CHAIRMAN’S SPEECH AT THE ENGLISH DEMOCRATS CONFERENCE 17TH SEPTEMBER 2016
Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen for your welcome.
May I say welcome to you to Leicester and the English Democrats 14th AGM?
Since we last met, in our Spring Conference at Huntingdon, there has been a dramatic change in English politics crystalized by the strong showing in the vote to Leave the EU by, in particular, English voters.
In the UK as a whole, the overall the result was a 51.9% majority on the 72.2% turnout.
In England however our people voted for Brexit by 53.4% or 15,188,406 Leave votes as against 46.6% or 13,266,996 Remain voters.
Ladies and gentlemen not only did we English Democrats campaign actively for Leave, and were registered with the Electoral Commission to do so, but also we predicted that England would vote to Leave. Indeed, at least one of our national council members made a significant amount of money betting on it!
I thought that it was obvious that England was going to vote to Leave; Also that Scotland was going to vote to Remain and so was Northern Ireland. The only surprise outcome in the referendum was Wales voting to Leave. In Wales opinion polls had said it would vote to Remain and it is a big net beneficiary of the EU.
Now let’s turn to BREXIT – As a lawyer let me confirm the legal procedures.
There are two constitutional legal procedures required to put into effect the democratically expressed Will of the People to Brexit.
One is the external requirement, under EU constitutional law, of activating Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Article 50 is simple to activate and it is entirely in the hands of the UK as a Member State to do so in accordance with UK constitutional arrangements. The “Royal Prerogative” gives that power to the Prime Minister.
Once Article 50 has been activated there is a compulsory 2 year period of negotiation managed by the EU Commission but if no agreement is reached, then the UK’s membership of the EU lapses automatically. (Bad luck Scotland, but nice try Nicola Sturgeon!).
The second constitutional procedure is internal. There must be a substantial repeal by the UK’s Westminster Parliament of the European Communities Act 1972 (perhaps with some saving provisions).
If Scotland held the threatened second Independence Referendum and voted to go, a third possibility would arise because if the UK, which is the EU Member State, was dissolved then all parts of the former UK State would be automatically outside of the EU.
In the meanwhile, legislation based upon the EU has lost the privileged status which Lord Justice Laws gave it in his judgment against the Metric Martyrs in 2002. Laws LJ held that the Referendum in 1975 gave the People's democratic consent to the European Communities Act 1972 and thus conferred special status upon it as a constitutional statute. That consent has now been removed and with it the special status of all that strand of law!
So at the moment Ladies & Gentlemen we have one cheer for the vote to Leave but are not yet in a position to cheer for the process of Brexit being activated by notice being given under Article 50, nor, with the best will in the world, will we actually Leave until sometime in 2019. Then we can have our full three cheers!
In the meanwhile as English nationalists we have seen an improvement of the political environment.
Consider Dr Russell Foster, who is now Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Kings College London, researching about: “EU, symbols, borders and European identity politics”. He was recently Marie-Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam. No Steve! This Dr Foster did not go to Gloucester instead he wrote in his article: “‘I want my country back’: Emotion and Englishness at the Brexit ballotbox” that we have “a multi-party establishment which may soon discover that, like in Scotland in 2014, once the genie of nationalism has been released from its bottle, it turns on those who released it. And it cannot be easily put back”.
What do you say to that Ladies and Gentlemen? Are you the genie of English nationalism?
Are we going to be put back into the bottle?
Ladies and Gentlemen let me also remind you of Kipling’s “The English Way”:-
After the fight at Otterburn,
Before the ravens came,
The Witch-wife rode across the fern
And spoke Earl Percy's name.
'Stand up-stand up, Northumberland!
I charge you answer true,
If ever you dealt in steel and brand,
How went the fray with you?'
'Hither and yon,' the Percy said;
'As every fight must go;
For some they fought and some they fled,
And some struck ne'er a blow.
'But I pray you by the breaking skies,
And the first call from the nest,
That you turn your eyes away from my eyes,
And let me to my rest.'
'Stand up-stand up, Northumberland!
