vote might halt it, but it won't.

May didn't have a clue what was going on in this country which is why she listened to Lynton Crosby and David Davis in the first place and called this election
Is there any evidence for that ?

My impression is that this was pretty well a surprise decision by May, with some input from her very small coterie of policy advisors. And the manifesto itself was a surprise to many including Crosby who was reported as opposing several of the policies in it.
(for the avoidance of doubt, I am NOT an admirer of Crosby, or May.)

It looks like May could succeed in staying as PM, in which case the idea of a progressive alliance of any sort is out. If she manages it, she will be relying on the votes of the DUP, who are the opposite of "progressive". At least they don't want a hard border with the south (of Ireland) so what kind of Brexit we end up with is still very much up in the air.

Only if you like to celebrate chaos, Sapient.

No, I don't. Best of luck to the British in resolving the election in a way that strengthens the welfare of its people. I can't help feeling selfishly that any a rejection of the right is good news at the moment, but that's obviously a view from Trumptopia.

Girl from the North Country,

I doubt there can be a secomd referendum. After Britain gave the formal notice of leaving EU, the issue was out of your hands. Great Britain will exit the Union in March 2019, unless it is decided unanimously, with the consent of the European Parliament, to allow it to stay.

Do you really think you could negotiate an agreement on terms of British membership? Britain is unlikely to get her membership back on current, very favourable terms, if only because some minor EU member country will start mixing the issue with its domestic politics.

Nigel, Crosby came in later, true, but Davis was reportedly pushing hard for it.

Anyway, this woman is completely shameless and tone-deaf: she has decided to just carry on in a coalition with a bunch of right wing weirdos from NI - good heavens.

Novakant,

Davis (and quite a few others who had been calling for an election) might have been proved correct, albeit somewhat cynical, had May run even a half decent campaign.

May was entirely responsible for both the manifesto and leading the campaign. I understand, for example, that she consulted only one other member of the cabinet on the 'dementia tax'.
When lifelong Tories were saying, well before the result, and when they thought that May would still win, that it was the worst campaign performance by a party leader in their lifetime, then the responsibility for the outcome is pretty clear.

Going on from there, I completely agree with you.
One could make a respectable case for May staying on as caretaker PM for a handful of months while the Conservatives agreed a new leader. That she seems to believe that she has a mandate for another five years is simply delusional.
That she can present the DUP as friends and allies in this project makes it worse.

This is all awfully reminiscent of Heath in 1974 with his "who governs Britain ?" election... to which he received the answer 'not you, mate'.

I am hopeful that this won't scupper the NI peace process, but it's a serious concern.

I am actually REALLY PROUD of my UK friends, who worked hard against the Tories and, most importantly, got out the youth vote. That's the hugely important point, and will force change going forward.

One long-time e-friend votes in Kensington, and is reeling at the realization that her vote counted: it's so close they've stopped recounting to rest up, and will do another recount tomorrow.

Yes, it's going to be (more) chaos--but the Brexit vote was a choice for chaos *already*.

it's so close they've stopped recounting to rest up

Not that close - around 30 votes, I think.
The SNP held North East Fife by two votes...

What Nigel said, particularly at 9.33. A point of particular pleasure is that this is Lynton Crosby's second disastrous campaign in a row, so let's hope he fucks off back to Australia (admittedly Teresa May was spectacularly bad raw material, but still). I think the youth vote was very important, but so was tactical voting (I voted tactically myself), so major kudos to Gina Miller and her tactical voting website.

Regarding the "right wing weirdos" - who share quite a few aspects of the US Christian right in their attitudes to abortion and homosexuality, this bit of May's speech today was particularly odd:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2017/jun/09/election-2017-theresa-may-speaks-outside-downing-street-after-shock-result-hunh-parliament-live?page=with:block-593a8ffde4b0be3ed19249d6#block-593a8ffde4b0be3ed19249d6
"...we will continue to work with our friends and allies in the Democratic Unionist party in particular.
Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years..."

The Tories have had a relationship with the now pretty well defunct UUP - but have been at odds with the DUP since their inception.

God knows what Ruth Davidson (whose remarkable success in Scotland quite possibly prevented Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister today) makes of this arrangement...
http://www.scottishconservatives.com/2016/08/ruth-davidson-keynote-speech-at-belfast-pride-event/

Shame she's not in the UK parliament - she might make a good replacement for May.

(I'm assuming that you are aware that Corbyn is to liberalism approximately what the Freedom Caucus is to conservatism: nutjob fanaticism in place of actual connection to reality.)

wj...that is simply beyond ridiculous. But then again, you consistently characterize Boxer as some kind of far out leftist without providing one scintilla of evidence.

