'It's difficult to love a country that you know little about - particularly if alternative histories (imperial guilt etc) grow up to fill the vacuum.'
Really? I don't love 'a country'. I am English, and I feel English, and many many things around me resonate with me, in a way that American things didn't when I lived there. But I don't love England because the name of the General in charge at Waterloo was Napoleon (joke). I am rooted here. About a million different things tie me to this place- language, traditions, folkways, rediculously specific weather forecasts that are always wrong, sensible reasonableness, Little Chef and oh so much more. But 99% of those ties that bind would still bind if I didn't know any history of England at all. After all, most Englishmen before universal education would have learned history in the pub and at home, if at all.
In a strange way, I feel like this insistence on learning history is simply because most of the millions of immigrants in Britain right now don't have any ties that bind- they don't know or share the culture of England, the traditions, the folkways, the deeply ingrained attitudes- nothing. So they could at least bloody well learn our history, right?
But to me, its a feeble attempt to paper over what is completely obvious- that most of the immigrants here don't want to assimilate. And increasingly, the English don't want them here, assimilated or not. The BNP will grow, of that I have no doubt, because whereas the Conservative Party used to at least acknowledge and represent the feelings of anger native English people had for the non-assimilated hordes, they have now joined up with the PC Liberals and Labour in continuously blasting English people with accusations of racism and bigotry. Under this never-ceasing assault, even the most equable people eventually get tired of the opprobrium and vilification.
Immigrants who don't want to assimilate are telling you something- you are not worthy of assimilating with. And for those on the front lines of the human tidal wave of immigration in Britain, that message has gotten through loud and clear. That is stoking the fires which the BNP are only too happy to pour petrol on.
The English people are not the initiators here- the English people never asked to have England backfilled with foreigners. The responsibility for that is with our MPs and ministers, who promised things they should never have promised, but kept them anyway.
Look where the big growth in BNP vote is: the northern industrial towns where the hillbilly Pakistanis came in their hundreds of thousands, and still live like hillbilly Pakistanis in bizarre and jarring juxtaposition with the northern English. I've been told I'm very close to being BNP. I'm not, but there are millions of English men and women who are, and I completely understand why. They don't want to live surrounded by hostile aliens in their own homeland, and neither do I.