England The once and future country

Today and tomorrow I am reproducing a talk I have given to Wokingham Conservatives and in Dorset in recent days.

 

ENGLAND THE ONCE AND FUTURE COUNTRY

 

England is my country. Like many of my fellow citizens, I am at peace with its history. I understand its past struggles, take pride in its many achievements, and can live with its past mistakes. I see England as a beacon for freedom, a pioneer of democracy, a country of enterprise and adventure, a country of global ambitions with human scale and understanding. To many around the world Magna Carta, the Restoration settlement of 1660 after the civil war, the long struggle against Napoleon and the resistance to Nazism are legendary victories that reverberated well beyond our shores.

 

England willingly merged much of her identity into the United Kingdom in a series of progressive changes to her relations with Scotland, Wales and Ireland. On her own in the early medieval period, England was one of the first European countries to take political shape with a unitary government commanded by a King. This kingdom soon developed a doughty independence of mind. It took early and influential steps towards the rule of law, recorded and extended the rights of citizens and progressed to eventual democratic control. The story of England in its early days is one of how powerful men managed to control the executive and carve out for themselves and others inalienable rights.

 

The USA took up the cause of freedom through its War of Independence from the very country that had tutored it in the ways of freedom the young USA looked back with reverence to Magna Carta. England stood for the idea that everyone should have a fair trial if accused of crimes. No-one, however mighty, is above the law. No-one can be imprisoned without due process. All are innocent until proved guilty.

 

England threw off the legal and political power of the Roman Church by Acts of Parliament in the 1530s. By Shakespeare’s era England was a leading Protestant power resisting the Spanish superpower of the age, full of the joys of freer trade on a global scale. The country fashioned a language of freedom and cherished the idea of an Englishman’s liberties. Parliament favoured limited government, rejected standing armies at home, and saw to its own defence at sea. Step by step Parliament wrestled authority from the Crown, primarily by gaining control over the raising of tax and the spending of money.

 

In the twentieth century England was one with the United Kingdom. Representing 86% of the people and income of the whole. England willingly waved the Union flag, sang the Union’s National Anthem at its own events, and showed tolerance to the smaller countries that had joined the Union. The loss of the Irish Free State after an unfortunate and bitter struggle determined English politicians thereafter that our union has to be a union of volunteers. In recent years Scotland has tested its own wish to remain in the ballot box, and all three of the other parts of the Union have been given substantial devolved powers.

 

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw the long march to votes for all adults, first claimed by Levellers and radicals in mid seventeenth century. I conceived the popular capitalism movement of the Thatcher era as part of the parallel long route to property for all, a stake in the economic life of our country.

 

Devolution has left many in England asking, what for our country? As we celebrate St George’s Day. I will receive some St George’s day cards. Fans of English teams now know and display the English flag at games. There is a movement to adopt an official English anthem from amongst the many good songs we hold dear. The present government has recognised the rise of an English political awareness by taking the first steps towards English devolution.

 

To me England is the once and future country. One of its most famous kings is Arthur, a figure more of legend than of historical record. No-one today expects Arthur to come again, but many now anticipate an awakening of England as a vibrant democracy and cultural centre. Removed from the maps of the European Union, it has not proved possible to erase England from people’s hearts or to forget its impressive contribution to world freedom and democracy today. The more some have tried to split England up into artificial regions and to balkanise the great country, the more there has been a resurgence of belief and love for it. Where once many were persuaded our flag had been demeaned by extremists, today we can be proud of it again.

 

 

 

 

 

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73 Comments

  1. Horatio
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Beautifully put JR and a very happy St George’s to all. The once and future country indeed!

    ” There is a forgotten nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England. ” -Churchill

    With Brexit looming the subject of history will have to be taught differently in schools. Younger generations will need to learn that British imperialism was in the main a good thing , especially when compared with French expansion. The high growth, dynamic countries of the world such as Australia, India, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and the US, with whom we will once again want to treat with are all English speaking and products of that great period of British and English history.
    God save the Queen.

    • Hope
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Very good JR. We are not demeaned by extremists. We are demeaned by Cameron, Osborne, Fallon, Rudd, Hammand, Hague, May and all those who continue to perpetuate giving up democratic self-government to unelected EU bureaucrats led by Germany. Yesterday’s events are virtually meaningless as Obama will not be in power when any trade agreement is negotiated. Again, with the connivance of Cameron he was allowed to make threats to our nation when we have fought for the same values where millions died for those freedoms that Obama and Cameron want to give away to the unelected- they shame our nation and the memory of those who died to preserve them.

