Due to lack of time and, to an extent, a lack of motivation, I have decided to stop blogging here.
I thought I'd find the debate about the Scottish Independence Referendum enjoyable but I'm bored of it already, which is unfortunate because the Scottish Question is, once again, dominating everything, as if the Scots are the only people whose opinion on the Union and how they wish to be governed matters.
As far as the political classes are concerned the English Question can be answered by mitigating the West Lothian Question (see IPPR paper England and the Union: How and why to answer the West Lothian question), devolving power to city regions or electing mayors. What they definitely won't do is what they should do: ask the people of England how we want to be governed, which is actually the only way to answer the English question. It even sounds as though Nick Clegg's constitutional commission will treat England as a collection of disparate entities rather than as a nation.
Q: The committee's next inquiry will be on the need for a constitutional convention in the UK. The committee will meet people from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. But who does it meet to discuss England?
Clegg says he agrees with the need to decentralise power within England. Sometimes reform can happen in a piecemeal way. The government's city deals will give eight cities unprecedented powers. Yesterday he had a meeting with colleagues who said, if cities can get these powers, why not Cornwall. That shows how these initiatives develop.
The government has move "relatively fast" to give powers to cities, he says. But these powers have not been properly deployed yet. For example, business rates have been devolved.
In the event that the Scottish nationalists lose the independence referendum, which I fully expect them to, and start to push for greater devolved powers, the political class will then have to discuss England. In other words I think we have to wait until we know for definite where the Scots stand. There are other groups too who need to work out where they stand. UKIP for example. Are UKIP for an English parliament or against it? And the English nationalists of the Tory party, are they prepared to fight for England to be self-governing, or will their 'English nationalism' - such as it is - be mollified by a more EU sceptical stance from the UK Government (see John Redwood's England Expects and my Euroscepticism: A very English disease?)? And then there's the English Democrats. Are they the modern, acceptable face of English nationalism, or are they the final bolt hole for BNP rejects? The available evidence seems to point to the latter. Steve Uncles' policy of recruiting BNP into the English Democrats appears to have been a success.
I'd like to think that I've done all I can to promote an inclusive civic nationalism and reign in the idiots who control the English Democrats. At this present time it looks as though I have lost that battle. But in the great scheme of things I think it is of little consequence. Common sense and decency will eventually prevail, it's just a shame that the English Democrats have been allowed to do so much damage to the Campaign for an English Parliament. I haven't been a member of the Campaign for an English Parliament for a couple years now because of their association with the English Democrats, but as of now I am cutting all links with the CEP. I feel that the non-partisan nature of the CEP is compromised by it being top heavy with English Democrat supporters, and because many of the national council seem to be inexplicably in thrall to Robin Tilbrook. I'm tired of being slapped down by CEP members for criticising the English Democrats and have no wish to be associated any longer with an organisation that has intimate links with the English Democrats and which consequently therefore is increasingly linked by association to the BNP and their racist ilk.
Thank you for reading.
English nationalists often complain about my negative commentary on the English Democrats and ask why I never report a good news story about the EDP. So I've been waiting, patiently, for a good news story about the English Democrats to come up. And wouldn't you know it, two have come up on the same day!
After the film has been shown during the programme I shall be appearing in the studio to debate the need for an English Parliament with a Government Minister and an Opposition Shadow Minister on what is after all the Daily Politics Shows most high profile programme in the week i.e. the one following on from Prime Minister’s Question Time.
Please do look out for the programme and tell all your friends and family to either watch it or play it on BBC IPlayer as this certainly will be one of the most high profile bits of media coverage that anyone from the English Nationalist cause has yet managed. Let’s work to ensure that by the next leap year we have really made a difference – for England’s sake!
To get a Tory Minister and Labour Shadow to debate the case for an English Parliament live on air is something of an achievement. I will certainly be watching.
And second. Having previously raised objections to homophobic comments from certain English Democrats, I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that Michael Felse is the English Democrats' candidate for the Salford Mayoral elections.
We, the undersigned, demand immediate legislation to call a referendum of the Sovereign People of England, to take place on or before the date of the Independence Referendum in Scotland. This Referendum must seek the Mandate of the English Nation to create an English Parliament, with a First Minister and Government for England, with at least the same powers as the Scottish ones.
It's more concise than the earlier petition by Andrew Constantine and, importantly, it specifically asks that the decision should be taken by the English people. Unfortunately, for all it's merits, it is unlikely that significant numbers of people will be willing to put their name to a petition emanating from the desk of Robin Tilbrook, a man whose associates include Steve Uncles, England First, Russky Obraz, Eddy Butler, Chris Beverley and various other BNP rejects.
But if you can overcome your revulsion for Tilbrook, you can sign his petition here.
Just a short explanatory note about the UKIP Black Ops image that has recently appeared on this blog. Steve Uncles has outed a number of fake English nationalists who together are a part of a covert UKIP cell, codenamed 'UKIP Black Ops', whose sole purpose is to undermine the English Democrats. And according to Steve Uncles I am one of them.
There are, of course, some problems with Uncles' story.
- The English Democrats do not require undermining from outside agencies, Steve Uncles does that very well from the inside.
