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Cornish nationalist

17 Jun

Cornish nationalist have campaigned as long as English counterparts for their devolution cause. Recently I read The Cornish Democrat’s article on ‘English Friends’

“Within the world of English nationalism most Cornish campaigners will not expect to find support….. Quite the opposite is the sad reality. The venom with which English nationalists, even the supposedly more moderate ones from the Campaign for an English Parliament, not to mention hard-right and fascist groups such as the EDP or EFP respectively, attack Cornish nationalists can be quite startling.”

The article questions lack of support for Cornish nationalist among English nationalist. This surprised me, most English nationalist I know support the Cornish cause. So what is happening here ?

The ‘Cornish Democrat’ starts his article calling the English Democrats (English Civic nationalist party) far right and fascists. A lot of people in the English Democrats support Cornish nationalist, attacking their party is not helpful. Calling English nationalist ‘fascist’ seems also hypocritical… “groups such as the EDP or EFP respectively, attack Cornish nationalists can be quite startling”.

An issue English nationalist have is the perception Cornish Nationalist are trying to piggyback our movement. The cause for an English parliament gathered momentum and increasing support due to groups like the The Campaign for an English Parliament. Cornish nationalist want ‘in’ on this momentum (whilst often expressing anti-English views themselves).

This causes a problem, Cornish nationalist want their aims recognised, but this goes against English nationalist current campaign aims.

English nationalist assert that the UK Government has no right to divide England into regions. An English parliament should form, and powers given to local authorities/regions by this English Parliament (not the UK parliament looking to the interest of the Union). We cannot pick up and include the Cornish Cause, to do so goes against our main campaign aims.

This has led to many Cornish nationalists accusing us of being hostile. This is not the cases, we do however object to accepting and championing their cause at the moment (changing in effect our mission statement). English nationalist need to keep our message clear and constant whilst it continues to gain momentum.

The question is, are the Cornish nationalist ready to back the English nationalist in obtaining an English parliament ? Do they trust that parliament to sort out the very real and valid concerns of Cornwall when formed ?

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Saville Report and Inquiry….

16 Jun

My opinion of the Bloody Sunday and the Saville Report remains the same after the inquiry as before. The inquiry should not have taken place,  its finding considered partisan, and the inquiry will lead to further demands.

The inquiry should not have taken place

In 1992 Prime Minister John Major said in a letter to John Hume (leader of the SDLP)

“The Government made clear in 1974 that those who were killed on ‘Bloody Sunday’ should be regarded as innocent of any allegation that they were shot whilst handling firearms or explosives. I hope that the families of those who died will accept that assurance.”

The Saville inquiry came to the same conclusion only it took them 12 years and £195 million costs to spread it over 5000 pages.

The need was to move on with the political process, acknowledging the past, moving onwards towards a peaceful future (if the Good Friday agreement was truly supposed to draw a line under Northern Ireland’s violent sectarian history). Instead we have had 12 years of anguish for some, a re-opening of injustice for many others.

The inquiry and its findings considered partisan

The findings would never satisfy everyone, and has opened as many wounds as healed. A victim of IRA terrorism has said there is a ‘hierarchy of victims’. Those killed by terrorism never had a £200 million investigation into the unlawful killing of their loved ones.

Some claim the State and government are rightly accountable for actions carried out in its name (actions of terrorist are beyond their control). If the government has a duty to see justice done, it’s to give justice and closure to all victims.

The inquiry will only lead to further demands

The Prime Minister has said the report should help communities

‘come together to acknowledge our shared history, even where it divides us. That is not to say that we must ever forget or dismiss that past. But we must also move on.’

I am not sure David Cameron is correct. The findings are being used by nationalist to accuse the British Army on Bloody Sunday as being the catalyst of Northern Ireland sectarian terrorism.

We will likely see attempts at prosecutions now, and attempts at revisionism of the cause of Northern Ireland’s recent violent history.

Scotland £40 million wealthier after initial cuts ?

9 Jun

So the Conservatives have decided to inflict £6 billion of cuts on the Country. The share for Scotland will be £332 million.

1. Scotland will not have to make these initial cuts cuts until next year.

2. Scotland has also secured an additional £182 million in funding from the UK government known as the fossil fuel levy.

3. Alex Salmond also seems confident he will receive £190m for Scotland as part of the Barnett formula through spending on the London Olympics.