      Johnson was not racist in his remarks he was factually correct. Obama is no friend of the U.K. When it comes to trade look at the events of BP, the US has a tariff of over 200 percent for imported Chines steel- why does not Cameron follow his lead? Very protectionist stance over its trade. Whereas Cameron is content for a commissar to act on the behalf of 28 nations! Clueless.

      Mass immigration was and is the govt plan to suppress wages with cheap Eastern European workers without Union interference while diluting our sense of culture and nationhood by suppression of freedom of the press, equality act, which is anything but fair and numerous diversity officers throughout the public sector to instill fear to speak out. Cameron is content to tax the middle class out of existence to fund his socialist EU dream. The facts are that we have had over 300 tax rises under Cameron. Without the promised spending cuts. Our taxes are funding children who have never set foot in the country! Child benefit is higher than their hourly wage! The best start would be to rid Cameron from your party. It would act as a message to others who infested our society with the treacherous behaviour.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        If BJ had been racist towards a visiting American President the you can be sure that the British police would have arrested him for it.

        The Daily Mail reports today on the gated holiday resort that the Camerons visit … while the rest of us enjoy the open border arrangement.

        “Let them eat cake.”

    • getahead
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      “By 1773 the British had discovered the opium trade, and that year they became the leading suppliers of the Chinese market. The British East India Company established a monopoly on opium cultivation in the Indian province of Bengal, where they developed a method of growing opium poppies cheaply and abundantly.”
      ” British imperialism was in the main a good thing.”
      But not altogether.

      • bluedog
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        Come on, let’s hear it for the slave trade too! Where would Glasgow, Liverpool and Bristol have been without the Triangular Trade? If you’re going to start on self-flagellation, at least make a comprehensive effort, hypocrisy is to be avoided at all costs. But first, make absolutely certain that no past member or current member of your family has derived any benefit at all from any of these activities by our forbears. Hint: you will fail.

        • hefner
          Posted April 24, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          Very good points, blue dog, but also that the British might not have so many reasons to be “holier than Thou”.

    • Horatio
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      As Boris pointed out , the majority of our trade is non EU and of that almost all is ungoverned by trade deals. Wish I could remember the %. It’s a fact that nails the ‘you won’t make trade deals’ issue.

      • Proud Englishman
        Posted April 25, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        If you’re offering goods and services at a price that people are willing and able to pay then they’ll buy from you. That’s how the real world works. As for Obama’s claims that UK-US trade will suffer if we leave the EU, he should remember the famous quote by Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, “The chief business of the American people is business.” Or, more simply, money talks and BS walks.

  2. The Active Citizen
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    A fascinating perspective JR, thank you.

    England is my country too and I will always be English, even if the Europhiles win the day on June 23 and we subsequently become subsumed into an artificial construct bearing no resemblance to the wishes of the majority of the English people.

    I was brought up to believe ‘we will never surrender’. And I won’t.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      @The Active.But your government has gleefully surrendered for you and,with TTIP,will effectively be re-introducing serfdom.

      We are ruled by a corporatocracy well supported by the dictatorship of the commentariat.

      • getahead
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Corporatocracy and commentariat.
        To be added to my dictionary.

      • hefner
        Posted April 24, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Just a very small point here: are you so sure that once out of the EU, the new government will not sign a TTIP-type agreement with the US.
        For what I seem to have seen, JR is pro-TTIP.

        Reply No I am jig pro TTIP and want a trade deal for the UK that meets our needs including protecting the NHS.

  3. eeyore
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    The once and future country – and now at “the back of the queue”. Well done, Mr Cameron!

    • stred
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      The word ‘queue’ gave the game away. We have two Scottish and Irish aristocrats conspiring with a foreign president, who has shown his anti-British attitude in the past, to threaten the British people into giving up control of their country to an unelected bureaucracy. And this on the evening before St Georges day. Loyal MPs must get rid of these two traitors. Half of the population will if they do not.

      England expects?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Who will rid me of all these troublesome lefty, wet no nation Tories, masquerading as Conservatives?

      • getahead
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Will no-one rid me. But agreed absolutely.

    • Lawrence John
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Don’t fear eeyore – it has taken the EU since 1957 – that is 59 years to FAIL to negotiate a trade agreement with the USA. Obama will be gone very soon and so will the EU, and Britain will have our own trade agreement with the USA.

