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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Eddie Bone: A sensible prescription for an English Parliament

This article was published in The Yorkshire Evening Post on Saturday 27th August. Eddie Bone is a good friend of mine and a fellow campaigner for an English Parliament. The article makes compelling reading and it is nice to see the mainstream press allowing debate on such an important issue.

A DECADE ago, the people of England would not have been discussing the prospect of independence for Scotland.

However, independence is now clearly on the horizon following the historic and game changing Scottish National Party victory in May.

Most people when they’re asked about Scottish independence will say that the unfair system now operating in the UK needs to change and they highlight the Barnett formula which gives Scotland a bigger share of public spending. They might not understand this formula, but they see its effects.

They see things like free prescriptions in Scotland, while in England they have to pay.

They see the Scottish elderly getting subsidised care; they see free university education for Scottish students when English students are landed with thousands of pounds worth of debt.

The Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP) knows a key concern for the English is the establishment of a different style of NHS created by unfair cutbacks being implemented on them. They now realise that the health service is being protected in Wales and Scotland but not in their communities.

The CEP has been campaigning for over a decade and in the early days most people viewed themselves as British and not English.

What we’re now realising is that more people in England are identifying themselves as English than British and, as national identities evolve, it becomes inevitable that the British identity will become less attractive.
If the Unionist parties fail to show the value of Britishness, then it will disappear.

Although the Union has given us all constitutional stability over the past 300 years, it now means that England doesn’t have a democratic voice.

This has meant most people are rekindling their love of England out of both want and necessity.

They do not want their children to suffer with tuition fees or their elderly relatives to suffer for the sake of feeling British. The chain that interlocks Englishness and Britishness will be broken altogether if it is twisted too hard.

This should make us all reflect on a line in a Rudyard Kipling’s poem when he writes “he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right”.

Although he is talking about a different time period, everyone in England is now awake to devolution and the talk of injustice.

People appear to accept that Scotland always had national institutional recognition, so when Scotland talks about independence, you’ll find that people are coming round to the idea that it might break away.

Yet it is a different scenario for Wales. It is seen as having more of a cultural nationality. The CEP has noticed an uneasy feeling since the Welsh were given more powers through the Assembly.

It seems to have unnerved the people of England and for the first time they are able to see that the break-up of the Union might actually impact on their lives. The domino effect of devolution has finally penetrated English consciousness.

We’re only beginning to feel the real impact of public spending cuts which will accentuate the problems.

Already 64 per cent of people in England are saying “give us a Parliament for England”. Yet what is more surprising is the quickly achieved percentage jump of people in England willing to discuss independence. It appears that the English just did not want to take responsibility for the break-up of the Union.

Now they can place it at the feet of the Scottish they appear happier to express their Englishness.

Our union of nations needs discussion not from a Scottish view as the British Broadcasting Corporation appears to want, but it also needs to be discussed from an English and Welsh perception.

The writing is now on the wall; the English are starting to enjoy Englishness again.

Most British MPs make the mistake that when they initially mention devolution to people in England, their eyes glaze over.

But if you mention the effects of not having a Parliament on issues like prescription charges, all of a sudden they become very vocal, their eyes become bright and they quickly say, we need an English government. And they’re right.

Eddie Bone is chairman of the Campaign for an English Parliament.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Make St. George’s Day our National Holiday – Sign our Petition

Today the English Democrats launch their biggest ever online campaign. Our main website is now collecting the 100,000 signatures needed to force a debate in the Houses of Parliament on St George’s Day being officially recognised as England's national day.

We set up one of the most successful Facebook Causes:- 'Make St. George's Day a Bank holiday! I am English & Proud! (English Democrats' Cause)'. We now have over 705,000 Cause members! Our Cause calls for St George’s Day to be officially recognised as the National Holiday for the English. There is huge national support in England for this issue!

We are now collecting signatures for our E-Petition with the aim of forcing a debate in Parliament. We need 100,000 signatures to make it happen.

You can sign our petition by clicking here or following the link below:

You can also join our Facebook Cause by clicking the link below, please make sure you’ve already signed up to Facebook causes first.

There is massive public support for this issue but we need your signature on our petition to help build up pressure on the politicians to give the English the same rights as the Scots, Irish and Welsh nations enjoy to celebrate their Patron Saints’ Days.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

A new dawn for Scotland?

The Scotsman:-

Salmond's Government in focus: 100 days is a long time in politics

First Minister Alex Salmond is greeted by Nicola Sturgeon after the landslide victory in May that signalled a new era of power for the SNP

By Eddie Barnes

May's landslide victory marked a new emboldened SNP, but also asked some serious questions of Alex Salmond, writes Eddie Barnes

NO FUSS this time round. Four years ago, in a 20-page congratulations card to himself, Alex Salmond declared himself "proud to report back" on the new SNP administration's first steps. Student fees had been abolished; tolls scrapped; A&E Unit closures overturned. The new Scottish Government had just passed its first test in dealing with the attempted terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport - and come through with flying colours. For the SNP, it was a glad new dawn.

