Category Archives: England

LBC Nigel Farage versus Nick Clegg EU debate 26 3 2014

Chaired by Nick Ferrari

(The full debate can be viewed here http://www.lbc.co.uk/watch-lbc-leaders-debate-live—26th-march-87667)

Robert Henderson

Farage walked the debate with a YouGov poll of 1003 people giving this result:

57% Farage

36% Clegg

7% undecided

Even that figure probably understates the size of the victory because YouGov weighted the data to in practice favour Clegg by assuming UKIP supporters would be disproportionately likely to watch or listen to the debate:

1,003 completed this survey between 8.00 and 8.10. We weighted the raw data to (a) the voting intentions in our latest regular daily poll for the Sun (Lab 37%, Con 35%. UKIP 11%, Lib Dem 9%) and (b) to our most recent data on whether the UK should remain in the European Union.

An alternative approach would have been NOT to have corrected the political skew among our original 3,000 sample. The argument for doing this is that any assessment of audience reaction should take the audience as it is – in this case, accepting that UKIP supporters were much more likely to watch or listen to the debate than supporters of other parties. Had we done this, I estimate that the verdict of the audience would have been Farage 65%, Clegg 28%. Those who prefer to cite this figure, rather than to adjust for the UKIP-rich nature of the audience, are of course free to do so. ( http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/03/27/farage-wins-debate-clegg/)

It was also telling that many of those who were not UKIP supporters thought Farage had won, viz:

Not surprisingly, almost all UKIP supporters preferred Farage. But he was also considered the winner by: 

  • 69% of Conservative supporters
  • 42% of Labour supporters
  • 20% of Liberal Democrats
  • 30% of those who said before the debate they would vote to keep the UK in the EU  (Ibid)

 

It is rare in a two man debate on any subject for a win to be so crushing and that is doubly so when politicians with  such polarised views are put up for the judgement of the public.

Why was the result so emphatic? Well, negative messages are always a very  hard sell. Clegg’s   position was one of fear and mistrust of Britain and Farage’s one of confidence in his country.  Clegg was selling the message “Britain isn’t up to looking after itself”, Farage the message  “ Britain could and should be independent and sovereign”.    While Farage was saying things such as “Surely the benefit system is for the citizens of this country” , The Anglo-Saxon rule of law”  and “The best people to govern Britain are the British”, Clegg  was tedious ly  intoning  “We get more power rather than less by being part of an economic superpower “ and  talking about the ill effects of “pulling up the drawbridge “ to exclude immigrants. (Clegg spent a great deal of time worrying about  drawbridges being pulled up).

Farage also displayed much more energy in his delivery than Clegg,   who as ever sounded like a prefect ineptly playing the role of a weary adult before  a school debating society. He was  deeply irritating for that reason alone, but his whole persona seemed manufactured, from  the deeply wooden arm gestures he makes  to the studied use of questioners’ names.    Farage  was perhaps  too shouty at times and  weak in his responses to some important questions, such as failing to explain how UKIP’s claim that  75% of British laws are being made in Brussels was calculated. But he  had one massive advantage over Clegg: he was able to tell the truth all the time or at the least not tell deliberate lies.  Farage at least seemed like a real human being, with unmanufactured  body language,  and if he allowed his ill-temper to intrude, judged by  polls such as the YouGov one,  it must have seemed like justified irritation with the British political class as represented by Clegg  to the majority of those watching and listening.

Clegg’s wilful dishonesty is perhaps best exemplified when the subject of immigration from the EU came up. Clegg referred to a recent UKIP pamphlet which claimed that Farage had claimed that “29 million Romanians and Bulgarians” were coming to Britain. This was untrue said Clegg because “They’re aren’t even 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians in Romania and Bulgaria”.  Apart from  not being what UKIP had said  – the party had simply pointed out that 29 million would have the right to come to Britain –  as of 2012 Bulgaria had a population of 21.33 million and Bulgaria 7.305 million, 29 million bar a few hundred thousand.( https://www.google.co.uk/#q=population+of+roumania). Not that it would have mattered in they were a million or two short of 29 million. The point at issue was the existence of millions of people from countries with living standards a fraction of those in Britain who were now entitled to come here.

Unlike Clegg , even when he was making a bit of a mess of things Farage  attempted to answer questions directly even when they raised real difficulties for him.  For example,  a question from the audience raised the subject of  the trustworthiness of politicians and  cited the LibDems’  broken promise over tuition fees and Farage’s employment of his wife as a paid helper as examples of things which destroyed trust.  Clegg failed to explain why the Lib Dems had broken their promise and just waffled about the importance of  trust,  while Farage answered the question directly  by saying the responsibilities of leading the party meant that he  needed someone on tap at home to help him. He also denied that he had ever said publicly that he would not employ his wife.   On another occasion the subject of UKIP’s opposition to gay marriage came up and Farage again dealt with a  potentially very tricky question by simply saying that UKIP would review the situation if the threat of European judges imposing  gay marriage on religions was removed.

Farage was generally  very forthright  and nowhere was this shown to better effect than when he attacked the  EU’s interference in the Ukraine’s dispute with Russia.  This naturally caused  a tempest of  politically correct huffing and puffing after the debate and clearly appalled Clegg. Such forthrightness will  have appealed to most of the general public who are sick of politicians presenting weasel words to them.

Clegg  shamelessly trotted  out the tired old discredited Europhile mantras because any Europhile true believer really has nowhere else to go. These included

-          3 million  British jobs are at risk if Britain leaves the EU  (After Ferrari had intervened to say there are  questions marks over the research on which the claim was based,  Clegg tempered his bald statement by saying  it would not be three million but it might be  two million, one million, 500,000 and so on ).

-          Immigrants are a boon to Britain and pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits (Farage pointed out that Migration Watch recently demolished this argument http://www.migrationwatchuk.co.uk/press-release/380)

-          Britain needed to be in the EU to get the best trade deals (Farage pointed out the Iceland had recently negotiated a lucrative trade deal with China)

-          The European arrest warrant is allowing Britain to  extradite murderers, terrorists and paedophiles  (Farage pointed out that it was a grotesque breach in the protections for the individual provided by  British law )

-          One and a half million Britons live and work in other EU countries and if Britain does not have freedom of movement within the EU then those one and half million  Briton  will be put in jeopardy.  (Farage missed a trick here. Apart from the fact that forced expulsion of EU foreigners  from Britain or Britons from other EU countries is wildly improbable, he should have pointed out that the British  living in other EU countries are  likely to either be someone doing a skilled job or be retired with money, while the EU foreigner  in Britain is likely to be doing a low skilled or unskilled job. Hence, if it did come to a forced exchange of Britons abroad for EU foreigners in Britain,   Britain would be the material  gainers. )

The Lib Dem leader also had a new statistic to play with, namely, that only 7% of British laws come from Brussels (patently  absurd because the massive range of supranational competence the EU now has).  Clegg said the source was the Commons Library and did not qualify in any way his claim by, for example, by saying it was difficult to quantify and only a broad range could be offered.   The 7% turns out to be false.  This position is much more complicated. Here  is what the 2010 HoC research paper entitled How much legislation comes from  Europe says:

“EU regulations, unlike directives, are not usually transposed into legislation at national level, but rather into quasi-legislative measures, administrative rules, regulations or procedures etc which do not pass through a national parliamentary process. How, then, can one be worked out as a proportion of the other? The term ‘national obligation’ might be more appropriate, but is it possible to identify the sum of national obligations arising from EU laws? Increasing use of regulations, particularly Commission regulations, “decouples national transposition procedures” (Christensen), thereby increasing the unquantifiable element of EU activity. All measurements have their problems. To exclude EU regulations from the calculation is likely to be an under-estimation of the proportion of EU-based national laws, while to include all EU regulations in the calculation is probably an over-estimation. The answer in numerical terms lies somewhere in between the two approaches, and it is possible to justify any measure between 15% and 50% or thereabouts. Other EU ‘soft law’ measures under the Open Method of Coordination are difficult to quantify as they often take the form of objectives and common targets. Analyses rarely look into EU soft law, the role of EU standard setting or self-regulatory measures.”

And

“In the UK data suggest that from 1997 to 2009 6.8% of primary legislation (Statutes) and  14.1% of secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments) had a role in implementing EU  obligations, although the degree of involvement varied from passing reference to explicit  implementation. Estimates of the proportion of national laws based on EU laws in other  EU Member States vary widely, ranging from around 6% to 84%. (file:///C:/Users/robnefrt/Downloads/RP10-62%20(2).pdf)

You can take your choice between Clegg shamelessly  lying or Clegg being stitched up by researchers who supplied him with false information.

In this context, it is very  important to understand what  Statutory  Instruments  (SIs) are. They provide the mechanism by which primary legislation is implemented. Frequently, SIs will expand the remit of primary legislation  beyond what is envisaged by those drafting the primary legislation and the politicians who vote for it. The “gold plating “ of EU directives is largely accomplished through SIs. Consequently, to concentrate on primary legislation stemming from Brussels is grossly misleading. The fact that SIs relating to EU derived primary legislation are not routinely   scrutinised by Parliament makes the opportunity for greatly expanding the powers of the primary legislation. It is worth describing  the Treaty obligations which place horrendous limitations on British sovereignty:

1 Types of EU legislative acts

There are three types of EU legislative acts. Under Article 288 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU):

A regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

A directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but shall leave to the national authorities the choice of form  and methods.

A decision shall be binding in its entirety. A decision which specifies those to whom it is addressed shall be binding only on them.

Opinions and Recommendations have no binding force.

EU Legislation  Standard  Note SN/IA/5419   http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05419.pdf

On the question of a referendum on the EU, Clegg squirmed as he tried to represent the LibDems as  having a consistent position from the time when he promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty  in 2008 until now.  There was an element of farce about the way the discussion began when Clegg answered  a question  (go into recording at 8 minutes 33 secs) from Ferrari about a Lib Dem poster  of 2008 which seemingly promised an unqualified  referendum by saying that people could not read the small print. Clegg actually meant that they literally could not read the small print of the poster Ferrari was holding up to the audience and cameras,  only the headline.  There was a ghastly serendipity about this,  because whatever Clegg meant  he then made very  clear there was indeed small print surrounding any LibDem promise of a referendum.  Clegg said  that in 2008 his position was exactly the same as it is now,  namely, a referendum should be held if there were substantial powers taken away by further treaties.

Farage picked Clegg up on this very strongly, pointing out that if only powers taken away by Treaty would trigger a referendum, this might well be a dead letter because  there was a strong possibility that new treaties would not be forthcoming  (this could well be the case because so much is decided by Qualified Majority Voting now) and that in any case there is a constant drip drip drip of new EU legislation which whittles away sovereignty, some of it substantial such the expansion of the EU’s foreign policy and the EU’s attempt to control the City of London. Clegg had no real answer to this.

Frarage should have asked Clegg to  explain why the British people could not be asked (in an IN/Out referendum) about all the powers which had been taken away without any referendum over the past forty years. Sadly the question went unasked.

It has to be admitted that Farage was weak in answering some  questions on statistical detail. The two worst instances were the proportion of British laws which originate from Brussels – when asked where the 75% UKIP figure came from Farage feebly said it was their own calculation with out explaining how they had reached it – and  on the cost of the EU to Britain and.  Ferrari asked Farage to justify the £55 million a day cost in a UKIP pamphlet.  Farage fumbled his reply by failing to make clear immediately that it was the gross amount  paid and taking too long to explain that even though it was the gross amount what money Britain received back had to be spent as the EU determined . However, I would doubt whether such statistical lacunae would register significantly with the general public, who will have largely switched of their minds when politicians start hurling stats at them.

After the debate the  politically correct media and politicians flapped around after the thumping poll win for  Farage claiming variously  the result was unimportant  (absurd), it was score draw, (http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/03/the-room-spun/) or that in reality Clegg had won (utterly fantastic).   This might have been expected from the likes of the Guardian and Mirror, but the supposedly Eurosceptic   Daily Telegraph also had a full hand of regular commentators – Mary Riddell,  Dan Hodges, Tim Stanley,  Toby Young – who all , with varying degrees of enthusiasm, stated that Clegg had come out ahead  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10725571/Verdict-who-won-in-the-Clegg-v-Farage-debate.html). The widespread  dismissal of  the YouGov poll by the mainstream media and politicians encapsulated the inherently anti-democratic mentality of those with power and influence in Britain.

The debate  was not deeply penetrating nor did it address all the important EU  issues adequately, for example,  the loss of democracy resulting from the UK’s EU membership  was barely touched upon.  Nor was it clear why the subject of gay marriage was raised within a debate on the EU unless it was simply to try to embarrass Farage and UKIP.  No matter. The value of the debate lay in giving the British public an opportunity to express their feelings through polls such as the YouGov one cited above  and  its naked demonstration, in the form of  Clegg,  of the chasm between the l public and the British elite.  Most of the British public display the natural human instinct of wanting their own national interests to be protected by their own people; the British elite wish to either submerge Britain into a united states of Europe or labour under the pathetic  delusion that the imperial tendencies of the  EU can be restrained from within.  Faced with a choice between Farage and Clegg it was no contest; they plumped for someone who shared their natural instincts.

 

 

 

Is the English Defence League (EDL) the real deal?

Robert Henderson

The decision by the EDL  leaders Tommy Robinson*  and Kevin  Carroll to leave the movement  has been so abrupt that it raises severe doubts about the nature of the EDL.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10363174/EDL-Leaders-quit-over-concern-about-far-right-extremism.html).

The resignations of Robinson and Carroll are made all the stranger because both men were enthusiastically purveying  the normal EDL  line at a rally in Sheffield on 21 September, only 17 days before their resignations were announced  (http://www.englishdefenceleague.org/tommy-robinson-in-sheffield/).  Here are a few samples statements made by Robinson at the rally:

“At what point does diversity become takeover?” (enter video at 1 minute 50 seconds)

“English girls in Sheffield are being groomed and raped… by members of the Islamic community”  (3 minutes 21 seconds)

“We don’t want any more mosques in this country”  (4 minutes exactly)

“People will no longer stand by and watch their towns and cities being taken over” (3 minutes 30 seconds).

It is rather difficult to square such comments with Robinson’s claims so soon afterwards that he now thinks the EDL is no longer  the vehicle to combat  Islamicists because it has been, he claims,  taken over by right extremists .

These recent Sheffield comments become  even stranger in the light of his Newsnight resignation interview on the day of his resignation when he says in response to a Paxman question that he decided to leave the  EDL in February 2013 – see http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=744_1381276885  – enter at 4minutes and 4 seconds). Robinson needed an exit strategy but this was just about as clumsy a one as it would be possible to construct. If he had really wanted to go as early as March why wait for six months?

Caroll’s Sheffield speech was primarily about the double standards of the police when treating Muslims and non-Muslims, but it included what looks like in retrospect a piece of howling cynicism   when Caroll boasted to the crowd that “We are getting bigger and stronger everyday”. (Enter the video at 12 minutes and 58 seconds –  http://www.englishdefenceleague.org/kevin-caroll-in-sheffield/)

 The ostensible reasons for the  resignations

During his various media appearances announcing the resignations Robinson said “I have been considering this move for a long time because I recognise that, though street demonstrations have brought us to this point, they are no longer productive.

“I acknowledge the dangers of far-right extremism and the ongoing need to counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic ideas.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24442953).

But he also laid  emphasis on the threats to his family and the fact that he was judged by what the more extreme members of the EDL did, viz: “When some moron lifts up his top and he’s got the picture of a mosque saying ‘boom’ and it’s all over the national newspapers, it’s me, it’s when I pick up my kids from school the parents are looking at me, judging me on that.

