State Sponsored Nationalism

Nationalism was already on the rise and not just the welcome variety of pride in one’s nation and achievements. No, the unpleasant and destructive underbelly of nationalism is now seemingly acceptable as we become more & more selfish under the banner of protecting ourselves from the COVID virus. Asians faced racism in January, then Iranians and Italians. Mr Trump entered the fray first of all trying to persuade a leading vaccine producer to leave Germany and move to the US so that the latter gets first look at the vaccine innovations it creates. Then global flight bans and in recent days increasingly aggressive attacks on China, it’s data, it’s MO & its motivations. Most worrying of all, the incidence of a seeming trend that COVID disproportionately impacts certain ethnic minorities has created terrifying social media commentary. Mostly pragmatic steps to try to halt the spread of COVID were never supposed to be a rallying call for racists. Before all this, we were getting somewhere. Diversity, mental health, sexual orientation were all becoming acceptable topics of discourse. We were travelling more than ever before and challenging pre-set notions we may have subconsciously carried. Whilst punctuated with bouts of racially motivated violence in the last 40 years, the UK could authentically claim a place at the head of the liberal, tolerant & welcoming world. If we can be told to stay at home for months on end, I hope passionately that we can be reminded that tolerance to our fellow human beings is just as important as pride in our nation. #NationalismIsInhuman   

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