Why does Labour despise or marginalise England? The curious case of 3 English flags.


The reason Emily Thornberry’s picture and tweet was so damaging was it revealed Labour’s scorn for England. I can think of no other country in the world where democratic politicians in a major party would regard their country’s flag as a hostile sign, an unbecoming adornment of a voter’s house. Clearly Ms Thornberry does not warm to our flag even though she is an English MP which I guess is why she apologised for sending out pictures of it.

When I come to a house with an English flag I am pleased. It provides a talking point. Is it there to support an English team? Or is it there as a general statement that people now want our country to be recognised and taken into account?   Perhaps it is both. Labour is going to have to get used to many more English flags in the years ahead. Our football, rugby and cricket teams still attract a great following, especially when they are doing well. Now our country too is gaining traction with voters who have seen and heard the Scottish referendum debate and want England to have a new deal as a result.

Some say the tweet was so damaging because it was snobbish. That might be true, though nothing she said or wrote confirms that. Some say she was looking down on white van man. Again there is no proof. The photo itself is all we have to go on, and the most dominant feature of the photo, and the thing that distinguished that house from other houses with white vans, was the three English flags.

Mr Miliband decided to sack her, rather than argue that she meant it nicely and was thrilled to see three English flags. So that tells us a lot about Mr Miliband’s view of the situation. Before anyone could concoct a half decent explanation she had been made to apologise and spokesmen were wheeled out to distance the hapless leader from the unfortunate interpretation of the photo.

All this seeks to imply that Mr Miliband has at last grasped the importance of England in the hearts of voters and in the present political debate. Unfortunately there is no confirmation of this. There is no movement from Mr Miliband to give us English votes for English issues in Parliament. He has no matching list of powers to devolve to England as he seeks with the other parties to devolve powers to Scotland. He may now wish to show respect to voters with English flags on their homes or in their vans, but he does not intend to make any change to Labour’s resolutely anti English policies.

I think the Thornberry tweet is far less important than Mr Miliband’s dogged refusal to recognise England in any way in what he proposes for the UK. The best he can do is to mouth failed platitudes  about devolution to some English cities, when the issue now is the central one of England herself. If Mr Miliband you now wish to respect our flag and the voters who take pride in it, you need to change your policy on devolution.



  1. Brian Taylor
    November 22, 2014

    If only a Labour MP would defect to UKIP this would make my week complete!!!!
    Never have the voters had so much power, well not in my voting life time ( 1970s ).
    I hope The Conservatives get a majority if not then with UKIP a working majority, then renegotiation, then a referendum and a chance to correct the mistake I made when voting for The Common Market in 1975!

    1. Hope
      November 22, 2014

      Tories will not deliver what you want. You only had to watch Clarke on Question Time to see how deep rooted the Europhillia is among the party. Cameron chose his cabinet ministers he was not forced. It was no surprise they were of the same ilk as him to commit the UK to be a region of an Euro superstate. Cameron made it clear in the by-election that he would prefer Labour and Libs to UKIP. Gove made it clear in his pompous interviews that he would not entertain apact with UKIP. Cameron thinks UKIP supports are closet racists and fruit cakes. This somewhat diminishes JR’s blog about the English. The coalition have made the “little Wnglanders” claim on numerous occasions. Davey again this week when he gave away our taxes for climate change in the rest of the world while the elderly struggle to pay heating bills and floods start to become a risk at home. JR should have added that his party, and the Lib Dems, is exactly the same as he describes Labour. This is another PR spin that Cameron started yesterday.

      There are two choices: pro Eu LibLab con or independent sovereign nation UKIP.

    2. Ray Hardy
      November 22, 2014

      […]Heath’s Government paid for the distribution of propaganda extolling the virtues of membership, and produced a White Paper which was full of unsubstantiated claims for the EEC and which deliberately omitted any mention of the costs of membership or the fact that joining the EEC was the first step towards a federal states of Europe…… Vernon Coleman is the author of The Truth They Won’t Tell You (And Don’t Want You to Know) About The EU […]

      You were one of a great many that were lied to.

      1. Anonymous
        November 22, 2014

        The latest success by campaign groups No More Page 3 and Child Eyes,

        To have mastheads only of newspapers showing in news stands. Ostensibly to protect children from obscene images and headlines.

        A) the same generation who want this would have disparaged Mary Whitehouse and want children to be taught about sex age 5 in schools

        B) Only one paper needs this treatment. The Star.

        So what is the real reason behind the protest and the resulting action ? That the headlines of these papers are not BBC regulated ? That people are getting to see too much bad news when they shop and are becoming disaffected and turning to UKIP ?

        1. Hope
          November 23, 2014

          The people are being groomed to what the cultural Marxist want and trying to stigmatise anyone who thinks differently. This is how political correctness was born. It was to shut people up when they were I plelmenting their mass immigration plans, gender nutral society so that we could not have any view without being persecuted. Rules for the people different rules for the political class.

          We have seen it in the way they educate their children. Blaire, Harman, Clegg Cameron Gove by way of example. Do any of the Tory top team have their children in classes where the majority do not speak English or have they managed to school their children at the top state schools not near their home? How long do they wait for medical treatment? Do they have to worry about heating their home, pay the council charge that continues to increase without an improvement in service, live near a building site to help mass immigration? No the liblabCon just sneer at those who pay for their stupid decisions.

  2. bigneil
    November 22, 2014

    You are having a go at Labour, but isn’t your leader hell bent on staying in the EU? -despite his obviously fake claims in desperation to stay in power – He wants us as a EU “region” – no nationality. When flags were introduced on car registration plates wasn’t it “people power” that allowed our flag to be put on -because it wasn’t originally allowed? -Both your party and Labour want this nation and nationality gone, for which you will all be rewarded well from the EU on completion. It seems your trumpeting of our nationality is only in response to the UKIP win. If you are so bothered about flags – why was nothing done when the ISIL black flag was flown in Tower Hamlets a few month ago etc ed

  3. Mark B
    November 22, 2014

    Good morning.

    I do not think it is just the Labour Party that has an issue with England and the English.

    A little while back, I posted a link from the BBC in which, William Hague and Jack Straw were making rather disparaging remarks. The former is now in charge of EVEL, for which we have heard precious little.

    The woman mentioned in this piece is a typical Labour and Westminster politician. Millionaire, powerful job and totally disconnected with those that elect her. I too do not know what she really meant, but the fact that, as you point out, RedEd has somewhat over reacted, tells its own story. Which is a shame, because the story from this is not about England, vans and flags, but about a seat that was once held by that very party.

    England will never be free whist her jailors hold the keys of power.

    1. Mondeo Man
      November 22, 2014

      No-one advocating socialism should be a millionaire.

      If they don’t give up their wealth to the Inland Revenue then this should be rammed down their throat at every debate.

      People preaching to others to do what they are not prepared to do themselves has been Britain’s undoing.

    2. waramesss
      November 22, 2014

      Not only the BBC. The Conservative party also.

      Cameron wants to see an Asian PM. Absolute nonsense and a great example of inverted racism. He can only have an English PM, end of story.

      The attempts by Administrators and the Executive to give English citizens and, often British citizens, a dual identity is a complete nonsense and often provides them with an excuse to have loyalties that supercede their English (British) one.

      1. Hope
        November 22, 2014

        Well said and spot. How does Cameron balance this with his British tests in schools etc. A complete fool if ever there was.

    3. Denis Cooper
      November 22, 2014

      I have that link to the BBC website from January 2000, with Hague describing English nationalism as “the most dangerous of all forms of nationalism that can arise within the United Kingdom”. Which was a very strange thing to say indeed, given that was Irish nationalists who planted bombs and shot people.

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say those leading the three old parties are “all the same” on this, just that in general the LibDem leaders are perceptibly worse than the Labour leaders who are perceptibly worse than the Tory leaders but nonetheless all three are clustered quite closely together, and if you want to find a party whose leaders clearly do not have this habitual ingrained loathing and contempt for the English people then you must look elsewhere.

      1. Javelin
        November 22, 2014

        The root of the Labour hatred comes from Marxist doctrine that England is an imperialistic monster that subjugated the colonies. The Marxists feel that supporting England would mean oppressing immigrants. I am sure that The Milliband brothers have been weaned on the hatred of England.

        As for Hague saying English nationalism was the worst firm of nationalism – if that seeps though in EVEL then the Conservatives will be struck into the ground by the English. Keep you enemies close Hague. I hope he doesn’t but Hague may yet destroy the Conservative Party. Perhaps Hague fears the next Labour Party will be an English working class party.

