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Friday, 25 January 2013

SUNDAY TIMES RETRACTS EXTREMIST SLUR AGAINST ENGLISH DEMOCRATS

 


SUNDAY TIMES RETRACTS EXTREMIST SLUR AGAINST ENGLISH DEMOCRATS

On Sunday, 20th January 2013 the Sunday Times published in its corrections and clarifications column on page 24 as follows:-
"A story on the election of police and crime commissioners (Party plodders turn police vote into a flop, November 11, 2012) wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. The English Democrats are a nationalist party campaigning, among other things, for an English parliament.”

And on its website it also published a correction as follows:-
“An earlier version of this article wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. It is a nationalist party."

These corrections followed on from a complaint to the Sunday Times and thereafter to the Press Complaints Commission. The correspondence is set out below. The results do show that proper, reasoned complaining and challenging of media inaccuracy can produce worthwhile results.

Here is the correspondence:-
From: RobinTilbrook@aol.com
To: john.witherow@sunday-times.co.uk, james.harding@thetimes.co.uk, home.news@thetimes.co.uk
BCC: johnhayterengdem@aol.com
Sent: 11/11/2012 19:18:25 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Your offences - Section 61 of the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order

Dear Sir
We act for Mr Steven Uncles, Mr David Allen, Mr Stephen Goldspink, Mr Paul Rimmer and Mr Robin Tilbrook who are the English Democrats' candidates for the Police Commissioner elections in Kent, South Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire, Merseyside and Essex respectively.

As you may be aware, pursuant to Section 61 of the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2012, you are “guilty of an illegal practice” if during this election and for the purpose of affecting the election of any candidate as Police and Crime Commissioner you make or publish any false statement of fact in relation to the candidates personal character or conduct.

Contrary to Section 61 this Sunday the Sunday Times has on page 11 published an Article by James Gillespie and Georgia Graham headed " Party plodders turn police vote into a flop" in which you have published the following statement about the above candidates:- "The figures show that 134 of the candidates are representatives of the political parties - among them five from the extremist right-wing English Democrats".It is a false statement of fact that the English Democrats are "extremist right-wing".

You have also gratuitously made disobliging and disingenuous partisan remarks about their candidacies.

In the circumstances we write to request a full right of reply for our clients to be published in an issue of your daily paper before Thursday's election.

Please confirm your agreement to the above within the next 48 hours failing which we shall advise our clients on whether to proceed by way of criminal prosecutions or to seek a High Court Injunction against you.

Yours faithfully

Tilbrook’s




In a message dated 13/11/2012 15:02:56 GMT Standard Time, pia.sarma@newsint.co.uk writes:
Dear Mr Tilbrook,

Your email to the Editor of The Sunday Times which published the article you refer to, has been passed to me for response.

The Sunday Times and The Times are entirely separate publications with separate editors. A request for a right of reply arising from one publication cannot be considered by a separate publication. For that reason your request for a right of reply in the daily paper is not something which can be met in any event.

I do intend to respond to you in full but as this has only just been brought to my attention, I will do so by the end of tomorrow.

Yours sincerely,
Pia Sarma.



---------------------------------------
Editorial Legal Director
Legal Department- 4th floor
Times Newspapers Limited




From: RobinTilbrook@aol.com
To: pia.sarma@newsint.co.uk
Sent: 14/11/2012 01:02:40 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Re: Your offences - Section 61 of the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections...

Dear Ms Sarma
Thank you but please note they are the same ownership and the same email address

Robin Tilbrook




From: donna.boultwood@newsint.co.uk
To: robintilbrook@aol.com
CC: pia.sarma@newsint.co.uk
Sent: 15/11/2012 16:45:50 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Times Newspapers Limited

Dear Mr Tilbrook

Please see the attached letter sent on behalf of Pia Sarma.

Yours sincerely, Donna Boultwood
P.A. TNL Legal Department
Times Newspapers Limited


Letter from Times Newspapers Limited dated 15th November 2012

Dear Tilbrook

Re: “Party plodders turn police vote into a flop”, The Sunday Times, November 11

Thank you for your letter to the Editors of The Sunday Times and The Times, concerning the above article.

You appear to ask for a right to reply on the basis that publication of the Article was an offence under section 61 of the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2012.

The statutory instrument creates an offence if anyone makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to an election candidate’s personal character or conduct before or during an election and which was for the purpose of affecting the election of that candidate. If the maker of the statement can show that he has reasonable grounds for believing the statement to be true, there is no offence.

I do not agree that the offence has been made out. Firstly, describing the English Democrats as “extremist right-wing” was not necessarily a statement of fact. A statement about the political leanings of candidates is often a matter of opinion. Even if the statement were found to be fact, it is not one which related to any of the candidates personal character or conduct, as is required for an offence to be made out, but rather to political or public role in the party. A Court would also be required to take into account freedom of expression and Article 10 of the European Court of Human Rights in examining the value judgment of the statement. Where any statement does not substantially relate to personal conduct, it may be inconsistent with Article 10 for the Court to find that s.61 would apply, as a recent case held.