- I am not a member of UKIP.
- If I was a member of UKIP Black Ops I would not be writing about them now because, as everybody knows, the first rule of UKIP Black Ops is: you do not talk about UKIP Black Ops.
On this occasion I'm happy to humour Uncles, hence the UKIP Black Ops badge.
If a reputable English blog announced that support for an English parliament had shot up from 29% to 57% in the British Social Attitudes survey, you would expect the rest of the nationalist blogosphere to sit up and take notice. However, when the blog of Steve Uncles reported that very thing back in December, it went completely unremarked upon, not worthy of even the slightest mention from any other blogger.
As much as I would like the figure of 57% to be correct, I believe that it is nothing more than wild propaganda, a figure plucked from the air by the English Democrats' very own Lord Haw Haw.
The BSA data for 2010 actually shows that support for an English parliament has declined from 29% to 23%.
As I have previously stated I don't think the BSA survey is a particularly fair measure of public support:
...the British Social Attitudes survey is flawed because it asks the public to choose between a *new* parliament for England or the UK parliament, which historically is the English parliament, and finds that only 29% would like a *new* English parliament.
It does not attempt to measure support for an English parliament at Westminster or a "parliament within a parliament" - an English Grand Committee or "English Votes on English Laws", the latter being the model that commercial polls find most support for.
Asking people to choose between Westminster (England’s traditional parliament) or a new English parliament presupposes that an English parliament must be new and/or distinct (ie not dual purpose).
It would be more useful to paraphrase the referendum that prompted the Scots to vote for a Scottish parliament in 1997:
1. I agree that there should be a English Parliament; or
2. I do not agree that there should be a English Parliament
Even so, the BSA data does provide us with a measure of support and we must accept that by that measure the upward trend has reversed, marginally. Worries over the economy may account for the reversal of fortune, but I think the more likely explanation is that we experienced a spike in support for an English parliament whilst we had a Scottish Prime Minister. Prior to Gordon Brown becoming PM there were polls that indicated that his Scottishness was a problem for English voters. After Brown became PM no one bothered conducting a follow-up poll on public attitudes to a Scottish PM because, as the full extent of his personality disorder became apparent, Scottishness was the very least of his problems.
Steve (Carb) Uncles has won English Patriot's Political Darwin Award, which celebrates the person who has most removed him or herself from any chance of electoral success in the ‘party political gene pool’.
What can we say about the performance of ‘The Political Brain’ during 2011? Starting off with his misconduct charge at the January English Democrats National Council meeting for attempting to bribe the London Vice-Chairman in to taking on former BNP GLA member Richard Barnbrook for 2012, it has all been downhill from there.
Kicked off the National Council on a unanimous vote (Which was counted as a resignation because Robin Tilbrook had his resignation letter ready in case of that eventuality) in February, he turned up as a ‘Party Spokesman’ on the BBC just a few weeks later in front of the Houses of Parliament – Probably the nearest he will ever get to elected office.
April Fools Day saw the vindictive nature of the beast as he posted a story about the death of Nigel Farage on his English Passport blog site, apparently in a plane crash caused by Republican terrorists – Ironic, considering that Uncles had emailed Sinn Fein in 2009 offering to ‘further their aims on the doorsteps of England’ for a donation of £200k to the ED fighting fund, an email that had leaked in late 2010. It would appear that SF took him about as seriously as the rest of us by not replying, although it has not stopped him putting up a post on the government petitions website to have Northern Ireland kicked out of the Union, a strange position for someone to take who claims to be a Democrat yet does not want to give the people of Ulster a say in their own future?
May saw the local elections, and Uncles proudly proclaiming that the ED had enough candidates standing to take control of Dartford Council in their ‘stronghold’ area. Two newspaper headlines from the Dartford free press later concerning his taunting of a suicide victim as a ‘Nazi’ and his posting of a racist joke on an open internet forum (Which he claimed at the time was not him but the actions of a hacker, yet he told the press was an ‘experiment’) and the ED vote collapsed. Nobody elected, with Uncles finishing with the lowest percentage of any ED candidate, beaten in his own ward by two paper candidates and an independent who was deselected by the ED and had polled over five times the percentage of Uncles in the previous election in the same area. The local resident’s association got more votes – He blamed the failure on a ‘vicious’ Tory smear campaign.
Most normal people at this point would have realised that their baggage was holding their political career and their party back – Not Uncles, who had read a book by an American Political theorist.
Despite his far right links and attempts by fair or foul to recruit ex-BNP luminaries, the Sinn Fein begging email, the taunting of a suicide victim, poor taste attacks on political adversaries (Both inside and outside the ED) and the most obnoxious and factually challenged blog on the net, Uncles decided that it was time to get back on to the ruling council of The English Democrats. In a campaign notable for it’s lack of checks to ensure fair play, Uncles was re-elected on a turnout of 24-18. His opponent, Sean Varnham, did not have proper membership lists to canvass until well after the voting slips had gone out and strangely enough many of his members in the Medway branch found their memberships ‘not in good standing’ due to a strange error in the collection of direct debits just before the election. The NC had stated that an overview of Uncles’ ‘resignation’ should be included with the electoral material, but it strangely never went out – Party Chairman Robin Tilbrook ‘apologised’ for the oversight at the October 2011 NC meeting before welcoming the Dartford Warbler back on to the committee.