“And that’s not what I’ve stood for and my decision to do this is to be true to what I stand for. And whilst I want to lead the revolution against Islamist ideology, I don’t want to lead the revolution against Muslims.” (Ibid).

The problem with these reasons is that they have existed throughout the four years of the EDL’s existence.  That does not mean his fears are invalid but we do require an explanation from him as to why they have suddenly become intolerable.

Nonetheless, it is not implausible that Robinson  in particular may have simply tired of the harassment and worse he has experienced.   That the harassment has been considerable we know because  many  publicly reported instances of marches being hamstrung or stopped altogether and the frequent arrests fo EDL members.  But there is also what goes on without getting into mainstream media reporting.  In his  recent Sheffield speech (enter the video at 5 minutes 44 secs)  Robinson  said that as a consequence of being charged with criminal damage valued at a paltry £30 (something he is still waiting to go to court about), the police obtained warrants to search his parents’ house and his house, the officers who arrived at his house he said were armed with machine guns. Robinson also  spent 18 weeks in prison earlier in the year and with three young children he does have reason to fear for their safety.

Is all not as it seems? 

There is a well tried and tested intelligence service  technique of  setting up a front organisation which ostensibly provides a platform for those opposed to government policy or just the way society is organised.   The idea is that the front organisation acts as a light to a moth and attracts dissidents. This allows the security service to both monitor and manipulate those considered politically dangerous to the status quo.   The manipulation may be anything from infiltrating agent provocateurs to persuading  a dissident by one means or another to change their ideological tune.

What are the signs that point to a front organisation? Such things as rapid formation,  a ready supply of money both initially and as the organisation progresses, organisational skill and a failure to make any progress towards attaining  its claimed ends despite making a good deal of public noise.  MigrationWatch UK strikes me as a  classic example  of a front organisation – see http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/is-migrationwatch-uk-a-security-service-front-organisation/.

The other and very obvious  used security ploy is to infiltrate an existing dissident group and attempt to monitor and manipulate it.

Which is most likely in the case of the EDL? Well, it rose quickly and has displayed a certain organisational aptitude. It runs a decent website and can get marches, rallies  and demonstration up and running with sufficient people to raise them above the risible, especially when their performance is put in the context of the considerable harassment they have suffered both from the British authorities and the hard Left.

To those facts you can add the concentration on Muslims and the elements of political correctness in in their repeated claims that the EDL welcomes all creeds and colours and that they are a human rights organisation. A Machiavellian case can be made that it suits the  British political elite to have a “working class” protest group which concentrates on Muslims (because  it diverts attention away from the general question of mass immigration and its consequences) and plays the multiculturalist tune as it marches.  Such a case could also be made  for the political elite finding it useful to have an ostensibly independent grass roots  political movement opposing Islamist groups as a distraction from the insidious and much more damaging gradual imposition of Muslim ways on British society as the British elite generally give way bit by bit to Muslim demands. A  good example is the recent permitting of Muslim pupils to wear a beard, something  which is forbidden to non-Muslim pupils at the school (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10374528/Bearded-Muslim-schoolboys-barred-from-class-allowed-to-return-because-of-human-rights.html).

But on balance  I doubt whether this is a security front organisation because it simply is too uncontrolled.  If it is a front organisation it has not been very successful in channelling dissident behaviour.  Not only that but  most of the possible advantages for the political elite which I  listed above arise just as readily if the EDL is simply what it says it is, a spontaneous grass roots,  mainly working class movement.

How likely is it that the EDL will have been infiltrated by the police or the security services? You can bet  your life that it will have been.  Will the state  have been controlling the EDL leadership? Quite possibly, not necessarily from the first but at some point when they had found a lever to control the leaders.

A strong pointer to what may have  happened is  Robinson and Caroll’s  new association with (but not joined) the Quilliam Foundation, a body  which describes itself as a think-tank tackling extremism in all its forms, although its focus is heavily on Islamicist actors.   When Robinson and Caroll’s resignation were made public they appeared with two of the senior members of Quilliam, the chairman and co-founder Maajid Nawaz (a one time Hizb ut-Tahrir  member)  and Usama Hasan, Quilliam’s senior researcher in Islamic studies. Both Nawaz and Usama come from an extremist Muslim background. The narrative provided by both Quilliam and the two ex-EDL leaders is that it was engagement with Quilliam which led to the resignation of Robinson and Caroll, viz:

Quilliam is proud to announce that Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, the leaders of the anti-Islamist group, the English Defence League (EDL), have decided to leave the group. Having set up the EDL, infamous for its street protests, in 2009, they wish to exit this group, because they feel they can no longer keep extremist elements at bay……

Quilliam has been working with Tommy to achieve this transition, which represents a huge success for community relations in the United Kingdom. We have previously identified the symbiotic relationship between far-right extremism and Islamism and think that this event can dismantle the underpinnings of one phenomenon while removing the need for the other phenomenon. (http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/press-releases/quilliam-facilitates-tommy-robinson-leaving-the-english-defence-league/).

The fact that Quilliam are involved  is decidedly interesting  because they have been seen by some as Home Office stooges as a result of the large amounts of public money pumped into the think-tank after its foundation in 2008. (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/12/tommy-robinson-quilliam-foundation-questions-motivation) .  There have also been rumblings about the large salaries drawn by the  senior members of  Quilliam, for example, Nawaz paid himself £77,438 in 2012 (ibid).

Quilliam’s Home Office funding ended in 2011 and its overall income dropped severely putting it into the red (ibid). When the Guardian tried to get an up to date set of accounts  they were ‘told by a press officer: “There is only one print copy and that that has gone missing.”’ (ibid)

The Guardian article suggests that the embracing of Robinson and Caroll by Quilliam may be a ploy to increase funding both through the publicity they are now receiving and because by widening their natural remit to include “right wing extremism”, viz:  “In 2010, when it began to look like Islamist extremism was slightly on the wane and there was an interest in far-right extremism, some people were slightly cynical that the Quilliam Foundation had originally said they were the specialists in Islamism but suddenly started to want to do work on far-right extremism as well. Some people feel that was a cynical land-grab to keep them in the media. But they are a thinktank that has to raise money and has to be visible.” (ibid).  This could well make them flavour of the month again with the Home Office.

What is in it for Robinson and Caroll?  Apart from taking them out of the EDL firing line, assuming they are genuinely worried about that, it could give them, especially Robinson,  an entry into the media and even access to public funds. Imagine a future for them in which they become the “right wing sinner who repenteth”.  Stranger things have happened, think of John Bercow moving from Monday Club enthusiast to his present devout political correctness.  Or it could be that Robinson and Caroll are merely being led to think that they have such  prospects and will be dropped soon, their utility to the politically correct project being judged to be exhausted.

The future of the EDL

The EDL website has a remarkably sanguine official view of the resignations , viz:

“We are grateful to Tommy and Kev for their hard work and dedication in helping to set up such a large and strong organisation as the EDL four years ago. We can easily appreciate the pressures and strain their leadership of the EDL has placed upon Tommy and Kev, not just personally, but also on their families and those dear to them. Not many people could have stood firm in the face of death threats, assaults, police intimidation and state interference. While we regret their decision to leave the EDL, we can understand their reasons and we respect them, as we hope everyone else will.

The EDL was founded for a reason. We had a cause in the beginning and we continue to stand by that cause now. We cannot at this moment say with any confidence what form the EDL will take in the future, but we can say with firm conviction that the EDL will continue to oppose militant and extreme Islam. We will further endeavour to apply our Code of Conduct and reject all Nazis, all extreme right wing organisations, and those who express racism either on our Internet forums, our Facebook pages or on the streets at our protests.

In these times of change, we are determined to fulfil our declared mission and carry on. Our next demonstration in Bradford will therefore go ahead as planned, with a number of guest speakers as well as the regular speakers and including ex-members of our armed forces. The EDL will continue its ideological struggle against Militant Islam and we collectively will not Surrender!” (http://www.englishdefenceleague.org/tommy-and-kevin-resign-from-the-edl/).

To put it mildly that is not a viewed shared by many EDL members judged by the comment on the various social media.

But the flight of Robinson and Caroll  from the EDL is not the main problem for the movement. The main problem is that EDL has always been ideologically confused. This is because the party tries to fit its aims within a politically correct envelope on anti-racism. Here is an extract from their mission statement:

“The English Defence League (EDL) is a human rights organisation that was founded in the wake of the shocking actions of a small group of Muslim extremists who, at a homecoming parade in Luton, openly mocked the sacrifices of our service personnel without any fear of censure. Although these actions were certainly those of a minority, we believe that they reflect other forms of religiously-inspired intolerance and barbarity that are thriving amongst certain sections of the Muslim population in Britain: including, but not limited to, the denigration and oppression of women, the molestation of young children, the committing of so-called honour killings, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and continued support for those responsible for terrorist atrocities.

Whilst we must always protect against the unjust assumption that all Muslims are complicit in or somehow responsible for these crimes, we must not be afraid to speak freely about these issues. This is why the EDL will continue to work to protect the inalienable rights of all people to protest against radical Islam’s encroachment into the lives of non-Muslims.

We also recognise that Muslims themselves are frequently the main victims of some Islamic traditions and practices. The Government should protect the individual human rights of members of British Muslims. It should ensure that they can openly criticise Islamic orthodoxy, challenge Islamic leaders without fear of retribution, receive full equality before the law (including equal rights for Muslim women), and leave Islam if they see fit, without fear of censure. “(http://www.englishdefenceleague.org/mission-statement/)

There are two problems with this stance. The first is what constitutes a moderate Muslim, not merely as things are,  but in a future in which the Muslim population of Britain will almost certainly be considerably larger,  both absolutely and as a proportion of the British population.  For any sincere Muslim there can be no question of moderation as we would understand the term in Britain, no equivalent of faint hearted Anglicanism where to mention God is felt to be decidedly vulgar,  nor a ready acceptance of criticism of religion.

There will be Muslims who eschew violence and Muslims who embrace it, but many of both the violent and non-violent would be comfortable with a state in which Islam was the faith of a majority of the population and in consequence placed in a privileged position. There would not have to be a formal Islamic theocracy, as there is not in Pakistan,  merely Islam as the majority religion with the state turning a blind eye to the oppression of non-Muslims.

The implications of this is that there could never be a movement which is simply opposed to the most extreme Muslim elements, because  potentially all Muslims will support the imposition of Islam as  not merely the dominant religion but the dominant way of life.

The second difficulty is why just Islam?  Islam may be the most aggressive and high profile minority  group at present, but they are far from being the only threat to the British way of life. Mass immigration generally constitutes such a threat, for heavy settlement of particular ethnic and racial groups, aided and abetted by the pernicious embrace of multiculturalism by the British elite, has produced what are in effect colonies in Britain of groups who have no wish or intention of assimilating or even integrating to a substantial degree.  Each of these groups seeks privileges for itself  which it frequently receives from an increasingly frightened political elite who fear any honest public discussion of what has been done through mass immigration will result both in inter-ethnic violence and public anger directed at themselves.

Many who have been drawn to or will be drawn to  the EDL  in the future will be generally hostile to mass immigration and its effects. Thus, it is improbable that the EDL will ever be able to be a single issue– anti-Islamist movement   promoting the multicultural message.

How will the EDL develop? It could simply become an increasingly marginalised group such as the BNP of National Front. However, it differs from  such groups in one potentially very important respect, namely, it is overtly representing England. That could give it greater staying power than the likes of the BNP  because it is filling a very real political void, that of a grass roots movement representing,  however imperfectly,  the resentments and fears of the English.

—————————–

*There is considerable dispute over Tommy Robinsons’s name. It is definitely not his true name, but whether his true name is  Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, Andrew McMaster or Paul Harris is a matter of some debate.  Yaxley-Lennon is probably his true name. For the purposes of this essay I shall  call him Tommy Robinson.

George Orwell, left politics, modern liberals and the BBC

Robert Henderson

The “wrong” type of left wingery

The BBC has refused (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/aug/22/bbc-george-orwell-statue-left-wing) to  accept a statue of their one-time employee George Orwell because  the outgoing director-general Mark Thompson thinks the great political novelist and essayist is “too left wing for the BBC”. Do stop sniggering at the back.

Orwell was indubitably left-wing , being in favour of  widespread state intervention both socially and economically.  Here is some of what  he thought needed to be done  to remedy the ills of English society  from  his long essay The Lion and the Unicorn  which was  published in 1941:

“I. Nationalization of land, mines, railways, banks and major industries.

II. Limitation of incomes, on such a scale that the highest tax-free income in Britain does not exceed the lowest by more than ten to on

 III. Reform of the educational system along democratic lines….. there are certain immediate steps that we could take towards a democratic educational system. We could start by abolishing the autonomy of the public schools and the older universities and flooding them with State-aided pupils chosen simply on grounds of ability… “(Part III  section II http://theorwellprize.co.uk/george-orwell/by-orwell/essays-and-other-works/the-lion-and-the-unicorn-socialism-and-the-english-genius/)

Socialism is usually defined as “common ownership of the means of production”. Crudely: the State, representing the whole nation, owns everything, and everyone is a State employee. This does not mean that people are stripped of private possessions such as clothes and furniture, but it does mean that all productive goods, such as land, mines, ships and machinery, are the property of the State….

However, it has become clear in the last few years that “common ownership of the means of production” is not in itself a sufficient definition of Socialism. One must also add the following: approximate equality of incomes (it need be no more than approximate), political democracy, and abolition of all hereditary privilege, especially in education. These are simply the necessary safeguards against the reappearance of a class-system. Centralized ownership has very little meaning unless the mass of the people are living roughly upon an equal level, and have some kind of control over the government. “The State” may come to mean no more than a self-elected political party, and oligarchy and privilege can return, based on power rather than on money. …(ibid Part II section )

These policies and concepts  would be considered hard left  and risibly impractical  by the modern liberal left,   but there was nothing outlandish or extreme  about such views in 1941.  They were mainstream  politics for the 1940s’ counterparts of those who are today part of the liberal left.   Much of what Orwell saw as necessary to rescue Britain was enacted a few years later when the Labour Party  campaigned in 1945 on a platform of nationalisation and received a massive popular vote by way of endorsement.  The Party  also kept its word with knobs on when in power between 1945 to 1951 when Clem Attlee’s government   carried through what was arguably  the most extensive nationalisation programme ever in an industrialised country with an elected government.  (The major nationalisations were coal, railways, inland waterways,  some  road haulage and passenger transport,  iron and steel,  electricity, local authority  gas providers , Cable and Wireless, Thomas Cook and Son and  the Bank of England.  It also made the large majority of health provision public through the creation of the taxpayer-funded NHS, greatly expanded publicly funded secondary education and put welfare benefits on a modern footing with the sweeping away of the remnants of the old Poor Law regime and its replacement with a system of universal insurance. )

The ideas which the mainstream left embraced in the 1940s survived long after wards.  Large scale nationalisation and state control of much of public life was not considered beyond the Pale until the Labour Party  had lost four  elections and allowed itself to be seduced into accepting globalisation hook, line and sinker  by  Tony Blair in the 1990s. Anyone doubting this should read the 1983 Labour Election manifesto (http://www.labour-party.org.uk/manifestos/1983/1983-labour-manifesto.shtml),   a document which was memorably but incorrectly described as the longest suicide note in history by the  Labour MP Gerald Kaufman.

This manifesto,  apart from laying out considerable further state involvement in industry and areas such as education and training, had two other  very interesting policies: withdrawal from what was then the European Economic Area (now the EU) and protectionist measures to safeguard British industry and commerce.

