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Wednesday, 31 July 2013




Party members and supporters often complain to me about the lack of coverage of our Cause. Even when there is a major development the BBC doesn’t cover it (unless of course there is a negative spin to put on it!). This is despite we now know what that the 2011 Census shows over 70% of the population of England have a predominantly English National Identity. So the simple question is, why is it that the minority ethnicities and religions and lifestyles get such a disproportionate coverage? So extreme is the bias that some people are tempted by the idea of a conspiracy!

The truth is that it is not a conspiracy in the sense that people have actually got together and decided to be biased on these issues, it is more of a Media and Political Establishment elite “group think”.

There have been a number of articles recently which help to explain how this works. The clearest example of this “group think” in action is set-out in the article below.

Have a read of the article. Do make sure that you complain regularly to the BBC about their bias (aka "Institutionalised Racism"?) so that we can at least make their bias less comfortable for them and make them have to justify themselves!

What do you think of this?
Here is the article:-

Lessons to learn from The Guardian and Mirror's pursuit of Lynton Crosby

Over the last week or so The Guardian and The Mirror have run stories suggesting that Lynton Crosby, a strategic adviser to the Conservative Party, has secured u-turns in government policy which benefit his commercial clients.

David Cameron and Lynton Crosby have been clear that this isn't the case. That hasn't stopped The Guardian running a further story today. The crux of today's story is that Crosby's firm - CTF Partners - advised private healthcare clients how to exploit NHS 'failings'.

Helpfully The Guardian have published the PowerPoint presentation on their website which is the basis for the story. This document was actually a presentation given to MPs of all Parties in 2010 – it was research like all polling companies conduct.

It is not uncommon for someone such as Populus or YouGov to give presentations to MPs or Peers so that these policy makers actually get a sense of what voters or groups such as GPs are thinking. One of the things CTF Partners do is undertake polling research like those household name polling companies.

So the very premise for the story is false but I do admire the journalism as the wording of this and other stories is deftly done. There is a lot of nods, winks, innuendo and language that suggests wrong-doing without ever directly making that accusation.

This is replicated by the quotes from the Labour Party spokesmen who always raise questions too rather than making direct accusations.

Having worked in political communications in the UK for nearly 9 years I know the process and it is very clear. The Labour Party are using two newspapers, supported by the BBC, to try and get a scalp which will weaken the Prime Minister.

A piece of information is dressed up as a 'leak' by the attack unit at Labour HQ. Interesting to note that editors love leaks. Leaks make the information more 'sexy' than if it had just come across the desk of the journalist via a press release. As I've already said, this information is not a 'leak' but a presentation given openly to a group of cross-party MPs over three years ago.

This information is then farmed out to journalists at Labour's two favourite newspapers, The Guardian and/or The Mirror. Once it becomes a front page story - a splash - then that is enough for a call to go in to the BBC newsroom to suggest that maybe they too should be covering this story. If it is a splash in The Guardian the BBC is far more likely to run it as the Corporation buys far more of this newspaper than any other. Voila - a 'leak' created in Labour HQ has become a political 'row' in three easy steps.

There are lessons for all from this sorry saga. Unfortunately some journalists have agendas they wish to pursue. In this case The Guardian and The Mirror want rid of Crosby as they see he is a threat to Labour winning a majority at the next General Election. Having worked under him on two campaigns I know what a shrewd strategist he is. They are right to be worried.

All newspapers have editorial views on all sorts of issues from wind-farms to foreign policy to planning laws and which political party is best placed to run this country. They are free to have those views - I advised the Free Speech Network to help try and protect this - but we should all be aware when seeing a story on the evening news, or as it is shared around on Twitter, just why something has become a 'story'.

There are political scandals - 13,000 avoidable deaths in the NHS is one in my book - then there are stories like this designed to score political points and weaken opponents. Unfortunately the pursuit of Lynton Crosby is unlikely to end today. When the next story is being punted around on social media have a look, read between the lines and look at what isn't said. Then you'll get a better understanding of that 'leak' and the motives behind the 'story'.

(Here is the link to the original >>>

Friday, 26 July 2013

Lions led by Donkeys? IPPR report extracts

This report is so important in understanding the tremendous progress that the English Cause has made that I have prepared this. It is still quite long but has all the key things to note.



The IPPR is a Labour supporting “think tank” and was one of cheerleaders for the Labour Government’s attempt to break England up into regions. They are still trying and their latest scheme is for a Northern Parliament.

The report is written by:- 

Richard Wyn Jones is professor of Welsh politics and director of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University 
Guy Lodge is an associate director at IPPR and co-editor of Juncture, IPPR’s quarterly journal Charlie Jeffery is professor of politics and vice principal for public policy at the University of Edinburgh 
Glenn Gottfried is quantitative research fellow at IPPR 
Roger Scully is professor of political science in the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University Ailsa Henderson is professor of political science at the University of Edinburgh 
Daniel Wincott is head of Cardiff Law School and co-chair of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University.

So note that while there is some measure of academic professionalism that the report’s authors include not one single English patriot. The results are therefore all the more strking! Here are all the important extracts:-


As in 2011, at the first stage most 2012 survey respondents identified themselves as both English and British. However, more identified themselves as English (60 per cent) than British (58 per cent). And although the difference between these two groups reduced from 6 per cent in 2011 to 2 per cent, the level of British identity recorded was the lowest in any survey reported here (going back to 1996).

Only 10 per cent of respondents claim to be ‘more British than English’. In this sense there was no discernible post-Olympics ‘Britishness bounce’.

Although most people retain an overlapping English and British identity, what has emerged – as we argue in our previous report – is ‘a different kind of Anglo-British identity in which the “Anglo” component is increasingly considered the primary source of identity for the English’. What’s more, this trend has not gone unnoticed within England: when asked, 58 per cent agree that the English have ‘become more aware of English national identity in recent years’.

Further evidence of the strength of English national sentiment is provided by the most inclusive survey of them all, the (2011) Census. For the first time, the 2011 Census explored patterns of national identity across the UK by means of a question similar to the first part of the ‘forced choice’ question discussed above.

In England, fully 70 per cent of the population identified themselves either as solely English (60 per cent) or English in combination with some other national identity (10 per cent). In another finding that is in line with the 2011 FoEs, the census found only limited regional variation across England – with one significant exception – in the strength of English national identification. That exception was London. In the dual capital of England and the United Kingdom, while English national identity remains the most popular choice, Englishness was notably weaker than elsewhere and Britishness rather stronger.

What is particularly striking about the census data is the weakness of British national identity in England….. - Only 29 per cent of census participants identified themselves as feeling any sense of British national identity. ……. Although the census was taken before the Jubilee and the Olympics in 2012, the clarity of its findings on the strength of Britishness runs starkly contrary to the narrative of revivalism that we saw throughout last year.

That fully 40 per cent of people in England would, if given the opportunity, choose an English passport is striking, especially given the complete absence of any public debate around English citizenship. Nonetheless, even if England is emerging as a political community, Britishness remains a more important reference point for political identity for the people of England than for their neighbours in Scotland or Wales. This should, of course, come as little surprise given that debates about the notion of Scottish and Welsh citizenship are of long standing – be that explicitly through those nations’ respective nationalist parties, or implicitly through the actions of devolved government.

Is the rise of English sentiment confined to particular social and demographic groups? Across all age-groups, social classes and both genders Englishness is stronger than Britishness. The one important exception concerns members of England’s ethnic minorities.

Indeed, if the soon-to-be-published Scottish census data is consistent with expectations then the UK will be revealed as a state in which British national identity is not the main national identity in any of the three national territories of Great Britain.


Our 2011 survey revealed substantial dissatisfaction in England with how Scotland, in particular, is treated within the UK. Scotland was felt to receive more than its fair share of public spending (and England less than its fair share).

The strength of feeling in England is further illustrated by the fact that the number who say that Scotland gets more than its fair share of public spending has more than doubled in the last decade (from 24 per cent in 2002).

