Future of friendly rivalry between Wales and England

Robin Tilbrook explains why English Democrats are supporting the SNP’s campaign to dissolve the UK

The history of the world is full of instances where people either do not understand an opportunity presented to them, or for their own reasons did not want to take it.  Over the last few weeks we have had a number of suggestions that there is an opening for UKIP to become an English nationalist party.  Indeed the Labour supporting IPPR Think Tank even found polling evidence that suggests that many UKIP supporters are not only in favour of Independence from the EU, but also of English Independence, that is, from the UK!  Many UKIPpers are also said to support other totemic emblems of English nationalism such as a national celebration of St George’s Day and calls for an English Parliament.

England’s Future

In this week-long series we are examining the emergence of English political sentiment and what it means for the constitutional future of Wales and the UK.


  • Tomorrow: Leanne Wood, Leader of Plaid Cymru, calls for decentralisation within England.

The leadership of UKIP on the other hand, as I know from having met them and thoroughly explored the possibility of working with them, are profoundly committed ideological Unionists. Some of UKIPs leaders not only support the Union of the United Kingdom (in a Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, God Save the Queen imperial nostalgic sort of way) but also they would, as John Bufton, UKIP’s Welsh MEP made clear recently, like to see the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament dissolved and to see the re-imposition of the pre 1998 unitary UK constitution.  This mind-set is not English nationalism – it’s BRITISH nationalism.

It follows, especially if Scotland succeeds in taking the first step towards becoming independent next year, that Welsh nationalists would genuinely have cause to fear a resurgence of English nationalism if it was actually represented by this sort of UKIP mentality. Fortunately, perhaps, for Welsh nationalists this is not the case. UKIP’s leadership will never wish to become genuine English nationalists. That role is already taken by the English Democrats.

In the course of the EU elections next year we hope to win our first MEPs. In the last EU elections we won 279,801 votes with a campaign that spent less than £25,000, This made it by far the most cost efficient electoral result of any serious party in the UK. With such a vote we had not only double the numbers voting for us than Plaid Cymru had, but also we were the party that had the unenviable title of getting the most votes without winning a EU parliamentary seat. We fully intend to change that in 2014.

In the last few weeks we have had Plaid Cymru’s leader, Leanne Wood, come to Manchester to support elements of the Labour Party that want to see England broken up into ‘Regions’.  A quick read of the IPPR report would show that Leanne Wood is wasting her time on that score, as English opinion is very firmly in favour of a united all-England approach. Ms Wood also obsessed introspectively about an equally improbable alleged need for another Far Left English nationalist party.

If Plaid Cymru focussed more on being Welsh nationalists and less on being Leftists, then they might give real added value to Wales’ rising sense of its own national identity rather than merely coasting on its rising tide.

It was also curious for a party leader that claims to be interested in Welsh independence that Ms Wood came to try and intervene in internal English matters, but then her Party does likewise over the question of Cornish nationalism. Again this is despite the incontrovertable evidence of the 2011 Census results which showed those that claimed Cornish only national identity were just 9.9 per cent of the population of Cornwall. Interestingly this is half the percentage of support for Englishness which the Census results found in Monmouthshire.

In Scotland’s referendum next year the English Democrats will be supporting the Scottish National Party’s campaign to dissolve the United Kingdom. It is self-evident that if one of the two constituent parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain dissolves their membership of that Union, then the Union is at an end. From our English nationalist point of view that will also have the immense added bonus of automatically dissolving England’s inclusion in the undemocratic EU.

What Welsh Nationalists also have to face is that if Scotland does vote to become Independent next year then Wales will be left within the Tudor Union of 1536 which incorporated the Principality of Wales into the legal entity known as the ‘Kingdom of England’. Of course, the only hope of the Welsh maintaining a constitutional boundary between England and Wales is if England has its own Parliament, First Minister and Government with at least the same powers as ones in Wales.  This would create a federal structure.

The English Democrats have long campaigned for a federal parliament for the UK. However, we are coming to the view that the time for federalism may be over and that the constituent nations of the United Kingdom should start to consider what their future relationships will be after what appears to be the increasingly likely end of the ‘process of devolution’, namely the dissolution of the United Kingdom.