Withdrawal from Europe was justified by the manifesto because “The next Labour government, committed to radical, socialist policies for reviving the British economy, is bound to find continued membership a most serious obstacle to the fulfilment of those policies. In particular the rules of the Treaty of Rome are bound to conflict with our strategy for economic growth and full employment, our proposals on industrial policy and for increasing trade, and our need to restore exchange controls and to regulate direct overseas investment. Moreover, by preventing us from buying food from the best sources of world supply, they would run counter to our plans to control prices and inflation.” (Ibid Section Britain and the Common Market)

Protection of the British economy was necessary because it was  essential that “ we keep our exports and imports in balance. We must therefore be ready to act on imports directly: first, in order to safeguard key industries that have been seriously put at risk by Tory policy; and second, so as to check the growth of imports should they threaten to outstrip our exports and thus our plan for expansion.” (Ibid Section  A policy for imports).

The interesting thing about the  1983 Labour manifesto is that the Party was still thinking in terms of British politics. They were rejecting the internationalism represented by the EEC;  wanting  British laws to protect British industries and devising purely national economic policies.  They had not yet foresworn  all that the Party had ever stood for by embracing globalism.

Despite the massive Labour Election defeat in 1983 (which, contrary to Kaufman’s gibe,  was largely accounted for by the victory in the Falklands rather than anything in the Labour manifesto),  the Labour Party continued for the better part of  ten years with their view of politics being national not supranational.   Tony Blair, the man  who eventually sold the Labour Party down the ideological river into the chaotic political jungle of globalism,  had rather different ideas in the 1980s. Here are a few choice quotes from the young Blair:

“A massive reconstruction of industry is needed…the resources required to reconstruct manufacturing industry call for enormous state guidance and intervention…”  (The Blair Necessities  p39 1982)

“We will protect British industry against unfair foreign competition.” (The Blair Necessities p39 Blair’s 1983 Election Address)

 “There is nothing odd about subsidizing an industry”. (The Blair Necessities p40 Hansard 1983)

“Political utilities like Telecom and Gas and essential industries such as British airways and Rolls Royce were sold off  by the Tories in the closest thing, post-war, to legalised political corruption. What we all owned was taken a away from us, flogged off at a cheap price to win votes and the proceeds used to fund tax cuts. In fact, it was a unique for of corruption, since we were bribed by  our own money. “ (The Blair Necessities p51 from the News on Sunday, 1 November 1987)

It is difficult  for anyone born after 1980 to understand how different  was  the mainstream received opinion on how politics generally and  the economy in particular should  be organised  before the arrival of Thatcher and her successors.  British politics from 1945 until Thatcher took office in 1979 had been leftist regardless of who was in power. The  appetite for nationalising industries may have waned after the fall of the Attlee government in 1951,  but all British governments after Attlee and before Thatcher accepted, grudgingly or not, the situation created by Attlee. British politics in those years was essentially social democratic.

The idea that the state should take the lead in many areas of economic  life was built into British political life.  Tories as well as Labourites  often saw it as an entirely natural and laudable thing,  for example, a Tory Minister, Harold MacMillan,  was delighted to announce in the mid-fifties that 300,000 council homes had been built in a year and it was taken for granted in the 1950s that Britain would produce  through taxpayer financing  its own military technology  from the most sophisticated fighters to small arms.  There was also a form of political correctness in those years, for the native British working class  fulfilled much the same role in British politics as politically correct protected minorities – ethnic minorities, gays and women – do today, namely , as a  group virtually  beyond criticism by politicians ( see  http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/the-white-working-class-and-the-british-elite-from-the-salt-of-the-earth-to-the-scum-of-the-earth/).  However, this political correctness had one great difference from that of today:  it was  to do with the large majority of the native population of Britain and a domestic matter untainted  by foreign considerations.  Moreover, there was only one politically correct group vying for attention, not the multifarious sectional interests we have today.

I shall indulge myself with a short personal anecdote to illustrate how different  the political goods of the mainstream left were before the 1990s.  I went up to university in the late 1960s to take a history and politics degree.  The default position for students and staff  (in the university generally, but especially in the politics department) was to be Marxist or at least a strongly attached fellow traveller.  I sat in tutorials and seminars where tutors would describe ideas which deviated from the leftist norm of the  time as fascist crap or some such cheery expletive adorned abuse.  (Just as racist is the left liberal buzz word  of buzz words  today , so was fascist then).  It truly was a different world.

Nationalist not Internationalist

Left wing Orwell  may have been when acting in the social and economic sphere, but he also had an immensely strong sense of nation and valued patriotism as an essential glue for a society:

“Till recently it was thought proper to pretend that all human beings are very much alike, but in fact anyone able to use his eyes knows that the average of human behaviour differs enormously from country to country.” (part 1section I http://theorwellprize.co.uk/george-orwell/by-orwell/essays-and-other-works/the-lion-and-the-unicorn-socialism-and-the-english-genius/)

“One cannot see the modern world as it is unless one recognizes the overwhelming strength of patriotism, national loyalty. In certain circumstances it can break down, at certain levels of civilization it does not exist, but as a positive force there is nothing to set beside it. Christianity and international Socialism are as weak as straw in comparison with it. Hitler and Mussolini rose to power in their own countries very largely because they could grasp this fact and their opponents could not.  (ibid part 1 section I)  

“There is no question about the inequality of wealth in England. It is grosser than in any European country, and you have only to look down the nearest street to see it. Economically, England is certainly two nations, if not three or four. But at the same time the vast majority of the people feel themselves to be a single nation and are conscious of resembling one another more than they resemble foreigners. Patriotism is usually stronger than class-hatred, and always stronger than any kind of internationalism.” (Ibid  part 1 section 3 )

“Patriotism has nothing to do with Conservatism. It is actually the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing and yet is felt to be mystically the same. It is the bridge between the future and the past. No real revolutionary has ever been an internationalist.” (Ibid part 3 section III)

Again, his views were reflected in the  Attlee Government  whose members,  with a few exceptions such as the  Marxist  Strafford Cripps, were people  who naturally thought in terms of the British national interest  and for policies which were purely British.  It would never have occurred to the likes of Attlee and Ernest Bevin (both deeply patriotic men in their different ways)  to embrace the idea of free trade with its inevitable diminution  of native British industry and agriculture or to conceive of domestic British politics as a matter for anyone other than the British.

Orwell’s  Englishness

Orwell was very English and admired his country and his countrymen despite their shortcomings as he saw them.  He also placed his thought  consciously on an English base. Throughout his writings, both fiction and non-fiction, his  choice of noun for the United Kingdom is England.    All his novels apart from the first Burmese Days are set in England and very English in tone, even his two great political novels Animal Farm and 1984. Animal Farm is set on what is obviously an English farm and  in 1984 the part of Oceana  which is England, a strange transmuted England  but still a very English land underneath the oddities.

Much of the Lion and the Unicorn is taken up with defining Englishness, for example:

“…there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes. It has a flavour of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches into the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature. What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person. 

“And above all, it is your civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and the red pillar-boxes have entered into your soul. Good or evil, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side the grave you will never get away from the marks that it has given you.  (Ibid Part 1 section  I)

Even where there was an aspect of England which he quarrelled with such as  the English class system or the Empire,  Orwell would recognise the ameliorating qualities of Englishness (or occasionally Britishness) in those  aspects . Here he is on the ruling class and the Empire:

“It must be admitted that so long as things were peaceful the methods of the British ruling class served them [the rest of the population] well enough. Their own people manifestly tolerated them. However unjustly England might be organized, it was at any rate not torn by class warfare or haunted by secret police. The Empire was peaceful as no area of comparable size has ever been. Throughout its vast extent, nearly a quarter of the earth, there were fewer armed men than would be found necessary by a minor Balkan state. As people to live under, and looking at them merely from a liberal, negative standpoint, the British ruling class had their points. They were preferable to the truly modern men, the Nazis and Fascists. But it had long been obvious that they would be helpless against any serious attack from the outside.” (Ibid Part 1 section  IV)

One thing that has always shown that the English ruling class are morally fairly sound, is that in time of war they are ready enough to get themselves killed. Several dukes, earls and what-not were killed in the recent campaign in Flanders. That could not happen if these people were the cynical scoundrels that they are sometimes declared to be. It is important not to misunderstand their motives, or one cannot predict their actions. What is to be expected of them is not treachery or physical cowardice, but stupidity, unconscious sabotage, an infallible instinct for doing the wrong thing. They are not wicked, or not altogether wicked; they are merely unteachable. Only when their money and power are gone will the younger among them begin to grasp what century they are living in.” ( ibid part 1 section IV)

Orwell also had a touching belief that a socialist revolution in England would be a most unusual and English affair:

“An English Socialist government will transform the nation from top to bottom, but it will still bear all over it the unmistakable marks of our own civilization, the peculiar civilization which I discussed earlier in this book…

 It will not be doctrinaire, nor even logical. It will abolish the House of Lords, but quite probably will not abolish the Monarchy. It will leave anachronisms and loose ends everywhere, the judge in his ridiculous horsehair wig and the lion and the unicorn on the soldier’s cap-buttons. It will not set up any explicit class dictatorship. It will group itself round the old Labour Party and its mass following will be in the Trade Unions, but it will draw into it most of the middle class and many of the younger sons of the bourgeoisie. Most of its directing brains will come from the new indeterminate class of skilled workers, technical experts, airmen, scientists, architects and journalists, the people who feel at home in the radio and ferro-concrete age. But it will never lose touch with the tradition of compromise and the belief in a law that is above the State. It will shoot traitors, but it will give them a solemn trial beforehand, and occasionally it will acquit them. It will crush any open revolt promptly and cruelly, but it will interfere very little with the spoken and written word. Political parties with different names will still exist, revolutionary sects will still be publishing their newspapers and making as little impression as ever. It will disestablish the Church, but will not persecute religion. It will retain a vague reverence for the Christian moral code, and from time to time will refer to England as “a Christian country”. The Catholic Church will war against it, but the Nonconformist sects and the bulk of the Anglican Church will be able to come to terms with it. It will show a power of assimilating the past which will shock foreign observers and sometimes make them doubt whether any revolution has happened.” (ibid part 3 section II)

Orwell’s contempt for the English Left Intelligentsia

Orwell had no illusions about the mentality of many of the English left of the nineteen-thirties:

“In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanized. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during “God save the King” than of stealing from a poor box”   Ibid Part 1 section V)

“During the past twenty years the negative, fainéant outlook which has been fashionable among English left-wingers, the sniggering of the intellectuals at patriotism and physical courage, the persistent effort to chip away English morale and spread a hedonistic, what-do-I-get-out-of-it attitude to life, has done nothing but harm. It would have been harmful even if we had been living in the squashy League of Nations universe that these people imagined. In an age of Führers and bombing planes it was a disaster. However little we may like it, toughness is the price of survival. A nation trained to think hedonistically cannot survive amid peoples who work like slaves and breed like rabbits, and whose chief national industry is war. English Socialists of nearly all colours have wanted to make a stand against Fascism, but at the same time they have aimed at making their own countrymen unwarlike. They have failed, because in England traditional loyalties are stronger than new ones. But in spite of all the “anti-Fascist” heroics of the left-wing press, what chance should we have stood when the real struggle with Fascism came, if the average Englishman had been the kind of creature that the New Statesman, the Daily Worker or even the News Chronicle wished to make him? “(Ibid part 3 section III

Why today’s liberal left are wary of  Orwell

The real BBC objection to Orwell is not that he is too left-wing but rather he is left-wing in a way which does not fit with being left wing in Britain today.  The modern mainstream British  left  are committed to just about everything Orwell opposed. They have unreservedly bought into the idea of globalism at the level of both economics and politics; they loathe the idea of self-determining national states; ideas of patriotism and national identity they see as at best obsolete and at worst vicious; they purport to believe that a  racially and ethnically mixed society is morally and culturally superior to a society which is homogeneous and  they have a particular hatred and fear of England which drives them to the doublethink of simultaneously claiming  that there is no such nation as the English whilst saying the English are dangerously nationalistic.  As for  public control and ownership of virtually anything,  they have largely adopted  the Thatcherite   idea that the market is always the answer and private enterprise is invariably superior to public ownership.  Even where they have doubts about the continuing  mania to privatise everything and  lament much of what has been privatised or are privately dismayed  by the export of jobs to the developing world, they shrug their shoulders and say such things are inevitable in a globalised world.

There is a further reason why Orwell cannot sit easily with the modern liberal. He encapsulated so much of what is  wrong with them  in his later writings.  In Animal Farm he describes just the sort of corruption of purpose which has taken place in the Labour Party since the 1990s with the likes of Tony  Blair and Peter Mandelson  celebrating the “filthy rich” as they desperately sought to join them.  It would be difficult to find  a better example of Robert Michels’  iron law of oligarchy whereby organisations set up to help the working class become vehicles to advance the fortunes of  those who head them  rather than those who they are ostensibly meant to aid.

1984 is even more telling because Orwell describes a situation we know only too well in modern England: the usurpation of language by the political elite and its use as a tool of social control. This is precisely what the imposition of political correctness represents.

There is also in 1984 an emptiness of purpose  because,  as the interrogator O’Brien  points out, power becomes a recognised and desirable (for party members) end in itself.  This echoes the ideological shallowness of the politically correct for whom the mechanical policing of  what is deemed politically correct  and the punishment of the politically incorrect becomes a ritual rather than a political policy leading to a desired outcome.

The reality is that modern mainstream left  are not “left wing” in any sense recognisable to previous generations. They are simply people who have a set of ideas, ideas  which are no more than assertions, of how people should behave.  There is no questioning of whether the ideas have a beneficial effect or not.  Rather, the ideas  are simply treated as self-evident goods and imposed regardless of their effects.

But although Orwell’s ideas are anathema to them because  they clash so violently  with their own, there is something more to the modern  liberal left’s  disregard for Orwell than ideological differences.  His honest socialism reminds at least some of them of the betrayal of the Labour Party’s history and principles which has left the less well off in Britain with no mainstream party to act or speak for them.   That may even induce a sense of guilt.  For those liberals who do not feel remorse,  there is baser motive of fear that in difficult times such as these the old socialism may seem attractive to large numbers of people and,  if it does,  those people may start asking the modern leftists exactly why they are  to be considered to be on the political left.

Orwell represents danger to the modern liberal left. He both challenges everything they stand for and provides a heady  left alternative, namely socialism wrapped in a patriotic cultural blanket.  That is why the likes of Mark Thompson think he is “too left wing”.

The 2012 Olympics and the deep sporting culture of Britain

Robert Henderson

The  breadth of British sporting involvement is readily shown by the performances in the 2012 Olympics.

The  final medal tally for Britain  was  65 – 29 Gold,  17 silver and 19 bronze. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/05/team-gb-every-olympic-medallist). These were obtained across 17 sports, more than half the sports on offer at the Olympics .

There were  eleven  events in which gold (and often silver and gold as well) was won: athletics, boxing, canoeing, cycling , equestrian events, rowing, sailing, shooting, taekwondo, tennis and , triathlon.

In addition,   there were six events  in which only silver or bronze  was won:  diving, gymnastics , hockey, judo, modern pentathlon , and swimming .

The only sports where a medal was not achieved were: badminton, basketball, beach volleyball,   fencing, football, handball, table tennis,   volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling, a total of  12.

By way of comparison, the USA, a mature sporting super-power which  headed the medals table with 104,  also won medals in these seventeen sports:  athletics, swimming,  rowing, shooting, diving, football (women), taekwondo, tennis, cycling,  beach volleyball, water polo, gymnastics, fencing,  judo, boxing,  basketball,  and archery. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/datablog/2012/aug/10/olympics-2012-list-medal-winners)

In the history of the Olympics (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/8660580/Olympic-Medal-Table.htm)  t he figure of 29 golds has only been exceeded by the USA,  the USSR/Russian Federation, China, East Germany and  a unified Germany (33 in 1936 and 1992, the first Olympics after German reunification when they benefitted from the immense resource which was the East German Olympic machine).

The USA and Britain are both  mature sporting  first world nations so  it is reasonable to link overall performance with population.  The USA has approximately five times the population of Britain with 311 million (http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/uspopulation.htm) against Britain’s 63 million (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/population/9403215/Census-2011-population-surges-by-3.7-million-in-a-decade.html).  If Britain had the same ratio of medals to population as the USA they would have captured 325 medals.

The jibe made against some sports that they provided  cheap medals because the sport is only practised seriously by relatively few countries is not the  knock-down argument its proponents imagine.   The most popular Olympic sports such as athletics may nominally have national associations of something approaching the total number of nations in the UN (around 200), but  that does not mean most of the nations who have national associations are serious players.  Being generous there are no more than thirty  serious athletic nations and many of those like Jamaica (sprints) or Kenya (distance running) concentrate almost exclusively on a small part of the athletics programme.  Even the most popular and widely played sport in the world, football,  is far from being a sport with depth at the highest level. In the 82 years since the  first World Cup in 1930 only eight nations – Uruguay, Italy, Germany,  Brazil, England,  Argentina,  France, Spain  – have won the cup.   Arguably the best pointer to the strength of a sport is generally  the number of developed countries taking it seriously.

There is also the question of the difficulty of a sport. A good example is the triathlon.  This involves a 1,500 metre swim, followed by a 43 kilometre bike ride and ending with a 10,000 metre run. The three events take place  without  a break between events.

Although a sport growing in popularity participation is tiny compared with athletics, the winner of the triathlon gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, Alistair Brownlee,   ran a time for the triathlon 10,000 metres which was only 97 seconds less than the time run by the winner  – Mo Farah – of the 10,000 metres  run in the Olympic stadium. Had not Brownlee slowed to almost a walk for the last 150 yards or so when he was so far ahead that he could afford to slow and take the prolonged applause of the crowd he would probably have been very close with Farah’s time.

The two times are not strictly comparable.  Farah  had not swum 1,500 metres and cycled 43 kilometres before he ran 10,000 metres.  Then there is the difference between running  round a stadium track and  running on a course which is cross-country  and varies considerably in its topography.  Running in a stadium will  involve sophisticated race tactics because of the inhibitions of the track with many runners clustered together . Running on a cross country course   removes the press of runners close together  because the track is wider and the standard of the runners more variable than would be the case in a track 10,000 metres. Against that the cross-country course will demand regular changes of approaches as the terrain changes and  is not uniformly flat.    It is not unreasonable to suspect that he would be a top class track distance runner very quickly  if he put his mind to it.  It could be that Brownlee , with some track training, would be faster over a  track 10,000 metres than  Farah despite there being far fewer triathletes of quality than track distance runners .

Sports also make vastly different psychological demands on participants.  Some demand far more physical courage than others, most obviously combat sports such as boxing and less obviously activities such as cricket (try facing a truly fast bowler),  pole vaulting, horse riding and  cycling where serious falls and crashes are a constant possibility.  Conversely, there are sports such as golf which require more moral courage because the game is played so much in the mind. It could be that the genetically determined distribution of personality amongst human beings make one type of personality far more common than another.  That could mean there are far fewer potential  participants suited to  one sport than are suited to another.

Just as personality differences in a population may be determine how many people are suited to a sport so may differences of physique.  For example,   if top class high jumpers have to be abnormally tall, there may be a relatively small number of people who could potentially become high jumpers.

The will be weaker sports in the Olympics but the large majority  can make a strong case for being anything but a soft option.

The white working-class and the British elite – From the salt of the earth to the scum of the earth

Robert Henderson

1. How it used to be 

Thirty years ago the Labour Party primary client base was the white working-class, while the Tories still had remnants of the heightened sense of social responsibility towards the poor created by two world wars. Fast forward to 2006 and the white working-class are treated by the entire British political elite as a dangerous, almost subhuman species.

The mixture of contempt, fear and hatred which the white working-class now draws from the political class is echoed by the elite generally, indeed by not just the elite but the middleclass as a whole. Where once the white working-class were next to uninsultable publicly, sneering references to “chavs” and “chav culture” are now commonplace in the mainstream media where they pass with barely a critical public word, while ethnic minorities seemingly have licence to publicly  insult the white working-class with impunity, vide the Coronation Street episode in January 2006 where a male Asian character accused his sister of behaving like “poor white trash”.

What caused this immense change in the status of the white  working-class? There were three direct primary engines of change. The first was the success of Thatcher and her ideology, the second a critical point was reached in post war mass immigration, the third Britain’s membership of the EU and other restrictive treaties which tainted her sovereignty.

2. Globalism and laissez faire economics

When Margaret Thatcher became Tory Leader in 1975 the neo-paternalist stance the party had adopted since the smashing Labour victory of 1945 was changed to one of laissez faire non-interventionism, with its an inherent disdain for public provision and service. Thatcher threw away the protectionism which had sustained the white working-class, allowed much of British industry, especially heavy industry, to go to the wall, and privatised the nationalised industries. Unemployment, already at a post-war high at the end of the Callaghan government, rose dramatically to around 3 million. The unions were then weak enough to successfully attack with severe legal restraints on strikes and a ban on secondary picketing.

Unemployment has remained high since the early 1980s – the current official employment figures are bad enough taken at face value (around 2.7m by the international Labour survey method) – but in reality it is probably considerably higher – there are 2-3 million on long term sick benefit now compared with around 600,000 in the early 1980s  ago. Common-sense says the country cannot in 2012 have four or five times the number of seriously incapacitated people it had 30-odd  years ago. This high unemployment has kept the white  working-class largely quiescent and the unions emasculated.

Thatcher also threw away the post-war consensus that the white working-class was admirable, or at least deserving of special consideration because of their disadvantaged social circumstances. Thatcherite Tories were only interested in the working-class insofar as its members were willing to buy into the narrow aspirational template which Thatcher promoted. If you were working-class and wanted to buy your council flat and were happy to gobble up the shares of privatised national industries, the Tories approved of you; if you wanted to maintain traditional working-class employments and communities, you were a soldier in the ranks of the enemy.

Labour did not immediately cast off the white working-class as clients. That took 18 years of opposition. Through four election defeats Labour gradually jettisoned all that they stood for in their cynical quest for a way back to power. The end result was a supposedly Labour Government headed by Blair which became, quite bizarrely, even more fanatically committed to “free markets” and “free trade” than the Tories.

3. Immigration reaching a critical level

By 1979 immigration had swollen the population of blacks and Asians in Britain to a point where their numbers were significant enough to pose a serious threat to British society if racial conflict got out of hand.

Until the end of the 1970s the official line on immigrants from all the mainstream parties was they must assimilate. Towards the end of the decade it was obvious to even the most fervent advocate of integration that assimilation was not happening. Rather, large populations of various ethnicities were stubbornly continuing to form ghettoes in the major British towns and cities and were attempting to lives which as far as possible replicated those of their ancestral countries.

To avoid having to admit what a disaster immigration had been, the British liberal left adopted an ideology to fit the facts of what was happening. That ideology was multiculturalism, a creed which rested on the fantasy that a coherent society could be produced by allowing every ethnic group in Britain to retain its separate identity. Indeed, the multiculturalists did more than say we should allow such a development, they positively encouraged ethnic minorities to remain separate. The kindest interpretation of their behaviour is that these were people enthusiastically pouring paraffin onto a fire in an attempt to put it out.

But the multiculturalists were faced by a most awkward fact. The white working-class was and always had been resolutely opposed to mass post-war immigration. Not only that but they were willing to say so publicly – the dockers had marched with Enoch Powell. Therefore, the liberal left had to do two things to prevent the white working-class from expressing their discontent both with the immigration which had occurred and with the new policy of multiculturalism , in which the native British culture was to have no privileged place but was to be merely one amongst many competing cultures. Worse, in practice the  native culture (or cultures if you prefer) was not even to be  allowed to compete because to do so would be to give the native population a public voice and a focus for their discontent.

The Labour Party at the parliamentary level was generally willing to espouse the new ideology uncritically because it fitted with their internationalist rhetoric. It also helped that the immigrants overwhelmingly voted Labour and were neatly consolidated in ghettos in the larger towns and cities where their votes were likely to elect Labour candidates more often than not.

Of course there was the seemingly ticklish problem for the multiculturalists of Labour being out of power for 18 years. In practice it did not matter, for it was not only the overt liberal left who embraced multiculturalism. Whatever their rhetoric, in practice,

the Tories climbed on the multiculturalist bandwagon quickly enough. Thatcher had spoken not long before being elected in 1979 of Britain being “swamped” by immigrants. But once in office she did nothing and the position continued to worsen, not least because she signed the Single European Act in 1985 which granted any person legally resident in another EU state the right to work in Britain. And of course throughout the 18 years of Tory office, people with the “right” multiculturalist views controlled the media, academia and increasingly the civil service. They were always on hand, both behind the scenes and publicly, to ensure the Tory Government did not actually do anything to disturb the multiculturalist programme.

Worse was to follow. In opposition the Tories followed the course of the Labour Party. Three election defeats in a row persuaded them elect as leader David Cameron, a man who adopted the same strategy for the Tories as Blair had pursued when he dumped everything Labour stood for. Cameron quickly got rid of everything which was considered “Old Tory” . This included wholeheartedly embracing multiculturalism. The electoral circle on immigration was formally closed. There is no major party to vote for if you do not want further mass immigration.

The silencing of the white working-class voice on immigration was achieved by a number of means over the past quarter century. Most potent was the mixture of legal threats such as the various Race Relations Acts and associated legislation such as the Public Order Act of 1986 and  the religious exclusion of anti-immigration views from the mainstream media. British culture was gradually relegated to a less prominent place in schools. Pupils were taught, if they were taught anything about the past, of white wickedness. The Atlantic slave trade was represented as the greatest crime of history, the British Empire nothing more than a cruel invasion and subjugation of defenceless peoples. Any sign of publicly expressed native English pride was jumped on from everyone from politicians to teachers and denounced as xenophobia at best and racism as worst.

It did not take long for anyone who was not a supporter of multiculturalism to be beyond the liberal elite Pale. By 2006 multiculturalism had been formally embedded into public life through a mixture of ideological sharing amongst the elite and their auxiliaries and the law, most notably in recent years by the Race Relations (Amendment Act) of 2000 which effectively places an obligation on all employers who receive public funding to demonstrate that they are not being discriminatory.

The contemptuous mentality of those who currently permit and advocate mass immigration to Britain is epitomised by a speech in 2006 to business leaders by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King:

“If the increased demand for labour generates its own supply in the form of migrant labour then the link between demand and prices is broken. Indeed, in an economy that can call on unlimited supplies of migrant labour, the concept of output gap becomes meaningless….The UK is not in that extreme position, but the inflow of migrant labour, especially in the past year or so from Eastern Europe, has probably lead to diminution of inflationary pressure in the labour market,relative to previous experience.

“The Home Office estimates that around 120,000 workers entered the UK from the new member countries of the European Union between March 2004 and March 2005. Without this influx to fill the skills gap in a tight labour market, it is likely earnings would have risen at a faster rate, putting pressure on employers, and, ultimately, inflation”.’ Daily Telegraph 14 6 2006.

There you have the elite view of the day: human beings are to be treated purely as factor of production along with land and capital. No greater contempt for the masses, including the white working-class, can be held.

4. The EU and other treaties

Whatever their public words, both the Tory and Labour parties were generally nationalist in their behaviour until well after the second world war. Traditional Tories were nationalists by conviction, while even the Labour left were in practice protective of the nation state because they strongly opposed the importation of cheap goods and cheap labour. British membership of the EU (then the EEC) from 1973 onwards changed the rules of the game for both parties.

The Treaty of Rome made Britain generally subordinate to a foreign authority. It was not like a normal treaty such as that of NATO which is formed simply for a particular limited purpose and which can be ended or withdrawn from cleanly. The Treaty of Rome was a full blown political project with the specific aim of creating a supranational political entity. Even when Britain joined, the EU’s powers to interfere with British political decisions were substantial, although nothing like as extensive as they are in 2012. It simply was not possible to be a wholehearted nationalist any more. That undermined traditional Toryism and paved the way for Thatcherism, which was predicated on the individual rather than the community.

For the Labour Party learning to love the EU took a long time. Their 1983 manifesto advocated withdrawing because the EU was viewed as a capitalist club. But as the Party painfully lurched towards accepting the globalist market-led creed, there came the realisation on the left that both globalism generally and membership of the EU were wonderful promoters of internationalism. They did not deliver the internationalism which the left had traditionally sought, all brotherly love and material sharing, but they accomplished a central part of the internationalist dream, the destruction of nations. This realisation, together with the fear they would never hold power again drove Labour away from their practical nationalism.

As the years passed the entire political class also discovered general benefits from globalism and EU membership. Being in international clubs such as the EU and the WTO effectively destroyed democratic accountability. Any policy relevant to a treaty could be pushed through with the excuse that Britain was legally bound by treaty to do this. Membership of the EU in particular ensured that the excuse could be used over vast swathes of policy. This loss of democratic accountability removed the last vestiges of white working-class power because there was no mainstream Party with a chance of forming a government to speak or act for them. The white working-class might as well have stopped voting then for all the good it now did them.

5.Devolution and demonising the English

Up to 1997 the white working-class in the UK as a whole suffered much the same decline in prestige and strength. Blair’s victory in that year altered matters fundamentally. Primarily for the self-serving political reason that Labour normally depends heavily on Scots and Welsh MPs to achieve a working majority in the Commons, the Party adopted a policy of devolution for Scotland and Wales. (Northern Ireland was also brought into the devolution mix but for other reasons). It was one of the first major pieces of NuLabour manifesto-promised legislation to be enacted.

Devolution created a ticklish problem. How could it be that England, where more than 80% of the population of the UK resided and where even more than 80% of the UK’s GDP was generated, should have no national representation? Why did England not deserve its own political voice if Wales and Scotland and even tiny Northern Ireland did? Because there was no reasonable answer to that question Labour (and the liberal left generally) invented unreasonable ones: England was too big, there was no such thing as Englishness, the English had no desire for a parliament, such a parliament would only mean more politicians and expense and, most tellingly, the English could not be trusted with nationalism, a claim best translated as “The ruling liberal elite are determined at all costs to prevent the English having a voice because if they do they will look after their own interests which are currently being outrageously neglected”.

When I say ruling liberal elite I am of course including the entire political elite. A prime example of the cross-party agreement on the “dangers” of English nationalism came in a BBC Radio 4 programme Brits which went out on 10 January 2000. The then Home Secretary Jack Straw and the Tory leader of the moment William Hague appeared. This is what they said:

Straw: “[the English] are potentially very aggressive, very violent [and had in the past] used their propensity for violence to subjugate Ireland, Wales and Scotland”.

Hague:” English nationalism is the most dangerous form of nationalism that can arise in the United Kingdom, because England is four-fifths of the population of the UK…Once part of a united country or kingdom that is so predominant in size becomes nationalistic, then really the whole thing is under threat…”

The unresolved question of English devolution within an otherwise devolved UK led to a shift by politicians from the denigration of the white working-class generally to denigration of the English in general and the English white working-class in particular, the latter being commonly portrayed by politicians and the media as brutish people with the unspoken subtext “they cannot be trusted with power”. As most of the British white working-class are English, the white working-class were further marginalised.

Devolution also had a direct material effect on England and in particular the English poor. The amount spent per head on public services has for a long time grossly disadvantaged the English, viz:

According to official figures from the Treasury, 2010/11 projected average UK government spending per person was £10,212 in Scotland, compared to just £8,588 in England. Spending was also higher in Wales (£9,829) and Northern Ireland (£10,706). (http://tinyurl.com/cxmgwly)

The rate of increase of the per capita payments accelerated after devolution and consequently weakened public provision in England compared with the rest of the UK . That diminution of provision has struck most profoundly at the English white working-class.

6.The ethnic minority problem

Where do ethnic minorities stand in a devolved UK? German-born Labour MP Gisela Stuart writing in online magazine openDemocracy.net in December  005 described the problem, whilst also gaily insulting the English: “It  as only been in the last five years or so that I have heard people in my constituency telling me ‘I am not British – I am English’. That worries me.

“British identity is based on and anchored in its political and legal institutions and this enables it to take in new entrants more easily than it would be if being a member of a nation were to be defined by blood.

“But a democratic polity will only work if citizens’ identification is with the community as a whole, or at least with the shared process, which overrides their loyalty to a segment.” (Quoted in Birmingham Mail 18 11 2005)

The problem for people such as Ms Stuart is that Britishness was destroyed by devolution. There is no longer a comfortable overarching label of British under which everyone can be placed. All that is left for the people of Britain to cling to are emotional ethnicities.

The situation is most acute in England because that is where the majority of ethnic minorities in the UK live. There is hard evidence that ethnic minorities in England routinely do not think of themselves as English. In 2005, the CRE commissioned from the research firm Ethnos a poll designed to discover how Britons identify themselves (http://www.cre.gov.uk/downloads/what_is_britishness.pdf). A couple of passages are particularly telling:

“In England, white English participants identified themselves as English first and British second, while ethnic minority participants perceived themselves as British. None identified as English, which they saw as meaning exclusively white people.”

“Britishness was associated with great historical and political achievements, but only amongst white participants (whether from England, Scotland or Wales), not those from ethnic minority backgrounds”.

This tells us two things: ethnic minorities in England routinely reject the idea of Englishness and ethnic minorities everywhere in the UK have no identification with Britain’s past. So much for Britishness.

 7. Balkanising England

Recognising the danger that English nationalism represented to Labour’s domestic political hopes (and quite possibly to the EU’s wish to divide the UK into a series of regions), the Blair government attempted to create a political structure which would make an English Parliament next to impossible. Their method was to Balkanise the country through the creation of regional assemblies (the artificial regions chosen just happened to fit the regions into which the EU bureaucrats have decided England should be divided). But this plan fell over, at least for the foreseeable future, when a referendum to set up an assembly in the least artificial of the regions, the North-East, was humiliating by an overwhelming NO vote.

 8. The gradual demoralisation of the white working class

If laissez faire economics, immigration reaching a critical level and international treaties were the immediate reasons why the white  working-class has fallen so far from favour, the ground for their realisation was prepared during the thirty-five years which followed the Labour victory of 1945.

It is important not to be sentimental about the white working-class before their desertion by the British political class. Britain was far from being a peaceful society. Industrial relations were seriously fraught from the Eighteenth century onwards, long before nationalisation and the modern welfare state. Much crime went unreported because working class communities refused to report it. Vicious fights regularly took place in places such as the docks and the mines. There was considerable football hooliganism. Until the Irish Free State was founded, Irish nationalism was a constant  running sore. Violent criminal gangs controlled places such as the Elephant and Castle and Brighton.

British education until after the second world war (and the Butler Act’s implementation) was seriously flawed, with most children leaving school at 14 having received no more than a primary education – only those who committed themselves to staying until 16 received  secondary education. The general standard of education was not high,  although, unlike now, the members of the political elite were frequently well educated.

There was also a great deal of abject poverty right up to 1939 with many working people living from wage packet to wage packet, often  with the aid of a weekly trip to the local pawnbroker. There was only a rudimentary welfare state and to fall ill if you were poor was to place yourself at the mercy of the charity of others.

Despite these shortcomings, at the outbreak of the second world war working class society was much more coherent and secure than it is today. Most important was the fact that mainland Britain was racially and ethnically a very homogeneous society, even the ancestral  cultural divisions between the English, Scots and Welsh were largely shadings within a single cultural spectrum rather than violently competing ethnicities. Across the water Ireland was a problem, but even there the divisions were political and religious rather than matters of  profound ethnic difference. Such serious ethnic tension as there was resulted from the influx of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, but even there the persistent failure of Mosley’s Blackshirts to gain electoral support in the midst of the Depression tells its own story: vehement anti-semitism was not a widespread problem.

The homogeneity of Britain generated a sense of security because the mainland British at least did not have the distraction of chronic and serious ethnic strife. That sense of security was bolstered by the fact that each of the four home nations had their own territory which they dominated in terms of occupation of the land even if they did not formally control their territory. The white working-class generally did not feel threatened by people whom they felt had no place in Britain. Most felt, whatever their personal troubles, that at least they were secure in their own land.

Added to, and arguably arising from, this marvellous ethnic and territorial security were potent and well established social support mechanisms of the working class, viz:

1. Unions, including their large welfare role.

2. Co-Operative Societies – Harrods for the working class.

3. Friendly societies.

4. Homogeneous working-class communities which mutually  supported their members.

5. Large scale manual employment for the working class.

That was the position at the end of WW2, and for a considerable time after 1945 the condition of the white working-class actually improved as a full blown welfare state, rising wages and very low employment significantly increased their security and advantage.

The 1944 Butler Education Act gave all British children the chance to go to a grammar school and even those who did not gain a grammar school place got an extra year of schooling, schooling which went beyond the primary level. It was a far from perfect educational system but it was a considerable improvement on what had gone before. Most importantly, for the first time it gave large numbers of white  working-class children the chance of a first rate education and, for a significant minority, the chance to go to university.

Unions remained strong and both major political parties were committed to maintaining by protectionist measures the British economy, a fair slice of which was in any case nationalised. The white working-class were both the electoral bedrock of the Labour Party and courted by a Tory Party which realised it had to abide by the Attlee Government’s social reforms if it was to be elected (in the mid-fifties one of the proudest boasts of the Tory Government was that they had built 300,000 council houses in a year).

To this growing advantage was gradually added a de facto censorship of criticism of the white working-class. Throughout the period 1945 to 1975 there developed a pernicious habit amongst the British elite whereby public criticism of the white working-class became unacceptable in much the same way that over the past thirty years ethnic minorities have ceased to be publicly criticised.

Like any powerful class which is exempted from criticism the white  working-class abused their position, or perhaps more correctly, allowed their elected representatives whether in politics or unions, to lead them into abusive ways. The unions were all too ready to call strikes, strikes which when they affected the nationalised industries had the power to cripple British life.

The unions had become too powerful and it was their extreme propensity for “industrial action” – strikes, working-to-rule, demarcation disputes and violent picketing – which began to break down the public silence over white working-class abuses. Gradually it became acceptable for politicians and the media to criticise the white  working-class. They needed little prompting because politicians of all colours and mediafolk were more often than not were middleclass, and the middleclass had very little natural empathy with the white  working-class, just as today politicians and the media have no natural empathy with the ethnic minorities who are their current client class.

By 1970 the white working-class was outwardly as secure as a class as they had ever been and would be again. But even at the seeming height of their class advantage they were weaker than they once had been, naturally weaker than ever before in fact because sociological rats  had been gnawing away at their natural cohesion since 1945.

The mass post-war immigration began in the late 40s but it was not a major problem for the white working-class until the 1960s. More immediately damaging were the slum clearances which dominated the twenty five years after the War. These destroyed many working class communities by the simple expedient of dividing them up  between different housing estates. The working class were still living together but they were no longer the tightly knit coherent communities which had existed for generations. Instead it was strangers living together and living together not in housing which allowed an easy social life to develop, but more often than not in high rise buildings which destroyed social intimacy.

Ironically the new welfare state damaged the white working-class because it weakened the informal traditional social supports deriving from a well established community (help from friends and extended family) and led to the decline of formal supports such as friendly societies and the co-operative movement.

9. Education subverted

In the 1960s came the disaster of comprehensive schools and progressive educational theory. Comprehensivisation took away the ladder by which the bright white working-class child progressed, the grammar schools. The secondary modern -technical school- grammar school established by the Butler Act was far from perfect because it left large numbers of children labelled as educational failures, but that which replaced it was far worse a system. Most comprehensives simply did not have the resources or the will to provide a grammar school level education for their brightest pupils.

Progressive educational theory caused a general diminution in educational standards through a combination of its “discovery” method of learning, ie, do not actually teach them anything, and a self-denying ordinance which forbade any criticism of a child’s work. Stir in the lunacy of producing school exams to be taken by children of all ability (GCSE) and the incontinent expansion of higher education from the late 1980s onwards, season with the quasi-commercialisation  of schools and universities through money following the pupil or student, top with school examination boards becoming overtly commercial, and you have the recipe for the mess which is modern British education, where exam grades rise inexorably while performance moves just as remorselessly in the opposite direction.

The percentage of working-class children at university is actually lower in 2012 than it was forty years ago. Of course the numbers of children in higher education has expanded massively since the mid-sixties and in absolute numbers far more white working-class pupils go on to university in 2006 than 1966. But it counts for nothing. If more white working-class pupils may have GCSEs, A Levels and degrees now, the standard of the education they receive to gain such qualifications is so degraded from what it was forty years ago that the qualifications are next to worthless as guides to employers of a person’s ability and the education received while taking them fails to equip students for the world of work even at the basic level of literacy and numeracy.

Had the major sources of traditional white working-class employment not been largely destroyed in the 1980s and 1990s, comprehensive education would not be so dire in its consequences for the white working class, because they would still have been employed in secure jobs which do not require much education. Instead, millions  are trapped in unemployment (admitted unemployment or disguised as ill, retired early or attending worthless courses in higher education) or in insecure and ill-paid jobs, stranded without the education to find decent, well-paid work.

Any society also has to take into account the fact that any population contains many people who are naturally poorly equipped to do anything other than unskilled jobs. Ten per cent of the British population has an IQ of 80 or less. An IQ of 80 is the level at which psychologists generally agree someone begins to struggle to cope with the demands of an advanced society such as Britain. Such people require jobs they can do. Immigrants take those jobs and depress wages. The white working-class are being left with less and less.

With their traditional employments largely destroyed, subject to a state educational system which leaves them ill-equipped for any job other than the unskilled, beset by cheap immigrant labour competing  for unskilled jobs and crippled by the cost of housing, the white  working-class are ever more dependent on public provision. That provision is becoming increasingly uncertain as immigrant demand for social provision multiplies, public spending soars to dangerous heights and Blair’s mania for introducing private money and companies into public provision runs riot.

What were once the public utilities – gas, electricity, water, the railways – are becoming dearer and dearer despite providing an increasingly poor service through a lack of investment in maintenance and the shedding of jobs (the government cannot do anything to subsidise utility prices because of our membership of the EU). The poorer you are the larger part of your income is taken by these vital products and services.

Benefits and the state pension are linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) but this understates inflation substantially, primarily because the cost of housing, i.e. what it costs to buy a property, is not included (only average mortgage repayment costs and rents are). This understatement of inflation means that benefits and the state pension are gradually losing their value in real terms.

There are also many people for whom the basket of goods and services is unrepresentative. For example, 14% of the index is devoted to motoring expenses which means that the RPI figure is barely relevant to non-car owners. RPI also excludes from its spending pattern such inconvenient people as OAPs surviving on the state pension because they are not “typical”. Generally, the poorer you are, the less representative of your spending RPI will be.

Wages are also affected by official inflation figures because they are used as a benchmark for both public service and private industry wage increases. I say inflation figures because more than one index is used. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) is the index used these days to give the headline rate of inflation. This is even less accurate a guide to the true rate of inflation than RPI because it excludes housing costs altogether. Where this figure is used to guide wage increases the real value of the wage decreases even more rapidly in real terms than benefits and the state pension.

Then there is taxation. The poorest people in work in the population pay by far – in direct and indirect taxes combined – the highest proportion of their income in tax of any part of the population.

10. How could the present position be remedied?

Britain needs to do four things. (1) withdraw from the EU and  repudiate any other Treaty which prevents the country exercising her sovereignty over immigration and her economy. (2) Recognise that public provision is generally best supplied by the state directly providing it. (3) Substitute for the globalist ideology an unaggressive nationalist one which steers a middle course between protectionism and manic free trade and which clearly distinguishes between the status of  citizens and foreigners. (4) End mass immigration.

The first two are essentially acts of domestic political will. Withdrawing from the EU and treaties such as the UN Convention on Refugees would doubtless cause a great deal of political huffing and puffing but would be unlikely to produce any profound ill-effects because the EU would still wish to trade with Britain and the UN is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Public services – by which I mean genuine public services such as the NHS and prisons – are essentially a domestic matter and should concern no one outside this country.

The last two are more problematic. Adopting an unaggressive nationalism and clearly distinguishing between the status of citizens and foreigners would be no difficulty in practice because those are decisions which have little practical effect on other nations, but what of our trading treaty relationships, especially our membership of  the World Trade Organisation? If we remained within the WTO would that make a middle course between protectionism and free trade impossible?

The WTO in practice permits many protectionist measures – readers will recollect how the USA suddenly slapped tariffs on foreign steel a year or so back. There is a good deal of wriggle room which Britain could use to protect her domestic economy. For example, if another WTO member is doing something protectionist and getting away with it, and many are, then the WTO will scarcely be able to penalise Britain. If the worst comes to the worst and we had to leave the WTO, bilateral agreements with other countries could be made – Britain has too large an economy for other states en bloc to forgo the opportunity for trade.

11. The end of mass immigration

That leaves mass immigration which I shall deal with in some detail because it is the most dangerous threat to the welfare of both the white working-class and the native British population as a whole. The stopping of further mass immigration alone would do more for the white working-class than any other single action by government. It would tighten the labour market and improve their employment opportunities. That in turn would improve their status. The pressure on public services, transport and housing would be lessened making access to them cheaper and easier for the white working-class. More generally, the moral climate would change because the ending of mass immigration would signal that there is a clear distinction between the rights of British citizens and the rights of foreigners.

With control resumed over our borders through withdrawal from the EU and the repudiation of other treaties, there would be in principle no problem with stopping further mass immigration. But what about the economic effects? The liberal internationalists tell us that the woes of the world would come upon us should we do such a thing,  although, like Lear threatening retribution, (“I shall do such things ….I know not what they are”) they are strangely unable to quite  say what the woes will be.  If reality, there would simply be a manageable period of economic and social reconstruction.

The immediate economic effect would be  a redistribution of labour. Labour would move into those occupations which are essential and which cannot be provided at a distance, for  example  healthcare  and education. We would discover how  occupations rank in terms of utility. Wages would rise in those occupations which had most utility to attract staff from elsewhere.

Employers would respond to labour tightening by using labour more efficiently. Automation would increase and employers would  change their attitude to the older person and the disabled.

Both employers and government would take vocational training more seriously. Government would provide incentives to employers to train their staff and increase the training of public service  professionals such as doctors and dentists. Government would also be forced to tackle the mess which is our public education to ensure an adequately educated workforce.

Employers who could not find the labour to run their business in this country would have to accept they could not do so. No one has a right to engage in an enterprise regardless of the effects on the welfare of the community as a whole. Capital which cannot be used in this country can be invested abroad.

12. Would there be an unmanageable labour shortage?

The idea that Britain is short of labour for most purposes is demonstrably absurd. The official figure for those under the state retirement age who are economically inactive in the UK is 7 million. Clearly not all of those would be able or willing to work, but equally clearly a large proportion would be able and willing to work if the conditions were right, i.e., wages rose, employers became more accommodating and the benefits system was tightened as the number of opportunities for work rose.

