Total Visits

Thursday, 27 February 2014

UK to be Python-esque “dead parrot” after Scottish Independence?



The British Establishment’s increasingly desperate support for the idea of the "rest of the UK" (rUK) reminds me of (for the middle aged amongst us) the “dead parrot” sketch from Monty Python. I am reminded of the shop-keeper’s self-interested and ludicrous attempts to persuade his customer that the parrot is healthier than it seems! Here is the 'Python clip >>>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218



The House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, chaired by Jim Callaghan's daughter, Baroness Jay of Paddington. It has called for evidence for an Inquiry into the constitutional implications for the remainder of the United Kingdom in the event of a Yes vote on the 18th September.

The assumptions for the questions are that there will be a constitutional entity called the rUK. My view could be expressed as a mathematical formula:-

E + S = GB   therefore   GB - S = E 

(Where E = Kingdom of England, S = Kingdom of Scotland, GB = United Kingdom of Great Britain).

Below are my submissions to the Committee. What do you think?

Scottish Independence: Constitutional implications for the rest of the UK

I am the Chairman of the English Democrats, which is the only English party that is interested in such constitutional implications. We are of course interested in the constitutional implications for England. As English nationalists we call for English Independence.

The first point to make crystal clear in the event that Scotland goes independent, and I make this point, not only as the Chairman of the English Democrats, but also as a lawyer and practicing solicitor, that there is no automatically persisting entity known as “the rest of the UK”. This point rests on basic constitutional legal principles and derives from the nature and wording of the Act of Union in 1707. The relevant articles of which are stated as follows:-

"ARTICLE 1

THAT THE TWO Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the first Day of May which shall be in the Year one thousand seven hundred and seven, and for ever after, be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain;

ARTICLE III

That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament, to be stiled, The Parliament of Great Britain.”


It therefore follows, as a matter of trite law, that in the event of Scotland becoming independent this must involve the repeal of the Act of Union 1707. This automatically means that the then new constitutional entity that was created by the Act of Union, namely the “United Kingdom of Great Britain”, will be dissolved. This leads to the automatic dissolution of the Union with Northern Ireland.

The Union with Northern Ireland is the residue deriving from early 20th Century Southern Irish independence of a Union which was created by the Act of Union of 1801 between the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Obviously therefore the Union so far as Northern Ireland is concerned, is with the United Kingdom of Great “Britain”. With the dissolution of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain” there will be no automatically persisting Union with any then existing constitutional entity.

The position of Wales is different because Wales was fully incorporated into the “Kingdom of England” by the 1536 union legislation. That is why of course the Act of Union 1707 does not mention Wales because Wales is then encompassed within the term the “Kingdom of England”.

It follows that without new constitutional legislation the independence of Scotland leads to the dissolution of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain” and of Great Britain’s union with Northern Ireland. It will thus give rise to the re-emergent “Kingdom of Scotland”, the re-emergent “Kingdom of England” and the “Province of Northern Ireland” with no current Union between England or Scotland (or the Republic of Ireland).

It is worth considering the above points carefully because the consequence of Scotland becoming independent isn’t just that Scotland technically would be classified as a new state, under the emerging body of what, for want of a better term, is called “international law”, but also that the Kingdom of England and the Province of Northern Ireland will also all be now States.

The Committee has asked for answers to specific questions.

1. Negotiations – Is the timetable of independence by March 2016 realistic?

Yes, I would have thought it was. It will impose an obligation on negotiators to get on with it promptly.

2. Who will negotiate for the remainder of the UK? To whom would they be accountable?

You will appreciate from my introductory points above, about the nature of the constitutional implications of Scottish independence, that there would not automatically be a single entity which is the remainder of the UK.

It is certainly not appropriate for anyone to purport to negotiate on behalf of England if not expressly and avowedly and legitimately mandated to do so. This will particularly apply to those British politicians who have expressly stated either their hostility to the English nation and/or their Scottish origins, such as David Cameron or William Hague, let alone anyone who is actually of Scottish origin, such as Gordon Brown or Alastair Darling.

The English negotiators should be accountable to the English Nation. It is essential that an English parliament and government be reconstructed quickly in the event of Scotland voting for independence so that there are proper lines of democratic accountability and legitimacy within England.

3. What impact would the timing of the UK general election in May 2015 have on negotiation?

It will clearly have a destabilising effect on the negotiations as it may well result in the replacement of the original team with a different team of negotiators and with a different government involved in the negotiations.

4. What happens if the two negotiating teams cannot reach agreement on an issue?

The answer to this question will, of course will depend on the issue. For instance if the issue was where the boundary between English North Sea oil and Scottish North Sea oil lies, then that could be adjudicated upon by the International Court at the Hague. If it was something that was within the giving of one of the parties but requested by the other, such as a role in the formulation of policy at the Bank of England that will not be capable of adjudication. Clearly the English team could simply refuse and the other team would not be able to insist upon it. If in fact on that item there is such a refusal then I suspect the Scottish negotiators will take the advice of the highly respected international law authority, Professor David Scheffer of the Centre for International Human Rights in Chicago and decline to accept any share of the UK’s debts.

5. Assets and liabilities and shared services. What legal principles should apply to negotiations on the apportion of assets and liabilities that are currently UK-wide?

Since all the participants in negotiations will be acting on behalf of potentially “new States” the negotiations are inevitably going to be without hard and fast rules and will be based on give and take. In principle all parties could walk away from the liabilities of the “UK”. So far as assets are concerned, that will either rest on satisfactory negotiations between the parties or will be based on who has physical possession.

6. What are the constitutional implications of maintaining services shared between Scotland and the rest of the UK (for example, the Bank of England and those services listed on page 364 of the Scottish Governments’ White Paper)?

Answer 5 above answers this question.

