In a direct challenge to Scottish leader Alex Salmond, rebel MPs in Westminster are to debate England’s independence from Scotland later today.
The oppression of the English through harsh accents, highly confrontational ‘man skirts’ and a string of Mel Gibson films has caused many people south of the border to give up hope of ever being recognised as a separate, stroppy tribe.
But all that could be about to change – if the Scottish allow it.
Some English have continued to lead secret lives in pockets of the UK, drinking tea and complaining about the weather behind closed doors.
But danger is ever-present, and Malcolm Bradcroft is worried that if anyone finds out he owns an England flag, he could lose his job as a race relations officer.
“My dad was probably English, and one of my relatives before him, I should think”, claimed Bradcroft, “It’s difficult to know for sure, as the official records show them all as ‘British’.”
Bradcroft and others like him are reclaiming their Englishness, by using subtle clues to hint at their heritage.
“I always wear a pith helmet when I’m shopping in Tesco, as well as a tweed monocle and matching cricket pads”, declared the keen crossword enthusiast and dwile flonker.
“We’re taking it one step at a time but I hope that one day, the ‘openly English’ can be accepted enough to visit Glasgow without being made to apologise for all that unpleasantness 700 years ago. Or feeling obliged to buy shortbread.”
English MPs will put forward their case for a separate English assembly, with constitutional powers to ‘muddle through’, and ‘not cause too much fuss’.
However Bradcroft fears they could easily be defeated by a single quote from Braveheart, or a poem about offal.
“It’s going to be a tough debate, that’s for sure”, admitted Bradcroft, “most English MPs are too embarrassed to ask for an interpreter. I’d hoped we’d get a boost by holding the debate on Saint George’s Day, but no-one could quite remember when that is.”