It appears that Scotland does not need to make any cuts after all regarding it’s share of the £6 billion. In fact after this initial round of spending cuts Scotland will be £40 million better off. Must be nice living in the already most affluent nation in Britain.

Coalition destroying England….

8 Jun

England, thousands of years of History, achievements unmatched, it’s world legacy for good and bad alive and shaping the world today. England that many love to hate, many love to blame, many want to destroy. People having ill feeling towards England, wishing to erase it, stop its contribution to history (and slowly erase all knowledge of its past contributions) is nothing new. What is new, is the current and present danger of the Coalition currently governing Britain (and therefore England).

Torque contacted Nick Clegg when announced he would be in charge of answering the West Lothian question for the government. The following reply from Nick Clegg’s office.

“We recognise that devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland poses difficult questions for the governance of England within the Union. I think it’s important to be honest about the fact that it is difficult to find an immediate solution. The idea of ‘English votes for English laws’ is extremely complicated to implement – particularly because many laws actually extend to England only in some parts, while covering other parts of the UK in other areas. Given the fact that changes in spending on English services which would be devolved in the rest of the UK directly affect the devolved administration’s budgets, it is also often the case that ‘English’ legislation actually will affect devolved issues outside of England.

We believe that we can only really deal with this question by looking at it as part of the wider political system. We need to do more, first of all, to give more power to people locally in England – so that they, too, have more control over their own affairs rather than being micromanaged from Whitehall. We want to give local communities real power over their health services and policing, through fairly elected local health boards and police authorities – as well as freeing the hands of local councils, removing power from Westminster and Whitehall. Ultimately, we want to move towards a federal United Kingdom – devolving power within England further and thus resolving this question”.

Lets us be perfectly clear. The Coalitions head of the ‘West Lothian Question’ proposes the same solution as Gordon Browns nations and regions. The nations being Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the regions being East Midlands, East, Greater London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.

When you hear “Ultimately, we want to move towards a federal United Kingdom – devolving power within England further and thus resolving this question.” it is not giving power to England, but bypassing England. Nick Clegg’s preferred solution eliminates the possibility of an English Parliament. There will be no national governance to transfer to an English government. You no longer have a country, you are a region, ruled by an assembly, controlled by a British government which is part controlled by the European Union.

England will have no unified political representation, so it will of course need a thriving present, historical and educational representation if not to disappear into the footnotes of history.

So what do we have ?

Supermarkets that use the national flags of Scotland and Wales but not England to sell goods. English produce is marked with the British flag. Even after campaigning it is hard to get supermarkets to change as they openly say the Celtic fringes will not buy English marked produce.

Charities and organisations operating solely in England refuse to use England in their name, instead they opt for the false and misleading ‘Britain’ identity.

Local authorities and councils ?

Whilst in Scotland “The Saltire should be flown every day from Scottish Government buildings”. How many government buildings or local authorities fly the flag of St.George ? How many celebrate St.Georges day (and the few who do, compare the budget and size to that dedicated to St.Patrick’s day or the annual gay Pride parades).

So who can we look too ? The media ? Well the BBC certainly will not help.

“Reporting the Beijing Olympics, the media, and in particular the BBC, continued to announce medal winners as Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish and British, but not English. In its CEEFAX August 19th 2008 bulletin the BBC described Chris Hoy the triple gold medallist as ‘the Scot’. However, it described Victoria Pendleton the triumphant women’s sprint cyclist Olympic champion from Bedfordshire as ‘British’, not once as English. In the first week of the Games both BBC reporters and BBC CEEFAX described Nicole Cook who took the first gold medal for the British team as Welsh, but Rebecca Adlington who achieved two gold medals in swimming only as ‘British’, never English.’ What is the agenda for denying the identity of England and English achievers?
The presenter of a recent BBC programme called Thomas Tallis and other mediaeval English composers British when they were unequivocally English.”

Will the BBC start referring to athletes as the “South West Olympic gold winner” I doubt it, it will be “British Olympic gold winner”, and the BBC is not alone, as the recent Channel 4 Genius of Britain shows.