7. Parliament. What would the position of MPs for Scottish constituencies be from May 2015 to March 2016?

Until the dissolution of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain” and Northern Ireland they would of course be members of the Union Parliament. Upon dissolution the Union Parliament itself will have to be reconfigured in accordance with the new constitutional situation. The same will apply to peers of the Union Parliament.

8. What impact would independence have on the House of Commons if MPs for Scottish constituencies left it in March 2016?

Clearly the balance of the parties would be shifted, but the point remains that the House of Commons constitutional position will be altered as Parliament will no longer be the Parliament of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain” but rather only of the Kingdom of England which will also exclude Northern Irish MPs.

9. What impact would independence have on the House of Lords? 

The House of Lords is of course currently one of the two Chambers of the Parliament of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain” and Northern Ireland. With the dissolution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain the membership of the House of Lords will be dramatically affected as it will only be appropriate for English peers to sit in the English Upper Chamber. The English Democrats position is that all members of the English Upper Chamber should be democratically elected by the people of England.

10. What legislation (or other measures) would the Westminster have to pass in order for Scotland to become independent?

The Act of Union of 1707 would have to be repealed.

BRITISH Government can't even look after the British


There is a recent and excellent article by Peter Oborne which appeared in the Daily Telegraph on the 19th February.  Whilst unfortunately it still shows that the Peter Oborne is both still fixated on Britishness and he has fallen into the common layman’s error that there is such a concept as “British Law” (whereas in fact there is the jurisdictions of England and Wales, of Scotland and of Northern Ireland, together with Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, etc!)

The point that he makes so well is the blindingly obvious one that not only is the British Government uninterested, unwilling and, indeed, incompetent to look after the interests of England and Englishness, but it is not even capable of showing an interest in looking after British interests.  The sooner it is consigned to history the better!

Here is Peter Oborne’s article in full:-



The US has bullied our banks into handing over a billion dollars


Quietly and without notice, Britain has surrendered control over its trade with Iran

"Recently, a friend of mine purchased a small quantity of Iranian saffron from a Birmingham merchant for £30 over the internet. This transaction was legal according to British and international law. It did not contravene any United Nations resolution. He transferred the funds via PayPal, the international payments firm. The money was paid in pounds sterling. What happened next was outrageous. PayPal sent him a menacing email informing him that he was in breach of US law, and asked him to sign a form admitting that he had behaved illegally.

At this point my friend rang me in alarm. He is a British citizen, had done nothing wrong under British law, yet here he was being threatened by the United States as if he was a criminal. When I looked into the matter, I quickly discovered that my friend’s experience was the tip of an enormous iceberg. It is not just private individuals who are persecuted in this way by the United States. Private companies suffer from exactly this harassment, as do banks.


Without protest, Britain has given away control over its trade with Iran to a department inside the US Treasury called the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). This body monitors US sanctions by pursuing foreign companies involved in trade with Iran. It has already persecuted major British banks, including RBS, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds. In total, these banks have paid out more than a billion dollars in penalties, even though they have done nothing wrong under British or international law.


The most significant example is the British bank Standard Chartered, which specialises in doing business in the Middle East and Asia. It felt obliged to pay an incredible $667 million to OFAC and other agencies. In fact, Standard Chartered was blackmailed by the US authorities. The bank was given a choice between being cut out of all business with the US, or complying with its sanctions regime against Iran.


I am certainly not saying that sanctions are wrong. Indeed, it is essential to stress that in Britain we do have our own sanctions against Iran, for instance against companies or state entities alleged to be involved in nuclear weaponry. But these have been agreed democratically, in the sense that they are open to scrutiny and criticism in and out of Parliament. In a system that relies on rule by consent, this gives them legitimacy.


What is deeply troubling, however, is the presence of informal, secondary sanctions which the United States has inflicted against Iran by bullying British banks. These might as well be secret. Bankers never talk about them. Parliament has not debated, or even discussed, these sanctions. They haven’t been announced, let alone agreed, by any minister. They are not government policy. And yet the United States has enforced an informal banking boycott of Iran, unilaterally imposed on Britain and other foreign countries.


The response of the Government is very troubling. In the normal course of events, one would expect ministers to defend very stoutly any company or individual prevented from going about their lawful business by a foreign power. But neither Downing Street nor the Foreign Office have lifted a finger.


It is important to stress that this supine approach is new. Contrary to legend, Margaret Thatcher stood up strongly against United States pressure. According to my colleague Charles Moore’s superb biography, the Reagan administration tried to stop a British company, John Brown, selling turbines to a Russian gas pipeline project that would supply much of mainland Europe. Mrs Thatcher probably disliked the idea as much as Reagan. But she was adamant that British companies should not be subject to American laws, so insisted that John Brown fight its corner. Her defiance worked. “Maggie Thatcher has made me realise that I have been wrong,” Reagan eventually acknowledged. A new agreement removed sanctions and allowed John Brown to sell to Moscow.


But that was Thatcher. We are talking now about Messrs Cameron and Hague, who show no such determination to defend British interests against foreign threats. Indeed, by a perverse irony, it is actually easier for a US company to trade with Iran than a British one under the Coalition. This is because the bank of a US exporter to Iran can process payments without threat from OFAC, so long as the deal has OFAC approval. The bank of a British exporter will be persecuted, even though it has the approval of the British Treasury.


Though most bankers refuse to talk about OFAC, one insider told me it operates like this. “OFAC tells the British bank that it will suffer consequences (for example, loss of a US banking licence, or blacklisting) if it doesn’t agree to a settlement. The bank must agree to cooperate with the authorities by ceasing all business with Iran. It must then pay a penalty stretching to millions of dollars. It is also made to promise not to reveal the terms of the agreement or the process that led to it – even though the US authorities can do so if they wish.


