Letter to the Archbishop of York

I have sent the following letter and await a reply:

 

 

Dear Archbishop

I was pleased to hear reported your view that there needs to be more recognition of England and Englishness to complement the recognition of Scottish and Welsh cultures and interests within the UK Union.

I was not however persuaded that you do understand the nature of the English view when you went on to propose the international and EU elite solution to the English problem, more devolution to regions. England has rejected EU/Whitehall proposals to create artificial regions with elected governments. Many of us resented the way the EU refused to put England on their maps but broke us up into unpopular Euro regions. We were relieved they  allowed Scotland and Wales to escape whole and unscathed. We are  now concerned about the EU’s aggressive approach to Northern Ireland.

I would be happy to debate these matters with you to extend understanding of England and Englishness within the UK and to expose lopsided and unfair devolution. There could be an online  debate  or we could book a room at Westminster with an audience if rules allow.

 

Yours sincerely

 

John Redwood

100 Comments

  1. Ian Wragg
    August 16, 2021

    The church along with much of the establishment hate the English.
    We are institutionally racist in their eyes.
    Irish, Scottish and Welsh nationalism is good.
    English nationalism is racist.
    Until the swamp is drained of these pernicious idiots, nothing will change.
    Net zero will bring about change but not how politicians would want.

    1. MFD
      August 16, 2021

      Could you expand on your opinion Ian as I find any talk about “ net zero “ depressing. We have so many fools who follow without thinking about the direction they are being driven

    2. Nota#
      August 16, 2021

      @Ian Wragg – the Archbishop said the opposite of that, he criticised the London “metropolitan elite” for treating people who are proud to be English as “backwardly xenophobic

    3. Peter
      August 16, 2021

      Given what else is in the news at the moment, I think a debate with the Archbishop on this subject would be of limited interest. It would not get much media coverage for a start. The government are also very unlikely to address the issue.

      As for the Archbishop, he is not the worst of them. He does address religious matters as well; and mostly in line with C of E teachings. Others in his denomination often seem to think being nice and adopting causes is sufficient. Certainly that is the calibre of Anglican (and many other) speakers on Radio 4 ‘Thought for The Day’. The former clerics at St. Paul’s cathedral spring to mind – such as Giles Fraser who turns up on this spot and also writes for The Guardian. In fact the non white clergy are often more likely to stick close to traditional teachings than some of their socially minded White counterparts. The Bishop of Rochester is one example. I would listen to what he has to say and I am not a Protestant.

      1. Peter
        August 16, 2021

        Michael Nazir-Ali.

        Spell checker mischief.

    4. Ed M
      August 16, 2021

      The Church does NOT hate the English. Some in The Church might be heretics but The Church has always stated clearly, at least from medieval times, that Patriotism is a VIRTUE!

      (Patriotism is an extension of love of family which is an extension of self – not in an narcissistic sense but in the sense that The Almighty made all men and women beautiful and loves us).

      ‘You are God’s work of art’ – New Testament. Just as God made Mozart, Bach, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare and Michelangelo (and inspired everything divine in their works of art) so The Almighty made us – but we are ALL infinitely more valuable and beautiful than the Mona Lisa, Figaro, Shakespeare’s The Tempest – or one of the Tsar’s most precious Faberge Eggs ..

      1. Peter
        August 16, 2021

        Ed M,
        ‘but we are ALL infinitely more valuable and beautiful than the Mona Lisa, Figaro, Shakespeare’s The Tempest – or one of the Tsar’s most precious Faberge Eggs’

        I’m not.

        1. Ed M
          August 16, 2021

          @Peter,

          ‘I’m not.’

          – Yes, you are.

        2. Ed M
          August 16, 2021

          @Peter,

          I live in London. Sadly, so often I see people and they are sad or angry – or just not right.