        1. stred
          November 22, 2014

          The main expansion of the British Empire was lead by the Scots, was ity not? -Including the shameful Opium pushing to China. Certainly, many of the leading names in the expansion are Scottish.

  4. stred
    November 22, 2014

    The sacking of that…… Mz Thornberry was the best news for years, especially as she is a umanrites lawyer with who has made enough out of lawyers aid to buy a £2m house in Islington and was caught taking the piss out of a van driver in a cheap house in Rochester. The thought of her in charge of the legal system was too much to bear.

    Well done Ed. A sign of intelligence at last. Now can we have an assurance that you will not use Scottish votes to rule England.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 22, 2014

      And who so often pays the large wages of these human rights lawyers, EU bureaucrats and politicians who do such damage but white van men and women.

      1. JoeSoap
        November 22, 2014

        Indeed. Insightful and ironic.
        Now Miliband proves himself again to be the twerp he is by “respecting” white vans…. Strange fellow.

      2. Margaret Brandreth-J
        November 22, 2014

        This is a quote from Gross.ML(1977)

        ” lower stage moral thinkers lack mature cognitive structures and mature egos. As a result,they may often suggest different moral imperatives for themselves than for others in a similar situation.”

    2. Mondeo Man
      November 22, 2014

      Stred – I wouldn’t celebrate too early.

      The BBC will be around long after Ed has gone.

      This morning they were examining the rise of English nationalism on BBC 1 news. They had invited two Guardian columnists to discuss the phenomenon.

      Why couldn’t they have an English nationalist on there to explain himself ?

      We seem to have this elite which examine us as though we are some species of goldfish and are too lowly to speak to. Farage is spoken to as if he’s some kind of mental case.

      Why don’t they just ask us instead of some shouty boy from the Left ?

  5. Margaret Brandreth-J
    November 22, 2014

    I cannot see any problem with the St George flag, but I would much prefer the union flag.This sort of take and perception of what is superior to another is not going to help the UK. The silliness surrounding these type of issues, and I must categorise them into a box labelled pedantic ,pathetic, deliberate, mis -takes, doesn’t make it any easier for the voter to cut through to see the purpose of a civilised political structure.
    Personally ,I also sneer at people inside as they try to pose as a superior person to another by loudness or assuming authority which has been given to them by a line of closet family and friends (and not just the monied , or educated cliques) but I don’t broadcast it .It is called emotional intelligence these days.
    As John tries to make his case for England, I fear the divide and rule tactics, but also understand that we are being plagiarised, not overtly in the academic sense,but we have cuckoos getting fat in our nest and they take the credit , they take the money and look down on us and what is more are allowed to do it.The superficial snobbish, antiquated attitudes don’t come from the Brits, as some are inclined to superimpose on our old system , but from Countries who regard status and money as more powerful than anything else and will kill to get it. Get wise! see the creeping influence.

    1. Old Albion
      November 22, 2014

      Margaret, do you not see? Devolution has divided the UK. The Union flag has been all but rejected by Scotland and now the English are slowly (very slowly) awakening to the truth. We are ignored by Westminster. The MP’s in there (with two or three exceptions) consider us to be The British, whilst the Scots, Welsh and N.Irish can be whatever they choose.
      Personally i have now rejected the Union flag, it’s the flag of those who oppress us.

      1. Margaret Brandreth-J
        November 22, 2014

        No it is manufactured to suppose this is the case.We are still a union.

        1. James Matthews
          November 22, 2014

          We are still a Union only because the English have, for the last seventeen years, accepted a fourth class electoral franchise and fourth class representation. The electorates in the other nations have been asked and have made it clear that they are not willing to share a state with us on the basis of individual electoral equality. They believe that they are sufficiently different nations to require separate governments. We are denied the same democratic rights because, we are told, this would cause the other nations to leave the Union. Such a Union is not, from an English perspective, worth preserving.

        2. Javelin
          November 22, 2014

          Please don’t be anti English. You might get jailed for being racist.

          Look where political correctness has got us.

          1. Margaret Brandreth-J
            November 22, 2014

            The point is to give England its say one does not need to be derisory about the union. It is about getting the integrated balance right.

  6. Douglas Carter
    November 22, 2014

    ‘The photo itself is all we have to go on’

    Not necessarily – Thornberry’s own history of tweets will reveal the sort of images she will send via that medium. If she doesn’t have a record of sending photos of ‘unremarkable-but-quaint’ constituency homes in the past, then it’s reasonable to surmise she found something uniquely compelling in this case. That she resigned so quickly without protest seems to confirm that the cynicism of the press in this case is somewhat justified; and by associate justification, she confirms the suspicion that there is a contemptuous elitist Islington set who view commonplace cultural norms as akin to a humorous circus act. If so, they have every entitlement to their opinions – but they shouldn’t be aspiring to run the country.

    However, in terms of the current state of the nation, had the roles been reversed and the owner of this ‘controversial’ house spontaneously started to share images online of the house of Emily Thornberry – shadow Attorney General – I’m drawn to wonder if he would have been the centre of attentions of the anti-terrorist unit?

    1. Mondeo Man
      November 22, 2014

      Dr Redwood said this: ‘Labour is going to have to get used to many more English flags in the years ahead. Our football, rugby and cricket teams still attract a great following, especially when they are doing well.’

      I think that the ‘here we go, here we go…’ element of sport has sullied our flag. It is now attached to football hooliganism. It is also the case that Labourites can point to a flag outside a home and say “Nah. It’s not English nationalism – it’s just sports fanaticism.”

      Except for jubilees I have had no desire to fly a national flag. And when I did I was the only one in our street to fly the right one and the right way up. It turned out that year that there was the World Cup and the other flags were out for Rooney and not the Queen.

      I’m a snob. I think it’s a chav thing to do. It’s too football for me but imagine this.

      The football obsessives of this country – those influenced most by the circenses and the pies if not the panem – turn their misplaced ‘nationalism’ towards politics where it should be. Who can blame Farage for tapping into this abundant and ready formed resource ?

      If the political class refuses to think in terms of country and nationalism then we don’t need them.

      No country ? No politics then !

  7. Lifelogic
    November 22, 2014

    What is so funny and damaging, for Labour, about this is it shows perfectly the view of some Labour/Libdem types ~ the “BBC think” Islington set and indeed many pro EU Tories. They have huge contempt for these people who largely pay their wages and vote for them. Or perhaps they used to vote for them.

    It is now clear that in many seats a vote for the Tories is a wasted vote and prevents a MP/ UKIP victory. So is Cameron going to do anything to change direction and do a deal? Or is he going to remain on this pro EU, high tax borrow and waste, green crap, “BBC think” ant white van man, wing and go down with the ship like Major on his current path.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 22, 2014

      Why have the Tories forced an unwanted and (doubtless hugely expensive) mayor on to Greater Manchester against their freely expressed referendum wishes? The Tories too are clearly part of the divide and rule EU plan.

      1. Javelin
        November 22, 2014

        The Tories are trying to reverse the Labour Party policy of not investing in the north in order to increase poverty to increase the number of Labour voters.

        Did you not know that poverty in the North is good for the Labour academic elite in London?

      2. a-tracy
        November 23, 2014

        Good question! Another waste of money, full of pomp and nonsense, what do they achieve that wouldn’t occur without them, just like the police commissioners another ridiculous post.

  8. JoeSoap
    November 22, 2014

    Disingenuous post.
    It was clearly the juxtaposition of the English flag, white van and “council house” all within one photo shot which caused Ms Thornberry such a thrill. Similar to calling all UKIP supporters fruit and nut cakes. These chickens come home to roost with your core vote. At least the -lady- resigned.

    1. Margaret Brandreth-J
      November 22, 2014

      Of course you are right . If everyone were to study English literature we would be far more perspicacious . The subliminal effects of contextual typecasting or in this case attempted sub typecasting is destructive .When we talk about democracy there are assumptions made that all will play the game fairly. Democracy means that 100% of all peoples will act and react in a certain civilised, fair and proportionate way. The fascists do not agree and will employ tactics when and where they want.

    2. Lifelogic
      November 22, 2014


    3. Bob
      November 22, 2014

      “Some say the tweet was so damaging because it was snobbish. That might be true, though nothing she said or wrote confirms that. Some say she was looking down on white van man. Again there is no proof.”

      Well Mr Redwood, it’s a matter of nuance, you and I both know what she was implying although of course it wouldn’t stand up in court. She and her party know that to willfully deny her true meaning would have been resulted in continuing oprobrium, which is why her front bench position was sacrificed with such alacrity. She is damaged goods and I suspect she will quietly slip away and return to the human rights racket.