“This is like plea-bargaining. The case isn’t taken to court: presumably the banks judge that they will be penalised less if they settle with OFAC. And this threatening process creates an example for others, so it is no wonder that the rest of the banking industry falls into line.”


So far as I can discover, it is impossible for any British bank to evade this US sanctions regime. Even if the contract with Iran is written under British law, and specifically outside the scope of US jurisdiction, that seems to be no protection to any company targeted by OFAC. Any bank that has an operation in the United States, or makes any transaction in US dollars, places itself within reach of punishment.


The effect of this financial blockade is to ensure that the British banking industry cannot provide trade finance or money transmission services for entirely legal trade with Iran. Even medical or humanitarian goods can’t be paid for. Most banks are so terrified of the United States that they will close down the account of any customer who even has a connection with Iran. The flimsiest and most unproven suspicion is enough for banking facilities to be withdrawn. The boycott has been enforced by British banks, even though it is against British policy, because of American threats.


The same imbalance exists in other areas. For example, Tony Blair negotiated a treaty which gave the United States powers to extradite British citizens, which it frequently exercises, yet we are unable to do the same in return. The failure of British politicians to protest is extraordinary. Prime Minister Cameron and Foreign Secretary Hague speak out eloquently when the European Union is accused of intrusion on British sovereignty. But when it comes to the United States, they are completely silent – and this silence means assent.


Perhaps they are happy enough that Britain should be a client state of America, but unhappy to pool sovereignty with the European Union. If so, they should come forward and say so. One thing is certain. The current shameful and humiliating situation would never have been tolerated by a prime minister, such as Margaret Thatcher, who stood up for British interests. It is time that David Cameron started to behave more like the Iron Lady, and less like Tony Blair".


 

Here is a link to the original article>>>The US has bullied our banks into handing over a billion dollars - Telegraph

Monday, 24 February 2014

Re: English Independence gaining traction!


           Re: English Independence gaining traction!

The Independence campaign has moved on and up, now  that one of the leading English intellectuals, Prof Roger Scruton, has come out for English Independence. 


Click here>>>http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/pov .

Here is a transcript of what Prof. Scruton said:-

"In all the complex changes leading to the Scottish bid for independence the English have never been consulted. The process has been conducted as though we had no right to an opinion in the matter. It was all about Scotland and how to respond to Scottish nationalism.

As an Englishman I naturally ask why my interests in the matter have never been taken in to account. When the Czechs and Slovaks achieved their amicable divorce it was by mutual agreement between elected politicians. What is so different about Scotland that it decides everything for itself.

The Union of England and Scotland was formerly declared in the Act of Union in 1707 but it had been an emerging reality throughout the preceding century. In the conditions and conflicts of those days it was impossible for the two nations to regard themselves as fundamentally distinct. They shared an island, a religion, a language and a Monarch and both had its vows to the protestant cause. It is true there was a border between them and things one side of the border were not always replicated on the other. Scots law remains a separate system from the English. Styles of dress, architecture, popular entertainment and speech were for a long time quite distinct, in part because of the striking difference in climate and since the Reformation organised religion has taken a very different form in the two countries. The lowland Scots opting for the Calvinist and Presbyterian version and remaining largely hostile to the elaborate episcopal offices that appeal to the English. But the differences were less important than the history and geography that held the two nations together. It is true that the Union was resented by the Highlanders, many of whom had retained their Catholic faith, their Gallic language and their loyalty to the deposed Stuart Kings. The cruel suppression of the Jacobite rebellions, the forbidding of the tartan, the persecution of the Catholics and the expulsion of the crofters from their homes, all these things are well known and don’t cast credit, either on the English or on the Lowlanders, who principally benefitted from the Union.

Nevertheless during the years of Empire building merchants from both countries combined to reap the benefits of British naval power and to explore the far corners of the earth in search of profit and in their wake they brought the imperial government that they shared. Moreover empire building had to be backed up by military force. The Napoleonic wars sealed the Union between the Scots and the English who happily adopted Great Britain as the name of their united country.

Neither people could have survived the wars of the 20th Century had they not fought side by side and with total commitment to the Union. As a result of those wars however, the Empire was lost and an entirely new political landscape emerged from beneath the smoke. It is no longer possible for us to see the Union as it was seen throughout the course of the 19th Century as something natural and unquestionable. The enterprise that joined us has vanished. So too we hope have the military threats. Each nation is, for the time-being at least, wrapped in its own internal problems.

It can be said that the Scots are still reeling from the effect of Margaret Thatcher’s radical economic policies and her introduction of the Poll Tax. They are bound to ask themselves whether they have had a fair share of the prosperity that is visible nearly everywhere in the south of England and the English tend to blame the migrations that threaten to overwhelm them on a succession of Labour Governments by allowing mass immigration into England and refusing to confront the European Union’s commitment to the free movement of peoples.

The Governments of Blair and Brown seriously undermined the English sense of identity. At the same time through the creation of a Scottish Parliament they gave a new identity to the Scots. The effect of the Scottish Parliament however, was not only to ensure the Scots would govern themselves, but also to make it more likely that they would continue to govern the English. The Labour Party did not want to lose those Scottish MPs, since it was thanks to them and the Scottish vote that the Labour Party had achieved such a large majority in Westminster. Scots were disproportionately represented in the cabinets of both Blair and Brown. Tony Blair owed his position in the Labour hierarchy in part to the networks that had grown in that country. Elections to the Scottish Parliament showed that the Scots had shifted their allegiance from Labour to the SNP, but they still want the English to be governed by the Labour Party. Hence they vote to place Labour politicians, who they don’t particularly want at home, in Westminster.