Genuine nationalists, both Welsh and English, can look forward to such an outcome with enthusiasm and thus to a bright future in which the relations between our two nations are in the same spirit of friendly rivalry that exists between our national rugby teams.

Robin Tilbrook is Chair of the English Democrats.

42 thoughts on “Future of friendly rivalry between Wales and England

  1. Why I wonder has the leader of the English Democrats skipped over his party policy to campaign for the Welsh region of Monmouthshire to be part of England? Such narrow nationalism sums up his organisation; an party that has attracted many ex-BNP activists. The English Democrats are yet another right wing English grouping claiming to represent the English nation yet despite Mr Tilbrook’s claims, they have had almost no electoral success whatsoever.

    One thing is clear from the articles in this week’s IWA site about English politics; there is no progressive English voice to counter the right wing and far right grouping. There is also no sign that moderates from left and right are even talking to each other, yet looking to combine their ideas. What has been uplifting though, has been hearing from English voices who recognise the importance of devolution within England. Having an English Parliament will make very little difference to regions like the NE and NW of their nation, as what would be the difference between such a model and the current Westminster system?

  2. (Report comment)

    The harping on about Monmouthshire (Robin Tilbrook returns to it again in his contribution reproduced above) and standing candidates in Welsh elections makes the English Democrats look decidedly strange. No-one can understand it.The leadership’s obsession with Monmouthshire is an albatross hung around the English Democrats’ (the foremost nationalist party in England) necks which has been an obstacle to the party making progress in England. English people couldn’t care less about the status of Monmouthshire. English people care about England, not about a county which as far as we are concerned is Welsh. It makes it harder to decide to vote for the English Democrats when it is learned that they contest elections in Wales. If he wants his party to be taken seriously, Robin Tilbrook has to forget Monmouthshire.

  3. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood’s support for England to be divided up into nine regions is peculiar, Rather than Wales being in the same league as England and Scotland, that would mean Wales being demoted to being put on a par with any English region, in fact less than most of them.
    Robin Tilbrook’s reference to Ukip’s “British nationalism” doesn’t add up. There is such a thing as English nationalism, but there can be no British nationalism, because while there is an English nation, Britain is not a nation, but a union of four nations. The prerequisite of there being a nationalism is the existence of a nation

  4. Whilst I’m no Plaid Cymru supporter, it’s hard to understand the author’s bile towards them. Seeing the word “Leftists” used as an insult was more akin to a Richard Littlejohn column rather than a serious political figure setting out an argument. It also suggests a complete lack of understanding of Welsh politics where parties of the left/centre-left enjoy huge majority support.

    The author talks dismissively of the “alleged need for another Far Left English nationalist party”. ANOTHER far-left English nationalist party? Is there one already? I see a few on the far-right, but none on the left. As Ian has pointed out above, until the moderates start calling for English devolution, it’s all too easy to characterise the English Parliament campaigners as nutters and extremists.

    I also had to laugh at the author’s attack on Leanne Wood when he said: “It was also curious for a party leader that [sic] claims to be interested in Welsh independence… to try and intervene in internal English matters”. Is that more or less curious than a leader of an England-only party writing a ‘blog for a Welsh website appealing for support amongst the Welsh public?

  5. @ Ian. The main differences between an English parliament and the British Westminster parliament is that English MP’s will be running affairs for the benefit of all of England, free from interference from the Celtic fringe. The Scots domination of Westminster will be brought to an end, and Scotland, Wales and Ulster will have to stand on their own two feet for once.
    England meanwhile can use it’s own resources to help reinvigorate the areas within it’s borders that have suffered over the previous years when funding and resources were siphoned off and disproportionately allocated to the Celtic nations, in particular Scotland, to attempt to mollify their rising nationalist sensibilities.
    We don’t need or want a Union with Wales, Ulster or Scotland or even the bloody EU; what we need is self governance, free from outside interference with our own parliament to represent all in England.