      • eeyore
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        On St George’s Day, if Mr Redwood will permit, a little story from the reign of Elizabeth I. Her ambassador to Muscovy, as representative of the Queen, declined to doff his hat to Ivan the Terrible.

        The Tsar asked how he would like to have it nailed to his head. The ambassador replied, “As for my life, I value it not a scrap, but I would have your Highness remember I serve a mistress who well knows how to resent insults offered to her servants.” Ivan backed down.

        Those were the days when England’s honour meant something. Today, it seems, Prime Ministers swallow public insults like good little boys, and fawn and smirk as they gulp them down.

        • Mitchel
          Posted April 25, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          And he came back both with a trade deal and an offer of marriage for the Queen.Interesting to speculate on what might have happened had a marriage taken place with both the Brits and the Muscovites at the start of their vast imperial adventures at the time!

          • Proud Englishman
            Posted April 25, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            The British state didn’t exist during the days of Liz I. England and Scotland were separate sovereign states, and didn’t even have a common monarch until James VI of Scots became James I of England.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      This is the second leader to have made direct threats to this Country after Holland’s mad similar threats about consequences and German Schalke telling us we will have to pay and receive mass migration for access to the EU markets. Cameron justs stands and smiles without standing up for his Country. He is a traitor and must go.

      • forthurst
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        “Cameron justs stands and smiles without standing up for his Country.”

        Like all good ventriloquists, CMD simply smiles whilst his dummy does all the talking, or so it seems.

        • Proud Englishman
          Posted April 25, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          Surely Cast Iron Guarantee Dave is Merkel’s or Juncker’s dummy?

  4. oldtimer
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Well said!

    A more ruthless demonstration of the opposing view is difficult to imagine than the events of yesterday. The Queen was reduced to the sttaus of a pawn to support Mr Cameron as he wrapped himself in the EU flag and sought the endorsement, duly provided, of Mr Obama. Even little Prince George was dragged from his bed to be put on display for the photo op.

    • Pete Stroud
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Agreed. I find it difficult to understand how any British prime minister has the gall to invite a foreign head of state to come and support his move to allow more British powers to be transferred to the EU. And to see the Queen’s birthday used as an excuse for the visit. Furthermore, I find it equally difficult to imagine that any US President has the gall to publicly support either side of a truly UK only constitutional issue.

      • getahead
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        A prime minister who is not worthy of that office.

        • hefner
          Posted April 24, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          You’re right, but as a country we voted for his party and him following election rules that not many question. We just get what we deserve.

  5. Mark B
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Good morning and, Happy St. George’s day to our host and my fellow readers both here in England and abroad.

    Those who wish to impose tyranny upon us, must destroy the only nation that has throuhgout the ages resisted it. England is not perfect, but many more from around the world wish to come and settle and make it their home, so their must be something more than just freedom and liberty. It is, like the USA, a land of oppotunity where people can live to their potential. Sadly, because of our membership of the EU, that gentle flame of hope (England) to so many may soon flicker and die.

    My little country has given much to the world. If people do not like my patriotism and love for all things English, then they are free to go and find their Shangri-La elsewhere. This is MY country.

    St. George’s day is more than a bit of flag waving. It is the recognition of one’s self and one’s nation. It is my belief that we should remove one of the Bank Holiday’s (England only) and formerly recognise St. Georges Day as an official English holiday.

    Little by little, I will take MY country back.

    Ceorlas Angelcynna

    • turbo terrier
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Mark B and our host

      A big thank you to you both for today’s entries.

      In my book both spot on

  6. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    This England , this sceptred isle, ( preferred to “sceptered” ) has received from a foreign Head of State: Barack Hussein Obama, the greatest public insult to its people and realm, made irredeemably worse as it was uttered on our own soil, as our guest, and encouraged by a rusty British Prime Minister whose name should escape us all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Indeed, but Obama is history and has been a fairly dreadful president. His only achievement is becoming the first “black” president albeit one raised by a college educated white mother and a white grandmother.

      Alas he has done almost nothing positive with his term in office. Let us hope his intervention intervention in the UK, encouraged by the dreadful Cast Iron ratter will not bury the UK in the EU’s sinking ship and will backfire. I suspect it will.

    • Chris
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      I believe Cameron is an utter disgrace, and how so called Conservative MPs can just carry on supporting him after the nadir of yesterday reveals all we need to know. There is going to be a day of reckoning and Cameron’s behaviour and actions, plus those of his followers, will not be ignored. His legacy, besides ensuring that by fair means and foul, we are tied to the EU corpse, will also be the destruction of the Conservative Party. The latter is at an advanced stage already yet some are too blind to see it.

