Labour must stop feeling repulsed by the idea of Englishness

The impulse to deride patriotism reflects the party’s distance from many core voters

21 May 2016

9:00 AM

21 May 2016

9:00 AM

In the window of a council house on a working-class estate in Exeter was a sticker bearing the cross of St George and a simple warning: ‘If this flag offends you, why not consider moving to another country?’ For some canvassers working on Labour MP Ben Bradshaw’s 2015 campaign, such a symbol naturally meant the dreaded ‘A’ on the canvas sheet: ‘Against Labour’.

In fact, it was a household of solid Labour voters — supporting a party far too often offended by the flag. The truth is that the Labour party has an English problem. While members might just about embrace Britishness, too many feel queasy about Englishness — with all those connotations of ethnicity and chauvinism. Or as one activist put it to me, when I suggested we value English identity, ‘Why don’t you just join the British [sic] National Party?’

What is so strange is that the movement of William Morris and Robert Blatchford, J.B. Priestley and Elizabeth Longford, could ever lose sight of its English sensibility. A doggedly English strand of nonconformity, radicalism and patriotism has been an elemental part of the Labour tradition, embodied so effortlessly in Clement Attlee. But at the very moment when ever more voters are identifying themselves as English rather than British, the Labour party is moving in the wrong direction.

In retrospect, the summit of British Labourism was reached on 17 September 2014, when Gordon Brown delivered that spellbinding eve-of-referendum sermon summoning Scottish voters to save the Union. All the ancient might of Adam Smith, James Watt and John Smith was brought to bear as Brown, pacing the stage like an Old Testament prophet, made the case for socialism, not separatism.

But by campaigning with the Tories to save the Union, Labour sacrificed itself north of the border. The referendum was the culmination of a historic shift, which had seen the underpinnings of Britishness — the Empire, Protestantism, Westminster, Parliament, even the armed forces — fall away and nationalism fill the void. So much so that the pollster John Curtice has described the 2015 general election as a series of separate votes just happening to take place at the same time in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

And the result was devastating. Labour failed to challenge the assumption — prevalent on both sides of the Tweed — that we would prefer to duck constitutional questions that might threaten our electoral interests. It should not have been too hard to offer a federalist vision of the Union, which offered devolution and national self-determination to all parts of the United Kingdom. The reality is that we never tried.

A strong Labour party, with a fighting chance against the Tories, might have prevented more Scots reaching for the nationalist protection blanket. In England voters were only afraid of the SNP propping up a Labour government if, as John Denham puts it, ‘they had already decided that a Labour government was an unattractive proposition’.

Nowhere was this more apparent than in marginal middle England. As Naushabah Khan, our candidate for Rochester and Strood, writes in a new book on Labour and Englishness: ‘There is a reluctance among some in the party to embrace patriotism and promote national pride. These concepts do not always sit naturally with our socialist principles, but the reality is that to a number of Labour voters they are of the utmost importance.’ Naushabah, of course, had to deal with the aftermath of the Islington MP Emily Thornberry’s ‘#Remarkable’ tweet, implying disdain for a Rochester semi draped in St George’s flags. He adds: ‘In one image Labour had almost destroyed its foundations, displaying a growing detachment from our roots.’

With a Labour membership skewed towards the affluent, liberal middle class, understanding socially conservative voters is becoming problematic. In ‘blue-collar’ Harlow, Labour candidate Suzy Stride was appalled at the snottiness of the campaigners sent to help her. ‘Among our activist base, manual workers were small in number,’ she writes. ‘Increasingly, the Labour party was viewed like middle-class Ryanair passengers having to stomach a couple of hours’ flight with people they shared little in common with — it could be uncomfortable, but it got you where you needed to go.’

Central to this disconnect is immigration and a nation being forced to accept incredible transformation. This is not necessarily about race. Indeed, ‘the apparently seamless link between Englishness and whiteness has long since broken,’ according to journalist Gary Younge. ‘From pop to politics, cuisine to music, the black experience is now intimately interwoven into the fabric of English daily life.’ The difference is that while activists typically welcome the ‘progress’ wrought by mass immigration, many historically Labour communities are much less enthusiastic about the impact of globalisation, industrial decline, and rapid social change.

No political leader is offering an effective solution. David Cameron persists with his barefaced lie about bringing immigration down to ‘the tens of thousands’. By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn all but advocates open borders, with extra funds allocated to schools and hospitals. In this reductively materialist solution is a barely concealed impatience towards those harbouring cultural reservations about the scale of change reshaping England.

So, for some, Englishness can be a form of sociological defence. In Harlow, Suzy Stride thought it ‘a vehicle for nostalgia, dissatisfaction with a sense of decline in living standards and local area and perceived threats to cultural identity’.

But across Europe, we are seeing a revival of civic nationalism allied to progressive politics. In Spain, France, and Greece, left-wing parties are happy to drape themselves in the flag. This, of course, was always Orwell’s ambition: uniting the radical English tradition with Labour’s socialism. In the words of Robert Colls, he redefined Englishness on the left for a generation, turning English socialism from something you lived under into something that underpinned how you lived.

That has to be Labour’s task once more: in language and policy we need to show we love England. We need an English Labour party and a referendum on an English parliament. Labour has to reignite the ‘good old cause’ of radical English liberty as part of an ambitious vision for a modern, social democratic Britain. But if we continue to be offended by those Exeter flags, then England itself will soon be a foreign country to us.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Labour’s Identity Crisis: The Politics of Patriotism, edited by Tristram Hunt, will be published on 23 May.Tristram Hunt is MP for Stoke and a historian, and has edited a new collection of essays called Labour’s Identity Crisis.

Show comments
  • Malcolm Knott

    Nothing new here. As George Orwell wrote, ‘It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during God Save The King than of stealing from a poor box.’

    • davidblameron

      The Bloomsbury Set, hated there own country of birth more than any other. Weird.

      • Desborough

        Typical Socialists: they love the ‘World’ (mysterious and unknown)
        but hate their neighbours (mundane, a reflection of themselves.)

        • davidblameron

          Orwell probably despised them. They would have distanced themselves from the working class for sure.

        • SonOfGud

          Oikophobia, as Roger Scruton described.

    • #toryscum

      great quote, thanks

    • Quest for Liberty

      They seem to believe that’s it’s irrational to love your country more than others but not irrational to dislike your country more than others. Most peculiar.

  • Man on the Clapham omnibus

    Your project has no chance: the Labour Party is predominately comprised of Luvvies & Lefties, and they loath the ordinary working man. The men of toil are simply incapable of conforming to an appropriate preconception.

  • Old School Liberal

    Be honest, you know this has bugger all chance of happening

  • Ben Cobley

    Some thoughts on the ‘us’ and ‘them’ of Labour related to English identity (I’m a Labour member, albeit not anywhere near the mainstream): http://afreeleftblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/on-english-identity-and-labour.html

  • Desborough

    Is this some sort of half-hearted mea culpa? You lost the English Mr. Hunt when Labour started favouring immigrants over the indigenous with Blair & Co’s duplicitous social engineering project.
    That ‘ll backfire on you when they stop voting Labour and start voting for their own parties.
    The white English working class may be thick, but they’re not stupid. They were betrayed and won’t return to you in large numbers. You know all this.

    • Trailblazer10

      Cameron has continued doing exactly the same thing.

      • Andrew Cole

        But The Tories will boot him out and change their tune. Will Labour? No they will continue to deny the working class’s claims.

        Until they hold their hands up and say “We lied to you all, we cheated you all and we betrayed you all” they won’t even get the doors opened when they go knocking unless someone wants to give them some truths.

        Apologies for things they say? BS keep the apologies. Say what you mean. It’s what you all think because you have no idea WTF the working classes think anymore.

    • greencoat

      ‘The white English working class may be thick, but they’re not stupid.’
      That is a harsh way to put it, but yes, huge numbers still vote Labour, seemingly still unaware that they have been utterly abandoned by Labour.

      • Desborough

        I speak from lived experience, it is my background.
        Those huge number will diminish year on year;
        As I said, demographic change will kill off Labour as we understand it.

        • Flash_Harry1

          I’m still living it and ditched them the year TB took us to war in Iraq on a pack of lies.

        • JEK68

          Until the memory of Tories destroying communities and hating the working class since the 80’s (whether true or untrue) is gone Labour will still get the vote in a lot of post industrial areas.

          • Desborough

            Focus. Demographic change. New immigrants won’t have memories of 80’s Britain.

          • Andrew Cole

            You mean the areas where UKIP support is growing and growing?

      • boultonzz .

        Tell that to Labour Counsellors kicked out by UKIP ones.

      • Malcolm Stevas

        True, though I’d say this was at least equalled by the large numbers of reflexive Tory voters seemingly unaware of the contempt in which their views are held by the social-democrat leaders of a formerly conservative party.