It also would not be shown that the statement was made for the purpose of affecting the election of any candidates. Indeed, had that been the intention, each of the candidates would have been named to draw the attention of any potential voter. The article points out that the expected turn-out was anticipated to be disappointingly low, which highlights the need for any article whose purpose was to affect election to be quite specific about its intention in order to capture a potential voter. Finally, the defence of reasonable belief in the truth of the statement may be made out. In summary, the elements of the offence were not met.

As I stated in my email to you, The Times does not carry letters or comment by way of right of reply in relation to articles published in The Sunday Times. However, if you wish to submit a letter to be considered for publication in The Sunday Times, please send it to letters@sunday-times.co.uk, copied to me.

Yours sincerely


Pia Sarma
Editorial Legal Director



Letter 6th December 2012
Press Complaints Commission
Halton House
20/23 Holborn
London
EC1N 2JD


Dear Sir

Re: Sunday Times Article 11th November 2012 by James Gillespie and Georgai Graham: “Party plodders turn police vote into a flop”

This article wrongly asserts that the English Democrats are “Extremist Right-wing”. This comment is inaccurate and untrue. The significance of this unjustified attack taking place in the midst of elections for Police Commissioners makes this matter one of importance.

Immediately this article came to my attention, on the 11th November, I requested the right of reply to this spurious allegation. The response is inadequate and it is obvious that the offending comment is put as a statement of fact not opinion (within the usual meaning given both by the law of defamation and of common sense).

"Extremist right-wing" connotes fascism, racism, Nazism, white supremacy etc., and infers that the English Democrats candidates share those views. It thus clearly relates to our candidates' personal character or conduct. In the context of the article, its timing, and the absence of defamatory comments about any other candidates an inference can be drawn of the improper purpose of affecting the election of our candidates.

This may actually have mattered given that we were not far off getting our candidate elected in South Yorkshire.

I respectfully suggest that the Times would be hard pressed to support any defence of reasonable belief in the truth of the statement. There is no suggestion anywhere that we are a racist party, nor indeed have they made any effort to find out what we do stand for.

No effort was made to speak to anyone from the English Democrats about this allegation either prior to making it or indeed at all.

Not only do James Gillespie’s and Georgia Graham’s professional standards appear to be very sloppy, but also, I would respectfully submit, they breach the Press Complaints Commissions Editor’s Code by failing to maintain the “highest professional standards”. The comments are frankly inaccurate and misleading and no correction has been published.

Rather than accurately reporting the Sunday Times seems to have stooped to smear and innuendo against the English Democrats.

It may also be that the smear derives from an anti-English discriminatory attitude within the Sunday Times and also of these two journalists both of whom bear Scottish surnames.

In the circumstances I wish formally, and on behalf of myself and the other candidates so smeared and the English Democrats, to complain against the Sunday Times.

Yours faithfully

R C W Tilbrook
Chairman

In a message dated 12/12/2012 15:56:57 GMT Standard Time, simon.yip@pcc.org.uk writes:
Dear Mr Tilbrook

Thank you for your email.

Before we can assess your complaint fully, it would be helpful if you could indicate which Clause or Clauses of the Code of Practice you believe have been breached.

We would be very grateful to receive this information within the next ten days.

A copy of the Code of Practice which all newspapers and magazines who subscribe adhere to, can be accessed using this web link: http://www.pcc.org.uk/cop/practice.html

Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further advice. When you write to us, please quote our reference number on this email.

Yours sincerely


Sent on behalf of Simon Yip
Complaints Coordinator
Press Complaints Commission


From: RobinTilbrook@aol.com
To: simon.yip@pcc.org.uk
Sent: 26/12/2012 15:59:05 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Re: Press Complaints Commission - Our reference 125459

Dear Mr Yip,
Thank you for your email. I am sorry not to have responded sooner.
I had used the key phrases from clauses 1,2 and 12 deliberately as these the ones called into play here.
I attach the text of my complaint again for ease of reference.
Yours sincerely

Robin Tilbrook,




In a message dated 03/01/2013 10:09:02 GMT Standard Time, elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk writes:

Our reference: 125459


Dear Mr Tilbrook

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

I will be dealing with your complaint against The Sunday Times before it goes to the Commission for a decision under the terms of the Editors’ Code, and I will keep you informed of the progress of our investigation into this matter.

A copy of your correspondence has been sent to the publication and I will write to you again once I have received its response.

In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns or questions.

Yours sincerely



Elizabeth Cobbe
Complaints Officer

Press Complaints Commission




From: RobinTilbrook@aol.com
To: elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk
Sent: 03/01/2013 10:10:21 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Re: PCC REF 125459

Thank you
Robin Tilbrook





In a message dated 08/01/2013 11:23:00 GMT Standard Time, elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk writes:
Dear Mr Tilbrook,

I write further to my email of 3 January.

I have now received a response from The Sunday Times, which I have forwarded below.

As you will see, the newspaper has offered to publish the following correction in its Corrections and Clarifications column:

"A story on the election of police and crime commissioners (Party plodders turn police vote into a flop, November 11, 2012) wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. It is a nationalist party."