  9. Richard1
    November 22, 2014

    I don’t know much about Ms Thonberry. Whenever I have heard her in the media she has seemed a decent enough sort. But her tweet was very revealing of the attitude of the leftist establishment. Someone who drives a white van is likely to be working, but either self employed or privately, and isn’t likely to be in a union. Someone who flies English flags probably supports UK independence from EU interference, fairness and justice for England after all the sucking up to Scotland and probably opposes fashionable public spending causes such as HS2, overseas aid and green crap. Such a person is likely therefore to be an object of complete contempt from an Islington leftist. The picture told a thousand words as Mr Miliband might say.

    But it is indeed remarkable that a Labour MP thinks the English flag is an object for derision. May they reap the electoral consequences.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 22, 2014

      Indeed the tweeted picture perfectly encapsulated these peoples views. White van man is of course right on HS2, justice for England, the green crap religion, the fake equality agenda, the EU, the endless government waste and much else. Further more they usually have jobs that do something useful such as building things, engineering, clearing drains, fixing things, delivering things ……. unlike so many largely parasites sucking on the state sector teat.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      November 22, 2014

      Richard–Largely agree but I don’t think it was the Flag per se she was doing whatever she was doing against, rather the context and the conjunction of three (repeat three) Flags, the White Van and the (to her) small Council House. It was as if she was sending a postcard home of what to her was at best strange and a novelty. I suspect she would have had at least a bit more respect (is that the word?) for the Flag if it had been flying high from, to take somewhere at random, Rochester Castle. What on earth is she doing in the Labour Party? Might have known she is a Human Rights lawyer. Do Lefties actively seek to live in Islington??

    3. Bob
      November 22, 2014


      ” Whenever I have heard her in the media she has seemed a decent enough sort.”

      To me she always came across as sneering, smug and patronising.

  10. Dame Rita Webb
    November 22, 2014

    Yes and what exactly has Dave done to stop or even reverse Labour’s trashing of what used to be called the respectable working class? Absolutely nothing in fact he too has nothing but contempt for their values. The respectable working class used to be big into saving but we know that QE, the crutch for the spendthrift and the corrupt, has made that a worthless activity. They also used to produce very stable families because they believed in institution of marriage, but we know what he thinks of that with his metrosexual views promoting gay marriage.

    Incidentally John you will remember that after Lincoln emancipated the slaves the Republican party had a lock on the African American vote for the next sixty odd years. Have you seen any polling data to show that since the Conservatives legalised gay marriage they have actually increased their share of the gay vote? Or has Dave blown a load of political capital on a group of people that were never going to vote for him in the first place and at the same time alienate a load of his natural supporters?

  11. DaveM
    November 22, 2014

    The Cross of St George really came back to prominence in the mid-90s. If you look at footage from Italia 90 there were union flags everywhere. In 1996 it was all red and white. That was around the time the loony lefties started telling us it was only right wing thugs who used the English flag therefore we should hide it away. As I’ve said here before though – tell an Englishman to do one thing and he’ll do the complete opposite.

    New Labour’s derision for the English is summed up by the business our host is talking about – how does Frank Fields feel about it all John? I know he is a great believer that Labour should be the party of the English working class, and he wanted to “get in there early” when the English devolution issue reared its head a few years ago.

    By the way – are we going to get any announcement about EVEL soon?

    Can I just suggest that if we go down the road of EVEL, we could have WVWL and SVSL and NIVNIL too? That way we could do away with at least 3 tax-funded establishments and there would be parity across the UK.

    Reply I have been promised news early December on EVEL – the proposal I have put forward means MPs vote on everything at Westminster that is not devolved to their own Assembly or Parliament.

    1. DaveM
      November 22, 2014

      PS. The Kipling poem “THE WRATH OF THE AWAKENED SAXON” is quite apt for what’s going on at the minute.

  12. eeyore
    November 22, 2014

    Why do working class people vote Labour when it’s not in their interest? As the party of the poor, Labour needs as many poor people as possible to vote it in, and has no choice but to maximise their number. The best way to achieve this is to trash the economy, which Labour does – every time it’s in power.

    The moral is clear: if you’re poor and really, really want to be poorer, vote Labour.

    1. Margaret Brandreth-J
      November 22, 2014

      Is there a working class? Isn’t that definition of a lower income family / person outmoded? Don’t most of us who are lucky enough to get a job and work ‘ working class’ as you call it.

  13. Ian wragg
    November 22, 2014

    Most of the guided lillies in Westminster despise us the voter
    I listened to the …. Ed Davey telling us that his stupid energy policies were saving us money. Then there is your boss dishing out borrowed money like confetti to foreigners. The whole set up is a joke and you’ve been found out. Then we had to listen to that marksist Millipede blethering on TV after Thornbush had let her guard slip. Opposition looms for you John.

    1. Mark B
      November 22, 2014

      I do not know, Ian. They are all too busy trying to lose this election. And in that regard, I think Labour just might well do the most to lose.

  14. The PrangWizard
    November 22, 2014

    Let’s not pretend it is just Labour which does not pay much attention to England. Your leader made a play of saying the English voice must be heard, since then we’ve heard nothing from him. This has been the only time he has mentioned our nation by name that I can recall, as many of us here who write have observed.

    The method, via ‘English Votes…’ which you have said would be simple to apply, via amendments to Standing Orders, has disappeared. Hague is meant to be steering this forward, it could be he and his leader plan to steer it into obscurity. Recent events will make this more difficult and let us hope this has given them a much required dig in the ribs. They have, however, thick anti-English Unionist skins and it may take more than one.

    I recall there was a deadline of some kind, of the end of November. There are 8 days to go if this is correct.

    Perhaps you could remind us how many Conservative MPs support English Votes, and how many support an English parliament. The Conservative party has an open goal to kick at here to gain support from many of the people of England, because UKIP is opposed to an English parliament, yet many think it is in favour; the fact that the opportunity is not being taken is indicative of your party’s and leadership’s view of England.

    The only party which does put England and the people of England at the top of the agenda and supports an English parliament is the English Democrats.

  15. Old Albion
    November 22, 2014

    JR. you would be most welcome to my home for tea and tiffin. We can sit in the garden and watch my Cross of St George fluttering in the breeze. I erected the pole seven years ago, when we moved here, the flag has flown continously since. 🙂

    Reply Thanks. I think flags can look good and are common in MP/Senators offices in most other countries.

    1. DaveM
      November 22, 2014

      I’d like to see the following outside every town hall in the UK:

      On the left: County Flag
      Centre: Union Flag
      On the right: National Flag

      And I never want to see a blue flag with yellow stars flown anywhere in this country.

    2. Margaret Brandreth-J
      November 22, 2014

      We will all make sandcastles next year and remember mimesis.

  16. Christine Constable
    November 22, 2014

    The fact that someone displaying the national flag of England could find themselves an object of ridicule says everything about why the people of England despise those who would deny our existence.

    No one complained or ridiculed the forest of Saltires during the independence campaigns and the BBC were desperate to get Welsh Flags into the last Night of the Proms, but for some perverted reason the Symbol of Christianity; the Flag that has flown when many of our people were slaughtered on battlefields, the flag which represents the indigenous people of England is abused insulted and vilified by the very people who purport to represent us. A disgusting affront to a proud and abused nation. Abused that is by our own politicians.

    And to those who say they “prefer” the Union Jack, well maybe they do, but that is not the Flag of the people of England, it is an imposed flag we have to subsidise and pander to to our own detriment. I prefer the Flag of Saint George and it is to England not the Union I owe my allegiance – many in Scotland feel the same about their flag, Scotland First they very nearly managed to splutter through the pathetic attempt to rescue the Union earlier this year. For many in England (in fact the majority) England First is now the mantra and politicians better start getting used to that idea otherwise they will find themselves out of a job – and that goes for the Conservative and UNIONIST party in particular. We are now a Federal Country – even though our political elite haven’t woken up to that reality – if you want to represent the English then you don’t insult our National Flag or our Nation otherwise you will be out on your ear, as Labour will shortly experience.

    What we need are the Tories to embrace England and Englishness then we might embrace them.

  17. Kenneth
    November 22, 2014

    This is the first time I can remember a front bench resignation coming about without any push from the BBC. The story did not appear on the BBC until after the Rochester & Strood polls were closed (presumably due to legal restrictions). In fact, all the action was on line.

    I do not like resignations being forced by media pressure but at least this proves that the internet is at last starting to counter the dominance of the BBC. This gives us some hope against BBC/Labour opposition to England.

  18. Chris
    November 22, 2014

    There was apparently also a comment made by Ms Thornberry to accompany the picture, which did not show her in a good light and seemed to make her appear even more sneering. However, the comment is not now being reported, simply the picture.

