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Monday, 29 February 2016

The Left “No Platform” their former heroes!

The Left “No Platform” their former heroes!

In recent months it has got some media attention that there is a widespread habit, particularly with Student Unions, but also with other Left-wing groups to “No Platform”, not just their obvious political opponents, such as the longstanding refusal to appear on any hustings or discussion panel with representatives of the BNP, National Front or any other so-called Far Right party, but also anyone who disagrees on any detail of Leftist dogma.

So over the last few months there has been the no platforming of Germaine Greer, the long-time leading feminist who has dared to say “just because you lop off your doesn't make you a woman” and so got herself banned by various student unions from coming to speak at the universities. Apparently it might lead to some of the poor little darlings having their “safe space” violated!

But in the last few weeks there has been the amazing spectacle of both Peter Tatchell, the leading Gay Rights campaigner, and Nick Lowles the founder and leader of the Leftist agitprop group “Hope not Hate” both being “no Platformed” for daring to criticise any aspect of Islamism!

Maybe a factor is that the Left in the UK is actually a much smaller number of people than was previously realised. Maybe we can get a clear insight into that by the fact that Jeremy Corbyn’s vote was only 251,417 people.

When you factor in that some of those were Conservatives trying to vote a wholly unelectable Labour Leader and that there might have been some few Leftists who did not register to vote for him, nevertheless we have got a good figure for the likely maximum number of the Far-Left in the UK.

That means that all their little squabbles are amongst a relatively small group and so it is perhaps not quite so surprising that they are “fighting like rats in a proverbial sack”. The other proverbial saying which seems appropriate is the ancient Greek comment “those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first made mad!”

Here is an article about Nick Lowles' “No Platforming”:-

HOPE not hate chief executive, Nick Lowles, ‘no-platformed’ by NUS for being ‘Islamophobic’

The head of a campaign which seeks to counter racism and fascism in the UK has allegedly been “no-platformed” by the National Union of Students (NUS) on the grounds he is “Islamophobic.”

Nick Lowles, chief executive of HOPE not hate, took to his Facebook to criticise Black Students - the NUS campaign which focuses on equality in education, black representation, anti-racism and anti-fascism - for its “ultra-left lunacy.”

As displayed in a tweet from journalist and blogger Sunny Hundal, Mr Lowles alleged on Thursday that NUS Black Students was opposing a plan to invite him to speak on an anti-racism platform because he’s “Islamophobic.”

He continued: “Never mind all the work HOPE not hate has done challenging anti-Muslim hatred, it seems that some ultra left activists believe I’m Islamophobic because I have repeatedly spoken out against grooming and dared condemn Islamist extremism.”

Mr Lowles said the charge of Islamophobia was “obviously quite ridiculous.” The row comes amid a growing outcry against the trend of “no-platforming” at British universities following the revelation veteran human rights activist Peter Tatchell had been snubbed by students for his free speech stance

In a statement, Mr Lowles said: “I am an independent member of the Government’s Anti-Muslim hatred Working Group and over the last few years HOPE not hate, as an organisation, has worked closely with Muslim communities throughout Britain to defeat the politics of hate. Only last December, I co-authored the most comprehensive report into organised anti-Muslim hatred.

“My crime, it seems, has been to repeatedly call on the anti-racist movement to do more to condemn on-street grooming by gangs and campaigning against Islamist extremist groups in the UK and abroad. I make no apology for either position. We need to be consistent in our opposition to extremism - from whatever quarter it comes.”

He added: “The situation is almost amusing in its absurdity, but I want to stress that my beef is with a small group of ultra-leftists within the NUS, not NUS itself.”

Mr Tatchell has come to the defence of Mr Lowles. He told the Independent: “Nick Lowles and HOPE Not Hate have an extemporary, trail-blazing record of fighting racism and fascism. The idea that there should be any attempt to prevent them speaking is profoundly disturbing. It smacks of political sectarianism of the worst kind.

“There are many good people in the NUS, but it seems that a significant minority are more interested in fighting other activists than fighting real racists, fascists and anti-Muslim bigots.”