The English also overwhelmingly believe that public services delivered in Scotland should be funded by taxes levied in Scotland, and that Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote on English laws. While changes to the wording of the question mean that data from our 2011 and 2012 surveys are not strictly comparable (but do enable direct comparison with the longer BSA time series), the 2012 findings are nonetheless striking. Over three- quarters of respondents supported the proposition that the Scottish parliament should pay for the services it delivers out of taxes levied in Scotland, while more than 80 per cent agreed that Scottish MPs should not vote on English laws. Note also the intensity of feeling: 49 per cent and 55 per cent of English respondents ‘strongly agreed’ that, respectively, Scotland should pay its own way and that Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote on English matters.

These findings could prove particularly significant should Scotland vote to remain in the United Kingdom in 2014. All the major unionist political parties are committed to strengthening the powers of the Scottish parliament over and above those set out in the Scotland Act 2012. In designing a model of ‘devo-more’ for Scotland, the Unionist parties will surely need to reflect on the state of English public opinion presented here, if the model is to prove sufficiently versatile to work effectively.

That our English respondents believe that Scotland benefits disproportionately from the union is further underlined in their responses to a question that probed perceptions of the economic benefits of being part of the UK. When asked whether the English or Scottish economy benefits most from being part of the UK, just under a half of English respondents (49 per cent) point to the Scottish economy. In contrast, only 23 per cent of English respondents say that the English and Scottish economies benefit equally from membership of the union.

Also striking is the lack of trust in the UK government to act in England’s interests. As in the 2011 survey, around 60 per cent of respondents did not think that the UK government could be relied upon to do so, with 44 per cent trusting it ‘not very much’ and 18 per cent ‘not at all’…. 

Such sentiments are widespread across England. Although Londoners appear a little less dissatisfied than the English average, there is a striking regional uniformity in views. The overall message is clear: English dissatisfaction with the territorial status quo is both broad and deep.

Following the publication of The dog that finally barked, one question regularly posed to us was how salient were the questions of territorial governance that we highlighted within it? After all, survey participants may express dissatisfaction when specifically probed on an issue without necessarily regarding it to be a high priority. Our 2012 survey attempted to assess this by asking respondents to prioritise those constitutional issues that they regard as requiring ‘urgent action or change at this time’. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the UK’s relationship with Europe was accorded highest priority. But, strikingly, the question of ‘how England is governed now that Scotland has a parliament and Wales has an assembly’ was in a clear second place, well ahead of a range of other constitutional issues – including voting reform, reform of local government and the House of Lords, and even the position of Scotland within the UK – to which the political system itself has accorded much higher priority in recent years.

Equally, English Independence might be seen as a potential response to the electorate’s call for action. We broached this possibility for the first time in our 2012 survey and garnered an intriguing response. Despite no significant political party or actor advocating this option, those supporting the proposition that ‘England should become an independent country’ (34 per cent) were only narrowly outnumbered by those in opposition (38 per cent). And when asked how they would respond if Scotland were to vote to become independent, a plurality (39 per cent, compared with 33 per cent who disagreed) then said that England too should become independent.

Putting to one side the (currently unlikely) possibility of English independence, our 2012 survey included several questions designed to probe respondents’ views on how England should be governed. Responses to these questions confirm:
• low and decreasing support for the status quo
• very low support for English regionalism
• strong support for a form of governance that treats England as a distinct political unit
• continuing lack of consensus about which English option is appropriate

It confirms low support for the territorial status quo, at 22 per cent. And in combination the two ‘English options’ again garner majority support with, again, English votes on English laws winning the backing of the largest group. It also confirms that, even when considered alongside other options, there is some support for English independence.

At this point it may be tempting to conclude that our previous caution in arguing that views in England have not coalesced around a particular ‘English option’ is misplaced or outdated. Should ‘English votes for English laws’ now be considered the favoured alternative to the status quo? When respondents were asked to choose directly between English votes on English laws or an English parliament, they split their votes almost evenly – and both options were more popular than the status quo. Perhaps the clearest finding from these responses is that the status quo is not much of an option. Moreover, on a variety of question wordings, the status quo is consistently less favoured than alternatives which would give some form of institutional recognition to England as a whole.


The final and perhaps most significant claim highlighted in our previous report, The dog that finally barked, was that English national identity has become politicised. Specifically, our 2011 data suggested that the stronger a person’s sense of English identity, the more likely they were to be dissatisfied with the place of England within the post-devolution United Kingdom. Our 2012 survey data strongly confirms this conclusion.

It is clear, even in the context of high levels of overall discontentment, that those who identify strongly as English are more dissatisfied with those governing arrangements than those who feel more British. And the relationship between identity and dissatisfaction was at least as marked in 2012 as in 2011: it is unassuaged by any post-2012 Jubilee/Olympics glow.

It is clear that the ‘English options’ find most favour among those with the strongest sense of English national identity. Indeed, the status quo is the most popular option only among those claiming an exclusively British national identity. The status quo is the fourth most popular constitutional option among those who feel exclusively English, trailing not only English votes on English laws and an English parliament but even English independence outside the EU.


This section is concerned with how English attitudes towards the European Union relate to attitudes towards England’s other union, the UK.


The EU is very unpopular in England. When asked whether they considered the UK’s membership of the EU to be a ‘good thing’ or not, 43 per cent of respondents held a negative view of membership, compared to 28 per cent with a positive view.

And when asked how they would vote in a referendum on continuing UK membership of the EU (and holding such a referendum is favoured by 67 per cent of respondents) the verdict was even more decisive. Fully half would vote for the UK to withdraw, only one- third to remain.

These figures throw prime minister David Cameron’s manoeuvring around a possible future referendum on EU membership into stark relief. His is an extraordinary double gamble. First, unless he can bring home a significantly altered relationship with the EU, the English might well vote to leave. Second, recent polling in Scotland suggests the Scots think rather differently about Europe, and these differences could impact significantly on the independence debate.

For example, in February 2013, Ipsos-MORI found that 53 per cent of Scots would vote in a referendum to stay in the EU and 34 per cent to leave – almost a perfect inversion of the English views revealed in FoEs. Just as strikingly, a Panelbase survey for the Sunday Times in May 2013 found that 44 per cent of Scots would be ‘very’ or ‘quite’ likely to vote for Scottish independence ‘if the UK was looking likely to vote to withdraw from the EU’ and 44 per cent very or quite unlikely to vote for Scottish independence in the same situation. Most polls have shown that about half of Scots intend to vote ‘no’ in the independence referendum next year compared with only a third or so who intend to vote ‘yes’. But Euroscepticism elsewhere in the UK could potentially narrow that gap if Scottish people feel they could be dragged out of the EU against their will. Ipsos-MORI’s polling reaffirms the point. Asked ‘regardless of how you intend to vote in the Scottish independence referendum’ whether or not ‘an independent Scotland should be a member of the European Union’ 61 per cent favoured membership (including 59 per cent of those who intended to vote ‘no’ to independence) and only 33 per cent favoured Scotland not being an EU member. English Euroscepticism may be as much of a challenge to the UK’s own union as is Alex Salmond.

As we have already discussed, Englishness as a national identity has both strengthened over the last decade and become increasingly politicised. Yet conventional wisdom would set this tide against that of Euroscepticism, which has historically been strongly associated with the symbolism and rhetoric of Britishness. Traditionally it is the Union flag rather than the cross of St George that is waved by members of Ukip, the UK Independence party, which has grown dramatically in prominence as the standard-bearer of Euroscepticism in the UK.

Yet our data shows a strong, consistent and unambiguous link between Euroscepticism and English, rather than British, national identity. For example, when asked whether or not UK membership of the EU is a good or bad thing, negative views are much more prevalent towards the more English end of the identity spectrum. Conversely – and again counter to received wisdom – attitudes to European integration are notably more positive among those with a more British identity. It is British identifiers who are the Europhile group in England.

The association between English identity and Euroscepticism (and conversely between British identity and more positive attitudes to the EU) can be further illustrated by the relationship between national identity and voting intentions in an EU referendum. Support for leaving the EU is much higher at the English end of the identity spectrum; a plurality of those with a mainly or exclusively British identity support continuing membership.