Perhaps some of our British commenters can verify to what extent J. Corbyn is some kind of "nutjob fanatic".

I don't buy it.

novakant: Look wj, you have no idea what you're talking about. It's the Tories who were leading us into chaos: Brexit is chaos,

That's why I ask questions.

For what it's worth (and I live 8 times zones away, so probably not much), I thought Brexit was, and remains, an insane idea. One which will do the UK economy significant damage, while not achieving hardly any of the things the UKIP et al claim to want. Reduced immigration being about the only thing they'll get, and that's going to hurt not help.

We have the same "turn back the clock to some mythic golden age" insanity in some parts of our population as well. Until the Brexit vote, I would have said we have more than you guys. But perhaps not, percentage-wise.

But then again, you consistently characterize Boxer as some kind of far out leftist without providing one scintilla of evidence.

Bobby, I suppose it is a matter of perspective and experience. I look at Senator Boxer. And then I look at other Democrats here: Governor Brown, Lt Governor Newsom, Senator Feinstein, and now Senator Harris. Those being the leading Democrats in the state; I could go on with the rest of the state-wide office holders, but the picture doesn't change. (You can make a case that Feinstein is actually conservative, albeit not as the term is used today. But all of them?)

I could, and in most cases have, voted for any of them. (My party, as noted, keeps putting up incompetents and its own nutjobs. Even to the point where sometimes we have two Democrats come the general election.) But vote for Boxer? No.

As I say, perspective and experience.

Do you Brits feel that this comparison of the US & UK systems is broadly accurate? Is this what it feels like to you?

The big downside of the US system is that it depends on high levels of public engagement between elections. In practice, this means that it's too much work for many people who have other things to do with their lives, so voter turnout is always too low and favors older, wealthier people and their interests.

Does anyone know if any parliamentary-type systems were tried in the American colonies and states before 1790?

"A phrase keeps cropping up in certain corners of the English press: A Very British Coup. That's the name of Chris Mullin's novel about a near-future U.K.—the early '90s, because the book was published in 1982—where a hard-left Labour government comes to power and then is undermined by intelligence agencies and their allies in the media."

The British Left vs. the Deep State: A Very British Coup

"The big downside of the US system is that it depends on high levels of public engagement between elections....
Does anyone know if any parliamentary-type systems were tried in the American colonies and states before 1790?"

In the late 18th and early 19th century America, politics was a form of public entertainment. No movies, TV, radio; less print media than today.

To get that level of civic engagement today, you'd have to turn political contests into "steel cage death matches". I suggest we start with GOP primaries and see how it goes.

Do you Brits feel that this comparison of the US & UK systems is broadly accurate

as a non-brit, I'd say the UK is closer to general will, US is closer to democratic elitism.

If you leave Fox, Facebook, and blogs out of it, political activity and engagement is actually pretty uncommon here.

just look at how many people vote.

"Does anyone know if any parliamentary-type systems were tried in the American colonies and states before 1790?"

The difficulty here is there were "assemblies" in the Colonial Era, but the Crown ran things through their appointed governors. Hence no sovereignty and no need for political parties to contest for it.

Conclusion: No readily apparent way to answer the question?

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_government_in_the_Thirteen_Colonies

Corbyn is not a nutjob fanatic. He is pretty far left.

During his long career in politics, he's supported pretty well every far left internationalist cause, including Hamas, Castro, Chavez, and, problematic in Britain, the IRA. In 1986 he picketed the trial of the terrorist murderers who'd blown up the Conservative Party conference hotel. I think that was wrong.

Corbyn's attraction is that he's not an establishment politician. He says what he believes, and he doesn't conceal it when he's following a compromise line (eg over the EU or Trident).

Corbyn's problem is that he's a hopeless manager. 80% of his MPs voted to depose him as leader largely because they couldn't stand the chaos. There were a lot of attractive things in Labour's election manifesto, but no overall credibility that it could all happen.

russell:

I certainly won't "leave Fox, Facebook, and blogs out of it" -- that's the modern version of the politics-as-18thC-entertainment Snarki was talking about.