I would be grateful for your thoughts on this proposal, and in particular whether you would be satisfied that this course of action would resolve the complaint to your satisfaction. As you may be aware, an additional benefit of resolving your complaint is that a summary of it – with a wording agreed by you – will be published prominently on the Commission’s website. This will act, importantly, as a public record of your concerns and the remedial action subsequently taken.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course, preferably in the next seven days.


With kind regards



Elizabeth Cobbe
From: Tyrer, Bob
Sent: 08 January 2013 10:21
To: Elizabeth Cobbe
Subject: Re: New complaint - 125692 Tilbrook

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for forwarding this complaint to me.

I have researched the English Democrats' website and activities, and I agree that there is no evidence of political extremism in the normally accepted use of the word - implying violence. I would therefore be happy to resolve this complaint with an entry on these lines in our Corrections and Clarifications column: "A story on the election of police and crime commissioners (Party plodders turn police vote into a flop, November 11, 2012) wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. It is a nationalist party."

With best wishes,

Bob
Bob Tyrer
Executive Editor





From: RobinTilbrook@aol.com
To: elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk
Sent: 08/01/2013 12:54:50 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Re: PCC complaint 125692 Tilbrook

Dear Miss Cobbe

Thank you for your email. The suggested wording goes some way towards satisfying me. I suggest that the second short sentence should read:- "In fact the English Democrats are the main English Nationalist Party and are campaigning for an English Parliament"

Yours sincerely

Robin Tilbrook
Chairman,
The English Democrats






In a message dated 08/01/2013 15:37:11 GMT Standard Time, elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk writes:
Dear Mr Tilbrook,

Thank you for your earlier email.

As you will see from the below response from the newspaper, it has made a final offer to publish the following wording:

"A story on the election of police and crime commissioners (Party plodders turn police vote into a flop, November 11, 2012) wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. The English Democrats are a nationalist party campaigning, among other things, for an English parliament."

It has organised for the removal of the word “extremist” from the article which appears on the website of the newspaper and to publish the following footnote to the article:

“An earlier version of this article wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. It is a nationalist party."

I look forward to hearing from you as to whether you would like to resolve the complaint on the basis of these steps.


With kind regards



Elizabeth Cobbe



From: Tyrer, Bob
Sent: 08 January 2013 15:24
To: Elizabeth Cobbe
Subject: Re: PCC complaint 125692 Tilbrook

Dear Elizabeth,

Thanks for your reply.

I would be willing to compromise with this wording: "A story on the election of police and crime commissioners (Party plodders turn police vote into a flop, November 11, 2012) wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. The English Democrats are a nationalist party campaigning, among other things, for an English parliament."

That is my final offer on the wording. I also agree to remove the word "extremist" from the online article - in fact, I've already asked for it to be removed, as a gesture of good faith - and I would add the footnote you suggest: “An earlier version of this article wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. It is a nationalist party."

With best wishes,

Bob

Bob Tyrer
Executive Editor




From: RobinTilbrook@aol.com
To: elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk
Sent: 14/01/2013 12:02:31 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Re: PCC complaint 125459 Tilbrook

Dear Ms Cobbe

Re: Sunday Times Article - PCC Complaint 125459|

Before final agreement I would like to see a proof of the proposed agreed wording to be published showing its position, size and prominence. Also I would like to see such a proof in relation to the on-line article.

Yours sincerely

Robin Tilbrook
Chairman,
The English Democrats,




From: elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk
To: robintilbrook@aol.com
Sent: 16/01/2013 10:04:57 GMT Standard Time
Subj: PCC REF 125459

Dear Mr Tilbrook,

Thank you for your email of 14 January.

The newspaper has said that the page on which the corrections and clarifications are published doesn’t go to press until the Saturday night before publication, so providing a proof would not be practical. It has, however, made an assurance that it will appear in the Corrections and Clarifications column. I have attached to this email a pdf of how the column appears on the page from last week’s newspaper. The correction online would appear as a footnote to the article.

The PCC does not require the newspaper to provide a proof of how any statement negotiated by the PCC would appear; it does, however, require the newspaper to confirm prominence. The newspaper has now done this. I would be grateful if you could confirm whether you would like me to ask the newspaper to proceed with publication.

With kind regards


Elizabeth

Elizabeth Cobbe
Complaints Officer
Press Complaints Commission




From: RobinTilbrook@aol.com
To: elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk
Sent: 17/01/2013 10:12:31 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Re: PCC REF 125459

Dear Miss Cobbe

Thank you for your email and clarification. In that case we will accept what has been agreed. Thank you for your help.

Yours sincerely

Robin Tilbrook
Chairman,
The English Democrats,




From: elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk
To: RobinTilbrook@aol.com
Sent: 17/01/2013 14:22:22 GMT Standard Time
Subj: PCC REF 125459

Dear Mr Tilbrook,

Thank you for your earlier email.

The agreed footnote has now been added to the online article and the agreed wording will be published in the corrections and clarifications column in this week’s edition of the newspaper.