Click here for a link to the original article>>> HOPE not hate chief executive, Nick Lowles, ‘no-platformed’ by NUS for being ‘Islamophobic’ | News | Student | The Independent

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Sadiq Khan reveals the undemocratic gerrymandering at the heart of Labour’s vision of multi-culturalist London

Sadiq Khan reveals the undemocratic gerrymandering at the heart of Labour’s vision of multi-culturalist London


“Sadiq urges 500,000 EU voters to take revenge on Zac for backing Brexit”

The word democracy comes from the Ancient Greek, the Rule of the Demos or the People.

In Athens and the other ancient Greek democratic City States the Demos, the People, were clearly defined by law, so that only those that qualified legally could become citizens and could vote.

Even in the modern world only those States which have a defined citizen body can properly be called a democracy, since if the citizen body is not defined properly then anyone, whether they be citizen or not, can vote.

What could be a clearer illustration of the extent to which unchecked and uncontrolled mass immigration and the New Labour project to replace the English people with a new and no doubt more politically useful population than Sadiq Khan’s call as set out in the article below?

Can anyone think of an example of a more self-interested and anti-patriotic stance by a British Establishment politician, or, indeed, a living example of the best possible reason to vote to Leave the EU whilst the possibility of us still being able to do so still exists by the use of the ballot box rather than (in Irish Republican terms) the Armalite?

Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan go to war over Brexit

Europe moved to the heart of London’s mayoral battle today as it emerged that the votes of a record half a million citizens from other EU states could be critical to the contest.

Labour’s Sadiq Khan launched an unprecedented campaign to persuade them to take revenge against Tory rival Zac Goldsmith for backing a British exit from the European Union.

Mr Khan said the Brexit campaign was putting at risk the rights of around a million EU citizens in London to live and work here. If Britain left the EU they could end up “having to leave London”, he said. The army of Europeans in London could become a significant political force as they make up around 10 per cent of the capital’s electorate.

A record 559,543 people from European countries outside the UK are registered to vote in the capital, according to figures released to Parliament.

Although they are not entitled to vote in the EU referendum or in Westminster elections, they all have the right to vote for a new Mayor on May 5 and for members of the London Assembly. Only 62,538 votes separated Boris Johnson from rival Ken Livingstone at the 2012 mayoral election.

The most recent mayoral poll suggested the gap between Mr Khan and Mr Goldsmith was about 140,000 votes.

A spokesman for Mr Goldsmith accused Mr Khan of “divisive scaremongering” and claimed the Labour candidate’s policies were a bigger risk to all Londoners. “This divisive scaremongering shows Khan doesn’t want to talk about the issues at stake in this Mayoral election — more homes, better transport, safer streets and cleaner air,” he said. “Zac’s job, if he is elected, will be to bring London together and make sure it flourishes. The real risk to London’s families is a four year Khan–Corbyn experiment in City Hall, with a £1.9 billion budget black hole, and the threat it presents to all our futures.”

Conservative MEP for London, Charles Tannock, said it could be the first major election where EU citizens are a major factor. “Generally EU citizens don’t turn out in large numbers for local elections and have been traditionally ignored by mainstream parties and candidates for that reason,” he told the Evening Standard.

“Things could change on May 5. There is no indication of that at present but the EU Referendum happening the following month may raise awareness of UK elections.” The number of EU citizens has risen since the last mayoral race in 2012 because of the arrival of young workers from countries such as Bulgaria and Hungary, whose citizens gained full freedom of movement in 2014.

London boroughs with the largest number of European citizens are Ealing (31,339), Lambeth (28,035) and Newham (25,562).

Mr Khan said that Euro-voters could become a significant factor because of the In-Out referendum. “Britain’s role in Europe is absolutely critical for all Londoners — supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, and helping us keep Londoners safe,” he told the Standard.

“But our relationship with Europe is of even greater concern for the half a million European citizens in London. If Zac Goldsmith has his way and drags London out of Europe, they face massive uncertainty and even the prospect of having to leave London altogether.