          We can only be truly productive, achieving GREAT things – but with GREAT HAPPINESS – once we ALL know just how beautiful and valuable we ALL are – from the Queen down to the humble man at the bottom. Achieve great things in LOVE, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP, BUSINESS, THE ARTS, THE ARMED FORCES, EDUCATION, HEALTH, and so on.

          All the best.

  2. Fedupsoutherner
    August 16, 2021

    Please ensure he realises how angry most of us are over the unfair advantages the devolved nations enjoy that the English pay for whilst putting up with their input into English laws. Please point out that we don’t appreciate Sturgeon and Co working against the best interests of the UK whilst accepting more and more English aid for her pet projects.

    1. MiC
      August 16, 2021

      “Most” of us?

      The “us” being the tiny extreme nationalistic minority of English people, who spend their days fulminating on right-wing websites such as John”s, perhaps.

      Most normal people aren’t that bothered.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        August 16, 2021

        MIC. What are you doing on your definition of a ‘right wing’ website then? I think you will find ‘most of us’ don’t think much of your views.

      2. Everhopeful
        August 16, 2021

        Not being bothered isn’t normal.

      3. SM
        August 16, 2021

        MiC – and up you pop, demonstrating the sad and blinkered view that being proud of one’s country is fine and patriotic if one is Scottish, Welsh or Irish – even French – but delineates an Englishman who feels the same way as a sinister Nationalist.

      4. No Longer Anonymous
        August 16, 2021

        Yet Scottish and Welsh nationalism isn’t vilified.

      5. MWB
        August 16, 2021

        MiC, you are in Wales, so this subject has nothing to do with you. Keep quiet.

      6. Micky Taking
        August 16, 2021

        so what are you doing on this site, several entries every day?
        Fulminating your idealistic leftie nonsense after daily twitching the curtains to worry how others see the world?

      7. acorn
        August 16, 2021

        MiC, JR is trying to start a war between the CofE northern province of England run by the Archbishop of York and his twelve Diocesan Bishops, and the CofE southern province of England run by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with his thirty Diocesan Bishops. The former contains the “red wall” Diocese the Tories won at the Election, that JR has now chosen to pick a fight with their Archbishop. Downing Street will not be happy.

        1. MiC
          August 16, 2021

          Yes, I don’t doubt that in so far as that is possible then he is.

      8. Andrew
        August 19, 2021

        Most normal people disagree with you !

    2. Lifelogic
      August 16, 2021

      +1

  3. turboterrier
    August 16, 2021

    He is on a totally different plain to us.
    He is guided from above but when you look around the world and see the death and destruction all linked to religion to justify the perpetrators actions I am always amazed that the top echelons of the religious world do not adopt a lower profile and concentrate on their day job.

    1. Know-Dice
      August 16, 2021

      And the Bishops still sit in the House of Lords…

    2. Mike Wilson
      August 16, 2021

      He is ‘guided from above’!!! Really? I don’t think much of the guidance. Not sure if your comment is sarcasm – or not.

      Do you really think the creator of the universe is ‘up there’ guiding – by some invisible means – the present incumbent of the post of ‘silly man in fancy dress’ – part of the management of a dying, minority religion (whose principal purpose was gaining power and wealth)?

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        August 16, 2021

        Mike. As an Archbishop I am sure much of what he does and says is ‘guided from above’ meaning that he goes by the Bible and what God ordains. I can see from Turbo’s post exactly what he is saying but somehow you always have to be bloody awkward in your analysis of others posts. Religion is at the root of much of what is evil today and keeping religion out of politics would be a good thing.

        1. Mike Wilson
          August 16, 2021

          Not sure questioning what someone says, or disagreeing with it, equates to being ‘bloody awkward’.

          After nearly 7 decades on this earth, and having endured religious indoctrination as a child, I do get a bit fed up with the inane claptrap that people speak about ‘god’ – and all the rest of their religious nonsense.