    Reply The comment was neutral

    1. Chris
      November 22, 2014

      Reply to reply: it was apparently something along the lines:
      “I have never seen anything like it”. I do not regard that as neutral when viewed as part of the package.

      Reply Not what the tweet said. It just said a picture from Rochester

      1. Chris
        November 22, 2014

        Reply to Mr Redwood:
        “Ms Thornberry initially tried to defend her tweet. Speaking to MailOnline, she denied snobbery but said she was astonished to see people hanging so many flags outside their house.
        She said: ‘It was a house covered in British flags. I’ve never seen anything like it before…”

      2. libertarian
        November 23, 2014


        After the Tweet of the photo someone sent a tweet in response to her that said whats your point ? She replied “I’ve never seen anything like it”. THAT is what compounded the problem for her because you only have to walk into any working class area in any place in the country to see such a thing. It also didn’t help that like the rest of Westminster she didn’t have a clue where she was. She wasn’t even IN Rochester, she was in Strood. Oh and just so everyone knows Rochester & Strood are 2 very very different areas thrown together for the purpose and benefit of Westmister politics and are also lumped under a place called Medway which is a made up unitary authority consisting of Strood Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham. Thats why the count wasn’t even held in the constituency.

        This whole fiasco highlights just about everything that is wrong with our failed democracy and even more pathetic party politics

        1. Chris
          November 23, 2014

          Thanks, Libertarian.

  19. Iain Moore
    November 22, 2014

    Miliband’s anger was directed at Tornberry for exposing Labour’s dirty little secret, they are a nasty anti English political party, they have always been that, even George Orwell noted it in 1941, and Miliband’s father made his views public that the English needed to be taught a lesson .

    I have asked the question many times, why do Labour and the left hate the English? It is a question I have never got an answer to. I can only presume that it is English individuality , eg his home is his castle, that is the antipathy of Labour’s collectivism , which is where it might have its roots, but may be other people will have other ideas.

    What is also hard to understand is why the Conservatives, whose electoral prospects are dependent on England, joined the left in their hatred of the English. When Labour were discriminating against the English young , sick and old, and making all English people constitutionally second class citizens , Cameron was gleefully calling us ‘sour faced little Englanders’ . Here I suppose the answer is that Cameron and Osborne, being political empty vessels, who made it their mission to be heir to Blair, accepted that being anti English was the route to political success.

    1. Bob
      November 22, 2014

      @Iain Moore

      ” I suppose the answer is that Cameron and Osborne, being political empty vessels, who made it their mission to be heir to Blair, accepted that being anti English was the route to political success.”

      A reasonable conclusion in my opinion.

    2. Mark B
      November 22, 2014

      Maybe because England is the home of Marxism / Socialism, and that the English, despite having the man whose ideas would shape most of the 20th Century live amongst us, never thought much of his silly ideas.

      And it was Thatcher, an English woman, who along with another distant Anglo Saxon, Ronald Regan, who would put the knife into to the heart of he Marxist / Socialist beast.

      ie They are bad losers.

      That’s my theory.

  20. James Matthews
    November 22, 2014

    What was most damaging about Lady Nugee’s tweet was that she assumed that her audience (mostly her Party) would share her evaluation of the picture – which the rest of us have assumed to be – nudge, nudge, wink, wink – the amused and superior disapproval of a left wing Islingtonian human rights lawyer. Almost certainly all the assumptions involved are correct, which is no doubt why Milliband went ballistic.

    Our host is right though, what people say is less important than what they do. If Milliband really wants to repair the damage he will accept the need for political recognition for England. That does not look likely any time soon.

  21. forthurst
    November 22, 2014

    JR tiptoes round the tweet, not without tingling with schadenfreude at Labour’s expense.
    In a nutshell, this tweet is symbolic of the contempt of the Labour Party for the simple Englishman, for his patriotism, for his unsophisticated life of toil, for his simple abode; nor is it without echoes in the other established parties. None of the established parties represents this man: he is not a client, he is not a minority, he is not paid or pensioned over generously by the taxpayer for representing people we would rather not have living here, nor does he belong to the burgeoning rentier class riding the bubble of inflated asset prices from the deliberate cheapening of money.

  22. Eleanor Justice
    November 22, 2014

    A short time ago this snide against England and the working class would have been supported by all the anti-English that rule this country but Westminster is starting to realise they are not going to get away with it .
    It was some how nationalistic and jingoistic and every ism you could think of to fly The Flag of St George.
    BLISS ! to see them eat crow .

  23. English Pensioner
    November 22, 2014

    Perhaps she thought it was the flag of one of the extreme right-wing organisations such as the BNP or EDL and didn’t even recognise it as the English flag!

    1. Mark B
      November 22, 2014

      The BNP is a Left-Wing Party, as they have policies of nationalisation. The EDL is neither Left or Right. ie Non-Political.

      For the record, I wish to state that I am not, nor have ever been a member or a supporter of either. But I defend their right to hold and express views that I myself may not share. Just like all those Europhiles I so dislike in SW1.

      1. Richard1
        November 22, 2014

        Indeed the BNP is a left wing party, like the national front in France. It is BBC speak to describe such parties a ‘right wing’ and we should not fall in with it.

  24. JoolsB
    November 22, 2014

    “Ms Thornberry does not warm to our flag even though she is an English MP”.

    But there is no such thing as an English MP John, that is the problem. Unlike the rest of the UK, all England is allowed are UK MPs elected on a UK mandate, supposedly ‘representing’ English constituencies but doing a very bad job of it. Most UK MPs squatting in English seats cannot even bring themselves to say the word England let alone represent it.

    Yes, Labour and the Lib Dums despise England but the Conservatives aren’t much better, despite owing their very existence to England. Cameron’s vow to Scotland will further disadvantage England, yet he fully intends to implement it regardless of EVEL and his speech on the 19th. Meanwhile we all know EVEL will be kicked back into the long grass yet again with a ‘promise’ to look at it after the GE which will be too late because Labour will probably be foist on England next May propped up by the Scottish Nationalists and that will be the end of England.

    If Cameron cared anything about England, he would refuse to implement the Smith report until the English Question has been resolved. Both should be introduced simultaneously and if Scotland don’t get their vow, Labour and the Lib Dums should be held responsible for refusing to back EVEL. England could also see before the next GE who wants to stand up for their interests and deliver a fairer constitutional and financial deal for them, and who doesn’t. At the end of the day, the Scots will never vote for Cameron no matter what, yet he seems hell bent on alienating England and the English instead.

    We English are sick of being governed like a third world colony to suit the self interests of Westminster MPs. We don’t want William Hague sitting in a back room somewhere pontificating on EVEL, a sop and one which won’t work as long as the skewed Barnett Formula is in place which of course is another thing Cameron has stupidly promised to continue without consulting anyone and screw England in the process. And for the reasons above, the current bunch of UK MPs cannot be trusted to stand up for England either. MPs wearing two hats will not work but I admit EVEL is a start. Nor do we want a constitutional convention as proposed by Labour either, another deliberate stalling tactic, and we certainly don’t want our nation breaking up into EU regions to suit the left.

    What we do want is to be given an immediate referendum asking us if we would like our own English Parliament the same as the rest of the UK and western world already enjoy. The Scots and Welsh have now been asked three times, England has never been asked, not once. The two and a half main parties tell us ‘there is no appetite for an English Parliament’ despite poll after poll saying otherwise so they they refuse to ask England because they know they won’t like the answer. And we call ourselves a democracy!

    England deserves better and if the Conservatives really want to win the next election, they could start by delivering a fairer deal for England now, before the GE, not after it, instead of just talking about it!

    1. a-tracy
      November 23, 2014

      Absolutely agree well said JoolsB. I refuse to vote if there isn’t an answer to this by May. We should all get a none of the above box and if sufficient numbers choose that box we should be presented with candidates more to our views and that would be democracy instead of voting predominantly for men who say one thing to get elected and do another when in power.

  25. acorn
    November 22, 2014

    It is so sad to witness the UK falling apart via its own, malice always a forethought, media. Now, we have even more media in this digital era! There are many more opportunities for the ignorant to profess on hundreds of topics and get it wrong. The “money creation” debate in the HoC this week, was a classic example of where parliament TV, doesn’t do MPs any favours.

    The growth of hate; spite and envy in the UK, has caused many more Snakes on the Snakes and Ladders game board. One dumb “tweet” and you can slide all the way back to square one. Even before the dead tree press can crank out another hyperbolic headline, to try and trump the digital media having “gone viral” in the previous twenty four hours.