  6. What a truly ugly piece of pointless nationalist drivel!

    But let’s start with what Tilbrook got right, which might make for a more balanced critique; the undemocratic EU, the unwanted interference by Plaid Cymru in matters distinctly outside of their remit, UKIP ….. OK, that’s about it.

    On the matter of the devolutional process (which is something I personally have wrangled with for some time); I share the same fear that the end of the process (following Ron Davies’ most reviled comment) will be the dissolution of the UK.

    BUT ONLY IF nationalists are allowed to set the debate, which so far they have with almost complete impunity.

    Devolution was something that was designed to appease nationalist sentiment at a time when Labour wanted in at Westminster. The original architect and true believer was succeeded by Tony Blair, who could not care less. It is therefore something that was poorly designed and implemented, and accordingly has thrown up challenges to which there was no strategy to combat.

    Federalism is NOT a panacea for such things, but properly implemented and designed to fit the circumstances it is the best chance any state has to accommodate divergent interests. Tilbrook speaks like what he is: a nationalist dreamer, blind to the truth and exacerbating those facts that fit his own Cross tinted vision.

    The crux of my argument (some may well say rant) is this: the UK is not on its last legs any more than any other country dealing with separatists is. Nationalists would like everyone to believe that the Bastille is about to be stormed; that Louis is about to face the block; that the Tzar is being kicked out the door. We have not heard from unionists on the matter yet, and there is more than fair reason to expect that when they do have their say it won’t be so much the rumblings of a sleeping giant which herald their arrival, but the bellowing of a colossus.

    Unionists need to not only find their voice, but direct it in harmony against the disparate separatist bleating that threatens our country. At the end of the day, they define themselves only as a single element based on division and opposition.

    That is hardly something to be proud of.

  7. Scottish nationalists have been establishing their campaign for independence for a long time. English nationalism is just re -awakening. The Monmouth question is legitimate unless of course raised by Englishmen. The previous commenter falls into the old trap of slandering the democratic claims of the English by trying to associate them with the dreaded right, this is a tiresome and threadbare slander that is desperate and smacks of the unravelling attempts of the left to smother a lion with a string vest.

  8. I find it incredible that Isenstan doesn’t recognise that there is such a thing as “British Nationalism” – it even has its own party after all.

    The simple fact is that the UK contains several nations and several nationalities each with their own nationalist sentiments, one of which is a UK-wide “British” nationalism.

    They are now a minority in England where English nationalism dominates, but they still exist – including in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    When the UK breaks up (which I believe is now inevitable) then it will be incumbent upon us to treat their views with respect and not try and pretend that they don’t exist!

  9. As this is Click on Wales may I ask Mr Tilbook if he has had the sense yet to drop the Monmouthsire nonsense?

  10. Robin Tilbrook shows some of the confusion of the English over things “British”.

    Firstly, while Unionists see themselves as “British” nationalists they are not. They are English Imperial Nationalists.

    I see two basic types of Nationalism (there not being a non-Nationalism anywhere on this planet – yet); the first being aggressive and the second defensive. Unionists are the former type of English Nationalist. Not only do they want to scrap the Governments of Scotland and Wales (not NI interestingly) but they want at least “the one that got away” back. Ireland, that is. In all cases what the natives want is neither here nor there. They also eye France greedily.

    After all, if they were really British Nationalists would they not have Welsh, Cornish and Gaelic taught in English Schools? Would they not speak at least some of these native British languages themselves?

    But no! Their only definition of Britishness is, in fact, English. And the English are a Germanic nation speaking a Germanic language. They only adopted an invented “British” label during the First World War. Up until then they called the Welsh “British” and the Welsh Language was the “British Language”.

    English nationalists call Westminster the “British Government” and try and distance themselves from it, But it is, in fact, the English Government that has appointed itself the authority to Govern Britain by force.

    Robing Tilbrook is also wrong about the status of Wales if the UK of Scotland/England ends.

    All the so called “Acts of Union” (they didn’t have any name) were repealed in 1982, or thereabouts. But there aren’t a lot of people that know that. Arguably Wales is, even now, the status it was before any of the Acts of Union or Incorporation. That is, an independent country ruled by it’s neibour through conquest.

