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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

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Darren KelseyORCiD



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. This paper reviews the Blitz spirit as a myth. A Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) then examines how this myth was retold in British newspapers after the July 7th bombings in London. I analyse the role of the Queen and Royal family as symbols of national unity and defiance. I then argue that this construction 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. 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kelsey D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: JOMEC Journal - Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Year: 2013

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 01/06/2013

Date deposited: 19/03/2015

ISSN (electronic): 2049-2340

Publisher: Cardiff School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies