The Problem of Patriotism
This year's Reith Lecturer is the government educational advisor and headmaster of Eton College Robert Birley. In his Reith series entitled 'Britain in Europe', he considers the history and future impact of Britain's increasing involvement with Europe.
In his first lecture, entitled 'The Problem of Patriotism', he examines the impact patriotism might have on the formation of a European Union, and considers the cultural aspect of such a formation.
Birley argues that although Britain may have much to offer Europe, we have little idea yet of the revolution in our ways of thinking that our decision to join Europe will involve. To prepare for this, he says, we can learn from our past history, while remembering that our contribution towards creating a common tradition in the Union can only be made from our present. Anything we can offer will depend on the vigour, the skill and the confidence we can muster to solve our own problems.