    Lastly, to call the EU undemocratic is daft. The EU is a co-operative union. All the members are equal and the Parliament/Assembly is elected. The UK is an oppressive Union where there’s really only one member that imposes itself on others. MP’s are elected but the Government is appointed by the self-appointed head of state.

    The EU’s more Democratic than the UK and much more preferable.

  11. I have everything crossed that next year, the Scots do the right thing and vote ‘Yes’ for independence. Perhaps then, we will see an end to this rubbish non-equal union of equals – and after 300 years, England can regain its national parliament as Team UK becomes nothing more than a bad dream.

    If the Scots vote to go, it will be the quickest way to the goal of an English Parliament. Ironic really, isn’t it, having to rely on the actions of another country to deliver national democracy to England? There is no point relying on the collective democratic conscience of the 3 Establishment parties – because they haven’t got any. They are only interested in keeping hold of power, continuing to propagate England’s mushroom policy and of trying to keep Wales, NI & Scotland committed to the UK.

    I once had a stand up row with a guy on the national average wage of about 25kpa. He was willing to pay for prescriptions, willing to see his kids getting charged 9 grand a year tuition fees, willing to see his Mum lose her house to pay for her residential care – because the only way to stop him paying for all that, while others in the UK don’t, was to admit the current devolution settlement was a total failure – and the only remedy was an English Parliament. This he equated as being very right wing in a BNP kind of way. That reaction was as a direct result of the politics of guilt as practised by the Lib/Lab/Con amalgam regarding anything vaguely English & nationalist – and for that, our leaders should hang their heads in shame.

    Westminster will do just about anything to keep the status quo, remember the disgraceful horse-trading a few years ago when govt whips promised billions of ££s of new investment to NI just as long as the Ulster Unionists voted with the govt on a piece of legislation…. OBVIOUSLY, that legislation was English-specific and had nothing whatsoever to do with the northern Irish.

    And only yesterday, we learn that David Cameron and his band of goons are to stage another travelling Cabinet show later this year. The location? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Scotland of course!

    All the main people will be there, Hague waffling about foreign stuff, Osborne about money – and the rest? Stuff like Education, Health, Transport, Local Government & Communities, Planning, Housing, Culture, etc, etc, all English-specific and nothing at all to do with the Scots.

    But that still won’t stop Cameron & Clegg from coming out of the meeting to tell waiting journos that major domestic policies had been discussed and agreed without ever mentioning the ‘E’ word…

    It’s just got to stop. So come on you Scots, go for independence and set us in England free at last…

  12. @ Wildgoose

    British nationalism is possible as those who advocate it see the nation as being defined by the state.

  13. Monmouth has never been a part of England. It was for a time judicially administered from England as has been previously stated, I believe it was part of the Oxford circuit, but that was its limit. This is only an issue for those unaware of the history. I have also heard older generation Cardiffians state that the River Rhymney used to be the border between Wales and England.

  14. One small problem with this article. As discussed by others earlier this week, the 1536 Act of Union has been repealed.

  15. @ David ”The Monmouth question is legitimate unless of course raised by Englishmen” No, the Monmouth question has no credibility or cultural, legal or historical basis whatsoever. It is incorrect, fallacious, wrong, and far from being legitimate, to think of Monmouthshire (whichever one he means, the pre 1972 Monmouthshire or the post-1996 Monmouthshire) as part of England. If the author of the article actually read the volumes of the Gwent County History, or in fact any historical account of the county, he would soon realize that he has no historical (or legal) basis to claim Monmouthshire for England.
    He makes a reference to about 20% of Monmouthsire claiming English identity, having clearly igorned the 60-70% Welsh only identity in the rest of the old county (Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, parts of Rhymni).

    I agree with his aims, but he has to drop this preposterous land grab attempt and move on.