        • Andrew Cole

          If we vote to remain then both parties will feel the effects in 2020. Won’t be pretty.

          VOTE LEAVE

      • Lawrence James.

        An oxymoron from a moron ( ? ) : to be thick and not stupid is truly amazing.

  • right1_left1

    The claim that opposition to immigration is not ‘necessarily’ about race is nonsense.
    As the face of Islam became visible so opposition to that arose.

    Were that not so laws would not have been implemented to prevent criticism on racial or religious grounds.
    Not all such criticism is of the ‘lowest common denominator’ vulgar abuse !

    All societies divide on
    Racial identity
    Religious belief
    and class.
    Quite frequently that division has been murderous.

    • Trailblazer10

      Diversity is dangerous.Unity is strength.

      • Exactly – Christians, Muslims & Atheists are united against right-wing bigots.

        • Vieuxceps2

          Do muslims know oftheir christian allies? Or the Atheists?

          • Certainly do in the UK according to the recent Channel Four survey.

            It showed Muslims feel protected by UK law.

          • Billo Qasira

            Trevor Phillips says Hi
            Labour is the party of bigotry, racists and fanatics
            Bye bye Labour, you’ve got cancer

          • Wizard Rule 77a: People that are losing an argument will often try to discredit the source of the information they are arguing against. (In football this tactic is known as “Playing The Man”)

          • logdon

            Wizard rules may apply in your demented household but not here, you utter clown.

          • Wizard Rule 64: A rude response is no substitute for a sound argument.

          • logdon

            Hoisted by your own idiotic petard.

        • Trailblazer10

          You missed the point.

          Also, where are these “right wing bigots”. Anarchists are few and far between, in what sense are they “bigots”.

          • “You missed the point.” Hardly. In spite of what the trouble makers say the majority of people are united against extremists of all types.

            “where are these “right wing bigots”. ” – Pegida, BNP, EDL – have you had your eyes closed.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Neither Pegida and EDL are political entities. So they’re not right wing, they’re not any ‘wing’.

            Unless you think it’s right wing to want proper controls on immigration? If so, then go and have a word with your fellow below the line contributors at the Guardian as the majority now want strict controls on immigration and most of them are of the left.

            Even better, you should see what they have to say about the refugee crisis – their comments mirror Pegida’s.

          • Andrew Cole

            You mean those marches of the same people travelling the country?

          • The same BNP rent-a-crowd do tend to turn up in lots of places. The locals normally don’t like it and arguments can occur.

            The recent Pegida rally had more media than marchers.

          • Andrew Cole

            Exactly. This “resurgence of racism and bigotry” that the media want to portray normal people as is always the same bunch of facebook friends that travel from town to town.

            Al Beeb and Labour will continue to paint normal people as racists and bigots though because it makes their betrayals easier to brush off.

            Andrew Neil was very good with another Guardian denier yesterday. They don’t care what normal people think and still think they can convince them to vote for them one day.

            Labour will be sunk once this idiot country votes to remain and the Tories will be hit very hard too. Going to be a coalition of more than 2 parties after the next general election because the red/blue wish wash of EU lovers is not going to be anywhere near enough to get into government just with the help of 1 party (Lib Dem or SNP.)

            Worrying times for this country with the shitbags that care more about their expresso brunch continent’esque’ lifestyles.

            Post the gun on when you’ve done with it. there are a lot of us that need to be cleared for the luvvies to get on with things.

          • You were doing well until “Going to be a coalition of more than 2 parties after the next general election…”.

            “Worrying times for this country with the shitbags that care more about their expresso brunch…” bear in mind that these shitbags have given us the wealthiest generation ever in the UK.

          • Andrew Cole

            yes you ignore your wealth while us meaningless irks get ignored.

            Don’t worry about us. You keep enjoying your perks at our expense shitbag.

          • Incorrect – All sections of society have become more wealthy and inequality is not increasing.

            The international measure of equality is called the GINI coefficient and for the UK this have been largely constant for the last 25 years.

            Lets just look at how wealthy we have all become compared to the pre-EU generation:
            We can now afford almost three times as many cars per million people on the road as in the 1960s. People have twice as long vacations and will probably go further. We eat out five times as often. People spend longer in retirement. Obesity is now a problem that our parents certainly couldn’t afford. The number of households has grown as we can afford to have less people per house. Benefits have far outstripped inflation.

          • Andrew Cole

            BS. Am I more wealthy? Yes.
            Am I “more happy?” No because I survive on the hush money Blair and Brown threw out to soften the blow of not being able to get a sh*t job so I have no sense of pride at all in providing for my family and no real future of ever being able to do so because every employer in this region who has full time jobs for non skilled fortysomethings DOES NOT employ British unless they hot foot it over to Poland to register at the Polish agency and then pay to live in the Agency Digs.

            Wake up to real life and see how selfish you $$ argument is. I want a full time job not hush money. NMW will do and any full time job will do just as it did before we were shafted by Blair and Cameron’s big business pals in the noughties.

            People like you and your ignorance to what really matyters sicken me. It isn’t money, It isn’t patriotism. It is lives and you and your deniers have sold us all down the fkn river for a decade and are about to finish us off.

            May as well just round us all up, get the firing squad and be done with us so you don’t have to worry about those not as fortunate as thou to be insulated from reality of real life.

            You are all selfish ignorant shitbags.

            We can now afford almost three times as many cars per million people on the road as in the 1960s. Great stuff. People with no job can have a car to go nowhere other than run the kids to school and block the roads.

            People have twice as long vacations and will probably go further. Lost me there. Vacations? You must be thinking of people that are not struggling at the bottom or single people able to take a fortnight off from the jobcentre.

            We eat out five times as often. Picnics? a few times a year maybe. I’ll give you that……….Ohh you mean eat out as in paying? Get real shitbag.

            People spend longer in retirement. cough cough. Who exactly? Those that were lucky enough to be insulated from the problem we are talking about which is competition for jobs at the bottom.

            Obesity is now a problem that our parents certainly couldn’t afford. Nothing to do with money. It is to do with modern culture and laziness.

            The number of households has grown as we can afford to have less people per house. yet kids are staying with Mum till older. You also haven’t told the agencies they aren’t registered as HMOs and definitely shouldn’t have 10 living in a 3 bed.

            Benefits have far outstripped inflation. Agreed but benefits does not make most people happy because they would rather earn their own money doing a shi* job than have hush money thrown at them.

            Your post just shows how you are on of those in the selfish above the bottom group that has no grasp at all what has happened in this country.

          • Employment is at an all time high – don’t blame others for your own inadequacies.

            Apart from all sections of society being a lot wealthier than their parents we are also more – healthy, free, open, fair & safe.

          • Andrew Cole

            pass me the gun shitbag

        • logdon

          Can you read?

          Try the article again, that is if you read it at all, before leaping to your idiotic pronouncement.

          And none of your insane Wizard rules. This isn’t your own version of Hogwarts.

          • Was that supposed to be a polite counter-argument?

            I was just backing up Trail’s comment that together Muslims and Christians can stand up to extremists better that individually.

    • There have never been more Muslims in the country before and violent crime is at an all time low – do you think there is a connection between these two facts?

      • Philsopinion


        No, I don’t.

        Look up the prison population figures.

        • So what do you attribute the record low number of violent crimes to?

      • right1_left1

        Im guessing that as a % of the population more Muslims are present in Sudan Syria and Iraq than in the UK.
        Yet the prevalence of violence is far higher than the UK
        Is there a connection between those facts ?

        i dont want Islam in the UK.
        Should I be sent to prison for saying so ?

        • Yes – you’ve hit the nail on the head.

          Muslims and Christians in developed countries act in a more civilised manner because they are more wealthy. Muslims and Christians in a poor country act in a more uncilvlised manner. Well done you finally got there.

          Here is an example of what Christians in a poor country are capable of:

          “Maronite Christian militias perpetrated the Karantina and Tel al-Zaatar massacres of Palestinians and Lebanese Muslims during Lebanon’s 1975–1990 civil war. The 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, which targeted unarmed Palestinian refugees for rape and murder, was considered to be genocide by the United Nations General Assembly.A British photographer present during the incident said that “People who committed the acts of murder that I saw that day were wearing [crucifixes] and were calling themselves Christians.” (Wikipedia)

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          “i dont want Islam in the UK.
          Should I be sent to prison for saying so ?”
          Don’t make any holiday plans in thought crime UK, right.

      • Vieuxceps2

        There have never been more muslims in the middle east before and violence is at an all-time high- do you think there is a connection between these two facts?

        • Well done you finally got there – it isn’t religion it it how wealthy an area is that dictates the levels of violence.

