Proud to be English?


     Mr Miliband has plunged into the politics of identity, by telling us he is proud to be English. He has also apologised for Labour’s past, which he tells us was not good at cherishing or promoting England’s identity.

        The amusing thing about his foray was the Channel Four interview with him.  It was a great interview. It stuck entirely to Mr Miliband’s chosen topic. It asked a series of simple and good questions. The more he was asked, the less Mr Miliband said. The interviewer had no need to do what they usually do, and go off after some different topic or embarrassment. At the heart of Mr Miliband’s case was no heart, no lungs,  no soul for England. There was certainly no policy for England, no wish to tell the EU that England has a right to a life.

           He was  unable to identify a single English characteristic that could not be said to be a British characteristic as well. His definition of Englishness, a stoicism in the face of adversity, is surely a British characteristic if it is anything. He rules out an English Parliament. He  has still not come round to the better answer, twin hatted English and UK MPs at Westminster with English votes for English issues. He has still not renounced his and the EU’s wish to balkanise England with false regionalism. Labour did its best in office to eclipse England and to set up as much English regional government as possible, to try to distort and twist our sense of identity.

           I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the special characteristics of England. As Mr Miliband had in mind the contrast with Scotland, some of our different culture and characteristics you would have thought were obvious.

             He seemed as tone deaf to Englishness as the BBC were to the mood of the UK as a whole  during the Jubilee. Maybe the BBC were put off by a sea of Union flags, and by the enthusiaism for monarchy. Their chosen presenters were in the main ignorant of our history, ill informed about the pageant, incapable of providing informed commentary and always wishing to take things down to the lowest common denominator. The BBC is usually tone deaf to England, and with their friends in the EU do their best to deny it voice or existence. Over the Jubilee water pageant  they extended the insouciance to the wider nation.

              I am particularly angry with the BBC after hearing Sunday’s interview on the World at One about the Euro’s problems. Three senior people who have constantly urged more European integration, have backed the Euro and in the case of Mr David Miliband thrown away some of the UK’s powers of self government in support of this cause, were allowed long periods to say what they wished in a kind of extended pro EU party political broadcast. They were not asked a single  difficult question. At no point did the BBC think to ask them why the Euro scheme had gone so badly, or to suggest they might be partly responsible for the unemployment, the broken banks, the collapsing economies and all the other disasters the Euro is now bringing. Surely Mr Sutherland, a former Irish EU Commissioner, should have been asked if he now thought the Euro had worked out well  for Ireland?

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  1. Andrew Henley
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    To answer the question, no. I am 28 and essentially grew up under the Blair/Brown leadership. Despite being academic Labours formula for tuition fees (think coalition plan much better, because of manageable repayment terms) put me off. Then to add insult universities in the rest of the UK offered free or discounted tuition to the Scots Welsh and EU (almost anyone not English). Consider the prescription charge discrepancy or elder care. What is the spending per person by national demographics in the UK. The MP issue should also be resolved, either an English parliament or ‘double hat’ MP’s.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      One of the few advantages of Scottish independence will be that English students will be entitled to the same free tuition at Scottish universities that the rest of Europe enjoys.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I think canny old M. Salmond has a cunning plan. It is this. Hand out goodies all round, like free tuition fees, free dole, freebies to all and sundry and lots and lots of free jobs for the wee laddies and lassies.
        Then either he will expect the dreaded Sassenachs to foot the bill, or, like Greece, simple Hans the German idiot.
        When asked, he will refer to Scottish Energy – oil, gas, wind farming etc etc. Followed by a long lecture, no doubt, on how he is more Green than the Greenies who have just abandoned him.

        • alan jutson
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink


          He seems to have forgotton his share of the UK Debt.

          Wonder if that will get a mention, perhaps Cameron should remind them before they vote.

          • Keith
            Posted June 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

            He can refund English taxpayers for bailing out the Scottish banks as well ?

    • uanime5
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      The tuition fees are the same throughout Britain, the only difference is that the Welsh Assembly pays most of the cost and Scottish Parliament pays all of the cost. The same occurs for prescription charge discrepancy and elder care.

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Where do the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament get all the money from that they can be so benevolent? It wouldn’t be from the English taxpayer by any chance?

        • uanime5
          Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          I believe their main contributors are the Welsh and Scottish taxpayers.

      • Terry
        Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Why don’t the English have their fees paid for them? It was put before the only Parliament that the English have and a majority of their representitives voted AGAINST a University Tax.
        It was overturned by a group (Scots, Welsh and N Ireland) of unaccountable MPs.

        Meanwhile the same question was put before Scots’ and Welsh representatives, without a quid pro quo intereference from England.


  2. norman
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Speaking as a Scot (I’ll let the Irish and Welsh speak for themselves) there really is no difference between us. My grandmother was English and I’m not in an unusual position. I’m sure there’s hardly a reader of this blog who if they went back 3 or 4 generations wouldn’t find some Irish, Scots, English or Welsh in them.

    I also work in an industry where there are many Englishmen and women and they are no different from me or any one else here. We share the same sense of humour, work ethic and morality.

    Of course we have different histories and should celebrate those, not be ashamed that they are different, but we share more than any other ‘separate’ nations I can think of. Quite unique really and something we can all be proud of.

    If I had to draw one difference (and get in a cheeky dig) it’s this: optimism. We in Scotland know we’re hopeless at sports and haven’t a chance. You still believe much to the amusement of many non-English.

    Best of luck tonight though, I genuinely mean it and will be cheering for England.

    • Adam5x5
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      you’d be in the minority in Scotland I think.

      From my experience of living in Scotland as an Englishman, it didn’t matter who England were playing, the majority of Scots would support the other team…
      That was one of the bad parts about living there. The other was the weather. So I moved to Wales, which is so much better…

      but, hey ho, we still beat you at rugby. 😉

      • norman
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Admittedly most Scots like to see the English lose at sports. I think after you accept reality and join us on the no-hopers bench attitudes will change.

        Misery loves company and we know how to do misery up here!

    • David John Wilson
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      I have traced my family and that of my wife for at least five generations down all possible branches and I have not yet found an ancestor who was not English.

      • michelle cooper
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Me too, waes hail fellow Englishman. I am the complete reverse of most people who have followed the trend to dilligently set out to prove they are not Englsih.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      The plan to try and make us loose our identity was planned long ago by ALL mainstream parties LibLabCon and is written about in the 1971 briefing paper FCO 10/3048 to Edward Heath’s Government BEFORE the referendum on joining the EEC. It is clear we have been lied to repeatedly by all political leaders on their intentions ever since and our steady loss of sovereignty and indentity was stolen by incremental treaty ever since. That’s also why both parties have colluded with mass migration to England. Just remind me two years after entering office how Theresa May/Damian Green have reduced migration to the 10’s of thousands whilst the public want none and removed how many illegal migrants!!

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        The former Labour Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said on Andrew Neil’s programme recently, that nett immigration to the UK in the last year of his administration was 116,000. Under this government, it was 252,000.

        Now if that is a spectacular success, my posterior is a cuckoo clock!


        • zorro
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          To be fair, Mr Johnson is incorrect. It was rather more than his stated figure as you can see from the link below….. I shall post the most recent figures at the bottom.

          Let us see what effect the government’s measures on student migration have as they are included in the figures. I suspect that it may go down slightly this year. The figures for emigration were also higher under Labour which helped their net migration figures. Less people are leaving the UK now.

          •Estimated total long-term immigration to the UK in the year to September 2011 was 589,000. This compares to 600,000 in the year to September 2010 and has remained at a similar level since 2004

          •Estimated total long-term emigration from the UK in the year to September 2011 was 338,000. This is similar to 345,000 in the year to September 2010

          •Estimated net migration was 252,000 in the year to September 2011. This is similar to 255,000 in the year to September 2010

          •Study remains the most common reason for migrating to the UK at 250,000 in the year to September 2011. This is similar to 245,000 in the year to September 2010

          •671,000 National Insurance numbers (NINos) were allocated to non-UK nationals in the year to December 2011, an increase of one per cent on the year to December 2010

          See page 4 for trends over the last 10 years or so…..


          • Tad Davison
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Zorro. Well I never! A Labour politician massaging the figures to make their arguments look good. Whatever next!

            I still agree with Frank Field though, that Britain is full up.


    • Derek
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      So England is hopeless at sport is it?
      Is that why we are the only nation apart from France to have won both the FIFA and Rugby World Cups? Oh and is that why England is currently ranked top in the world cricket rankings, and is currently ranked sixth in the world football rankings?
      How on earth can you compare a failure like Scotland with England?
      Portugal has a population of only twice that of Scotland and yet look how good the Portuguese are at football compared with Scotland.

      We English don’t need Scotland. The sooner England declares independence the better!

    • stred
      Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      My oldest best friend is a Scot, born in England and living in Scotland. When I visit, he takes me to the glen where his ancestors were assasinated by the vile English. When I point out that his mother was Engish and my ancestors were very badly treated by Norman overlords, he says nothing. In the pub, any English accent attracts a suspicious look. Barmy.