"There'll be no glossy brochures," says a source close to the First Minister this week by contrast. Salmond's second 100-days mark arrives on Thursday. It comes hot on the heels of another less welcome anniversary which occurred yesterday: the second year since the SNP administration freed the Lockerbie bomber, which brought with it a welter of bad publicity for Salmond's administration. A second-term government must always carry baggage - good and bad. And so, while this week the SNP Government will no doubt issue the usual list of achievements to mark its 100 days in office, it seems that Team Salmond has opted against making a song and dance of the first milestone of SNP 2.0. After all, his aides note, it's the same faces in many of the same jobs - why make a big deal of it?

On one level this is true. Ministers such as Nicola Sturgeon, Mike Russell and John Swinney have returned to the same desks they left in April, with the same bulging in-trays warning of the same issues - the most pressing of which is the fact they are running an ever more costly public sector without any new money. But, on another, it is misleading. For this SNP Government is a very different one from its predecessor. May's incredible landslide victory for the party, which handed them an overall majority in parliament, and ensured the certainty of an independence referendum saw to that.

Ironically, the voters liked the last SNP Government so much - the one constrained by its slim minority rule - that they ended up returning a completely different one - one which now holds complete power. The verdict of the Scottish people was a resounding request for seconds, please. Instead they ended up with an entirely different menu. This new government now sets forth trying to keep the existing show on the road, while campaigning to persuade Scots that a new dawn is required. How have they begun?

The new SNP Government is nothing if not emboldened by the people's resounding vote of approval. The pace has risen notably in the 100 days since May, when it became clear that the referendum would be taking place at some point in this parliamentary term.

St Andrew's House, the government's Edinburgh HQ, is signed up entirely to the SNP's credo, with Sir Peter Housden, the Permanent Secretary, said to be utterly committed to Salmond's leadership.

Four years ago, 100 days in, the first Nationalist administration had limited itself to discussions about devolving firearm legislation to Scotland. Four years on, with those powers having been willingly handed over by the UK government, such a small request seems almost quaint. The new Government isn't mucking about. Today sees Salmond publish a detailed paper to the UK government urging them to consider a Plan B on the economy - by spending heavily on capital investment. That comes hot on the heels of another paper last week, proposing the devolution of corporation tax to Scotland. That itself was part of a flurry of demands, issued by Salmond in the weeks after the election result, when he handed over a shopping list to the UK government of items he would like - including powers over alcohol excise, the Crown Estate and borrowing.

For voters who may only have latched on to the policy most paraded by the SNP during the election campaign - to freeze council tax for five years - this shopping list, issued in their name, may have come as something of a surprise. The charge from the SNP's opponents, most notably Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, is that the new SNP Government isn't therefore acting on what voters backed in April, and has become a "steamroller government", twisting the mandate it received from the people (to freeze council tax, maintain police numbers and ring-fence the NHS) into the one it wants for itself (to run a permanent campaign demanding every power going). At least we've got wheels, reply SNP MSPs, who have mocked Rennie for his "cheek" in even having the temerity to challenge the Nationalists after May saw them returned as "the Orkney and Shetland party". Armed with the people's mandate, they are having none of it.

This hints at the new sense of entitlement that has emerged within the new SNP administration since May. The day after the result, Salmond described the SNP as Scotland's "national party". His aides have talked of forming a "big bothy" in which all of Scotland's views are represented within the party tent. But, for some, what this really is about is a new attitude which says: "If you don't like what we're doing, tough - we're doing it." A few straws in the wind have emerged into public view. In May, Education Secretary Mike Russell declared a moratorium on school closures - with local authority chiefs, to their fury, learning via the media. A few weeks later, Alex Salmond waded into judges on the UK Supreme Court over their decision to uphold Nat Fraser's appeal against his sentence.

Last week, it was selectively leaked that the SNP would be introducing a new single police force in Scotland - a move bitterly opposed by some in the forces and across local government.

One source involved in the discussions claims: "Kenny [MacAskill, the justice secretary] is out to gag dissent by leaking this and hoping to silence chief constables over the next couple of weeks. The hope is that this kills off any criticism of the proposals because they are somehow inevitable." Meanwhile, the cluster of interest groups which deal with the Edinburgh administration speak almost weekly of the regular hauling over the coals being doled out by Salmond's advisers for those who step out of line by criticising SNP policy.
So what, you might ask. Such heavy-handed tactics are what well-drilled political outfits do - and were exactly the tactics used by the Labour UK government after the SNP won in 2007, when the same interest groups received some none-too-subtle reminders to remember whose side they were supposed to be on. The SNP can equally claim with justification that the complaints are coming from "the forces of conservatism", opposition parties aiming pot-shots, or unionist opponents in the public sphere who will always spoil for a fight anyway.

The problem for Salmond, however, is that - whether motivated by partisan politics or not - a pattern has emerged which could stick. The fact is that the new SNP Government is incredibly powerful. Using that power brutally will therefore lead, as night follows day, to charges of bullying. The words of the Scottish Parliament's former presiding officer Lord Steel last week, as he revealed he had resigned his advisory role to the Scottish Government because of Salmond's comments on the Supreme Court, were particularly damaging. Declaring himself "appalled" by the way Salmond, MacAskill and an authorised spokesman for the government had spoken, he added, "I told Alex that I hoped this was not the way they were going to continue now that they had an overall majority, because if so I expected a growing number of complaints against ministers."