    • Lawrence John
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Now THAT is a quote I am going to copy and tweet, with your permission!

  7. matthu
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

    William Shakespeare

  8. Old Albion
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Happy St Georges day to you JR. How I wish there were more like you within Westminster. Your work and words continue to raise my spirits.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Such a shame some of this history is now forgotten in many of our schools, and thus whole generations now seem completely ignorant of our past.

  10. Antisthenes
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Indeed England has a proud history which all the other nations of the union in some way played a part. At Crecy and Argincourt Welsh bowman stood side by side with English ones. In many parts of the globe Scots and the Irish played their part sometimes magnificently. This mixture of talented people ruled a large part of the earth’s surface mostly well in fact it was not government agencies that did badly but the NGOs that followed them. Then like today vested interests cause considerable harm with their narrow minded views, greed and authoritarian ways.

    In those days it was mostly the churches (the NGOs of the 19th century) that poked their noses into other peoples affairs without permissions and foisted their beliefs on people who were perfectly happy with the ones they already held. Today of course it is a myriad of interests that are trying to foist their beliefs on others and like the natives in foreign lands we are helpless against them.

    Why can they not leave us alone and let us live our lives our way as long as we do no harm to others we should be allowed to live in peace. But no these people cannot help themselves we must all now be progressives adhering to PC and only eat and drink what they tell us me must. It does not stop there we can no longer be proud of our heritage and being a sovereign state is a definite no no. They believe they are being well intentioned and are guardians of our best interests. They are doing nothing of the sort their intention is purely to look after their interests not ours.

  11. Elsey
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Well I’m happy you can live with our past mistakes Mr Redwood. Sadly there are millions of people that haven’t been able to live with them. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and dozens of other sovereign states devastated by Britain’s policies in the last few hundred years. Millions dead from out actions supporting illegal wars, vicious “freedom fighters”, appalling sanctions, horrible dictatorships. What a wonderful legacy.

    • John C.
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Of your list, one only seems to be a matter of some shame, Iraq, and that was in part an attempt to complete the first Gulf War, which was (remember) fought to throw Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait- a necessary attempt to stabilise the oil-producing region.
      The other countries quite successfully destroyed themselves, and maybe we should have let them get on with it and turned deaf ears on the do-gooders who think we and the U.S. should sort out trouble anywhere.

      • forthurst
        Posted April 23, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        What an extraordinarily ignorant comment.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Elsey

      I think you’ll find that the Iraq debacle came about by being told what to do by an American President. Maybe we can learn a lesson from that.

      On the other hand England and her allies have saved millions of lives and bought freedom, health wealth and happiness to more people than any other nation on Earth. You might not be able to live with past mistakes but there are millions alive today who wouldn’t be because we took decisive action

    • bluedog
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      It is indeed a wonderful legacy; look at it this way. A system of governance devised mainly in England and based on the Common Law shared with Wales and Ireland, became the basis for conducting business in the United Kingdom, and for all transactions between individuals and the state. What has subsequently taken place is a transfer of this remarkable intellectual property to other parts of the world with which Britain traded and then may have ruled. Without exception, those nations that now follow the British system are the most peaceful, successful and richest on the planet. How can you criticise that?

  12. agricola
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    You have spelt it out very well, I can but look forward to tomorrows conclusion. The citizens of Wokingham and Dorset have indeed been fortunate to hear it first hand. It would have been an excellent warm up act to the speech of Obama. It might have tempered his bullying tone or at least left him in no doubt as to how offensive it was.

    Not to worry, by this time next year he will be tomorrow’s chip paper, and history will begin to analyse his eight wasted years. It would be fascinating to know whether Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump endorse his views on queueing.

    • Proud Englishman
      Posted April 25, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Obama might well be history this time next year, but he will probably be making a fortune on the lecture tour circuit, and those who ought to know better will probably take in every word he says, as if he’s some messiah.

  13. They Work for Us?
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Best Wishes for St George’s day.
    We should remind the US ambassador that US bases on UK territory are a privilege not a right and that without them US projection of power would be curtailed/ severely inconvenienced. Oh I suppose they could replace them with ? 20 – 50 ? Aircraft carriers.
    Remaining in the EU could arguably move us towards a French position on the US (basically they hate the Americans don’t they)?
    If we stay in the EU there will be many with long memories of US interference and treachery (remember Suez?). Treachery and treason by some of own politicians will not be forgotten or forgiven.