    This always reminds me of that fifties game show segment “Take Your Pick – Yes / No Interlude”. Google it for the YouTube video, you will see what I mean. It fits political life to a tittle, or anyone else seeking celebrity on any platform.

    Bring back those old Gothic pillories and stocks I say. Give it TV’s strictly come dancing treatment; yuk! The Brits are fitting the decline of empires scenario pretty well so far. Let’s party.

  26. Cliff. Wokingham.
    November 22, 2014

    This is a really strange story and shows how our attitudes have changed over the recent decades.

    I can see nothing wrong in this woman voicing her opinion, even if I find that opinion somewhat crass.
    It beggars belief that someone in her position, knowing how everything is blown out of all proportion by the media, would let her guard down and tweet the offending picture. Our media no longer reports the news, they try to drive and make the news and that, to me, is wrong especially in relation to the state’s broadcaster.

    I hate this notion that people are forced to apologise for something they’ve said or done; what value would a forced apology actually have? For me, it is just like sending a child in to apologise except, for a child they need to learn what is normal or acceptable behaviour. For an adult, they should already know what is and is not acceptable.

    It was also interesting to see the way Ms Thornberry chose to apologise;
    “If I have offended anybody”
    surely, a straight apology would have been better but, her language suggests she doesn’t think she was in the wrong and only apologised because the party bullies told her to.

    It is a step backwards when people may only have an opinion or view which is approved by the party leader and the media; what ever happened to free speech and the notion of taking responsibility of one’s own actions?

    We see far too many of these “Storms in a teacup” stories. It is like two siblings trying to score points over each other by trying to get the other sibling into trouble; our politicians really need their heads banging together! Do they really not understand how off putting this type of point scoring really is?

    1. DaveM
      November 22, 2014

      On the plus side, during Blair’s regime, the guy flying the flags would have been investigated and persecuted by a Marxist local council. Maybe we have moved on….? Just being optimistic.

  27. John E
    November 22, 2014

    A salutary lesson in respecting the voters rather than behaving like an anthropologist visiting a primitive tribe, but we all know she was far from alone in her response to that house so I can’t really join in wholeheartedly with the confected outrage.
    I do agree she was poorly qualified for her role anyway – that is the curse of the professional politician class with little experience of the real world and in her case having earned little or no respect at all from the legal establishment.
    The only thing that surprised me was that she apparently had seen nothing like it before – that really does show a gulf. She apparently grew up on a council estate and I don’t think she would have to walk too far from her home to find some more flags flying, and not all of them the cross of St. George.

  28. ChrisS
    November 22, 2014

    They might not quite be 1950s style Champagne Socialists but those at the top of the Labour party in their £3m mansions clearly have nothing in common with the working people they pretend to represent.

    Gordon Brown let slip his real views towards working people when he called the unfortunate Mrs Duffy a bigoted woman. Despite their protestations, I doubt whether Miliband and his cronies have any less contempt for those less fortunate than themselves.

    But, why they despise England I simpy don’t understand.

    It is unfortunate that the English flag was somewhat hijacked by the BNP. My personal preference is for the Union flag which I hope England will retain after Scotland leaves us.

    However, there is an alternative to both which perhaps we should consider as the flag under which we should campaign for EVEL.

    The Royal Navy’s White Ensign includes both the Union Flag and the English Flag so would be the perfect symbol for England within the UK, with, or without Scotland.

    Many will say that it is the exclusive preserve of the Royal Navy but there is a precedent : in 2006 permission was given for the White Ensign to be flown by anyone in the country on Trafalgar Day.

    Could there be a more fitting flag for English people to fly to demonstrate their devotion to country and the Kingdom and at the same time show support for rebuilding our sadly depleted Royal Navy ?

    A campaign for EVEL should be started and supporters can demonstrate their interest by flying the White Ensign.

    1. gt
      November 22, 2014

      The White Dragon flag of the Anglo-Saxon English would be better.

      1. Mark B
        November 22, 2014

        You mean the Wyvern ? Symbol of the King of Wessex.

        Not a bad choice.

    2. Sandra Cox
      November 22, 2014

      Whatever happens with Scotland, we should definitely keep the iconic Union flag for what remains of the UK – the blue represents the sea – as an island, seagoing nation (OK, so it’s a bit of poetic licence in view of the running down of our navy) but under no circumstances should we allow any changes to it! Didn’t Churchill say something about in a choice between Europe and the sea, we always choose the sea?

    3. Ben
      November 22, 2014

      I don’t want the Union Flag because it represents the suppression of my nation under a load of bogus Britishness. I would only respect it if it was equally loved and used all over the ‘United’ Kingdom, which it isn’t.

      The English flag has not been hijacked by the BNP who use the Union Flag far more. If the flag was used widely, nobody would associate it with a particular political stance.

    4. libertarian
      November 23, 2014

      Chris S

      The left despise England and the English for the following reasons.

      They were bought up on Fabian Marxism/Socialism

      When Marx wrote the communist manifesto at the end of the 19th Century he was railing against the Capitalist ownership of the means of production and the entrapment of workers. The English were seen to preside over an imperial, slave owning empire that used mercantilism to enrich a few at the top of Victorian Society.

      Thankfully 120 odd years of free market innovation has produced EXACTLY what Marx wanted the ownership of the means of production is no longer in the hands of a few ANYONE can now own the means of production as land and or resources is no longer necessary in order to build a wealth creating entity.

      Socialism is a 100 year old failed ideology but if they ever admitted that the English aren’t evil slave owning fascist imperialists then their whole philosophy would fall apart. The Conservative Party are also in the same time warp of thinking They still think that in order to have creditability we need to “stride the world stage with a big stick” and behaving in the style of Victorian One Nation paternalism and your “betters” know best. The Tories don’t like England because it upsets their notion of One Nation devised by the Victorian PM Disraeli to impose “paternalistic socialism” i.e. to make the working class of all the nations of the UK feel an organic part of the whole led by their “betters”. Both parties dislike the English for the simple reason that the English in our 1,000 year history have always been free spirited unwilling to be governed by “elites” free thinking and industrious. In short we are a nation of small shop keepers ( i.e. self reliant, self employed or small business owners ) who don’t need some “toff” politician telling us how to live our lives.

      What we need is a NEW party that is fit for the 21st century. That is interested in bringing democracy to these islands, that accepts Englands right to self government and produces policies that are about what is right to help our country and its people to grow and prosper rather than keep banging on about 19th century left/right nonsense .

  29. Freeborn John
    November 22, 2014

    The next parliament is shaping up to be the least representative in history. They will need to invent a name for it akin to the ‘Long’ or ‘Short’ parliaments, perhaps the ‘illigitimate parliament’ to describe to future school children this transitional period we are going through as we replace old parties with new. I still think it likely you will be in coalition with Labour both elected on less than 30% of the vote. Enjoy it though because it will be the last hurrah for the LibLabCon. In 2020 we need a UKIP majority.

  30. Bill
    November 22, 2014

    We know that public opinion is driven here and there by swirling voices in the media. We now talk about a ‘twitter storm’ which, because twitter is only consistently used by younger people, means that the voices of the old or the less literate are ignored. The storm blows down politicians without any moral stability. So, good riddance. Ms Thonberry holds opinions, so far as I can see, that are entirely superficial and fashionable.

  31. Bert Young
    November 22, 2014

    I could not understand what all the fuss was about – a white van and the flags of England are , in my book , symbols of pride and support for our country ; Ms. Thornberry is a complete unknown to me . The appearance of these symbols at the time of the Rochester election emphasised the need to regain the identity of our country – and the result showed .
    Yesterday I also read Iain Mansfield’s IEA Brexit Prize paper . His winning entry – a truly superb researched and written document outlined the scenario of this country exiting the EU . He points to the £1.3bn increase in our GDP were we to take this step . I would urge everyone who may be concerned to read his paper . In considerable depth , he details everything that would follow Brexit ( http://www.igmansfield.co.uk ).

  32. oldtimer
    November 22, 2014

    It is incidents and reactions like this that make me think that PPE, Mr Milibands degree subject like so many within the Westminster bubble, must really stand for Posturing (to the gallery), Pandering (to narrow interest groups) and Embracing (supra national government). The roll call is long. It includes, besides Mr Miliband, Ed Balls and his wife Yvette Cooper on the Labour bench, Messrs Cameron and Hague on the Conservative front bench, and Mr Ed Davey from the LibDems. Think the UN, the EU, the Green Blob. In their minds these seem to come first before the national interest. It is one of the reasons they all seem to look the same in the minds of the voters and why UKIP is seen to be different.

