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England, my England!

As Michael Wood's "Story of England" debuts this week on BBC4, Maurice Glasman wonders whether Wood leaves the greatest questions unasked

By Maurice Glasman   October 2010

Wat Tyler is killed by the Lord Mayor of London during the peasants revolt of 1381

The Story of England by Michael Wood (Viking, £20)

There is a political void where England should be. While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland enjoy devolved government, the English do not govern themselves. Parliament, the traditional assembly of the English people, represents the union and not the nation. England, as a political nation, has no body and it cannot speak.

England poses difficult political questions for progressives. Football and the monarchy are the popular focus of English nationalism, and the expression of support for…

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