I will that you answer true,
If you and your men were quick again,
How would it be with you?'
'Oh, we would speak of hawk and hound,
And the red deer where they rove,
And the merry foxes the country round,
And the maidens that we love.
'We would not speak of steel or steed,
Except to grudge the cost;
And he that had done the doughtiest deed
Would mock himself the most.
'Sleep you, or wake, Northumberland-
You shall not speak again,
And the word you have said 'twixt quick and dead
I lay on Englishmen.
'So long as Severn runs to West
Or Humber to the East,
That they who bore themselves the best
Shall count themselves the least.
'While there is fighting at the ford,
Or flood along the Tweed,
That they shall choose the lesser word
To cloke the greater deed.
'After the quarry and the kill-
The fair fight and the fame-
With an ill face and an ill grace
Shall they rehearse the same.
'Greater the deed, greater the need
Lightly to laugh it away,
Shall be the mark of the English breed
Until the Judgment Day!'
Ladies and Gentlemen what do you say? Is this still true of us English today in the post Brexit world?
I think it is. How many English have you seen boasting about what we have done?
The two questions for us that now arise are what happens for England and also what the consequences are for that very much more expensive Union than the European Union, namely the Union of the United Kingdom which costs English taxpayers over £49 billion a year (whereas the EU, at most, costs English taxpayers £19 billion a year). So which party will answer those questions?
What about UKIP?
I can’t start answering this question, which relates to the political future of UKIP, without mentioning the legal Latin expression “Functus Officio”.
Functus Officio means a duty completely finished, or to quote from Black’s Legal Dictionary:- “Latin: Having fulfilled the function, discharged the office, or accomplished the purpose, and therefore of no further force or authority. Applied to an officer whose term has expired, and who has consequently no further official authority; and also to an instrument, power, agency, etc. which has fulfilled the purpose of its creation, and is therefore of no further virtue or effect.”
The words of the second verse of that great Victorian funeral hymn “Abide with Me” also seems very suitable too. Here they are:-
“Swift to its close, ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.”
It is however fair that I also mention Nigel Farage’s and UKIP’s highly significant role in getting David Cameron to make what for Dave was the greatest political mistake of his life. That role was in bluffing him into calling a referendum on our continued membership of the EU.
Andrew Marr writing in the New Statesman on 1st July reported that:- “According to one of those involved, this all started at a pizza restaurant at Chicago O’Hare Airport at the time of a Nato conference in 2012, when David Cameron and his closest political allies decided that the only way of scuppering Ukip and the Euro-hostile Right of the Conservative Party was to give the British people a referendum.”
We English People, and our Nation, will always owe a debt of gratitude to UKIP and its role in getting us the opportunity to democratically vote to Leave the EU.
But perhaps, rather like an effective catalyst in causing a chemical reaction, in doing all this UKIP may have caused its own destruction.
While UKIP has elected Diane James what will be left of their Party once they have finished fighting over its constitutional structure and political direction?
Nor is the general political context completely clear, since we do not know for sure what will happen to Labour. We can however hazard a few guesses.
So let’s turn to Labour.
It seems highly probable that Jeremy Corbyn will be re-elected as Leader of Labour next week and then he and his “Momentum” group will set about the same task as Lenin applied himself to in reconfiguring the Russian Communists. Momentum want to turn the Labour Party into a hard-Left party in which the Bolsheviks squeeze out the Mensheviks. Whether the de-selected Menshevik Blairite MPs will thereafter go on to form a new party or join the Liberal Democrats we cannot be sure at present.
What does however seems clear is that there really is no future in Labour for anyone who takes a pride in England or in being English.
Since those whom Labour has in recent times called the “white working class” are very likely to also call themselves “English” that will amount, in historical terms, to a decision by Labour to cease to be a serious contender for Government (at least through democratic means!).
Instead the “Momentum Labour” will no doubt seek to use their dominant position to infiltrate all aspects of our society, seeking to be the catalyst for socialist revolutionary change, however much such a change may be against the wishes of the majority of our country.
