Alphen, the Netherlands. 3 March. Mark Easton is the BBC's Home Editor. It is a mark of the BBC's shift to the political Left that Mr Easton has been appointed Home Editor. On the BBC website today Mr Easton has written an extended blog questioning what it is to be British. In fact this is just the latest of a series of Mr Easton's serial attempts to undermine the concept of Britishness. His basic point is that Britishness is all things to all people and is therefore nothing. He occupies the usual space of the Left on this issue by implying that all other countries - the French, the Germans, the Dutch and the rest of course have national identities but not we British. He also regularly champions all minority identities particularly against the English and is quick to find any range of excuses for law-breaking and criminality. In Mr Easton's world no-one is ever responsible for anything unless that is one is English. He is a Scot by background.
Precisely because Britain is comprised four of consitituent nations (and thanks to hyper-immigration many more now) being British is by definition a construct. However, that is the point - it is an important construct that offers a complex society a chance of social cohesion without which no society can function. The whole point of Britain has been to establish a common identity sufficiently strong enough around which we can all gther. Moreover, we British all live on an island called Britain and are therefore British simply by association with the rock that keeps our collectiuve heads above water.
In fact Britain has been both successful idea and defined place. Take it from my Dutch neighbours who have no problem with understanding Britishness. Not least because by and large the Dutch are also pretty comfortable with the multiple identities that each of them possesses.
What Mr Easton and his friends on the Left really seek is an end to Britain as an idea and the BBC should have nothing to do with that.
If you value your reputation for balance and objectivity BBC then get rid of Mr Easton before he does any more damage.