These organisations know what many in England refuse to accept. Britishness has been dumped and given up on in Scotland and Wales, the campaigns to preserve it is only happening in England. England is being dismantled, its bones used to support a unionist British political identity that simply has no flesh beyond the halls of Westminster politicians and academics. If England is not recognised now, it is unlikely to be recognized in the future. It will eventually die out, leaving only the past.

So what of the past ?

The devolved nations promote their history in schools and use taxpayers money to promote and fund historical celebrations. Each year Scotland aims to promote itself. Scotland alone had over 400 events to promote, its history, culture and economy. This year Scotland is promoting its food and drink produce. Wales is promoting its history and learning Welsh is mandatory until the age of 16.

Where is the English equivalent ? England has only seen an erosion of our history taught in schools. With the coalitions push for schools to be free from a dictated national curriculum, the teaching of English history will only demise even more over time. If the British government is supposed to be the English government, then why are they not promoting English cultural and historical events or championing English produce ?

Be under no illusions, this coalition government will do whatever it can to keep the Union embers glowing, even if that entails throwing England on the fire.

England, a sense of Englishness

2 Jun

English ethnic and civic nationalism is growing in England,  however an enemy is hampering their progress, and taking the ground from under them. The enemy ? Each other.

When there is a fight with political parties, when policy gets forged, the public engaged, positions decided there is an absence of English Nationalist ( they are off-screen pulling each others hair). When the press pack melt away, their stories ready to print, the English nationalist are not part of it, our story to the public remains untold.

The reason is both groups have their own ideas and policies, some the same others very divergent. For us to get our message out we need to put aside the differences, and work on the common ground. There are too few of us to have more than one strong camp.

How do we get what we want ? Well how about we look first to our borders at the Welsh immigration experience.

In the mid 1700’s Wales was relatively poor, its population low, its future bleak. However money from the British Empire was finding its way to Wales, the start of the industrial revolution in Britain started to bring opportunities. This led to a need for a new work force

“Such was the rate of growth at this time that South Wales absorbed immigrants at a faster rate than any where in the world except the United States of America. Up until the 1890s, many of the people who moved into the Coalfield were from other counties in Wales… After the 1890s, many more immigrants came from England, particularly from Somerset, Gloucestershire and Cornwall. People also came from further afield, such as Ireland, Scotland and even Australia….Two statistics tell the story: in 1801 the population of Glamorgan was 70,879 – in 1901 it was 1,130,668. In 1851, the population of the Rhondda was 1,998 – in 1911 it was 152,781”

There was at first a lot of friction, integration did not happen. The immigrant populations brought their own religions, customs, traditions and institutions in Paul O’Leary’s book he says

“there was little evidence of Celtic solidarity and the Irish often met with violent hostility from the Welsh. Nevertheless, by the late 19th century the tortuous process of integration was well under way…. criminality and drink… the establishment of community institutions ranging from Catholic churches and schools to pubs and bookshops, from friendly societies to political organizations; the mobilization of support for Irish nationalist organizations”

The Welsh culture and sense of nation is as much a melting pot of ideas and people (from the United Kingdom and parts of Europe) as England today. The people of Wales however have a strong sense of being Welsh, of history and tradition even though many will have very little Welsh ancestry. The success in integrating people into your society is time, and a sense of what your nation is. You can forge a sense of nationhood, it however needs a framework in place to guide the communities and people.

This imagined community of a country is a construct. Even in a small nation like Wales most people never know, meet, or even hear of most of their fellow countrymen. Any concept of national identity is not innate and unchanging, but fragile, contested, and constructed over time… In the decade before the First World War, the rate of immigration into Wales was second only to that of the USA…. Any recognisably separate identity to that of England would have disappeared into the footnotes of history. Over a period of four generations, from the late 18th to the early 20th Century, these immigrants were thoroughly absorbed, creating a melting pot that gave birth to a unique culture. A culture which defines “Welshness” far more keenly than any bardic ceremony.”

England is undergoing population and cultural change unprecedented in our recent history. A sense and culture of Englishness can and will ultimately emerge. We need the institutions of England willing to take their place and help engage and promote this culture. If your own government and institutions do not promote (or actively derail) a sense of nationhood, then there will be conflict and disharmony. The constituent parts of communities fight to stake their own claims, this then becomes a fragmented divisive nation.