Much of the backlash, it is fair to say, is caused by the massive personality of Salmond himself, and the fact that he so clearly enjoys and relishes flexing his power. One senior public figure in Scotland notes: "The truth is that if Alex likes you, then you're his best pal and he can't do enough for you. But if he doesn't, be prepared. You're out."

No matter how Salmond chooses to lead, and no matter how successful electorally he is in the short-term, this period in office looks like a hard graft. There is not just the pressure of the referendum but also the crisis in the public finances to manage as well. The conflict between the two could be debilitating - and may prevent the SNP from doing the hard thinking that it knows it must on presenting a robust case for independence ahead of the big vote.

Independent MSP Margo MacDonald notes: "They are too busy doing devolution to be revolutionary." Overworked by the pressing demands of keeping the country going, the likes of MacDonald fear that the hard work selling and explaining independence will go amiss (the current confusion over the party's stance on what currency it will have after independence is a case in point). "It is a revolution that is needed such is the upheaval that we have seen across the world. I don't think Alex has had the time to do some thinking. Maybe he thinks he can't fight too many battles at once," MacDonald adds.

The good news for the SNP is that this negative picture hasn't yet stuck in the public eye. On Friday, it saw off its opponents once again to win a by-election in Edinburgh's city centre. With Scottish Labour still in recovery mode after the election, and with no sign yet of a new leader emerging, there is every reason to expect that next year's local authority elections when they come will see further SNP gains.

Strathclyde University politics professor James Mitchell, who is close to many SNP figures, adds that there is every reason to expect that whatever turmoil the next few years bring financially, it won't be the SNP Government which gets the blame, but the Conservative-led administration in London. "They will get the blame whether it is their fault or not," he declares.

He also believes that the SNP ministers, the civil service and the whole Nationalist team have only become stronger and more competent over four years in office - and that they will use the crisis in the public finances over the coming years as an opportunity to show off their credentials.

Certainly it is true that, whatever faults the Salmond administration has, the unambiguous evidence is that voters are overwhelmingly prepared to give it a fair wind.

And with a weak opposition, and an unpopular UK government in power, the Nationalists look set to maintain their position as Scotland's domestic party of choice for the next few years.
Several Labour figures have already privately declared they do not believe they have a chance of winning the 2016 Scottish elections, meaning that the SNP is likely to remain in power for the next nine years.

Whether the referendum is won or lost, a government with such power can change a country for ever. This is within Salmond's grasp. But no-one needs reminding about the perils of absolute power. One hundred days on, Salmond and the SNP Government has never looked stronger. Therein lies his greatest danger.

A different tale in two nations?

Compare this Scottish news item with the line that Labour tries to spin in England about "Britishness":-


Former First Minister Henry McLeish has called for Labour to back Scottish financial independence.

Sunday August 21,2011

By Ben Borland

FORMER First Minister Henry McLeish has called for Labour to back Scottish financial independence or face political oblivion north of the Border.

Labour veteran Henry McLeish said yesterday that complete fiscal freedom from the UK is the only way his party can return to the front foot against the SNP.

He has put the case for the sensational policy U-turn to UK Labour leader Ed Miliband and senior Scots MP Jim Murphy and said he is “very optimistic” they will agree.

Mr McLeish also described secret plans to bring in a Scottish leader from outwith Holyrood as an “own goal”.

The SNP welcomed his comments, but warned that the rest of Scottish Labour is still “out of touch”.
Mr McLeish, who was First Minister from 2000 to 2001, said the Labour-backed Calman plan to give Holyrood more power was “not sufficient”.

He added: “Fiscal autonomy or devolution max, when Labour gets to that point then we will have a credible alternative to put against independence and there is no doubt it would win the support of the Scottish people in a referendum.

“I have talked to a lot of people in the party about this, including Ed Miliband. This is Labour’s time. Labour can’t afford to have another humiliating defeat like 2011 or 2007.

“The reason why the SNP is talking up fiscal independence or devo max is they know they can’t get full independence past the Scottish people.

“The SNP is softening its rhetoric on independence and it is important that Labour is not outmanoeuvred again. We can claim that alternative position.”

Mr McLeish also said it would be a mistake to form a “Unionist alliance” with the Conservatives ahead of the SNP’s independence referendum.

Mr Murphy, the shadow defence secretary, and MSP Sarah Boyack are carrying out a review of Scottish Labour following its ballot box hammering on May 5. One of the main issues under consideration is who should replace Iain Gray as leader.

Mr McLeish confirmed rumours that some within the party want to recruit a Scottish leader from Westminster, who would promise to stand down in 2015 and move to Holyrood.

Although supposed ‘heavy hitters’ like Mr Murphy and Douglas Alexander have ruled themselves out, new MPs Tom Greatrex and Gregg McClymont are being considered.

Mr McLeish said: “I’m not sure that the people who think this is a solution have fully thought through the practical implications.”

SNP MP and Treasury Spokesman Stewart Hosie said the former Fife MP and MSP is “right” to back financial independence.

He said: “Henry McLeish joins leading job creators Sir Tom Hunter and Jim McColl in recognising the importance of Scotland having full financial responsibility.”

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Is the UK really a democracy at all?

Can the UK properly call itself a genuine and free democracy when a leading historian and academic cannot even publically express his point of view without being vilified by the political and media Establishment?

