I live in England. I don’t care about the fact that Scottish and Welsh MPs can vote on English laws, because England dominates the agenda in that chamber anyway. I don’t care that we don’t have a national holiday on St George’s Day, because like 41% of the British population I am not Christian and it means absolutely nothing to me. I don’t care that other English people feel aggrieved that we don’t celebrate Englishness, because I’m Northern. That’s the only regional classification that means anything to me.

And I don’t care that the Labour party hasn’t connected with the concept of “Englishness” as Tristram Hunt bemoans in the Guardian today, because being English means absolutely fuck all to me. Let’s face it, for much of history our national identity was based on being a small nation that was punching way above its weight. Without an empire, and without the delusion that having an empire was a good thing, being English means literally nothing. The best parts of our culture are mostly stuff that we pilfered from elsewhere.

Because I come from a region with way more deprivation than anywhere else in England. Look at this map of poverty in England - people in the South don’t have any idea of our lived reality and many of them don’t fucking care. We’re getting our services cut to ribbons and those pricks keep voting for more of the same. The fact that we’re English too isn’t motivating anyone to look out for us.

So fuck patriotism and FUCK ENGLISHNESS. It means nothing. It counts for nothing. And it’s not going to bring poor people who don’t vote back to the Labour party. That would involve politicians in the South waking the fuck up to reality and realising just how much we’ve lost whilst you were busy competing for middle class swing votes.


Tori Kelly | Nomination Interview | 58th GRAMMYs