Having established Euroscepticism in England as something associated with English – and not British – identity, we now turn to explore the relationship of Euroscepticism to what we might term ‘devo-anxiety’ among the English.

As the tables show, in each case, those who adopt the Eurosceptic position (regarding EU membership as a bad thing; indicating they would vote for UK withdrawal from the EU; and regarding the EU as having most influence over the way England is run) are also notably more dissatisfied with the constitutional status quo in the UK.

Even in the context of questions that reveal substantial discontent across the population as a whole – those concerning Scottish MPs voting on English laws and the absence of a clear relationship between tax and spending in Scotland – Eurosceptics are clearly those most likely to harbour such discontent. And they do so extraordinarily emphatically: at levels approaching unanimity of response which are very rarely seen in social surveys.

Attitudes towards England’s two unions, therefore, are clearly linked: Euroscepticism and devo-anxiety are two sides of the same coin of English discontent.

Euroscepticism is also clearly associated with a demand for greater recognition for England in the UK’s own constitutional arrangements. Eurosceptics are strong advocates of a clearer institutional demarcation of their country within the UK. It is only the least Eurosceptic respondents who offer plurality support for the current constitutional position. By stark contrast, for more Eurosceptic respondents the status quo is the fourth most popular option, trailing behind English votes on English laws, an English parliament and an independent England outside the EU.

In short, although political commentary – especially around the rise to prominence of Ukip tends to portray Britishness as being in tension with European integration, our findings show clearly that it is those with the strongest and most exclusively British sense of national identity who are most supportive of the EU. Euroscepticism is concentrated most heavily among those with a more English sense of national identity. It is English, rather than British, hackles that rise in response to Europe, just as it is those who identify more strongly as English who feel most aggrieved by the perceived iniquities of devolution and wish to give England some explicit recognition within the UK.


Given the substantial discontentment in England with the territorial status quo, it is unsurprising that these sentiments are observable among supporters of all political parties. But there are also important differences between supporters of the different parties. In general, we find Liberal Democrats at one end of the spectrum and Ukip supporters at the other. The former are the most British in terms of national identity and (ironically, given their party’s long history of campaigning for constitutional reform) the most content with the constitutional status quo both within the UK and vis-à-vis the EU.

Equally ironically, given their party’s Union Jack-bedecked symbolism and British rhetoric, Ukip supporters are by far the most English in terms of national identity and are by far the most strongly discontented with both of England’s unions, favouring major constitutional change both domestically and in the UK’s relationship with the EU. Conservative supporters share much common ground with Ukip and count, likewise, as constitutional radicals. Labour supporters are on average the most evenly spread in terms of identity and constitutional views (or, to put it less charitably, are the most divided).


The first point to note is that party support in England is clearly associated with national identity. It is only Liberal Democrat voters in England who are more likely to prioritise their British identity (and even among this group it is only very marginally the case). By contrast, Labour voters place more emphasis on their Englishness than on their Britishness: while a plurality say they are equally English and British, far more of their supporters can be found at the more exclusively English end of the scale (31 per cent) than at the more exclusively British end (19 per cent). However, the strength of English sentiment is most striking among Ukip and Conservative supporters. Fully 55 per cent of Ukip supporters, alongside 43 per cent of Conservatives, favoured the two ‘more English’ options. While the majority of supporters of all parties choose some form of overlapping Anglo-British identity, for Tories and Ukip supporters the English end of the spectrum is clearly favoured.

Intriguingly, a substantial majority of Ukip supporters would choose English rather than British as their passport nationality. This is in stark contrast to the position among Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters (although even here, around a third would choose English as their passport nationality.) Conservative supporters were much more evenly divided with a narrow plurality favouring the British designation. Once again, the overall picture is that while supporters of all parties consider themselves both British and English, Englishness weighs more heavily among Conservatives and, in particular, Ukip supporters.


Turning to our measures of devo-anxiety, we again find some striking differences between party supporters. Discontent is widely shared, but is felt particularly strongly among Conservative and, especially, Ukip supporters. The strength of feeling here is very striking: 67 per cent of Conservative supporters and 84 per cent of Ukip supporters agree strongly with the proposition that Scottish MPs should be denied a vote on laws that affect England only. Only in relation to levels of trust in government working in the English interest does the prevailing pattern of discontent vary: here, Conservatives (but less so Liberal Democrats) are notably more trusting in the UK government, suggesting that this question is, at least for supporters of the senior partner in the Coalition government, acting as a proxy for partisan support.

While attitudes towards the UK’s internal territorial constitution reflect varying levels of discontentment, those towards the EU reveal sharper contrasts between party supporters. Liberal Democrats tend to view EU membership positively, while Labour supporters are evenly split. By contrast, Conservatives are overwhelmingly Eurosceptic, regarding UK membership as a ‘bad thing’ by a margin of five-to-two. They are even more likely to vote for UK withdrawal in a referendum.

However, and as might be expected, Tory attitudes look moderate when compared to those of Ukip supporters. Indeed, the proportion of Ukip voters who would vote ‘no’ to EU membership in a referendum – 91 per cent – is close to unanimity. Equally striking is the finding that fully 69 per cent of Ukip voters believe that the EU has the greatest influence over the way that England is run; among Liberal Democrats, by contrast, the equivalent figure is only 18 per cent. In sum, partisan perceptions of and views about ‘Europe’ differ starkly.

By contrast, Conservative and Ukip voters are the least enthusiastic about the status quo, the latter in particular. With the one aforementioned Labour exception, ‘English votes on English laws’ is the plurality option across party supporters whatever the menu of options offered – and again by some margin among prospective Conservative and Ukip supporters. Among Conservatives, support for an English parliament – the more ambitious option – rivals that for the status quo, while among Ukip supporters an English parliament is very much more popular than the status quo. Such is the disdain among Ukip supporters for the current order that even support for English independence (outside the EU, of course) is more popular than the status quo. But in terms of how the Coalition government might respond positively to calls to address the English question, the clear plurality support among Liberal Democrat supporters for ‘English votes on English laws’ is probably at least as significant.

Our findings show that Ukip support reflects English discontentment with the political status quo – and not simply with ‘Europe’. The breadth of this discontent, as outlined here, has recently enabled Ukip to overtake the Liberal Democrats in poll ratings and to secure a ‘projected national share’ of 24.8 per cent of the vote in the May 2013 local elections – elections that also gave the party a meaningful local government presence for the first time in much of England.10

Yet in the only local elections held outside England in May 2013 – in Ynys Môn, in north- west Wales – Ukip actually saw its vote decline significantly. Similarly, in European parliament and UK general elections since 1999 (when Ukip first emerged as a reasonably significant player) Ukip’s performance in Wales and (especially) Scotland has consistently lagged well behind that in England; in the June 2013 Aberdeen Donside Scottish parliament by-election Ukip lost its deposit despite a highly publicised campaign spearheaded by Nigel Farage. It is those who feel most English and most discontented with the territorial status quo who are flocking to the Ukip banner in increasing numbers. Ukip might better be described as England’s nationalist party than the UK’s independence party.

Two points stand out. The first is how poorly the established parties perform: not once does their combined total represent more than 45 per cent of respondents. Indeed, in both June 2011 and November 2012, the proposition that ‘I do not think that any party stands up for the interests of England’ was the most popular choice.

By April 2013 that had changed, bringing us to the second point: the rise of Ukip as the champion of English interests. Viewed in the light of this finding, the party’s strong performance in the local elections just a few weeks later is unsurprising. ‘England’s nationalist party’ is on a roll. Since June 2011, it has more than doubled its support as the party that best stands up for English interests, and in April 2013 was the top choice among respondents in England. Ukip’s rise in this context will be of particular concern to the Conservatives. Those who reported in FoEs 2012 having voted Conservative at the 2010 UK election are split on which party who they believe best stands up for England: while 38 per cent say the Conservatives, almost as many (34 per cent) say Ukip – and this figure has almost doubled from 18 per cent in 2011, hinting at the potential for Conservative electoral support to drift over to Ukip.