  14. John Bracewell
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    No matter how many foreigners Cameron persuades to do his bidding, I will never forget the shaming sight of a British Prime Minister hawking his begging bowl round the countries of the EU trying to persuade them to allow him to do something in his own country to his own country’s welfare system and failing. What a degrading sight.

    • Horatio
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Perfect point

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    An excellent contribution John, please keep up all your good work.

    Leave must surely win out. The public are surely not daft enough to vote to stay in this anti-democratic sinking ship are they?

    The betting odd are however widening 12/5 on Brexit now. Surely worth a punt or perhaps a spread bet is better, it must be closer than that surely?

    I read that the excellent Matt Ridley has not even been interviewed for the post of chairmanship of the Natural History Museum. Clearly no one with sound scientific views on the global warming (huge exaggeration of) religion, the absurd Hinckley Point project, on Brexit and indeed on almost any other topic was ever going to get such a post.

    Though I am surprised they did not at least go through the motions.

    Instead it went to Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint another PPE graduate with suitably political views, and it seems very little grasp of science at all.

  16. Bert Young
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    To be told by a failed and biassed President what we should do and be afraid of is an insult to the integrity and honour of this country . For Cameron to stand by his side and be a party to the chicanery was equally insulting .

    We have long been a beacon to the world demonstrating what principled values are all about ; upstarts with little experience should not try to stand before the public and pretend they know more than we do ; our record speaks for itself .

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      BY. Unfortunately David Cameron has form in this respect, as when he stood in similar circumstances and listened to threats from a pipsqueak of a French president a few months ago.

      Difficult to understand why he would allow himself to be used in this manner and bearing in mind that he probably knew in advance what was going to be said on both occasions, it might even be considered shameful; certainly demeaning and, as you say, insulting to us as a nation.

  17. Yosarion
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Happy St Georges Day all, though I see the establishment have found a four hundred year old excuse to ignore England’s National Day.

  18. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Please send a copy to Brussels and they just might understand what we’re about.
    It was sickening to watch CMD with Barry yesterday.
    Selling this great country down the swanny.
    The sooner he’s gone the better.
    A remain vote in June will settle nothing.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I and millions will NEVER accept EU rule and will resist. If we have to create a new political party to leave so be it. The Tory Party leadership have killed their party for a generation with their treachery, lies and gerrymandering this referendum!

  19. yulwaymartyn
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Mr John Redwood writes in this blog having thought deeply about the issues.

    In contrast this comes from Nick Cohen writing in the Spectator:

    “I am therefore writing with the caution of a lawyer and the deference of a palace flunkey when I say that Johnson showed this morning that he is a man without principle or shame. He is a braying charlatan, who lacks the courage even to be an honest bastard, for there is a kind of bastardly integrity in showing the world who you really are, but instead uses the tactics of the coward and the tricks of the fraudster to advance his worthless career.”

    • libertarian
      Posted April 23, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Yulwaymartyn

      Fine you dont like Boris.

      What are your views on New York Post headline about Obama ?

      “Obama’s lecture to Brits is absurdly hypocritical”

      Or this Independent Headline

      10 Times Barack Obama Was Wrong Before Changing His Mind About ISIS

      Do you agree with George Osbourns Finance analysis ?

  20. Antisthenes
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Apparently a chap called Tim from the audience on question time an economist explained that his calculations showed that by 2030 the UK would be better off to the tune 1.6 trillion after Brexit. Guido Fawkes has a video of him explaining it all. Rather holes the treasury forecast well below the water line. The audience appeared to love it.

    • Proud Englishman
      Posted April 25, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      How did that get past the BBC’s censors and onto our screens?

  21. Fairweather
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    We have been out this morning in the sunshine campaigning for “leave”
    Spoke to hundreds of people absolutely horrified at Obamas speech. Both inners and otters alike were appalled at his arrogance
    At least he cannot vote!!!
    Seems Mr Cameron has shot himself in the foot again by writing his speech.
    People on this blog must get out to support the leave campaign.contacts can be found on the leave website. Set up a table in your town,they have some good leaflets. We gave out hundreds this morning

  22. Duyfken
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Best wishes on this day to the English – in England and elsewhere.

    And in two days’ time we have Anzac Day, commemorating the efforts of the Australasian forces helping Britain to remain British. May that remain so.