    • Terry
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      No, we don’t Norman, it’s the bloody press. England get a draw against Greece and the Sun runs a headline “this time we can do it (win the world cup)”.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I personally went through this crisis in 1989 when I changed from being a Church of England Rector into being a Catholic layman.
    I was no longer a person protesting at the corruption and heartless dictatorship of Europe but I had become one of the traditional enemy. I was no longer alone in a sea of other faiths but part of them.
    When I looked at the other villages and towns of the area, I no longer saw a lot of churches with their hierarchies all carefully arranged in a friendly pattern but a selection of fairly godless suburbs full of very lonely people.
    But when I went out into the world – Bangkok, Barcelona, Brisbane I was immediately at home and welcomed as a brother. It was seriously liberating.

    And then came the Jubilee when English people showed their genuine love of Her Majesty despite years of insult, Lady Di, Fergie, Edward, Cherie Blair at the dreadful millennium dome and constant sniping from the Guardian and BBC. That I found seriously moving. It was someone who could unite our glorious history.

    As a Spanish priest once said: “Ya Passa’o” – now vanished.

    • stred
      Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

      My Mrs. was brought up half Orthodox half RC. After doing a sort of consumer survey, she found the local high church Cof E was the most suited and has been very happy with the service, making compatible friends and even having follow up calls abroad. Why look elsewhere. I am an Agnostic but would join the t C of E if forced. Reason. When i asked the local vicar whether the Chuch would have more bums on seats if they did not insist that Jesus was God and master of the Universe, he replied, ” That’s only for children”. Realistic religion.

  4. Richard Ede
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Britishness is neither one thing nor the other. It is a composite or a collective notion and it is the tendency to equate and confuse Englishness with Britishness that is the source of Irish disaffection with Britishness and cause therefore of the difficulty in Ireland, because a singular can neither be nor represent a collective. And why should the Irish be any less Irish for also being British? They are no less Irish for also being European and nor are the English, Scots and Welsh any less English, Scottish or Welsh for also being British, and European. Isn’t it simply that in any Union of the British the Irish will not tolerate being governed by the English?

    • Duncan
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Had the English dominated parliament of the UK had the good sense to reform itself in to a parliament fit for purpose and take account of the fact that federalism works for the USA and Germany, then things would be much better than they are for the UK as a whole and we Scots would not be taking our selves out of it.

      However the English dominated parliament of the UK has chosen to maintain the status quo where England has the whip hand, and will hold that position until the UK is no more. It stems from the natural default position of the English to want to be dominant, their inbred imperialist mentality has been their undoing as it has created animosity and resentment amongst Scots, and not a few Irish and Welsh.

      For the first time ever Scotland will be asked if they actually want this union, the answer will be a resounding no I pray! Then England can get on with bossing herself around. I would sooner live in a nation that has had to fight hard to regain it’s independence than in one that tries to deny the right of self determination by any means they can.

      • Robert Taggart
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Inglish dominated British Parliament ?…
        What about all those Celtic ‘carpetbaggers’ ?!
        Question, are their any Inglish Celtic constituency Members of Parliament ?

      • David John Wilson
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        How can you say that we have an English dominated parliament when the Scots have been over represented in the cabinet for many years?

        We need the House of Commons to allocate at least one day a week to discussing and voting on matters that only affect England (and Wales and NI) and to exclude the Scots from such debates and votes. This could also save money on expenses as they could spend an extra day in their constituencies.

        • David Kelly
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Don’t forget that all Westminster MPs are British MPs in a British parliament on a British mandate. Of course, all this Britishness doesn’t stop MPs from the devolved nations putting their nations’ first, at England’s expense. MPs with English seats will never put England’s interests first. It’s worth mentioning that 30-40-odd were born in the Kingdom’s other nations, and that many MPs in England are actively anti-English.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          While there’s good reason to exclude MPs representing Scotland voting on matters that don’t affect Scotland there’s no reason to exclude them from the debate.

          It’s also ridiculous to expect some to travel from London to Scotland to talk to their constituents, then expect them to return to London in the same day.

          • David John Wilson
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

            If English days were on Fridays or Mondays they would just have an extra day in their constituencies.

            Following your argument that Scottish MPs should take part in debates on English matters, then English MPs should be given the same right to take part in debates in the Scottish parliament and Welsh Assembly.

          • JoolsB
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            What would they talk to their constituents about? On matters of health, education, higher education, transport, local government, housing, law & order, police, fisheries, etc. etc. the MPs sent to Westminster have absolutely no say on any of these matters for their constituents, they being decided by 129 members of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. Celtic MPs know they would be redundant if they couldn’t stick their oars in English only business.

      • England Forever
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Believe me Duncan, I am looking forward to the day when we can amputate you from our nation, when we can rebuild Hadrians Wall and block off Scotland, and another border to block off Wales.

        It will be so good to be able to fund our nation with our taxes, instead of funding your nation with our taxes. We will be in a much greater position. Our capital city has an economy larger than your whole country, so there would be no financial risk to freeing ourselves from this union.

        Hopefully a visa system will be enforced, and applied to all nations outside of England.

        So come on Duncan, hurry up and make your vote!

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          Our capital city has an economy larger than our whole country too.

          Kev (from England)

        • alan jutson
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          England forever.

          Do not forget that we still have to calculate in percentage terms the total amount of the Union Debt Scotland will have to carry and be responsible for, should they wish independence.

          Think it is only reasonable that they should be informed of this, before they vote.

          Would be interesting having given them the above information that they then vote to stay in, but we vote that they go. !!!!!!

          What happens then ?

          • Sean O'Hare
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think the English are going to get a vote on Scotland’s independence are we? If we did get a vote then the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Best the Scots working in England get their work permits sorted out now!

        • DaveK
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          There’s still a bit of England to the North of there you know.

        • Robert Taggart
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Good King Offa had the right idea for the border with Wales.
          Alas, the borderline today makes a mockery of this obvious / ‘natural’ feature.

          • The Prangwizard
            Posted June 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

            Don’t forget Monmouthshire, an English county until 1974, stolen by the Welsh in a ‘one minute to midnight’ parliamentary trick. A referendum is needed on its future.

          • Robert Taggart
            Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            re: Prangwizard. Agreed, but, was not Casnewydd / Newport (Castlenew strictly speaking) part of Monmouthshire ? – historically ??
            One has always felt much of Monmouthshire to be ‘ours’, but, not Newport.
            Border skirmish anyone ?!

        • JoolsB
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree with that England Forever. Trouble is the Scots will never vote to go it alone, they know when they’re onto a good thing. Not only that but Cameron will capitulate to Salmond whatever it takes to stay in this Un-united Kingdom and stuff the English yet again in the process.

        • Duncan
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          Engerland forever……I seem to have flushed out a coven here. There is no such thing as English taxes. They are the UK taxes at the moment and Scotland subsidies the UK. Read more here:

          A recent study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) think tank, based on official tax and spending figures, concludes that Scotland’s North Sea oil and gas revenues, with other taxes, means it gets no net subsidy from the rest of the UK. And this is based upon shonky Westminster figures, which allocate a notional share of “UK national expenditure” to Scotland even though the money is actually spent in the South East of England. So we’re paying for just under 10% of the bloody Olympics.

          But if, like me, your eyes glaze over when you hear talk of balance sheets, budgets and the Barnett Formula, just consider that Westminster could very easily make it clear exactly how much Scotland puts into the Union, and exactly how much we get back in return. After all, it’s Westminster which collects all the money and allocates where it goes. We can assume they know who pays what and who gets what.

          If Scotland was indeed hopelessly dependent on UK handouts, Westminster would publish all the figures in glorious technicolour and upload videos to YouTube, and there would be a 10 part BBC documentary all about them. This would pretty much kill the independence debate stone dead, as Scots would be able to quantify those so-called Union benefits in precise detail. But instead finding out how much Scotland pays into the Union and how much we get back takes a crack squad of industrial strength accountants on amphetamines. So it’s a safe bet that we’re not dependent on subsidies from Westminster after all.

          The people of Berwick will be pleased you are ceding all territory north of Hadrian’s wall to Scotland. They recently voted by a factor of 80% to return to their ancient country Scotland. We could just go back to where Dalriada was. Carlisle and Newcastle will be delighted.

          It is the economy of your capital city that is the millstone round the neck of Scotland, do not gloat to much remember Lehmans?

          Reply: Only London and the South east are net contributors to the Union of the UK.

          • zorro
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply – Indeed John but hardly surprising bearing in mind proxiity to the continent, City of London, and seat of government influences….and the Queen of course….:-)


          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted June 12, 2012 at 4:20 am | Permalink

            Mr Redwood said : “Only London and the SE are net contributors to the Union of the UK”

            Agreed. That’s where the political and economic policy makers are located.

            That is where it was decided to go for short-terminist profit making and that ‘ownership’ of UK industry and infrastructure didn’t matter.

            That is where it was decided that a subsidised underclass was better than – for instance – a subsidised miner class.

            (Not to diminish in any way the problems the unions caused in the ’70s)

            PS, The Tories were pilloried for the ‘greed’ of the ’80s and yet this was dwarfed by the greed of the Blair era.

            How does Labour get away with it ?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        ‘However the English dominated parliament of the UK has chosen to maintain the status quo where England has the whip hand, and will hold that position until the UK is no more. It stems from the natural default position of the English to want to be dominant, their inbred imperialist mentality has been their undoing as it has created animosity and resentment amongst Scots, and not a few Irish and Welsh.’