For my part I wish them nothing but ill in that endeavour, but by doing so Labour will have given up any serious attempt to lead the English, just has Labour has already lost any serious claim to lead the Scots!
UKIP has also, without I think fully realising it, taken an historic decision not to represent the English.
They did so in the way that often happens in history where a key individual, for personal reasons, takes a decision not to get involved.
In UKIP’s case the decisive moment was when Paul Nuttall announced that he was not going to stand for their leadership.
Paul was the only potential UKIP Leader who either had any interest in the English Cause or could credibly claim to be an English nationalist. This in a party which all serious commentators have noted is predominantly made up of people who are, to all intents and purposes, English Nationalists, albeit a Party which to most commentators is quite strangely led by people who are actually British Nationalists.
In any case, UKIP, as Paul Nuttall has since made clear, has lost the only “glue” that held them together. That was the glue of campaigning against the European Union. That was the sole purpose that UKIP was founded for and the sole purpose of being in politics for most of its leaders and officials.
Nigel Farage is charismatic and he is a very able public speaker and debater and he is also personally very good company. He has however been a very dominant figure in their Party and has prevented any other potential leader emerging and, indeed, he has worked very actively to prevent that happening.
In trying to understand what is happening to UKIP it is significant, to my way of thinking, that when Nigel Farage resigned for the second time as Leader, on a whimsy after the General Election, he had done nothing to plan how the succession to the leadership of the Party would work. On the contrary Nigel Farage announced, without it seems even clearing it with her first, that he was appointing Suzanne Evans to be UKIP’s interim Leader, despite Paul Nuttall’s long-standing position as their Deputy Leader and therefore despite Paul being the obvious person to pull the Party together in the interregnum.
Nigel Farage’s third resignation, again apparently without any planning about who would the next Leader, has been followed by him making highly aggressive and disparaging comments against members of UKIP’s NEC, who are after all volunteers giving up their own time and effort to their Party’s Cause and also who have been elected to their position by the membership of the Party in accordance with UKIP’s constitutional structures.
These, I would remind you Ladies and Gentlemen, are the same constitutional structures which of course Nigel Farage had personally been involved in creating and apparently had approved. Just, of course, as he had personally approved UKIP’s previous manifesto which, when he was caught out in a radio interview, he suddenly claimed was over 400 pages of “utter drivel”!
Here is what he wrote in his article “UKIP Needs to Play The Long Game, And Bypass The Total Amateurs On The National Executive Committee” which was published on Brietbart on 1st August.
He wrote and I quote:-
“But the barrier to radical change and the modernisation of UKIP was implanted in the mid-1990’s. It is called the National Executive Committee. Many of its current crop are among the lowest grade of people I have ever met. To them, being a member of the governing body of Britain’s third-largest political party is the equivalent of scaling Everest.
People with no qualification in business or politics make the ultimate decisions of whom should be our candidate at a by-election. Or whether the former disgraced Tory MP Neil Hamilton should be given a route back to public life via being elected as an Assembly Member in Wales. It may sound odd to many but I have been a moderniser in UKIP. I have been fought at every step of the way by total amateurs who come to London once a month with sandwiches in their rucksacks, to attend NEC meetings that normally last seven hours.” (By Nigel Farage MEP)
In short Nigel Farage’s behaviour since deciding to resign again, without making proper provision for his succession, has been very strange and almost inexplicable to anyone who thinks that human behaviour is either rational or reasonable.
I suspect the answer to this particular jigsaw puzzle is the piece that identifies Nigel as an “Egotist”.
As soon as egotism is factored in his behaviour becomes fully explicable. Only an Egotist would relish the idea that the very Party which has actually been so important to him achieving his political life’s work would collapse without him.
Whatever the reason however, UKIP is now in turmoil and would also seem to have necessarily chosen a course in which it does not represent those that consider themselves to be English and who are concerned about England’s future.
Let’s turn now to the Conservative and Unionist Party.
They have emerged from the EU Referendum on the surface undented but let’s just look beneath the surface.
The Conservatives have pretended for all my adult life (and I know that I am getting on!) to be a mainly Eurosceptic led Party. That was exposed in the referendum, by most of their Ministers and MPs, as a downright lie!