The claim that the indigenous population will not do the jobs immigrants take is demonstrably false. In areas of the country with few immigrants native Britons do them willingly. In many instances where foreign workers are employed it is not because native Britons will not work. Take the case of the cockle-pickers who died in Morecombe Bay several years ago it was widely reported in the media that the Chinese cockle pickers clashed with British cockle pickers who resented them invading their territory. These Chinese were not filling jobs which were unfilled by the British but competing with the British for the work.

The experience of the cockle-pickers is found elsewhere, not least because employers, particularly  gangmasters,  are frequently immigrants. They generally prefer to employ people of their own ethnicity.  The consequence is that the British are not found in some occupations in some places because the  immigrant employers deliberately avoid recruiting them.

The other thing which prevents native Britons taking jobs in some parts of the country is the fact that the native Briton does not want to work for employers whose workforce is predominantly formed of immigrants or native-born ethnic minorities. Like every other people, native Britons do not wish to be forced to work in their own land in a employment where they are in the minority.

It is also important to remember that the menial jobs immigrants take are worth far more to them than a native Briton. If you earn as little as £250 a week net – many immigrants work cash in hand – and live in accommodation either supplied by an employer or in crowded accommodation for very little rent, you will probably still be able to save a a substantial amount, say, £2,000 pa.

If you come from China where wages even in the big cities are 50 pence an hour, you would earn œ1,000 pa for a 40 hour week. Working at a menial job in Britain allows you to save double the average Chinese big city annual wage in a year. That money remitted to China takes on the local purchasing power. The multiplier for Eastern Europeans is less but even there œ2,000 saved in a year would be a good professional salary in places such as Poland. Give native Britons the chance to save the equivalent of a British professional’s salary in a year doing a menial job and they will flock to the work and put up with basic living conditions. Of course, no such employments are on offer to Britons.

13. Conclusion

The crime of the post-war British elite of all political colours has been to destroy the social and economic structures which gave  security and viability to white working-class society without replacing them with something else. The elite mashed their communities through slum clearance, thrust mass immigration into the areas in which the white working-class lived, destroyed through “free trade” the great industries which traditionally employed them and hamstrung the unions by a mixture of legislation, cheap foreign labour both at home and abroad and the creation of a perpetual “reserve army of labour” from the native population. At the same time the white working-class were deprived of the means to create new lives and social structures through a decent education. Whatever the white working-class are now, they are the product of decisions made by the British political elite since 1945.

I am not a sentimentalist who imagines that the ideal world would be one in which the white working class continued unchanged as noble “sons of toil” or that ” working-class culture” should be preserved in aspic. Had every white working-class person in the country been converted into part of the middleclass by an unforced process of improved education and rising wages I would have seen that as part of a natural sociological change. But that of course did not happen, probably in principle could never have happened in a country the size of Britain. The white working-class have been disenfranchised. The British middle class have been at best complicit in the attack on the white working-class and at worst have taken an eager and active part in it. For decades they thought themselves personally safe from the consequences of immigration and, later, imagined that they were immune from the effects of globalisation. They find themselves unable to buy houses because of the absurd prices They are beginning to learn the hard facts of sociological life: mass immigration and globalisation eventually affects all but the truly rich, a poetic justice but one which harms the country.

Can things change? For the first time in half a century British politicians (and the liberal elite generally) are beginning to display realism over the effects of immigration. This realism is coming from both the major Parties. Here is the Tory MP Julian Brazier writing in a pamphlet for the Cornerstone group:

“Overcrowding is a key cause of many of the factors which are destroying quality of life: mortgage slavery, over-development, congested roads, water shortages, flooding and overstretched public services. We should do everything we can sensibly – and fairly – to reduce the level of immigration to well below the level of emigration.” (The Times August 01, 2006)

On the other side of the political fence is Labour MP Jon Cruddas, MP for the Essex seat of Dagenham. Writing a commentary on a Rowntree Trust study THE FAR RIGHT IN LONDON which deals with the recent success of the BNP in his constituency he comments:

“…it [the Blair Government] has tacitly used immigration to help forge the preferred flexible North American labour market. Especially in London, legal and illegal immigration has been central in replenishing the stock of cheap labour across the public and private services, construction and civil engineering…

“For many of my constituents the value of their social wage is in decline. House prices appear to rise inexorably upwards whilst thousands and thousands seek nonexistent, new social housing. Public service improvements fail to match localised population expansion let alone the long term legacy of underinvestment…

“At work their terms and conditions are under threat as they compete for work with cheap immigrant labour. In terms of access to housing  and public services and their position in the workplace many see immigration as a central determinant in their own relative impoverishment….

“Those communities that must accommodate the new immigrant communities are the ones least equipped to do so they themselves have the most limited opportunities for economic and social mobility…”

But realism from a few politicians acting as individuals is worthless if the major political parties do nothing or indeed, with our various treaty obligations, can do nothing legally while we are bound by them. The only way Britain could meaningfully regain control of immigration is to leave the EU and renounce all other treaties, such  as the UN Convention of Refugees, which prevents Britain from controlling her borders. There is absolutely no sign that any major party or even individual politician is willing to contemplate such a policy.

Immigration is only one part of the problem. There is still very little realism from even by individual MPs over the effects of laissez faire economics and freer trade, both of which severely undermine the condition of the white working-class (and increasingly, much of the middleclass).

The manic drive to privatise everything in sight, whether by outright privatisation or the introduction of private money into public services, shows no sign of abating. The immediate consequence of this is all too often reduced services at greater cost, while the long –term effect may be to reduced public provision generally, either because the costs simply go out of control or because the fact that a service is provided by a private contractor rather than by direct labour public provision makes it easier to reduce the service or stop providing it altogether..

On the education side so much damage has been done to our education system, from primary schools to universities, that it is difficult to see how things could be changed in less than a generation.

Perhaps the greatest problem is the current state of our political system which has become utterly unresponsive to the needs of the British people in general and the white working-class in particular.

The Labour MP John Cruddas wrote this recently in his commentary on a Joseph Rowntree Trust report “The rise of the Far right”. “The [Blair] government is not a coalition of traditions and interests who  initiate policy and debate; rather it is a power elite whose modus operandi is the retention of power.” The words could be as readily applied to the modern Tory Party.

Compare this with George Orwell’s words in 1984:” “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. …We are different from the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and Russian Communists came very close to us in our methods, but they never had the courage to recognise their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power  with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard arevolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” (O’Brien speaking to Winston Smith during his interrogation).

That is the political system we have now: a simple desire for power. The only thing which will change it is fear, fear in the political elite that things are running out of control, that they may be brought to account. Then they will shamelessly amend their ideology, what they said was black yesterday will become white tomorrow. Elites only have one settled principle – to do whatever is necessary to preserve their power and privilege.

“British identity is based on and anchored in its political and legal institutions and this enables it to take in new entrants more easily than it would be if being a member of a nation were to be defined by blood.

“But a democratic polity will only work if citizens’ identification is with the community as a whole, or at least with the shared process, which overrides their loyalty to a segment.” (Quoted in Birmingham Mail 18 11 2005)

The problem for people such as Ms Stuart is that Britishness was destroyed by devolution. There is no longer a comfortable overarching label of British under which everyone can be placed. All that is left for the people of Britain to cling to are emotional ethnicities.

The situation is most acute in England because that is where the majority of ethnic minorities in the UK live. There is hard evidence that ethnic minorities in England routinely do not think of themselves as English. In 2005, the CRE commissioned from the research firm Ethnos a poll designed to discover how Britons identify themselves (http://www.cre.gov.uk/downloads/what_is_britishness.pdf). A couple of passages are particularly telling:

“In England, white English participants identified themselves as English first and British second, while ethnic minority participants perceived themselves as British. None identified as English, which they saw as meaning exclusively white people.”

“Britishness was associated with great historical and political achievements, but only amongst white participants (whether from England, Scotland or Wales), not those from ethnic minority backgrounds”.

This tells us two things: ethnic minorities in England routinely reject the idea of Englishness and ethnic minorities everywhere in the UK have no identification with Britain’s past. So much for Britishness.

The claustrophobia of diversity

The claustrophobia of diversity

Robert Henderson

In November a 34-old woman Emma West was recorded on a tram in Croydon (near to London) expressing her very no-pc views of  the effects of immigration on England even though she was surrounded by ethnic minorities.   Since her public complaints were recorded by a passenger and put on YouTube other instances of such behaviour have come to light, the most recent to hit the national media being another youngish white woman (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097142/Woman-filmed-hurling-racist-abuse-Tube-passengers-ANOTHER-video-rant-London-transport.html#ixzz1lgvuUjuO).  I put a few URLs for videos of such behaviour  from England at the end of the article. The examples are all of people who are under the age of 40. Nor does it take long for instances of such behaviour in the USA to be found on media hosting sites.  This goes against the oft made claims by liberals that what they term racial prejudice is restricted to the older generation,  who it is implied “don’t know any better”, while the young are race-blind.

Such outbursts are surprising  because of the risk they carry of assault by the ethnic minorities listening to them. They are doubly unexpected because present day England (and Britain)  is rigid with political correctness.  As  Emma West’s case vividly shows, the authorities are ever more penal in their  repression of dissent.  After her arrest in December 2011  Miss West was kept for weeks on remand in a high security prison for what the authorities coyly called “her own protection” http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/emma-west-immigration-and-the-liberal-totalitarian-state-part-2/) . She  has since been charged but not as yet tried (she appears at Croydon Crown Court on 17 2 2012) with a serious criminal offences  which carry a potential jail sentence of two years. (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/emma-west-immigration-and-the-liberal-totalitarian-state-part-3/).  All of that for simply expressing her anger at the consequences of mass immigration.

But even if people are not charged with criminal offences, to be publicly labelled a racist in England is to risk the loss of a job or accommodation if rented, a campaign of media abuse and social ostracism.  The risk of losing a job is particularly high for public service employees.  In extreme cases such as those accused of  the murder of Stephen Lawrence the persecution may be officially generated and sustained and  last indefinitely and include  the holding of trials which are manifestly unfair because of  hate-campaigns conducted against the accused by both politicians and the mainstream media. (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/stephen-lawrence-gary-dobson-david-norris-and-a-political-trial/).

With these very considerable disincentives to expressing honest views about race and immigration under any circumstances, what is it that drives people to express them uninhibitedly in situations which objectively place them in physical as well as legal danger?  After all the instinct for self-preservation lies at the core of human behaviour   and people are generally media savvy enough these days to realise that  anything they say in public is likely to be recorded and placed on sites such as YouTube.  So why do people like Emma West ignore all these formidable barriers to behaving in this way? Drink or drugs you may think, yet the noteworthy thing about most of the examples caught on mobile phones is that they  show no signs of being seriously intoxicated by either.  These are people who are doing it in the full knowledge of what they are doing and its likely effects. But  even if they were intoxicated with drink or drugs all that would mean is that the brakes of sobriety were removed and the true feelings of the person released.

A clue to what is happening can be found in the fact that their complaints gather around the same theme: that England is being invaded and colonised to the point where, in places such as parts of London,  it  scarcely seems to be England in anything in name.  Their  complaints are not about the particular ethnic minorities with which  they are surrounded when they make their public complaints or against individual immigrants generally,  but the general effects of mass immigration.

These people are suffering from what I call the  claustrophobia of diversity.  They feel that they are being oppressed by immigrants, that the land which is ancestrally theirs  is being colonised to the extent that parts of the country are no longer part of England . Worst of all they see themselves as helpless to prevent it because the colonisation is being facilitated and encouraged by their own elite who  all, whatever their ostensible political colour,  subscribe to the treason and viciously support the suppression of  dissent to the betrayal.  This mixture of the act of elite-sponsored colonisation by foreigners, the failure of democracy through the tacit conspiracy of the political elite  to ensure that no meaningful alternative policy on  immigration is offered by any party capable of forming a government and the inability of the native population to even voice their  protest at this betrayal of their most pressing interests  in the mainstream media produces an ever growing sense of rage, a rage made all the more terrible and onerous  by  the feelings of impotence engendered by the ever more oppressive  restrictions on public expression which British governments have imposed.

These feelings are with the English all the time. If someone  English lives  in an area which  does not have a large ethnic minority population the anger and frustration may  remain bubbling below the surface most of the time, although they will be exacerbated by reports of their fellow county men and women elsewhere being harassed and bullied by the liberal elite into towing the multiculturalist line while ethnic minorities are pandered to ever more grotesquely  with bizarre interpretations of what constitutes a human right and  the constant growth of  interest groups which cater solely for ethnic minorities, for example,  the Refugee Council (http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/about/board).

But those who live in an area which is heavily populated  by ethnic minorities  will face constant triggers for the anger and frustration to come to the forefront of their minds. Every time someone in such an area walks the streets they will be reminded of how the demographic balance has changed and is changing. Every time a native  English  parent seeks a school for their children they will be faced often enough with choices of schools where many, quite often a majority, of the pupils are from ethnic minorities.  A visit to their GP or hospital will find them sitting in waiting rooms outnumbered by ethnic minorities.  When they go for a job, especially if it is low-skilled or unskilled, they are likely to find themselves being asked to work, if they can get such work at all,  in a situation where they are in the ethnic minority and English is  not the common workplace language.  If they go into a shop, cinema or café they are increasing likely to find themselves being served by foreigners with inadequate English for the job.

Everywhere the white English man or woman in an area with a large ethnic minority population looks  it seems that their world is being changed utterly and that they can do nothing about it because of the elite complicity in what has happened and is happening. That is why the public outbursts of frustration such as that of Emma West occur.  They are the bursting of the emotional  dam.  The fact that the episodes recorded so often occur on  public transport  is  unsurprising because it is here that the proximity with those who trigger the feelings of rage and  betrayal is greatest and there is the  least opportunity to escape from these reminders of the surreptitious elite-sponsored conquest of England. The physical claustrophobia of being on a crowded train or bus marries with the social claustrophobia of diversity.

The people recorded in the urls at the end of this essay are white  working class Englishwomen. They of course are  from the class  who had to and have to suffer the main brunt of  mass immigration. They live cheek-by-jowl with the immigrants and their descendants. They send their children to schools where their child may be the only white English child in their class. They live in the tower blocks where they are the only white English family in the block. Not for them the middle class white liberals escape through white flight to the suburbs or countryside or the gentrification of once working class areas such as Islington. It is small wonder that people such as Emma West should feel deserted and betrayed and eventually lose all patience with public silence.

But uninhibited racial language and complaint is not restricted to those without status, wealth, influence and power. Two well know and recent examples are the fashion designer John Galliano  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CQO8q3FSH0) and the actor and director Mel Gibson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50_qMJSPtqY&feature=relatedso – go in at 1 minute 17 sec). There is far more to these public displays of anger at the fact of mass immigration and the behaviour of the political elite  than simple desperation. It is entirely natural behaviour.  Public expression of dissent can be  partially successful but it will never be entirely complete. Even in extreme autocracies such as the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany there were still voices raised in  opposition. The English have been subject several generations of ever greater elite propaganda and censorship of dissent about immigration and its effects but this has not made them race or ethnicity blind, merely increasingly reticent, fearful and stressed  about immigration and its consequences.  Not only that, but the oppression arising from mass immigration is different in quality from the oppression  of a native  elite which merely tries to enforce its will on the masses. The effects of mass migration are around people all the time. There is no respite.

When people are asked to  suppress their normal feelings  stress occurs. Where the suppression of feelings relates to the most fundamental social and psychological structures  stress is at its greatest. That is what happens when an elite tries to  recreate society by asking the population to override the behaviour which makes a society strong and stable.