          Here is what Christians are capable of in a poor country:
          “Maronite Christian militias perpetrated the Karantina and Telal-Zaatar massacres of Palestinians and Lebanese Muslims during Lebanon’s 1975–1990 civil war. The 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, which targeted unarmed Palestinian refugees for rape and murder, was considered to be genocide by the United Nations General Assembly.A British photographer present during the incident said that “People who committed the acts of murder that I saw that day were wearing [crucifixes] and were calling themselves Christians.” (Wikipedia)

          • logdon

            You already spouted that one.

          • It beat you last time and now it has done it again. Here is another example to show it isn’t religion that begets violence but poverty:

            “Christian militia groups destroyed almost all mosques in the Central African Republic unrest In 2014, Amnesty International reported several massacres committed by the Anti-balaka against Muslim civilians, forcing thousands of Muslims to flee the country. Other sources report incidents of Muslims being cannibalized.” (Wikipedia)

  • davidblameron

    On ‘Any Questions’ last Friday, the charming Ms Abbott sneeringly called Brexiters : ‘little Englanders’. Well A. England is not that little, it’s bigger than Wales, Northern Ireland and a third bigger than Scotland. B. There’s plenty of Brexiters living in those three countries. C. What about the SNP wanting to leave the United Kingdom?

    • greencoat

      Northern Ireland is not a country.

      • jeremy Morfey

        It may be a modern creation, borne out of the partition of Ireland, but I can identify the six counties as a unique national entity, rather more than just a province of the UK.

      • davidblameron

        ok, one of the four constituent parts of the UK, it’s not geographically part of Britain.

        • Dacorum

          Ireland is geographically part of the British Isles and Northern Ireland is part of the UK.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “If you ever go across the sea to Ireland …”
            Geographically part of the British Isles … gimme a break. A glance at the map will reveal the self-serving falseness of that statement.

          • Dacorum

            No, you should get yourself an education instead of adopting ignorant positions that ignore the facts.

            As the Ordnance Survey link below confirms, Ireland is geographically part of the British Isles. It is a geographical term and it is nonsensical not to accept the truth that Ireland is geographically part of the British isles in the same way that the British Isles are geographically part of Europe.


      • John McNab

        He didn’t say it was.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        But it should be united with the Republic.

        • Escape from the EUSSR asylum

          Silly boy.

          • oldoddjobs

            Oh let’s not start THIS again 😉

          • Escape from the EUSSR asylum

            And just how many people from (and also actually live in) the South of Ireland actually want their “Northern brothers and sisters”, almost all with funny accents anyway?! Even Margaret Thatcher would probably give Northern Ireland away in a heartbeat like Hong Kong, if the South actually wanted the place (and with a serious plan for the governance of the North!)

    • Zanderz

      I don’t know why anyone takes Ms Abbott seriously. She’ll say the earth is flat is Corbyn told her to.

      • MikeF

        Well she has doubtless had some practice in doing things that Mr Corbyn has told her to do.

        • Speedy

          Corbyn would be flat if she went on top

      • logdon

        I’ll bet the mutual mattress was. Pizza thin after her shennanigans.

    • John Carins

      Interesting that the SNP wants the UK to stay in the EU. Why? because it provides a better platform for them to win a second Scottish referendum. We have a better chance of keeping our union together by voting out of the EU.

      • Itinerant

        Revealing just how vacuous the SNP’s claims for independence really are- for there is no such thing as an independent nation-state in the EU.

    • Cyril Sneer

      The labour bigots just can’t stop bigoting.

      They can’t help themselves. It’s losing them votes yet that screaming bigot always manages to get out.

      • Vieuxceps2

        The latest is Pat Glass at “Wherever this is”. In her case I feel horribly bigoted to the point of strangulation.

  • paulthorgan

    This is just a repetition of Stephen Kinnock’s so-called ‘patriotism of communities’, which tries to create a socialist patriotism, presumably where the Tolpuddle ‘Martyrs’ are revered more than Winston Churchill.

    Labour can’t undo decades of antipathy towards the white working class and their abandonment of them, as epitomised by the tacit acceptance of diversity-based rape in Rotherham and elsewhere.

    If people are bringing up Orgreave after over 30 years, then Rotherham will be an albatross around Labour’s neck for some time.

    • Its the Rotherham red herring again!!!

      More paedo gangs are white – why ignore them?

      • paulthorgan

        Look at you – justifying rape. How disgusting.

        • jeremy Morfey

          No he isn’t. He’s witch hunting.

          The issue is not really directly about rape, but more about an Islamic definition of the kuffar being subhuman. Those Rotherham girls in “care”, probably not “modestly” dressed according to Islamic standards, probably spilling out of the pubs or at least open to temptation were seen by both hot-blooded and frustrated Muslim young men and by the police as slags and deserved what was coming to them.

          Before we can tackle the issue of rape, we really do need to address the idea that some people are more worthy of legal protection than others.

        • Look at you – making excuses for white paedos. How disgusting.

      • Cyril Sneer

        You’re a typical vile lefty creature.

        The industrial scale rape of white children by muslim pedos means nothing to you particularly where it was Labour that actively covered up these rapes for almost two decades. That’s children being abused which Labour covered up. That’s children with their lives ruined. Rotherham shows us the depths that Labour will go. Not even the massive industrial scale rape of children for two decades made any difference to this sick party of traitorous scum.

        I will never forgive Labour for Rotherham.

        Rotherham (and many other towns and cities) will continue to weigh Labour down and hopefully drown them.

        Your attitude is mirrored by a lot of Labour traitors and it will do you no good at all but you go ahead and show us all how little you care about the lives of children, particularly white children.

        Population/crime ratios by race mean nothing to you as you’re allergic to the truth.

      • Philsopinion

        Pakistani rape gangs have been active in every town and city according to the Police. You can Google all the cases which have gone to court so far. Given that they make up barely 4% of the population, I think you can understand why such disproportionate figures are of concern.

        Oh, and ‘white paedo gangs’ don’t have their crimes covered up or ignored by Labour politicians.

        • “Pakistani rape gangs have been active in every town and city according to the Police.” I would be interested in the source of that information? I have to warn you that I will not consider “inside your head” as a valid source.

          “You can Google all the cases…” How very naive of you. You can find out that the World is less than 5000 years old on the web – maybe you believe that as well?

          • Vieuxceps2

            You should consider whether your daughter was one of the victims of a white paedo gang or a muslim paedo gang. Ask her if she noticed any difference.

          • So you are unable to supply the source of your “fact” – now ask yourself why that is.

          • Vieuxceps2

            Iimbecile.I did not give a fact.I asked yuo a question. Tin-foil wearing thin is it?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “That whitewash on back order. Has it arrived yet?”

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Agree with every word, Phil. However consider this; If paedophelia wasn’t rampant at the top levels of British society, the clitchoppers would never have got a foot in the door.
          “Australia Westminster UK – High Level Child Abuse Exposé – PLEASE WATCH!!!” YouTube. Could be a revalation.
          Brit driver for the Australian Embassy goes to the police saying his child is being systematically raped by certain Members of Parliament. Police tell him to shut it before he gets hurt.
          That’s the kind of country you’re living in, Britisher pals. So hate it and leave it.
          Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

          • Escape from the EUSSR asylum

            Don’t forget to collect your free SWP membership card on your way out!

      • Andrew Cole

        No-one ignores them. It isn’t the race, religion or what they is actually being argued when Rotherham is brought up.

        All paedo gangs whether white, brown, black whatever religion or flag they wave should be dealt with accordingly.

        It is the systems failure to address certain paedo gangs for fear of causing unrest in certain communities that is the problem that will be remembered.

        • “It isn’t the race, religion or what they is actually being argued when Rotherham is brought up.”
          Au contraire – the posters that try to get Rotherham into a post at every opportunity would never mention the incidents where the gangs are not Muslims: Norwich, Plymouth, Basildon, Mold, Worcester, Sheffield, etc.

          • Andrew Cole

            No yet again you pull up misleading out of context things.

            There has been no cover up for fear of upsetting communities in cases of white paedo gangs. That was pure corruption of the establishment all covering up for each other.

            The Rotherham and Rochdale examples were different because they weren’t covering up for each other, they were blatantly ignoring the problem because they didn’t want to upset certain communities.

            The reality is that it needs addressing and there should be no more “hand blinkers” and waling on by for fear of upsetting a community.

            They should all be done up with the full weight of the law including all those that were party to the cover up. Politicians, Police and anyone else included.

          • “There has been no cover up for fear of upsetting communities in cases of white paedo gangs.” Incorrect. Many cases go back years.

            “That was pure corruption of the establishment…” No – just the inability of all normal people to believe these things could be happening.

            “The Rotherham and Rochdale examples were different…” I think the victims in Sheffield & Plymouth would disagree.

            “The reality is that it needs addressing…” Which is now happening. All the gangs that are now being prosecuted have been operating unchecked for years – irrespective of religion.

          • Andrew Cole

            One is a set of cases of a cover up. The other is a set of cases of a cover up BECAUSE of fear of upsetting communities that those involved came from.