Most of the Medway branch, including elected councillor Ron Sands and Sean Varnham himself, resigned soon afterwards.
They joined a long list of decent activists leaving the party in droves due to the actions of one man – Steve Uncles.
Those who wonder if this award is merited should visit his English Passport blog to see him taking up in 2012 where he left off in 2011 – Truly a man hell bent on keeping his award (If not getting elected in any ward) in the new year!
Congratulations Steve, you've worked hard for that one.
Previously I published screenshots of Steve Uncles' 'joke' about shooting a Pakistani dead. At the time Uncles denied posting the jokes and claimed that someone had posted the joke on a forum under his name. To bring things up to date it is worth posting this story from the Dartford News Shopper in which Uncles stands by his joke.
A DARTFORD council candidate who made a joke about a Pakistani and a suicide victim has stood by his comments.
Steven Uncles, who also started a rumour that UKIP leader Nigel Farage had died in a plane crash, is running as the English Democrat’s candidate for West Hill ward.
In February 2009, Mr Uncles, 47, posted a joke entitled ‘English Drinking Rule’ to the British Democracy Forum, in which a Pakistani and Pole get shot by an Englishman.
But director of the Kent Equality Cohesion Council, Gurvinder Sandher says the joke is inappropriate.
Mr Sandher, who oversees race relations across Dartford and Gravesham, said: “Negative comments made by candidates standing in the local elections against minority communities are unhelpful and do not reflect the view of the majority."
Mr Uncles admitted posting the joke, but says it was an experiment to test people’s reaction.
He said: “The joke is part of English culture.
“If people are told to stop telling jokes like these it turns into something like out of George Orwell’s 1984.
“It was an experiment to see what reaction I would get.”
A few months later on the same forum, Mr Uncles responded to criticism from a blogger by telling him to “go the same way as Chris Lightfoot.”
Mr Lightfoot was an online campaigner who had previously slammed English Democrat policies.
He committed suicide in 2007 aged 28. Mr Uncles admitted writing the post, but said Mr Lightfoot had attacked his party first by calling his party “fascist”.
He said: "Our leaflet went through his letterbox and he made the assumption we were a fascist party, nasty people who didn't believe in nationalism.
“He attacked the English Democrats first.”
But Chair of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, Angela Samata said: “It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are - the effects of someone taking their own life is felt throughout the community.
“We have a support group in Dartford and it’s slightly worrying that someone who could be a policy maker in the town in the future is making comments like this.”
But in what has been described as “inappropriate”, Mr Uncles sent out a text message on April Fool’s day saying Mr Farage had been killed in a plane crash.
Mr Uncles says the text was sent in retaliation to Mr Farage, who he says had linked the BNP with the English Democrats.
He said: “Nigel sent out an email to the whole of UKIP saying the BNP’s Richard Barnbrook had joined the English Democrats which simply wasn’t true.
“If he wants to tell lies about us, then we’ll tell lies about him.
“And I sent it out on April 1 so it gives you slight licence.”
News Shopper spoke to Mr Farage, who said the joke was “inappropriate and awful.”
But chairman of Dartford English Democrats, Mike Tibby says he has no problems with what Mr Uncles writes.
He said: “There is no malice in it, no seriousness.
“He sent out the joke about Nigel Farage on April Fool’s day.
“If you are in politics, you will be controversial at times.
“The problem is, other parties are terrified we will take seats from them in the upcoming election, so they will do anything to show us in a bad light.”
Mr Uncles, who lived in West Hill ward for 10 years before moving to Wilmington, says he wants to bring a positive change to Dartford.
He said: "If we are successful to take control of the council, which we can as we have enough candidates, the main thing is to change Dartford high street to make it covered.
"We would put up a canvas cover, similar to the O2 zone, translucent for light to make it through and pleasant to shop there.
"We need to do something to revitalise the town that has been so neglected."
Yesterday UKIP leader Nigel Farage was forced to deny that he had died after his Wikipedia page was altered to include this passage about his demise:
On 29 December 2011, Farage met his death from brain damage he received from falling down a flight of stairs in his own residence, fracturing his skull along with other injuries. He was rushed to the Royal Brompton Hospital where he died soon later.
Which was later elaborated upon to become this:
Little is currently known about his death on 29 December 2011, however, it is speculated that his wife heard him fall down the stairs at approximately 10:30 pm local time on 28 December 2011. She proceeded to call the paramedics who arrived in less than 30 minutes. They rushed him to the hospital where the doctors determined he had a Intercranial Hemorrhage. He slipped into a coma later that night and died early in the morning of 29 December 2011.
It takes a special type of idiot to do this sort of thing.
