Thank you to Simon and Brian for your thoughts and questions.
Many thanks to Ben for his response to questions and the ongoing discussion. I am adding some additional information on the attitudes of leave voters and those who identify with English identity (rather than British).
A YouGov survey in February 2017 reported that 53% of leave voters wanted the return of the death penalty. 48% of leave voters also wanted a return to pounds and ounces (rather than metric). 52% wanted a return to dark blue passports (rather than the current machine readable burgundy one). 42% wanted a return to corporal punishment in schools.
Interesting piece. Ben, while you are right that we need to look beyond material grievances and to the role of English nationalism and memory of empire in shaping Brexit, I feel that your analysis opens a number of other questions.
Thank you Brian and Sasa for your comments and questions.
With regard to Sasa's questions, there has been some sociological research into about the idealised 'Britain' or England held by voters (or at least those surveyed, presuming they vote) by Robin Mann and Steve Fenton in 'Nation, Class and Resentment' (Palgrave, 2017). They found that the idealised past was one of an industrial England where communities were sustained by stable employment in heavy industries.
I would certainly agree that conservative nationalism - as described by Brian Girvin - requires more attention and study, in particular since its political impact appears to be greatly increased.
In this respect, it would be interesting (and illuminating, at least for me) to find out what is the idealized Britain to which the mass of leave voters allegedly look back to. Have there been any studies or surveys on this topic? How do we know that this group of people shares a common image or narrative of the past? Where did they get it from?