            With the former there was no thinking “best keep this quiet, don’t want to upset the natives”

            They are blatantly different. all cover ups but only the second lot were covered up because of not wanting to upset communities.

            I agree with your last bit. The majority of people do not single out Rotherham and Rochdale to try and say Look they do it, We don’t. They bring these 2 examples up because of WHY they were covered up and how that could be prevalent way of thinking in establishment circles in many other areas.

            I suspect there will be many more cover ups that come to light over the next decade or so involving all demographics and all classes. From Mr Nobody does nothing all the way through to people with directorships on 40 boards that all ensure that each company gets its share of the gravy train.

            I welcome all of it but let us not try and hide the reason why those councils covered these particular cases up because what that represents could undermine our trust in all of the establishment that equality actually means equality and not just equality for minorities.

          • “One is a set of cases of a cover up. The other is a set of cases of a
            cover up BECAUSE of fear of upsetting communities that those involved
            came from.”
            Wizard Rule 8: Just because you want something to be true that doesn’t mean it is.

          • Andrew Cole

            Real Rule 1 : talking like a kid probably means you are a kid and a shitbag to boot.

          • Wizard Rule 64: A rude response is no substitute for a sound argument.

          • Andrew Cole

            **** off shitbag troll

          • Wizard Rule 68: Aggression is often used to mask a weak argument.

          • Andrew Cole

            too devoid of self worth for any aggression shitbag.

            It is good keeping shitbags like yourself busy on disqus trolling and away from actually convincing people on platforms with a higher view count.

          • Wizard Rule 86: People often become upset when they first realise their arguments have been disproved.

          • Andrew Cole

            pass me the gun shitbag. my last post.

    • Andrew Cole

      Already far too many Kinnocks have passed from failure in England to Success in EU Land to see that name and ignore anything that comes from them.

  • Uusikaupunki

    the roots of the Labour Movement were far more “Methodist” than “Marxist”.The white working class have always (unconsciously perhaps) known this., New “Labour” ignored that at their peril.

    • New Labour won elections – when was the last time Old Labour did?

      • Brian Jones

        New Labour didn’t win elections, The Tories lost them in the same way that labour lost the last two.

        • So why didn’t the Tories lose when they were up against Old Labour?

          (Get out of that one)

  • Zanderz

    Surprisingly, a good article. I agree with a lot of that. If only Tristram spoke as he writes, in person he comes across as sneeringly arrogant and dismissive.

    • Andrew Cole

      Because he is sneeringly arrogant and dismissive and you have suckered up his puppy dog article.

      This article in itself is dismissive because it tries to pass of flag waving and patriotism as the key to getting back their traditional working class votes when it is nothing to do with flags and patriotism. It is to do with jobs, wages and houses and a decade of Tristam’s lot denying what was happening to the working class jobs market has lost them a generation at least of that vote.

      I will be surprised if any 2 parties alone (including SNP) will be able to form a coalition after the blind and ignorant who are isolated from the scrap at the bottom vote us all to remain.

      Such a disgrace that most of the population of this country care more about their coffee and cheap roaming calls than a vote to protect those at the bottom from being frozen out by the free flowing cheap labour market that UK business pretends it is not unscrupulously abusing.

      I don’t know if it will be worth bothering to live in hope after 24th. No hope for a job, no hope for any sense of pride and best hope the kids get to Uni or they are F****d too. If this vote does go remain it will just go to show what an embarrassment of a country the UK is.

      May as well hand the gun round so all of us at the bottom can free you of the annoyance by us scum lowlifes and you can enjoy your conti expresso and brunch lifestyles.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I’m really disappointed with the BNP. I posted details of my clash with Border Force at LHR, when a deranged officer accused me of being a racist, and the self-same message in the Spectator. The Spectator let it stand while the BNP site deleted it. You’d think BNP would lap up details of Pakistani Immigration officers letting the wrong people in while keeping the right people out.
    Deleted from the BNP site for being critical of Authority; like being banned from Guido for using obscene language.
    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

    • And how differently would Border Force tell this story if they were allowed?

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        The officers in question would lie through their teeth. They already have when my official complaint was investigated.
        The officer involved swore he never called me a racist, and his colleague backed him up. Corruption, conspiracy, lying to a superior …. Attempted entrapment. Trust their personal file is suitably annotated.
        An irony here; a Gestapo uniformed thug screaming, “You’re a racist” at a member of the travelling public, in public at London Heathrow. And then going into what I can only describe as psychotic episode. Thank goodness they aren’t armed.
        I still don’t understand why he should deny calling me a racist. Why not brazen it out? “Sure I called him a racist. So what?”
        But it’s the cover up that gets um in the end.
        Border Force is not fit for purpose. Using Pakistanis with recently issued British passports as Immigration officers is nothing short of insanity. Muslims helping brother Muslims. Keeping the right people out while letting the wrong people in. And I think we all know who the dodgy ones are. Male Muslims that organised the industrial scale rape of British children in Northern towns.
        Jack, the Alps Brit
        Keep those second-bite-of-the-cherry opportunities coming.

        • Escape from the EUSSR asylum

          Remind me, who is constantly harping on about “Muslim Border Force officers”?! Hard to believe you are not in fact a Labour/SWP/HnH agent provocateur!

    • Escape from the EUSSR asylum

      No wonder, given that you had just claimed that you had accessed their membership database! (https://disqus.com/home/discussion/spectator-new-www/the_internets_war_on_free_speech/#comment-2683124356 )

  • Dacorum

    “England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during “God Save the King” than of stealing from a poor box”.

    These words are even more true today than when they were written by George Orwell 75 years ago in his classic essay “The Lion and the Unicorn”.

    We have our chance to get our revenge by voting for Brexit on June 23rd. Let’s take it and enjoy seeing our left wing and liberal intellectual elite absolutely howl with anguish at their defeat!!

    • This is the “lets upset the elite by voting out even if it is bad for us as well” argument.

      This is known by the technical term of “cutting off your nose to spite your face”.

      • Dacorum

        No, you have got it completely wrong.

        We will be punishing the left liberal elite for getting it all wrong, for lying to us and for betraying our national interest whilst they feathered their own nests at our expense.

        You could accurately describe this by the technical term of “cutting off THEIR noses to spite their faces”.

        • I’m not sure who this mythical “left liberal elite” and how they have “feathered their own nests at our expense.” Bear in mind that we currently live in the wealthiest generation ever in the UK – did they do that?

          • Dacorum

            They have done very well for themselves selling off the family silver. Haven’t you noticed that everything is for sale in this country to the highest foreign bidder? Does that happen in other major advanced economies like Germany, France or the USA? Who own the utilities in France – are they French owned or foreign? Are any British companies major suppliers of electricity in France? Are the major airports in France, Germany and the USA foreign owned as ours are? Have we benefitted from this? The profits should have been earned by British companies who paid taxes here and dividends to British shareholders who then spent the dividends in the UK for the benefit of us all. Now those dividends go abroad.

            In the midst of all this sell off, we are beset continuing low productivity and low investment. Who is to blame for this if it isn’t our left liberal elite who, let us not forget, created the boom and bust before the credit crunch?

            You say this is the “wealthiest generation” ever in the UK but isn’t it also one of growing inequality that leaves huge numbers worse off then when we were apparently much poorer? How can someone be wealthy on say twice national income if they cannot afford to buy a house or a flat in a wealthy area of the country where they work when that would have been easy a few years ago? We are turning from a home owning country to a privately renting country with no security beyond a short lease. And for many older parents who own their own homes, they are facing real sacrifices from helping their children get onto the property ladder which will leave them far worse off now and in their retirement. Are these people part of the “wealthiest generation” you refer to? My house is apparently worth a lot more nowadays but how does that leave me better off? I still have to live somewhere and I don’t want to move.

            And everyone in work is facing competition from uncontrolled migration which is strongly supported by the left liberal elite. Uncontrolled migration has completely changed the demographics of our major cities displacing white British people like the cockneys of London. White flight from London, my city, now means that only 45% of the population of London is White British. I am a foreigner in my own capital. Not only have white British been displaced in what can be described as white flight – who wants to the only white family left – but they face increased competition for jobs, lower wages, higher rents, difficulties in getting their children into local schools and difficulties in seeing their local GP, increased congestion and pressure on all services that all result from uncontrolled migration.

            The major corporations love all this. They get cheaper labour, both skilled and unskilled, and save the cost of training by importing trained staff from abroad, all to our detriment. Microsoft recently encouraged their staff to vote for Remain saying they could attract the best talent from everywhere and sell in the EU but what they failed to mention is that the people they bring in from abroad depress the wages of their British staff and take away their opportunity for advancement, development and promotion.

          • “They have done very well for themselves selling off the family silver.” Not that old chestnut!!! We sold public industries so competition is possible as so prices are held down, service is improved, tax payer subsidies are no longer required and taxes are generated for the Government. This is known as a win-win-win-win situation.