US voter turnout is low for the same reason it's low in Switzerland: there are too many things to vote for, so it's a lot more work than in e.g. Canada or the UK. It's not that US voters are particularly lazy, disengaged, or don't care, it's that voting is more burdensome because it's closer to direct democracy.

re. the comparison between UK and US governance. Three big differences:
- One, in the UK we have a government, which, for better or worse, can usually pass the legislation it wants. That's good in that legislation tends to be fairly coherent, bad in that stupid stuff gets enacted too easily. On the whole I think it preferable to the sort of ugly compromise plus pork which gets through in the US.
- Two, the US government, legislature and executive both, are horribly beholden to corporate interests. It seems to me that the worst things done by the US government happen because the politicians can't afford to upset their sponsors. This is partly because the US is a large country where it inevitably costs a lot to run political campaigns, but also partly because you're constitutionally unable to have the restrictions on campaign finance you should have.
-Three, there are more direct elections in the USA. It would be unimaginable in the UK to have a vote to appoint a state prosecutor, for example. It's hard for a Briton* to understand how that could be a good idea.

Having said all that, the US is a more successful country than the UK, so perhaps its governance is better than I think.

*'Brit' is an ugly abbreviation to my ear.

I guess I disagree. politics as entertainment is not the same as engagement.

the article cites Madison and the federalist papers as exponents of democratic elitism. I think that's correct.

among other things, the ratio of US citizens to House reps is 700k. average UK citizens per MP is about 70k.

we are, by design and intent, very far from direct democracy.

- Two, the US government, legislature and executive both, are horribly beholden to corporate interests.

The US government is horribly beholden to special interest of all kinds, not just corporate.

The US government is horribly beholden to special interest of all kinds, not just corporate.

Yes, but in proportion to the $$$ they can bring to the table.

It's all about the Benjamins, IOW.

It's all about the Benjamins, IOW.

It doesn't have to be that way.

It doesn't have to be that way. But it is.

It seems to me that the question is: how we get from where we are to where it isn't? How, in specific practical achievable steps. ("achievable" being, IMHO, the biggest hurdle.)

"The notion of a government “by the people, for the people” is one of the bedrock concepts of American democracy, but the reality is that policy outcomes are often influenced by a wide range of factors, not merely the candidates whom voters select to represent them on Election Day."

Lobbying, special interests and “buying” influence: What research tells us, and remaining unanswered questions

"Who's got the most juice on Capitol Hill? Here's a list of the top interest groups contributing to members of the 114th Congress during the 2015-2016 election cycle."

Top Interest Groups Giving to Members of Congress, 2016 Cycle


National Special Interest Groups

80% of his MPs voted to depose him as leader largely because they couldn't stand the chaos.

Really? Is that the real reason, or they reason they were giving at the time? While not intimate with all the details, it struck me at the time as nothing but sour grapes by the entrenched Blairites seeking to maintain their status and power within the Labor Party, that, and their fear of losing a snap election....because, you know, the polls....

And, after all, they had led the LP into the vast sunshine of eternal political victory, did they not? No, you say? Funny that.

To read a so-called "analysis" such as this at the time is to look back now with a good deal of wry amusement.

What do other citizens of the British Isles in our community think about this? I am curious.

GFNC? Nigel? Janiem?

On the whole I think it preferable to the sort of ugly compromise plus pork which gets through in the US.

I would tend to agree. The U.S. system has too many chokepoints, and during periods of split government, some kind of compromise or kick the can down the road statesmanship is necessary.

However, as our two political parties become more ideologically cohesive, (a process that has been building since H. Humphrey gave his passionate civil rights speech to the Democratic Convention in 1948), the realm of compromise has contracted significantly.

And pork is as pork does.

Of course I don't know their secret thoughts. This expresses mine quite well.

Hey bobbyp, I'm too tired to give really thought through answers (to you or to Doc Science), and JanieM is American, but such as it is, here it is.

I agree with Pro Bono (I think it was) above, Corbyn is not any kind of nutjob, but is pretty far left by modern standards, having fought for a kind of old-fashioned socialism for decades without, it seemed, any real evolution. I think this was certainly the main thing that his MPs held against him: they thought that this kind of politics was now unelectable, and most of them were younger and had grown up, at least politically, in the Blair era, so there was some explanation for their view. I don't think most of them were what you would properly call "entrenched Blairites", although that has certainly been the favoured insult levelled against any critics of Corbyn et al.

80% of his MPs voted to depose him as leader largely because they couldn't stand the chaos.

However, there is certainly good evidence for this statement. In the first year or so of his leadership, stories abounded of the chaotic nature of his machine/office/organisation. MPs found out they were in his shadow cabinet from the press, and then in one case found out he had actually appointed someone else without telling them. This was not an isolated incident of chaos. Excuses were made for him: he had never run anything before, etc etc, but it was too bad and went on too long to give any comfort to those who were not ideologically or even ambitionwise completely opposed to him anyway (there were certainly lots of those). Chaos is not an unfair characterisation, I think.

lgm had this up regarding the election:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJVROcKFnBQ

pro bono....I would agree with the linked essay for the most part.

GFNC..."they thought his kind of politics unelectable". Despite his alleged shortcomings on the organizational front, I would suspect this to be the main reason. That and the fact they are no longer running things in the LP.

The thing is...their politics had also proved unelectable. So what do you do? Do you dive in, roll up you sleeves, and try something different? No, it seems they preferred to carp, attempt an illegal coup, and bail.*

It is always interesting to me to watch political coalitions form and dissolve and the arguments about the perfect and the good and lesser evilism. The center left always chides the left with, "Who else are you going to vote for!" Yet when the shoe is on the other foot....off they go.

Who is the fair weather ally now?

Ultimately, our differences here seem to come down to what points to emphasize.

Thanks to the both of you for your kind replies.

The Red Bobby

*Not at all like what we see here as GOP pols are pretty much standing by the Great Orange Satan despite all the chaos he has created. Any chaos created by Corbyn pales in comparison I should think.

Excellent to see that old Monty Python sketch again - it reminds me to ask you all if you were aware that we had, and still have, a party called The Monster Raving Loony Party? They still contest elections, but I can't offhand remember the names of any of their candidates except the late Screaming Lord Sutch. I would say your closest equivalent is the current GOP, except they're not as much fun, but as well as being a cheap, easy shot I do believe it's wicked to mock the afflicted (you all, not them). Good night everybody.

The Monster Raving Loony Party always struck me as people who were willing to laugh at themselves. Which seems just so totally unlike today's GOP.

I would say your closest equivalent is the current GOP

our guy is vermin supreme.

brush your teeth, and a pony for everyone!

Having said all that, the US is a more successful country than the UK, so perhaps its governance is better than I think.

Mre successful at what? I am really asking. I think we are on the brink of losing representative government altogether. I think we are very close to being an authoritarian oligarchy that only pretends to have representative government.

I think we are very close to being an authoritarian oligarchy that only pretends to have representative government.

So, nothing has changed in the past couple of decades or so except for who, at any given moment, is thinking that... :)

I think we are on the brink of losing representative government altogether.

Things look rather more dire, I think, on the Federal level than they do more locally. Which means we have a base upon which to rebuild.

"our guy is vermin supreme."

Roger that.

I've read worse analyses:

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-book-of-jeremy-corbyn?mbid=social_twitter

More successful at what?

At making money. Per capita GDP is about 25% higher in the USA.

"Per capita GDP is about 25% higher in the USA."

Yeah, but that's "per capita". If you decapitate the 1% from that figure, how does it compare?

Yeah, but that's "per capita". If you decapitate the 1% from that figure, how does it compare?

Yet another example of why meaningful economic comparisons should use medians rather than averages.

And, since they so often do not, why we should include a little basic statistics in the high school curriculum.

Median household income is about 38% higher in the USA, according this survey.

What percentage of the UK rely on public assistance for food or housing?

How many people in the UK have declared personal bankruptcy due to unexpected medical expenses?

How many in the UK have used up their available unemployment benefits before they've been able to find a job? Or have simply taken themselves out of the job market, because what's the point?

Besides basic statistics literacy, we also need a definition for success.

Here ya go, wonkie, something to brighten your day
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/09/republicans-are-predicting-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-tea-party-in-kansas/?utm_term=.8780df851525

What Russell said.

Variance is important.

average UK citizens per MP is about 70k.

This always startles me. I live in Colorado, where each district of the Colorado House has about 84K people (likely closer to 86K by the next election). In California, each lower house district runs over 465K.

Optimal country size has become a topic of interest in academia. Stuff I've read suggests that the US is too large and too heterogeneous for democracy to work well.

The UK has a much more generous system of social benefits than the USA.

(I was just giving the US credit where it's due, not looking for an argument.)

"(I was just giving the US credit where it's due, not looking for an argument.)"

#include "MontyPythonArgumentClinic.h"

rm -F Adam_West

too harsh, cleek.

ping -c1 batman.gov
PING batman.gov (92.242.140.21) 56(84) bytes of data.

--- batman.gov ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 0 received,
100% packet loss, time 0ms

That's a UK ip#, btw.

The Piano Guys, Batman Evolution

rm: invalid option -- 'F'
Try 'rm --help' for more information.

Catching up on this, and was curious about Pro Bono' comment

*'Brit' is an ugly abbreviation to my ear.

I tend to use it because UKian can't really be said and you need 'the' before British, which makes it sound rather distant (So, what do the British think'). Also, it pops up in the Guardian all the time, but I can understand how it might hit the wrong note.

I spend a lot of time telling my Japanese students that you can't keep asking people if they are English (had an exchange student from Edinburgh who was constantly frustrated by that).