Well,My heart is heavy as i resign from English Democrats,The leadership of Robin Tillbrook ,a man who has surprised me with his lack of real leadership when it came to “that bloody man Uncles” and his lies,insults and threats to all decent members of this party,many members have left as a direct result of him.Robin has allowed himself to be led by the nose by the odious Dartford no mark, It was only a few months ago that I was threatened by him whist having an exchange online a private message popped up tell me he(uncles) would destroy me. Now that couldn’t happen in a physical way(Bring it on I say) but the sniping started with both him and Robin saying that yes Ron Sands did get elected but it’s no big deal a parish councillor we don’t recognise them that much any way.
Then as my support for Sean in the Election against Uncles was made public my membership was cancelled strange that…………
Cliff’s departure made me think about my place in this party, The influx of BNP so-called big hitters and the hate they spout all at the behest of Tillbrook and Uncles the party’s disaster duo.
My regrets are many this I have no doubt will hurt my friendship with SEAN VARNHAM and for that i am deeply sorry,But Sean your skills are wasted in a party that changes the rules of an election at the drop of a hat to suit themselves and their agenda,Thank you mate for all you have done for me and Medway and I hope you will one day forgive me.
So to all my friends I have made in English Democrats good luck and I think you will need it, The Leadership has chosen its course and the BNP invasion has started, Uncles and Tillbrook thank you for awakening my political views BUT ………..I will not be in a party where the thoughts of Butler and his views are more inportant than rank and file members.
To Tillbrook and Uncles yes you win the skirmish but you will lose the battle and when all the decent people have left the party and your BNP friends have enough strength you too will be gone .
It was you who cancelled my direct debt so therefore you who cancelled my membership……………… well you can keep it
Carol Terzza has also resigned, along with Giles Farrand and Ian Jerram who have both apparently joined UKIP. So that's five members lost in two days as a result of the English Democrats' policy of recruiting 'English nationalists' from the BNP.
Dear fellow NC Members
It is with regret that I tender my resignation from The English Democrats.
I can no longer see the party making the breakthrough that the country needs whilst certain people continue to drag our reputation in to the gutter and the Chairman is unwilling or unable to stop this from happening.
Many of our members in London have worked hard to rebuild the party from the ashes of the last General Election, and any advances we are making are being offset by the constant need for damage limitation because of the stream of ill thought out rhetoric on blog and Facebook sites.
It is also a source of worry that the elite at the top of the party seem to see it as their own tool that they can do as they like with without thought of the damage they do to our reputation and in some cases in flagrant violation of National Council decisions.
I will list some of my reasons for leaving below, and leave you to make up your own minds –
Sinn Fein – The email from Steve Uncles is constantly regurgitated and is not only distasteful but used by the opponents of our party to put off a section of the electorate that should be part of our natural vote.
The party put out a statement, but this was watered down from the original to the version that surfaced. More importantly, not only has Steve Uncles not apologised for a lack judgement over sending the email (Which could have killed the whole thing stone dead), he keeps revisiting it on his ‘English Passport’ site, including a statement that modern English Nationalism is not compatible with Irish unionism. It is not our remit, as an English party, to keep revisiting the issues of Northern Ireland , and is causing an image problem that is completely unnecessary.
He has also put up a petition on the Government website asking for people to sign a petition to get Northern Ireland kicked out of the UK – This is traceable back to him, and as a party member reflects badly on the movement.
It has also been noted by myself that whenever this subject is brought up with Robin Tilbrook, he gets annoyed about ‘disloyalty’ regarding the leaking of the email rather than the contents of the email itself.
Eddy Butler – It was agreed at the last NC meeting that Eddy Butler would have to come before the Council to have his membership ratified due to his former high profile membership of the National Front and the BNP. This is consistent with article 3.2 (e) of the party constitution.
On 10th September, one of my members in London was emailed by Robin Tilbrook to say -
Yes we are on the up. We also have the man who was the driving force behind the BNP's period of electoral success coming over to us. I mean Eddy Butler.
I asked to see this email to make sure there was no misunderstanding, as those of you at the last NC will know that this is in complete contravention of the agreed course of action over his membership. Indeed, Eddy Butler is only getting a hearing because Robin threatened to resign if we did not listen to his reasons for wanting to join.
Since then, Eddy Butler has posted items on his Facebook page that are in contradiction of our party manifesto, and has made numerous calls to people on his blog site to come across to the EDP as it is their ‘new home’. You can view how much he rates his new ‘home’ from his blog site, link attached http://eddybutler.blogspot.com/
All about the BNP, nothing to do with the EDP.
I also have the screen capture from Steve Uncle’s Facebook site that is doing the rounds to say that he has been working with Eddy Butler for the last 2 years to wreck the BNP, and that UKIP are next – Whilst I find this probably to be the delusional ranting of the ‘Political Brain’ from Dartford, this is again in the public domain and does us no good.
It is also noted that Eddy Butler had run several ‘teasers’ about which party he was going to go to, and then announced it on his blog site 48 hours after Andrew Brons had lost the BNP leadership challenge to Nick Griffin. His own blog states that his first choice would be to reform the BNP, but after that going to a party with a ‘similar’ manifesto that is ripe for change would be the No 2 option rather than forming a new party.
I will give you some links to make up your own minds
Steve Uncle’s Removal from the NC – Within 2 weeks of his ‘resignation’ (Which was only tendered by the chairman when 12 out of 12 voted through a no confidence motion), Steve Uncles was on the BBC as a ‘spokesman’ for the party. Robin advised me that this was because he was the only person in the area available to do the job.