With kind regards

Elizabeth Cobbe





From: elizabeth.cobbe@pcc.org.uk
To: robintilbrook@aol.com
Sent: 22/01/2013 11:40:17 GMT Standard Time
Subj: PCC REF 125459


Our reference: 125459


Dear Mr Tilbrook

Now that your complaint has been resolved, a short summary of it will soon be available on the Commission’s web site. Unless we hear to the contrary within 7 days, we will assume that you are happy with the summary and are content for the information to be released publicly. This email has also been copied to the publication, which also has 7 days in which to comment on the wording.

The proposed wording, subject to formal approval by the Commission and any comments from the parties, is as follows:

The Sunday Times

Mr Robin Tilbrook, Chairman of the English Democrats Party, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached the terms of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complainant said that the article incorrectly described the English Democrats as “extremist right-wing”. There was no evidence that the party was “extremist” or that its politics could be described as “far right”.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following statement in the newspaper:

"A story on the election of police and crime commissioners (Party plodders turn police vote into a flop, November 11, 2012) wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. The English Democrats are a nationalist party campaigning, among other things, for an English parliament."

The newspaper also appended the following statement to the online article:

“An earlier version of this article wrongly referred to the English Democrats as an 'extremist' party. It is a nationalist party." (Cl 1)

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled you should write within one month to the Independent Reviewer, whose details can be accessed using this web link:http://www.pcc.org.uk/about/whoswho/independentreview.html

With best wishes



Elizabeth Cobbe
Complaints Officer
Press Complaints Commission



Email sent 25.1.2013


Dear Ms Cobbe

Thank you for your email of the 22nd. I had in fact written to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached the terms of Clauses 1, 2 and 12.

I would be grateful if you could make this amendment.

Yours sincerely


R C W Tilbrook

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Nick Lowles of the fancifully named "Hope not Hate" is lying yet again!

Nick Lowles of the fancifully named "Hope not Hate" is lying yet again!

Labourite Nick Lowles, of Labour's dirty tricks department, the laughably misnamed "Hope not Hate", is lying and smearing yet again. His 'article' is below and is of his usual poor and unprofessional journalistic standard.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that I regularly address many groups. I am an English patriot and nationalist and I will meet anyone in pursuit of developing the English Movement. I make no apologies for that. 

I don't believe a word of Nick Lowles' hysterical claims and I note that not a shred of evidence is produced by him to justify any of his silly claims.

I wonder if Nick Lowles would try to claim that because I addressed the Epping Forest District Green Party group that makes me a Green? But no, of course not - that wouldn't have any chance of smearing us with the politically correct brigade would it? 

I have now challenged Nick Lowles several times to come out from hiding behind his keyboard and face me in a fair debate about England's future.(such as here >>> http://robintilbrook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/hope-not-hate-comes-out-as-labours.html and here >>> http://robintilbrook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/hateful-and-hopeless-hope-not-hates.html).
  
Lowles has yet to dare to show his face. 

I am still waiting Nick!

Here is his 'article':-

The English Democrats are fair game

posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 15 January 2013, 05:31
HOPE not hate’s expose last night that English Democrat leader Robin Tillbrook attended a meeting of racists and Nazis over the weekend is final proof, if proof was needed, why his party is firmly in our sights. By attending a meeting with former and violent EDL supporters and the leaders of Britain First with the aim of establishing a new racist street movement, Tillbrook has pushed his party into the realms of Britain’s far right.
The English Democrats constantly try to refute any allegations of extremism and its supporters regularly bombard us with protests when we have written about them in the past. This is despite them doing a deal with Mark Cotterill and the England First Party for the 2009 European Elections. This is despite the fact that 43% of their candidates in last May’s local elections had until recently been in the British National Party.
But this recent development marks a new low for the English Democrats and one that we will be making sure voters know ahead of this May’s County Council elections.
In the meantime we are aware that a number of current or former English Democrat members are deeply unhappy with the party's new alliances with racists and nazis so we would welcome them to contact us. You can email me at nick@hopenothate.org.uk, confidentiality will be assured.
http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/article/2433/the-english-democrats-are-fair-game

Thursday, 17 January 2013

England's demography discussed

A few days ago I wrote a blog article on the first official statistics from the 2011 Census shoing a huge rise in English 'National Identity'. Here is a link >>> http://robintilbrook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/national-identity-in-england-analysed.html
One interesting reflection on the bias of the British 'national' media has been its total silence on these very striking statistics. Here is a response form the academic Left. What do you think?

London and the English

Eric Kaufmann

Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London, and author (website >>> http://www.sneps.net/publications)

Here is a link to the original article on Mehdi Hassan's Huffington Post:- http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/eric-kaufmann/london-and-the-english_b_2472480.html

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

BRITISH TROTTERS IN THE WORLD’S TOP TROUGH?


One of the most revealing interventions in recent times in our domestic politics by the United States Federal Government occurred the other day. I have copied several of the reports below.

There is an old adage that the best test for why things happen is summed up in the old Latin phrase Cui Bono? (to whom the benefit?).