In contrast apparently about 60% of their ordinary members and supporters voted to “Leave”. Also the Conservative Party’s elite Establishment shenanigans have now given their Party a replacement Remainer Leader and the UK a Remainist Prime Minister.
Theresa May, according to Jonathan Foreman, is apparently a vengeful and obsessive micro manager.
Jonathan Foreman is an editor and writer based in London. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Civitas Institute for the Study of Civil Society and a frequent contributor to the Sunday Times and Saturday Telegraph.
In his article “Theresa May is a failed Home Secretary and a bad choice for PM (http://reaction.life/theresa-may-failed-home-secretary-bad-choice-pm/) published in “Reaction” on the 2nd July he wrote and I quote:-
“In the run-up to the 2015 election one of the handicaps David Cameron had to finesse was the fact that net migration to the UK was three times as high as he had promised it would be. Remarkably, none of the opprobrium this failure provoked brought forth the name of Theresa May, the cabinet minister actually entrusted with bringing migration down. Then, as now, it was as if the icy Home Secretary had a dark magic that warded off all critical scrutiny.
The fact that her lead role in this fiasco went unmentioned reflects Mrs May’s clever, all-consuming efforts to burnish her image with a view to become prime minister. After all, Mrs May’s tenure as Home Secretary has been notably unsuccessful. Its abundant failures include a succession of derelictions that have left Britain’s borders and coastline at least as insecure as they were in 2010, and which means that British governments still rely on guesswork to estimate how many people enter and leave the country.
People find this hard to credit because she exudes determination. Compared to many of her cabinet colleagues she has real gravitas. And few who follow British politics would deny that she is a deadly political infighter. Indeed Theresa May is to Westminster what Cersei Lannister is to Westeros in “Game of Thrones”: no one who challenges her survives unscarred; the welfare of her realm is a much lower priority than her craving for power.”
Foreman also wrote that:-
“The reputation for effectiveness that Mrs May enjoys mostly derives from a single, endlessly cited event: the occasion in 2014 when she delivered some harsh truths to a conference of the Police Federation. Unfortunately this was an isolated incident that, given the lack of any subsequent (or previous) effort at police reform, seems to have been intended mainly for public consumption.
In general Mrs May has avoided taking on the most serious institutional problems that afflict British policing. These include, among other things, a disturbing willingness by some forces to let public relations concerns determine their policing priorities, widespread overreliance on CCTV, a common propensity to massage crime numbers, the extreme risk aversion manifested during the London riots, and the preference for diverting police resources to patrol social media rather than the country’s streets.
There is also little evidence that Mrs May has paid much attention to the failure of several forces to protect vulnerable girls from the ethnically-motivated sexual predation seen in Rotherham and elsewhere. Nor, despite her proclaimed feminism, has Mrs May done much to ensure that the authorities protect girls from certain ethnic groups from forced marriage and genital mutilation. But again, Mrs May has managed to evade criticism for this.”
“When considering her suitability for party leadership, it’s also worth remembering Mrs May’s notorious “lack of collegiality”. David Laws’ memoirs paint a vivid picture of a secretive, rigid, controlling, even vengeful minister, so unpleasant to colleagues that a dread of meetings with her was something that cabinet members from both parties could bond over.
Unsurprisingly, Mrs May’s overwhelming concern with taking credit and deflecting blame made for a difficult working relationship with her department, just as her propensity for briefing the press against cabinet colleagues made her its most disliked member in two successive governments.
It is possible (Foreman says), that Mrs May’s intimidating ruthlessness could make her the right person to negotiate with EU leaders. However, there’s little in her record to suggest she possesses either strong negotiation skills or the ability to win allies among other leaders.”
So if that article is right, Ladies and Gentlemen, Theresa May may well be the Conservative’s version of Gordon Brown.
In any case she and the Conservatives also are locked in, by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, into having the next election in May 2020 by which time both they and she may be hugely unpopular! This will be especially true if she doesn’t fully implement Brexit.