            “Haven’t you noticed that everything is for sale in this country to the highest foreign bidder?” Any investor. UK companies are also taking advantage of this. For example Centrica owns large service providers in the US; Vodafone owns large telecoms providers in Germany and other many countries; RBS owns large banking interests in China. Global Capitalism has made us all the lot more wealthy.

            “Does that happen in other major advanced economies like Germany, France or the USA?” Yes – see above.

            “The profits should have been earned by British companies…” There were no profits when they were in public hands. They were just a drain on the tax payer.

            “In the midst of all this sell off, we are beset continuing low productivity and low investment. Who is to blame for this…” The recession.

            “…but isn’t it also one of growing inequality…” No – the accepted measure of equality is called the GINI coefficient


            According to the IFS the UK was rated at 0.34 in 1991 and the current value is 0.33 (slightly more equal).

            Let us just compare ourselves with the previous generation:
            We can now afford almost four times as many cars per million people on the road as in the 1960s. People have twice as long vacations and will probably go further. We eat out five times as often. People spend longer in retirement. Obesity is now a problem that our parents certainly couldn’t afford. The number of households has grown as we can afford to have less people per house. Benefits have far outstripped inflation.

            “How can someone be wealthy on say twice national income if they cannot afford to buy a house…” The dynamics change with each generation. Our parents rented and didn’t save (as they would die no long after retirement). Our generation bought in order to save for our retirement. Our children’s generation rent and used the money they save in not buying to save for retirement. People live longer and retire earlier.

          • Dacorum

            “”They have done very well for themselves selling off the family silver.” Not that old chestnut!!! We sold public industries so competition is possible as so prices are held down, service is improved, tax payer subsidies are no longer required and taxes are generated for the Government. This is known as a win-win-win-win situation.”

            No, no no! You missed the whole point of what I said! I was referring to the sale of utilities post privatisation to foreign companies! I wrote “The profits should have been earned by British companies who paid taxes here and dividends to British shareholders who then spent the dividends in the UK for the benefit of us all. Now those dividends go abroad”. The government should have kept a golden share to prevent the foreign sale of our privatised utilities, airports etc because institutional shareholders cannot be relied upon to consider the national interest and not surprisingly consider only their own profits.

            And it is not the case that privatised companies are no longer a drain on the public purse. The railways are a prime example of that. I believe the taxpayer subsidy is greater than before privatisation. What makes it even worse is that the taxpayer is expected to pay £50++ billion for HS2. Taxpayers won’t even receive the profits (if any) from running trains on it. At least with the provision of motorways, the amount raised in motoring taxes greatly exceeds the cost of provision and maintenance.

            Let us compare ourselves with previous generations. In 2105 the Independent reported about “Britain’s divided decade: the rich are 64% richer than before the recession, while the poor are 57% poorer”. How does that equate with your “accepted measure of equality the GINI coefficient”? Shouldn’t that be placed in the dustbin as just a load of statistical garbage that doesn’t reflect reality?

            The Independent went onto say:

            “The gap between richest and poorest has dramatically widened in the past decade as wealthy households paid off their debts and piled up savings following the financial crisis, a report warns today.

            By contrast, the worst-off families are far less financially secure than before the recession triggered by the near- collapse of several major banks. They have an average of less than a week’s pay set aside and are more often in the red.

            Younger workers have fallen behind older people while homeowners – particularly those who have paid off their mortgages – have become increasingly affluent compared with their neighbours who are paying rent”.

            The Social Market Foundation found homeowners who paid off their mortgages between 2005 and 2012 find themselves £2,500 better off. These gains are above and beyond the rise in property values over the period.

            Meanwhile, the inter-generational gap in incomes and wealth has widened significantly. The wages of those aged 26 to 35 fell steeply and they are far less likely to be property owners, with the proportion in this age bracket who are buying a home falling from nearly three-quarters in 2005 to just over half in 2012-13. On average, they have less than a week’s income in savings, owe 45 per cent more money than they did in 2005 and are increasingly running up overdrafts to pay their bills.

            The SMF said the declining financial health of younger workers and people on low incomes limited the economy’s ability to rely for growth on consumer spending among all income levels. And it warned that these groups are ill-prepared for future financial shocks or rises in interest rates.

            You, my friend, are supporting a myth that we have never had it so good!

            The recession is not to blame for poor productivity and investment as that has been a problem long before the recession. It is due to the lack of long term investment in British industry. Banks in particular lend short term whilst after the war we helped set up banking institutions in Germany that provided for long term finance! No wonder Germany has higher productivity and output. The same is also true of France.

            Finally on house ownership you wrote “The dynamics change with each generation. Our parents rented and didn’t save (as they would die no long after retirement). Our generation bought in order to save for our retirement. Our children’s generation rent and used the money they save in not buying to save for retirement. People live longer and retire earlier”.

            Sorry but that is just plan wrong. Our parents were either home buyers or paid low rents. Home ownership peaked in 2001 and had fallen to below 1991 levels by 2011 and is heading towards 1981 levels. In 1981, 31% of households were in socially rented housing and paying very affordable rents at a time when private rents were controlled and when home ownership was around 55%. Contrast that with today with falling home ownership, private rent costs greater than servicing a mortgage and the unavailability of social housing at low cost.

            But what was laughable was your last two sentences: “Our children’s generation rent and used the money they save in not buying to save for retirement. People live longer and retire earlier”.

            Renting is not cheap and those who rent cannot afford to save for any purpose. They may well live longer than their parents but their retirement future is bleak because they cannot possibly save enough to retire when they cannot possible save enough now at a time when returns on savings are pitiful and completely at the mercy of the markets or a collapse like BHS. And retirement ages are going up, not down! Have you not noticed the rise in the pension age that is coming?

            I was looking forward to a nice surplus on my endowment mortgage but that went belly up with just a few years to run and sadly many future pensioners who are young today may well face something very similar near to their retirement. That risk makes it all the more important to own your own home but that is a dream many more people now have no chance of fulfilling. The younger generation should be voting for Brexit and the higher wages and lower house prices and lower rents that will bring.

    • Vieuxceps2

      All sadly true.
      For decades now there has been a movement to denigrate and deride all things English, indeed to try to remove the very notion of the English as an historic nation by re-writing history and mocking at all times any traces of worth or patriotsm from the records. I do not understand why this should be seen to be a necessary adjunct to lefty policy as the marxoids never sought to apply the same rules to the other British people,the Scots, Welsh or Irish ,allof whom were active in the global history of the islands. Only the English were held up as malefactors in need of extirpation.
      Now of course lefty needs our votes or his chance of power is minimal,so this Hunt writes a book to say how much we English should be valued after all. Well,Ill be damned if they get a vote from me,and if any labourites are reading this,I suggest you seek elsewhere for your spokesmen.

  • Cyril Sneer

    Labour hate England, hate the English and hate white people, particularly white working class. Many labourites are slowly coming to terms with the fact they’re highly unlikely to have the support to win another election for a very long time.

    The regressive left are of course oblivious to their own bigotry and to the damage they have done to Labour. Tiz funny loike. Their politics goes in the opposite direction to where the country and Europe are going.

    When Labour lose the next election, maybe even being pipped into second place by UKIP then we’ll have to guard war memorials across the land as the luvies will be out in force with their spray cans as they were when the Tories smashed them in the last GE.

    • JSC

      As sure as the sun rises in the morn.

  • John Carins

    Tristan bends history to suit his ideology. Didn’t anyone tell him that good historical analysis needs to be balanced. Don’t be taken in by his faux idea of the importance of Englishness. He does not believe it and like all other lefties is only concerned with his dreadful party. Why is Labour supporting “remain” if they were concerned about nationalistic ideas like Englishness? That is the fundamental contradiction and flaw at the heart of Mr Hunt’s argument.

  • davidofkent

    I suspect that a lot of the people who support certain Political Parties have been educated well beyond their intellectual abilities. Thus, they are prey to any appealing dogma that more-or-less fits the political views they think they espouse. What they all need is a severe dose of reality by being actually affected by the political actions they demand. For example, I suggest they take in a couple of ‘migrant’ families, or send their children to work as customer-facing operatives in a supermarket.

  • JSC

    The problem is this: the Labour party has been royally infected by numerous hostile foreign ideologies mostly stemming from Russian and Islamic propaganda outlets. This is why Labour is so hysterically anti-Israel, anti-Jew, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-American, anti-British, anti-English, anti-white etc. It’s because they get all their information and opinions from translations of hysterical anti-Semitic Arab tabloids they see shared on Facebook/Twitter/Etc, from that polished purveyor of propaganda Russia Today and, often overlooked, their friends and acquaintances who originate from these countries.

    It shouldn’t be surprising that it would be the multi-culturalists, those people eager to make friends with foreigners and who uncritically accept their foibles, who would be the first to start exhibiting the same kind of hostile, paranoid, racist bigotry common in their friends home country.