Ukip – a party traditionally associated with espousing a 1950s-style British traditionalism – has been reluctant to play the English card, for fear it might muddy their position on Europe and weaken the union. But with its support so heavily concentrated in England and finding itself attractive to voters who are increasingly interested in a decidedly English strain of populism, it seems likely that it will seek to champion the cause of English nationalism more explicitly. Should it do so, it could further strengthen its appeal in England with potentially far-reaching political implications.

4.4 The political implications of Englishness

We argued in The dog that finally barked that politics in Westminster’s ‘bubble’ had paid insufficient attention to the strengthening of Englishness. That argument appears stronger still in 2013. Apart from isolated interventions – such as Ed Miliband’s 2012 speech on England11 (which sits rather uneasily with the ‘One Nation’ imagery he has otherwise evoked) – there are few signs that mainstream politics has woken up to the emergence of an English political community defined by a distinct English identity, its devo-anxiety and Euroscepticism, and its support for English political institutions.

There are various reasons for this. Much of the political class remain in denial, failing to acknowledge the trends identified in this report, or refusing to admit their salience. Others prioritise Scotland, fearing that engagement with the ‘English question’ may in some way strengthen the hand of Alex Salmond ahead of the Scottish independence referendum. It would seem a little odd, though, if advocates of Union refused to talk about its largest constituent part at a point when in Scotland the very terms of union are being challenged. Where is the English perspective – which is not the same as the Westminster perspective – on what the UK union is and should be?

Another factor is a sense of trepidation about what contemporary Englishness stands for. For some, Englishness seems to be regarded as a dark and chauvinistic force, best kept under wraps. The evident association of English discontentment with the right-wing populism of Ukip may well reinforce that concern. In particular, progressives may be reluctant to engage with the emerging English agenda for fear of legitimising what they see as the grievances of ‘little Englanders’.

This, we believe, would be a serious error. The issue is not going to go away. This is not merely because of the public attitudes identified in this report – although they constitute sufficient cause in their own right – but also because the continuing processes of renegotiation of the terms of union in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will ensure that England, by default, becomes ever more clearly delineated as a distinct political arena. Any decision to ignore English discontentment for fear of guilt by association with right-wing populism is only likely to further feed such discontentment – and perhaps encourage it to develop more toxic undertones, if the perception grows that the political class is simply ignoring issues of real concern to people.

The challenge is for the major parties to take England seriously, and this appears easier for the Conservatives than Labour. Conservative supporters in England identify more strongly as English than Labour supporters, and are more anxious about devolution, more Eurosceptical, and stronger advocates of English political institutions. There is an obvious strategy of tacking more overtly towards these positions, not least to ward off the inroads Ukip is making in this section of the electorate. The Tories’ Byzantine manoeuvres on the question of an EU referendum around the 2013 Queen’s speech are an obvious, if clumsy, example of this strategy in action.

There is a bigger challenge for Labour. Some may review the data here and conclude that Englishness is natural territory for the right and should not be a ground on which Labour competes – especially if a ‘more English’ Labour might undermine the party’s standing in Scotland and Wales. Yet the importance of Labour’s strength outside England is easily over-stated. Labour has never won a stable and enduring parliamentary majority without winning a majority of seats in England – Labour needs to win in England to win UK elections.

So there is no alternative but for Labour to contest the changing England described in this report. It needs to find a distinct, progressive platform from which to secure and develop its strength in England – or risk leaving ‘Englishness’ to become ever-more- closely associated with the political right. It needs to recognise that its supporters also – if currently less emphatically than Conservative and Ukip supporters – have a strong sense of English identity, embrace English national symbols, and share concerns about devolution and Europe.

Doing so, of course, represents a serious challenge for the political parties that contest elections in England and for a political system that has thus far failed to provide a distinctive platform for England’s concerns and growing discontents. But the English discontentment with the status quo that is revealed in this report is so substantial that political leaders cannot afford to avoid the issue any longer.

The conclusions of the report highlight the fact that the primary concerns of the authors and of the IPPR are how all this affects Labour. We need not be worried by that but the Report does show that the English are awakening! For any English Nationalist that can only be a good thing, even if there is confusion about UKIP!

Saturday, 13 July 2013


Below is a paper by the author of the 'Britology' Web blog, David Rickard, who, curiously for a English nationalist, appears to support UKIP.

One of the reasons why I found it impossible, despite Nigel Farage’s tempting blandishments, to join UKIP, was the obvious fact that UKIP is a British nationalist party (UNITED KINGDOM independence party!). 

At the moment the British State, with its crazy spend-thriftedess; mad globalist, internationalist and mass immigration policies; hawkish and profligate determination to “punch above its weight on the world stage” regardless of whether the wars it thus gets involved in are in English interests; and, last but not least, its determination to break England up into 'Regions', poses a greater threat to the integrity and interests of England even than the EU. 

A clear and simple factual example of this is that the total UK subscription to the EU is currently, c£16 billion a year of which a significant proportion comes back via the “conduit effect” to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In comparison England’s subsidy to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to the House of Lords’ 2009 report on the Barnett Formula, is running at c£49 billion a year. 

Anyway, regardless of the public awareness and therefore the “saliency” of the issue, at present it would appear that David Rickard at least and from the research quite a few other English nationalists can convolute their logic to the point where they are still able to support an old fashioned (imperial, nostalgic) British nationalist party.

Here is what he has to say, what do you think?