  16. Mr Tilbrook certainly doesn’t speak for me nor anybody I know, his views are certainly not mine, yet I believe that England should have it’s own Parliament within the Uk. I have fought for this for a long time and believe that for we English to have our concerns ignored will only cause an ugly side of nationalism to emerge. I question Mr Tilbrook’s figures, at the Eastleigh election for example Ray Hall of the Beer Baccy and Crumpet Party took 235 votes and the English Democrat took 70. Hardly the stuff of power politics!

    He tries to paint a picture of UKip that is years out of date, Ukip Leader Nigel Farage has said that he is not troubled by the devolved administrations, Paul Nuttall, Deputy Leader of UKip has published a policy proposal ‘A Union for the Future.’ concerning the establishment of an English Parliament. I do agree with him though Leanne Wood should not be involved in English matters, it’s not the first time that Welsh and Scottish nationalists have seen fit to interefere in England’s future.

  17. Re. Monmouth / irredentism: I refer Robin Tilbrook and his party to the answer I gave some moments ago (on a different article).


    Don’t go there Robin. You really, really will regret it, or your great grandchildren will. It may seem so tantalizingly attractive at the moment but is fraught with consequences of the ‘laws of unintended consequences’ variety. It really is a Faustian trap. Whether you personally suffer or not, your name as the first proponent of this policy will go down in infamy.

    At the very least look up irredentism on Google, read a chapter or two on the history of Ireland between 1880 and 1920, think about the challenges to the future territorial integrity of England (or its friends and allies or those it may come to depend on in the future). Think about economic swings and roundabouts, think about population movements, think about global capital. If nothing else, think about leaving your own back door of political ‘principle’ wide open to the fluctuations of transient ‘interests’.

    Disregarding the historical integrity of national boundaries is a policy for those who think they are strongest and always will be strongest, that it is a moral precedent the consequences of which they will never have to confront themselves. They are usually wrong.

    Regrettably, for those who have no firm moral compass, what comes around goes around.

  18. Why can’t Leanne Wood speak to an audience in England and offer her support to devolution whether regional or an English Parliament? No one would bat an eyelid if she addressed a conference in Scotland.

    It would be nice if Plaid had friends in England as they once did with the now sadly defunct Commonwealth Party a progressive and left party that supported Home Rule all round.

    Sadly the English Democrats look like a narrow minded right wing “Nationalist” party who view are not met here.

    Maybe the Greens are the answer to a true alliance of the progressive and Civic Nationalist on these Islands.

    With Labour and the Tories almost as right wing as each other and the Liberal Democrats totally discredited . What choice is there for any progressive-left voter outside Wales , Scotland or Cornwall?

  19. The Welsh have had three referenda on their assembly. Scots are going to vote on Scotland’s separation from the UK. Meanwhile we English have no say on anything. It’s way passed time that we should be given the opportunity to decide OUR future. English independence is the only way England can prosper and we should be given that chance to vote, regardless of what Scots decide.

  20. Why is it you lot cannot see the wood for the trees. I am no EDP man, but IN THE PAST I have read there leaflet on Monmouthshire,
    Basically they are saying “Let the people of Monmouthshire decide” thats all , by “CASTING A democratic vote in a referendum. Not a group of midnight contriving politicians lead by Neil Kinnock.
    They are not saying Monmouthshire is English or anything come to that, what I assume they are saying is the whole thing was carried out in a very undemocratic way just read what Gerald Kaufman said on that very night in 1972 he was appalled at the tatics and the manner of the way this decision was made.
    The voice of Monmouthshire people was not consulted, but dictated to.
    The recent 2011 cencus poll showed a low count for people who considered themselves Welsh. Perhaps this is what worries or will entice certain sections of the political scope, interesting.

  21. It is interesting that quite a few commentators have focused on the Author’s throw-away remark about Monmouthshire. This shows what a hot issue the National Identity of Monmouthshire is – as I experienced when I did a “phone in” debate on BBC Wales. During the debate it was often said that the result would be close but all those who phoned in were in favour of it being Welsh, but a clue was given as to why the contrary voice was not heard. It was repeatedly stated that if the people of Monmouthshire voted to be in England then “they should be burnt out of their homes”!!