Here is the link to the appallingly badly chaired discussion on Newsnight:-

And here is Dr Starkey's article in the Daily Telegraph of today, (note - Ed Miliband's attack on free speech):-

UK riots: It’s not about criminality and cuts, it’s about culture... and this is only the beginning. Condemned as a racist for his comments on 'Newsnight' following the riots, the historian David Starkey speaks out against those who tried to silence him for confronting the gangster culture that has ruptured our society.

'My friends believe my greatest error was to mention Enoch Powell’: historian David Starkey. Photo: MARTIN POPE

By David Starkey

What a week! It’s not every day that you’re the subject of direct personal attack from the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition. On Tuesday, after he had spoken at his old school, Haverstock Comprehensive, about the riots, Ed Miliband was invited by a member of the audience to “stamp out” the now-infamous opinions I had expressed on the same subject on last Friday’s Newsnight.

Mr Miliband might have replied that he disagreed with what I said, but in a liberal democracy defended my right to say it since it broke no laws. Not a bit of it, I fear. Instead, Miliband – the son of a refugee who fled from Nazi Europe to preserve his life and freedom of thought – agreed enthusiastically with the questioner. Mine were “racist comments”, he said, “[and] there should be condemnation from every politician, from every political party of those sorts of comments.”

Strong words. But what do they mean? Well, the following statements are verbatim quotations of some of the principal points I made on Newsnight: “A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture has become the fashion.” “This sort of black male [gang] culture militates against education.” “It’s not skin colour, it’s cultural.”

“Disgusting and outrageous”, are they? In which case, those who agree with Miliband must believe the opposite of all these. They are therefore convinced that gang culture is personally wholesome and socially beneficial.

But how, then, to explain the black educationalists Tony Sewell and Katharine Birbalsingh defending the substance of my comments on “gangsta” culture, as well as Tony Parsons, who wrote in the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror that, “without the gang culture of black London, none of the riots would have happened – including the riots in other cities like Manchester and Birmingham where most of rioters were white”.

Even stranger is Miliband’s apparent notion that, far from militating against educational achievement as I suggested, “the gang culture of black London” must therefore be a seedbed for scholarship and sound learning. Odd, isn’t it, that Waterstone’s bookshop was the only business unlooted in the Ealing riots? And odder still that Lindsay Johns, the Oxford-educated mixed-race writer who mentors young people in Peckham, argues passionately against “this insulting and demeaning acceptance” of a fake Jamaican – or “Jafaican” – patois. “Language is power”, Johns writes, and to use “ghetto grammar” renders the young powerless.

“So why,” some of my friends have asked, “didn’t you stop there?” “Why did you have to talk about David Lammy MP sounding 'white’? Or white chavs becoming 'black’?” The answer is that I thought my appearance on Newsnight was supposed to be part of a wide-ranging discussion about the state of the nation. Central to any such discussion, it seems to me, are the successes and failures of integration in Britain in the past 50 years. And it was these that I was trying to address.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that my remarks on this subject produced especial outrage. I was accused of condemning all black culture; of using white and black culture interchangeably to denote “good and bad”, and of saying that blacks could only get on by rejecting black culture. Actually, I said none of those things and nothing that I did say could have been construed as such by any fair-minded person.

Instead, I was trying to point out the very different patterns of integration at the top and bottom of the social scale. At the top, successful blacks, like David Lammy and Diane Abbot, have merged effortlessly into what continues to be a largely white elite: they have studied at Oxbridge and gone on to Oxbridge-style careers, such as that of an MP.

But they have done so at the cost of losing much of their credibility with blacks on the street and in the ghettos. And here, at the bottom of the heap, the story of integration is the opposite: it is the white lumpen proletariat, cruelly known as the “chavs”, who have integrated into the pervasive black “gangsta” culture: they wear the same clothes; they talk and text in the same Jafaican patois; and, as their participation in recent events shows, they have become as disaffected and riotous.

Trying to explain why, led me to what all my friends agree was my greatest error: to mention Enoch Powell. Tactically, of course, they are right, as the “Rivers of Blood” speech remains, even 40-odd years after its delivery, an unhealed wound.

Unfortunately, the speech and still more the reaction to it, are also central to any proper understanding of our present discontents. For Powell’s views were popular at the time and the London dockers marched in his support. The reaction of the liberal elites in both the Labour and Tory parties, who had just driven Powell into the wilderness, was unanimous: the white working class could never be trusted on race again. The result was a systematic attack over several decades: on their perceived xenophobic patriotism, on symbols like the flag of St George, even – and increasingly – on the very idea of England itself.

The attack was astonishingly successful. But it left a void where a sense of common identity should be. And, for too many, the void has been filled with the values of “gangsta” culture.

Consider the converse. One of the most striking things about the England riots is where they did not happen: Yorkshire, the North East, Wales and Scotland. These areas contain some of the worst pockets of unemployment in the country. But they are also characterised by a powerful sense of regional or national identity and difference that cuts across all classes and binds them together. And it is this, I am sure, which has inoculated them against the disease of “gangsta” culture and its attendant, indiscriminate violence.

Scotland, Alex Salmond says smugly, is a “different culture”. It is indeed, since the Scots are allowed - and even encouraged - to be as racist as they please and hate the English with glad abandon.