    3. Lifelogic
      August 16, 2021

      Their day jobs seems to be to come out with crass drivel and worthless platitudes for us all to laugh at I assume? Should living in a bishops palace not be taxes as a large benefit in kind? Why are they all still in the Lords with other tax free benefits paid for by other far poorer tax payers? I cannot remember the last time I heard a CofE Bishop say anything sensible – amusingly idiotic yes all the time.

    4. Ed M
      August 16, 2021

      ‘Let’s focus on dumping the blame for everything bad on others.’

      – Let’s focus on NOT dumping the blame for everything bad on others I meant.

    5. Ed M
      August 16, 2021

      Also, one of the main reasons why people wreck havoc on the world is how they were treated as children by their parents. Just been reading about it. It’s huge. Between the ages of 0 to 5 are huge in how we turn out later in life. And 5 o to 18 but in particular 0 to 5. People who didn’t receive love from their parents at these ages are traumatised. It influences in an important way all the important decisions they make or don’t make (but should) later in life as adults.

      People either refuse to confront what happened to them as children and bury it the pain. But this pain is always there but resurfaces throughout life in aggressive / unloving behaviour towards others. Or else they confront the pain but have bitterness towards their parents – and this bitterness then makes the aggressive / unloving towards others. Or they confront the pain – and deal with it, including by forgiving their parents and so letting go of the pain – and so able to love themselves properly again – and people in the world.

      This is huge. In fact, this is one of the main jobs The Church of England should be doing, encouraging grown-ups to confront the pain from their childhood and deal with in a a positive way. Millions of people would then before far more happy with themselves, far more productive in their lives in general, and far less of a burden on others – including the state.

  4. Sea_Warrior
    August 16, 2021

    And I don’t want to see regionalisation either. There are too many forces working to destroy our country, the United Kingdom. And I’ll applaud the fact that pressure is now being applied on sports administrators to re-brand Team GB to Team UK.

  5. Nig l
    August 16, 2021

    Ps. And on what basis do you think you should be sharing your views? If the Church was a business shouldn’t you be spending more time and effort getting back your disappearing customers’?

    1. Lifelogic
      August 16, 2021

      If they paid taxes, particularly inheritance taxes at 40% ~ every 25 years on assets, as wealthy families do, they would certainly need customers. But they do not. Similarly for the royal family and many rather (or very) dubious “charities”.

  6. Nig l
    August 16, 2021

    And in other news interesting, yesterday how few people actually answered Sir JRs question, once again just dumping their pet views and hates.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 16, 2021

      What question? Examples of bad government service? So numerous it would be far easier to list the one or two government services that are remotely competent. They seem very efficient with motoring fines and parking ticket, tax return fines… but hardly a “service” to the public.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        August 16, 2021

        Well said L/L.

  7. Micky Taking
    August 16, 2021

    I doubt many in your constituency give a damn about his opinions on anything.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 16, 2021

      +1

  8. The Prangwizard
    August 16, 2021

    Two people to talk. A complete waste of time although I dare say they will each feel puffed up by the meeting.

    Neither believe England deserves a true parliament, even though they think it’s right for Scotland for example.

    England needs strong people speaking for it, not those who fake their allegiance.

  9. Mark B
    August 16, 2021

    Good morning.

    He is merely following Establishment policy, as is the current government. Scottish independence is one step closer to English independence.

    1. Mike Wilson
      August 16, 2021

      Indeed. If only we could lose Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland from the union then, abracadabra, we would be independent.

  10. Everhopeful
    August 16, 2021

    I imagine that he is very much pro EU since he waded in with other bishops etc attacking the govt. at a critical time during Brexit. Almost unprecedented intervention except once in Mrs T’s time when the Church criticised her inner city policies.
    The Archbishop is a SJW ( self proclaimed)and has to be very left of centre.
    The left is very keen on regional separation. Useful idiots genuinely seeing it as a good communitarian thing and the EU wanting it because small, bribable areas are more easily ruled.
    Were there regional councils in the 1950s? I’m not sure but I think that regionality was more a result of light touch government.
    We now have something approaching a dictatorship? Or what? Pro EU? Certainly anti English!