    In fact the constitutional and national history of Monmouthshire is NOT clearly just Welsh as claimed above. I have reproduced the whole of the historical narrative on my blog here >>> http://robintilbrook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/monmouthshire-english-or-welsh.html .

    The English Democrats say that an undemocratic injustice was done in Edward Heath’s time and the resolution should be a proper democratic referendum to let the People of Monmouthshire decide for themselves once and for all.

  22. @ Wildgoose
    If English nationalism dominates over the British kind, they don’t seem to be Guardian readers:

    Notice Cornwall and Monmouthshire there, too.

    I happen to be in Trefonen at the moment, west of Offa’s Dyke but east of the present Welsh border. Can we have this bit back, Croesoswallt included? It’s a much more justifiable claim than the author’s for Monmouthshire.

  23. Leanne is operating in the tradition of Owain Glyndwr and his ‘tripartite alliance’ with Hotspur to carve up England. Then carving up England was necessary to secure Welsh independence. Now it is not necessary so Leanne is a few centuries behind the times on this topic as on some others.

    I just don’t believe there is any growth of demand for an English parliament. There has always been a tiny minority in favour. It hasn’t grown but the IWA finds it amusing to big it up and give it a platform. No accounting for taste.

  24. @ Ian.
    I don’t know of any political party that does not have ex BNP / NF within it’s ranks.
    To their credit the BNP did very well in capturing a sizeable protest vote from an electorate that felt let down and ignored by the mainstream parties. This did not make them racists, just pis**d off and angry and looking for a way to hit back at those they felt had ignored and marginalised them.
    With the BNP imploding the ED have done well in bringing many of those people from the BNP fold and into theirs, and why not? Every person is entitled to vote or join a political party if they choose to and to switch allegiances as they see fit. If the BNP grew it was the fault of Lab/Lb/Con arrogance towards the justifiable concerns of many of the electorate regarding mass immigration and multi-culturalism.

    Using Hope not Hate as a reference is a bit partisan, they are hardly a bastion of objectivity possessing a far left pro multi cultural agenda along with an incredibly forgiving nature towards an increasingly vociferous and antagonistic Islamic community.

  25. Aled Powell;
    Instead of the tunnel vision Guardian, just look art the 2011 cencus poll of the people who describe themselves as “ENGLISH” rather than a leftwing crayoning book.
    Looking at the majority of Welsh comments on this site you would’nt give the ” English people” one millimetre of Democracy then ? ;

  26. @RobinTilbrook- thank you for your comments. We can argue and debate about the small amount of people in Monmouthshire who think they live in England based on a piece of legislation 500 years ago all day, but you have still not answered three foundational questions that are central to your whole argument –

    1. When you claim Monmouthshire should be ‘given back’, where exactly do you mean? The whole of traditional Monmouthshire, or just the new county (also called Monmouthshire) created in 1996, containing the eastern half of the county? The difference between the two is quite large. You need to be explicit about this.

    2.You have ignored the cultural history of Monmouthshire. The southern, western and northern areas were Welsh in language and Non-cornformist in religion until the 1870s when the second wave of industrialisation, emigration and in-migration took hold. The vast majority of place names in the county are in Welsh as this county is traditionally firmly part of the Welsh cultural zone.

    3. You refer to the roughly 18 % of people who identify as English in the new 1996 county (eastern Monmouthshire prior LA reorganisation), what about the British only, Welsh only and Welsh and British identifiers, who massively out number your named 20 %? You know you barley pull above 2% of the electorate when you do stand in Monmouthshire so obviously you’re not that popular, and you cannot ignore the majority.

    If you really do have the arrogance to suggest that Blaenau Gwent, Tor-faen, parts of Caerffili and Newport (Casnewydd), i.e. the rest of pre 1996 Monmouthshire, (all these places look English, don’t they ?), then you clearly need to come here and ask people for you to really see how out of touch your ideas are. Why don’t you come here, knock on peoples doors and ask them if they would like to become English, and vote for their community to be in England, rather than concentrate on what middle-Englanders in Monmouth think. We both know why you won’t.