  33. Tad Davison
    November 22, 2014

    Many inferences can be drawn from the original picture, but it shows how sensitive Labour are to the charge that they are out of touch with ordinary people if the Shadow Attorney General has to quit over it. So Labour’s adversaries ought to make more use of that fact.

    The charge isn’t without foundation, but at present, it seems it’s just certain parts of the tabloid press that are taking the fight to Labour and exposing the nonsense that is the looney liberal anti-English left. But I guess for a political party to do likewise, they have to be untainted. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and we have seen a steady diminution in the respect afforded to ‘ordinary’ folk from all three main Westminster parties in recent times. They are treated like fools, when they are patently nothing of the kind.

    It seems we want jobs for our indigenous population, a control over who comes to these shores, a decent but not necessarily excessive standard of living, good schools, a good health service, well-equipped armed forces to repel foreign invaders, and a scrupulously honest police service and judicial system to protect us at home. We also want to be master of our own destiny and free from foreign political intervention and interference. That is surely not too much for the people to ask, but we can find faults and failures in every single one of those areas.

    John Major stated that he wanted ‘a nation at peace with itself’, and on that I agree, but he and all the other examples of the modern EU-loving England-hating pale-pink British political class have gone a funny way about delivering it. How long should it take to get it right for God’s sake?

    A successful business could never be run this way. Can the political class really be so surprised when people who are the final arbiters, finally but belatedly say, enough is enough, and reject the tired old LibLabCon?

    Tad Davison


  34. Atlas
    November 22, 2014

    I’ve come to the conclusion that, for some reason I do not understand, Labour justs wants us to be run by the Franco-German EU. What’s in it for Labour?

    1. Wireworm
      November 23, 2014

      That’s easy. The EU is opposed to Blair’s hated ‘forces of conservatism’, especially when manifested as recalcitrant national idiosynchracies. So it will tend to do Labour’s work for it. This dynamic is, from a Labour perspective, preferable to any defence of national autonomy, since Labour has implicitly given up the idea that it could win a national consensus. When it did so, under Blair, it was abjectly europhile anyway.

  35. Cheshire Girl
    November 22, 2014

    I cant help thinking that the St George flag had more to do with football than politics. England played Scotland on Tuesday night. It seems to be common practice to fly the flag on houses and cars around here. I see it often.

  36. behindthefrogs
    November 22, 2014

    Everyone seems to have forgotten that there was an important football match between England and Scotland on Tuesday evening. Many England supporters across the country flew their England flags during the week and not all took them down immediately after the England victory. We should be joining in the celebration not knocking the people who show their allegiance.

    Reply I talked about football in my blog!

  37. Mark W
    November 22, 2014

    Mr Redwood I’m actually stunned that you have missed the big point here. This is the fundamental difference between modern labour and conservative, modern right and left.

    Labour desperately use the Etonian toff nonsense and forget that many of us from working class roots have come across many crusty old duffers, young Tory toff twits et al, but know in our hearts that they understand our urge to move forward and build our lives. They wouldn’t have experienced our struggles but understand them and tailored policy to it. Thatcher got it, Tebbit got it, I’m no fan if Cameron but feel certain he gets it too.

    Emily thornberry epitomises the smug know all elitist left who just don’t like us and genuinely do sneer. No upper class twit would have tweeted that picture cause they have the kind of logical intelligence that just knows their fellow compatriots.

    I can’t believe that labour have the audacity to bring up the Etonian thing when the real enemy of the working and lower middle class is the educationally smug elitist left that I’m sick of. I want an interviewer to get miliband to confirm that if he wins thornberry will never get into government. She is far from the only one who exclusively belong to labour, but she was the worst. Career over har har har.

  38. DaveM
    November 22, 2014

    John, on a Saturday – a day that can forgive whimsy – I wouldn’t necessarily expect you to publish these, but they seem quite relevant at this time:


    “The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
    But he never means anything serious – till he talks about justice and right.
    When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
    And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.”


    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious, but it cannot survive treason from within. For the traitor appears not as a traitor but speaks in accents familiar to his citizens and wears their face and their arguments. He appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation and works secretly to undermine the pillars of the city, infecting the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”

    1. Sandra Cox
      November 22, 2014

      Another busy Saturday, so haven’t time to read all the comments yet – apologies in advance for a further bit of whimsy, or if this other piece from Rudyard Kipling has been quoted before:

      It was not part of their blood,
      It came to them very late
      With long arrears to make good,
      When the English began to hate.

      They were not easily moved,
      They were icy-willing to wait
      Till every count should be proved,
      Ere the English began to hate.

      Their voices were even and low,
      Their eyes were level and straight.
      There was neither sign nor show,
      When the English began to hate.

      It was not preached to the crowd,
      It was not taught by the State.
      No man spoke it aloud,
      When the English began to hate.

      It was not suddenly bred,
      It will not swiftly abate,
      Through the chill years ahead,
      When Time shall count from the date
      That the English began to hate.

      Like the majority of us, Kipling didn’t despise other cultures, but his love for England and the English was paramount. Because of this, today he’d probably be dismissed by many politicians

      Politicians of all parties should take heed!

      1. DaveM
        November 22, 2014

        I didn’t quote it because I didn’t want to put the word “hate” on JR’s blog on a Saturday, but I mentioned The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon earlier.

        Nice to see someone of a like mind!!

        1. Sandra Cox
          November 22, 2014

          Hello DaveM,

          Thanks for your response. Like many others posting here, it seems you and I feel we have put up with a lot of abuse from our politicians and from people who want the freedoms of our society without the responsibility.

          I’d like to be thought of as a cool, calm Englishwoman, but over recent years I’ve slowly but surely come to the end of my tether, and I think Rudyard Kipling’s poem illustrates just how much patience we English have, and what saints (or mugs) we’ve been.

          I’m proud to say that we are not a hateful people, but we have been pushed to our limits and it’s now coming down to survival. For the sake of my family and my fellow countrymen and women, I have to up the ante.

          So, in survival mode, not hatred, I’m going hell for leather as often as possible, in whatever way I can, against those who intend to harm our way of life.

          Kind regards,


  39. Gumpy Goat
    November 22, 2014

    keep the union going!! England is a part of the Union !!! So much for champagne socialists

  40. Terry
    November 22, 2014

    It’s obvious to real Brits that the socialists despise England and the English. So they take every opportunity to denigrate our Nation. To the extend that our great history was removed from school curriculum, under New Labour.
    Their reasons for doing so go back Karl Marx who recommended such a divide and conquer policy to achieve totalitarian communism over everyone. And so they continue.

    Why have we allowed them to infiltrate every department in Government and key positions in Industry? From shop worker Trade Unions to Public Sector Union Leaders to the Teaching Unions and our Universities and of course The BBC too. And to the depth of Government in Whitehall with ultra-powerful Civil Service Unions. The latter must be causing much distress and dismay to their elected Bosses, as in many cases the mandarins and their subjects purposely delay or block their Minister’s initiatives.

    JW must have experience of this so, will he tell us, ‘Has nothing changed since ‘Sir Humphrey’ retired’?

    1. Terry
      November 22, 2014

      Sorry not JW but JAR.

    2. Martyn G
      November 22, 2014

      You are correct in what you say, I think and am reminded of not so long ago a communist leader said “it is not necessary to go to war to take over a country. All that is needed is to destroy public trust in their police forces, to undermine the education system and cause the armed forces to lose their morale and belief in government”. Or words to that effect and it seems to me that Mr C, in sacking Mr Gove, perhaps the most effective for the past 40 years Education Minister, ties in very nicely with the education element.
      Sadly, I fear England is doomed to extinction. Not one politician or minister past or present has expressed any interest or desire to replace the name of the only country ever to have been removed without protest from the map of the EU. And that says it all, England is finished as an identifiable entity for no politician has the desire to resurrect it.

  41. petermartin2001
    November 22, 2014

    The left have always had a problem with our National flags. At one time it was more about the Union Jack. That was the flag of the Unionists in Northern Ireland, the flag of the National Front, or the flag flown at Tory Party conferences so, somehow, it didn’t feel as if it were a Labour flag.

    That’s largely changed. The Labour Party, by default, is now the main Unionist party in the UK, the NI question has been resolved, at least for now, so now the Union flag does feel like a Labour flag. Probably the for first time ever?

    Those, in England, on the right who used to be the most avid Union flag flyers have now largely switched to the England flag, so it is now that flag which raises most discomfort in leftish circles. It’s not so much about its design, or about England, or St George as its political sub-textual meaning. That always has to be considered. Some Tories might like the colour, but would they wear a red tie or fly a red flag?

