Chauvinism isn’t half of it...
What a curious article by Nick Inman in your September issue ( The joke is on everyone who takes pride in their chauvinist views). The notion of “extreme nationalism” misses the point of the current upsurge of emotions with regard to nationalism. His piece seems to merge the idea of being a patriot when asked to go to war for your country with supporting your national team in the annual Six Nations.
He has missed the simple, altruistic love of one’s country where decent ordinary citizens give their time and taxes to the joint objective of creating a peaceful community with community values which have evolved over centuries.
“Liberté, égalité, fraternité” appears over the door of French town halls to remind us all of the relationship between the three components of citizenship. Liberty to do as you would like, so long as you recognise the equality of others to do the same and most significant of all, the brotherhood of respect and sharing of the effort required in order to enjoy the benefits of the first two objectives.
The rise of the National Front as a concept is not about being an extreme nationalist, it is about the need to recognise the local resident’s contribution to the community as opposed to the open-door policy which allows all and sundry to parachute into an existing society with the expectation to enjoy the same privilege as those who worked to create it.
Immigration is not the problem: it is the apparent willingness to afford hard-won largesse to anyone who comes to the door. The much-valued notions of Liberty and Equality can never work without the Fraternity to support them.
Brian Doswell, by email
Nick Inman replies: Many integrate successfully into French society every year. They adopt the values of the French republic and make inestimable contributions to their local communities. French society would be poorer without them. Surely fraternity must extend to them as well?