Neither London Chairman Roger Cooper or myself, as Vice-Chairman, were called and told that there was a need to get someone down there. Indeed, Frank Roseman lives in Westminster but was not contacted by the Chairman, despite being a far better public speaker than Steve Uncles. Constantly using a discredited member who has an awful internet footprint as a ‘spokesman’ is not, in my opinion, what the NC wanted when he was removed from his position, and paints us in a bad light.
The South East Area Elections – We were advised at the last NC that Sean Varnham had not sent in his statement to go out with the ballot forms for the SE area election. This was incorrect.
It also needs to be noted that Sean was not sent the full party list for Sussex until well after the ballot papers had gone out, and even then they had no telephone numbers or email addresses for him to contact and canvass for his candidacy. Steve Uncles, as a former SE area chairman, had all this information and therefore an unfair advantage (Although he still threw his toys out of the pram about me sending out an email to Kent and Surrey in support of Sean, despite those areas coming under the purview of London during the GLA campaign).
It is also of interest to note that the closing date for voting was 9th September, and the date of the count was changed to the AGM after the votes were in– Where are the ballot papers between these times? They are being sent to the Norwich PO Box number, so what methods are in place to stop gerrymandering? I believe very few, as Steve Uncles has posted on his blog site that irrespective of the vote ‘I will be back on the NC after the AGM’.
A Dog serving two masters – It is to be noted with regards to the previous posting about Eddy Butler that he is still in the paid employ of the MEP for Yorkshire , Andrew Brons, yet wishes to join the EDP.
Chris Beverly, our new Leeds Chairman and recently appointed Facebook admin, is also on the payroll of the EU as an assistant to Andrew Brons. Whilst I have not met Mr Beverley, and I understand from Mike Cassidy that he is a decent guy, what happens when the Euro elections come around and he has to choose between party and job? He has not resigned from his post as he needs to make a living – Yet he will make that living by OPPOSING the EDP in the next Euro Elections. Such a conflict of interest would not be allowed in any company, it is the equivalent to a Barclays Bank manager working for Lloyds as a paid advisor and with access to company confidential documents. You are either an English patriot or a BNP employee, there is no middle ground on this one.
Contact with UKIP – Robin advised us at an NC meeting last year that he had been offered the Deputy Leadership of UKIP during the negotiations regarding the Alliance for Democracy if he stood down all the EDP candidates at the 2010 General Election. He advised us that he declined, and that UKIP had stood candidates against ours when they had seen our list of candidates as a spoiler tactic.
We were told that UKIP are completely untrustworthy, and a motion was passed that no further meetings should be had with their party without it being run past the NC first.
Robin then announced at the last NC that he and Derek Hilling had met with UKIP in July to discuss possible mergers. This was done without the knowledge or permission of the NC, in breach of a previous motion which was brought about by Robin’s revelations. It would appear that NC motions, even when brought about by the chairman, have no validity when applied to him.
Steve Uncles – Need I say more? Removed from the NC, he still attacks party members on line with impunity and brings the movement in to disrepute. In the last month he has made attacks upon Stephen Morris, Michael Cassidy, Derek Hilling and myself on his blog site (In contravention of the Communications policy document that has been ratified by the NC). He has also referred to a suicide victim as a ‘fascist’ and had launched numerous tirades about UKIP under the logo ‘U-Tit’. He constantly brings the party in to disrepute, and despite the attempts of the NC can do what he likes with the protection of the chairman.
Indeed, I had a row with Robin by email last night because I posted a joke about Steve’s personality being used as a contraceptive on my personal Facebook page, and got read the riot act – Yet Uncles can constantly slander all and sundry without the slightest hint of being reigned in on public blogs and websites. Hypocrisy and double standards.
Searchlight – Robin has admitted to me that he talks with Nick Lowles, and I had a row with him a while ago where he took what Lowles had said about members of the EDL as gossip and had spread them (Notably that senior members are Irish Republicans and are standing behind the flag of St George to line their own pockets – I have met these people and know them to be concerned about the state of OUR country, not another). He was then surprised in midweek that Lowles posted a tissue of lies about our candidate for the upcoming Barnsley election being an ex-BNP officer, when it is in fact Kevin Riddiough who is standing. When I pointed this out to Robin, he advised me that he was ‘disappointed’ as Lowles was supposed to run any story about the EDP past him first. What kind of judgement does this show? He would rather converse with and trust a Marxist agitator ahead of his own members who have met and spoken with members of numerous street groups.
I now await the usual flurry of on line activity from the Dartford Warbler about me being a ‘quitter’, ‘deranged’ or a ‘Brit-Nat plant’ – This is par for the course, and neither myself or our country has time to spend on this childish vindictiveness when our way of life is at stake.
I would like to thank the decent members of the EDP (Of whom there are many) for standing with me over the last 18 months and trying to sort out our local areas and some of our national issues. There are many decent and hardworking members of the party who deserve better from some of those at the top who remind me of a sketch from The Life of Brian (Judean People’s Front, anybody?)