    So my feeling is that flags should be flown on churches, and maybe to support a national sporting team! But if they can be associated with a political viewpoint they can be divisive and are probably best avoided.

    It is difficult to try to explain all this to the French. for example, who don’t have any real problem with their national flag. It is accepted right across the political spectrum. It’s not quite the same in America. Flying the union flag there can cause problems in some parts of the south still.

  42. Tad Davison
    November 22, 2014

    The Thornberry incident belatedly reminded me of something that happened just after the 1997 General Election.

    I was leaning against the rail in the Central Lobby of the House of Commons, when Dennis Skinner came up behind me, slapped me gently on the back and said in his own inimitable way, ‘Y alright kidder?’

    So I responded politely in my natural and unpolished East Midlands accent, ‘Y alright Dennis?’

    Then I asked a pertinent question. ‘What do you think of the latest influx of Labour MPs?’

    Dennis replied grimly, ‘Oh these are all Blair’s people. There’s no socialists among ’em.’

    Now people can think what they will about Dennis Skinner, but I’ve always had time for him. He’s not a stuck-up snob who tries to dispense with you just as soon as he can, and rightly or wrongly, he fights for what he believes in. And if we’re talking inferences, as with Thornberry, he could see far in advance what was to come. Old Labour hadn’t been elected, but in their desperation to ditch the traditional failed left-right tug-of-war, the country had unwittingly bought into a new and very dangerous brand of neo-liberalism, and an interventionist one to boot. And when the truth finally emerges, this period in our history will be recorded as one of our darkest ever. I just hope I live long enough to see some establishment figures held to account.

    A few days ago, I urged my fellow contributors to this blog, to go onto YouTube and search for the FULL version of a Cambridge Union Debate entitled ‘This House Believes New Labour Ruined Britain’. Please listen carefully to what Peter Hitchens says about the 1997 Blair government victory. I won’t spoil it for you, but he and Dennis Skinner do share some common ground.

    The Tory slogan at the time was ‘New Labour, New Danger’, and it would seem that Thornberry is pretty indicative of the kind of politician Labour have given us. But if the Tories could also see what was about to engulf us, why the hell didn’t they change course, give the country policies and a government that had some guts and credibility, and stop them?

    I think we all know the answer to that one!

    It is often said (including by me) that we couldn’t put a fag paper between the policies of any of the three main Westminster parties. Check out Cameron’s speech to the UN a few weeks ago, and his constant urge to drag us into unnecessary wars and conflicts, to see another dangerous liberal interventionist at work. It will then become clear that we need a wholesale clear-out at Westminster of these misguided people who have infested the place and have brought so much trouble, misery, and inequality. Thornberry is but one of many.

    Tad Davison


    1. Terry
      November 22, 2014

      I agree with you re Dennis Skinner. The best attendance record in the Commons and he was always smartly dressed. He was a dedicated socialist as were Tony Benn and Art Scargill. Their policies were not to my liking but I did admire they way they conducted themselves. They were consistent in their arguments and never interrupted a speaker, even on BBC QT. They were the old school – proper socialists and looking at the new boys that replaced them, it is obvious these newbies are way out of their league.

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    November 22, 2014

    Labour bear the primary responsibility for the admission of 4 million immigrants (not just EU immigrants) since 1997 and also for the devolution that has fanned for flames of Scottish Nationalism (or DevoMax). Naturally, they wish to manipulate these events to their electoral advantage and to maximise their power. However, he who sows the wind will reap the storm.

    Such a contrast with 1966. The team that won the World Cup was indisputably England, yet Union Jacks flew all around Wembley. No contradiction was perceived at that time. Devolution has destroyed that feeling.

  44. A different Simon
    November 22, 2014

    Milliband acted more decisively than ditherer Cameron did with Maria Miller .

    The dimmest individual could see a mile off that Maria Miller was bad news and a disaster ready to happen .

    One has to ask what the objectives of the political parties internal selection processes are because they are churning out deeply flawed people who could easily be manipulated .

  45. agricola
    November 22, 2014

    I think Labours reaction is just symptomatic of a general state of detachment of many senior politicians of all parties from those they are supposed to represent. The fact that a general Election is looming just exacerbates the reaction. What Emily Thornberry was really thinking never came out and is lost in time. The reaction, I equate with accusing people of racism just because they talk about immigration, it was just not rational. Be thankful that Milliband has jumped on evidence that is none existent and confirmed that he is incapable of rational coherent thought. He has done more damage to the Labour cause than the unfortunate lady who tweeted the picture.

    November 22, 2014

    Emily Thornberry has not asked me to defend her,nor that she needs defending any way.

    I will say it is custom and practice for Labour Party campaigners including MPs doing their famous “Doorstep Campaigns” which has a suitable hashtag, to take photographs of houses, estates and indeed themselves in front of houses and streets.

    They title such photos with the name of the Constituency or Ward or Town.These photos can be seen in the social media. There cannot be many towns with a hashtag that have not featured such photos on Twitter.

    It is a mystery why Mr Miliband reacted so. Also of interest why there does not appear to be any comment on her action by the hundreds if not thousands of Labour Party members who have done similar.

    Why did not her Labour Party Branch stand up for her? Why did not their Regional Committee write a rather stiff letter to Mr Miliband? It is beyond rational thought even the most charitable to think it is the strength and vitality of Mr Miliband’s leadership which makes them run shy.
    Maybe just maybe displaying patriotically the English flag to the top toffs of New Labour is like showing a red rag to a bull.

  47. john miller
    November 22, 2014

    The most interesting aspect of the whole affair was a Labour MP falling foul of the Blair created thoughtcrime.

    It’s always been a source of ironic amusement to me that Eric named it and Tony implemented it.

    She didn’t make any judgements in respect of the photograph, as you say.

    But everyone who could be offended, duly said they were offended and the new media storm began.

    Then lo, we find that Miliband sacked her. Which, when you think about it, was an admission that the accusations of the metropolitan elite are true and Ed Miliband knows it. He knew without being told what ET’s unspoken message was. And he knew it was a vote loser.

    That is the real message everyone should be sending out. The Labour leader sacked shadow minister because he knew what she meant without being told.

  48. ian
    November 22, 2014

    People are looking for democracy that why they turning to the green party and ukip. The green party is getting as much support as ukip from labour and the lib/dems. People feel they should be in charge for a change, not the EU USA IMF UN NATO and corporate Brittan and all the rest telling the people of this country what to do and how to spend they tax. Corporate Brittan are tax collects they do pay tax they get hand outs from the tax payers, only small and medium company pay some tax.
    Property tax is main tax companies pay with a little vat hear and there.
    Companies should pay all working peoples tax and fight it out with the government about how to spend it, that way they would soon be running a small budget with value for money and well funded service like nhs and if they decide to have hs2 which I think not, it would come in a lot cheaper and everything else would come in lot cheaper because it would them footing a big part of the bill, it would their money that the people are voting to spend and not all the peoples money. You would soon see the debt come down and better service on the way for less money and 100% of any pay rise with one standing hind you with their hand your pocket taking 32% or 59% of your pay rise.

  49. John Robertson
    November 22, 2014

    Whilst English votes for English MPs is more important than the tweet I think it’s what lies behind the tweet that drives the dogged refusal of Labour to support the English. Earlier today I heard a former Labour communications director referring to that group that would be offended by the tweet. Polly Toynbee referring to that type and brushing it off as they don’t see the news or read the papers. This is something endemic in the Labour front bench that is not going to change anytime soon, the metropolitan well healed socialist dinner party set. Whether it’s Gordon Brown referring to that bigoted woman or Harriet Harman’s many anti English male comments.

    In Scotland the Labour contingent were given an alternative option to vote for the SNP. If UKIP appeal more to the left they could do the same and it looks like Nigel Farage maybe going that way. Labour have long since detested the English male, Cross of St George in favour of their own small ideal of how things should be. Interesting times.

  50. Rods
    November 22, 2014

    Ms Thornberry’s tweet, says nothing but tell’s you everything, where it has been interpreted on the basis of the known abandonment by Labour of, its roots, the working class. The skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled have suffered the brunt of wage deflation from mass migration, especially from the EU, what used to be a minimum wage plus a bit more salary is now firmly minimum wage territory.

    The fact that modern Labour politicians now treat the working class with a total contempt means that the next election is going to be very interesting in Labour’s English heartland of Northern England, most people seem to have missed the much bigger significance of the Heywood by-election, where Labour only beat UKIP by 617 votes in the series of recent by-elections.

    Margaret Thatcher, did rather well by catering for Mr and Mrs average family and their aspirations, who lived in Essex and drove a Mondeo. I’m sure Labour’s political elite’s contempt of such hard working successful people is going to bite them hard at the next election.