    Not simply useful idiots for foreign powers, they have so deeply and uncritically assimilated these views that they’ve come to the erroneous assumption that everyone else believes the same conspiracies that they do. Watch with embarrassment as their leaders walk around scorning the English flag in England; thinking it natural that everyone else will laugh along with them. Watch as their leaders casually spout off that Hitler was a big supporter of Zionism; thinking it true. Watch how they over-eagerly report every unsubstantiated claim about Israel that validates their view of it as a uniquely evil state; unaware that the world is slowly coming to the realisation that the Palestinian conflict is profitable snuffporn for Muslim media outlets. Watch when confronted how they blame the neo-liberal zionist media… US hegemony… White privilege… Islamophobia…

    • jeremy Morfey

      When you made that list of Labour antis, how many of them aren’t themselves foreign ideologies? Israel? Jew? American? Even “white” is an alien concept used to distinguish one settler from another by their skin colour, rather than their ethnicity. How many “whites” currently in the UK could be French? Or Scottish? Or Polish?

      Please try again, this time not trying to explain the concept of Englishness by setting one set of foreign factions off against another.

      • JSC

        I’m not sure I get your point, or that you got mine. My point was simply that Labour supporters get their ‘facts’ from foreign propaganda outlets and their bigoted immigrant associates; this explains the delusionary world view, their twisted view of history and casual anti-English racism.

        Obviously being anti-Israel does not mean you’re anti-English, but the constellation of prejudices I described are peculiar in their common occurrence and expression within the left and have the fingerprints of Russian and Islamic propaganda all over them.

        • jeremy Morfey

          Indeed they do, but what has the prejudicial propaganda of one foreign faction against another got to do with Englishness? As an impartial outsider, I see at least as much injustice pushed by Israel as there is against it, and rather resent taking one side or the other being made a condition of my own sense of patriotism.

          • JSC

            You’re free to be impartial or partisan. 🙂 My point wasn’t that you have to be “pro” any of those things I listed to be pro-British/pro-English, but that you should be aware that there is a concerted negative-propaganda effort on all of those topics being made by certain foreign powers; this propaganda is being mindlessly parroted as truth by gullible leftists. In short, the same people who talk about “white privilege” and “wealth redistribution” are very often the same people who think Israel wants “the blood of (the Palestinian) children” and the the USA is “controlled by the Zio bankers and Zio media” which have the “Islamophobic” west on a “Imperialist crusade” to “exploit” Muslims etc ad nauseum.

            There are certain unusual combinations of words and turns of phrase that give away the common origin of their ‘information’. ‘Information’ which as I said, is often memorably outrageous because it originates in the headlines of Arab tabloids and is delivered by the believer in the same fashion as one.

          • jeremy Morfey

            I agree, and I have heard these phrases used to warrant a mass campaign of hatred against all Jews and take great care to separate them from the genuine grievances that come my way.

            One in particular is the systematic harassment of Palestinians when their lands and resources have a claim staked against them by settlers under the Zionist free settlement schemes. Jews in general are not to blame for this, but the political forces within Israel that either condone it or actively promote it are highly to blame. It is hardly helping matters giving the Islamists a cause to attach their atrocious criminality to.

            The other concerns Goldman Sachs, which has an unfortunately Jewish-sounding name. This organisation (among a number of others) has been subverting democracy in my country to the extent of corruptly selling off the Royal Mail, among many other incidences of financial perversion, and this is of real concern to me as an English patriot and British subject, since they have dug into my pocket in order to fund their personal renumeration packages. It is one of the main reasons I intend to vote Leave in June, since it seems they have perverted Brussels even more than they have Westminster.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Since Jews building houses in Judea is such a nightmarish thought, perhaps they should evacate completely from all contested territories like they did in Gaza, back in 2005 – you’ll be happy, the Islamists will be unhappy because more of their demands would have been met and they’ll have to call meetings to decide which of their other demands to howl about next – like Sweden not giving them enough free stuff.

          • jeremy Morfey

            That was all very well until the Israelis bombed out Arafat, so his place was taken by Hamas. What was all that about? Seems someone was creating a ghetto in Gaza.

            Anyway why should all Jews be forced to evacuate just because of the abuse of some settlers and the connivance of their pet politicians in office? All many Palestinian farmers ask of the Jews is that they are good neighbours; they would rather be tending their groves, and selling their produce to good paying customers, than be lobbing missiles at them.

            As for aggressive begging – you get that in all cultures, and Islam isn’t spared them. The Islamists’ demand is not for more sweeties from the Swedes, it is for total submission of all people to their way of life, at the point of a sword as soon as one can be got close enough. The proper response to piracy (for that is what it is) may in the short term to give in and avoid having to walk the plank, but as you imply, that will only encourage them.

            Hence it seems crazy to wind down our military and our border protection, just so we can add a few more billions to the renumeration packages of important people. Equally crazy is to wind down those civilising forces that can make honest citizens out of these pirates, and as any teacher knows, you don’t do that by giving in to every demand from your pupils.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Arafat was never “bombed out”, he died of illness, which is quite remarkable given his tendency to add bullets to every problem in the region. I’d say it is astounding that someone could watch Hamas use a mix of democracy, bribery, corruption and outright assassination to sieze power, and then somehow blame the whole thing on an outside force, but it’s become so commonplace that mustering surprise becomes difficult.

            But yes, it is indeed my point that you don’t give concessions to, as you put it, pirates.

          • Mow_the_Grass

            This common jewhating idiot above ie jM – can’t understand the difference between the territory of Gaza (run by the terrorists Hamas) and the territory called the ‘westbank’ (run by the other group of terrorsts ie PA/PLO.
            This is not the first time this idiot has used the term ‘bombed out’ in relation to Arafat.
            I think that most of his/her information comes via his weekly church group meetings.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Actually, we are working our way through the Acts of the Apostles right now.

          • rationality

            Paul is a massive inspiration to me.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Ah no wonder you hate Israel – there is usually a religious influence behind any jew/Israel hater.

          • jeremy Morfey

            You let slip in another post where you live, so you must be familiar with Elgar’s church St George’s, where I heard what they were doing to a Palestinian olive grower trying to farm near the wall in Bethlehem. I contributed £20 for the planting of trees chopped down by settler raids. He said it is Israeli policy to cut down any olive tree planted by a Palestinian just as it is about to come into fruit.

            I am not a Jew hater – in fact I have liked them ever since hearing David Kossof tell stories in my childhood, and I have Jews in my family. I particularly like Jewish music. I do dislike militant supremacist right wing governments though – which explains my current dislike of what Israel is up to. It was even too much for Israel’s Defence Minister, who has just resigned because he can no longer support Netanyahu’s policies. I find quite appalling the antics of these settlers, quite a few of whom are not even genuine Jews, but simply converts in order to get a better lifestyle at the expense of those whose ancestors have lived there for centuries. I really do not know why the so-called civilised world puts up with it.

          • polidorisghost

            This article is not about Jews, Morfey.
            Take your nasty little hatred elsewhere

          • jeremy Morfey

            The opening thread from JSC: “The problem is this: the Labour party has been royally infected by numerous hostile foreign ideologies mostly stemming from Russian and Islamic propaganda outlets. This is why Labour is so hysterically anti-Israel, anti-Jew, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-American, anti-British, anti-English, anti-white etc. It’s because they get all their information and opinions from translations of hysterical anti-Semitic Arab tabloids…” did bring up being anti-Israel in the context of Englishness. I am not allowing any criticism of Netanyahu’s appalling regime colour my or my compatriots’ opinion of Jews generally, which is generally positive. I also resent any suggestion that it is to be under the influence of foreign interests for an Englishman to refuse to kow-tow to a foreign tyranny such as Netanyahu and his gang. As I said, I do not get my information from Russian or Islamic propaganda, but from a Palestinian olive grower who visited a Catholic church in Worcester, who explained the conditions under which he must attempt to earn a living.

            As for the latter sentence, you are clearly projecting yours.

          • polidorisghost

            You can rationalise all you want Morfey, but just read your own posts: Everyday, any subject, it’s the jews, the jews, the jews.
            There are whole sites dedicated to the unique wickedness of jews. Go hangout with them.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Your words, not mine. You seem to have a fixation, and you also seem to think that verbal bullying wins arguments. Never mind, I always welcome another opportunity to expound.

            My gripe is with fascists, not jews.I suppose I should not expect better from those determined to sneak fascism on us, by falsely linking opposition to it as “antisemitism”. The Spectator has long campaigned for free and open debate, and is thus as opposed to fascism masquerading as political correctness as I am.