Trying to answer this test suggests that the intervention by Mr Gordon of the US State Department may have been designed to help Mr Dave Cameron out of his little local difficulty. Mr Cameron of course wants to appear tough enough on the EU to satisfy his restless Eurosceptic back-benchers whilst not in fact doing anything significant to rock the EU gravy train.

The intervention does however raise several further interesting issues, not least why the Obama administration should think that the ostensibly democratically elected leaders of the British State would be interested in helping Obama achieve his foreign policy objectives within the EU. Here we are bought face to face with the naked truth of office within the British political system. Because of course doing what the US administration and US political and media establishment want British leaders to do gives rewards to those individual leaders whether they be Tony Blair or Dave Cameron.

Not only these get most tremendous opportunities to look far more important in the world than leadership of a second or third rate power in the periphery of the European mainland would normally entitle them to. This includes possible opportunities to address Congress and the United Nations and get their trotters onto the top table, generally a “punch above our weight on the world stage”, but it is also very likely to lead, on retirement or losing office, to hugely lucrative opportunities such as Tony Blair has enjoyed since retiring. So a once struggling barrister, with limited inherited wealth has turned into a multi-millionaire (not least because of his reputed six billion pound advance from Rupert Murdoch’s business empire for his memoirs).

Let us compare these glittering opportunities for self-promotion and self-advancement with anything that the UK electorate still has to offer.

The sad fact is that we have already given or are committed to giving anything that Dave Cameron may want from us. By doing 2½ years as Prime Minister he is already qualified for one of the largest index linked pension that the British State grants to anyone. He will also qualify for a pension as a MP when he retires. The store of honours and preferment’s including a peerage, if he wants it, is already wide open to him. There is very little personal benefit that we can offer to him to encourage him to do anything that he has promised to us in the Conservative manifesto. In these circumstances it is simply going to be personally better for Dave Donald Cameron to “sell us down the river” to the US Administration!

Here are the articles I mentioned, What do you think?

=============================================

Telegraph: The United States wants Britain to stay in the European Union for its benefit - not ours


What's their relationship? Washington should persuade EU leaders to recognise Britain's difficulties with a new federation

The former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger was once quoted as saying (though he cannot remember doing so): “If I want to talk to Europe, whom do I call?” The answer, in fact, has always been fairly straightforward. If an American president wanted the interests of his country represented in the chancelleries of the EU, then the first number on his list was always that of the British prime minister. It is for that reason that Washington is so alarmed by talk of a British exit from Europe.

Without Britain, the EU would constitute a powerful political and trading bloc often hostile to America; but with Britain at the table, Washington is guaranteed, at the very least, a sympathetic hearing. It is therefore understandable that the Obama administration is worried about the possibility of a referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the 27-nation group. What is harder to accept, however, is the way Philip Gordon, the US assistant secretary of state for European affairs, voiced those concerns ahead of David Cameron’s keynote speech on Europe, which is expected to pave the way for a referendum in 2018.

Since briefings by officials of his rank are normally off the record, it is hard not to conclude that his intervention was deliberately timed to influence this increasingly fractious debate. Indeed, when this newspaper reported before Christmas that the Americans were unhappy with Mr Cameron’s approach, Washington dismissed a story that it is now happy to see broadcast widely.

However, the Americans are not keen for us to stay in the EU for our interests, but their own. Mr Gordon said America wanted an outward-looking EU with Britain in it. This may sound an attractive prospect, but it is not the direction of travel in Europe. Over the next year or two, the eurozone countries will almost certainly forge a closer relationship that will make a renegotiation of the UK’s position inevitable. The status quo is simply not going to be an option, a point that the public understands and with which Mr Cameron is trying to come to terms.

Instead of trying to caricature this predicament as a Eurosceptic fantasy, those who wish Britain to stay in Europe should be exploring positive ways to make it happen. Washington could better use its influence to persuade EU leaders to recognise and respond to the difficulties that Britain will have dealing with a new federation on the Continent. As a nation, we may well conclude that staying in the EU is in this country’s long-term interests. However, we must not conduct our foreign policy on the basis of what is right for America, but what is best for us.