        I resent that. It is divisive, but for the record, our collective undoing as you put it, is down to the predominance of socialists, a high number of which come from North of the border. What a pleasant time it would have been without Blair, Brown, and Darling!

        If anything, we Englishmen have been too willing to accommodate others to our detriment. Most of the strike leaders in the 1970s were disproportionately of Scottish socialist origin. Good, decent Scotsmen are an absolute blessing, but those who would cause social and industrial strife, you can keep!


      • harry--England
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Still blaming England for all your woes are you duncan,you and that swinney fella are two of a kind.Most of Scotland has given up on that

      • crano
        Posted June 12, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        I trust and hope your prayer is answerd. when you take that high rd
        and we take the low one you will be in the euro b4 us, then you will know true domination, good luck and thankfully good bye

      • Terry
        Posted June 15, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        For the first time ever Scotland will be asked if they actually want this union, the answer will be a resounding no I pray!

        Except, working withing the principle of turkeys not voting for Christmas, they won’t.

        However, if you were to ask the Englsih the same question I’m sure your dreams would come true

  5. Bernie Gudgeon
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    There are some who in a relatively short space of time ape and exaggerate the host country’s culture; other families, perhaps the Milibands, require three or more generations to assimilate. It may be they never do. Perhaps what it means to be English in another two generation’s will be different to our shared/inherited experiences.

  6. Tad Davison
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Ed Moribund may yet use the cross of St. George as the Labour party emblem to win over disillusioned people who feel their identity is being eroded. What a cynical ploy that would be given the Labour Party’s own history!

    English history hasn’t always been great, with many things to feel ashamed of, but equally, we have plenty to be proud of. Left wing institutions like the BBC would skew history to convince us it had all been bad, and that we really ought to distance ourselves from it. That’s what makes Mr Moribund’s position so perplexing, and must merely be down to political expediency rather than clear conviction.

    I’d prefer to see those who like to traditionally see themselves as the champions of our national identity, do much more to promote it. But there again, given their albeit covert push towards European federalism, that might not ultimately suit their cause.

    Tad Davison


    • lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Exactly Labour want all votes that the politic of envy gives them in Scotland and Wales while trying to get English ones too with a distorted electoral system made for their benefit.

      The BBC is a complete joke. Interviews with people who take the BBC line (Fake Green tosh, Pro EU and ever bigger taxes and state) are not interviewed, just allowed an advertising statement with a few prompts. The ones who do not take the BBC line are often branded as racists or nutters or just constantly interrupted with BBC drivel.

      • Bob
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Can you imagine the BBC broadcasting an interview with two EU sceptic politicians? of course not.

        Here are the EU sceptic Ken Livingstone and Nigel Farage on Sky news:

        • David John Wilson
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          How often in the last few months has John appeared on the BBC? It seems fairly frequent to me.

          • Bob
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            @ DJW

            Glad you liked it.

            Here’s how the BBC handle EU sceptics:


          • Tad Davison
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            I watched that YouTube clip with Nigel Farage and Paxman. Was that the Lib Dem Huhne in the audience with his eyebrows raised at Nigel Farage’s suggestion that UKIP would increase the prison population?

            I bet he’s thanking his lucky stars UKIP didn’t win it!

            Personally, I’d (deal with -ed) Huhne for being a traitor first and foremost anyway!

            Tad Davison


        • lifelogic
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          No it would have to be three plus the BBC interviewer on the pro EU side before they could dare risk it.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        I see Cameron understandably left his young daughter in the pub, very easy to do, although personally I avoid most fake reheated food pubs (and indeed restaurants) in the UK.

        May I quote from the excellent Dellingpole’s blog:-

        “Cameron should now be forced to attend one of those state-funded parenting classes he was banging on about the other day. He won’t learn a thing he doesn’t know already about how to bring up children, but that’s not the point. What he will learn, though, is that given the choice between being allowed to keep their money or having it taken away from them and handed out by the government in the form of £100 vouchers to the kind of pillocks who are going to leave their kids behind in the pub occasionally regardless of how extensively they’ve been parentally trained, 99.99 per cent of parents would rather keep the money on spend it on something more useful, thank you very much. Like nappies. Or a pub lunch.”

        • lifelogic
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          I think, with pubs, it is mainly the smell of the deep fat fryer extractors that greet you 100 yards down the road and the explosive, so called, “pastry” tops they put on the steak and kidney pies. Also the fact that you know you could knock up something better, cheaper and in pleasanter surroundings from your fridge – in about 15 minutes at home – which is about how long it will take you to queue in order to order.

          Any salads ordered will come drenched with Helman’s Mayo, salad cream or some foul dressing (or nothing at all) and will usually be inedible (as will any “bread” provided in general). All with Cameron’s 20% VAT on top.

          Reply: There are lots of pubs that offer much better food and service than you describe.

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            To reply: True there is good pub food. But you have to seek them out like a needle in a haystack. I think I have had about four good meals in pubs. In Yattendon Berks, Fressingfield & Southwold both in Suffolk and Hampstead in about thirty years. Some time ago apart from Hampstead one.

            A pickled egg, a packet of pork scratching or salt and vinegar crisps can often be the best options – or bacon and eggs or a toasted sandwich at a nearby cafe.

            Mind you the food in France (the north especially) and Italy is no longer what is used to be. Mainly supplied in bottles, packets and containers from some factory or other where cheapness and long life is always the main driver.

            Not that supermarkets are much better, you have to make your own bread to get anything decent now in most places.

          • Bazman
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

            I had breakfast with my daughter yesterday in one of the big chain pubs that take local buildings and use the features to make them seem individual for under a tenner with drinks and have to say the quality and the service was all pretty good with a fun puzzle sheet for children. Choose carefully and carefully choose which pub and which food.

          • zorro
            Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            There are some good pubs at reasonable prices, I can give you some recommendations when you are next in the UK.


        • Anon
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          It’s one of the reasons why children didn’t used to be allowed in pubs.

          They used to be kept outside in the car and given a bottle of pop and a packet of crisps every now and then. When the parents eventually stumbled out of the pub finding the car would mean finding the kids.

          Those were the days. No seat belts to worry about – sometimes just a settee sliding around in the back of a Transit van.

          Those were the days.

      • Mark
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        The fact that Chris Patten is a former EU Commissioner is likely to be relevant here. They take an oath to support the EU through thick and thin, don’t they?

        Perhaps the next Chairman should be free of such associations.

  7. JimF
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The more you think about it, the more the English attributes which stand out are manifestly non-socialist and anti-Labour, which is why Miliband had a problem during his interview:

    Propensity for hard-work and personal independence
    Greater propensity for entrepreneurialism than Scots or Welsh
    Steadfast, like the Scots and less vague than the Welsh

    This leads us, the English, to want less governmental and bureaucratic interference in our lives than is generally speaking the case for the Scots or Welsh. We therefore have the dilemma of not wishing for a further layer of regional government for ourselves or on a European level, but resenting the fact that we are paying both for European Union and Scots and Welsh regional assemblies.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    It is not about differences, it is about fairness.

    The other Country’s within the Union have their own Parliaments to fine tune National/local policy (and soon more tax raising and spending powers) as well as The Palace of Westminster.
    England does not.
    So it is a simple corrective measure to have an English Parliament.

    What we have at present, is an unbalanced Union, where the tail can wag the dog.

    The BBC is now a lost cause, unless and until:

    It gets a head who truely believes in impartiality.
    It sticks to reporting facts.
    It has better quality reporters /interviewers who are more informed.
    It reduces the broadcasting time spent on so called (expert) opinionated reporters.


    It should have to fund itself completely, without taxpayer money or subsidy, it could then do as it likes.

  9. davidb
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I am a Scot. A dour, glass half empty Scot.

    The English are tollerant way beyond what is good for them. They put up with the impositions of immigrants ( Milliband is a second generation one of those ), of poor governments, of an aristocracy which was imported from Normandy, and of unelected careerists in Brussels. But the world underestimates them. With good leadership they are formidable. That is what is lacking in their country. They need a new Thatcher.

    I do not share their sense of humour – except that black humour which emanates from Liverpool or Newcastle. I am not obsessive about my garden or the price of my house or my private property. I do hanker after the lost empire which drove the unification of the peoples who lived on this island.

    I do not dislike my neighbours, but I would prefer to be governed by Scots. I cannot understand why you prefer to be governed by anyone else but Englishmen. And while I could not care less about football ( 22 guys kicking a pigs bladder about a field ) – I can assure you that very few Scots are supporting England at the Euros.

    Now get the finger out and fix this economic mess or those bloody socialists are getting back – and they will finish the destruction of England.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Here, here, here.
      FTR – our name be an Anglicised Celtic / Gaelic. Born and Bred in Ingland – like both our sets of parents. One knows which side of the border our ‘bread is buttered’ !

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      David, we DONT’T prefer to be governed by anyone else, make no mistake about it!

      Least of all, by people who do not share our values, and are wedded to an incomprehensible, wasteful, and unworkable system that turns back the democratic clock.

      The English (my dad was Northern Irish) are a very hospitable lot, and welcome others, regardless of where they come from, provided they live like us and espouse our values. The EU is an undesirable alien.