  23. R.T.G.
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    ENGLAND THE ONCE AND FUTURE COUNTRY

    “And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap…”

    On June 23rd, are we going to vote at the behest of ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ politicians, or are we going to vote in favour of ourselves, as ‘gone today, here tomorrow’ English citizens?

  24. Bob Eldridge
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful. And may we win this third attack on our country.
    Bob

  25. Brigham
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    If we get our Brexit, perhaps “English” will be a nationality on forms again.

  26. Margaret
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    On the same day as 4 were shot in the state of Ohio Obama stated that his house was burnt down by the British. It doesn’t need a psychologist to perceive the state of mind behind that remark. He openly commented on the bust of Churchill which he removed from the Whitehouse only to replace it with Martin Luther King. Martin Luther was a great man indeed , but again Obama reveals his real deep seated feelings towards the British.

    I am sure that Obama wants to trade with the 57 Countries of the Commonwealth and doesn’t want us in the way.

    Myself regarding the 2 World wars initiated by the Germans and the trade surplus they have whilst other Countries are in deficit it underlines our weakness in the EU.

  27. Graham Wood
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    JR. Have been out all day as St George’s day happens to be my birthday also. An added bonus was to read your fine, patriotic speech reminding us of the preciousness of England, something of her proud history, and unique contribution to spiritual, personal, and political freedom.

    Thank you for these sentiments and for the encouragements your comments must give to true Englishmen and women everywhere who still value so much of the wonderful heritage we inherited from many of our great forbears. In fact, a timely piece of real xenophobia as opposed to the pessimistic bigotry from some of our so called political leaders.

  28. matthu
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    WATCH: Fox’s message to Obama – “Can we control our own borders? Yes we can!”

    http://www.conservativehome.com/video/2016/04/watch-foxs-message-to-obama-can-we-control-our-own-borders-yes-we-can.html

    In less than 2 minutes Liam Fox demolishes Obama’s message.

    • stred
      Posted April 24, 2016 at 3:11 am | Permalink

      We need the Scots with brains. Scotland without England or vice-versa would be a disaster.

      • Proud Englishman
        Posted April 25, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Ever since the day that James VI of Scots became James I of England, we’ve had to suffer Scots lairding it over us. They haven’t done a very good job of it. We could do just fine without them, and our two countries might get along quite well if we’re not tied together by a political ‘union’, but instead have a social union.

  29. Eleanor Justice
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Happy St George’s Day Mr Redwood .If only there were more Patriots like you in Westminster .And after watching Cameron ‘s St George speech I had to go and have a shower ,I bet he had his fingers crossed when he was reading it out.

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Rather late in the day, Happy St George’s Day.

  31. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 23, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    David Cameron and his actions regarding Obama are a disgrace to this country. It is time to replace him for someone who truly believes in Britain.

  32. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 24, 2016 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Being Glasgow born, my identity is that of a citizen of the United Kingdom, but I am glad for the English in their celebration of St George’s day. I would like Mr Redwood to have included Oliver Cromwell in his eulogy. Chopping King Charles I’s head off was one of the most glorious episodes in England’s history.

  33. Margaret
    Posted April 24, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Shakespeare understands man . He can be said to be more of a commentator on the nature of man. On most occasions he does not make a judgement ; he makes his characters talk in their own language , he acknowledges duplicity of standards ,and paints a picture of similar situations in the mouths of many.

    For example in Cymbeline he uses Lucius to make the point of unfairness to Britons abroad serving other Countries.

    ” consider ,sir,the chance of war: the day
    Was yours by accident; had it gone with us,
    We should not, when the blood was cool, have threatened
    Our Prisoners with the sword. But since the gods
    Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives
    May be called ransom, let it come: sufficeth,
    A Roman with a Roman’s heart can suffer;
    Augustus live on to think on’t: and so much
    For my peculiar care. This one thing only I will
    entreat: my boy a Briton born,
    Let him be ransomed: never master had
    A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
    So tender over his occasions, true,
    So feat, so nurse-like. Let his virtue join
    With my request ,which ,I,ll make so bold, your highness
    Cannot deny: he hath done no Briton harm,
    Though he hath served a Roman.

    If we have served the E Union in the past and dutifully helped build we should not be threatened with the loss of Trade sanctions at our desire to be with our own. And in reverse; as Briton should not do the the EU.

  34. Indespair
    Posted April 24, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Just looked up the betting odds for the vote. Remain is way ahead. I just can’t understand why.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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