===================================

We cannot let America's tactical interests dictate Britain's sovereign destiny

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard


The US warnings on British exit from the EU are boilerplate American diplomacy. Washington has been saying these things ever since I started following the matters closely almost 25 years ago.
The Americans are correct in a narrow sense. British withdrawal would be a major blow to US strategic interests. Washington relies on the EU to be broadly friendly, a pillar of global free trade, stable, and calm.
The White House does not want to be distracted by internecine European disputes as it switches its main focus to the Pacific Rim – the "Asian Pivot" – and deals with the really dangerous issue of China’s maritime conflict with Japan and South East Asia.
The UK is the crucial swing vote in the EU system, as I witnessed many times during my Brussels days.
People forget now that France and Germany tried to block EU support for US policy in Iraq. (Rightfully so, you might argue, but that is another matter).
They convoked the famous "Praline Summit" in Brussels to denounce the war, and only Luxembourg and Belgium turned up at the meeting. The talks were held in the Hilton Hotel because the EU refused to offer the Justus Lipsius building for a protest meeting by a minority.
What actually happened is that 16 of the 25 (then) EU states supported US policy, either by sending troops directly or with logistics. This provided crucial political cover for Washington.
This would not have happened if the UK had been detached, √† la Suisse. Without a British big brother to rely on, Europe’s smaller "pro-American" states would have tucked in behind the Franco-German axis.
Much the same happened with the anti-terror legislation (again, you could argue that these were bad laws, but my point is merely that the UK helped America get its way).
It happens over countless issues. The British play a key balancing role within the EU system, working with a patchwork of coalitions – typically with the Germans on trade, competition, and economic issues.
The EU would undoubtedly become a different animal post BRIXIT. The dirigiste and protectionists forces would start to gain the upper hand, much to the horror of Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Ireland, and a few (but not all) of the East Europeans.
There is certainly a case to be made that the EU would start to unravel. It has always been my view (not widely shared) that British withdrawal would be a body blow to the EU Project. Yet the debate always focuses on how much damage Britain would or would not suffer, as if the EU would simply go on as before. That is a static and essentially empty debate.
So yes, the Americans want us to do their lobbying for them inside the EU. If you read the WikiLeaks Cables from London to Washington, this is made crystal clear. There is nothing wrong with this. It is entirely understandable. Indeed, the cables offer a very benign picture of US diplomacy. They refute evil empire claims.
But at the end of the day, the British people cannot let America’s taste for tidy structures in Europe determine policy on matters that go to the heart of our democracy and sovereign self-government.
For me the snapping point was the disgraceful saga of the European Constitution, which I covered in minute detail as it wended its way through the Convention.
It was supposed to return power to the nation states under Laeken Declaration, but in reality was exploited by Project insiders to push for a quantum leap in EU integration – most crucially by turning the European Court into a supreme court with jurisdiction over all "Pillars" of EU affairs, the killer twist.
When this was rejected by French voters, and then by Dutch voters by an even bigger margin, EU elites ignored the verdict. Chancellor Angela Merkel brought it back as the Lisbon Treaty with the collusion of France’s Nicolas Sarkozy (who by then had an absolute majority in parliament), and together they rammed it through without referendums. It was an executive Putsch by EU leaders.
The Irish supreme court ordered a vote in Ireland, the only country where people were given a chance to express a view. When the Irish then voted `No’, they were made to vote again. Britain should not remain a member of an organisation that behaves in this way. It is as simple as that, and I think a great number of readers concur.
The Lisbon Treaty went through. It solved nothing, of course. It did not streamline EU governance as claimed. Lisbon ended up creating a twin-EU presidency (Van Rompuy and Barroso), more incoherent than before. Yet the effects are far-reaching in other ways. The European Court is now an imperial court with sweeping powers.
This is no longer a treaty organisation of fully sovereign states. Fiscal union (of sorts) is now going further, stripping national parliaments of control of tax and spending, draining democracy of its lifeblood. The EMU crisis has left states subject to a monetary dictatorship by a rogue central bank that topples governments and is accountable to no democratic body. Mario Draghi is a fine strategist and a dedicated public servant, but the structure in place is monstrous.
Americans often compare the EU with US membership of NAFTA or the United Nations, as if there is any relevant parallel. American would not dream of putting up with a full-barrelled assault on Congress. We should not put up a such an assault on Parliament.
At the end of the day, Washington will accept the fait accompli and slot us into its strategic system, just as it slots in Canada, or Australia, or Brazil, or Norway. Besides, do they think it promotes stability in the long-term to trap Britain into a miserable marriage?
Europe too will learn to adjust. The idea that we must be locked into this intolerable status quo forever is preposterous.

====================================

Of all the bad arguments for being in the EU, the worst is to humour Barack Obama 

By Daniel Hannan

Let's see how the Brits like being colonised…

Diplomats the world over tend to be the EU's biggest fans: the system, after all, was designed by and for people like them. The US State Department has been consistently Euro-integrationist since the 1950s, pouring resources into various European pressure groups that shared its aim. Back in those early days, its concern was to build up the Western alliance. The EEC was seen as a way of strengthening Nato and keeping countries out of the Soviet camp. We can argue about whether that rationale was valid even in the 1950s; it certainly hasn't been since 1989.
After the end of the Cold War, the Brussels élites started picking fights with what they called the world's hyperpuissance. They channelled funds to Hamas, declined to get tough with the ayatollahs in Teheran, declared their willingness in principle to sell weapons to China, refused to deal with the anti-Castro dissidents in Cuba, started building a satellite system with the Chinese to challenge American 'technological imperialism' (J Chirac), hectored the US about its failure to join various global technocracies and complained about domestic American policies, from cheap energy to the use of the death penalty. Most Americans, even some in the State Department, have started to grasp, Frankenstein-like, that the EU is turning against them. So now they want the most pro-American member state, namely the United Kingdom, to get stuck in and moderate these anti-yanqui tendencies. Would we mind abandoning our democracy so as to help them out?
Well, sorry chaps, but yes, we rather would mind. Of all the bad arguments for remaining in the EU, the single worst is that we should do so in order to humour Barack Obama, the most anti-British president for nearly 200 years. It's not even as if he reflects American opinion toward the EU. To treat Philip Gordon, or any other Foggy Bottom stripey-pants, as the authentic voice of the US on this issue would be like treating UKREP as the true voice of the UK.
Still, since he's decided to wade in, I have a question for Mr Gordon, and for other American Euro-enthusiasts. When are you planning to pool your sovereignty with Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Labour worries over State of the Union'