I always thought "Brit" was a short form of "Briton" -- i.e. a native/resident of Great Britain. Was that incorrect?

I'm pretty sure 'limey' and 'pom' are right out.

Yes, a Briton is a British person. It doesn't seem so long that it should have to be shortened.

However, "what do Germans think?" means something a bit different from "what do the Germans think?"

What do Germs think?

Brit is as to Briton as Yank is to US American. Or not?

Isn't it kind of a slightly needling, but not hateful, expression?

The Hun is currently debating whether to have a cultural opinion of his own is intolerant (at least in Berlin. The Bavarians want to have as little to do with the Pig Prussians as possible as usual).

Drat, I wanted to bring up the Limey but one of you Merkins preempted me.

But never be rude to an Arab!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxsZN8_l7cc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfkA0LOdx5o

I'm fine with Brits (although agree it is an ugly sounding word, which was I think the point), Poms or even Limeys, none of which strike me as insulting these days, particularly in this forum. I assume the same about Yanks (correct me if I'm wrong), although I am unsure about Gringos (is this a colour thing?). Merkins of course are another, and very specialised, matter.

I was not aware of the word 'merkin' let alone the item before reading Pratchett. ;-)

As far as I am concerned, Yank is a total non-issue. Gringo doesn't bother me, but it does carry the implication that the speaker is Mexican (or at least Hispanic).

Hartmut, which is a more offensive way to describe a German - the Hun (it always takes a definite article) or a Kraut?

"Yank" seems fine to me, though I've never heard anyone but a Brit use it.

I have no problem with "Yank", but I'd generally regard "gringo" as intended to insult. I could see it used as rough humor between friends, though.

Here in Japan, I think we tend to use Brits, and to me, Briton sounds like something from Roman times.

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7037

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I always get an image of Boudicca when I see Briton.

My own perception on gringo and related terms is that there are regional twists that make things difficult. Where I live, I see "gringo" as an insult but "anglo" is not. OTOH, I understand there are places where anglo is taken as an insult by whites not of Anglo-Saxon descent.

Over the last few years, I keep thinking that I see different patterns in areas where the largest minority group is black compared to areas where the largest minority group is Hispanic.

to me, Briton sounds like something from Roman times.

"king of the 'oo?"

"The Britons. We are all Britons, and I am your king"

"well, I didn't vote for you"


Girl from the North Country wrote:

A point of particular pleasure is that this is Lynton Crosby's second disastrous campaign in a row, so let's hope he fucks off back to Australia

Uh, no thanks, you can keep him. No really. Or maybe we could pass him off to the US, they took Rupert after all...

Girl from the North Country wrote:

Hartmut, which is a more offensive way to describe a German - the Hun (it always takes a definite article) or a Kraut?

I'd say only a tiny minority of Germans is even aware of these terms. We are more used to Nazi stereoptypes in the British press* and American movies.
British movies on the other hand, even from WW2, are surprisingly tame there (and the few exceptions I recall were made specifically for the American market).

*OK mainly Murdoch rags

No British person would refer to themselves as a Brit. "Hi, I'm a Brit" -- no. "Hi, I'm British" -- sure.

I don't think it's offensive or anything for y'all (sorry) to refer to us as Brits, but in the same sentence, we would substitute "British people" or "British person" for the same meaning.

what about "Briton" ?

After knowing you for a few years, a Briton might unbend sufficiently to reveal a little about themself. In which case they would say "I'm English" (or Scottish, Welsh, or Irish, as the case might be).

Sure, but they still wouldn't say "Hi, I'm an English" or "that English over there is pissing in the bushes". We'd use the rather quaint "English(wo)man" or "Scots(wo)man" or whatever.

And no, definitely not "Briton".

Look at that Briton over there grooving with a Pict.

Also an Angle.

"Non angli, sed angeli".

Well, we did (back in my youth, at least) refer to a cute young girl as "a pixie." Which comes from the same root at Pict....

No British person would refer to themselves as a Brit. "Hi, I'm a Brit"

I do. That is, I do if it's my citizenship of the UK that's in question. I'm more likely to say "I'm English" or "I'm an Englishman", because I don't subjectively identify much with the UK, except as a political and legal construct. Culturally, I feel English and European. I don't even know what feeling culturally British would mean.

I'm reminded of a long-ago Tom Toles cartoon, in which two men are discussing what would now be called identity politics. In the last panel, one of the men, glaring at the other, mutters "You look suspiciously like a Jute to me."

I do. That is, I do if it's my citizenship of the UK that's in question. I'm more likely to say "I'm English" or "I'm an Englishman"

...For in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman !

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