  11. Sakara Gold
    August 16, 2021

    In 1981 the late, highly eccentric but amusing Alexander Thynn – 7th Marquess of Bath – founded the Wessex Regionalist Party. He sought a degree of legislative and administrative home rule for Wessex, an area in the south and south-west of England, loosely based on the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the same name and which includes Berkshire.

    The party has contested a small number of Wessex-area parliamentary constituencies in most elections since it was established, but without success, frequenty coming last with less than a thousand votes and often losing it’s deposit. Clearly, it needs a charismatic and articulate figure to move it forward. Takers anyone?

    1. Richard1
      August 16, 2021

      There have been a number of such movements over the decades promoted by eccentrics and nutters. They get no support because no one has any interest. England as a political entity has existed for over 1,000 years. Sir John is dead right when he points out that, much as it would suit the left, the EU etc, the people of England by a large majority have no interest in breaking it up.

    2. Mike Wilson
      August 16, 2021

      Sounds like a job for Sir Nigel.

  12. JoolsB
    August 16, 2021

    You should be sending a similar letter to Johnson. This ‘Conservative’ Government and your ‘Conservative’ colleagues (there by the grace of England) are hellbent on breaking England up into competing Mayoral regions. Their refusal to acknowledge the rotten deal England gets from this so called union let alone do anything about it and their continuing to ignore the West Lothian Question and Barnett Formula only goes to prove their utter contempt for their constituents and England.
    England deserves better than the anti-English Con/Lab parties.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 16, 2021

      +1 Boris and this Government are going in the wrong direction on almost everything on England, on Net Zero, on the size of the State and taxation, on vaccine passports, on the NHS, HS2… Can we have the pre-Carrie one back please? When are Boris and Rabb going to admit that the Wuhan leak was almost certainly the cause of Covid19 and stop pretending?

  13. Maylor
    August 16, 2021

    Meanwhile, the numbers of illegals arriving on our shores continues to grow.

    Perhaps, we will not need to worry about England or the devolved nations for much longer ?

    1. Everhopeful
      August 16, 2021

      Just what I was thinking!
      And now it looks like another war and more refugees probably.

      1. Everhopeful
        August 16, 2021

        Strangely to an area that DOES have regionalism/tribalism.
        And which, come to think of it, is very hard to govern. So maybe the EU has got it all wrong?

    2. Iain Moore
      August 16, 2021

      Yes there is going to be very little of England left when the British establishment have finished with it. 6 million Europeans, offer to 5 million Hong Kong Chinese . A million immigrants every couple of years, visas on demand for Indian graduates and for graduates from around the world. 600 migrants washing up on our shore everyday, and now Afghanistan , no doubt the British establishment’s generosity will be limitless, the cost of course paid for by England becoming less English.

      1. Micky Taking
        August 17, 2021

        yes – a melting pot, hopefully not bringing to the boil.

  14. Richard1
    August 16, 2021

    Off topic, what an utter catastrophe is the Biden administration’s abandonment of Afghanistan. The US withdrew forces surreptitiously and without notice or consultation with allies. Extensive Equipment has been left for the Taliban who will now impose their horrific human rights abuses across the Country and most likely turn it again. into an Islamist terrorist training camp and base.

    Iran is again rampant, sponsoring and carrying out acts of terror and turbo-charging its illegal nuclear programme. China continues its crimes against humanity, threatens Western allies and continually threatens potential war over Taiwan. Germany has been allowed to sign up the Nordstream2 pipeline which will ensure massive gas (a fossil fuel incidentally you humbugs!) supply from the Putin regime, giving it a stranglehold over Europe and undermining countries pressured by Russia such as Ukraine and Poland. In the US people are leaving crime ridden high tax democrat states in droves.

    All this in just 6 months of this ageing President who it seems is increasingly controlled by a bunch of radical woke leftists. I did not like President Trump or approve of his tone and language. But my God the world was a safer place with such a president. Let’s hope we can survive until 2024 and then someone sensible like Pompeo or de Santis gets in.

