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Myths, Monarchs and Prime Ministers: “Blitz Spirit” Discourses of Royalty and Tony Blair in British Newspaper Responses to the July 7th Bombings

Author:

Darren Kelsey

School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle UniversityNone
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Abstract

The ‘Blitz spirit’ is a popular story of Britain during the Second World War, uniting together with defiance and resilience to overcome the threat of invasion from Nazi Germany. However, this paper reviews the story of the Blitz spirit as a myth. A Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) then examines some instances when this myth was retold in British newspapers after the July 7th bombings in London. In this article I analyse the role of the Queen and Royal family as symbols of national unity and defiance. Subsequently, I argue that such constructions of Britishness became more complex than a monolithic national narration; Blitz spirit discourses often criticised Tony Blair and rejected him as a figure of British identity in comparison to the Queen or Winston Churchill. Therefore, this paper argues that whilst the Blitz spirit was a problematic feature of post-July 7th discourses, it did not serve one ideological purpose. Rather, through a nuanced approach to Roland Barthes’ model of myth, I argue that an ideological battleground occurred when a myth from 1940 was reused to define events in 2005.
How to Cite: Kelsey, D., (2013). Myths, Monarchs and Prime Ministers: “Blitz Spirit” Discourses of Royalty and Tony Blair in British Newspaper Responses to the July 7th Bombings. JOMEC Journal. (3), p.None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2013.10242
Published on 01 Jun 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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