As a result of this the English, who have voted Conservative more often than Labour in all post-war elections have to accept a block vote of Labour Members of Parliament sent to Westminster by the Scots. The process that brought this about was one which the Scots themselves were given the final say in a referendum from which the English were excluded. In other words the process of devolution has an air of gerrymandering. The effect of which has been to secure a Labour bias in the Westminster Parliament while allowing the Scots to govern themselves in whatever way they choose. And the process continues. In response to Alex Salmond’s bid for independence the people of Scotland have been granted another referendum, but again the people of England have been deprived of a say. Why is this? Are we part of the Union or not? Or are the politicians afraid that we would vote the wrong way? And what is the wrong way? What way should we English vote, given that the present arrangement gives two votes to the Scots for every vote given to the English. Should we not vote for our independence given that we risk being governed from a country that already regulates its own affairs and has no clear commitment to ours?

The Scottish economy is subsidised by the English, but this does not mean that England would be better off without Scotland. You give subsidies to your dependents because you depend on them. Subsidies are also investments which have returns in the long run but they more than justify the cost. On the other hand it could be that the Scottish economy has suffered from the Union overall. Boswell attributes to Dr Johnson the remark that “the noblest prospect that a Scotsman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England”. Johnson’s purpose was to ridicule the romantic adulation of the Scottish landscape which was all the rage at the time, except perhaps among those that have to live there. But he touched without intending it on the principle cause of Scotland’s economic problems which is the loss of human capital. Educated Scots have constantly taken Dr Johnson’s high road to England, carrying with them their knowledge and their energy and investing it outside the borders of their homeland. In just the way that the EU is syphoning away the young middle class from Poland and the Czech Republic so that our union served to deprive the Scots of some of the people that their economy most needs.

The security that we have enjoyed in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union has brought with it a certain complacency in the matter of Defence. During the Cold War the Scottish land mass was absolutely fundamental to our strategy and our nuclear deterrent is housed in Scottish waters. And the Scottish air bases were constantly called upon to deter Soviet violations in our air space. Scottish regiments are at the forefront of our campaigns today and without them we would be much less capable of defending ourselves in a serious crisis.

In my opinion defence is the sole reason for thinking that the break-up of the Union might be bad for both our countries. The Union would have to replaced by a strong and committed alliance but I think this would happen just as the colonial administration of America transformed itself in time into the Western Alliance which brings the British and the Americans together and fighting side by side in every major crisis.


Suppose then we English were finally allowed a say in the matter. Which way would I vote? I have no doubt about it. I would vote for English independence as a step towards strengthening the friendship between our countries. It was thanks to independence that the Americans were able at last to confess to their attachment to the old country and to come to our aid in two World Wars. Independence is what real friendship requires and the same is true for those like the Scots and English who live side by side."

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

My recent appearance on the Daily Politics show to stand up for England!

After the introductory item,  Nicola Sturgeon MSP, the deputy leader of the SNP and the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, and Iain Stewart MP, the Conservative MP for Milton Keynes, and I are interviewed by Jo Coburn.
What do you think?

Monday, 17 February 2014

INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND OUT OF EU = ENGLAND OUT OF EU



The EU Commission President, Senor Barosso, has unwittingly confirmed that if either Scotland or England get independence from the UK then they are out of the EU!

On the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, 16th February, Mr Barosso made clear that an independent Scotland was a “new State” and so would be automatically out of the EU.

He was clearly unaware of the UK’s unique constitution structure because he was apparently unaware that in the event of the dissolution of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain” all the constituent nations of the UK would also be “new States”.  Therefore by Barosso’s logic, we would all be out of the EU!  Not a result that I imagine he would relish!

So England can either get out of the EU through a dissolution of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain” either by Scottish secession or by our own English independence!

So thank you Mr Barosso.  Now we have a road map of two easy ways out of the EU maze!

This is what Senor Barosso said:-
“When asked about the Scottish referendum on independence later this year, Mr Barroso said he respected the ongoing democratic processes surrounding the  debate and said it was for the Scottish people to decide on the country's future.

But he added: "In case there is a new country, a new state, coming out of a current member state, it will have to apply and... the application and the accession to the European Union will have to be approved by all the other member states of the European Union."

He went on: "I don't want to interfere on your referendum here, your democratic discussion here, but of course it will be extremely difficult to get the approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from one member state.

"We have seen Spain has been opposing even the recognition of Kosovo, for instance. So it is to some extent a similar case because it's a new country and so I believe it's going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, a new member state coming out of one of our countries getting the agreement of the others."


(Here is a link to the Daily Express Article about this >>> NO negotiation of freedom of movement says defiant EU President Jose Manuel Barroso | UK | News | Daily Express )


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

“Campaign for Britishness” gives cause for a glimmer of amusement!


The Daily Telegraph’s relentless talking up of the Union in its “Campaign for Britishness” is obviously tiresome to any English nationalist but occasionally gives cause for a glimmer of amusement!

Such an opportunity arose in the article, which I copy below by Graeme Archer, in which he obsesses about the importance of the Union because his sense of Britishness arises from his mixed Scottish and English background!  This is in a paper which, like all the Lib/Lab/Con supporting media, usually claims that Britshness is open to all ethnicities in a spirit of inclusive multi-culturalist diversity, a "Team GB", with a tincture of globalisation!

Mr Archer is however clearly speaking for a significant constituency if the results of the 2011 Census are studied.  The results of the Census show that it is clear more than half of the under 30% of the population of England that regarded themselves as being in any sense British, are Black Minority Ethnic (BME) or of White Irish, White Scottish or White Welsh ethnic origin!  So Mr Archer your feelings of Britishness are not so untypical of your ethnic origin!

Here is Graeme Archer’s article.  See what you think:-

First the poetry, then the prose. I’m talking about Scotland, of course. The fight to retain the UK, remember? No? I don’t blame you. Until recently, the independence vote has had insufficient coverage down here – that is, in England, where I live.

