Good evening Ladies & Gentlemen
I would like to start by thanking the organisers for making this debate possible and for inviting us to take part.
I am the Chairman of the English Democrats Party. I hear you ask what are my Party’s credentials for being part of this debate? Well the English Democrats are, by far the largest English Nationalist Party. We have some 3,500 members and have stood in most national elections in England since we launched some 7 years ago. In the June elections we got double the votes of our Welsh sister party, Plaid Cymru, and three quarters of the votes of our Scottish sister party, Alec Salmond’s SNP, who are in government in Scotland.
Also, at 279,801 votes in the EU elections, we were electorally the 7th largest party in England and well clear of the next tier of parties. In June we also stood for the first time for a local government directly elected Mayoralty in Doncaster and won! Our Mayor, Peter Davies, is getting us many good headlines by slashing his mayoral salary from £70,000 to £30,000 and being determined to break the strangle-hold of political correctness, and of Labour corruption, in Doncaster and also by following the revolutionary political principle of actually trying to do all the things that he promised to do during the election!
I also may have been invited because I have issued a fatwa against the Liberal Democrats, and Vince Cable, modelled on the fatwa of Osama Bin Laden of Jihad against the West!
But seriously the English Democrats are a Party of the type sometimes called Civic nationalists. Let me explain.
The word “English” means many things. It can mean an adjective: ‘something of England’ like “English countryside”. As a noun, it can mean the ‘English language’ like saying something “in English”. It can also mean a Nation or ethnicity. In our manifesto we address this issue head on and we say:-
“The English can be defined in the same way that other nations are defined. To be English is to be part of a community. We English share a communal history, language and culture. We have a communal identity and memory. We share a we sentiment; a sense of belonging. These things cannot be presented as items on a checklist. Our community, like others, has no easily defined boundaries but we exist and we have the will to continue to exist.”
And we go on to say:-
“The people of England are all those UK citizens who live in England. In electoral terms, the people of England are all those UK citizens who are on the electoral roll of an English constituency. The people of England therefore includes the people of many nations, all of whom share a common UK citizenship.”
Now I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this!?
I am saying that a key need in a society is, and even for it to be properly speaking a society at all, is a sense of belonging. In the national context that is our sense of National Identity. This is the sense that makes people from diverse origins living in much of Northern America think of themselves as “Americans” and indeed not merely to think of themselves as such but to act as such, that is to act as members of a great National Community – a real, living, breathing community, not some artificially created community group beloved of Labour for the purpose of breaking us down into Labour client groups in a multi-culturalist missmash. What we English Democrats say about multiculturalism is:-
“It is fact that during the past forty years people of many different cultures have come to live in England. Our county is in that sense a multi-cultural society.
However, multi-culturalism is an ideology which suggests that a mix of many cultures in one society is desirable and that it is the duty of government to actively encourage cultural diversity within the state. Further, it suggests that all cultures should be treated as equal. A logical extension of that is that all languages, histories and law codes should be treated equally. This is clearly impossible in a unified country. All ethnic groups should be free to promote their own culture identity but the public culture of England should be that of indigenous English. This position is consistent with the rights of indigenous nations everywhere.”
The basis of what we English Democrats are therefore saying about English National Identity is that we want to see a revival of our National sense of belonging and the integration of the People of England into the modern English democratic way of life.
It is also our long standing tradition with, some deep roots in our history, for England to be tolerant to the practise of religious differences. It is no accident that one of our most zealous ‘born-again’ Christian leaders, Oliver Cromwell, the man who could write a report to Parliament after one of his victorious battles, about the enemy, that: “God made them as stubble to our swords”! It is no accident that he was the Ruler who opened England’s doors to Jewish immigration. It is also no accident that a country which has an established Christian Church, and a Monarch who is the “supreme governor” of that Church, should also in practice be one of the most secularist countries in the world. We English are tolerant of religious difference and the English Democrats are in that tradition of true English Liberty.
It follows that, for us, the problem of Islam is not a great problem for those Muslims who are moderate and want to integrate and to see themselves as English Muslims. We welcome that.
The problem is of fundamentalism and of Islamists who want either to convert England into an Islamic state or to have separate legal systems with them being under Sharia Law as a sort of apartheid. This is totally unacceptable to us, but we take the view that this represents a small and unrepresentative but dangerous element within Islam in this country.
It is an element however that needs to be unequivocally confronted not only by the Criminal Justice system when it attempts to stir up hatred and violence or engages in any other criminal activity, but it also needs to be deflated by enabling Muslims, whose home is England, to have the possibility of sharing our sense of belonging to our English National Community.
We have therefore welcomed moderate Muslims who support our aims into our Party and have indeed been attacked by the BNP for having some as members and as candidates.
Personally I find these attacks quite funny because it is not so very long ago that Nick Griffin was meeting Col. Gadaffi and Ayatollah Khomenie to try to get Islamist funding for the BNP to campaign against Jews. But then I don’t think the BNP’s attack on Islam is really about religion, I think it is really a coded attack on immigrants and on immigration.
I say that debates on immigration should not be conducted in that way. I say that all the People of England, whether Christian, Muslim or Atheist have a real interest in immigration being properly controlled and let us do that calmly, dispassionately, but effectively.
And so in answer to the question for debate today “Islamification of Britain Reality or Myth?” English Democrats say that while it is currently something of a myth it must be firmly resisted but in a sensible, moderate, commonsense, tolerant and typically English way which welcomes integration and Muslims should in their turn be expected to integrate into our society and our Nation and let us together create a positive sense of English National Community within England.
Thank you Mr Chairman and Ladies and Gentlemen.