Special thanks go to Stephen Morris, Mark Lancaster, Martin Butler and Sean Varnham who have been a sounding board for ideas and campaigns, and a special mention should go to Ben Weald and Roger Cooper in London who are a credit to the movement.
No doubt with your new BNP recruits you will achieve limited successes before realising that there is a glass ceiling that can only be broken by engaging with all of the decent members of our society – But then, I have come to believe that there are those at the top level who would be happy with 5% of the vote, a couple of MEP’s to keep the money coming in and bragging rights about being leaders of the ‘biggest English Nationalist Party’ at their respective gentlemen’s clubs. Enjoy it before our country and our way of life goes down the pan – In the meantime I will be with like minded patriots from all parties trying to bring up the issues and making a difference both locally and on the streets of London .
London Co-ordinator GLA 2012
Hillingdon Branch - English Democrats
The Free England Party
An interview with Andrew Constantine
Interviewed by Tony Linsell, 26th May 2008
Published in Steadfast Magazine, December 2008
TL You have seemingly emerged from nowhere and quickly created a political party. Is there something in your personal background that has influenced your political development and led you to adopt a political life?
AJC My father brought me up as an English nationalist. He was career RAF having joined up in 1939 and we often moved around, and we lived abroad in Singapore, Malta and Italy. Our family was, and still is, very close and the fact that we moved so much and lived abroad in some ways reduced outside influences.
I am a 52 year old Yorkshireman, descended on my father’s side from some 250 years of Constantines living in Sheffield as metal workers and tradesmen. None of my family had been to university, nor had any professional qualifications, and both my parents left school at 15 or 16. I was the lucky one, for with no money in the family, I still had the benefit of a world class - grammar school - education, and being a natural scholar of history and literature got to Cambridge.
TL What opportunities were opened for you by your degree?
AJC My obvious career should have been the law or the civil service, but I started work in 1977 training as a chartered accountant. As soon as I could, I got out of audit and accounting and became a corporate tax adviser, which is as much based on law as accounting.
I work in the City for one of the large banks and run a tax compliance team. My personal philosophy in relation to tax - and other areas of life - is that we should seek to follow the broad spirit - intention - of laws, as well as the detail or fine print. A civilised society requires individuals and business to pay their fair share of taxes.
TL How and why did you get involved in English nationalist politics?
AJC My father’s influence was important. He helped form my strong sense of Englishness and my passion for preserving what is good about our country. Those who are hostile to any expression of Englishness are likely to think this means I am obsessed and inward looking. On the contrary, while we need to analyse and tackle our own problems, we also need to be outward looking and learn from others and appreciate “Abroad”. I lived in Singapore, and can appreciate the remarkable achievements and success of the Singapore government following independence. In Glamorgan as a schoolboy, I was force-fed Welsh and Owen Glendower, but despite, or because of it, I have a very great respect and affection for Wales, and, well, everyone likes Italy.
But what turned me from just having a very strong English identity and a deep interest in politics and modern history was a bit of personal bad luck. In 2005, I had a holiday in Florida. After flying back, I found that I had “economy class syndrome” (the full works: DVT and large clots moving to the lungs) and was soon close to death. After three weeks spent in the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, I left it - almost able to stand on my feet - but now determined to change the condition of my country.
TL In what way?
AJC Big picture stuff, where the key to changing England lay in creating a proper democracy where those who governed us and made our laws were accountable to us, the people. Membership of the EU is a big barrier to achieving that. With greater control of our political, economic and social affairs it will be possible to make the necessary radical reforms.
I had believed for years that we have to stop further immigration - from whichever source - and that the State needs to lead in protecting the rights of the law-abiding against the criminals, as well as to intervene to move the underclass into jobs and well, into a decent life. Spending three weeks in a large hospital ward in a poor area of London gave me a ring-side seat to some appalling behaviours and the losers from Blairite capitalism.
That illness also caused my assumption of a healthy and long life to be rudely undermined. If you want to make a difference, to do good, to help others, then that experience told me you should crack on with what you think is important.
Anyway, I was a within a few months of that episode standing - just about by then too! - for UKIP in the May 2006 local elections. When I notified UKIP and the English Democrats (EDs) that I belonged to both parties, UKIP told me to quit the EDs or else. In contrast, Robin Tilbrook was his usual affable self and soon after that the EDs put me on to their National Council (NC), where on the unexpected death of their national Treasurer I inherited that role and was also soon chairing their London Area.
TL You left the English Democrats (EDs) in January 2008. Why?
AJC As background, in December 2007 Garry Bushell stood down as their London mayoral candidate. I then became the unannounced replacement mayoral candidate. Then Matt O’Connor of Fathers for Justice (F4J) appeared out of the blue. The usual three senior EDs who control the party, seem to have seen him as a saviour, and they then in effect sought to de-select me.
What pushed me not to stand in a primary against Matt O’Connor was a surprise withdrawal of support from two other ED NC members. What required me to resign from the EDs in January this year was their appointing Mr O’Connor as the mayoral candidate. I felt that I could not belong to a party which thought Mr O’Connor was a suitable candidate for public office.