The poetry of the Union is simple, but provides the strongest reason to oppose Salmond’s carve-up-a-small-island nationalism: that I was born in Scotland to an English father and Scottish mother, and now live in London.
That’s it. But this one sentence contains the big question that separatists prefer to avoid. Namely, why should my parents be made foreigners to one another, and I to one of them?

The Nationalists brush it aside, because the whole SNP shtick is to pretend that such a profound change can take place with no consequences other than Scottish government policies acquiring an even more Left-wing sheen. But if Salmond wins, my late father is recast as a foreigner, and I will become an immigrant. That’s what being a separate country means. My romantic attachment to the Union is no more ineffable than my love for my mother and father, and its companion desire that we remain citizens of the same country.

The lack of interest among the London media – compare coverage of the referendum with that of the Olympics, whose memory David Cameron yesterday invoked in belatedly making the case for the Union – is strange. A few weeks ago, I came in to the Telegraph offices to meet Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton. During our debate on this paper’s Telegram podcast, he used his precise, passionate intellect to outline the case for withdrawal from the European Union. What could be more natural than for two Eurosceptic Tories to discuss the outcome of the EU referendum, which will be held by 2017?

We should have talked about Scotland, of course. After all, if Salmond isn’t defeated, there might not be a recognisable UK left by 2017 in which to hold that all-important vote.

On the day we met, I heard one brief mention of the Scottish referendum on a radio bulletin, reporting something that Alistair Darling had said about university funding. Why have British politicians, and Tories in particular, had so little to say about a real referendum – the Scottish vote will happen, subject to meteor strikes, with 100 per cent probability – yet so much to say about the EU referendum, which, contingent as it is upon a general election outcome, must still be classed as a theoretical proposition?
Partly English politicians – particularly Conservatives – have held their tongues for fear of helping Salmond. The theory is that the Scots so loathe English Tories that the mere recitation of a desire to maintain the Union, if uttered in an accent not drawn from north of the border, will release antibodies into the political system that will attack the Unionist host.

I’m not so sure. The more extreme nationalists are, fortunately and by definition, atypical, and my family-based anti-separatism is hardly unique. By staying silent in the debate, I worry that English politicians have merely reinforced the SNP narrative, about some mythical, mutually exclusive, foreign nature to our inter-relationship.

The other reason for English diffidence is probably politeness. Disquiet over Scottish preferentialism – over tuition fees, for example – hasn’t boiled into political anger. English votes for English laws, a formula I support, never commanded enough political bandwidth to become a dominant issue. So English politicians think: “This is for Scotland to decide, and anyway I’d only make matters worse” – and end up saying nothing about a vote that could destroy the UK.

Thank heavens, then, that this has begun to change. Last week, Mark Carney visited Edinburgh to spell out the truth: an independent Scotland’s preferences in a future currency union would no more dominate decision-making in the Bank of England than did those of Cypriots within the European Central Bank. Currency union absent political integration is the reason the single currency could never work. This is Salmond’s best currency outcome, remember: his alternative is to join the euro.

And yesterday, from the Prime Minister, at last, some poetry for the Union. Only Scottish residents (not “only Scots”) can vote in this referendum, but its outcome will affect “all 63 million of us”, he said in Stratford. And then: “We want you to stay.”
Perhaps Mr Cameron’s Home Counties accent sounded English to Scottish ears. But then, so did my Norfolk father’s. My own Ayrshire tones aren’t anything like Salmond’s West Lothian voice. It’s not the accent that matters, but the words those accents conjure into existence.

So say it with a Devonion burr, or with glo’al-stopped Estuary. Say it in Mancunian, in Liverpudlian, in Jamaican, in Bengali, Greek, Geordie and Brum. Use the Queen’s English or Yorkshire directness. Say it any way you like, whether you’re a politician or a business leader or just an ordinary Briton, but let Scotland hear it, over and over again: we want you to stay.


(Here is a link to the original>>>If Scotland kills off the the Union, I will be an immigrant in my own country - Telegraph )

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Petty bureaucracy trumps Justice in the Royal Courts

Lord of Injustice Jackson?

Petty bureaucracy trumps Justice in the Royal Courts



As a solicitor practicing in Civil Litigation and as a member (also past President) of my local Law Society, I attended an interesting talk on Thursday given by Matthew Harman, a Partner in the Costs Lawyers, Harmans Costs, Ardenham Lane House, Ardenham Lane, Aylesbury, Bucks HP19 8AA, who seemed very able and switched on talking about the effect of the latest fad of “Reforms” in Civil Litigation. These are known as the “Jackson Reforms”, after Lord Justice Jackson.


Lord Justice Jackson seems to be the very model of the sort of Judge that Derry Irvine and the Labour Party were keen to appoint during their years in office. That is to say he is very Statist in his philosophy about Law, he is very bureaucratically minded and evidently he is not very interested in Justice. That is with the meaning that “Justice” would mean to any right- thinking ordinary Englishman, whether he be (in the traditional phrase) on the back of the “Clapham Omnibus” or not!


Jackson also appears to have the very dogmatic adherence to the details of rules of a petty town hall bureaucrat. Indeed under the Jackson Reforms “Justice” has been redefined to be fundamentally about the administrative convenience of the Court and the State!


As part of this Statist mentality, the Courts are now supposed to “manage” cases. This is of course quite an odd concept, bearing in mind that most judges are former barristers and have therefore absolutely no experience of managing how litigation runs, let alone understanding the underlying economic realities or even for that matter of running or organising a normal business! Yet these same people are now expected to “manage” access to perhaps the most important function that a State has (with the exception of defence), I mean the Administration of Justice!


You may well have heard of one of the products of Lord Justice Jackson’s staggering lack of common-sense in the case of the wronged MP, Mr Andrew Mitchell of so-called plebgate fame, in which the police appear to have lied about what he said. In the Mitchell litigation the courts in their un-wisdom have now ruled that no costs can be recovered from the newspaper which libelled him!


