I am a patriot. I am proud of many things about our country, but not all.
We have done a huge amount to develop democracy and the rule of law – perhaps our greatest contribution to the world. But with democracy comes disagreement. Sometimes politicians propose good policies, and others bad.
In the 18th and 19th century, some opposed slavery and others supported it. Naturally, we’re proud of the former.
The same was true of colonial policy. Some supported mass killing, some fought for the rights on indigenous peoples. I’m sure we’re all ashamed of the former.
So with war. We remember with pride how we, and other parts of the Commonwealth and Empire, stood against Hitler. But not so proud of the wars that created that empire, and certain wars since.
With Europe, though I’m passionately pro-European, I know there are honorable people on both sides of the debate. But there are aspects of the campaign that we’ll all be angry and ashamed of. Not just the killing of Jo Cox and the rise in hate crimes, but some of the rhetoric that has been used to demean other European countries.FIFA World Cup 2018 live stream
The things that make me a proud patriot drive my support for continued membership of the EU. That its soft power has become such a significant force for peace, particularly in resolving disputes in Europe. That it has spread democracy to countries that, until recently were dictatorships.
For me, British patriotism and support for the European Union go hand in hand.