Wales once a nation with little future and sense of self, emerged with a keen sense of culture and nationhood. Built on the back of (not held back by) immigration. We now have Welsh descendants of those from other parts of the UK, considering their ancestral nations and people as foreign.

Some Welsh people who would say, actually, that the immigration population is 50% because there are all these English people that have come here who are undermining our communities and pinching our housing and so on…. Cymuned, the pressure group that campaigns for the Welsh-speaking heartlands, welcomed Mr Wolfendale’s comments. “We welcome the fact that the DCC realises that moving so many people from England to Wales does have an impact and that it should beconsidered by the [British] Home Secretary Charles Clarke as part of the government’s immigration policy,” says Aran Jones, chief executive of Cymuned. “The Welsh Assembly needs to act to ensure that people living in Wales learn Welsh or at least have the courtesy to try and understand that we have our language and culture.”Mr Wolfendale says that much of the increase is due to the fact that thepolice are actively encouraging people to come forward and report hate crime of all types, not just race crime.”

English nationalist can create this sense of nationhood in England,  there are specific policies that we can agree on. We need to start this policy of integration into a shared inclusive Englishness and nation hood. The beginning of our journey can be on the same path, we do not have to choose the fork in the road until we safely get there.

How can we petition more effectively ?

22 May

English Parliament c1258

As many will know. One of the interesting facts about England is it’s the only nation in Europe without its own Parliament or assembly.

Two more petitions calling for an English Parliament are coming to and end.

“undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Allow the English the same rights as the other parts of the United Kingdom, notably Scotland, by introducing an English Parliament with the same rights as the Scottish one, and ensure that all seats at the United Kingdom Parliament in Westminster have the same size electorate within 5%, meaning that Scotland and Wales are no longer over-represented.”

Submitted by David Howarth Chapman – Deadline to sign up by: 03 June 2010 – Signatures: 82

We the Submitted by Simon Green – Deadline to sign up by: 03 June 2010 – Signatures: 127

Just 127 and 82 signatories.

England compete in the world cup and the Commonwealth games this year. This is when English patriotism and expression will be at its greatest for some time. We know when asked people want an English Parliament. How do we turn that into actively pursuing one, or even encouraging people to spend just one minute to sign a petition ?

England gets no say… as we have no voice

21 May

No England voice

The Conservative Liberal Democrats have set out their ‘blueprint’ for a “radical, reforming government”.

There are two issues surrounding British Politics that the ‘blueprint’ simply ignores or attempts to put on the back burner. 1) Fair funding of the devolved nations 2) Devolution for England.

Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have prioritized tackling Britain’s record budget deficit. What they meant by beginning to tackle Britain’s budget is targeting England.

The Barnett Formula that gives Scotland £1,600.00 per head more funding than their English counterparts, will not change (even though both parties promised to address it). The coalition kicked into touch any possibility of changing the Barnett Formula. Instead the government say…

“at this time, the priority must be to reduce the deficit and therefore any change to the system must await the stabilisation of the public finances.”

Changing the formula now would help the deficit.

So England tightens its belt whilst Scotland takes comfort as it continues to get extra funding and making no cuts this year. The people of England continue to get less and cut now.

How long must we wait for the stabilisation of the ‘public finances’ 3, 4, 5 years ? The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are as intent as Labour to ignore England in favour of the devolved nations. It certainly goes against the Conservatives near all England base and the Liberal Democrats general election manifesto, where they called for “a new needs-based funding mechanism to replace the present system”.

Our worries over this Coalition government addressing English concerns on funding and devolution seem justified. Just weeks into the coalition it may already be time to start pressuring the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

Danny Alexander, the Scottish Secretary and the Lib Dems’ chief negotiator in the coalition deal, said “The Prime Minister and deputy prime minister have agreed the overriding priority of this Government is to reduce the deficit. This is as vital to Scotland as it is to the rest of the UK.”
But he concluded: “It is clear this deal will deliver great benefit to Scotland.”

Professor David Bell of Stirling University, who has made a special study of the implications has warned: “If it was put into practice, it would have dramatic effects on the Scottish budget. The size of the block grant from Westminster to Holyrood would shrink substantially. Instead of the Scottish grant being 20 per cent higher per head than in England, the margin would shrink to 5 per cent. At current spending levels, this would mean a cut of around £4.5 billion in Scotland’s annual grant from Westminster.”