    • michelle cooper
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Well said davidb, yes we are far far too tolerant, and too trusting in the belief our leaders have our best interests at heart, thats why we are in the mess we are and fighting to get recognition in a country that generations of our families have built.
      Whole areas of our country have been colonised by people who despise us, and want to change England and I truly believe wipe us out altogether, Labour is full of them, and still we welcome them at our own peoples expense. Stupidity!

  10. Electro-Kevin
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Ed Miliband says Labour was “…not good at cherishing or promoting England’s identity.”

    That’s putting it rather mildly because, from where I’m sitting, they couldn’t have done a better job of destroying our identity.

    Englishness is a cultural diaspora. It doesn’t really live here anymore – where it does it seems holed-up or disguised.

    The Left reserve all of their contempt for Englishness whilst defending and apologising for any ‘culture’ that isn’t English – especially those that include drugs, robbery, misogyny, bigotry, racialism, rudeness …

    If you want to know what Englishness is you really need to ask a Lefty. They are fitted with radars for it.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      We have become a nation where it is profitable to tattoo one’s face and keep a weapons dog as a ‘pet’.

      Englishness used to be about quietness, modesty, tolerance – a preparedness to see the other side of the argument.

      Now there is no argument.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      That’s why I can’t stand lefties, or anyone else who gives in to them.

      Sorry BBC, that mens you too!


      • lifelogic
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Lefties come in many forms but the ones I like least are the wealthy (inherited usually) ones. Often history of art (or similar) graduates who “like paying taxes” (they rarely know what they pay) and just want the state to deal with the poor (and keep them away from them as much as possible). BBC Hampstead types often as not. They have strong green views but cannot defend them as they have no knowledge of science or the subject whatsoever. Just a feeling in their water that windfarms and pv must be good and clean and nuclear dirty.

        They enjoy recycling the organic wine bottles and Independents in the Prius as it makes them feel virtuous.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          I wish you were in parliament LL, you’d ruffle so many feathers, the lefties in the Labour party, the Lib Dems, and yes, the Tory party would look like plucked chickens!

          And I’d be right there with you!


          • lifelogic
            Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            I am certainly glad I am not.

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

            I am certainly glad I am not – anyway I am no longer in the UK most of the time.

        • Richard
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          One of your classic comments!

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I saw that Miliband interview and it made me laugh out loud listening to his inane remarks. The more he spoke the less he said (nothing new there you may think). To think that he could be considered the next Prime Minister! As for the BBC its performance sinks lower and lower. They continually show bias and have even abandoned any pretence at balance as you indicated. Is Lord Leveson looking into the relationship between the BBC and politicians with whom they agree the licence fee?

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      As usual he had nothing to say and spent a lot of time saying it. But then he is a politician.

      Politicians usually say things that are clearly false or so obviously true as to be not worth saying. “Such as we want an efficient, integrated, coordinated, affordable transport system that responds to people’s needs” – does anyone want the complete opposite “an inefficient, uncoordinated, unaffordable unresponsive one”?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      That is an EXCELLENT point Brian!

      With your permission, I’m going to work hard on that!

      I’ve been wanting to change the BBC’s bias for a long time, and this might just provide the vehicle.


  12. Iain
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    “He was unable to identify a single English characteristic that could not be said to be a British characteristic as well”

    That is because a great deal of what is good about Britain is actually English.

  13. Old Albion
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Not an unreasonable view of Milliband/Labour/the Left ‘s ill-treatment of England.
    But come on! You and your party and indeed coalition partners offer nothing for England.
    This lop-sided (dis)United Kingdom has gone on too long already. An English Parliament is the only Democratic, equal and fair resolution to the Devolution mess created by Blair and propogated by Cameron.

  14. Liz
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    The English are conservative (small c), the Scots, Welsh and Irish generally are not. This is the main difference. Ed Milland is obviously worried about the Labour Party’s prospects in Englad should Scotland get full independence. The English do not have full democratic rights in Britain as Welsh,Scots & N Irish do. The English vote is not “worth” as much as the the celtic regions and moves to adopt fairer boundaries are meeting with stiff resistence from those regions and those political parties – Labour and LibDeems who benefit from this poll fixing set up. They want their own parliaments but do not want the English to have one – or even decide their own laws. They want to have their cake and eat it. As for the BBC it has shown itself increasingly unworthy of receiving the TV tax in recent years and should be put on a voluntary subscription basis at the same cost as the TV tax. With 100% digital coverage this should not be difficult to do. It would not be like the American Public subscriotion channels in that it would take a large number of its audience with it – prepared to pay the subscription. It would lose some money but this would bring it down to a more appropriate size – it is far too big for its boots at the moment.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I’ve read nothing to suggest that many of the Scots or the Welsh or the Northern Irish would object to the establishment of a Parliament for England.

      A few years ago there was an opinion poll asking people in Scotland if they thought MPs elected in Scotland should still be allowed to vote on England-only matters, and by a sustantial majority the answer was that they should not.

      • norman
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        The SNP MPs do not vote on matters that do not affect Scotland. I’d imagine most thinking Scots feel this is the right attitude to have.

        I’m all for no regional Parliaments but it seems obvious the current situation of Scottish MPs voting on English and Welsh only matters is completley ludicrous. How things got to where they are is baffling.

        Instead of faffing around with Lords reform why aren’t the Tories doing anything about this? Surely this situation is more relevant than Lords reform?

        • JoolsB
          Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          That’s another myth Norman. True the SNP, unlike Labour and the Lib Dems, have decided to abstain from voting on most English only matters but not all. They voted in 2010 on tripling tuition fees to £9,000 which of course only applies to England’s young, using Barnett consequentials as an excuse. The fact they voted against is irrelevant. What is relevant is that could choose whether or not to vote on something which if we lived in a democracy, they would not have been allowed to. Just proves even the SNP only have principles when it suits them.

    • David Kelly
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      The best and simplest thing to do with the BBC is to scrap it, but no political party will have the integrity to do that.

  15. Mactheknife
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid John you will have a long wait if you expect the Biased Broadcasting Corporation to show some understanding of Englishness and what it means. You will also wait much longer for them to acknowledge that the EU is anything but fantastic and that Liebour and Milliband acknowledge any responsibility for the current mess. Liebour politicians are always given a “free hit” when on TV or radio. The quotation from Andrew Marr aptly describes the BBC culture:

    “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias”

    Andrew Marr

    the Daily Mail, Oct 21st, 2006

    To paraphrase him, the organisation is filled with PC lefties who will never give centre right politics any kind of fair coverage. I’ve long advocated that the BBC should have stronger governance and be made to stick to its charter on impartiality.

    As an example look at their “impartial advice” on so called Climate Change:

    BBC Trust document: “FROM SEESAW TO WAGON WHEEL Safeguarding impartiality in the 21st century” which may be found at: where it states:

    “The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.”

    The BBC is dying as a news organisation.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      As an aside, the BBC always used to set the benchmark for outside broadcasts. For the first time, I turned to Sky to watch Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and from what I hear, I was right to do so.


    • uanime5
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Given that the opponents of climate change lack any credibility why should they be given equal media time to those with a credible argument? Would you also want creationists and alchemists to have equal air time whenever evolution and chemistry are mentioned?

      • oap
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        What do you mean by “climate change”? If you mean the CAGW version then the proponents of that hypothesis have many questions to answer. They are strenuous in their efforts not to answer them. In the meantime the rest of us are forced to pay dearly and unnecessarily because of the ill=conceived Climate Change Act.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          By climate change I am referring to the body of scientific evidence that shows that humans are effecting the climate of planet earth.

      • Bob
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Well done uanime5.

        Comparing creationists and alchemists to warmists sounds about right.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Creationists and climate change deniers are far more similar as they both deny what has been scientifically proven.

          • Bob
            Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            Proven? How?
            By hockey stick graphs?

      • Richard
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Dont you mean “global warming”,. Why has that recently been dropped by all in the movement.
        The climate always changes
        It did before man was even on this planet

        • uanime5
          Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Global warming is just one effect of climate change.

          • Richard
            Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

            You fail to adderss the point
            Why has the global warming movement recently changed the name of their religion to climate change.
            And why did the climate change before man was on this earth

    • stred
      Posted June 12, 2012 at 1:42 am | Permalink

      BBC (words left out) Now it is the Dumb Down Club.

  16. Helen
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    One thing the English do not do in comfort, is describe themselves. This IS the essential English characteristic.

    Mostly, we leave the left to tie themselves up in describing us. And we snigger at their stupidity and ignorance of the peoples of the largest nation in the UK. Yet they think because they are British, they are separate from us and superior.

    We snigger because we know – their so-called british characteristics are really stoeln from the English. They have no characteristics of their own [other than an enlarged ego] and they will cease to exist if the nation of England rejects them. Increasingly, we are doing just that.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      To your last point – OH, IF ONLY !

  17. Barry
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I generally avoid getting drawn into discussions about Englishness. I’m quite at ease being English and don’t feel the need to explain or justify myself.

    One observation though – those who claim to be unable to identify English characteristics don’t seem to have any difficulty when they wish to mock or criticise.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Given his own origins, and the ungrateful opinion of the English that his father recorded in his diary, and the record of the Labour party in office, I reckon Ed Miliband is a brave man to even talk about Englishness.