            This is certainly on-topic, considering that Blairites have very recently charged other leading figures of the Labour movement of “antisemitism” specifically for expressing concern over political developments in Israel, which as many in Labour (both here and in Israel itself) well know, has set itself up as a model for how a UN-created democracy should function, and should be setting a better example. That the major contender for an English anthem is entitled “Jerusalem” suggests the importance Israel has to the English; also that the English patron saint St George was a Palestinian crusader fighting the Muslims.

            Since this is a thread discussing Englishness, please use the English language as it is spoken here: gentlemen hangout when they are about to have a pee. It’s Americans who “hangout” at times the English go to the pub.

            I would also ask you if you insist on addressing me by my surname, of at least allowing others the courtesy to do likewise to you, rather than hiding behind an alias.

          • polidorisghost

            “My gripe is with fascists, not jews”

            Then expound about fascists and not about zionists, israelis or any other euphemism you care to deploy when describing jews.
            I’m not bullying you by pointing out that your are an unpleasant piece of work with a jew fixation .

          • jeremy Morfey

            Netanyahu is a fascist.

          • polidorisghost

            “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

            Ah Morfey, I should listen to Shaw.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Arafat died in 2004. His party headquarters were bombed by the IDS on orders from Ariel Sharon in 2001. Hamas subsequently exploited Fatah’s vulnerability by attacking Fatah and engaging in earnest with the Israelis.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Was that the one-storey building in Hebron?

          • Mow_the_Grass

            You ‘pal/ette’ – must stick to matters close to home ie Britain.
            Neither Arafat nor his ‘party headquarters’ were ever ‘bombed’.
            Arafat was confined in his ramallah compound by the by IDF (don’t know an IDS) in 04.
            Is that being ‘bombed out’ in your mind?

  • njt55

    It’s not just that the Labour Party despises Englishness, many of its members refuse to accept that there is even such a place as England. By the evidence of this article, Tristram Hunt has seen a political opportunity but I’m sure that deep down he would prefer it if England did not exist.

    This is also reflected in the media. The Times online, for example, has sections for Scotland and Ireland, but none for England or Wales. Apparently we don’t matter.

  • jeremy Morfey

    Too few people actually understand England, thinking it just an amorphous leftover after the more interesting Celtic bits of the UK have been taken off. Others think all there is to England is the coat of arms of a Palestinian crusader.

    I was born, raised and live in England. Blake’s words “green and pleasant land” resonate with me, and his sentiments to bring the core of civilisation to perhaps the most beautiful, benign, and geographically diverse place on Earth makes me content to have been born where I was. Even now, when its significance is only a childhood memory the words “Made in England” bring up images of something well-made, reliable, adaptable and put together by enthusiasts.

    I do not identify with England as such. I was born in Middlesex, grew up in Surrey and now live in Worcestershire. More than anywhere else, the English identify with their shires.

    None of this is tied politically with the Right or the Left.

    • David davis

      I was born in W12, lived in Surrey and Oxford and Bedfordshire and London, and now we live in Lancashire. My family – including my Polish wife of “23 solid years” – now sort of consciously considers itself Lancashire People. Yes it’s true.

    • Conway

      I have Welsh ancestry, but happened to have been born in England and still live there, albeit not far over the border. After spending three years at a Welsh University, I now consider myself wholly English!

    • Cyril Sneer

      Born in Worcester, brought up in Great Malvern, lived in South Africa, now live in Worcester. Green and pleasant land resonates with me too.

      • jeremy Morfey

        Scarily close to where I am!

        One thing about the internet is the unlikelihood of actually meeting anyone I engage with.

  • Ratty Dave

    Agree wholeheartedly…and I’m a Scot.

  • An Gíogóir

    Greece’s new hard Left ruling party was open borders, until open borders happened.

  • RavenRandom

    I’m appalled that this senior Labour figure tells me the main opposition party hates Englishness, or about 85% of the population.
    The Labour party needs to be replaced.
    How did these sour faced dreary Marxists get control of Labour?

    • jeffersonian

      Appalled that he dared say it out loud, or appalled that Labour is finding itself in such a state?

    • Philsopinion

      Yeah but it won’t be 85% for long. Look at the figures for ethnic minorities in England – over 50% in most of the big cities’ schools. Look at the birth figures. THAT is why Labour thinks it can bide its time. In any other country this would be recognised as a crime – nothing less than an attack on a sovereign people and a profound perversion of democracy.

      • Flash_Harry1

        Over the last six years under the watch of “tens of thousands” Camoron, immigration of those third worlders has increased over and above any year since the borders were opened to ‘unfettered immigration from third world nations’ by an EU directive of either 2003/4 which I happened upon while researching something else, and by the way, the ‘unfettered’ remark is a direct quote. Neither Labour, Liberals or Tories have done this nation any favours during our 42 year membership of the EU. I know who gets my vote from here on in and if by some fixing or otherwise of the looming referendum we do happen to ‘remain’ then I’ll know for certain that we never really had a democracy.

    • David davis

      They got quietly on with it while we were all working hard and our backs were turned.

  • stuartMilan

    you’re too late to the party to be convincing, since you’ve made your Faustian pact with the worst of the third world’s vicious sectarianism…

  • Chris Hobson

    Its OK for little palestineiners or little Catalunyaners but not little Englanders in the eyes of the left.

    • fundamentallyflawed

      same for SNP, Plaid Cyrmu etc… typical lefty thinking – What is good for us isn’t good for you…

  • stuartMilan

    forget it, Tristram. rebrand your party as “Immigration and Benefits” and let the working people you have disgracefully been pleased to betray to find another party to represent them

  • Father Todd Unctious

    Only Exeter is Devonian. We have none of your English DNA and are only called English because the Anglo-Saxons invaded our land.
    We are a fiercely proud people manifested in a strong trade union tradition and a marked reluctance to volunteer in 1914 to fight the Englishmen’s war.
    Having said that. We have many English immigrants here, especially Brummies.

    • jeremy Morfey

      Precisely the point I made when I suggested that the English identify themselves more by their shires than their country. We are at heart a collection of fiercely proud little local tribes, whatever the Anglo-Saxons may feel about imposing harmonisation. Where I live, the Malvern Hills separates the villages of Worcestershire from the less managed settlements of Herefordshire, and locals here know well the difference.

      I’ve even heard it said around Torbay that in the north of Devon, they eat their babies and shoot their dogs. A sort of truce exists in Okehampton. And all I was aware of in Middlesex was that Devon is a place of cows and meadows.

      • None of the above

        Which is why the Heatho-Walkerian reforms were so iniquitous. Whether or not the intention was to create a rootless and thus acquiescent people, divorced from their own identities, that was certainly the effect.

    • Tamerlane

      Are you in fact 12?

  • Minstrel Boy

    Labour is a party hijacked by ‘internationalists’ of various ilks, who see mass migration into the UK as a means to acquire a large dependent electorate which they can govern for their own best interests. Its champagne socialist, property magnate, private education supporting, private health supporting leaders have betrayed the indigenous British working class for countless years, and now fearing electoral annihilation, they seek to replace them with illiterate immigrants from the undeveloped world. What a disgraceful demise for a once great party!


    Where does the money come from to improve infrastructure to cope with Corbyns open borders? We are a trillion in debt and the migrants that ‘contribute and pay their tax’s’ etc. don’t seem to be contributing enough to expand our infrastructure to cope with their presence here.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      It is the rich who want them here to increase their profit margins. So the rich should fund the infrastructure.
      60% top rate on incomes over £500,000.

      • Ridcully

        It is the Labour Party who want them here to increase their voting base. So the Labour Party should fund the infrastructure.

  • You identify the problem well. But I doubt your ability to deliver a solution now that your party has been comprehensively taken over by the lunatic fringe.

  • D J

    Labout offers the English the Utopias of Venezuela or Pakistan. Some English will still vote for you out of tribal loyalty for now, but you betrayed your core as you virtue signalled frantically.
    When all your core realises that you will not change you will disappear as a party.

  • Charlie Anderson

    As if to make Hunt’s point for him, Labour’s Pat Glass calls a voter a “horrible racist”.


  • David davis

    All this is mere rearrangement of the Titanic’s deckchairs.In a grown-up modern nation – and indeed even more especially in all the other sorts – if there is even a remote semblance or trace of pluralist democracy, then the very very last thing needed is socialist parties.

    Socialism is a rather dangerously-juvenile, visceral, pram-toy-throwing reaction; an emotional rather than a logic-based reaction to all the ordinary and normal experiences of the real world. Some of these experiences seem to bear the marks of deliberate injustice to some by others, but are mostly normal imperfections in a steadily-improving quality of life for more and more of the world’s people, driven ultimately by minimal-statist free-market liberalism. The left calls this “Capitalism”, and has stolen the word, and has lynched it. It needs to be wrested back from them.

    It was capitalism that first made poverty hideous, by showing publicly what was being achieved instead. No socialists banned children from going up chimneys or down mines; actually it was the Victorian Tories, and they did it because it was not only rather sharp and wrong but not even necessary – aside also from being rather bad for the children.