Even worse in recent cases the courts are now saying that if you are even slightly late in putting in your witness statements then you are not allowed to have your witnesses give evidence at the trial!



Tacky looking EU style zip up gowns!


I am normally not one to rush to the European Convention of Human Rights, but with such respect as I can muster for the Lord Justices now wearing their tacky looking EU style zip up gowns and no wigs (therefore no longer looking like traditional English Judges that you could respect), this is a blatant and obvious breach of one of the European Convention’s cornerstone rights, the right to a FAIR TRIAL in which the parties have “equality of arms”.


In my time as a lawyer this is the third time that there has been a mad-cap attempt at a top down reform of the Civil Justice system. In each case it has been motived by Europhile enthusiasm, in particular for the German model of Civil Justice. On each occasion the “reformers” have missed the key feature of the German system which makes that system bearable to the people under it, which is that it is the DUTY of the Court to make the right decision and not of lawyers to do anything other than to assist the Court in making the right decision.


In England the opposite is the case and it is the solicitors’ and barristers’ job to present their client’s case as effectively as they can and the Judge merely in effect arbitrates between the cases that are put before them.

For such a Judge to take on supposedly managing cases with no experience in practical life of doing so, is not only simply absurd, but it inevitably leads to widespread miscarriages of justice.


As a lawyer I feel ashamed that the supposed leaders of our profession should have lent their names to these “reforms”. As a politician, it is yet another example of the contemptible incompetence of our political class that this travesty has been imposed by the laughably mis-named “Ministry of Justice”.


If there was real justice then the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, which is such a splendid embodiment of the Victorian respect for the greatness of English law and justice, should be renamed the Royal Courts of Bureaucratic Nit-picking – that is for as long as the Queen will want her Title associated with such a betrayal of our traditions!


But then, of course, for those interested in legal history, we should not be surprised that justice is not safe in the hands of careerist Judges.

In England the reason why justice and common-sense was preserved within our Court system over the centuries was because Juries decided almost all cases of fact and, if the law was likely to work an injustice, very often made their findings in such a way as to ensure that a just result was obtained.


Of course English juries were until the late 1960’s rate payers only, so bring back jury trials for more complicated cases we might need a process whereby a decision was made as to the appropriate level of qualification required of jurors that was related to the complexity of the case.

Monday, 3 February 2014

NOT THE SPEECH TO KINGS COLLEGE - WIMBLEDON!



This is the speech that I didn’t get to make when I went to Kings College School, Wimbledon. How do you think it would have gone down?

SPEECH TO KINGS COLLEGE - WIMBLEDON


Ladies and gentlemen the title of my speech today is :- The World’s Oldest Nation State – England.


One issue which we should try to avoid getting confused about is the fact that there may often be a great difference between the fact of a State (albeit often confusingly called a Nation State) and the idea of a Nation.


The State is of course at root simply a state structure with a constitution and systems of control and enforcement and, if it is an effective state, a monopoly of the legitimate use of force.


Whereas a Nation on the other hand is a community in one real sense and is based upon national feeling. So we could say that a Nation is a product of national identity, or as Left-wing academics would refer to it, a Nation is an “Imagined Community”.


The people of a Nation have a subjective sense of national identity as being a member of their own wider national community. They may have in their minds many objective criteria which they will apply in deciding whether an individual is a member or not. This will depend on the peculiar ideas of that particular Nation, e.g. the idea of Americanism or self-identifying as being an American which has different characteristics to Frenchism or self-identifying as being French.

It is instructive to make a contrast between Ghana and Malaysia, both countries that became independent more or less at the same time, geographically both are of a similar size, both had similar sized population and both are even similarly near the Equator. However it is only Malaysia, with its strong emphasis on Malay nationalism, that has managed to make the leap into becoming a largely developed country. My point is that nationalism can be a key determinate of the success or failure of a State.


How does all this matter in modern Britain or for the future of England?


Well first let us get some terms clear and then things may come more into focus:-


Britain was originally the name of the Roman province which included Wales and mostly went up only to Hadrian’s Wall and never included all of Scotland or any of Ireland.


“England” is arguably the oldest Nation State on earth. The idea of the English Nation is first mentioned in literature by the Venerable Bede in about 731 who may well have invented the concept to try and bring together the disparate tribes of Jutes, Angles and Saxons which had coalesced into the seven kingdoms of the Heptarchy in what is now England and which would probably have never come together as a single State.


Ladies and gentlemen it is often claimed that all nationalisms arise in response to a threat. In the case of England and the English Nation that threat was the Vikings and our great founder is Alfred the Great, who after his memorable burning of cakes when he was a fugitive and the last serving Anglo Saxon King, came back to win the decisive Battle of Edington against the Viking host in 878.


Alfred then launched his Wessex Kingdom on a mission to create a new Kingdom of the Angelcynn with his burhs, or boroughs, and civic freedoms, reforms of the army, putting village life on the war production footing of the early medieval open field system (a system which continued right up until the Black Death); his encouragement of reading and writing in English; his translation of the Bible into English; his strongly Roman Catholic Christian mission. Alfred’s policies were crowned with ultimate success by his grandson Athelstan on the 12th July 927 at the Council of Eamont when the then new State, England, was unified into a single kingdom on more or less its current borders.


Ladies and gentlemen just compare that length of history with the creation of a united Germany in 1871, or a united Italy in 1863, by contrast we English have a united national history of 1086 years.


In all those years since then England was never divided nor separated into warring States and so therefore the English Nation has the deepest roots of all European nations.


The only Nation State in the world that has an equivalent claim is that of China, but I would question whether China isn’t an Empire rather than a Nation, given its over 200 spoken languages. Also it has had several periods of division and warring states since it was united under the first Emperor.