    However, putting that aside, the English are a mass of contradictions, a muddle, but while it’s difficult to define the precise characteristics of that muddle it’s clearly not quite the same muddle as the Scottish muddle, although both can fairly easily be included in a British muddle and distinguished from the muddles which have formed in other countries over the centuries.

    On the matter of having only MPs elected in England voting on English issues, I think that it’s now gone beyond the point where that would have been an acceptable pragmatic solution; and in any case establishing a separate devolved Parliament for the whole of England, including London, is the only way to put a stop to the continued attempts to break up England into euro-regions.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      ‘Given his own origins, and the ungrateful opinion of the English that his father recorded in his diary, and the record of the Labour party in office, I reckon Ed Miliband is a brave man to even talk about Englishness.’

      Oh how I wish I had written that Denis!


  19. oap
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Englishness is difficult to define because it comprises such a diverse mix of people who have either invaded or fled here – both groups in search of a better, more prosperous life. This mix, I believe, has produced a unique blend over the centuries. This blend is not so evident in Scotland, Wales or Ireland. Perhaps this accounts for their stronger cultural and political identity. But the blending and mixing continues; my parents were English and Welsh. Two of my children have spouses with 50% Scottish connection.

    Every day brings evidence that the BBC is more a propaganda arm than a national broadcasting service. It is known to have accepted money from the European Commission. Some of its reporters have made money out of the CAGW agenda. It has a distinctive political agenda. This is clearly revealed by its news selection, and non selection, who it chooses to interview, and who not to interview, and by the questions asked and the manner of asking them. I doubt that it will or is able to reform itself.

    • Anon
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Actually, looking at old war footage and the photos of the Coronation, the English were pretty identifiable.

      To suggest that we hadn’t a culture or racial identity, (etc-ed), really is tosh of the highest order.

      This is spin by Nu Labourites, The Guardian and the BBC who use it to justify unprecedented levels of immigration.

      Why on earth would they do this ?

      Because they harbour guilt about what they were taught of the Empire. The ruling middle-class elite projects its self-loathing on to the white lower middle-class and white working class – the equivalent of its whipping boy.

      The white aristocracy shuts up about it and takes what the guilt ridden, white ruling middle-class elite throw at it – that’s why the Queen was forced to sit through an evening of ‘pop’ music which she must utterly loathe.

      • zorro
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        ‘Actually, looking at old war footage and the photos of the Coronation, the English were pretty identifiable…’

        The Jubilee celebrations weren’t much different from what I saw of the crowds on TV.


  20. David Kelly
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The idea of two-hatted MPs just will not do. What if a minister is from one of the devolved countries? MPs cannot conduct both English-only and pan-UK business effectively. On English-only days they are bound to bump into MPs from the other nations, and those MPs will be only too quick to remind themof their ‘duty’ to the ‘Union’ as a whole. Result: English interests will suffer as a result. Ever since the devolution process began, The ‘Union’s’ interests have always prevailed over English interests. In fact, that was the case for years before the process began. It’s time that English interests prevailed. After all, we more than pay our way economically.

    Reply: It would have to be English Ministers for English issues as well.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      It is all too simple for our politicians (except Mr Redwood). All Westminster MPs can speak on anything; but the Speaker identifies those matters that are English only and in that case, only English MPs can vote. As Mr Redwood says, departments of state that are English-only would have to have English ministers.

      I might say that I used to regard myself as British but it seems that anyone can have a British passport – so now I am English. Down here in Cornwall there is a similar change in that more people describe themselves as Cornish.

  21. radsatser
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    A negative characteristic of the English is their tolerance to being abused and disadvantaged by their elected political elites, the defining characteristic is they are slow to rile, but once their tolerant nature has been pushed too far, the sleeping dragon will awake and destroy it’s tormenters.

    Pandora’s box is now open, and there will be a heavy political price to pay for all three parties for exploiting the English for their own ends.

  22. Derek Emery
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Surely nobody would expect an unbiased take on any political situation nowadays?

    It is patently obvious that the BBC is ruled by a left liberal elite so only policies that fit with this ethos are allowed.

    Hence it was hardly surprising to see the BBC approach to the Jubilee. The very concept of having a celebration for a royal anniversary must grate terribly on the liberal mind. Its hardly surprising to find the BBC had nobody to take on the reporting that does not see the world through liberal eyes so the reporting was almost laughable.

    I’m do not totally understand why left -liberal politicians dislike the English so much yet adore the Scots and the Welsh. Is their saving grace that they are minorities?
    Are the English seen as little more than the BNP in disguise?

    What amazed me was to see all the Union Jack flags and bunting about. You couldn’t help feeling that the police should be stopping people and arresting them for this display in today’s UK

    • David Kelly
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      The Union flag has been rehabilitated in ‘liberal’ eyes, if only because the alternative, in England, is the English flag. It’s flying the English flag that could get you a tap on the shoulder from Plod.

    • peter
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      no need to single out the welsh – there are huge numbers of us that dislike the liberal left agenda of organizations that are supposed to be balanced plus the previous govt and big euro project though it doles out the odd grant here and there has done damage to this part of the UK as much as the rest.

  23. NickW
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    When the BBC produce a documentary, their starting point is “What line are we going to take; what views do we want to encourage, what views do we want to discourage?”

    The choice of panelists, the choice of producer, and the writing of the script are then all designed to achieve the BBC’s objectives, and follow on from that starting point.

    If we could find out who decides BBC Editorial policy and what motivates them, we might be able to understand better how this traitor in the heart of Britain was brought into existence, and how a once respected organisation was corrupted.

  24. drakes drum
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood. I agree with your views on the excellent interview with Mr Milliband.

    What cannot be denied is that FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR YEARS a leader of a political party actually mentioned ENGLAND. Cameron has tried it but, like all his promises became forgotten the day after he had spoken.

    Yes, Milliband has not thought out his whole approach to the English question but I, for one, find it refreshing that AT LONG LAST, it is now on the table.

    The Conservative Party is no longer the party I have supported all my life. The massive reduction of the armed services, the war on the police service, the idiotic threats to the NHS. You have lost your way under the disastrous leadership of David Cameron. When will some backbencher with principal challenge this arrogant man?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Hence the reason for my call for people of good, strong character to run our affairs, than the jellybabies we presently have.


    • JoolsB
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      When did Cameron actually mention ENGLAND? I must have missed that one. He gave a long speech on public services not long ago and somehow managed to not say the ‘E’ word once even though 95% of what he was saying only referred to England. It’s better to keep referring to ‘this country’ instead, a deliberate ploy, to make us think we really are all in this together.

  25. Neil Craig
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Typical of the BBC to do “extended party political broadcasts” for the issues they support and indeed to give open mikes to witter on anything, even when they have nothing to say, without any serious questioning, as you point out they did with Miliband.

    However who is the government in charge? Who is it that is charged with the legal duty of seeing that they obey the law and their Charter duty of balance? Which government is it that enforces the the licence fee when, if ihe BBC have not been balanced, let alone have spent decades telling absolutely any lie and censoring any fact in the totalitarian cause, the BBC themselves have vitiated their Charter?

  26. Sue
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Since this Conservative and previous Labour governments seem to have done their very best to dilute our “Englishness”, it has become increasingly difficult to establish what makes us unique. I have to think back to when I was much younger to recount the things that made me proud to be an English woman.

    We have a stiff upper lip and a tolerance far beyond what could be considered normal (I know, I lived in Spain for 6 years and the Spanish are a volatile people). The attempted dilution of our “indigenousness” would not have been tolerated by either the Welsh, Irish or Scottish and they would not have put up with it either.

    For me, Englishness was ingrained in the community where I grew up in East London and where we were forced to leave in the early 80’s scattering our close knit communities and families far and wide.

    The thing that comes to mind are the cockney’s, who are all but gone.”Eastenders” is nothing like Canning Town, the Isle of Dogs & Stratford were where I was brought up, the real Eastenders now live in places like Milton Keynes and Essex.

    Pearly kings and queens, morris dancing, bacon & egg breakfasts and our Sunday roasts. Further back still our culture defined us in the world. The Beatles, the 60’s, Carnaby Street, Twiggy, Lulu and our great sense of fashion. Bowler hats, umbrellas, tweed jackets, monocles and the likes of Terry Thomas, Tommy Cooper and Carry On movies. Benny Hill sold worldwide and was particularly popular in Germany. Our sense of humour is unique, a saucy but innocent dig at each other but where nobody was offended.

    This trait has been killed off by the PC lefties (and is perpetuated by this government even to the extent of a “thought crime”), which is utterly, utterly ridiculous. Back then if you got called a name, your mum would tell you the old sticks and stones rhyme. Now everyone is allowed to be offended, unless of course you’re English.

    Those few things are what come to mind, we were a “culture rich” country and innovative in our ideas and outlook on life. Now we’re lucky if we can celebrate Christmas without offending someone.

    Our “spirit” has been annihilated, but then, that was the idea, wasn’t it? It was a necessity for socialism and the “project”. We were far too proud and independent, we had to be put down a peg or two to accept the &*%% that they were going to throw at us.

    I’m quite sick of it all.

    • Iain
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Yes I agree, the left have always at war with England and Englishness. While they associate themselves with other nationalist movements they are hostile to England to the point of racism. If any other people had been so discriminated against the left would have been the first man the barricades, but where England is concerned they are the architects of this discrimination . It is difficult to understand why, and so far I have been unable to get someone from the left to explain why.