“EU citizens in London won’t get a vote in the referendum, but they can still have their say by backing a Mayoral candidate who will campaign for Britain to remain in Europe. It’s clearly in all Londoners’ interests for Britain to remain in Europe.”

What do you think?

Here is a link to the original article >>> Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan go to war over Brexit | Mayor | News | London Evening Standard

Friday, 26 February 2016



Some people have pointed out that the day after the EU Referendum vote on the 23rd June, when hopefully the result will be announced, is the day on which the blockbuster film sequel “Independence Day 2” is being launched. Let’s hope that is a prophetic coincidence!

Now that the referendum campaign has in effect started inevitably we have had the Remain camp talking up “Project Fear” to try and start frightening people to stay within the EU.

Their argument is that leaving the EU is a jump into the unknown by the country and that those in favour of Leave will be unable to say what exactly the deal will be. This is of course true and it is no use denying it, although arguments can be put forward to show that the risk is not really as serious as is being suggested.

Nevertheless since it is true that those in favour of Leave cannot be precise as to what the arrangements will be it is, in my view, necessary for those arguing for Leave to talk about the uncertainties of remaining within the EU

Whilst the BBC etc. have been keen to publicise the uncertainties of Leave what hasn’t been so well publicised is the uncertainties of Remain.

In particular do we want England broken up into the EU “Regions”? Do we want the UK to become twelve EU “Regions” within a Federal EU? Do we want an EU army? Do we want an EU police force? Do we want an EU judicial system? That is if the progress to “ever closer union” continues.

In the alternative there may be a messy breakdown as further problems with the Greek bailout becomes critical again and with the imminence of financial collapse in the Italian banks. Quite apart from those other parts of the EU which look more likely to want to leave, such as France if Marie Le Pen wins the Presidential election next year? What do you think?

I have also been thinking of what slogan would appeal to English nationalists that has people thinking about this kind of issue and I suggest:-

‘Stop the EU breaking up England. Vote to Leave

What do you think?

For English nationalists there is also the very interesting prospect that many of the likely scenarios in the EU Referendum will undermine the UK. Here is an extremely useful and interesting article by Professor Rose of Strathclyde University which sets this out and in which he has crunched the numbers for us:-

Will the EU referendum trigger the break-up of the United Kingdom?

If England drags Scotland out of the EU, there will be trouble. But if Scotland keeps England inside, it could be double.

On the night of the EU referendum, there will be three counts that matter. The first will show whether there is an overall British majority for staying in or leaving the EU. The second will show whether English voters are on the winning or the losing side. The third will show how likely it is that the United Kingdom will stay together.

That might sound drastic to some readers. But large differences in support for the EU among different nations of the UK mean that many potential results are bad for the Union. Unless England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all agree in their answers to the referendum question, factions in each will be able to reject the result as illegitimate.

England contributes five sixths of the British electorate. To produce a UK majority for leaving the EU, regardless of the preference of other Britons, would therefore require 61 percent of English voters to endorse Brexit.

Opinion polls, however, show English voters tend to be evenly divided, and often in favour of Brexit. Even if a British poll reported 51 per cent in favour of remaining in the EU, a majority of English respondents would be in favour of Brexit. This is because other UK nations are much more pro-European.

The National Centre for Social Research calculates that 55 per cent of Welsh, 64 per cent of Scots and 75 per cent of Ulster voters endorse the European Union on the basis of more than a dozen polls taken in the past year.

These numbers are also more stable than the equivalent figures in England.

So collectively, Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish voters will contribute about 11 per cent of the pro-EU vote. English voters would only have to add another 40 per cent to the UK total to create an absolute majority keeping the UK in Europe. But that would mean most English voters had endorsed leaving the European Union – only to have their wishes overriden by the other UK nations.

On the other hand, if 53 per cent of English voters voted to leave the EU, this would be enough to take the UK out of Europe against the preference of a majority of Scots, Welsh and Ulster voters.

The only result which would keep the UK united would be a narrow English majority in favour of remaining in the EU. In that scenario, all four parts of the United Kingdom were of one mind. For this to be true we would expect to see a UK-wide majority of more than 53 per cent.