This is also a risk for us all because she is a classic backroom EU operator. It was Theresa May after all who was the main driver behind the gay marriage campaign and she used the EU’s systems to force this through not only here but also in other countries too.
It does appear however that Theresa May may have more of a sense of humour than the seemingly totally humourless Gordon.
After all she and her team had made her leadership rival, Andrea Ledsom, turn on the waterworks and surrender her leadership challenge in tears and blubbing, having usefully knocked every other Leaver out of the running.
Ladies and Gentlemen Theresa May has appointed Andrea Ledsom as the Minister in charge of waterworks and floods at DEFRA!
I ask you has Mrs May got a sense of humour or what?
There is also the fact that the EU referendum showed that there are basically two main types of people who are Conservative MPs (except for a small and usually totally uninfluential number of mavericks).
These two types are either Liberal Globalists or Liberal Europhiles. Neither of these two types care a hoot for England! Both of them also actively hate the very idea of English nationalism. This means that the Conservatives too have ruled themselves out of being the party for England.
I am sure that no-one here is unaware that I think there is a political answer ready and waiting for all those who care about England’s future!
That answer is the only campaigning English nationalist party:- The English Democrats. Ladies and Gentlemen – Are we the Party for England?
Ladies and gentlemen there is no reason why the English Democrats might not prove to be as successful in the long run here in England as the Scottish National Party are now in Scotland except that we do need to remember that politics isn’t just about having the best arguments - which I might add that I am fully confident we do!
The famous Prussian military theorist Carl Von Clausevitz writing in his justly famous book Vom Kreige i.e. On War wrote that: “war is politics carried on by other means”.
Consider the analogy Ladies and Gentlemen - war is merely politics carried on by other means.
How is politics like war you might ask? I would draw your attention to a few key similarities that are important to us.
One is that wars are won and lost based at least in part on resources, but just like a war, it is not necessarily the most well-resourced side which wins, although it usually will be, particularly if it is a long war, as was demonstrated in both the First and Second World Wars where the economically weaker Central and Axis powers lost out in the end to the richer Allies.
War also seems to be, at least in part, to be about ideas and arguments. Of course it is important for a side to be able to put forward good arguments for their side to encourage others to join them as allies and also to motivate their own people with the justice of their cause.
War also, just like party politics, may simply get people to rally around their side even where it is obvious that their side hasn’t got the better case. It is not at all unusual for the side with the less good argument to win in a war.
The result of a war is also often vital for a nation’s future. Just like our campaign.
Last, but not least, the outcome of wars depends on the quality of each country’s armed forces.
So Ladies and Gentlemen so far as our “war” is concerned we need to get more resources, both money and members, and to build up our party as an effective fighting force and we need to boost morale by winning a few skirmishes.
I offer you therefore the first skirmish that we need some help with. This is the Batley & Spen by-election where we are the only Leave campaigners standing in a local authority area where in a turnout of 70.8% in the EU referendum 118,755 that is 54% of the whole registered electorate voted to Leave.
That not only gives us a chance to shine, but in fact may offer us a reasonable chance to do better than that. I would very much like to introduce our candidate, Therese Hirst who got over 20,0000 votes in West Yorkshire’s Police Commissioner elections earlier this year. I hope that, even if she doesn’t turn out to be our Margo MacDonald who delivered a surprise to the British Political Establishment by winning the SNP’s first major by-election back in 1973 in Glasgow Govan, but at least Therese makes more people sit up and think about our Cause.
Remember it was the victory at Glasgow Govan which put the SNP on the map and gave it morale and credibility, but of course the SNP was still not in a position to win overall either in the General Election which followed, although they won seven seats, or even more significantly in the referendum which followed in the late 70’s.
We however Ladies and Gentlemen, just like the SNP were, are in this for the long haul! We are in this for England. We are in this for the future of the English Nation! That is truly heroic when so much is up against us!
In another War long ago it is said that there was a famous heroic resistance about which the poet MacCauley wrote:-
“Then out spake brave Horatius
The Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this Earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, and heroes, what are we in this war for? England! Louder Ladies and Gentlemen! We are in this war for? England!