UKIP and English Nationalism 

 On the eve of the publication of ippr’s latest investigation into English nationalism England and its two Unions, David Rickard looks at UKIP’s understanding of the political union that they do want to preserve and the party’s appeal to English nationalists.
It is a fitting irony that a party calling itself the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is now increasingly being seen by political commentators as a vehicle for English nationalism. Really, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Much of this commentary is further confused by the fact that it often seems incapable of making any clear distinction between ‘Britain’ and ‘England’. Articles alternately acknowledge that UKIP’s cause is essentially that of defending the integrity and sovereignty of the ‘British nation’, and describe the party’s support as deriving from ‘Middle England’ and ‘Little Englanders’.
Part of the problem is that UKIP itself and its leaders also seem broadly incapable of distinguishing between England and Britain. This was illustrated by Nigel Farage’s hapless foray into Edinburgh in May of this year, when he was subjected to the barracking of a crowd of pro-independence protesters. His reaction was revealing: he called the protesters “anti-English”, whereas in fact they were anti-Union. That makes them anti-English, arguably, only if the Union is construed as one between Scotland and England, and if the desire to sever that Union is based on active dislike of the English. But if, on the other hand, you see Scottish independence as merely severing a political union with a state, the UK, which will continue much as it is now after Scotland’s departure, then this is neutral towards England: in itself, it implies no sentiment, good or bad, towards England at all.
It would be safe to conclude, I think, that most UKIP members, and Nigel Farage in particular, do see the UK as primarily a Union between England and Scotland. In my view, this is what enables them to view the UK or Britain as a single nation or country, with essentially no discontinuity or fundamental difference between England and Scotland, the latter being regarded as just as much ‘my country’ as England. The words of the not-so-British-sounding UKIP candidate in the recent Aberdeen Donside by-election to the Scottish parliament, Otto Inglis (whom Nigel Farage had come to Scotland to support), are indicative here. He writes:
“We cannot have unionism in our land until it is present across the whole of the UK. The party of England’s shires and northern towns must become Scotland’s unionist party too. . . . Be British still to Britain true because we are one nation that has rejected every constraint placed upon it to become the most successful union that will ever be seen. . . . Nostalgia alone will not rekindle British unionism: the Scottish Tories are in terminal decline and only UKIP can carry the banner of that once great Unionist party forward.”
It is this sort of ‘anglocentric’ appropriation of Scotland to England as one country – as opposed to two distinct countries, as they are viewed by most Scots – that the anti-UKIP protesters most vehemently objected to when they shouted the words “go back to England” at Nigel Farage.
This episode reveals that the UKIP project is built on flawed foundations: it is the defence of a ‘nation that is not one’, in all senses: not a nation; not one nation but (at least) two; and not united. The Scottish-independence movement represents the most serious challenge to this idea of the UK as an integral nation, whose independence UKIP exists to defend. Hence, the Edinburgh welcome Farage received exposes not just the fact that UKIP’s policies and predominantly ‘English’ priorities are unpopular in Scotland, but that UKIP’s very existence rests on the shaky foundations of a fragile concept of British nationhood.
Clearly, Inglis’s words and perspective are shaped by their Scottish context. However, UKIP would be making a strategic miscalculation if they started to present themselves in England as the champions of the Union and of Britain as a nation. That is because much of their support does derive from tapping into English nationalism – but a nationalism that runs in many ways counter to UKIP’s ideals of Britain as a sovereign nation and of the UK as a successful political Union that best serves the interests of all its citizens. This is UKIP’s true English-nationalist support base. But this English nationalism is incompatible with UKIP’s UK-state nationalism and Anglo-British conception of the Union.
How is UKIP managing to tap into this underlying English nationalism? What are the characteristics of this nationalism, and which UKIP policies is it drawn to? Firstly, it should be pointed out that English nationalism covers a broad political spectrum, as does UKIP’s own appeal. There are far-right English nationalists (with a white-ethnic conception of the English people) and socialist English nationalists (defending a radical, egalitarian English tradition tracing its heritage back to the English Civil War and further still to the Magna Carta), and everything in between.
Key points that almost all English nationalists and UKIP have in common are the following:
Mistrust of the EU as threatening English / British sovereignty, democracy and even existence
Hostility towards unfettered, mass immigration as leading to over-population; as bringing about an intolerable strain on English / British public services, housing, employment and infrastructure; and making people of a traditional English / British background feel that their culture and communities are being undermined
Distrust of the political class as an unaccountable elite that has lost touch with the way ‘ordinary’ people think.
I think it’s above all this sense that ‘the nation’ (England, Britain or England-Britain) is under threat – from the EU, globalisation and self-serving politicians – that unites English nationalists and UKIP supporters. It’s also of course what perturbed Nigel Farage so much in Edinburgh: he was confronted with the strength of hostility towards the UK in a part of it he regards as integral to it.
The difference, of course, is that English nationalists by definition do not see the UK / Britain as ‘the nation’ in any sense other than political: as a quasi-nation state (strictly, a union state) or national polity. And English nationalists very often feel that England’s existence as a nation is under threat from an additional source: from the UK state itself. (A curious inversion: whereas UK state nationalists such as UKIP worry that the UK’s existence is threatened by the prospect of Scottish independence, English nationalists fear that England’s existence is menaced by the continuation of the UK as the sovereign power that reigns over England.)
However, this sense of an England under threat is also what profoundly unites English nationalists and UKIP supporters. This is paradoxically because of UKIP’s conception of the UK as, at heart, a union between England and Scotland (with Wales and Northern Ireland as added extras), albeit viewed through an English cultural lens.
Wherein lies this profound common ground? It is the fact that UKIP – unlike much of the political establishment – at least regards England as a nation in its own right, and one which is integral to the UK. The UK that UKIP defends is a UK that includes and acknowledges a distinct England, albeit that the rest of the UK is indistinct from England in its eyes. Irrespective of whether UKIP eventually comes out with an official policy in favour of an English parliament, English nationalists can at least be confident that UKIP as such would not stand by in silence as England is consigned to the history books, any more than they would allow Britain to suffer this same fate – and this by very virtue of the fact that UKIP makes no fundamental distinction between England and Britain.
In summary, UKIP exists to defend the UK; but this is a UK which, nonetheless, acknowledges the continuing existence of England. And it is in this that UKIP and English nationalism find common cause.

(Here is the link to the original article >>>

Friday, 12 July 2013


UKIP’s policy on devolution was written by David Campbell-Bannerman after consulting with me.

UKIP’s then Leader, Roger Knapman (whom Nigel Farage has since expelled), said to me that he could see that the English Democrats had got an issue which had traction (the devolutionary unfairness to England). He said that he thought either, as he put it, he could “do something about the issue” or “do something about us” and he said that he was going to try and do something about the issue first!

The outcome was that David Campbell-Bannerman was deputised to write UKIP’s manifesto on devolution. David's instructions were to tinker as little as possible with the UK structure, whilst giving a nod in the direction of devolution to the Nations of the UK. His solution is their current policy, which is that each country will only elect MPs to Westminster, but on certain days of the month those Westminster MPs will go into separate huddles and be the “Parliaments” of England, Scotland and Wales respectively. Obviously this policy has a particular difficulty in Northern Ireland, but is also completely unacceptable to most politically minded Scots.

In Wales, however, I think support for the Welsh Assembly and for separate Welsh representation is rather less well developed than in Scotland. It is in this context that it is interesting to see the BBC article below and if you click the link you can also hear the radio interview with the Leader of UKIP Wales indicating that he is not happy with their current policy and wants to go back to their previous policy - which was to abolish the Welsh Assembly!

Personally I would not regard this as practical politics but it is certainly interesting to see that a leading figure in UKIP in Wales is willing to contemplate a UKIP split after the next EU election.

It also tells you a lot about the direction of travel in UKIP on the “nationality question”.

At one time we were told that UKIP might adopt a full blown and proper English Parliament as a policy, rather than their current half-hearted “Grand” Committees. This article clearly puts paid to that story - which always seemed a little unlikely given the significant numbers of Unionist Scots in prominent positions and/or as funders of UKIP!

Here is the full text of the BBC story and if you follow the link below to the BBC web page you will be able to hear the recording of the radio interview with Mr Bufton.

UKIP MEP John Bufton's Welsh anti-devolution party idea

Wales' UKIP MEP has floated the idea of an anti-devolution party after disagreeing with his leader Nigel Farage over the Welsh assembly.

John Bufton, who is standing down as an MEP next year, said Mr Farage was "relaxed" about devolution but he was "totally opposed" to it.

Mr Bufton said many in Wales objected to the assembly and perhaps there should be a party to represent them.

He told BBC Radio Wales the UK needed fewer politicians, not more of them.

Mr Bufton, a former Powys county councillor, pledged his loyalty to UKIP until he stepped down as an MEP but refused to say whether he would support the party in the long term.

“There are a lot of people out there in Wales who are still very much opposed to the Welsh assembly and there needs to be, perhaps, a party to represent them” John Bufton MEP UKIP, Wales Speaking on Sunday Supplement on BBC Radio Wales, he said UKIP's current policy was to abolish assembly members and allow MPs to come "back to Wales then one week a month to do the work of the assembly".

"I'm one of the old guard I've always been opposed to the assembly and still am," Mr Bufton said.

"What Nigel Farage, our leader, has come out and said in an interview in the last few days is that he's relaxed about devolution, policing and new fiscal powers. Well, I'm totally opposed to that.

"I personally believe that we don't need to be doing this. We need to be different from the other parties. We're basically going to be the same as those so there'll be no difference at all."

'It's madness' He added: "There are a lot of people out there in Wales who are still very much opposed to the Welsh assembly and there needs to be, perhaps, a party to represent them.

"It's up to the members and the leadership to decide which way we go with this, but if they take Nigel's lead on this then there will be a vacuum, there will be a vacancy and my view is if we have this vacancy there is room for another party.

"It's still very early to say which way things are happening in Wales and what I decide to do, but people who know me well have known that I've campaigned against the assembly from day one and I believe we still have to have an opposition.

"It's madness to turn around and throw the towel in and say: 'Yes, let them get on with it.'"

Mr Bufton fears the Welsh assembly will ultimately lead to Wales' independence and the break-up of the UK.

He is also opposed to an English parliament.

"We've had a debate in the party for some time regarding an English parliament, again this is Plaid Cymru's policy, and I am again opposed to that," he said.

"I believe the taxpayer is paying far too much money for politicians. We need a lot less and not a lot more and if we have and English parliament as well that's another tier of politicians."

Mr Bufton said he intended to complete his term as a UKIP MEP, adding that "what happens in the future is another matter".