On the basis of current polling, that is unlikely. Of 30 major British polls I have analysed, only ten reported a pro-EU majority so large that most English respondents agreed with their fellow Britons. An additional 13 polls showed majorities of up to 53 percent in favour of remaining in the EU, but such a narrow lead implies that most English people would be held in Europe against their will. And seven of the 30 polls actually showed enough English opposition to the EU to overpower the other nations' leads.

A conflict between Britain's nations on future relations with the EU would be a huge headache to the Prime Minister. Part of the argument for Scottish independence in 2014 was that England would no longer be able to "impose" decisions on Scotland. An English-led withdrawal of the UK from the European Union could trigger another referendum in Scotland on the linked issues of leaving the UK and joining Europe. That would confront the Westminster government with simultaneously negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from Europe and Scotland’s withdrawal from the UK.

Yet the opposite outcome – a UK majority to remain in the EU, and an English majority to leave – would also be a nightmare for Downing Street. Conservative Eurosceptics could denounce the result as illegitimate, but it would be politically impossible for the Eurosceptics to win a referendum on the issue of England withdrawing from the United Kingdom.

Even if a narrow English majority went along with other Britons and voted to stay in the EU, there could still be an absolute majority of Conservatives voting to leave. Determined Eurosceptics could then adopt Jeremy Corbyn's doctrine that the party leader should represent his party's members. This argument could be used as a weapon to extract promises of further anti-EU actions from Cabinet ministers wanting to succeed David Cameron as the next Conservative prime minister.

Whatever the feelings of English voters on the emotive issue of Europe, there is no escaping the fact that the outcome of the forthcoming EU referendum will be decided by the total vote of the United Kingdom. That is the price England pays for being British.

Richard Rose is a professor of public policy at University of Strathclyde Glasgow and a commissioning fund awardee of The UK in a Changing Europe

Click here for the original article>>> Will the EU referendum trigger the break-up of the United Kingdom? - Telegraph

Sunday, 14 February 2016



Those who have been long in the Cause of English nationalism will recall a time even to mention that you were English or that you wanted to preserve England or cared for the English Nation was to be accused by Labour of being racist.

That does still occur but now Labour opportunists are beginning to realise that their career structure may be in ruins if they don’t start at least some English patriotic noises!

Before we move onto the present I think it is worth pausing to remember that John Prescott, when he was Labour’s Deputy Prime Minister of the Blair Government, claimed in an official response:- “There is no such nationality as English”.

We all also had to put up with Gordon Brown monotonously referring to the country as “The Nations and Regions of Britain” with England being the "Regions".

I could easily come up with many other quotations that show that Labour simply thought that anybody who dared mention Englishness was even more “bigoted” than the poor ordinary Labour supporter who dared to express a bit of concern about the effects of mass immigration, whom Gordon Brown got recorded as privately calling a “bigoted old woman!”.

Now however we have one of the brightest sparks in Labour, Tristram Hunt, calling for a referendum on an English Parliament. This is an interesting development and deserves a bit of nurturing but on the basis as was recently pointed out to me by a Welsh Professor of Politics; who told me that:-

“You’ll recall that the traditional view in Plaid Cymru was that they should say yes to anything that recognised Wales as a unit as that would lead – inevitably – to more. They weren’t wrong!”

In the circumstances English nationalists can unequivocally approve of calls for an English Parliament being taken up by any part of the British Political Establishment.

However this is how George Eaton of the formerly strongly anti-English New Statesmen magazine put the issue. Here is the article:-

Whatever the solution, Labour can't ignore its English problem

Those who disagree with Tristram Hunt's proposal of an English parliament must suggest alternatives.