    Eastern Monmouthshire (the post-1996 county created out of the eastern portion of the county) very nearly voted yes for devolution in the 2011 referendum. There had to be a recount. There was polarization and the answer was No, the only LA to vote No, but the fact that the vote was so close and had to be recounted is significant.

  27. Regarding Monmouthshire, let sleeping dogs lie. It is a distraction from the main objective of getting justice for England, which like the American colonies now experiences taxation without representation, and the likely outcome is likely to be the same, independence. Poor Stuart Eels is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks an English parliament and the UK are not mutually exclusive. The contradictions within Ukip will be that party’s undoing.
    Stuart Eels clearly believes that the result in Eastleigh clinches his argument. It does not. Eastleigh is natural Ukip territory’ it is somewhere were the English Democrats were always going to struggle. That will not be the case elsewhere. Ukip’s days are numbered. If only Robin Tilbrook would forget about Monmouthshire, which is not important to anyone but himself. It is a stumbling block for the English Democrats and is holding back the English cause.

  28. Fungus.
    I know of no other legitimate political party that openly accepts former BNP activists. We are not just talking here about people who voted for them, but individuals who have a long history of organised racism. If the ED wanted to be taken seriously, then accepting such people has removed that opportunity. Even UKIP block such memberships.

  29. Interesting to note that Tilbrook fails to point out that, despite having no clear tick box option for Cornish national identity on the 2011 census, the numbers of those motivated enough to tick ‘other’ and then write in ‘Cornish’ has more than doubled from the 2001 census.

    Then we could take a look at the PLASC data: School census shows rise in children who are Cornish: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-16391310

    Also I could mention our petition of 50,000 signatures calling for a Cornish assembly that was collected by a handful of volunteers over a couple of months. That’s 10% of the Cornish populace. Can any of the other nations of the UK claim the same?

    I don’t deny their is an English national identity but Tilbrook and his friends only response to the Cornish question is to deny we have a Cornish national identity. I think that says a lot about Tilbrooks politics.

    Equally I wonder if Tilbrook could explains why the English Democrats supported a extreme-right white supremacist party? I’ve never had a satisfactory answer: Gareth Young, campaigner for an English Parliament, examines the English Democrats’ alliance with the white nationalist England First Party: http://www.opendemocracy.net/blog/ourkingdom-theme/gareth-young/2009/05/16/english-nationalism-vs-british-nationalism

  30. I see many blogs, either written by English or Welsh and Scottish bloggers on the issue of English devolution, but it is mainly the English bloggers and commenters who fail almost every time to realize that England’s regions (and Cornwall, who i will not class as English) are too diverse for merely an English, London based assembly to effectively offer what the periphery desire. The Yorkshire devolution movement rightfully want their own devolution within England, English assembly or not, perhaps many other areas of the north would decide this would be the best choice for them should the reality of the scale of underfunding of the north be properly debated. As for Cornwall, the movement towards autonomy is as old here as in any other of the Celtic nations, yet the English seem bent on ignoring this reality. This is why the simple idea put about by ignorant English bloggers and commenters that English devolution is a simple matter when they have not even studied it properly, or even taken into consideration what has already been in motion in Cornwall for decades is nothing more than pure fantasy.

  31. Labour LibCon coalition and many smaller parties including UKIP has/have ex BNP members; They may not let them in today but they have in the non to distant past.
    I must admit I dont like the idea of BNP people joining other parties, even if they say they are genuine, thats difficult for some.
    Personally I would say NO WAY.

  32. Ed Butler was a senior UK BNP organiser and was welcomed as an ED member by the ED leadership. There is no explaining this away, as they knew exactly who he was and what he stood for.

  33. IAN

    “Having an English Parliament will make very little difference to regions like the NE and NW of their nation, as what would be the difference between such a model and the current Westminster system?”

    What trash!

    In the same respect then, that the Welsh Assembly has little difference to the furthest reaches of Wales with Cardiff based deep down on the south coast?

    The difference is that an English Parliament would be just that, English. With no influence on devolved matters from Scotland or Wales as they currently do.

    Matters which are currently devolved to Wales and Scotland are where England gets a raw deal.