The Labourite 'Think Tank' the IPPR has just published this piece worrying about the outcome of the Scottish Independence Referendum. I strongly agree with its last comments about English interests. Here it is:-

Why the union matters

Author(s): Guy Lodge
Published date: 10 Jan 2013
Source: Fabian Review
 

The phoney war over Scotland’s constitutional future has finally ended. We now know that Scots will be asked to vote in 2014 on a straight ‘yes or no’ question about whether Scotland should become an independent country. As the real battle for Britain moves centre-stage, how should unionists respond?

Firstly, pro-union forces need to articulate a positive argument for why Scotland is better off in than out. This is so obvious it shouldn’t need saying but so often those who wish to assert the case for keeping Britain together do so by pushing the politics of fear; or worse insinuating that Scotland is not up to going it alone.

Part of the challenge here is that while concerted efforts have been made to champion Scottish devolution, comparatively little effort has been made in recent years to promote a compelling case for the union itself. Paradoxically, the historic pattern of periodically remaking the case for union appears to have fallen into abeyance, right at the moment when the union is under most threat from the forces of nationalism. If the purpose of union in the 18th century was peace and security, the 19th century economic expansion through empire, the 20th century defeating Hitler and building a welfare state – what is its raison d’etre in the 21st?

Oddly part of the answer can be found in the speeches of Alex Salmond. The SNP leader has very shrewdly made a big pitch for what he calls the ‘social union’. For Salmond, the language of social union is a reassurance mechanism: he wants to make clear that under independence the deep social and cultural ties that exist between Scotland and England would continue to flourish. For similar reasons the SNP insist that an independent Scotland would retain a common head of state and a common currency.

But as the historian Colin Kidd argues, the pro-union sides – and Labour in particular – need to reclaim the idea of the social union for themselves, since there is a much stronger and attractive variant of it than can only be sustained through political union.

For a social union to be really meaningful, the people and nations of the UK need to be able to pool financial resources and risks across a larger and more resilient political community than that provided by the constituent nations alone. We know that economic shocks tend to be asymmetric, affecting individuals and regions in different ways and at different times. We also know that different parts of the country vary demographically, with some parts ageing more quickly than others, creating different pressures over time for public services. The alluring idea of union then is that if one part of the UK endures a period of economic or social hardship, it can be supported both by itself and by the other parts.

This can be seen, operating in both directions, in Scotland’s history. Scotland has in recent decades benefited from relatively high levels of welfare spending from the UK pool. But, similarly, oil revenues from what would be Scottish waters contributed very substantially to that UK pool during the 1980s. In a world defined by growing economic insecurity, it this version of the social union – one that shares a common political and fiscal platform – which gives the people and nations of the UK the best chance to prosper.

Such an account of social union is perfectly compatible with further devolution – which brings in the second part of the unionist response.

In the run-up to 2014, unionists must be able to offer a package of enhanced powers for Scotland that provides voters with a clear alternative to independence. Why? This has nothing to do with making concessions to the SNP (as some mistakenly see it) and everything to do with getting on the right side of Scottish public opinion, where a majority support strengthening the powers of their parliament. If unionism is to recapture the political initiative in Scotland it needs to once again champion the devolutionary agenda (a point recognised by Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont with her decision to set up a commission to consider new powers).

Underpinning any moves on further powers should be a very simply test: how can we meet the aspirations of the Scottish people and preserve the integrity of the UK? With this in mind it is possible to make a case for boosting Scotland’s income tax powers but it probably precludes devolving corporation tax, since this could lead to harmful beggar-my-neighbour tax competition between England and Scotland. Like-wise it might be sensible to devolve certain parts of the social security system but retain pensions as a UK-wide benefit, on the grounds that pensions are a sacrosanct manifestation of what it means to be a citizen of the UK.

Importantly, any reform package needs to consider the knock-on effects across the rest of the UK, and in particular the implications for England. There is convincing evidence that the English believe they are getting something of a raw deal from a union that they perceive is privileging the interests of the other nations. This suggests the need to reform the way public money is distributed across the UK so that it accords to a principle of need, and to tackle the perennially thorny West Lothian question. If English concerns are not addressed then the social union is diminished, and with it the fundamental case for a 21st century union.