Most of the reasons for Labour's general election defeat have been well-rehearsed: its leader wasn't viewed as an alternative prime minister, it wasn't trusted to manage the economy and it was at odds with voters on welfare and immigration. But there is another failing that has received far less scrutiny: the belief that the party was anti-English. The problem was visible as long ago as 2005 when the Conservatives won more votes than Labour in England and has grown consistently worse. As post-election polling by GQR found, 57 per cent said they were were "quite concerned"or "very concerned" that the party "put people from other countries before the interests of England". The rise of Scottish nationalism and the concurrent rise of English nationalism have cast Labour adrift.

Despite this, as former cabinet minister John Denham recently wrote on The Staggers, the Beckett Report on the defeat failed to take account of this new political landscape. Its call for a "vision for Britain", he noted, neglected those "who either don't see their country as Britain or only partly as Britain". Unless it accepts this new reality, voters' alienation from the party will both widen and deepen.

Denham, whose former seat of Southampton Itchen was lost to the Conservatives (leaving Labour with just 12 of the 197 seats south of the Severn-Wash line), has founded the Centre for English Identity and Politics at Winchester University where Tristram Hunt will speak tonight. In his address, the former shadow education secretary will call for a referendum on the adoption of either an English parliament (his preferred option), regional assemblies or English Votes for English Laws ("the jury is still out"). A public vote, he will say, would allow England to "experience the same kind of democratic awakening" as Scotland and Labour should "lead it". The political logic is clear: by advocating a referendum, the party will signal that it trusts voters (having opposed a vote on the EU) and is at ease with the politics of English identity.

At present, he will say: "Our sense of Englishness matters to us more and more, and the Labour Party has fallen on the wrong side of that cultural divide. According to Jon Cruddas’s review into why the Labour Party lost the 2015 General Election, since 2005 voters who are socially conservative are the most likely to have deserted Labour. They value home, family and their country. They feel their cultural identity is under threat. They yearn for a sense of belonging and national renewal. Tradition, rules and social order are important to them. And, tragically, they feel that Labour no longer represents them, or understands their lives. In short, they felt we didn’t value England, and were not on the side of the English."

Most Labour MPs will likely disagree with Hunt on the need for an English parliament ("how very silly" shadow leader of the Commons Chris Bryant told me). Many argue that there is little demand among voters for a new political institution and that England's size makes a separate body incompatible with Westminster. But those who disageee with Hunt's solution must offer their own. The EU referendum, the SNP's hegemony in Scotland and the possibility of a second independence referendum will all raise the salience of the English question. And arithmetic alone dictates that Labour must transform its performance in England. With no sign of a revival in Scotland, almost all of the 106 gains the party will need to make after the boundary changes will be here.

But many MPs believe that Jeremy Corbyn, far from answering the English problem, struggles to even recognise it. They lament how often his failure to sing the national anthem is raised by voters and fear that his stances on immigration, Trident and foreign policy are widening the divide between them and the electorate. Corbyn has struck a consciously patriotic note in several speeches, declaring in his Labour conference address: "[It’s] because I love this country, that I want to rid it of injustice – to make it fairer, more decent, more equal." But as Hunt suggests, far more dramatic intervention will be needed to begin to solve the English problem.

(Here is a link to the original>>>

Friday, 12 February 2016



We wrote recently to the "Gay" newspaper the Pink News to complain about them calling us "Far Right". This was their typically barbed reply:-

“The English Democrats have been classified as a far-right party in many places, and by a number of independent academic studies - including two cited on your own Wikipedia page. I would suggest you direct complaints on this front to Katherine Tonkiss, author of Migration and Identity in a Post-National World, and Daniele Caramani, author of The Europeanization of Politics, both of whom classified your party as such from an independent academic standpoint. We, of course, assume you are not trying to stifle free expression of academics.”

I therefore wrote to both academics and here is my email to Dr Tonkiss:-

Dear Dr Tonkiss,

It has recently been claimed to us by the "Pink News" that you have claimed that the English Democrats are "Far Right" in your book "Migration and Identity in a Post-National World". Is this correct?

If so why did you make such a claim?

Yours sincerely

Robin Tilbrook

Dr Tonkiss kindly replied:-

Dear Robin,

I can confirm that I do not refer to the English Democrats as ‘far right’ in my book.