  15. Hat man
    August 16, 2021

    Dear Sir John,
    You say a meeting at Westminster with an audience ‘if rules allow’ – what rules would prevent it? I thought all Covid restrictions had been lifted by now, according to your leader. Or should we not believe what he says?

    Reply Parliament rules on use of rooms and public attendance

  16. Alan Jutson
    August 16, 2021

    Would be an interesting debate if he accepts, but me thinks that will not happen.

  17. Sakara Gold
    August 16, 2021

    Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East and Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, yesterday called for HMS Queen Elizabeth to be redeployed to the Indian Ocean to assist with the Afghanistan evacuation!

    Words fail me when I consider the idiocy of this man’s statement. Does he not know that Afghanistan is a landlocked country? There are not even any rivers up which we could send a gunboat (if we had any). To give the carrier sufficient sea room off the Pakistani coast the F35’s would need at least a 2000km round trip – which would probaby require refueling in Pakistani airspace – plus overflight rights.

    I have to ask, how to people like this rise to positions of power in Defence?

    1. Bill B.
      August 16, 2021

      Sakara, I think you’ll find Tobias Ellwood is a reserve officer in the British Army. A landlubber. What would he know about nautical matters?

      But I shouldn’t be too critical of him – this is a sad time for anyone with army contacts, after 450+ deaths of our troops & MOD civilians in Afghanistan. That was twice the rate of deaths pro rata than the Americans.

      And for what?

      Blair’s first pointless war.

      1. Sakara Gold
        August 16, 2021

        Ah, that will explain if then. He’s a reserve army officer.

    2. Sea_Warrior
      August 16, 2021

      +1.

  18. Everhopeful
    August 16, 2021

    I had always thought that since the first objective of communism was/is to undermine religion, Christianity had been infiltrated by the far, extreme left. Hence the apparent change in the Church’s views.
    However, I came across a very interesting idea, namely that the absolute faith/belief demanded by Christianity ( or maybe all religions…not sure) primed worshippers for the faith also demanded by communism. Sitting ducks or sheep one might say.
    And so much of mainstream politics now is based on blind faith and unthinking repetition of the accepted mantra. Woe betide you if you are an unbeliever!

    1. Mitchel
      August 16, 2021

      Communism,as in Marxism-Leninism in Soviet Russia,was a religion ,borrowing much from Eastern Orthodoxy,the most mystical of the main christian creeds-the power of iconography,the predonderance of images of purification and apocalypse,the way Lenin was laid out in his mausoleum-as a saint,etc.The philosopher,Nikolai Berdyayev,who left Russia after the Revolution,noted :”The spirit of the people could very easily pass from one integrated faith to another integrated faith,from one orthodoxy to another orthodoxy which embraced the whole of life.”

      1. Ed M
        August 16, 2021

        It is the Devil (who is very real and wants to destroy our great country – and all in it – God forbid, just as he wants to destroy the world and everyone in it – God forbid) who takes something good – like art – and turns it / twists it into something evil.

        Satan was once a beautiful angel. But because of pride, he fell from grace, and is now an ugly demon / devil – who wants to turn everything that is beautiful to ugliness (and who wants to turn everything good to evil etc). God, please protect us.

      2. Everhopeful
        August 16, 2021

        +1

  19. J Mitchell
    August 16, 2021

    Marc Morris’s recent book The Anglo-Saxons tells us that England has been a recognisable geopolitical whole for 1,000 years. Englishness is an identity that has very, very deep roots and is something to be proud of. There are not many other countries which can claim that heritage. I simply do not understand why our political elites find it so difficult to grasp and shudder at the thought of it.