I do not want a similar licensed xenophobia here. But an English nationalism we must have. And it must be one that includes all our people: white and black and mixed race alike.

Fortunately, there is a powerful narrative of freedom that runs like a golden thread through our history. “The air of England is too pure for a slave to breathe in,” counsel declared repeatedly in Somersett’s Case, about the legality of slavery in England, in 1772.

We must focus on the righting of the wrong rather than the original wrong itself. The former heals; the latter divides. And we have had enough of division. There is a final point. If all the people of this country, black and white alike, are to enter fully into our national story, as I desperately hope they will, they must do so on terms of reciprocity. In other words, I must be as free to comment on problems in the black community as blacks are to point the finger at whites, which they do frequently, often with justice, and with impunity.

For the other pernicious legacy of the reaction to Powell has been an enforced silence on the matter of race. The subject has become unmentionable, by whites at any rate. And any breach has been punished by ostracism and worse. As the hysterical reaction to my remarks shows, the witch-finders already have their sights on me, led by that pillar of probity and public rectitude, Piers Morgan, who called on Twitter for the ending of my television career within moments of the Newsnight broadcast.

But the times have changed. Powell had to prophesy his “Tiber foaming with blood”. We, on the other hand, have already experienced the fires of Tottenham and Croydon. Moreover, the public mood is different from the acquiescent and deferential electorate of the Sixties. We are undeceived. We are tired of being cheated and lied to by bankers and MPs and some sections of the press.

We will not continue, I think, to tolerate being lied to and cheated in the matter of race. Instead of “not in front of the children”, we want honesty.

But this is only the beginning. The riots are the symptom of a profound rupture in our body politic and sense of national identity. If the rupture is not healed and a sense of common purpose recovered, they will recur – bigger, nastier and more frequently. Can we stop bickering and address this task of recovery and reconstruction – all together?

Friday, 19 August 2011

New Website Features

For all those members who have not seen our new look website, now is the perfect time to check it out as our web team have added a new comments system to the news articles.

You can also register with the site, so instead of your comments having to be moderated, they will appear on the site straight away.

Make sure you check out the site by clicking here:

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Doncaster, with our Mayor, shows the way!

17/08/11 - Dispersal order in Wheatley continues to be a success

A section 30 dispersal order, which was granted for six months in Wheatley at the beginning of June, has again proved its worth during the first few weeks of the summer holidays. Incidents of anti-social behaviour were down by 40% in July.

South Yorkshire Police and Doncaster Council applied for the order, which enables the police to disperse from the area groups of two or more people causing a nuisance, after residents raised a number of concerns about antisocial behaviour, including the use of abusive and foul language, criminal damage, littering and intimidating behaviour.

Activities have also been organised for young people to give them something positive to do with their evenings. The Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) is hosting multi sports activities for youngsters. Local youth clubs have extended opening hours and there have been a number of drop-in sessions organised at the Wheatley Youth Club and the Kingfisher Youth Club.

The Wheatley centre is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights and is open to young people aged between 11 and 19. The Kingfisher youth club runs every Wednesday and caters for young people aged 8 - 12. Since the dispersal order was put in place, more than 50 young people have attended the youth clubs on a weekly basis.

There is also an under-age club night planned for 11 - 16 year olds from across Doncaster at the Trinity nightclub on 25th August. The beach party night starts at 7pm and doors close at 10pm.

Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster, said: "Cutting anti-social behaviour is a priority for us and it’s encouraging to hear that incident numbers are still falling. Residents are telling us that this order is making a difference and we’ll continue to look at what else we can do to ensure people feel safe where they live."

Police Sergeant John Hunter for the Wheatley Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) said: "It is really pleasing to see the dispersal order making such a difference in the area. We have seen a decrease in the number of groups of young people hanging around and residents have told me they feel safer. The SNT will continue to patrol the area and enforce the order if necessary."

Councillor Eva Hughes, Ward Member for Wheatley, said: "We've worked closely with Wheatley residents to get this order put in place and it's really pleasing to see the positive effect it's having."

For media enquiries contact Chris Dawson, Communications Officer, on 01302 736697

Monday, 15 August 2011

The view from the other side of St George's Channel.

Scots and Welsh quick to distance themselves from England's shame

An unexpected outcome of the riots which took place in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Huddersfield, Nottingham, Leicester, Gloucester and the Medway last week was the revival of the concept of "England".

When some commentators referred to the "riots which broke out in Britain", the Scots and the Welsh were very quick to point out: "No, not Britain. England."

Quite so. There were no such disturbances in Scotland or Wales. Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales.

There were no such disturbances in Northern Ireland (much less the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands): the United Kingdom comprises Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the other islands under the writ of the crown.

All the trouble happened in England. The riotous week is now referred to as "the burning of England", or "land of loot and burning".

In London, some commentators took to referring to the rioters as "Englishmen". One commentator, advocating tough policing, said that in Northern Ireland the police were known to use robust methods of crowd control. "If we don't mollycoddle Irishmen, why should we mollycoddle Englishmen?"

It is interesting that it has taken this distressing and sometimes shameful series of events to restore the concept of "England" -- a concept that had been buried, for many decades now, under the wider description of "Britain" or "The UK".