I have noticed this morning that on the Wikipedia entry for the English Democrats, my book is listed as a source to support the classification of the party as ‘far right’. I cannot, as you know, control how my work is reported on Wikipedia, but I will be contacting the website today to request that the reference is removed given that this is not something that I state in my book.

With best wishes,

Dr. Katherine Tonkiss
Lecturer in Sociology and Policy
School of Languages and Social Sciences
Aston University

So there we have it! The smear against us is based on a lie.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The political success of the English

The political success of the English

An edited polemic by Robert Henderson

The first genius of the Anglo-Saxons (aka the English) may be reasonably said to be political. Above all other peoples they have learned best to live without communal violence and tyranny. Set against any other country the political success of the English throughout history is simply astonishing!

Compare England's political history with that of any other country of any size and it is a miracle of restraint. No English government has been altered by unconstitutional means since 1688. No Englishman has killed an English politician for domestic English political reasons since the assassination of Spencer Percival in 1811, and that was an assassination born of a personal grudge, probably aggravated by mental illness, rather than political principle. (The assassin, John Bellingham, believed he had been unreasonably deserted by the British Government when imprisoned in Russia and ruined by the economic circumstances of the war with Napoleon. He killed Percival after unsuccessfully attempting for a long time to get financial redress from the British Government).

Compare that with the experience of the other major states of the world. In the twentieth century Germany fell prey to Nazism, Italy to Fascism, Russia to Communism. France, is on its fifth republic (plus 7 monarchies) in a couple of centuries. The United States fought a dreadful civil war in the 1860s and assassinated a president as recently as 1963. China remains the cruel tyranny as it has always been and India, which advertises itself as the "largest democracy in the world", is home to regular outbreaks of serious ethnic violence, not least during elections which are palpably fraudulent in many parts of the country, especially the rural areas.

So why was England so different?

Perhaps the immediate answer lies in the fact that she has been wonderfully adept in dealing with the central problem of human life - how to live together peaceably.

A Canadian academic, Elliott Leyton, has made a study of English murder through the centuries in his book Men of Blood. Leyton finds that the rate of English (as opposed to British murder) is phenomenally low for a country of her size and industrial development, both now and for centuries past. This strikes Elliott as so singular that he said in an interview "The English have an antipathy to murder which borders on eccentricity; it is one of the great cultural oddities of the modern age." (Sunday Telegraph 4 12 1994).

This restraint extends to warfare and social disorder. That is not to say England has been without violence, but rather that at any point in her history the level of violence was substantially lower than in any other comparable society. For example, the English Civil War in the 17th Century was, apart from the odd inhumane blemish, startlingly free of the gross violence common on the continent of the time during the 30 Years War, where the sacking and pillage of towns and cities was the norm. A particularly notable thing, for civil wars are notorious for their brutality.

The way that England responded to the Reformation is instructive. She did not suffer the savage wars of religion which traumatised the continent and brought human calamities such as the St Bartholomew Day's Massacre in France in 1572, when thousands of French Protestants were massacred at the instigation of the French king.

It was not that the English did not care deeply about their religion, rather that they have been, when left to their own devices, generally loth to fight their fellow countrymen over anything.

English civil wars have always been essentially political affairs in which the ordinary person has little say, for the struggles were either dynastic or a clash between Parliamentary ambition and monarchical ambition.

Even the persecution of the Lollards in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the persecution of Protestants under Mary I had a highly political aspect.

The former was a vastly disturbing challenge to the established social order with men being told, in so many words, that they could find their own way to salvation and the latter an attempt to re-establish not merely the Catholic order in England, which had been overturned since the time of Henry VIII's breach with Rome, but also what amounted to a new royal dynasty with Mary's marriage to Philip of Spain.

Even the prohibitions on Catholics and non-Conformists after the Reformation had a fundamental political basis to them, namely, they were predicated on the question of whether such people be trusted to give their first loyalty to the crown.

Consider the English treatment of foreigners:- Compared with other peoples, the English have been noticeably restrained in their treatment of other peoples residing within England.