TL Creating a political a party is a big commitment in time, energy and usually money. What led you to make that leap and set up the Free England Party?
AJC After resigning from the EDs, I had about one week of total freedom from activism, which was an odd but very enjoyable time - like being on holiday.
I then approached the Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP) to see whether they would like me as an official. But I also caught up with another former English Democrat and member of the CEP, Richard Aitkins, who has been a keen advocate of English independence and we quickly decided to set up a new independence party. I wanted to be an official of the new party, but Richard expected me to become party leader and so it went on from there. The name of the party “Free England” was Richard’s choice too. We work very well together, and with our other colleagues. It’s a happy ship - and long may it stay so!
TL Why set up another political party? Surely it’s a head-banging exercise?
AJC Some people are best suited to pursuing their political and social objectives through a political party and some are better suited to working in other ways. If you are campaigning for a political cause, you have to decide whether to do so via a non-party campaign group, or via a political party. It happens that I am familiar with political parties and love taking part in elections, so it was an easy decision. And in some ways, a political party gives you the best of both worlds. If your policy platform is attractive to people, you can force the other parties to tack in your direction.
In view of my unhappy experience with the EDs and my belief that it would be futile to work for change from within, I saw the creation of a new party as something positive, worthwhile and necessary. Differences between the FEP and the EDs include a different approach to immigration. There is also marked difference between our policy of independence for England and their policy of an English parliament within the Union. We give equal emphasis to a wide range of policies whereas the EDP is seen as a one issue party.
It is better that the English people have a choice of parties - it will enable them to express a preference for one approach or the other. In the not too distant future, I expect to see the traditional UK parties replaced by, or to evolve into, English parties of different political moulds.
Despite the competitive nature of politics, I am on good terms with Chris Nickerson (who is the leading campaigner for English independence of many years’ standing). And I retain respect for Robin Tilbrook of the EDP and so on. But the new Free England Party is unique in that while we are a decent and civilised civic nationalist party, we are also radical and very passionate about our policy platforms, and the leadership are keen to stand in elections. After all, if you do not like elections, then why be in politics?
TL You say that yours is a ‘decent and civilised civic nationalist party”. This provokes several questions. What do you mean by ‘civic nationalism’? Does it mean that like the EDs you promote an inclusive Progressive English identity founded mainly on place? Or do you believe that there is more to being English than place of birth or residence? Are you implying that ethnic nationalism - for example Kurdish, Palestinian, Jewish, Tibetan, English - is not decent and civilised?
AJC I understand the point you are making and can best answer it by saying that I accept the word ‘English’ has many meanings and that there are several kinds of Englishness. People and things might be called English because of their association with England - this is an inclusive place identity, which is sometimes called a civic identity - which it isn’t because there can be no English civic identity until there is an English state, Second, in law, there is an exclusive English racial group identity. Third, there is ethnic English identity, which is founded on a common history, ancestry, culture and communal identity.
The Free England Party does not promote any particular English identity but we look forward to the day when there will be an English state and an English civic identity - an English citizenship. That civic identity will be an additional English identity - it will not replace nor diminish an ethnic English identity.
The next point is that I used ‘decent’ and ‘civilised’ in a careless way - I was being defensive. I suppose I meant respectable and positive. The problem - as you will know - is that our enemies promote the perception that English nationalists - unlike wholesome Irish or Tibetan nationalism - is thoroughly nasty - as indeed are English nationalists. It is a form of successful negative political propaganda that we have to contend with.
TL Free England is clearly different from the EDs in that the Free England Party campaigns for England to become a sovereign state, whereas the EDs are federalists who wish to see an English parliament within a reformed Union. What other differences are there?
AJC Apart from being a new party and still much smaller, I think we have a different outlook. Our role is to provide the sparks that set England alight and we will in the immediate future focus on building up a party structure and fighting local elections. I would like the party culture - the working atmosphere - to be better than the EDs.
I wish to see the Free England members to behave like a band of brothers and sisters who get on well with each other, who will give a message of optimism and hope to voters, and who will be respectful of nationalists in other parts of the UK. So I can see genuine cultural, organisational and policy differences between the parties already.
Sometimes the differences between the Free England Party and the EDs are ones of emphasis. For example, over the amount of subsidy Scotland gets under the Barnett formula. I think Scotland is a successful nation already, and no one really knows how to split the UK tax-take between the home countries - the figures are simply not available.
So while I do make reference to unequal treatment for England, I am not fixated on it. Better democratic and independent and poor, than rich and ruled by the EU and/or a British government that takes no account of our interests or wishes.
But the choice between freedom and wealth is not one we have to make. Independence for England, Scotland and Wales would, after a period of adjustment, make them all better off in economic, democratic, social and cultural terms.
And while I have very strong views on both the EU and immigration, I can see both sides. I assume that the generality of officials working for the Commission will be hardworking and honest - I just wish for an England that is not part of the European project.
Despite all that has been done to it, England is still a very good country in which to live, so it’s no surprise that half the world wants to move here. Immigrants are sensibly pursuing their best interests - it is for us to pursue our best interests. We are the fools for losing control of our borders.
TL Why did you establish “The English Claim of Right” this April 2008?