      I can only surmise it is because many of their ranks come from Celtic nations, and so come with their prejudicial chips on the shoulders. Immigrants who resent the stability our society has given us, so want us taken down a peg or two, as Miliband’s father wished, even thought we had given him and his family sanctuary, and a clash with the left’s agenda, who find our Parliament, law, and society a block to their political ambitions.

    • michelle cooper
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I’m in step with you there Sue. It’s been a long process of making what made us be seen as shameful or old-fashioned. I particularly agree with you about the silly notion now of everyone being offended at the least little slight, when most of the time its only ever meant in jest, after all why would so many people take refuge here if we were so bad, well to dip their hands into our health/benefits system is one of them. I point blank refuse to have to explain to anyone what being English is, I just am, as were my family for centuries.

      • zorro
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Me too….even though I sometimes maquerade as a Castilian anti corruption campaigner from 1830′ Southern California…..


  27. Robert Taggart
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    What makes the Inglish Inglish ?
    Being Inglish one finds this most troubling !
    As for ‘our’ politics, as one has said before, ‘we’ are stuffed !…
    The Tories be so wrapped-up in the Union ‘Jack’ – Ingland be taken for granted.
    The LieDums be so dependent on their Celtic constituencies they could not afford to pander to the Inglish. Furthermore, they have such a ‘hair-shirted’ vainglorious internationalist mindset – Ingland does not even come into their thinking – too small !
    As for Liebore, hm, like the LieDums, the Celtic constituencies give them their ‘numbers’ – not to mention their members !
    UKIP – Inglands best bet ! but, they need to change that acronym !!

    • David Kelly
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Is there any chance you can learn how to spell the word “English”?

      • zorro
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        He obviously watches ‘The Simpsons’…Doh!


      • Robert Taggart
        Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Fonetics dear boy, FONETICS !

  28. Iain
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    If you want to know the characteristics that make up the English look at the institutions they have created , like Parliamentary democracy, like the rule of law, notably common law, like the Parishes and Counties they created to administer their local affairs. Unfortunately the British establishment have been poor, if not abysmal custodians of these English institutions and have corrupted every one of them, that is why it is long past the time English people took them back.

    • Excalibur
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      The whole spectrum of what constitutes Englishness has been written eloquently by Roger Scruton in his ‘England: an elegy’.

  29. forthurst
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Is Englishness racial, historical, cultural, geographical, legal? Why do the English unlike the Scots, Welsh or Irish not have a identity distinct from British? ‘British’ and ‘English’ are almost synonymous, except insofar as the former has been expanded to accomodate the ‘celts’. That is not to say that the ‘celts’, apart from their history, are sufficiently distinct from us as to created inate incompatibility or objectively determinable characteristic differences. As the chart on this webpage illustrates, there is no identifiable ‘Anglo-Saxon’ or ‘Celtic’ group. The peoples of the British Isles are largely from migrations determined by where their ancestors were sequestered during the Glacial Maximum and where they migrated afterwards when the British Isles was attached to the Continent, together with some further migration during the Neolithic period.

    As can be seen from the chart, the Anglo-Saxon wipeout theory is eyewash. We did not change materially after Anglo-Saxon rule any more than after Roman, Norman, or Dutch (Glorious Revolution) rule. Only since WWII, that victory for anti-nationalism and communism, have the enemy within been able to change the population substantially.

    One does have sympathy with Ed Miliband’s cultural confusion, however, since his sense of national and cultural identity is very much like that spewed out continuosly by the BBC; this is of course because, the BBC rather than being a British institution is the propaganda arm of people like Ed with their entirely alien beliefs, loyalties and originations. What Ed does not understand is the consequence of this is that not only have the English become to feel alienated in their own country, but that the ‘celtic’ fringe, believing they are been fed orthodox ‘Englishness’ recoil in horror. Afterall, why would a Scot want to be so obsessive about furthering the neocon agenda in the ME like the ex-Yorkshireman, Willy Hague? Ed has relatives in the ocupied West bank of the Jordan and is considered Israeli by that state; people can have simultaneous identities, but only if they are constituent of the same whole.

  30. AJAX
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Not sure national characteristics pertaining to individuals is a measure that exists to quantify.

    Suffice to say that the English, whether in their home island or thruout the Anglosphere, at their core know that for a long time they’ve been the inheritor of the fallen mantle of France, Rome & the Greeks, and are destiny’s child at this time & move the global tide; the rest of the world knows this, & the only rivals they have is the Deutschlanders whom – as of yet at least – haven’t got quite enough to replace them.

    The Celtic peoples of the British Isles are hitched to the English slipstream & have benefited hugely – & occasionally suffered gravely – because of their presence alongside them in these islands, but they are a different people that move to a quite different pulse & it would be better for all concerned if the clapped out old vehicle of the UK is quietly consigned to history’s trash can & they have their sovereignty released from Westminster back to their 3 capital cities. They would then cease to be a drag on England, & England’s ham-fisted government of them, which is doing them no favors really, would be ended too

  31. Iain
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    “He has also apologised for Labour’s past, which he tells us was not good at cherishing or promoting England’s identity.”

    The only reason Miliband could get away with a speech like that is because of the wilful neglect of England by the Cameron Conservatives.

    The Labour party should be grovelling to England for the (discrimination-ed) they have shown against England and English people, begging and pleading to be allowed a hearing after the constitutional (unfairness -ed) they enacted against the English with devolution . But of course they can get away with their anti English (stance -ed) because the Cameron Conservatives didn’t care a fig about England and still don’t. In Cameron’s eyes we were and still are those sour faced little Englanders he so despises and spoke about in Glasgow. Cameron I believe has had a good word to say about every race and nation on this earth, bar the English that is. We have had a decade of constitutional discrimination yet what does Cameron do? Kick the issue into the longest grass he can find whilst bestowing constitutional goodies on the Scots off the cuff, regardless of the constitutional impact on us English people.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Iain, the only time Cameron will remember the English is 2015 when he needs our votes. In the meantime we English will continue to be treated with the same discrimination and the same contempt as under Labour. No wonder lifelong Conservatives like me are turning to UKIP.

  32. Caterpillar
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I struggle with identity politics. But as a massive generalisation / guess, I think the Englishness of English is hard to define because there is an approximate equivalence of ‘being English’ and ‘being an individual’. This may lead to problems when individuals wish to find identity, support etc. or when some wish to take advantage of others, but it also allows the English to be accepting e.g. Mr Gough (aka the naked rambler) treated with “so what” in England, whilst (I think) the Scottish keep locking him up.

    English individual and freedoms

    (though admittedly freedoms have been hugely threatened in recent years).

  33. JoolsB
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Miliband rules out an English Parliament but so does Cameron and the Conservative Party. EVEL will never work as long as the unfair Barnett Formula exists because not only will Scots, Welsh & NI MPs insist on voting on English only imatters due to Barnett consequentials but also to justify their very existance because if they couldn’t vote on English only matters, they would have very little to do.

    EVEL will not give England a First Minister or Secretary of State. England will still have no-one to represent it or indeed stand up for it against the UK Government whose austerity measures seem only to apply to England whether it be prescription charges or tuition fees or indeed selling off only England’s assets.

    EVEL won’t prevent a future Labour UK Government being foisted on England by the rest of the UK even if England were to vote Conservative. Scotland, Wales & NI get the parliament/assembly of their choosing yet England is governed by a coalition despite giving the Tories a 62 seat majority in England.

    It seems all the politicians except for UKIP don’t want to offer England equality with the rest of the UK, i.e. it’s own parliament. In fact most politicians, and to their shame most Conservatives, don’t even want to mention England at all never mind address the English Question.

    Here’s an idea – how about next time the Scots or the Welsh are being asked yet again how they wish to be governed, why not ask the English for a change what they would like or does Mr. Cameron’s “countries have a right to self-determination” not apply to his own constituents or the people of England?

  34. James Matthews
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    What is unique about the English? Why do we need to establish this? I don’t think I could claim anything unique about myself but I am reasanably confident that I have a separate identity. The same measurement can be applied to the English as a whole. For a working definition, how about “those who live in, or were born in, England and who regard their primary national loyalty as to England “( consider the words in quotaion marks as in block capitals and heavily underlined). The Tebbit test has much merit.

    Ed Milliband though, is profoundly unconvincing. You can’t say you want more recognition for the English but in the same breath rule out political recognition and expect to be taken seriously.

  35. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I am proud to be English because of Leveson. I’m proud that in this dark hour the democratic process and the honesty of the politicians involved are so clear to see.

    Democracy and duty are at the heart of being English.

    • David Kelly
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      You don’t actually think Leveson’s impartial, do you?

      • Rebecca Hanson
        Posted June 12, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

        I was quite shocked that there was no probing of Michael Gove’s accounts of all his meetings with Newscorp/Pearson during the critical first few months of this parliament when he passed legislation to dismantle state education and shut down all the consultative/policy making bodies.

        During that time the media was running a vast spin campaign to discredit anyone with the capacity to challenge policy in education and to convince people that the way to improve professional freedom in education was nothing to do with making Ofsted accountable (as all other regulators are – and that in fact it needed to become more of a political bullying tool) or reforming high stakes assessment but was instead to do with allowing companies to make profit out of education (despite all the evidence otherwise).