There were a few mob massacres of Jews prior to their expulsion from England in 1290, but from that time forward there has not been a great slaughter of any minority living within England.

Since 1290 there have been occasional outbreaks of anti-foreigner violence. During the Peasants' Revolt some London-based Flemings were murdered.

In later times an anti-Spanish "No Popery" mob was frequently got up in London. The influx of Jews and Huguenots in the 17th and 18th centuries caused riots, one so serious in 1753 that it caused the repeal of a law naturalising Jews and Huguenots. But these riots did not result in great numbers of dead, let alone in systematic genocidal persecutions of any particular group.

Most notably, the English fonts of authority, whether the crown, church or parliament, have not incited, let alone ordered, the persecution of a particular racial or ethnic group since the expulsion of the Jews. They have persecuted Christian groups, but that was a matter of religion not ethnicity, the Christians persecuted being English in the main.

The only discrimination the English elite have formally sanctioned against an ethnic group for more than half a millennium was the inclusion of Jews within the general prohibitions passed in the half century or so after the Restoration in 1660 which banned those who were not members of the Church of England from holding a crown appointment such as an MP or election to public offices such as that of MP.

What about English peaceableness and constitutional development:- Is this comparative lack of violence a consequence of England's political arrangements, or are the political arrangements the consequence of the comparative lack of violence in the English character?

Probably the answer is that one fed the other. But there must have been an initial exceptional tendency towards reasonableness which started the long climb towards settling disputes without violence.

Perhaps the fundamental answer to English peaceableness lies in the fact that the English enjoyed an almost unique level of racial and cultural homogeneity from very early on.

Long before the English kingdom existed Bede wrote of the English as a single people. The English have never killed one another in any great quantity simply because one part of the population thought another part was in some way not English. That is the best possible starting point for the establishment of a coherent community.

The favoured liberal view of England is that it is the mongrel nation par excellence. In fact, this is the exact opposite of the truth. The general facts of immigration into England are these. The English and England were of course created by the immigration of Germanic peoples. The British monk, Gildas, writing in the sixth century, attributed the bulk of the Saxon settlement to the practice of British leaders employing Saxons to protect the Britons from Barbarian attacks after Rome withdrew around 410 A.D. The English monk Bede (who was born in A.D. 673) attributed the origins of the English to the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who came to England in the century following the withdrawal of the Romans at the request of British war leaders.

Archaeological evidence suggests that substantial Germanic settlement in England had a longer history and dated from the Roman centuries, perhaps from as early as the third century. What is certain is that in her formative centuries following the exit of Rome, the various invaders and settlers were drawn from peoples with much in common. They were the same physical type, there was a considerable similarity of general culture, their languages flowed from a common linguistic well.

When the Norsemen came they too brought a Teutonic mentality and origin. Even the Normans were Vikings at one remove who, if frenchified, were not physically different from the English nor one imagines utterly without vestiges of the Norse mentality. Moreover, the number of Normans who settled in England immediately after the Conquest was small, perhaps as few as 5000.

After the Conquest, the only significant immigration into England for many centuries were the Jews. They were expelled from England in 1290. There was then no large scale and sudden immigration from outside the British Isles until the flight of the Huguenots after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (which granted limited toleration to the Huguenots within France) in 1684 by Louis X1V. The total numbers of Huguenots was however less than 50,000.

There was other immigration in the period 1066-1650, but it was small and highly selective. Craftsmen of talent were encouraged particularly in the Tudor period. Italian families with trading and banking expertise (such as it was in those days) appeared after the expulsion of the Jews. Foreign merchants were permitted, but for much of the period on sufferance and subject to restrictions such as forced residence within specially designated foreign quarters.

The upshot of all this is that for six centuries after the Conquest England was an unusually homogeneous country, both racially and culturally. This is reflected in the absence since the Norman Conquest of any serious regional separatist movement within the heart of English territory.

There has been meaningful resistance at the periphery - Cornwall, the Welsh marches and the far north, but even that has been effectively dead since the sixteenth century. Englishmen have fought but not to create separate nations.