It's funny, because until The Troubles in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and 80s, Irish nationalists traditionally spoke about "England" as the hereditary oppressor -- rather than Britain. All Michael Collins's writings about the national struggle refer to "England". So do all Patrick Pearse's. So do Yeats's -- in his celebrated and rousing poem, 'Easter 1916', he wrote that line, "For England may keep faith/After all that's been done and said".

But from the 1970s, and perhaps even before, England became "the Brits". As Welsh and Scottish regiments were very much part of the Crown forces, perhaps that was accurate.

Yet it was all linked to a wider agenda in which "England" had been subsumed into "Britain" and "the United Kingdom". Partly this arose because Scots who were nationalists -- but also, paradoxically, unionists -- wanted to be included in "Britain", but did not want to be included in "England" (as the French would refer to the British in general as "Les Anglais").

Meanwhile, airport schedules referred to the whole realm as the "United Kingdom". Scroll down the booking system of an airline for "country of origin" and the United Kingdom pops up just before the United States, (and just after the United Arab Emirates).

Thus "the UK" came into common parlance, and hardly anyone spoke about "England" any more, except in the context of tourism. Even then, it was minimalist. Crossing into Wales, there are huge signs, in Welsh and English, telling travellers they are welcome to Wales ('CROESO I CYMRU'); cross back the other way, and there is just a little apologetic signpost somewhere along the road bearing the information that you are now in Shropshire.

England, having been the dominant nation in what was once the four nations in the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, in recent years became the most invisible one. Especially as the Scots and the Welsh followed the examples of Irish nationalists and affirmed their identity. But you can never suppress what is inherent in any culture, and "England" began to reassert herself in a number of ways.

First came the cross of St George, often hoisted at football matches. A perfectly nice group representing English Heritage emerged and then a rather nasty one called the English Defence League followed.

As Scotland got its own parliament, there were English protests about "the West Lothian question": it was unfair that Scottish Members of Parliament could vote on English matters at Westminster, while English MPs could not vote on Scottish matters in Edinburgh.

And then came the riots which, the Celtic nations were insistently pointing out, were confined to England -- which indeed they were.

There are social problems in England which are different from those in Scotland and Wales. Scotland has a better education system (although a more serious national problem with alcohol, and with sectarianism too); Welsh society is more family-based and with greater community cohesion based on language and religious ties, and it has not had to absorb so many migrants.

So England has re-emerged as a separate concept. It's just rather sad that it has taken this week of civil disorder -- and loss of life -- to make that point.

Britain, and the United Kingdom, are political, or passport, definitions. England, Scotland and Wales are cultural and even national distinctions, and it is right that they should be seen separately. Poetry and rhetoric, too, have always favoured cultural identity, rather than political entities: Browning didn't write, "Oh, to be in Britain, now that April's there" and Nelson didn't say, "Britain expects that every man this day will do his duty".

And there is one consolation for the men and women of the English nation this week: the triumphal performance of "England" in its cricket game against India.

Mary Kenny - Irish Independent

BBC - biased against England and the English?

The Cross of St George forum has this excellent and thought provoking article:-

The BBC has form as a national censor

Many of us who support the creation of a separate parliament for the people of England are very conscious of the BBC's practice of ensuring that it is never properly discussed, and least of all by those who regard themselves as being English. Indeed, the BBC has 'form' as a censor of important (we would maintain vital) issues.

Some seventy five years ago, during the second half of the 1930s, the BBC deliberately prevented Mr Winston Churchill MP (as he was then) from broadcasting his concerns about the threat posed by the Nazi regime in Germany which, under Hitler, was rapidly re-arming. This was in marked contrast with the 'appeasement', money-saving policies being pursued by the Conservatives under Stanley Baldwin with Neville Chamberlain as Chancellor of the Exchequer during a period of economic and social depression.
Many readers here will recognise similarities with the current scenario.

The shabby, undemocratic treatment of Churchill is recorded by William Manchester in his book "The Caged Lion" [first published in 1988 by Michael Joseph Ltd]. Mr Manchester recorded:"Public issues had been discussed over the BBC [then it was radio only] , and earlier in the decade Winston had managed to get a word in now and then, but as the crises mounted on the Continent and tensions increased, Reith screened participants in debates approving only those who presented bland views, offending no listeners, particularly those occupying the front bench in the House of Commons." This then was the state of British democracy! We now know the extent that factual information was manipulated (largely by important facts being omitted) in the matter of the Abdication where, by reason of his unwise positioning, Churchill had lost much credibility in the eyes of the British political establishment. [A similar charge may be levelled at Churchill about the question of India's self-determination.]

As already mentioned, another similarity with the present is the BBC's deliberate but undeclared policy of suppressing proper debate of a fair constitutional settlement for England and her people no less than that enjoyed in Scotland. Indeed, England with her population accounting for 84% [and increasing] of the UK's population has a much greater claim to increased self-determination than any other part of the UK.

As someone taking a keen interest in this subject, I am not aware of a single occasion, either on radio or television, in which even parity of openly declared English patriots were present in debates or discussions about England or the UK's constitutional issues. Too often, Scottish and other non-English participants have predominated. Too often, such discussions have been diverted into questions about English or British identity, neither of which were in evidence when the Blair Government was bent on granting devolved powers to Scotland and, to a much lesser extent, Wales.