        Apparently that was okay because the meetings were only about education.

  36. Muddyman
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Far too many arrive in this country claiming to be ‘British’, they ignore the land on which they stand and the name of ENGLAND must never be spoken. These ‘British’ come in many cases from countries who claim independence and ‘cultures’ which are their’ right’, but they object to the same rights for the English. To be born in England is not an automatic right to be English – the English are Anglo Saxon in origin – British they may be , but respect for the country which houses them is sadly lacking.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      I had an example of that late this afternoon Muddyman. A (person from Poland) who came to live, work and settle in the UK, criticising the English. Talk about biting the hand that feeds them!

      I welcome people with special skills who have a unique contribution to make, but I wouldn’t have thought job (this person has)was beyond the indigenous population. I’m afraid, if I had my way, they’d have a one-way ticket back to Poland. Guests have a duty to show respect towards their hosts.

      Tolerant we must be to a degree, but mugs? Never!


  37. peter
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I have always said that the devolved MPs should be double hatted – as they only deal with devolved issues it should be easy to enough to divide devolved politics and UK politics.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Peter, that’s just it, the 119 Celtic MPs at Westminster do not deal with devolved matters for their own constituents, those are decided by 129 MSPs at Holyrood or 60 AMs at Cardiff. On matters relating to health, education, higher education, local government, housing, transport, law & order, police, fisheries, they can only vote on these matters relating to ENGLAND but not for those who elected them. Some democracy eh?

  38. pedroelingles
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Well done David John Wilson (posted June 11 at 10:07 am). I have spent 40 years meticulously researching my family and traced my ancestors – all English – back to 1460. Then it emerged that we most certainly must have originated from Wales at which point the problems of making further progress became insurmountable due mainly to the “phrasing” of WelshFamily names and working out whose father was who. May I suggest that D J Wilson pursues his researches for a few more generations as he may yet be in for a surprise. pedroelingles.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Many of my lines go back to the 16th century. They are still all totally English. It is unlikely that I will be able to take any of them back much further.

      • wab
        Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        One could conclude that your family is rather boring. Fortunately in a decade or two we will all be able to get our DNA analysed fairly cheaply and that will let us know much more about where our ancestors came from. Whatever, we can guarantee that your ancestors at some point arrived in England, just like everybody else’s, it’s just a question of when.

  39. Tad Davison
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Since this thread first appeared early this morning, I have been reading the good and informed (mostly) of others and considered my own my notion of Englishness.

    I am first generation English on my father’s side, but consider myself solidly English all the same. Here then is what it means to me:

    1. Decency. Not for me vile and degrading filth.
    2. Self-reliance.
    3. Responsibility for ones own actions.
    4. Courtesy and respect towards others.
    5. Charity. Always ready to lend assistance to others in need.
    6. Chastity. Be ready to accept ones own faults and deal with them.
    7. Not to break wind in public.

    I think 6 out of 7 isn’t too bad!

    Tad Davison


    • zorro
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      So which do you fall down on… 😉


  40. Mark
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Flanders & Swann had these thoughts:

    The English are noble, the English are nice,
    And worth any other at double the price

    The English are moral, the English are good
    And clever and modest and misunderstood.

    The English, the English, the English are best
    I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest.

    • stred
      Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink

      Hope his daughter understands this! Being of Belgian stock.

  41. Joe F
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Ed Miliband’s definition of Englishness is a stoicism in the face of adversity; ‘surely a British characteristic if it is anything’. I’m not even sure we can claim it as that. In spite of the richness of the English language, we don’t have a word that encapsulates that characteristic, unlike the Finns who have ‘sisu’ (which along with ‘sauna’ is cited as one of only two Finnish words to find common(ish) use in English).

    Sisu is described as something internal and essential to understanding Finnish culture. I’m not sure that Mr Miliband could claim that for anything in his interview. In our favour I’d say a defining character is that we don’t have a one-word encapsulation of what defines us. But that independence and sensible caution serve us very well.

    • Mark
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      The Finnish words that stick in my mind are “Puhelin”, which means telephone, not smelly girl; “Kiitos” which means thank you; “Pankki”, which means bank (and any hint of hanky-panky is purely coincidental); “Alko” – the brand name of the state liquor stores that just means alcohol but easily elicits a guilt complex in an English speaker, especially since the stores had whited out windows like a betting shop; and “Keskusta”, which means town centre, though of which town the road signs usually leave you to guess.

  42. sm
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Lions led by donkeys.

    Proud yes – but not with the honesty and integrity of our current political class and so called democracy, who continually block the democratic will of the peoples of this island.

    EU exit, referendums for all the parts of the UK, and the establishment of independent parliaments and or federal structure to facilitate any transition required. Constitutional referenda on more issues, politicians are losing and indeed have lost legitimacy.

    Renditions of ‘Britons never never will be slaves’? just don’t mention debt-serfdom.

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    We could force the BBC to accept advertising revenue by reducing their licence fee revenue. That might cramp their style a bit. It would also reduce the size of the state.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Why not go the whole hog? Now it is digitised make it adopt the Sky model and become subscription.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Plus, while we are reforming terrestrial television – please sell off Channel Four !

  44. uanime5
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I suspect the reason MPs will not create an English Parliament is that it will involve devolving most of the powers of Westminster to this new Parliament, thus reducing the power of MPs. Also as Westminster will have fewer functions it will need far fewer MPs and Lords; yet another reason why the English Parliament will be opposed.

    Anyway if an English Parliament is ever creates it should be outside of London to ensure its independence from Westminster. Perhaps it could be located in another major city, such as Birmingham or Manchester.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted June 13, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Perhaps we should regret creating the devolution monster in the first place. Step 1 should be to cut Holyrood down to size by abolishing its tax raising powers. Let Stormont, Cardiff and Holyrood be mere assemblies.

      • Robert Taggart
        Posted June 15, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Pandoras Box…!

  45. Gewyne
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    What do the Conservatives offer England (sorry the Conservative and Unionist Party) ?

    We all know when we hear them talk about changes to the NHS etc that they mean the NHS in England, because they have no power over it in Scotland and Wales. They do not state the changes are in England only, an attempt to disguise the inequalities of devolution.

    If in the next elections only English MPs were returned to Westminster, leaving devolved parliaments for all the home nations there would actually be fewer MPs. There is no reason why the Lords could not be abolished as it stands and instead become a Upper chamber made of appointments by the Home nations to work on common policies (defence etc).

    The Conservatives in the last election would have been in charge of a English Parliament, and we would currently actually have real changes being made. Sadly the Conservatives are the biggest Union flag waving party out there at the moment. Rather Ironic seeing as they are hated in Wales and Scotland and only really have any support in England.

    • lojolondon
      Posted June 12, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Too true! If Scotland get their independence, the Labour party would never win another election!!

  46. Ralph Musgrave
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Miliband, head of the ideology free organisation known as the “Labour Party”, is just trying to win a few votes from the BNP, EDL, etc. If he thought a few votes could be won by reintroducing workhouses, he’d go for that.

    It’s almost as cynical as the allegedly anti-racist Ken Livingstone’s rude remarks about Jews prior to the recent London mayoral election. Since there are far more Muslims than Jews in London, Ken knew he’d win votes by insulting Jews.

    If Miliband or Livingstone thought there were votes in (otehr extreme actions-ed), they’d probably go for that as well.

  47. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    One used to hear all the time, But this is England!, however now it is unfortunately more a case of, “This WAS England”.

  48. Ian
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Looking at some of the comments I’d say that the EU policy of divide and rule has been very successful. A superstate, divided into little regions instead of countries – just what Dr Monnet, and his disciples like Alex Salmond, ordered. It won’t be long now…..

  49. Barbara Stevens
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    How do you define ‘Englishness’ well I look back to my relatives lying in distant fields who died for these islands, lying beside Scots, Welsh, and Irish. These are the people who define the UK as a whole, we are all equal, and one country. I look in the mirror and what do I see, a white person, with ancestors going back hundreds of years who have cried, laughed and toiled for these islands. I have no desire to be a ‘region’ of the EU, I belong to one country the United Kindgom. Yes, we have faults, yes, we make mistakes, but we face up to our faults and mistakes where others don’t.
    Therefore when anyone, from anywhere, tell me we have to adhere to the majority within Europe, they can go to hell, NO.
    Miliband as no idea about Englishness for he’s not really English at all, he’s come from immigrant decent, he does not have history like many of us have. Therefore he can not judge or tell us what we should do or think, he’s not got the pedigree to do so.
    If he thinks we should listen then its time he listened to us the British people and decided we are ‘entitled’ to vote on our destiny within the EU or out. I will never vote for the Labour party again after their social engineering, and Cameron is not shaping up either very good. He’s got to get tougher and start putting his foot down with Europe, or we,the people will boot him out altogether.

  50. Lithgae Dave
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Depressing stuff reading the comments above. People seem to be talking as if the English and Scots were homogeneous, uniform blocs who all thought and felt the same things. I am Scottish and have lived in Scotland all my life. I originate from the rural North East of Scotland, I speak the Doric, am a fan of the Bothy Ballads and the poetry of Violet Jacob and Marion Angus. This is a hugely different culture from the Highland Gaelic culture that my father came from. The Labour dominated Glasgow/West Central area of Scotland is a foreign country as far as I am concerned. There are also huge regional differences within England.
    Ultimately trying to define “the special characteristics” of England or Scotland is self defeating. There are none.