Social animals have two universal features: they form discrete groups and within the group produce hierarchies – although both the group and the hierarchy vary considerably in form and intensity.  Why they do this is a matter of debate but it is a fact that this what invariably happens.  Human beings are no exception; whether they are hunter-gatherers or people populating a great modern city they all have a need to form groups in which they feel naturally comfortable and within that group form hierarchies.

But the sense of being separate, of belonging to a discrete group with identifiable characteristics is of a different order of complexity than it is for any other social animal because homo sapiens is high intelligence, self-awareness and most importantly language.  Where an animal may simply accept another member of the species as part of the group through simple and obvious triggers such as scent, markings or imprinting, human beings judge by wide variety of criteria who is and is not part of the group, the most potent of which are racial characteristics and cultural differences. In some ways that makes acceptance of the outsider easier – at least in theory –  but in  others much more difficult than it might be for an animal,  for there are  many more reasons for human beings to accept or not accept someone into the group than there are for a non-human social animal.

Social animals form hierarchies  almost certainly because otherwise there would be no way of the society organising itself to accommodate the differing qualities and abilities  of individuals which arise in any species. Societies which consist of various human groups that  see themselves as separate  from each other disrupt the creation of a healthy hierarchy. Instead of there being a single hierarchy within an homogenous group (defining homogenous as a population in a discrete territory  which sees itself as a group), there are  hierarchies formed within each group and a further overarching hierarchy formed from the various groups themselves with  each group hierarchy competing within the population as a whole.

Man is also a territorial being.  Homo sapiens  need the security of a homeland. Remove that and insecurity is perpetual.  That is why mass immigration is the most fundamental of treasons.  That which  is called racism by liberals and their ethnic minority auxiliaries is simply  political protest of the most fundamental kind. When someone resorts to complaint  based on race, ethnicity or nationality  in their own country they are saying “This is my land, you will not steal it from me without a fight”.  The time to worry is when there are no public demonstrations of dissent to the policy of mass immigration and its consequences.

The package of emotion transmuted into conscious thought we call  patriotism is an essential part of maintaining a society (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/patriotism-is-not-an-optional-extra/).  A society which forgets that is doomed.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pONVYjAd1wc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTocvGIEqOU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfGqwtn3GZY

The English origins and value of the USA’s Second Amendment

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (American Constitution Second Amendment)

American liberals have a problem. They wish to remove the constitutional right to bear arms from the American people.  Their problem is the Second Amendment. To honestly achieve their aim they would have to amend the Constitution. But such amendments are difficult going on impossible.

To initiate amendments, either two thirds of both houses of Congress must vote for them or two thirds of the State legislatures must call for a convention for proposing amendments. That is just the proposal process. This is followed by acceptance by the individual States. In the former case, three quarters of the States must ratify the amendment individually: in the latter three quarters of the convention must vote for the amendment.

Those are stringent terms to meet in any political system, but particularly so in a state as vast and diverse as the USA and with such a strong tradition of regional government. Add to those structural difficulties the existence of widespread gun ownership and powerful lobbies such as the National Rifle Association and the mountain becomes practically  insurmountable by honest means. So what does the liberal do? What he always does when he wants to ban something which is permitted by the Constitution: he pretends that the Constitution does not mean what it manifestly says.

In the case of the Second Amendment the attack takes the form of pretending that the Amendment was merely meant to provide for a militia rather than affirming and protecting the right of people to arm themselves individually. Happily, there is plenty of ammunition with which to shoot down this claim: in the Constitution itself, in the historical circumstances in which the Constitution and Amendment were drafted, in the very logic of a militia.

The claim that the amendment is simply to safeguard the right of America’s military forces to keep and bear arms is self-evidently absurd. If true all the amendment would mean is that the federal government could not disarm the militia soldiers who represented the majority of its armed forces. It would be practically a redundant clause.

The fact that the Amendment states that the right is not merely to bear but to keep arms might be thought by most honest folk to be a pretty clear indication that the private
ownership of weapons was what the framers of the Amendment had in mind. Moreover, what would be the point of the Amendment if it was not to confer such a right to the
individual? Any other permission to keep and bear arms must of necessity be dependent upon permission from those with political power and authority. It would thus again be a futile and redundant clause. It is noteworthy that nowhere in the Constitution, amended or otherwise, is any instruction on the exercise of such state power given or hinted at.

When judging the intent of the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (which contains the Second Amendment) it is necessary to know the general social and intellectual backcloth against which they worked. They were heir to the English tradition of liberty and government by consent rather than pure tyranny. The Americans who rose against the England of King George 111 did so because they considered themselves part of the tradition of English liberty. In seeking independence, they were not repudiating that tradition but in their own minds returning to what they imagined was the true path of English liberty which had become corrupted in England. It is against this ancient English tradition that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be set.

What does the unamended Constitution of 1787 say about the protection of the newly formed United States? Section 8 of Article 1 grants to Congress the right:

To raise and support Armies, but no appropriation of Money for that Use shall be for a longer term than two years.

“To provide and maintain a Navy.

“To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.

“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.

“To provide for organising, arming and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

The first point to note is that the Army and the militias are clearly distinguished as separate entities. The second is the time limit on the power to raise money for armies. This is highly significant. There was a very long tradition in England of professional standing armies being heartily mistrusted as the tool of despots. It was the attempt to
institute a standing army of thirty thousand men which was one of the main reasons why King James 11 was overthrown in 1688. Armies were raised for wars, but in peacetime militias were the order of the day. Indeed, until the first world war England never had a great standing army. (The English tradition is also echoed in the absence of any time restriction placed on the funding of a navy by the Founding Fathers. The English never feared a strong navy as such because it could not be used against them).

With this English mistrust of standing armies and reliance on militias went a tradition of not merely allowing weapons to be generally held, but of such a practice being  positively encouraged to ensure the defence of the country. Feudal military obligation was in fact built on the private provision not merely of men but of arms and equipment. In late medieval times statutes were enacted to encourage long bow practice. The Spanish Armada which attempted to invade England in 1588 was repulsed by a mixed English fleet of private and Royal ships.

Perhaps the strongest single circumstantial reason for dismissing the liberal’s interpretation of the Second Amendment are the well attested motives for those promoting
the Bill of Rights. Those who pushed for the first ten Amendments did so because they believed that the rights and liberties of the individual were not guarded explicitly
enough by the original Constitution. Thus ,if we are to believe the liberal, we must accept the truly fantastic explanation that in the case of the Second Amendment the
protection of individual liberty was utterly cast aside without reason, public acknowledgement or, most compellingly, any contemporary comment, adverse or otherwise.

There is also a question of simple practicality. When the Amendment was passed (December 1791), the infant federal government simply did not have the means to finance the arming of militias. Thus, they can only have envisaged private arms being put to the service of the state, a tradition which as previously mentioned had a long history in
both England and the Thirteen Colonies. Moreover, subsequent history bore this out, for the greater number of troops employed by the American Union in its wars against Britain and Mexico in the first half of the 19th century came from militias. In an age of minimal government, the Second Amendment underpinned the whole scheme of national defence.

Does the Second Amendment allow for any government abridgement of the right to keep and bear arms? It might just be possible to sustain an argument that a register of guns would not breach the Second Amendment provided there was no restriction on the right to own and bear weapons, that is no person could be denied the right either to appear on the register or bear arms. But even here it could be argued with some force that the registration of weapons – particularly if it required complicated bureaucratic procedures – was an interference with the general right to bear arms. Moreover, if a right is general and absolute, it is by no means clear how any procedure initiated by and insisted upon by the state could be legitimate because by definition there can be no legitimate restriction of the right.

Americans produce a multitude of reasons for retaining their guns. They argue on the grounds of personal liberty. They argue on the grounds of deterring crime. They argue on the grounds of personal protection. They argue on a dozen and one grounds. This to my mind is a mistake. Good causes do not need to be bolstered by a battery of  arguments. Good causes need but one argument. The only necessary argument for private gun ownership is in the Second Amendment: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” The key words here are “a free state”. That phrase cannot mean solely to maintain the state in its independence from other states, because that could as well apply to a dictatorship as well as a democracy. In the context of the reasons for the American War of Independence “a free state” must also mean the maintenance of the freedom of the citizens from the oppressive power of the state. That after all was what the whole breach with England was about. Moreover, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are written in a manner which actively extols the individual over the state, viz: “We the people of the United States in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (preamble to the Constitution).

The general motivation for demanding gun control is not the saving of lives. (Its only effect in England has been to leave guns predominately in the hands of criminals and the state). Liberals wish to remove the general right of gun ownership in America for the same reason that they wish to interfere with peoples’ lives generally: they are natural authoritarians. They know that their philosophy (such as it is) conflicts utterly with human nature and are thus driven to suppress any resistance or dissent through the intimidation of political correctness and the practical control of public life. The disarming of the American people is part of this oppressive strategy.

The desire to restrict the holding of arms has always come from those who wished to not only monopolise power but to do so on their own terms. When the crossbow was invented, the medieval nobility attempted to ban it because it reduced the effectiveness of the armoured and mounted knight. Failing in that, they attempted to restrict, with some success, its ownership to people they could control. The Samurai in Japan enforced ruthlessly their rule that only Samurai should carry swords. When the demobbed conscripts of British Army returned to Britain after the First World War, the British government passed the first serious laws regulating gun ownership not because they feared that the British would begin to murder one another in great numbers but because they feared Red revolution.

If Americans wish to retain what is left of their freedom, they will do well to keep the Second Amendment intact. This means not merely retaining the status quo, but the mounting of legal challenges to every restriction on the holding and bearing of arms in the United States. The plain and hideously inescapable fact is that every attempt to restrict both gun ownership (or indeed any other weapon) and the bearing of arms made since the inauguration of the United States has been illegal. That applies whether or not the interference with the Constitutional right was undertaken at the federal or the state level. I suggest that legal action should consist not merely of Constitutional challenges, but civil actions for damages against the federal and appropriate state governments by those actively and personally denied the right to bear arms.



The complete “The wages of Scottish Independence”

I have  completed a  series on the implications of Scottish  independence in the Calling England blog. They cover all the important ground
relating to the question:

In
the matter of Scottish independence, the British political elite and the
Scottish Numpty Party (SNP) are flatly  ignoring the interests of the English,
Welsh and Northern Irish.  This is unreasonable for two reasons: firstly, the
granting of independence to … Continue reading →

The wages of Scottish independence – If Parliament says NO

Whether
or not Scotland would vote for independence is debatable.  Polls consistently
show a majority against, although there are always a substantial number of
“don’t knows”.  In a  referendum held only in Scotland with the YES campaign
headed by the … Continue reading →

 

Geographically
Scotland is very isolated. It is a stranded at the top of mainland Britain with
a single land border with England.  Any goods or people coming and going to
Scotland have a choice of independent access by air and … Continue reading →

The wages of Scottish independence – a divided country

The
divided country is not the UK but Scotland. Its divisions are cultural,
geographical, religious, demographic and racial. Demographically Scotland is a
most peculiar place. It has a population estimated at 5.2 million in 2010
(http://www.scotland.org/facts/population/) set in an area … Continue reading →

The wages of Scottish independence – membership of the EU

The
Scottish Numpty Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond has a dream; well, more of an
adolescent  fantasy really. He imagines that an independent  Scotland  would
immediately be embraced enthusiastically by the EU. In the more heroically
bonkers versions of the fantasy, … Continue reading →

The wages of Scottish independence – The monarchy

The
Scottish Numpty Party (SNP) has committed itself to the Queen being Scotland’s
head of state should independence occur.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/wintour-and-watt/2011/may/25/alexsalmond-queen).

As with so much of the SNP policy towards independence this presumes something
which is far from self-evident, namely, that …Continue reading →

The wages of Scottish independence – immigration

The
Scots Numpty Party (SNP) fondly  imagines that  an independent Scotland would
continue to have free access to England. They recklessly  assume Scotland’s
position would be akin to that of the Republic of Ireland. However, that
assumption rests on   a …Continue reading →

The wages of Scottish independence – Public Debt

One
thing is certain about an independent Scotland: it would begin life with a
massive national debt. Exactly how much is problematic because  the Scottish
referendum on independence will probably not be held until 2015. The Scots
Numpty Party (SNP) …Continue reading →

The wages of Scottish independence – the currency problem

The
most problematic  decision for an independent Scotland is the currency.  There
are three choices: to keep using the pound, join the Euro or create their own
currency.   If they choose the pound or Euro they will not be truly … Continue reading →

One
of the most complex aspects  of disentangling Scotland from the rest of the UK
should  Scotland become independent is defence.   It is complex because of  (1)
the siting of the Trident submarines and other major ships at Faslane; (2)
Continue reading →

The wages of Scottish independence – public sector employment

One
of the many major issues which an independent Scotland would have to address is
the extent to which the Scottish economy is  dependent on public spending and in
particular the number of public sector jobs which would be  moved … Continue reading →

These posts also address the
same subject:

The
Scots Numpty Party (SNP) bases its case for the viability of Scotland’s
independence  on the idea that wicked England has been “stealin’ ouir oil” and
that  if only they had control of the tax revenues from UK oil and gas … Continue reading →

Make sure the costs of Scottish independence get into  the media

The
letter  below was published in the Times 10 May 2011. It is extremely important
that the debate on independence for Scotland  is conducted on the basis that
Scotland will not be allowed to walk away from the financial obligations … Continue reading →

Scottish independence? Yes, but only on these terms

The
Scots Numpty Party (SNP) has managed to defeat the  attempts of the unionists
who deliberately devised the electoral system to thwart single party government
(and hence leave independence off the practical political agenda) and get a
majority in Scotland.  The …Continue reading →

Politically incorrect film reviews – Ire in Babylon

UK Cinema Release Date: Friday 20th May 2011

Official Site: http://www.fireinbabylon.com

Written and Directed by: Stevan Riley

Starring:  Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Michael Holding, Ian Botham, Jeffery Dujon, Colin Croft

Genre: Documentary

Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes (approx.)

Between 1980 and 1995 the West Indies cricket team never lost a series, a most remarkable thing. They did this through discovering a discipline they had never consistently shown before and the development of a bowling attack consisting of three or four genuinely fast bowlers,  a fast bowling  lineage which began in the mid 1970s with Holding, Roberts and Daniel and ended in the mid 1990s with Walsh, Ambrose and Bishop.    Their dominance was aided by the failure of umpires to implement the  cricket law banning persistent short-pitched bowling –  arguably because of a fear of being called racist – but  in truth they were formidable  even without bowling four or five short-pitched balls an over.  The runs scored against the West Indies in their period of dominance were almost certainly the hardest earned in the history of Test cricket (the first Test was played in 1877).

Those with no knowledge of cricket  will have read that paragraph and said, no, not interested.  Let them bear with me for a moment.  It is a film about a sporting side but it is far more than that.  Primarily it is  a masterclass in black victimhood and insecurities in which  cricket takes a distant second place. That explains  why  the film has been greeted with such rapture by British  film critics who are  signed up to the “ol’ whitey bad, black good “ liberal agenda  (for a wide range of quotes  see http://www.fireinbabylon.com/press.html).
The Daily Telegraph’s review is typical: “Director Stevan Riley’s joyous and uplifting film is a celebration of a sporting triumph and all its implications for black politics and culture.” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/8524438/Fire-in-Babylon-review.html)

The director  Stevan Riley made no bones about the purpose of the film: “a story of freedom, independence and black pride through bat and ball”. (http://www.channel4.com/news/fire-in-babylon-what-lessons-for-west-indies-cricket-now).   The result is a film which is an unrestrained act of pro-black  propaganda,   with whites and England  painted as the colonial oppressors and the Asian populations of the West Indies relegated to the role of non-persons.  Within this context,  the West Indies team of the late 1970s to the mid 1990s is portrayed as a vehicle for the political consciousness of the newly independent West Indian countries; a means by which the black West Indian population  (but not the white or Asian West Indians) could assert  themselves and show themselves to be able to compete with and dominate  their  old colonial masters.

