TENSION in the English Tories. Former English Tory chairman Chris Patten said: “We don’t have a Conservative government at all, but an English nationalist party which is populist, but – fatally – without being popular.”

Indeed! How are the rump Tories in the north feeling noo?

The Union is dead. England is dead and caught up in irrelevance, nostalgia and isolation. The government there is about to break international treaties over Northern Ireland, overturning an agreement negotiated by the present occupant in No 10.

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The UK is now seen as untrustworthy, mendacious and a pariah state. In cannot even heal itself. The road is now closed. The Whig interpretation of English history is no longer a paradigm – actually it never was – but now it is confined to history. Whither England? Even they do not know themselves.

The other English parties of Unionist hue are fossilised too. Victims of English exceptionalism as well, lost in the present and the past. Bunting and flags are no solace. The future is bleak.

John Edgar