  51. Iain Gill
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m reading “chavs” by owen jones

    I find myself agreeing with much of whats in the book from a totally different perspective. The author examines the abuse of the working class through the eyes of a clear left wing view on the world, I agree with much of what is said about the abuse of the working class but from a more right wing viewpoint. The anti English view prevelant in Scotland would result in folk getting locked up if it was directed against any other racial group.

    And yet the English as you say are let down by the politicians. Miliband trips out the tendy wine bar view of the lower orders that his party was setup to represent, offensive in its lack of understanding of those people, and lack of respect for the merits of their views. Best illustrated by the rejection of the concerns on immigration expressed by the silent majority. After bigotgate during the election you would have thought the labour party would have examined the issues in more detail.

    All a disgrace really. The public really are being let down by those paid to represent them.

  52. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    “I am particularly angry with the BBC after hearing Sunday’s interview on the World at One about the Euro’s problems. Three senior people who have constantly urged more European integration”

    Yes – the BBC seems to have a view of the World which manipulates public opinion.

    Robert Peston’s video gives an example of how inaccurate the BBC’s view of Banking is:

    There is no mention of how Banks create most of the money in the economy. This video assumes that Banks must attract Depositors cash and then lend out that cash to borrowers. The Profit the Bank makes is shown as the difference in interest payments to depositors against the interest payments received from borrowers.

    If this video was correct, then M4 (Lending Money) or Commercial Bank Money would equal ZERO.

    The founders of the EURO are denying all responsibility for the chaos that their currency has caused by saying that the EURO requires central fiscal control through central Political control.

    They are arguing that the EURO can be fixed by having a single Government in Europe. They are also arguing that in order to compete against the US Dollar and the Chinese Yuan – the EURO must succeed as the EURO is under attack from Fitch, S & P and Moodys rating agencies.

    Isn’t the real problem that Government’s issue Treasury Bonds that are floated on the Worlds currency markets? Having a “United Europe” will not remove the risk of the EURO being trashed by foreign speculation.

    EURO enthusiasts have created a problem that they have also got a solution for. The solution is more central control.

  53. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    The EURO is being supported by Angela Merkel. No doubt there are many Germans who are proud of Dr Merkel. And they’ve got a right to be just as many British are proud of David Cameron.


    Have Germans actually studied some of the things that Dr Merkel has said about the economy:

    “Growth through structural reform is sensible, important and necessary”

    And …

    “Growth through debt would throw us back to the beginning of the crisis, and that’s why we haven’t done it and won’t do it.”

    What this means is that Growth is to be achieved through reducing debt and public spending. This is a contradiction in terms as reducing debt and public spending will reduce the money supply. This would normally be associated with a recession.

    Mr Cameron’s attitude is identical to Dr Merkel’s as he believes that we should also reduce our debt’s and reduce public spending (public borrowing). If all money was created by the Government then this would be a sensible policy as the money supply would not shrink.

    It may be beneficial for Dr Merkel to consult with Professor Richard Werner before deciding on policies that would generate a recession.

  54. stred
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Tonigh, a comment was made, in my residence, that the definition of an Englishman’s ability to reflect continental culture , is to comment “splat”” at the end of Tosca.

  55. Backwoodsman
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    I am deeply saddened by the general tenour of this discussion.Increasing Cornishness,debates about Berwick on Tweed,insistence on pure English ancestry back to the 14th century(What a tiny minority that must be!),Britain a clapped out concept.
    Why dont some of you read the recent genetic historians? You are all essentially the same people,and the main lineaments were laid down in Mesolithic and Neolithic times.
    You live in a world where you are all a small diminishing and formerly dominant minority in an increasingly dangerous and hostile world. Just beneath the official rhetoric of even some of your closest European neighbours,and other of your erstwhile enemies lies real hatred,based on recent ,real ,and as they see it unecessary suffering.And if you think they care,other than at the most superficial and tactical level whether you are from Kent,Cornwall,Kircudbright or even Kildare,you are much greater fools than your ancestors,pure English or Manx or pure whatever,ever were.Why not just focus for once on what the insular peoples have achieved together rather than prattling on about the little things that divide.Truly those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
    Which is not to say that that you should not cherish,as you always have ,the distinctive features of all of the old and kingdoms ,counties and other jurisdictions.But dont parlay them into present political disintegration.Just look to the Republic and see who will ultimately be calling the tune if you take that path.
    As to the identity of the English,that is a real problem.So much that was believed to be Englishness,was shaped by the imperial upper class or the sturdy and honest working classes,the one now debunked,and the other often enough displaced,disregarded,and in many cases degraded.What is left that is salient for the English is for them to determine.As an insular ‘bitser’ I can do no more sigh for what they have so lightly abandoned or lost .God forbid though that Englishness should be defined by Mr.Milliband ,or any other liberal leftist.That would be the ultimate degradation and disaster.

  56. lojolondon
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    John, firstly, it is notable that Miliband’s most testing interview, was on C4. The BBC interviews him every week, and never question his answers or ask him a difficult question.

    Secondly, I see that you have taken note of the BBC’s bias. I realise that perhaps MP’s fear hostile questioning in the future, but it is quite clear that no-one is willing to tackle the Biased BBC on their duty to deliver an honest, impartial view.

    The BBC is clearly a mouthpiece for the Labour party, and Cameron’s failure to insist that the BBC remains impartial is going to cost the Conservatives come the next election. It has already cost us deeply with NHS reform, schools reform, IDS’s welfare reform and the budget to name a few.

    Lastly, I want to ask about Gordon Brown’s evidence to the Leveson enquiry. The newspapers are pointing out all the dozens of ‘errors’ he made, under oath. In fact, almost every statement contradicts common knowledge, not to mention evidence given by NI, Labour and other witnesses to the same enquiry. (Are there any ways he can challenged on the accuracy of his statements-ed)

    Reply: I do not think the BBC has a Labour party bias, but it does have a pro EU pro big state pro global warming bias. There are conflicts in testimony to Leveson – he is going to have to work out which version he thinks is true. I do not expect to see Leveson witnesses brought to court for not telling the truth if he does find that someone has told a lie. It’s not quite the same as a lie in court in an important court case.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      The NHS reforms (having a large number of consortia run by private companies decide what treatment people get) are terrible; this is why doctors oppose them.

      The schools reforms (replacing comprehensives full of qualified teachers with academies that lack qualified teachers) are terrible; this is why teachers oppose them.

      The welfare reforms (forcing the unemployed onto a 2 year course to remove them from the unemployment register for 2 years) are terrible; this is why it’s failing so badly that the Government refuses to release any statistics on the Work Programme.

      Were the BBC to support any of these disastrous changes they would be nothing more than a propaganda mouthpiece for Government policy.

      Also John if you believe the BBC has a ‘pro global warming bias’ perhaps you should go on the BBC and explain your evidence. You could even be paired with a scientist who has studied climate change to ensure both points of view are represented.

      • Richard
        Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        You miss the point as usual.
        The BBC is bound by its charter to present the news and current affairs in a balanced way.
        It is a public service broadcaster paid for by our subscriptions.
        It should not take any set positions for or against, just report it fairly and without bias.
        Which it so obviously fails to do.

  57. David Langley
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I am just left shaking my head this morning, the news is full of armed forces redundancies, voluntary and compulsory. The clip about Barroso wanting more and deeper financial integration, with EU controls over all our banking and finance. What really is going on? Are we slowly being stripped of our ability to control ourselves, to defend ourselves and are we losing that feeling of self worth that is so admirably demonstrated by the best of our people. The forces work within teams comprising the best of all our nations regardless of ethnic background, combining to live and work shoulder to shoulder. Delighting in the different accents and attitudes but sharing all that binds, adversity, belief in a cause and working harder than you could believe to achieve fitness and success in achieving it. I believe that the growing self awareness being released in us by the impending disaster of the supremacy of the EU elite makes Englishness irrelevant but living in England supreme. I will march with UKIP and any organisation that practices my beliefs.

  58. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    “I am particularly angry with the BBC after hearing Sunday’s interview on the World at One about the Euro’s problems. Three senior people who have constantly urged more European integration, have backed the Euro and in the case of Mr David Miliband thrown away some of the UK’s powers of self government in support of this cause, were allowed long periods to say what they wished in a kind of extended pro EU party political broadcast.”

    Mr Redwood, here is the link for the BBC’s Complaints page:

    Here is the link to the BBC Charter:

    44. Accuracy and impartiality
    (6) The rules in the code must, in particular, take account of the following matters—
    (a) that due impartiality should be preserved by the BBC as respects major matters
    falling within paragraph (b) of the definition of “relevant output” (in paragraph (8))
    as well as matters falling within it taken as a whole

    “(a) the provision of an accurate, unbiased and independent news service covering
    international and national developments”

    “6. Sustaining citizenship and civil society
    (1) In developing (and reviewing) the purpose remit for sustaining citizenship and civil society, the Trust must, amongst other things, seek to ensure that the BBC gives
    information about, and increases understanding of, the world through accurate and
    impartial news, other information, and analysis of current events and ideas.”

    Good Luck.

  • 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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