I wrote to Guy Lodge, the author of this piece and Associate director of the IPPR, as follows:-

Why the union matters > Article :: IPPR

Dear Mr Lodge,
An interesting article but the social tectonic plates continue to move.
When I first contacted Dr Sean Gabb, c10 years ago, he was a fierce British Unionist and yet now look at this latest piece from him!
Click here >>> http://libertarianalliance.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/a-brief-argument-for-english-independence-2/

Yours sincerely

Robin Tilbrook
Chairman,
The English Democrats


This is a debate that will grow and grow in Scotland over the next 18 months. We all need to do our best to keep it in the minds of the English by writing letters to our local papers (where they are far more likely to be published than in the UK obsessed 'Nationals') whenever something relevent occurs locally!

Friday, 4 January 2013

"NATIONAL IDENTITY" IN ENGLAND ANALYSED - THE 2011 CENSUS


The Office for National Statistics gathered a total of 53,012,468 responses in England (which is officially defined as the 39 traditional counties - thus not including Monmouthshire). 

As anyone would know who completed the Census form, the Census collected statistics for a great many types of information. 

One which of political interest is “National Identity”, which is the self-identification of a person’s nationality by which nation they adhere to. 

The Census also collected statistics on what they described as “Ethnicity”, which included "White British". This is not a category which is legally recognised under the Equality legislation.

"Ethnicity" under Equality law means a sub-category. The leading example of "Ethnicity" being that Sikhs which were found by the House of Lords to be a sub-category of the North Indian racial group. 

However in the 2011 Census, "Ethnicity" was in effect treated as the legal concept of a racial group and as a result 42,279,236 respondents stated that they were “White British” (79.8%).  After adding in “Irish” and the “White Other” categories to the white category there is left over the 15% of the respondents to the Census who were apparently “non-white”. 

In considering these results I think it is important to bear in mind that whilst it was legally required to fill in and return the Census form, it is highly probable that recent immigrants and the generally non-settled population, together with illegal immigrants, would be, statistically, very likely not to complete the form.  The statistics therefore will underplay the extent of immigration.

Turning however to the issue of National Identity which is what will be politically significant in the growth of political English Nationalism, the statistics were that those who stated their "National Identity" to be “English Only” were 32,007,983 (60.4%); “English and British” were 4,820,818 (9.1%); no English element of national identity 15,834,059 (29.9%); Welsh identity 409,582; Scottish identity 555,171; Northern Irish 142,683; those that claimed "British Only" national identity 10,171,834 (19.2%); Irish identity 376,866; “Other identities” 4,921,225 (8.3%). 

As a curiosity, in the duchy of Cornwall, those that claimed Cornish only national identity were just 58,969 (9.9% of the population of Cornwall). Is this a result which leaves Cornish nationalism holed below the waterline?

So, in round terms, 32 million people living in England consider themselves to be "Only English", whereas 15 million consider themselves to be "English and British" or "British Only". 

The potential core vote for English nationalism therefore is that 32 million or 60.4% of the population in England. 

The potential swing voters are those that consider themselves to be "English and British" that is 4,800,000 people (9.1%). 

The "British Only" and "Other" national identities which combined is only 15.8 million people (29.9%) are likely to be the core opposition to any political agenda of "Englishness".

In considering how politically significant these statistics may be we should bear in mind the fact that Tony Blair won his last landslide General Election victory with the votes of just 21.6% of the electorate. 

If English Nationalism could galvanise to vote for English Nationalism even only half of those that consider themselves to be “English Only”, then English Nationalists would not merely be elected they would be in government

Another point of interest is that already in England those that identity themselves in anyway as being British appear to represent less than 30% of the population.  It would appear therefore that any party basing its appeal on British Nationalism is competing for support in a “declining market” and one also in which there is a significant proportion of “Non White” voters.  

As we know in Scotland and Wales the decline of Britishness is even more dramatic.  It follows that, in the longer term, the future is bleak for political britishness.

It should surprise no-one that the more astute amongst the British Establishment Political Class are already picking up on the importance of this change in national identity in England - even Ed Miliband is making noises about being supportive of English national identity!

The challenge for English nationalism will however be to wean off from voting for their old tribe, of either Labour or Conservative, those that consider themselves to be “English only”or to actually get them to go out and to vote (indeed also to get potential English nationalist voters to actually register on the electoral roll). 

Here we come straight back to the great and central task of Effective Politics - which is to get organised and to get sufficient resources, including money, to make things happen. 

In this regard English nationalists should bear in mind that the ever elusive “they” will not help us, we must help ourselves. 

There is also no use imagining that politics is about having the best manifesto.

It does of course require 'political positioning' which appeals to potential supporters, but it mainly requires organisation and money. This is in exactly the same way as my lay clients often imagine that court cases are won on the arguments rather than on procedure.  In fact over 97% of court cases never get as far as an argument because they have been won, lost or settled in the procedural stages! 

So let us English Nationalists use 2013 to get ourselves organised to try and start galvanising our potential core support of over 60% of the population of England to stand up for England, Englishness and English interests!

We now know that if well organised and well resourced together we really can win!
 

The Office for National Statistics nationality statistics can be found here)>>> http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-286262. The Nationality results are at: 2011 Census: KS202EW National identity, local authorities in England and Wales.