The Free-Born Englishman :- It may have taken until 1928 for full adult suffrage of English men and women to arrive, but the essential sentiments which feed the idea of democracy - that human beings are morally equal and enjoy autonomy as individuals and a natural resentment of privilege and inequality - are ancient in England.

If there is one outstanding trait in English political history it is probably the desire for personal freedom. This might seem odd to the modern Englishman who sees the large majority of his country men and women consistently welcoming the idea of the most intrusive forms of ID cards and who stand by dumbly as many of the age-old and ineffably hard-won rights which protect the individual, such as the abridgement of jury trial and the right to silence, being swept away by modern governments. But it was not always so and that "always so" was not so long ago. The great Austrian political and economic thinker Friedrich Hayek put it forcefully during the Second World War:-

"It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that only in English society, and those societies deriving from it, is the notion of individual liberty built into the social fabric. The English have been free not primarily because of legal rights, but because it is their evolved social nature. They accept liberty because it seems natural to them." (The road to Serfdom - chapter Material conditions and ideal ends)

An English politician once put it:-

"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow though it - the storm may enter - the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter! - All his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!" (Quoted in Lord Brougham's Statesmen in the time of George III)

The mediaeval chronicler Jean Froissart has Ball preaching: “Are we not descended from the same parents, Adam and Eve? And what can they sow or what reason can they give why they should be more masters than ourselves? They are clothed in velvet and rich stuffs ornamented in ermine and other furs while we are forced to wear poor clothing. They have wines and fine bread while we have only rye and refuse of straw and when we drink it must be water. They have handsome manors...while we must have the wind and rain in our labours in the field and it is by our labours that their pomp. We are called slaves and if we do perform our services we are beaten and we have no sovereign to whom we can complain...let us go to the King and remonstrate with him; he is young and from him we may obtain a favourable answer, and if not we must seek to amend our conditions ourselves.” (Simon Schama A History of Britain p 248)

In the Magna Carta it is put:-

Clause 39 No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled or deprived of his standing in any other way , nor will we proceed with force against him or send others to do so, except by judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

Clause 40 To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice.

John Milton writing in the Areogapitica in the 1640s put the English attitude to dispute as:-

“And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose upon the earth, so truth be in the field [and] we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter...”

This thought was also expressed in the new model Army Colonel Thomas Rainsborough's famous words:-

“ ... I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to lead, as the richest he; and therefore truly, sir, I think it's clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do not think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that government that he has not had a voice to put himself under...” (Col Thomas Rainsborough Puritanism and Liberty The Putney debates p 53).

The astonishing point is that the English example is at the root of the American and French Revolutions. This example was also spread by the British Empire, so the political structures of most modern states are broadly based on the English constitution of King, Lords and Commons. The overwhelming majority having a head of state plus two assemblies.

In addition, the widespread practice of a written constitution derives from the example of the United States, which of course drew its form and inspiration from English settlements in North America, English history and political practices.

Of course, the balance of power between the head of state and the assemblies varies widely and there is much difference between Parliamentary and Presidential government, but they all have their ultimate origin in the example of the English system of representative government.

One last thing. Look around the world. How many countries can be said even today to have accepted elected representative government and the rule of law as a banal fact of life, the norm of their society?

Britain, the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand certainly, Switzerland and Scandinavia possibly. But where else? Not France which as recently as 1958 overthrew the Fourth Republic; Not Germany which embraced Hitler nor Italy the land of Mussollini; Not Spain so recently under Franco.

As for the rest of the world, there is unusually a sorry tale of elites who generally have such a lack of respect for the individual and such a contempt for the masses that the idea of shared power with and for the People is quite simply alien to them.

The fact is that the only really stable examples of elected representative government in countries of any size are in those countries which have their ultimate origins in English colonisation strongly suggests that it was no accident that it was in England that the institution evolved.

There must be something highly unusual about English society for it both to develop in a manner so different from any other country and to export this rare and valuable difference to colonies.

This article is an edited version of Robert Henderson’s article (click here for the original >>> ).