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March of the HiBrits

For 50 years, the children of Irish immigrants have been the most important innovators in England's popular culture

The alleged animosity between the English and the Irish has become the ethnographic pantomime of these islands. Proximity and familiarity now breed not so much contempt as resignation. We are stuck together by history, popular culture, language and geography. When we are repelled, it is by our similarities as much as our differences.

The Irish intelligentsia laments the English dominance of Irish popular culture, but that’s the way it is. Many Irish people have chosen to have a view on Jade Goody, support Manchester United and buy Heat magazine. In contrast, English watercooler moments do not include discussions about who…

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