  20. Newmania
    August 16, 2021

    Are you really going to find some absurdly tenuous way to blame the EU for the price of bread eternally ? It is , getting a bit comical.
    The Labour Party were keen on Regions because they wished to devolve powers to Scotland without it being obviously unfair on England . The question was settled in 2004 when voters in the North East rejected the proposal by 77.9% to 22.1%, on a turnout of 48%. The EU had zero competence in this area .
    John Redwood`s interest in English Nationalism stem form Conservative dominance of English politics which he thinks he can use , with our bizarre FPTP system to create a perpetual Conservative Government. He is playing a dangerous game.
    Constitutional and reform is long over due and England is actually rather a Liberal place .There are signs already of the South and middle-classes becoming sick of a Party that hands them no-deal Brexit taxes them to pay for Northern Electioneering and habitually insults their values as in some way inferior and inauthentic.
    As cheap nasty developments are inflicted on the South to try to kick start Construction this growing dissatisfaction must be expressed .yes we need an English Parliament or something close but we also need an element of PR or it is a fraud

  21. George Brooks.
    August 16, 2021

    Should be an interesting debate and I certainly hope he takes up your invitation Sir John.

    The EU’s reason for breaking up England was obvious but why a man of the cloth should put forward similar proposals indicates that either he suffers from envy/jealousy or has a pronounced leaning to the left.

  22. Ian Wragg
    August 16, 2021

    Is the government ever going to stop this channel invasion or have we got to form vigilante groups based on the Home Guard to protect our shores.
    The clock is ticking.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      August 16, 2021

      I’m surprised that there isn’t a platoon of troops on every Kentish beach, to make sure that every last one of the invaders is caught and handed over to the Border Force. If the French were to do the same on their side we wouldn’t have any of the invaders even getting into their boats. The cost of deploying a soldier, in this country, is next to nothing.

      1. Micky Taking
        August 16, 2021

        The lucky ones get a nice day trip with the RNLI.

      2. MiC
        August 16, 2021

        A platoon is generally – but not always – about fifty troops.

        Have you counted the number of beaches in Kent?

        😂😂😂

        1. Micky Taking
          August 17, 2021

          Martin means, I think, we don’t have that many soldiers.
          Mind you 1 with a rifle might do it?

  23. Nota#
    August 16, 2021

    People are confusing Regionalism with Local Management. Local Councils for the most part when permitted are able to grasp, cope and manage local situation better than a remote body in London. Does anyone believe Glasgow needs Edinburgh interfering in it local management any more than it needs London doing it?

    The problem is that a London Centric Left leaning Elite want to dictate and manage local matters. that is different to a Local Council saying ‘Hey Guys’ to a UK Government we have a situation here can you provide guidance. The problem ostensibly is that there are no managers just egos to deal with

  24. Sakara Gold
    August 16, 2021

    Bluefield Solar Ltd, a £500million British operator of UK onshore solar parks and windfarms, has recently had a fundraise to pay down debt and finance the purchase of the grid connection and associated land of a fully consented, subsidy-free, ready to build 45MWp solar asset – and co-located 25MWp battery project – in NE Lincolnshire.

    This will be Bluefield’s first solar powered battery park of any size able to exploit the premium electricity prices available to British firms who can provide fast response power to help balance the grid. Bluefield have a pipeline of similar projects using British technology, this one will prove the tech works.

    1. Mike Wilson
      August 16, 2021

      That’s very interesting. There is a field near me with hundreds of solar panels in it. I am curious to know about the economics of installations such as these. The one I am talking about is in the middle of nowhere in Rampisham Down. You can see it on Google Maps. I wonder how it connects to the grid.

      1. Sakara Gold
        August 17, 2021

        Good morning. The technology is fairly simple, the panels produce DC electricity from free sunight which is converted into AC 50hz electricity using ~95% efficiency inverters. The AC is metered and supplied to the grid via an onsite substation. Further details can be obtained from Bluefield’s website.

        https://bluefieldsif.com/

  25. Iain Moore
    August 16, 2021

    Indeed, it isn’t a defence of England to want to see it broken up into foreign Mayoral fiefdoms when England’s culture is one of parishes and counties . A Cleric of the Church of England should know this, their own Church boundaries are part of it , and he really should have been aware of the parish, local council and counties who are all part of the local democracy that English culture created. For him to come up with this technocratic plan shows how far the Church of England has become alienated from the English people. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised for the C of E has been silent when Labour made us constitutionally second class citizens and all the other Anglophobic discrimination they heaped on us, their parishioner’s rights didn’t seem to matter to them.

