26 SEPTEMBER 1998, Page 31

Sir: I suspect that most right-thinking Englishmen are just about

sick to the back teeth of being lectured by the likes of Pere- grine Worsthorne on the undesirability of English nationalism. The intelligentsia of this country have for too long denigrated their own country, but have been more than willing to praise every other, in particular France, Italy and of course Scotland.

Given the fact that England has given more to Western civilisation in the arts, lit- erature, poetry, the sciences et al. than any other country, I see no reason why we should allow the outer fringes of these islands to laud their own nationalism while the English may not.

Scotland and Wales have for too long taken our money and our jobs and have shown no gratitude whatsoever. The ques- tion is, once they have gone their own way who will they blame for their woes? And why should the English taxpayer have to subsidise the scroungers and the whingers, while still allowing them the right to control and administer the English?

For more years than I care to remember, I, an Englishman, have been told that I must not proclaim my Englishness; must not rejoice in all things English; must take no pride in what England has given to the world. But at all costs I must allow the remainder of the kingdom to proclaim their national identity.

Anti-Englishness is on the rise in Scot- land and has always been very strong in north Wales, but Peregrine Worsthorne and his ilk think that this is OK. It matters not to him what anyone happens to say or do against England provided that his cosy little world is protected and he and his kind can move freely through the higher eche- lons of society. Well, things are changing: I work in a factory and everyone I speak to wants the Scots and the Welsh to go their way and England to be set free! (My wife is a receptionist with a large hotel chain and has noticed that in the past year more and more English people are putting 'English' and not 'British' when they register. Two years ago they would have been happy just to use the word 'British'.) Finally, should Sir Peregrine find the ris- ing tide of English nationalism not to his taste, then perhaps he will leave this green and pleasant land. And while he is at it, please can he take Clarke, Heseltine and Gummer with him? I'm sure that Chris Pat- ten would find room for them.

Alan J. Ford

20 Heath Lane, Leasingham, Lincs