    I’ll give you a current example; Fracking. Energy is a devolved matter. Since England has no national body to protect it’s interests (only the UK Parliament) Fracking can not take place in Scotland or Wales without the consent of the respective national representative bodies.

    So Fracking can only take place in England. England has no voice of it’s own.

    Fair? No.

    Another example is the environment. Another devolved matter. The tories tried to sell off English forests to pay off the muggery national debt. They couldn’t sell off Scottish or Welsh forests because that is a decision that has to be made by again, the respective bodies.

    England gets an unfair deal. Fact.

  34. I think most ordinary people do think that it is possible for somebody to change their mind and have an instinctive belief in the Christian value of redemption, so that it is not surprising that the allegation that we have taken some BNP people on board has not really achieved any great traction against us amongst ordinary people.

    Of course also ex-BNP have joined the so called “main-stream” parties as well. In the recent notable case of Trevor Maxfield in Blackburn with Darwin, who was a former BNP organizer and candidate and with a significant far right history of involvement with Storm Front and Combat 18, is nevertheless now a Labour Councillor. Even more recently we have, as reported in the Milton Keynes Citizen newspaper:- “A NEWLY elected labour councillor who was once second in command of a notorious neo Nazi group …. Margaret Burke, who won … Bradville last week, was a far right extremist and Hitler devotee … during the early 1980s … (she) wore Nazi-style uniforms and recruited gangs of local youths to hand out racist leaflets and daub buildings with swastikas.”
    What shows up the partisan hypocrisy of ‘Hope Not Hate’ and ‘Unite Against Fascism’ is that they do not attack these people, why? It is because they have joined the Labour Party, a party that they belong too.

    Labour have other skeletions in the cupboard too. For example Ralph Miliband – Ed Miliband’s marxist refugee father ungratefully wrote in 1940:-
    “The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world…When you hear the English talk of this war you sometimes almost want them to lose it to show them how things are. They have the greatest contempt for the continent in general and for the French in particular…England first. This slogan is taken for granted by the English people as a whole.”

    Also don’t forget the various ex-Communists in Labour whose old party supported the most prolific Mass murderers in history ie Mao – est.95 Million murdered and Stalin – est.50 Million Murdered!

    With a bit of digging we might be able to find similar conversions in the Tory or Liberal Democrat ranks.

    Also UKIP stood and got elected an Ex National Front candidate in Kent! Gross hypocrisy?
    Click here for the story >>>

  35. Christopher. Plaid and SNP MPs do not vote on Westminster issues that are purely English, although this is not always easy as so many have ‘Barnett Consequentials’.

    Robin. Having such a sudden influx of BNP activists has harmed your party and your cause. I hope for your sake that they move on and contaminate another grouping with their racist and offensive views.

    You have not responded to the Monmouthshire question, which I suspect many readers of this blog would welcome. Is your party still intent on campaigning to remove Monmouthshire from Wales?

  36. Monmouthshire is a Robin Tilbrook obsession. Without his obsession the English Democrats wouldn’t give Monmouthshire a second thought. His strange obsession damages his party’s credibility.

  37. @Robin- I put three questions to you above regarding your proposed land grab. You have ignored them. I wonder why?

  38. Shaun ; Fantasy is the word for Cornwall 50,thousand so say signed for self determination.
    I can tell you two thirds were holiday makers goodness knows who the rest were out of a population of 500 thousand what a joke poll
    Fantasy of a remade language which has been engineered in the 20th century.
    Why is the leader of Plaid concerned with this twaddle ? which goes nowhere.
    2011 cencus; nearly 68% considered them selves “English” the English are everywhere in cornwall. I know this because i recently lived there for several years.
    England needs to champion the Idea of Independence which will come in automated with the Scots wanting the same, and mayby getting Independence. You watch the politicians then turn into headless chickens ! lol.

  39. Christopher: England is unfairly treated – fiction. Who voted in the Conservative-led government you are complaining about? The English and no-one else. All important members of the Cabinet sit for English seats. Some people can feel hard done-by even when in complete control.

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