Those not familiar with cricket in general or West Indies cricket in particular will require some background.  The West Indies is not a nation state. Rather it is a collection of British ex-colonies in the Caribbean  (Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados being the main islands) plus one on the South American continent (Guyana).  Cricket is the only thing which brings them formally together.

The history of West Indies cricket is a mirror of the racial and ethnic tensions  in the ex-colonies.  The team until the 1970s  was a mix of whites, blacks and Asians (mainly those who had ancestors who came from the Sub-continent).   Until 1960 the West Indies cricket team (known as the Windies) was always captained by a white man, apart from the odd match where injury or other absence of resulted in no  suitable white player  being available.

Throughout the period of white captains there was a growing restlessness amongst black West Indians for a black captain. After the appointment of the first  black man ,  Frank Worrell,  to the (regular)  captaincy in  1960,   the  participation  of  white and   Asian  players  steadily  diminished  – in the case of whites it might be truer to  say effectively  ended.  Geoffrey Greenidge was  the last  white   player to represent the West Indies (in 1972) before Brendon Nash appeared in  2008 (and he was a white Australian who qualified for the West Indies through his mother), while   no Asians were chosen between  Larry Gomes’  final appearance   in 1986 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s debut in 1994.  This left a side entirely composed of black West Indians.   In the late 1980s the Windies Captain Viv Richards  proudly described his side as “a team of Africans”.

There is no mention in the film of this exclusion of whites and Asians from the Windies side during their period of dominance, nor Viv Richard’s celebration of the fact that he was leading  an all  black side.   This is scarcely surprising because those interviewed in the film are all black and the interviewer did not ask awkward  questions.   Famous white cricketers and commentators such as Geoff Boycott , Ian Botham and Jeff Thompson who had played against the Windies during their period of dominance   were interviewed by the director,  but strangely not a single interview of a white man conducted for the film  appeared in the film. Tellingly, white faces were almost  absent from the film  except for the action shots. Ditto Asians.   Instead the film was packed with interviews with  West Indian cricketers and  commentators who had either played in or seen the Windies at their height , and film or commentary of black West Indian   celebrities such as Bob Marley,  Bunny Wailer, Lord Short Shirt, Burning Spear  (no, I  am not making the names up) and Gregory Isaacs who happily mixed with players such as Viv Richards.

A  deep-rooted black paranoia shows itself in the interpretation as patronising of white attitudes and responses which are at worst neutral and at best complimentary.  The  description “Calypso cricket” by whites  is interpreted  as  meaning that West Indian sides play in an attractive but brittle and unthinking way. In reality it was simply a bit of lazy labelling by journalists and broadcasters  without any intent to patronise or insult.

Australians turning out in  great numbers to applaud the West Indies touring party as they toured the streets of Melbourne at the end of the 1960/61 series against Australia was dismissed as Australians being happy to applaud losers (they lost the series 2-1).  In fact, they were being applauded because the series was (1)  thoroughly exciting with the first tied Test in history and (2)  Test cricket was going through a period when it was feared that slow, defensive play was killing the public’s appetitive for the game and the series was seen as a  renaissance of attractive cricket.

The only instance in the film of a white man suggesting that the Windies were chokers was made by  the England captain in the 1976 series between the Windies and England. This was the South African Tony Greig (playing  for England after qualifying residentially) predicting  before the series that the Windies “would grovel”.  Had he made the comment about Australia or an Australian made it about England it would have just been treated for what it was, a bit of “pre-fight” banter. In the film it is treated with an immense  earnestness as if it was the deadliest of insults.

This outrage is very odd because the central  thesis of the film is that until the late 1970s the Windies were a team  which often contained great individuals,  but hich was all too prone to not playing as a team, whether that be because of racial strife (especially under white captains) ,  the difficulties of bring people together from different countries in a representative team or the lingering effects of colonialism which led to an unconscious lack of belief in themselves.  (The alleged weaknesses  were supposedly only cured after Clive Lloyd became captain and  eventually moulded the Windies into a relentless machine for winning. )

This  story is some way adrift from reality. It is untrue that the Windies were a consistently brittle side  before Clive Lloyd became captain. They always had great players and in the space of four years in the  1960s they won two series in England and beat the Australians in the West Indies.  By 1965 they had good claims to be the strongest side in the world.  That they  declined towards the end of the 1960s and early 1970s was simply the natural consequence of a great side growing old and losing important players.  In short, it was simply  what any top cricketing  Test side experiences,  peaks and troughs of performance.

One of the most intriguing passages is the series between  Australia and the Windies in 1975/76 when the Australian fast bowlers Lillie and Thompson physically knocked the Windies about so badly that the series was lost 6-1.  That was time when the Windies captain Clive Lloyd decided on playing a three or four man fast bowling attack. In fact, what appears to have been the real turning point was the rebel Packer matches of a few years later. Kerry Packer was an Australian media mogul who signed up (to the horror of the national cricket boards who banned the players from playing Test cricket) many of the best  cricketers in the world, including most of the Australian and West Indies players.

The Packer series began badly for the Windies who folded weakly in an early match. According to the film,  Packer came into Windies dressing room and gave them a tongue-lashing along the lines of improve or you will be on a plane home.  Packer also arranged for then to use a  physiotherapist and fitness trainer by the name of Denis Waite because he was doubtful about their fitness. (http://www.catholicnews-tt.net/joomla/index.php?view=article&catid=49:sports&id=174:sports010209&option=com_content&Itemid=82).  Waite, a white Australian, got them fit and psychologically prepared.  By the end of Packer’s rebel games (they lasted two years) the Windies had started to win relentlessly.  It could be argued that the Windies built their later success on a platform constructed by two white men, Packer and Waite.

The other great  hand-up from ol’ whitey was the decision of the English cricket authorities in 1969 to relax the qualification rules for county cricket, the English domestic first class teams.  This meant that foreign players, including most of the major West Indian cricketers of the period 1970-1995, were able to play regular professional cricket in England. This both gave the Windies players a regular source of income from cricket (something which had never  been readily available before)  and a great deal of experience both of playing and English conditions and culture.

After 1995 the great days were over, although they were still competing for another five years or so as the great old players held the team together. After 2000, the Windies team declined rapidly until it became a pathetic shadow of what it had been only a few years before.  Why did this happen? Perhaps it was this:

“The things that had driven us in the past were no longer important to the newer generation. Black pride and its militancy, the shrugging off of our colonial legacy, Frank Worrell completing the West Indian version of the Jackie Robinson journey, these things have been historically severed” Calypsonian David Rudder on the difference between the 80s and today (http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/483624.html)

If Rudder is correct, that paints a bleak picture of the future of the West Indies not only as cricketers but generally.  What he is saying is that only the mixture of anger and fear left by colonialism is sufficient to energise West Indians.

From a purely cricketing point of view the film offers  many examples of great fast bowlers in action.  Those too young to have watched cricket in the 1970s and 1980s should watch the film and see the  difference between genuine fast bowling and what passes for it  now.  In particularly I was reminded of what a nightmare Jeff Thompson was at his best , not merely one of the fastest  of bowlers, but one with an uncanny knack of getting a ball to rear into a batsman’s face from barely short of a length. Most of the action shots are of batsmen being hit or nearly hit, which is a little unedifying,  but they  do  give  a graphic idea of exactly how much courage and skill is required to face great fast bowling.  The most poignant shots are  those of a 45-year-old Brian Close batting against Holding and Roberts in 1976 before the era of helmets and being repeatedly hit on the body, an assault he met with a remarkable stoicism.

Those wanting  a flavour of the film can click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n57LPYiragE

Nations and Empires

Robert Henderson

The longest lived empires in history, the Roman and the Ottoman, lasted approximately six hundred years; the Jews, a people long without a land and scattered to the four winds, are un-obliterated after two millennia of  persecution. Moral: empires  fall, but nations survive – perhaps the single most important lesson of history.

Nations  survive defeat,  enslavement and centuries  of oppressions. Empires may mutate as the Russian did from Tsarist to Soviet, but they cannot withstand successful conquest. Then they always die and stay dead.

Why are nations so stubbornly durable in contrast with empires?  The answer is simple: an empire is a political construct, but a nation is an expression of Man’s nature.  Where empires are held together by force or conscious self-interest, nations just exist, organic constructs which evolve  out of Man’s innate tendency to associate in discrete, clearly bounded groups.

The enlargement of human groups

Taking the evidence of history as a whole, it is reasonable to conclude that there is an inherent tendency within human society to attempt to create ever larger units of political authority. It is probably no more than the general tendency of organisms to maximise their position in Nature  by colonising as much territory as possible and then sustaining   the maximum population the territory will bear.

The fact that Man is a social animal with a high degree of self-awareness and intelligence makes human beings  unique as an organism.  These qualities allow Man to extend the group in ways which no other social animal can because the self-awareness  and intelligence permits a psychological enlargement as well as a material one – the advent of farming was of course necessary to allow the human population to expand and form  groups larger than the band or tribe. Nonetheless the process of group expansion is complex and fraught.

In a tribe of 500 it is easy to see how a sense of belonging and identity exists, because everyone will have a personal relationship of some sort with everyone else. In a group of 10,000 that is not possible in any meaningful sense. Nonetheless, in a group of 10,000 the individual can still be practically aware of the group, for example through public meetings. With a group of a million the relationship between the group members becomes intellectual rather than personal or practical. Man can create such an intellectual sense of belonging because he is self-conscious.

To create very large agglomerations of people who see themselves as part of a whole requires a core of values which are accepted by generality of the population. These values may be religious, as in the case of the mediaeval church or Islam. Then the sense of belonging is supranational, indeed supracultural. But such feelings have always bowed before the   demands of family, tribe, feudal lordship and nation. Hence the failure of the mediaeval church’s claim to supremacy; hence the mutual antipathy of many Muslim peoples throughout history.  National identity does not consist of clone like similitude, but it does require a sense of belonging, an instinctive recognition of those included  within  the   parameters of a national group.

The components of national identity

National identity is most commonly presented in terms of such banalities as “national dress” (often a mark of past servitude), food and crafts or in the more demanding but still narrow world of High Art.  Both are inadequate explanations because they touch only a small portion of human  existence.  To find the answer to a people’s national identity one must look to  their general culture which includes at its most sophisticated, science, technology,  politics,  education,  sport, history,  morals,  humour, language.

From the general culture comes what might be called the secondary human personality, which is developed by and is continually  developing the components of  culture.  By secondary personality I mean a nurtured  overlay on the innate personality. The range of basic human traits  –   aggressiveness,  placidity, timidity, extraversion and so forth – are universal.  But those qualities are the mere skeletons of minds. Above them stand the modifications of experience.  From  experience  develops  the  secondary personality. The social context of that experience and the   reflection  of  that experience through  the  secondary personality creates culture, is culture.

The importance of territory

The United Kingdom (UK) is a state really without parallel in the world. It has been a remarkably successful  political entity despite containing four distinct native peoples, the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish.

The UK has worked for Scotland, Wales and England for one simple reason, each people had a territory which they dominated. Scotland might be subject to an English dominated Parliament but a Scot could still live in a land where all about him were his fellow countrymen and women and the   administration  of  the practical government  which  he encountered was in the hands of Scots.

The one place where the UK did not work and does not work is Ireland,  the one part of the UK where there is a division between the native population and the product of large scale settlement from the British mainland.

There is a lesson from the UK experience.  Territory is what people care about most.

The advantages of homogeneity

To live in a homogenous society is a luxury for it removes the great cause of human friction, the clash of cultures.  

Perhaps most importantly, it allows a people to enjoy their own culture both by having ready access to it and by being allowed to celebrate it.

England probably became the prototype of the nation state because it was very homogenous for so long. It is noticeable that even with England’s example very few countries have been able to create anything approaching a true nation state. Those that have come close, such as the French or the Germans, have all shared a high degree of homogeneity.

The multicultural society

A multicultural society is by definition not a nation but an empire.

To live in a multicultural society is to be constantly assailed by considerations which simply do not arise in the homogenous society such as naturally segregated areas and their accompanying tensions.  Elites of course use the opportunity to act in an authoritarian manner but they also act from practical need.  Simply to maintain order, laws and their application must be more restrictive of personal liberty. That is particularly so in the case of free expression.  

Before the post-1945 immigration, Britain did not have any restrictions on free speech beyond those of libel, slander, obscenity and blasphemy (which was very rarely invoked). Now we have a raft of legislation which makes it an offence to incite racial discord, the interpretation of this being ever more narrowly interpreted. These impingements on personal liberty are entirely the result of mass immigration.

Citizens but not part of the nation

Despite the most strenuous propaganda efforts by liberals, everyone knows in their heart-of-hearts that  having the legal right to carry a passport and reside in a country does not make a person part of a nation.

Adult immigrants are plainly not part of the receiving nation because they lack the cultural imprinting which being brought up in a country gives. But being born and raised in a society does not automatically make a person part of the nation in the emotional sense if they belong to a minority group which sets itself apart from the majority.

The difference between legal nationality and belonging to a nation can be seen in the difference between England and Britain.

Britain is a blend of legal entity, geographical proximity, historical interaction  and a degree of fellow feeling deriving from (by now) shared values and experiences. But it  has always been a second order focus of loyalty, more legal construct than emotional reality.

The essentially legal nature of Britishness was shown rapidly after the votes on devolution occurred. Not only did the Scots and  Welsh  become much less likely to refer to themselves as British, the English, who had long used British as a synonym for English,  soon began to refer to themselves as English rather than British. Claiming to be British suddenly seemed anachronistic. Ironically, and pathetically, the only parts of the population who continue to commonly describe themselves as British are the  Northern Irish  Protestants and the various ethnic minorities.

The fact that the ethnic minorities in Britain almost invariably describe themselves as something other  than English, Scots, Welsh or Irish is very telling.  Although they use British frequently it is rarely un-hyphenated. Rather we find black-British, Asian-British or more specific  constructions such as Chinese-British. Alternatively, they may use a description such as British Muslim.  The  native peoples of Britain have never hyphenated their Britishness.

But many of the ethnic minorities in Britain are even more removed from the native population than that.  They commonly describe themselves as black, Asian, Indian, Bangladeshi, Jamaican Afro-Caribbean, Nigerian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh or any other racial, national or cultural distinction you care to name.

Nor  are these terms confined to common usage. The 2001 census form offered choices such as Black British, while groups supposedly representing this or that ethnic group commonly  describe  themselves  as  “black”,  “Asian”, “Bangladeshi” and so on, for example, the Association of  Black Police Officers. These groups are recognised by the  government and  not infrequently funded by them.  The principle of multiculturalism has become institutionalised in Britain.

The future

A true nation is a precious thing as a cultural artefact. A nation which forms itself into a true  state is doubly blessed because it is the most effective means of allowing  men to live in security with a minimum of strife. Only a fool would throw away such a luxury.

Much as liberal internationalists would like to imagine that nationality can be put on and taken off as easily as an overcoat. Rather,  it is an adamantine part of being human for it is the tribe writ very large.  Men need have a sense of belonging. Remove their opportunity to feel part of a “tribe” and they will be disorientated.

With ever increasing frequency,  individuals are granted legal status as a citizen or national of a country without being part of the nation. But the process is not even. Countries of the Third World have little immigration – and indeed generally discourage it – while the West is besieged with incomers both illegal and legal.

The greater racial and cultural difference in a state the more it resembles an empire. The more it resembles an empire the greater the risk of civil war and the dissolution of the state.  That is what we in Britain and the rest of the developed world ultimately face, the dissolution of our states and the loss of control of our respective homelands.

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