Just as that great Englishman Churchill was able to prevail over the BBC (and Hitler), all true English people must persist with their demands for an English Parliament and, with it, create a refreshed and resurgent English nationhood and sense of national identity which prevails over the BBC and which extracts itself from the cloying tentacles of the European Union. The case for an English Parliament and with it the creation of an English Broadcasting Corporation becomes increasingly powerful. A UK which refuses to recognise England and English identity seems doomed.

There are some of us who believe that, had a more conscious awareness of English national identity been nurtured (rather than suppressed under an imposed Britishness), far fewer would have participated in the recent riots in England's cities which are now being unjustly attributed to the English.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Scots win battle of patriotism over English, study shows

Yesterday in the Daily Record, a leading Scottish newspaper, was this intriguing news item:-

Scots win battle of patriotism over English, study shows

SCOTS are fiercely patriotic compared to the English, according to research.

They are more likely to celebrate St Andrew's Day and fly the Saltire, while many English folk fear displaying the flag of St George would spark accusations of racism or right-wing bias.

More than three-quarters of Scots also consider themselves to be "patriotic", with almost two-thirds happy to show their national pride in public.

But only half of people down south feel the same.

A spokesman for, who commissioned the survey of 2000 folk, said: "Scots are well known for their patriotism but it seems they are well ahead of the English in the pride stakes.

"Some of the biggest dates in our calendar, such as New Year's Eve and Burns Night, see us cover the country in our flag without any shame or embarrassment.

"It's a shame English people can't follow in our footsteps and show the same pride in their nation."

The poll found a third of Scots celebrate St Andrew's Day, compared to just 19 per cent of those in England who mark St George's Day

Here is the website of the pollsters whom I have emailed to ask for a copy of the poll:-

I don't find the scale of this result entirely credible, as my experience is that English people are now much more patriotically ENGLISH than even a couple of years ago. The result might well reflect either the question or the sample questioned. Nevertheless I do think English people are still much more confused and conflicted between ENGLISHNESS and BRITISHNESS than Scots tend to be.

Also Scotland has the blessing of a highly active and successful nationalist party - the mission of the English Democrats is to emulate that success for England and so to give the lead to the English to feel free to be at least as Patriotic about England as Scots are about Scotland!


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Friday, 12 August 2011

NEW English Democrats Website Launched

You can view the all NEW English Democrats website at

The new site features campaigns, online petitions and numerous other features. It will also be updated regularly with new news items, election results, party news and press releases.

Please make sure you bookmark it and keep checking back for new updates!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Oh, Of course! If it's bad - it MUST be English!!

News flash

UK riots: BBC presenters told to call riots 'English'

The BBC has instructed presenters to refer to "English" instead of "UK" riots in case they upset residents of other regions.

Police come under attack during rioting in the Toxteth area of Liverpool

Police come under attack during rioting in the Toxteth area of Liverpool Photo: SPLASH

A BBC spokesman explained: "While the rioting and disturbances have been taking place in England, our initial approach was guided by the story's impact for the UK as a whole - for example, the UK Prime Minister returning from holiday and the decision to recall the UK Parliament.

"However, with the events confined to several cities and towns in England and not Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we have listened to feedback from our audiences and are now referring to 'England riots' in our on-going coverage for absolute clarity."

The BBC was accused of political correctness earlier this week when it continually referred to violent looters as "protesters". Fran Unsworth, head of newsgathering, admitted yesterday that using the term was wrong and said journalists had been ordered to stop using it.

Now really don't you just love the BRITISH broadcasting corporation?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

An important insight from an eye witness

"My son and I were in the middle of the streets being looted from 10 pm to 3 am." by Rev. Paul Perkin

Rev Paul Perkin, rector of St Mark’s Battersea Rise, watched his parish being looted from end to end.

He writes: “My son and I were in the middle of the streets being looted from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. The police abdicated responsibility. It was open season for looting.

The police seemed to have no idea what to do. They set up lines but were like a disoriented army in battle which did not know where the frontline was. The lines were neither containing nor defending any territory.All the looters did was to keep a few yards distance or move a street away while the police stood and watched.

I have never seen anything like it. We were in the middle of a battle against property. The place was like a bomb scene.

There was no violence against people. There was no indignation against police brutality. This was not an angry mob – indeed for some there was almost a carnival-like atmosphere. What was truly terrifying was the complete absence of law and order – this was truly a society without law. There was no breaking into houses. It was petty criminality by looting thieves.

Our church garden was being used to stash the loot. They smashed up shops and took stuff out to hide in the church garden and hid there sometimes themselves. They called up cars which were driving around the periphery to come and take stuff away.

They were older teenagers, most between 15 and 20 years old. Theywere almost entirely blacks. Many we talked to, trying to encourage them to go home, were not local people. We engaged with some of them. They did not know where they were or how to get out of the area. Some of them who were driving the cars did know where to go and with others on motorbikes they were directing the operation. Clearly professional thieves were also cashing in – every so often a white van would turn up and they would fill up the vans.

Seventeen year olds were looting the sports shop for trainers and people were walking out of Curry’s with televisions. Only at 1 am was the party shop was set ablaze.

First there were a few ordinary policemen. Then the riot police came. For most of the night they exerted little influence randomly in no particular direction. There was no control or strategy. Towards the end they formed lines to protect Debenhams, but the looters merely walked in and out of the back.