AJC One of my few real talents is the ability to produce good ideas and initiatives and then to effectively take them forward. I have at any one time four of five of these ideas and I just need some free time and, usually, an able website developer to get them off the ground.
In this case, Fred Bishop had produced some time ago some fine research on the Scottish Claim of Right, Richard Aitkins was pushing me to build up the Free England Party and Marcus Stafford of The England Society then worked with me and produced a stunning and functional website for the Claim. (English Claim of Right - Home)
I should add that Marcus is launching a forum for those who have signed the Claim, with the intention that we will have a community of English nationalists who will push the political classes into holding an English Constitutional Convention and hence creating an English Parliament. I feel that the Claim will be instrumental in achieving this.
TL What other initiatives can you tell us about?
AJC I would like to sponsor a new association and attached website dedicated to Anglo-Saxon England, and generally I think it is wonderful that there is such a huge increase in Anglo-Saxon studies. This has helped raise English national consciousness, and I find the life of, say, Alfred the Great a wonderful inspiration and one that repays study. There seem to me to be obvious parallels between England in his period and today.
TL You seem willing to accept advice and give credit to others - you also have energy and a strong sense of Englishness, which indicates to me that you might have what it takes to be leader of a successful political party. What we don’t know yet is whether you have the spark of leadership. How do you see your role as leader?
AJC The whole point of an organisation, whether it’s a business or a political party, is that it is a means of allowing a number of people to work efficiently and harmoniously together, with the idea of producing their desired outcome. I see my task as being the person who makes this possible.
In a business, employees work to produce profits. In our party, English nationalists are encouraged to co-operate with other like-minded people and to shape a shared vision of an Independent England.
Although there are many similarities between a business and a political party there are also many differences. This especially so in a small political party where those who show flair in any area need to be given freedom to develop their talents and not made to feel that they have to refer everything to a person or persons who control every aspect of party activity.
I must add that I have been surprised and touched by some senior English nationalist statesmen who have got in touch with me and offered advice and help of all sorts. If I may address a brief request to them, I really do wish to benefit from your advice and knowledge. The more help you give to us, the more surefooted and effective our campaign will be.
TL Why did you make an apology on behalf of the English nationalist community for some EDP “anti-Scottish” posters?
AJC Because someone needed to, and fast! I felt the posters were crass, crude and ill-judged. I believed that I spoke for decent Englishmen in making that apology to the Scots.
I would add that the Union has arguably robbed the Scottish just as much as, maybe even more than, the English of national independence. I am wholly sincere in looking to the other nationalists whether in Wales or Scotland and working with them to despatch the UK. I believe that as Alex Salmond said: “The English and the Scots should be the best of pals, the closest of buddies with equality of status”.
Many living down South do not appreciate just how unpopular Labour is in Scotland. I would prefer the English to fight for and to gain national independence by their own efforts. But Alex Salmond might be taking Scotland out of the Union soon after 2010 or 2011 and so England would then get her independence by default.
TL Let us look forward to a time when England, Scotland and Wales are independent states - what happens next?
AJC Policy is a passion with me and so I can easily reel off a list of what an English Government might wish to do, with this one prior explanation. I believe it is a logical fallacy that a liberal democracy has to treat its enemies with kid gloves. So what would I suggest:
- Enact legislation to leave the EU and cancel all EU legislation and case law;
- Legislation to make English traditional freedoms and liberties a bedrock to our lives;
- Follow the Swiss example and go for neutrality - I do not see any benefit, nor purpose, to England being the world’s policeman or America’s poodle;
- Bring back our brave servicemen from Iraq and Afghanistan and other foreign commitments;
- Work to keep good relations with the other nations in these Islands;
- Force foreign owned media to sell to English business and reform the BBC;
- Go for organised crime (drugs, various rackets etc) with a drive and force that will destroy it;
- Codification and simplification of all our laws;
- New English citizenship law along with a generous English state pension;
- An immediate stop to all immigration, expulsion of most EU nationals, the foreign rich and failed asylum seekers;
- Create the factors that will aid the rebuilding of family life and traditional communities;
- Make public transport so good that the private motor car will dramatically decline;
- Use all the options available to us under WTO rules to rebuild English manufacturing behind tariff walls. Do whatever is necessary and practicable to achieve the aim;
- Grammar schools for the academic: superb technical and vocational training for most and English history - with a focus on Anglo-Saxon period - and literature and culture for all;
Generally England has lost so much ground in so many areas of national life that I think we should study other countries and see what we might usefully learn and copy.
TL I can see difficulties with most of these policy proposals but they show the general direction in which you would like to take the Free England Party and England. Are there any closing remarks you would like to make?
AJC Politics is above all about building rapport and trust with others. You have to look outwards to others, you have to be on “receive” and not just “send” mode and you have to be passionate about what you believe in. And leadership is about serving others.
But I am very optimistic: there is still Anglo-Saxon bedrock to England and much of the damage caused in recent years - whether to English society, to our democracy or to our country - can be reversed. I think the English are awakening. I would do anything for England and I know many others will to. We are English after all. It is our right and duty to preserve our identity and way-of-life."