    Personally, I think in May next year there are going to be three major parties panicking where a significant percentage of the electorate, show their total contempt for them by voting for any other party but these three. I shall certainly be one of them.

    Personally, I hate all of this class and intellectual snobbery, we don’t need a nation of politicians, senior managers and box ticking administrators, but a whole range of skills. IMO decent people respect and celebrate all hard working people with their diverse range of skills that we need to build a successful society. They are doing their bit to make our society work. We need cleaners for our offices, people to prepare and cook food when we don’t have time ourselves, people to repair our roads, so we can get to work etc., etc.

  51. John Robertson
    November 22, 2014

    Was it not the Reform Act that the Tolpuddle Martyrs objected to, votes but not for all, not for the likes of you farmer worker in Dorset!

    Today it is the metropolitan Labour Party that regard themselves as the Landowners of England and who should have the vote. They think those Tolpuddle farmers in Dorset should have a second class vote worth less than others.

    Labour pretend to act on their behalf but they have long since left that paddock. It’s the Conservative and UKIP perhaps, that are taking the Tolpuddle Martyrs cause forward, not the Hampstead socialists.

  52. Kenneth R Moore
    November 22, 2014

    The (modern) Conservatives have nothing to be proud of here :Emily Thornbury’s tweet could have been made by several of the Conservative front bench and a good deal of the backbenchers – they just insult the working classes by more subtle means.

    The whole derisory snobby tone used to deride UKIP and the snobbish ridiculing of all policy that might be described as ‘populist’ is part of the same anti England agenda.
    The ‘modernising process’ of the Conservaties under David Cameron is actually an attempt to apply political correctness to the thoughts and actions of Conservative party members. The views of the white working class are considered alien to this agenda.

  53. Andy
    November 22, 2014

    The fact she tweeted the photograph said everything you need to know. Had she got half a brain, which she obviously hasn’t, she wouldn’t have done that because it was a clear ‘in for a dig’. Of course she would never have tweeted such a picture if the house had been bedecked in Saltires or Welsh flags. It’s only the Cross of St. George she has a problem with because to her it says ‘BNP here’.

    People like her and Miliband just do not understand that the white working class are actually quite ‘conservative’ in many of their views – viz immigration, welfare, crime etc. The public just do not share their metro liberal elite attitudes.

  54. Ben
    November 22, 2014

    The more these anti-English MPs mock my country and its identity the more I despise what this Union is becoming. Independence for England!

  55. Mike Wilson
    November 23, 2014

    I was raised on a council estate in West London. I’m from the working class. I have to say I would not be very happy if my neighbour had a load of white flags with a red cross on them. I must have turned into a snob! I’d say it would ‘lower the tone’ of the neighbourhood and, if I were thinking of selling my house, I think it would make it hard to find a buyer.

    There we are. I’ve admitted it. I think I should join the Labour party so I can look down on my roots properly.

    Listening to Ed Milliband waffling about respect gave me a really good laugh earlier today. But, at the same time, I was thinking ‘go on, GO ON! People don’t trust politicians because everything that comes out of the mouth is spin – be HONEST! Say what you really think of people with flags on their house!’

    Someone up the road from a friend’s house has a flagpole in his front garden – with, often, a Union Jack on it. I always think it’s a bit weird.

  56. BobE
    November 23, 2014

    “revealed Labour’s scorn for England. I can think of no other country in the world where democratic politicians in a major party would regard their country’s flag as a hostile sign,”

    Dear John are you so naive as to not understand that England would have to be dismantled into regions to become part of the European superstate. God! I know you wont print this, and its way to late, but you really do need to educate yourself re the EU mate. They have to break up England to force it into the EU.

  57. Sandra Cox
    November 23, 2014

    I picked up the quote below from a political blog a while ago – I think it was from one of your Diaries. Today, thinking about the unpatriotic antics of some MPs, here’s a taste of wisdom – wisdom sorely missing in the madhouse we now call parliament. It is an extract from a memorandum written by Sir Paul Methuen, an early 18th Century diplomat and MP:

    “Show always a due regard, respect, and obedience to the laws and customs of your country; and particularly an inviolable attachment to those amongst them which relate to the preservation of our liberty, property and privileges, which are the natural birthright of every Briton, and have been transmitted down to us by our ancestors with so much care; since these make so essential a difference between the present condition of an inhabitant of this island, and that of those in most other kingdoms of Europe.

    But above all, since you have the good fortune to be born in a country where some liberty remains, let me recommend independence to you, which properly distinguishes a freeman from a servant or a slave; and without which no one can lay any solid, lasting or secure foundation for the happiness of his whole life, but what must be precarious, and depend on others.”

    The above quote could refer to either the UK or to England, my concern is that it seems it’s getting very late in the day to combat the movement against both entities. What has not been broadcast regularly, loudly and clearly by politicians, the BBC and others in our media is that Britain, as we knew it, was abolished by the Lisbon Treaty when it came into force on 1st January 2009.

    On a lighter note on this wet Sunday morning, I wonder what Dr Spendlove and Dame Lucy might make of this message from “Dame EUgenie at EU Headquarters:

    Dearest Comrades,

    Well done the LibLabCon Party – your EU mission is well on its way to completion! Wonderful – EU gold stars for Brown, Clegg and Cameron in accepting the Lisbon Treaty, and congratulations to all our – sorry, your – politicians and civil servants who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in goldplating our demands, despite the rebellions of a few misguided traitors to the cause.

    Yes, the UK has been dissected, and these EU regions will make easy pickings – their calls for more and more funding from a struggling Treasury will distract them from the EU’s pincer movement. I have to warn you, allowing such democracy for Scotlanders has awoken some Englanders from their sleep. So, be on the lookout for any further opportunities for manipulation, and continue to – how do you say it? – “pull the jumper over their eyes”. Most importantly, continue to work undercover, using influences such as the EU Broadcasting Corporation, Clegg, Heseltine and other likeminded collaborators to fragment England and rub the little Englanders’ noses in it!

    Keep up the good work.
    Yours, in dictatorship, oops, I mean “comradeship”,
    Dame EUgenie Outabottel

    John, As a counter to Dame EUgenie, how about a message to “United Kingdomers” and “Little Englanders” everywhere – wear these titles as a badge of honour! Do not be cowed! Do not be distracted! At every opportunity warn friends, family, acquaintances of the menace we are facing from without and within!

    Seriously, unless we in the UK, and England in particular, wake up to this menace, we are aiding and abetting Ken Clarke and his ilk in realising the dream: “I look forward to the day when the Westminster Parliament is just a council chamber in Europe”.

    Yours dramatically, but sincerely,

    Sandra Cox

  58. Kenneth R Moore
    November 23, 2014

    That is how it is. On the Andrew Marr show, Mrs May could not bring herself to even contemplate exit from the Eu if negotiations over Migration do not bear fruit. Despite being asked twice she refused to give a proper answer!. This from a supposed Tory Eurosceptic. How in the name of sanity is Mr Cameron going to get what we want if his ministers aren’t prepared to leave the club. His negotiating position is weak beyond belief.
    This is the problem. Dr Redwood earnestly tells us that the only way to get out of the Eu is by electing a Conservative government…when we know that those in charge have no intention of letting us leave.
    The Eu grandees wanted the EAW but the public and a substantial number of Mp’s didn’t…Mrs May just stuck two fingers up to parliament by framing the debate and subsequent vote to get the answer she wanted. The same anti democratic steam roller strategy will be used on the Eu in or out debate.
    Why can’t Mr Redwood see this.

    Reply I have never claimed Mrs May is a Eurosceptic!

    1. JoeSoap
      November 23, 2014

      Reply to reply:
      So, let’s go to fantasy world. Conservative win in 2015. Your front bench team starts negotiations to reform the EU. Does Mrs May, with her recent Home Office experience, have absolutely no input into the immigration and border control negotiation experience? Is she going to be in the forefront of these difficult negotiations when she is actually on the same side of the argument as those she is negotiating with? And having been told no and clearly failed will she recommend us to leave the EU, or come on to the Marr show and provide the same glib defence against her boss’s failed promises as was evident today?

  59. Robert Taggart
    November 24, 2014

    Wishing more English people would fly the English flag – the ‘real’ English flag – the ‘original’ English flag – The WHITE DRAGON Anglo-Saxon flag !

  60. Gumpy Goat
    November 29, 2014

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/29/regions-letter-end-austerity-more-powers-devolution Yes remote London dominance is getting to people. UK is unusual London is by far the biggest city dominates all others distorts the country

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