Last year I had an article on Englishness and Brexit published in the British Politics Review, where I argued that Englishness was less important in our vote to leave the EU, than many people like to think. You can read it for free on my academia page here, but you will need to register.
The World Cup has got people thinking about Englishness again, and Tim Stanley's "To be English is to be guilty of the Original Sin" was a useful it not particularly revelatory contribution to this debate. Stanley beautifully picks up Orwell's view of the disdain the English may have for their fellows when he writes:
"There are Englishmen who have built their whole identity around rejecting Englishness, and they're often the most painfully English people of all. What other country could produce The Guardian, which dedicates columns to arguing that its English readers either don't exist or are inherently racist"?
The further England go in the World Cup, the more the pressure on that fault line, and the more we will be discussing Englishness. Imagine, if the only country in Europe without a Parliament, won the World Cup!