Mr Farage said in the interview with Wales Online: "I am relaxed about devolution. I am relaxed about a federal future for the UK."

Click here for the link >>>


The interesting article below is written by Roger Smith, who is a well-known Human Rights lawyer. It won’t necessarily appeal to everyone with regards to the details of the cases and instances that he mentions. 

So far as the English Democrats are concerned we do not think that any non-citizen should be entitled to legal aid, let alone someone who cannot even satisfy a minimal residency test.

Nevertheless it is worth reading the article to see a glimpse of what the British Political Establishment is up to. 

Legal aid reform is just one part of a wider authoritarian agenda, which, if completed, will leave us as the cowed subjects of a largely unaccountable police state!

Below is the article.  What do you think?

Legal aid proposals intended to strengthen the power of the state

No one can say that I have not done my bit for the profession. I gave evidence on the crass nature of the price-competitive tendering proposals to the Commons Justice Committee immediately after the Law Society president. However, we should register other concerns with the government’s current legal aid proposals. Among other cuts to scope, the lord chancellor intends to add a UK residence test to civil legal aid – something that will particularly affect judicial review cases.

Ministers of all political persuasions do not like judicial accountability for their actions. Theresa May’s hostility to the Human Rights Act is more than matched by that of a number of her Labour predecessors. Leaving the frontal assault on the side for the time being, Chris Grayling is quietly trying to reduce the scrutiny of government by restricting the scope of legal aid. Most seriously, he wants to impose an additional test of one year’s residency on those taking most types of judicial review cases other than claims for asylum.

The question asked in the consultation implies a reasoning based on the personal circumstances of an applicant: ‘Do you agree with the proposed approach for limiting legal aid to those with a strong connection with the UK?’ Any case before the courts must, of course, indicate a sufficiently strong connection with the UK to meet our rules as to jurisdiction. These can be pretty tenuous. In Berezovsky v Abramovich, one of the great legal earners of recent times, jurisdiction was accepted even though both parties were domiciled abroad and the assets at stake were Russian. This is, however, the sort of trade that the lord chancellor wants to increase. He recently banged the drum for British litigators: ‘People all over the world know that for dispute resolution you come to London.’

What may remain true for sundry oligarchs will not, if Grayling gets his way, be good for anyone else without equivalent resources – however egregious the conduct of which they complain. The lord chancellor operates in the shadow of a number of scandals about the operation of our armed forces abroad that have been revealed through litigation in the UK courts. The combined effect has been to reveal the inevitably grim reality of military action as opposed to the bright rhetoric by which it is sometimes justified. This is inconvenient for UK politicians inclined to doctrines of liberal interventionism, like Tony Blair, but correspondingly important for the education of UK citizens. Concealment, cover up and obfuscation carry major political dangers: they encourage too easy a public acceptance of irresponsible military adventures.

In recent years, the courts have played a bold – and, in government circles, unpopular – role in extending the state’s submission to the rule of law both at home and abroad. Nationality should not affect public law jurisdiction. As Lord Scarman said in Khawaja (helpfully quoted by Matrix Chambers in its evidence on these proposals): ‘Every person within the jurisdiction enjoys the equal protection of our laws. There is no distinction between British nationals and others… There is nothing here to encourage in the case of aliens or non-patrials the implication of words excluding the judicial review our law normally accords to those whose liberty is infringed.’

This was in a case reported in 1984 when the courts would not have accepted so wide a jurisdiction in relation to judicial review outside the UK. However, the point remains good now that, in certain limited circumstances, they have. If the actions of the UK government are within the jurisdiction of the UK courts, the nationality or the residence of a potential litigant in a matter of public law should not matter. The rules on legal aid should follow those on jurisdiction.

You do not need to be a conspiracy theorist to identify the wider picture of what ministers are up to. They are deploying a four-fold strategy to get the genie of judicial scrutiny back in the bottle. First, they wanted secret courts to suppress embarrassing evidence. Second, they want to reduce legal aid. Third, they are attacking the Human Rights Act. Eventually, they even talk of taking the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The current set of legal aid proposals will not just save money; they are intended to strengthen the state against the individual. PCT creates a contracted public defender scheme. The residence proposals are designed to roll back scrutiny in circumstances most easily demonstrated by the disgraceful murder of Baha Mousa in Basra. This was only revealed by the courageous actions of a dedicated solicitor actually willing to mortgage his own house as his clients fought for legal aid eligibility. Public accountability should not depend on such levels of professional commitment, proud of them though we should be.

Roger Smith is visiting professor at London South Bank University and former director of human rights group Justice

(Click here for the link to the original article >>>

Thursday, 11 July 2013


“Know thy enemy” is an idea which underpins the old British army saying of “time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted”.

The phrase "know thy enemy" comes from the ancient Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu. The full quote is:
"Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are sure to be defeated in every battle."

For those who are interested in what Islamists wish to achieve in England, the article below by Abdullah Al Andalusi (because he wants Andalusia back for the Caliphate?) can hardly be bettered for clearly explaining their agenda and, indeed, also their preferred tactics. I have debated publically with Abdullah and his openess should be applauded AND heeded!

It should be particularly alarming to anyone whose head isn’t firmly stuck in the sand to know that the media has painted Abdul as being a moderate Muslim!

Here is the article. What do you think?

The Failure of Islamic Gradualism

In Islamic Revivalist thought, the concept of Gradualism is the belief amongst Muslim revivalists that the method to re-establish Islamic government (Khilafah) lies in a gradual (re-)implementation of Islam in a Muslim country. Gradualists typically achieve this by seeking to gain power in a system, and gradually phase out of the pre-existing political system until the full implementation of the Islamic system has been achieved.

However, this pragmatic approach, represents a shallow way of thinking – looking at how to carve out a niche for Islam in the current reality, instead of how to carve the current reality to fit the Islamic niche. Therefore it is common to notice that gradualists make the status quo the object of their thinking, not the subject of their thinking.

The shallow thinking that leads people to employ gradualism, creates a fundamental lack of understanding about the reality of human society, ideology, geo-politics and Islam.

Understanding how to change a Human Society

The first mistake made by gradualists, is an inaccurate understanding of human society. All human societies are based upon transactions of its members seeking their needs. In order for society to be effective, all transactions are regulated by a common set of agreed values (Arabic: furqan) for determining permissible actions, prohibitions, forms of communication and expectations of duty. This is called a ‘way of life’ (Arabic: Deen), or ‘culture’. A way of life can derive from either tradition, imitation of external civilisations, or from a worldview/belief, or a combination of all three. Since some individual humans may act against their own culture, each society will create Laws to preserve some aspects of their way of life necessary for the preservation of social order. Law will be preserved by a specialist faction of that society devoted to the preservation of order in society. This is the ‘Enforcement faction’ (e.g. Military, Police or in ancient times, most male members of a tribe), and they generally possess a monopoly on the application of force. The ‘Enforcement faction’ generally underwrites the ruler(s) of a society, and no ruler can possess power without their consent, or the consent of their commanders, These Commanders are the ‘kingmakers’ (in Arabic they are called the ‘Ahl Hal wa Aqd’).

Gradualists, using a pragmatic approach, attempt to gain power by using whatever processes or traditions exist within a society, in order to rise to government. However, any group attempts to change society by rising to power and then applying new laws based upon a different way of life, it will be resisted. The people will always reject something they don’t understand or believe in.

In order to change a society, you must change its beliefs or understandings about what it should want for a way of life. Muslims should not assume that because the people of a Muslim country believe in the some of the original sources of their culture (e.g. Allah and his Messenger), that they will believe in the applicability of the Islamic laws emanating from these sources. This is because many Muslim populations no longer make Islam the only source for their culture, but have mixed it with other sources, and actively use those other sources as a basis for their transactions and political affairs (e.g. Nationalism). But seeing as Muslim populations have knowledge that they emanated from an extensive Islamic Civilisation, how could they justify this to themselves? Take the example of the Chinese and Italians who revere their Imperial pasts and the achievements of Chinese and Roman culture and civilisation. Yet, they do not believe that laws of those civilisations are still applicable. Likewise, the Pagan Arabs of Arabia believed in Abraham as their revered ancestor, and they believed in Allah (swt) as the Chief God, but they rejected the Message of the Prophet Muhammed (saaw) when he told them that this shared belief means they must turn away from their immoral customs and polytheism, live by Allah’s laws, and desist in their spiritual practices of seeking intercession through idols.