Right at the end, after six hours, the police turned up in force. The police told people to clear the area so that they could do theirwork. But they did nothing. In any case by that stage most of the looters had dispersed. The police suddenly saw they were in the ascendancy and so had a line of riot police, followed by lorries then another line of riot police. Armoured vehicles raced up and down the streets but by that time all the looters had gone. It was only to show that they now had the power. The only people they were terrifying were the bystanders and stragglers trying to get home.

It was total chaos and the police were part of the chaos. They did
not know what to do.We had known it was coming, being warned at 4pm that looters were on their way. A message came to our church office that shops in Clapham Junction were being encouraged to close down early. By 5 p.m. the place was closed. The main concern may have been to guard Clapham Junction station. So there may have been little interest in preventing shops from being looted.

Max and I went first to look at the church. There were lines of cars outside the church to pick up the looters and their loot. They were causing chaos. The violence was randomly dispersed. The police spontaneously and helplessly formed a line. But the rioting was taking place either side of the line. There was no co-ordination. The police could have swept down the street. But it was a question of the balance of power – there were 50 of them among 1000 looters. We were not on the periphery. We were in the middle of this. The police did not want a pitched battle. The looters knew the police did not want to do anything. They carried on carelessly.

Few people wanted to start fires. Not till 1 am once everyone had gone did someone light a fire.

This is our parish. It is so small.

Pray for the restraint of further rioting tonight. The first object must be that it stops. Pray for parents to keep their young people in. I hear that youth workers in Croydon ( where there was also trouble) were telling the young people to go home – with some success.

Pray for the police effort to gain a co-ordinated strategy. Many of the riot police had come on from North London, and for some it was their third night at this and they had not had much sleep. It seems that they have been moved on as every fire flares up, but they come too late. Indeed if no police had arrived throughout it probably would have made little difference to the outcome

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

“The Devil Makes work for Idle hands “?

This is the old saying but what we are witnessing now is nothing less than what happens when the whole edifice of Law and Order is exposed as a ‘Paper Tiger’!

Now, wherever there is a risk of copycat arson, burglary and looting, there needs to be a display of real leadership shown by, amongst others, England’s Council Leaders. Instead we are getting a classic display of those in “Authority” trying to pass the buck.

The Police need be given firm and public orders by Leaders to take immediate and vigorous action at the first sign of trouble and to arrest as many as possible of those involved. Heads to be broken if necessary!

Where there is a risk of rioting Council Leaders should be applying now to the courts for a Public Order Act ban on groups of more than, say, 20 youths congregating in potential trouble spots, so that the police can arrest or disperse them as they see fit.

More generally we need to see an end to political correctness in dealing with criminality and also to those aspects of official ‘Multiculturalism’ which put Gang-culture on a par with traditional English culture. The purpose of the police is not social-engineering; it is a Force to crack down on criminals. We also need a return to our English traditions of local communities, homeowners and shopkeepers being empowered to enforce the law and defend themselves and their property.

In the longer term, the criminal justice system needs radical overhaul to make it much more of a deterrent to criminals and our primary and secondary education system needs to re-embrace, as a basic part of the curriculum, the idea of discipline.

Also the Government must recognise that Youth unemployment needs a much greater effort and focus. We need better youth training and an end to low skilled immigration taking jobs that our country’s native youth could do, together with a Welfare system which encourages and rewards Work.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Green and Pleasant Land?

Today I am as appalled as anyone by the Yardie type gang rampage in Tottenham and would be glad to see a firm, old fashioned, no nonsense, police response but I think this article spells more long term trouble for what remains of England's "Green and Pleasant Land".

The Tories, as ever, when in Office (whatever they may say during elections), the Party of globalist big business and the EU, are anxious to be able to force through planning decisions in England without even the perfunctory nod towards local democracy which our current planning laws provide.

In Scotland and Wales their countryside, of course, will have the protection of their own national parliaments and governments but in England we have only the last days of the Raj mentality of the British Government to rule us.

This is an extract of the Wikipedia (auto?)biography of the Tory minister who is leading their attack against anyone daring to challenge their rush to concrete over England. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions as to how patriotic an Englishman he is!

"Robert James MacGillivray "Bob" Neill (born 24 June 1952) is a British barrister and Conservative Party politician..... He is .... a member of the EU's Committee of the Regions,[2] and a member of the European People's Party - European Democrats. A pro-European, he supported former Conservative Chancellor Kenneth Clarke in both of his bids for the leadership of the Conservative Party."

Friday, 5 August 2011

British Government seeks to Asset-Strip England?

Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, says authorities will be forced to justify their assets to maintain transparency

Sign the English Parliament E-petition!

There is now open one of the government's new E-petitions:- "Creation of an English Parliament"; which has been registered with the Cabinet Office site by my old colleague Andrew Constantine.

Although if we get 100,000 signatures it will only trigger a debate in that House of opposition to an English Partliament (the Commons), it will nevertheless help to publicise our Cause and also to force our opponents to show their hand.

The link to sign is here >>>

I have been nagged into the idea that I should have a Blog so here goes!

This is the first entry on my new blog. I will aim to put up something of interest to the English Cause several times a week.