  26. Bryan Harris
    August 16, 2021

    Well said

  27. Nota#
    August 16, 2021

    Daniel Hannan in todays Telegraph, while initially talking about the Governments to education goes on to sum up on all areas of our political system and its fatal flaw

    “Indulging every demand can make you popular for a while. You might even succeed in putting off the reckoning”. – “You can avoid tough decisions. But you can’t avoid the consequences of avoiding tough decisions”

  28. Andy
    August 16, 2021

    Dear Archbish,

    I read your letter.

    No wonder nobody goes to church.

    Love, Andy

    1. Micky Taking
      August 16, 2021

      but he’s old – should’nt you be more aggressive? Frightened about who is watching over him?

  29. Nota#
    August 16, 2021

    Todays announcement – Ultra grabs Cobham and the Government appears to be happy for its technology and IP to be spread around the World profiting others at a great big loss to the UK. More of the UK’s defence and security will need to be purchased from a foreign power. The UK taxpayer gets to pay twice over for the same.

    UK Government or a Local Council, were is the energy focused

  30. Wokinghamite
    August 16, 2021

    The more English devolution is discussed, the more the other countries will want devolution. We are best as a union.

    Regional government sounds a rotten idea, entailing more layers of management and perhaps resulting in indecision and conflict.

    1. Mike Wilson
      August 16, 2021

      We are best as a union.

      Why?

      1. Micky Taking
        August 17, 2021

        well some are content to just take, not contribute.

  31. X-Tory
    August 16, 2021

    Surely, Sir John, given that parliament is about to be recalled (apparently) to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, should we not be discussing this today? Destroying the al Qaida bases there was clearly the right thing to do, but this could have been done solely from the air, through bombs and missiles; there was never any need for ground troops. We lost 457 brave young British men, with many thousands more seriously injured and maimed for life, ALL FOR NOTHING. Their lives lost or ruined, and their families devasted and heartbroken, ALL FOR NOTHING. It is our involvement on the ground that is the disgrace, not our departure.

    British forces should only be sacrificed when there is a strategic national interest at stake. Changing Afghan society or cultural practices is NOT a strategic British interest. Whether or not Afghanistan is ruled by Sharia law is irrelevant to us here in Britain. It will not affect my life, or yours, one jot. We should withdraw all British citizens and then ask the Taliban if they want to have diplomatic relations or not. I really am not bothered either way. And as for all the sentimental claptrap and bleating about Afghan interpreters and the like, let’s remember that they did NOT do this work to help us, they did it to help themselves – both for the money (they were very well paid) and to promote their own objectives. We owe them nothing. We need to cut our losses, get out and have an inquiry as to why we were ever there in the first place.

    Reply I did a recent piece on Afghanistan and will probably do another ahead of Wednesday’s debate

    1. Sea_Warrior
      August 16, 2021

      I support your comment about the interpreters, who will number in their thousands, once their families are added. What will they expect over here? Housing? Welfare? Free university education? And while they are having that lot showered on them, how many ex-squaddies – many of them veterans of Afghanistan – will be sleeping on porches? One other thing: many of those men causing mayhem at Kabul airport today are of ‘military age’. How many of them resisted the Taliban yesterday?
      We must now end all financial support for refugees. The very small number given refugee status here should only ever get refuge, an NI number and directions to the nearest farm wanting labour. Until politicians legislate to make this so, none of them will get my vote. I am sick and tired of my ‘nose being rubbed in it’.

      1. X-Tory
        August 16, 2021

        “How many of them resisted the Taliban yesterday?”