The key issue is belief. The Muslims of post-colonial countries believe in the origins of Islam, but do not believe that Islam (in its totality) is applicable in their societies. It is not the issue of whether or not these people are virtuous, or whether they pray regularly, that prevents them from establishing Islam in politics – but it is their belief that Islamic law cannot be applied to politics (or at most parts of it), that cause them to not call for it. However, once they have been persuaded through proofs and arguments to believe in the applicability of a holistic Islam, that change becomes imminently possible. But society would not reach this possibility for change if you focus only on spiritual matters, nor would society change even if the people became fully observant in their prayers (e.g. just look at Saudi for evidence of this). Until a society begins implementing a new way of life, its people will always follow the last officially applied way of life (or aspects of it) – regardless of whether most don’t believe in it anymore.

An example of this, is the UK keeping the Royal family. In the UK, the belief that no one is above the law, is accepted in the way of life in that society, and that the people are the ultimate sovereigns. However the Royal family acts as the traditional pillar for the state, and (currently) the citizens of the UK cannot agree as to what would replace them and attract the same national stability and respect from the people, if the UK became a republic. Because of no alternative being implemented, people keep the pre-existing tradition, even though they do not believe it can be justified according to their beliefs in equality and sovereignty to the people (democracy). So it is belief together with the application of a new system based upon the new beliefs, that cause real changes to society, not whether or not people change their personal actions, like praying more or less. This is because private actions are not what creates a society’s way of life, but beliefs, which are the basis behind social actions:

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” [Quran 11:13]

However, this cannot be done by using the way of life against itself. The reason for this is because a way of life is preserved by humans continuing to act according to it, and hence acting according to the culture is only continuing to preserve it, not change it. Any group who rises to power using the existing way of life to give it authority, will only continue to have authority on the condition that it implements the existing way of life. As soon as it veers away from that culture, the group will be resisted by the people – and will be perceived as outside the bounds of the current way of life (i.e. extremists).
Furthermore, if the ruling group attempts to overturn the way of life, without the the law ‘Enforcement faction’ supporting them to do so, then they will be overthrown by the enforcers – who perceive them as going outside the bounds of the current (i.e. extremists).
In order to change a society, you must understand how your worldview differs from the society you live in. Then you make your group’s alternative worldview known to the people, to get a sufficient portion of them to believe in it – and to agree to live by the new way of life once it is implemented. Society will then only be changed once a critical mass of people in the ‘Enforcement faction’, and a critical mass of the general population, agree to accept the rules, and give your group power, being prepared to overcome/deter the dissenting factions who attempt to attack you once the change has occurred.
To change a modern society a group needs the belief and backing of the people, and the Army/Police force. This is the method of the Prophet Muhammed (saaw). He established the first Islamic state in Madinah upon this sound method. Muhammed (saaw) met the powerful commanders of the two leading tribes of Medinah – the Aws and Khazraj, and invited them to pledge their belief in him (saaw), to worship only one God, to obey Muhammed (saaw), and agree to give up their past practices, and perform the Islamic practices (i.e. prayer and charity). However, it should be noted they were not expected to be perfect, for the Prophet Muhammed (saaw) was reported to have said to them:

“Allah has prepared Paradise and guarantees rewards for those of you who fulfill his pledge. If someone commits one of these misdeeds out of human error and is punished in this world, that punishment will be considered atonement. And whoever commits one of these out of human error and conceals what he has done and does not reveal it, then it is left to Allah to decide to forgive or punish him.”
Ibn Hisham

After the commanders made their pledges, Muhammed (saaw) did not then command the change of power to himself. Instead, understanding the need for the general people to accept Islam in their belief, and understand and be willing to know what this commitment entails (even if they aren’t perfect), he sent his companion, Musab Ibn Umayr to Madinah (then called Yathrib), to teach and educate people about Islam. This occurred until it was said that ‘there was not a house where Islam was not talked about’, although many people had not converted to Islam, a sizeable group had enough to form a critical mass of support.
When Muhammed (saaw) learned of this, he met the commanders of the two tribes, and requested their pledge for protection and fighting – indicating that they would not only believe him, and obey him as an authority, but also back up that authority with force against domestic and foreign enemies. They said to Muhammed (saaw):

“O Allah’s Apostle, every invitation has a way. That way can be either be easy or difficult! The invitation you make is a difficult one for the people of today to accept. You invited us to your religion and to abandon the religion we used to follow. This was a very difficult task. Despite this, we accepted your invitation…We testify to our Lord and your Lord. Allah’s powerful hands are upon our own hands. Our blood is with your blood, our hands are you with your hands. We will protect you as we protect ourselves, our children, and our wives. If we break our promise, then let us be grief-stricken people who have broken Allah’s promise.”
Ibn Hishaam

Muhammed (saaw) then left for Madinah, and upon his arrival, the Aws and Khazraj’s fighters put on their war clothes (animal skins) and publicly received the Prophet Muhammed (saaw), indicating to the rest of Madinah that the power of Madinah had changed, and none of the other factions of Madinah would be allowed to take up arms and fight this new reality. Abdullah ibn Ubayy (sometimes known as ‘ibn Salul’), who was marked to be the king of Madinah, suddenly discovered he had been deposed – and pretended to convert to Islam in order to keep his social standing. He and a significant group of dissenters against Islam, officially became Muslim, but remained self-interested individuals who later became known as the ‘hypocrites’. It is noteworthy to mention them, since although they did not believe in the new way of life that was being implemented in society – they could not deny it had gained currency – and so they accepted it as the new political situation (albeit not without causing much trouble later).Understanding how to establish an Ideology (A way of life emanating from a creed/worldview)

An ideology is a way of life based upon an intellectual foundation (Arabic: Deen min mabda) from which the entire way of life is constructed. This foundation is its worldview (Arabic: Aqeeda), and will only gain currency in a society as a way of life (and not just a mere personal belief) if it can be demonstrated that it can solve human problems and have a plausible justification for its worldview (i.e. Creed).
A sad irony of gradualism, is that this method is the result of the Colonialist idea of utilitarianism present in the mind of the Gradualist, namely the end result justifies the means. As long as the end goal is ‘righteous’ or ‘noble’ or for the ‘greater good’, then a pragmatic method is selected in the mistaken belief that it is the most expedient choice. The problems with utilitarianism, of course, primarily consist of the impossibility of knowing the future to judge whether an action will lead to the desired result – so to judge wrong actions as permissible, merely due to the hope they may create a good result is unprovable and therefore morally unjustifiable. However, the main harm occurs in that, by doing the most expedient actions, you undermine, in the public eye, the very reasons for which you claim to be re-establishing. For if Islam can be dispensed with for perceived interest, then why should it be followed in other things that bring a clash with personal interests?
Secondly, if the only way Islam can achieve anything in politics, is by using the politics and ideas of other ways of life, then what use is Islam in the first place?
In essence, contradicting Islam to get Muslims in power ‘in order to establish Islam’ – leads only to Muslims in power, not Islam in power. Which was no different to the previous power arrangement in Muslim countries.Understanding the Geo-political situation

One of the biggest mistakes that Gradualists make is to assume the existing system remains passive while they are free to implement ‘gradual changes’ unopposed. This ignores the fact that there exist foreign factions with strong vested interests in Muslim societies, that will take pro-active steps to resist the re-establishment of Islam, especially if they themselves are advocating an opposing ideology that they are trying to spread and implement throughout society, like the U.S’ promotion of Liberal Democracy and Secularism. This means that not only are many Muslim societies going to resist change from those calling to a comprehensive implementation of Islam, but there is an active external competitor seeking to implement its own new way of life in that society – and do so as quickly as it can, with a lot of resources at its disposal. Can gradualists really afford to take the slow road?Understanding the requirements of Islam

