Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Don't the English care?

As we arrive at the week of the Scottish referendum  I remain surprised, despite all the belated coverage last week, at the low level of interest here in England.  Judging from what one sees or rather, what one does not see here in Oxford this is not a matter of great concern, It should be, but it does not seem to be. I get the impression German friends are more interested than fellow Britons.

I might have expected a display of Union flags to appear to stress the idea of unity. Why do not all public buildings and colleges fly the flag to show support for the Union, for who we are as a nation. Mind you there is little awareness of Scotland here if the emphasis in the History faculty is to be taken as a guide, and few Scots come to study in Oxford. That however is not the point - for over 300 years we have been one realm, one polity, and that could be ending, yet interest seems minimal

No one seems to be organising special services of prayer to pray for unity, or for guidance for the Scottish electorate in their momentous decision, which will affect us all.

There appears to be little discussion, other than amongst oddities like myself and my friends.

So I ask, amazed - Don't the English care?

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