Why Britons are tweeting ‘Little England’ in wake of the U.K. election

In the wake of the U.K. election, which led to an overwhelming Tory majority, Britons are tweeting the phrase “Little England.”

The two words were originally coined to refer to those opposed to the British Empire, but for economic reasons rather than any moral opposition to imperialism.

Now, though, the term Little Englander has since come to refer to small-minded, bigoted English person who hate foreigners and overestimates England’s importance on the world stage.

For many, this election victory was built on the back of racism and xenophobia, stoked by pro-Brexit, anti-immigration politicians and media talking heads.

And they’re letting their voices be heard in the wake of the loss.

https://twitter.com/carolJhedges/status/1205464163746828288

Well-known provocateur Katie Hopkins tweeted about the return of nationalism and said that the Conservatives are “our party now” in response to commentary from a Muslim Conservative.

Given that many British citizens are also Muslim, it seems likely that her statement of “our party” and “British people first” refers to ethnic background and not citizenship.

People are especially upset about the effects of another five years of Tory rule on the NHS, labor rights and the welfare state.

Conservative immigration policies are likely to devastate the NHS, which relies heavily on foreign workers from both the EU and outside of it.

There are fears that the Tories intend to sell it off entirely, creating an American-style, private system instead.

Many feel that Tory voters should be banned from complaining about the state of social services in future, given their votes were the ones that paved the way to its destruction.

The Tory victory is the largest for the party since the days of Margaret Thatcher.

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Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org