Another term which we need to define is that of Great Britain. In 1603 there was the Union of the Crowns with the accession of James I of England, who was also the VI James of Scotland, but despite James’ best efforts there was no union of England and Scotland.


In 1707 the increasingly successful English State and Nation entered into a partial union with the Kingdom of Scotland, which was then in deep financial trouble after its unsuccessful colonial adventure in middle America. The Darian adventure was a sort of Scottish South Sea Bubble where there was a speculative boom which bankrupted much of Scotland’s elite and the Scottish state. The Scots at the time had a different Act of Succession so it was feared that on the death of Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch there would be an end to the Union of the Crowns. The English threatened to end Scottish trading access to English markets under the Aliens Act and eventually a sordid deal was done, in what is now a public toilet in Edinburgh, which meant that members of the Scottish elite would be bribed with English taxpayers’ money and a partial union would be created by the union of the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England into the newly coined “United Kingdom of Great Britain”. That is the origin of the term Great Britain.


The purpose of this Union of Great Britain was nakedly about big power, real-politique and imperialist aspirations, coupled with the struggle for imperial dominance and world power against in particular the absolutist Catholic monarchy of France there was also a strong element of Protestantism at its foundation.


We then move onto considering the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland which was created in the last great struggle with France, this time in the Napoleonic wars, and led to another partial union with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801. In this case it didn’t even create a customs union or economic free trade zone between Great Britain and Ireland. When the Union with Ireland largely collapsed in 1922, not only was the modern Conservative party formed and its 1922 Committee, but also there was yet another permutation of the Union state, with its new and current title, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


The next term we need to consider is Devolution. In 1998 New Labour enacted, following strong success in their Scottish referendum and very marginal success in the Welsh referendum, Devolution in Scotland and in Wales. These devolutions were different from each other and both began a process whose destination it seems to me can only naturally be the end of the UK.


In Northern Ireland of course there is a special case arising from the peace agreement.


For me as an English Nationalist a key factor to take account of in considering devolution is of course that there was to be no national devolution for England. On the contrary the only attempt to devolve in England was an attempt to break England up into EU inspired Regions.


This gives us another term – Regionalisation. This was a policy first pursued by the John Major government following Maastricht, but most enthusiastically pursued in office by new Labour. The attempt to break England up led to a spectacular failure to get any democratic mandate for regionalisation in an area which Labour had created by gerrymandering the so called “Region” of the “North East”. Here devolution was defeated by a full 79% of the electorate of the “North East” in 2004. There is no coincidence that the so called “North East” is one the areas which has the strongest English National Identity (80.5% in the 2011 Census).

Ladies and gentlemen this year on the 19th September 2014 we have the possibility of another great change to the Union, perhaps its very dissolution if Scotland votes, and I think it may well, for Independence.


You may ask how does this cause the dissolution of the UK? Well I have partly answered this question already, but going back again to history to help to show how that applies to our constitutional law, the Union of the Crowns of England and Ireland took place in the Middle Ages but in 1536 the principality of Wales, which historically had never coalesced into a long-lasting single sovereign state, was incorporated by an Act of Union but this union was a full incorporation of the principality into the Kingdom of England. This got MPs for Welsh constituencies sitting in the English House of Commons. Wales was integrated into English law and included in the English Judicial Assize Circuits and also had established the Church of England in Wales.


In 1603 as I mentioned there was the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England.


In 1707 the Union of the Scottish and English parliaments let some Scottish Lords sit in with the English Lords and some Scottish MPs sit in what had been the English Commons but there was and never has been any union of the Scottish and English churches or of the two legal systems.


In 1801 there was the Union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain’s Parliament with the Irish Parliament but no customs union, nor a union of legal systems but the Church of Ireland was Anglican and Episcopalian. Bear in mind however that this further Act of Union in 1801 is grafted onto the foundation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain brought about expressly in the 1707 Act of Union by the merger of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England into that new United Kingdom of Great Britain.


Therefore it follows logically and legally that if Scotland secedes then the United Kingdom of Great Britain is ipso facto dissolved and so is the subsequent Irish Union as that was with that United Kingdom of Great Britain. The Northern Irish rump of the 1801 Union would then no longer have any constitutional entity to be attached to.


So in late 2014 the British Establishment politicians may have to scrabble about to cobble together a new Union, but if Scotland goes then the Union of Great Britain is dissolved from any sensible constitutional and legal perspective.


In the maelstrom of negotiations that will inevitably arise if Scotland votes to go I would ask everyone here to search carefully for an answer to this question. Who then will speak for England?


One contender might be Mr Cameron is the British Prime Minister. He is a man who is on record as having promised to fight “little Englanders” wherever he finds them and he asserted to the BBC’s Andrew Marr that he would keep the colossal over subsidy for Scotland going, despite being the MP of an English constituency, because he said, and I quote “I am a Cameron and there is quite a lot of Scottish blood following in these veins”. Is that, ladies and gentlemen a race point or what? So will it be Dave Donald Cameron that speaks for England?


Or would it be the Dutch/Russian Nick Clegg, or the Ed Miliband whose Marxist father fled here from the Nazis and who ungratefully seems to have wished us to lose both the Second World War and later the Cold War?


No, Ladies and gentlemen, none of them care a damn for England. Indeed all three have already been trying to break up England with their parties’ respective Regionalisation policies.


Is it a coincidence I wonder that this is the very England that Karl Marx mourned was the “rock upon which all the revolutions of Europe” were “wrecked” upon?


I have mentioned the term “Regionalisation”. The policy of Regionalisation is the British Establishment vision for England’s future. It was introduced by the Conservatives, to break us up into EU Regions. Regionalisation was enthusiastically pursued by Labour, and whose purpose was said by Charles Kennedy when he was the Leader of the Liberal Democrats saying that he enthusiastically supported Regionalisation for England it because he said – and I quote - “it was calling into question the very idea of England itself”.


