Don’t hate English people. It’s just wrong. Hate Normans instead


I’m almost entirely a 21st Century, civic nationalist, with best friends who lived next door to people whose previous neighbours hired a contractor whose owner was from England so don’t call me anti-English!

Hoover, maybe because of my age, I have a wee sliver of primitive hatred for some things English like calling Britain ‘England’, ‘going up to Oxford and taking a degree’, saying ‘yah’ instead of ‘year’ or ‘drawRing’ and ‘withdrawRal’ and telling us they let us vote in their EU referendum. It maybe comes from my dad who though not exactly a ‘blood and soil’ nationalist, had become a bit bitter and twisted after serving in the Kings Own Scottish Borders, commanded by ‘English’ officers. He said they sounded English.

Anyhoo, the point of this atypical and possible weird piece of writing is to correct those who are shamelessly unconcerned about being anti-English because it’s not even accurate. They should be anti-Norman.

Now, I know the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians conquered southern Britain, but they took it from the proto-Welsh and not from us. The Welsh can be anti-English if they like. We weren’t even us then.

So, why should it be anti-Norman rather than Anti-English? Here’s my thesis, what it is which is my thesis what it is (Monty Python, 1973):

‘If it hadn’t been for the Normans there would have been no Great Britain. Discuss using two theories presented in the classes and with at least eight reliable references.’

Here is all I could find in the one hour I was prepared to give up. Some of my sources look a bit dodgy but hey what can you do?

First, from David Churchill (2016) in his book ‘1066: What if…..?’:

The Anglo-Saxons showed little desire to colonise. The Vikings were impelled to roam the world, the British Isles included by the poverty of their own soil. But the English inhabited one of the least challenging, most agreeable environments on earth. The Normans, however, were originally Vikings: the clue is in the name ‘Norse-men’. That Scandinavian aggression and longing to roam lived on in William’s veins. It informed his style of leadership, his ravenous hunger for territory and power and the ruthless governing culture he created around him.’

The early English, pre-1066, had a few forays into the rest of the UK but didn’t do that well so would probably have just settled comfortably with what they had. Here’s another source suggesting it was those greedy Normans that ruined everything:

‘In 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, became the master in England. His successors, the Anglo-Norman Kings, tried to increase their authority and international prestige (especially in front of France) by controlling the British Isles (first Ireland and then Wales).’

They were showing off all the time, those Normans.

Finally (I looked everywhere and there aren’t eight sources.), from that high priestess of history, Wendy Marie Hoofnagle who:

‘explores the Carolingian aspects of Norman influence in England after the Norman Conquest, arguing that the Normans’ literature of kingship envisioned government as a form of imperial rule modeled in many ways on the glories of Charlemagne and his reign. She argues that the aggregate of historical and literary ideals that developed about Charlemagne after his death influenced certain aspects of the Normans’ approach to ruling, including a program of conversion through “allurement,” political domination through symbolic architecture and propaganda, and the creation of a sense of the royal forest as an extension of the royal court.’

Wendy Marie Hoofnagle (2016) The Continuity of the Conquest: Charlemagne and Anglo-Norman Imperialism, Penn State UP

To conclude, if it hadn’t been for those greedy, vicious, imperialist batards, the Normans, the English would have settled down quietly and we’d all be good neighbours in these islands called the Four Happy Kingdoms. Even better, the Troubles in Northern Ireland wouldn’t have happened. And, the DUP wouldn’t exist and the Tories wouldn’t have won the last election and…(word limit, yeah!)

Footnote: I didn’t understand either of the theories. I don’t think the lecturer explained them properly because none of us understood them.


10 thoughts on “Don’t hate English people. It’s just wrong. Hate Normans instead

  1. johnrobertson834 August 29, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    Oh no, it’s not working already. I liked Graeme Le Saux and Matthew Le Tissier.


  2. Doug MacLeod August 29, 2018 / 4:40 pm

    Been saying this for years. The reason the English have problems with English nationalism is that they have forgotten that England was the first colony of the Norman ( later British) Empire.

    The invading Normans stole all the land, ‘disappeared’ most of the local leaders and enslaved the entire population. They continued this process through Wales, Ireland, Scotland and eventually most of the known world.

    Nowadays, those Norman families are ‘ the establishment’ in London, but the Queen still approves parliamentary bills in Norman French.

    Their next project is Brexit. There’s $17 trillion in fees for financial services up for grabs as China liberalises and they want some of it. So, out with the EU financial regulation and get the longship and spears out.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ludo Thierry August 29, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    I never had much time for that Norman Wisdom guy either – but maybe when I blame him for the entire Imperial Britania Project I’m possibly going one step too far?? – How did those old films he was in ever get made? – They were absolute guff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 August 29, 2018 / 5:17 pm

      Good point Monsieur Thierry! Your name, where is it from?

      As for Norman Wisdom, I can only agree with you.


    • Alasdair Macdonald August 29, 2018 / 5:57 pm

      NORMAN Tebbit?

      Jesse NORMAN?

      NORMAN LAMONT? – we Scots pronounced his surname LAmont, whereas the BBC always pronounced it correctly as laMONT – and we scoffed. Well, we’re no scoffin, noo!

      This post has opened my eyes!

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 August 29, 2018 / 8:14 pm

        Lamont sounds Frenchy so he’s oot. Met people in Shetland who knew him from his holidays. Knew him as peerie (wee) Norman.


      • bigjon999 August 29, 2018 / 8:39 pm

        I thought he was always “Peerie Norrie” to his fellow islanders…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. William Henderson August 29, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Modus operandi of a Norman of Scandinavian/French descent who fancies a nice bit of real estate on a big island not too far to the north from home:

    1. Get together a big army and lots of boats to take it to the said island.

    2. Come ashore and duff up the natives.

    3. Once 2. above is achieved, set yourself up as King and introduce new laws which ensure that all of your new real estate is registered in your name, and your name only

    4. Parcel out the real estate on a grace and favour basis to your best buddies who helped you in 2. above, but make sure they understand that the arrangement is dependent on their remaining your best buddies. Then send out your civil servants to gather a full account of all that you have gained and make sure that it is registered as belonging to you.

    5. Make laws for the succession of ownership after your death ensuring that your newly won land can only be passed on to one of your family (primogeniture) so that all your work in getting hold of the real estate is not squandered.

    6. Spend a little to gain the hearts and minds of selected members of the local population and ensure that the message reaches your new ‘subjects’ that you and your friends are really good guys who are only here for their own benefit.

    Once all these are complete, let the system roll. With a bit of luck and careful management it could last for centuries.


    I wonder if anyone actually tried it?

    Liked by 2 people

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