        The lack of resistance to the Taliban is one very good reason why we should have no compunction in pulling out and leaving the Afghans to their fate. The fact is that the Afghan army – thanks to UK and US financial and military support – was four times the size of the Taliban forces and much better equipped. So why did they capitulate so dramatically? It’s time our political leaders had the honesty to explain the reasons: (i) the grotesque corruption of the politicians, (ii) the utter incompetence of the officer cadre, and (iii) the – let’s be frank – sheer cowardice of the troops.

        If the Afghans are not, despite all the help and advantages we gave them, going to fight for their country, their freedom and their future then why the hell should we???

      2. Dave Andrews
        August 16, 2021

        It’s the women who are the real losers in Afghanistan, yet all we see is men trying to leave them behind to their fate whilst they do their utmost to escape.

    2. Dave Andrews
      August 16, 2021

      Changing Afghan culture into what? The liberal western culture wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than recognition of gay rights, abortion on demand, gender reassignment… All things the Afghans generally hate.
      Maybe the Afghan security forces all folded because their training was all about diversity, rather than how to fight.

      1. MiC
        August 16, 2021

        Many people are dying horribly in Afghanistan, while you make your cheap, ignorant, mistargeted jokes at their expense.

    3. Micky Taking
      August 17, 2021

      ‘British forces should only be sacrificed when there is a strategic national interest at stake.’
      ?
      sacrificed?
      Never. I think you mean asked to put their lives on the line to assist bringing about peace and democracy.
      Not to knowingly come back in body bags or to be never heard of again?

  32. agricola
    August 16, 2021

    I would like to see the English identifying with England in much the same way as those from Yorkshire identify with their county. Apocryphal or not it has sufficient resonance to be used in advertising. It might be beneficial to themselves and England were the 12% varied ethnic minority to get behind the concept too, apart from where cricket was being played, which could be an ask too far. The liberal elite might look upon such ideas as intellectual leprosy, however they are off on so many other diversions they might not notice.

    1. MiC
      August 16, 2021

      What, you’d like to see the whole of England wearing general disbarment from polite society as a Badge Of Honour?

  33. Peter Parsons
    August 16, 2021

    It’s interesting to see how many comments don’t align with the data.

    For example, both the North East of England (£4,121 per person) and North West of England (£3,086 per person) receive a greater subsidy per capita than Scotland does (£2,948 per person).

    HM Treasury’s net contribution to Yorkshire, at £12.2 billion in 2020 is about 50% more than the UK’s net contribution to the EU was, yet I don’t read complaints on here about how much money goes to Yorkshire each year.

    In reality, it is not England that subsidises the rest of the UK, but the south east corner of England (London, the South East and Eastern regions – the only 3 areas which make a net contribution) which subsidise not only Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the rest of England as well.

    The biggest fiscal subsidy in the UK goes the North West of England, £22.7 billion in 2020.

    1. MiC
      August 16, 2021

      Beautiful, just beautiful, Peter – thanks so much for that, especially re Yorkshire, where I happen to own property.

      1. Micky Taking
        August 17, 2021

        champagne socialist? – or tweed jacket & green wellies?

    2. Mike Wilson
      August 16, 2021

      As a matter of curiosity, where do you get your numbers from?

      1. Peter Parsons
        August 17, 2021

        The Office for National Statistics.

        They publish a report called “Country and Regional Public Sector Finances” which looks at where taxes are raised and where public spending happens across the UK. All the figures I quote are from the most recent (2020) version of that report.

  34. Mockbeggar
    August 16, 2021

    Forgive me for writing off this topic, but I’ve just been catching up on yesterday’s replies, and I must ask Steve how, if he refuses to have anything to do with the internet or mobiles etc, he manages to keep up with Sir John’s diary and contribute to the replies?

    1. Mike Wilson
      August 16, 2021

      His wife reads the article to him and he dictates his comments.

    2. Micky Taking
      August 17, 2021

      public library access?

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