The sad truth of the matter, is that Gradualists are themselves the products of colonialism. The idea of gradualism is the result of Muslims attempting to take a pragmatic approach to undoing the colonialist destruction of the governance of the Islamic way of life. This is because what makes gradualism acceptable to its followers, is the unconscious concept imbedded in the mind of some Muslims, that Islamic rule is a condition of preference, but not an immediate necessity. The lack of an Islamic state is not viewed as an urgent matter of life or death for these Muslims, but merely a desired end-state. While gradualists believe they should strive for it, it is not viewed as too problematic to embrace the status quo temporarily – as long as a intention is present to pursue a ‘perfect’ end result. Consequently, gradualism does nothing to inculcate Muslims with a sense of urgency in the matter, so Muslims do not exert themselves in the manner required to address the problem.
Secondly, Utilitarianism’s willingness to judge immoral actions as good, if they lead to a ‘greater good’, leads to a morality of doing ‘necessary evil’ when circumstances deem it beneficial – which is no different to the morality of materialistic cultures that Islam contests against.
Islam requires that human’s are witnesses to God’s sovereignty, His commands, and His values. By seeking to use contradictory methods, Muslims undermine their witnessing to those things. For example, many Muslims believe that since Democracy is popular in the world, and used by many post-colonial Muslim countries, it is the only way to achieve power for Islam. This is despite the fact that democracy (which means that the people are the sovereign’s of a country, and are the ultimate determiners of legitimacy) contradicts the Islamic principle that God alone is the sovereign (law giver) and the revealed laws are the determiner of whether a ruler is legitimate or not:

‘[Say], “Then is it other than Allah I should seek as judge while it is He who has revealed to you the Book explained in detail?’
[Quran 6:114]
‘So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth…Do they then seek the judgement of Ignorance (pre-Islamic society)? And who is better in judgement than Allah for a people who have firm Faith’
[Quran 5:48]
O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result….Have you seen those (hyprocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taghut (false judges, etc.) while they have been ordered to reject them.
[Quran 4:59-60]
Narated By ‘Abdullah : The Prophet said, ”A Muslim has to listen to and obey (the order of his ruler) whether he likes it or not, as long as his orders involve not one in disobedience (to Allah), but if an act of disobedience (to Allah) is imposed one should not listen to it or obey it.
(Sahih Bukhari Hadith No. 203, Vol. 4)
What would the Prophet Muhammed (saaw) do?

There came a time when Muhammed (saaw) had the opportunity of gaining leadership over his pagan tribe of Quraysh. In response to his invitation to Islam, and his social critique of Quraysh customs, traditions and practices, they made him an offer. His Uncle Utbah said to him:

“O my nephew, if you want, by this matter which you have brought, money, we will collect to you from our monies until you shall be the wealthiest of us. If you want, by it, honor, we will make you the master over us that we shall not decide anything without you. If you want, by it, authority, we shall make you the ruler over us”
[Ibn Hishaam / Kanz al Ummal]

This could have been an opportunity for Muhammed (saaw) to avert persecution, and gradually implement Islam over his tribe, bit by bit. But no sooner was the offer made, then Muhammed (saaw) rejected it outright. He suffered greatly afterwards at the hands of the Quraysh, but he never compromised his Message – and maintained his faith in his mission, and that God would eventually bring him victory, or he would die trying:

‘“O my uncle! by God if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left on condition that I abandon this course, until God has made me victorious, or I perish therein, I would not abandon it.”
Ibn Hisham

And indeed, many years later when he peacefully marched back into his town at the head of 10,000 Muslims, was his decision against gradualism vindicated. The Islamic (and rational) method to re-establish the Islamic state (i.e. Khilafah) is to explain clearly to Muslims in post-colonial countries:
what the Islamic laws are – in detail, with their subtleties
how they are derived from the Islamic Creed (Aqeeda),
how they work and compliment each other,
how they alone can effectively solve human problems,especially ‘modern’ ones
How they are superior to Communism, Socialism, Nationalism, Liberalism and Secularism
and why they are are urgently required for immediate re-implementation.
When these matters have been made clear to all the Muslims in the Muslim world, and a sufficient portion have declared their acceptance and desire for the return of the Islamic laws – including from a portion of those who are military commanders, an effective (and co-ordinated) regime change can be planned and occur within one day. The group or party responsible can then set about a rapid implementation process once all government institutions are secured – and the Islamic State will have been re-born. The Islamic state is not a supernatural state; it does not require angels descending from the heavens to achieve a regime change, or the Secular dictators turning into pillars of salt by miraculous intervention, or the Mahdi or Jesus reappearing (we should note, that they will not have any special powers when they come in the future anyway). The return of the Khilafah will be no different in appearance to any of the historical revolutions, coups or regime changes – except that it will be based upon justice. And after the change, the current ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy’s’ of the Muslim world will wake up the next morning and find themselves deposed.
This is the method of the Prophet, and the method is the only effective one.
Gradualism ultimately is self-defeating and counter-productive. Serving to re-enforce the culture it seeks to change, rather than actually changing it. Employing Gradualism, is like deliberately choosing to sail on a boat with a hole, hoping to remove the surging water. It is better to take a slower but sturdy boat that gets you to your destination without sinking – then taking a faster, but leaking, boat – that takes you quickly to the bottom of the sea.

(click here for the original >>>

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


(Chinese communists on their 'Long March'!)
On Monday, the Labourite Think Tank, the IPPR, reported on the rise of English nationalism. The IPPR is idealogically hostile to English Nationalism. It was originally one of Labour’s cheerleaders in the attempt to break up England into EU 'Regions'. Unlike some of the others at least it has the grace and professional detachment to engage in objective study of the rising tide of English nationalism. 

Their report is however naturally framed by their agenda and by their aim of supporting Labour.

 Here is the introduction to their latest paper.  If you want more detail click on the link and you will see a well-considered paper on the progress of English nationalism.  

Ironically we do remain, it would seem, in those doldrums where English nationalists are still confused into supporting a British nationalist party!  

Any suggestions on what to do to end their confusion?

Here is the text of the introduction:- 
England and its two unions: The anatomy of a nation and its discontents 
  This report highlights politically important and culturally fascinating trends in the attitudes of people living in England to national identity and their nation's relationship with its two unions: the UK and Europe.

In January 2012, IPPR published The dog that finally barked: England as an emerging political community. In it we argued that an emerging English political identity may over time come to challenge the institutions and practices of the UK more profoundly than anything happening in the so-called Celtic fringe, even Scottish independence.

Our new survey provides an opportunity to determine whether these conclusions – many new, some controversial – are still supported by subsequent data. It also allows us to gauge the effect of real-world events, such as the Queen's diamond jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, on public attitudes to Britishness, and to focus on a pair of key areas of interest: Europe, which has risen to much higher prominence in the 18 months since our first report, and the attitude of England's BME community to identity and England's relationship with the UK and Europe.

Among the report's conclusions:-

This new survey, conducted in November 2012, confirms that more people in England continue to identify more strongly as English than British: there was no discernible 'British bounce' following the public flag-waving events of 2012.
Those who do identify more strongly as English are also hold stronger feelings of discontentment with England's unions. That is, they are dissatisfied with the constitutional status quo within the UK, which is seen to favour Scotland and under-represent England's interests, and with England's place in Europe: English people – much more than any other regional population in Europe – see the European parliament as being highly influential.
By this analysis, Euroscepticism appears more strongly to be an English concern than a British concern.
England's BME community is less prone to identify as English rather than British, but those who do demonstrate the same attitudes towards the UK and Europe as the wider population, albeit less strongly.
According to people's political preferences, there is a strong relationship between identifying as British, feeling discontentment with the constitutional status quo and supporting Ukip – by this evidence, Ukip is much less the UK independence party than it is an English nationalist party. Although it has been reluctant to play the 'English card', doing so could strengthen its appeal to voters in England, with potentially far-reaching political implications.