It is in this sense that the new post-colonial Britishness, having lost its Empire and collapsed its power and nearly exhausted its credit over the last 100 years, is now a threat to our English Nation – an English Nation which some commentators have pointed out recently is now the last British colonial possession - the last part of the world directly ruled as it is by the British State. As Jeremy Paxman said England is now something of a “Scottish Raj” – where is an English Mahatma Gandhi when you want one?


Our former Colonial Master or should I say “Dear Leader”, Gordon Brown, went so far as to talk of the “Nations and Regions of Britain” with England called the “Regions”. He restructured the English national curriculum to ensure Britishness classes were given to English children, whereas the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales of course teach their own children the value of their own nations. This is all part of a wider effort to propagandise English people into accepting the dissolution of the English Nation and the use of our resources to unfairly subsidise Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland under what is known as the Barnett Formula.


In early 2009 a cross party committee of the House of Lords reported that the Barnett formula subsidy to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was running to the tune of £49bn a year. That is right ladies and gentlemen, £49bn a year - almost half the entire UK budget deficit!


The good news though, ladies and gentlemen, if you are English, is that the English are awakening. Consider the results of the Labour supporting Think Tank,


JULY 2013 IPPR Report called


“ENGLAND AND ITS TWO UNIONS”


The IPPR is a Labour supporting “think tank” and was one of cheerleaders for the Labour Government’s attempt to break England up into regions. They are still trying and their latest scheme is for a Northern Parliament. So this is by no means a report from our friends and the report’s authors include not one single English patriot. The results are therefore all the more striking! Here are all the important extracts:-


The level of British identity recorded was the lowest in any survey reported here (going back to 1996).


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


58 per cent agree that the English have ‘become more aware of English national identity in recent years’.


There is one significant exception – in the strength of English national identification. That exception was London. In the dual capital of England and the United Kingdom, while English national identity remains the most popular choice, Englishness was notably weaker than elsewhere and Britishness rather stronger.


That fully 40 per cent of people in England would, if given the opportunity, choose an English passport is striking, especially given the complete absence of any public debate around English citizenship.

Across all age-groups, social classes and both genders Englishness is stronger than Britishness. The one important exception concerns members of England’s ethnic minorities.


The responses confirm:
• low and decreasing support for the status quo
• very low support for English regionalism
• strong support for a form of governance that treats England as a distinct political unit
• continuing lack of consensus about which English option is appropriate.


It confirms low support for the territorial status quo, at 22 per cent.


Euroscepticism is also clearly associated with a demand for greater recognition for England in the UK’s own constitutional arrangements.

Also and in many ways even more definitively the 2011 Census returns also show Englishness rising:-


England has over 32 million (32,007,983) people (or 60.4%) who have stated they have only English National Identity. A further 4.8 million (4,820,181) people (or 9.1%) stated that their National Identity is ‘English and British.


In sharp contrast with this nearly 70% being English there were only a mere 10 million (10,171,834) people or (19.2%) who claimed to be ‘British only’. A substantial proportion of these ‘British Only’ appear, from cross referencing with the results of the Census ethnicity question, to be of non-English ethnicity (ie Scottish, Welsh or Irish).


On the question of demand for English Independence there is also increasing rapidly in England and although reactive to the movement for Scottish Independence it is not dependent on it. The June 2011 ComRes survey done for the BBC showed that then there was 36% support for England to be a fully independent Country irrespective of the result of the Scottish Independence Referendum.


And now ladies and gentlemen there is also for the first time in all our long history a fully-fledged albeit as yet small (with about 3,000 members) political party calling for Independence for England. That Party, ladies and gentlemen, is the English Democrats.


One of the key aspirations of English nationalism that will have instant appeal here, it is the demand to get England out of the EU. This is an aspiration which seems to be contrary to the majority feeling in Scotland and Wales.


One of the interesting things is that the IPPR’s research shows that the National Identity which is most Europhile is in fact people who identified themselves as being British!


So, ladies and gentlemen, finally I suggest we take the EU Justice Commissioner and indeed Senor Barroso himself at their words. They have repeatedly said that if Scotland leaves the UK that as a new State which not a signatory to the EU accession treaties, Scotland would be automatically out of the EU. They went on to say that Scotland would then have to re-apply to re-join!


Ladies and gentlemen, that means that if England leaves the UK we would be automatically out of the EU too! Is there anyone here who is so Britishly Europhile that they would want to take Mr Barroso’s advice and apply to re-join the EU?


Thanks you Mr Chairman and ladies and gentlemen for your patience.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Guest speaker at Kings College School, Wimbledon


On Thursday I was the guest of Kings College School, Wimbledon, which is a non-boarding public school.  For those who do not know Wimbledon it is in a very nice part of what is now in effect West London.

As a guest speaker I was following in the footsteps of MPs from the various other parties, including not only the usual ones, but also the SNP and Plaid Cymru and Sinn Fein.

I had been asked to come to talk to the Sixth Form about the politics of English culture and nationalism.

I introduced the topic by going through our exceptionally long history as a united people and nation state.  After the constitutional landmarks I then talked about where we are now using the results of the 2011 Census.

I then got so many interesting questions that I didn’t get to make the speech that I had prepared to make.

It was however interesting to again see from some of the questions that the main challenge to English Nationalism comes from those whose vision is of multi-cultural “Britishness”.

It was nice to be able to reassure those who thought of themselves as being English that theirs is still the majority view in England by showing them the results of the 2011 Census.

For those who consider themselves to be in national identity terms “British only” but who are ethnically English, it was also a pleasure to be able to assure them that they were in a tiny minority in the country!  They are now of course a minority within that minority of less than 30% who consider themselves to be in any sense British!