    All this post-modern talk and discussion about “how the Labour party might be saved and returned to its mission” is an idle and pointless waste of time. We should be discussion how to actually destroy and end the socialist “meme”. It is dangerous, it hurts people, often (too often) it has killed millions of them, and it has held back all forms of progress for billions, for more than a century. this is an unforgivable record, and in other interpretations might arguably qualify as a Genocidal War Crime in itself.

  • MummyofPrudence

    The various political parties can pretend to value ‘Englishness’ or not, they have no power. The country is run by unelected bureaucrats and pen pushers, and the insane judges of the ECJ, who are so contemptuous of the English people (and their smug desire to preserve their own lives) that they insist on freedom of movement for terrorists into England.

    Terrorists can only be prevented from entering the land of the vile St George’s flag waving louts if the secret services and the home office disclose all the information they hold on them.

    If you want to be elected to do some good in the world Mr Tristam who can I suck up to Hunt join the campaign to free the English (and Scots, Irish and Welsh) from those devils in Europe who would happily see the demos blown to kingdom come rather than see the end of their naive and impractical ideology.


  • Nick

    I really liked this article by Mr.Hunt and although I am not a Labour voter,he sounds like a reasonably sensible bloke based on the content of this article.

    Is he a future Labour leader? Maybe,and he couldn’t be anymore useless and pathetic than the present Leader and his acolytes

  • MrToad76

    They have a problem with British identity and its responsibilities, Corbyn thinking negotiation and subsequently power sharing is the way to go on the Falklands.

  • Malcolm Stevas

    “Englishness — with all those connotations of ethnicity and chauvinism..”
    I would struggle to understand the problem, had I not been aware for a very long time of that “snottiness” about the fundamentals not merely of Englishness but of any degree of nationalist sentiment anywhere, displayed by the Left (it goes without saying, and cf Orwell writing decades ago) and these days by the alleged conservative Right as well. The Left are inherently internationalist and wish to sabotage the bonds of patriotism, loyalty to one’s own kind, the nation of one’s ancestors: the Right, or at least what passes for it (excepting the neo-fascist fringe whom we can safely ignore) have given up the fight, are neutered, and wedded to some nebulous idea of the “centre ground” that appears to sideline such loyalties as just too vulgar for words.
    Hunt will have to swallow his distaste and accept what geneticists & anthropologists tell us, that the English still retain a distinct identity, slightly different even from their very close cousins in other parts of NW Europe. It’s not “chauvinism” at work here, it’s common sense loyalty to those people and those long ingrained cultural values that went before us and made us what we are. To spit in the face of one’s ancestors is not just idiotic and suicidal, it’s repellent and damnable.
    As for, “a nation being forced to accept incredible transformation,” there’s a limit. It is true about our being forced, in that no government was sufficiently honest or honourable or patriotic as to be frank about its facilitating the mass immigration which has transformed huge areas of urban England, to an incredible degree. I think something has to give, change radically, before there’s trouble.
    And finally as regards “journalist Gary Younge”, his twaddle is par for The Guardian – he writes for that rag, I believe? I mean, “the apparently seamless link between Englishness and whiteness has long since broken,” together with “From pop to politics, cuisine to music, the black experience is now intimately interwoven into the fabric of English daily life,” are crass assertions which bear no scrutiny. They’re merely testament to the Leftist agenda plus juvenile wish fulfillment – thank God. A bit of reggae, one or two Caribbean restaurants in hipster bits of London or Brum, and the odd affirmative-action BBC announcer really don’t amount to much. The rather less-black Muslim experience is rather more worrying.

    • Ernie Shore

      loyalty to one’s own kind
      Recognising one’s “own kind” is an act of culture not nature. I’d have thought that the C20 would have put off all but the most uncritical from going anywhere near such ideas, particularly when applied to blood and soil.
      Just saying.
      Generally not impressed with he intellectual heft of Spectator readers.

      • Malcolm Stevas

        I reject your opening assertion: a preference for one’s own kind is rooted in nature, as well as nurture. The gross excesses of the Third Reich – presumably that to which you refer – do not begin to negate a profound attachment to both blood, and soil. I’m not impressed with an implied “intellect” that apparently lacks any connection to the soil in which it was nurtured.

        • E.I.Cronin

          Malcolm this young Canadian has been releasing consistently good videos on immigration, nationalism and the culture wars. This video in particular cites the profusion of studies suggesting ethnic solidarity is biological. Not that we need academic confirmation, personal experience is the best evidence. But the studies are useful in debate with diversity advocates like Ernie.


      • E.I.Cronin

        No it’s biological. Obviously culture plays a role in strengthening that organic cohesion – or in the case of aberrant diversity ideology – mutilating cohesion. As I mention to Malcolm below, there is a young Canadian releasing consistently provocative videos on nationalism, feminism, the culture wars etc and this video cites some of the studies that confirm ethnic solidarity is grounded in biology. Studies in my own country confirm what personal experience is telling us – extreme levels of diversity are destructive.


        It’s a vital issue because a relatively homogenous society offers more stability, more safety and greater co-operation. You only need to look at every part of the Anglosphere that’s adopted the hideous policy of mass migration and Multiculturalism to see a dysfunctional society. Ethnic solidarity works. It’s practical and a tried and tested way for humans to organise society. People naturally coalesce around their ethnic identity which is why we are increasingly seeing fragmented societies which require invasive legislation to keep the peace and organise interaction.

        Every ideology has it’s extremes and perversions. Internationalism does too – just look at the extraordinary damage the EU is doing.

      • Vieuxceps2

        Not impressed, Ernie? I’ll cry myself to sleep over that.

    • Vieuxceps2

      Splendid comment.

  • Central power

    Utterly pointless article.Utterly pointless discussion.

  • Bluesman_1

    Citizen Hunt, you are, along with many others of all political stripes, a Bubble-onian. So naturally, everywhere else is a foreign country to you.

  • Landphil

    Don’t bother with young Tristram, just read “The Likes of Us” by Michael Collins.

    • Neil Saunders

      Yes, and “Dark Albion” by David Abbott.

      • Landphil

        Or “Bloody Foreigners” by Robert Winder. PS. Mrs Landphil is Greek so I’ve shat on my own doorstep.

  • James Chilton

    Left wing intellectuals hate English people. They want to destroy the very idea of England – which is why they continually rewrite English history. They will not rest until they have denounced every English achievement and characteristic as shameful or wicked.

    Tristram Hunt’s trimming is motivated by his suspicion that the Labour party will spend many years in the wilderness unless it can feign some sympathy for English nationalism. Away with his bogus concern about the “core voters” he secretly despises.

    • davidblameron

      what about William Wilberforce?

    • Ernie Shore

      Jimmy, who are these English that left wing intellectuals hate.
      I love Mick Jones, but I’m not hot on his first cousin, Michael Green, AKA Grant Shapps. Oh I also love Ken Loach, but had less time for Michael Winner.
      And while I’m here I don’t think you grasp history. Think about it this way. Brexit Tories can’t agree with Remain Tories about what happened yesterday – they’re both wrong. That’s history, it’s a contest where the contestants keep getting it wrong.

      • James Chilton

        I don’t regard George Orwell as a fount of political wisdom and by no means agree with everything he had to say, but he made this observation about English intellectuals in his essay, The Lion and the Unicorn.

        “England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during God save the King than of stealing from a poor box.”

        That was true in 1940 and – mutatis mutandis – it still is

    • Hippograd

      Left-wing intellectuals hate whites, not simply the English. The same forces are at work in France, Sweden, the US, Australia, etc, etc. And in every case you’ll find one small but highly powerful group at work, supplying both the ideology and the funds for the assault on western civilization.

      • James Chilton

        True. It’s an ideological repudiation of the civilisations that white people have built in many parts of the world.

      • Planet Vague

        The Jews?

        • Hippograd

          But they’re powerless and oppressed and anyone who says different will be crushed without mercy.

          • Planet Vague


  • Sir Johnny Foreigner

    English independence day 23/06/2016

    • davidblameron

      we’ll see

    • John

      Scotland, Wales and N.I. will still be around…..and we’ll still be in the EU, as you well know.

  • Ernie Shore

    1.Why is Tristam Hunt writing an article in The Spivtator criticising his own Labour Party?
    2.He’s very well educated, so why is it not obvious to him that a) there is no such thing as an uncontested idea of “Englishness” for us to unite around – even if we wanted to; b) I like PG Wodehouse as much as the next, but dominant ideas of “Englishness”, despite the best efforts of Billy Bragg, are stained with white supremacism, English supremacism, greed, colonialism and imperialism, (I can’t be bothered to look up where Charles Napier comes from, but he pretty much sums up what Englishness really is for many); c) a critical patriotism isn’t patriotism at all; d) class solidarity trumps patriotism every time – or should and that is the pity of WW1.
    3. Working class English patriots should be welcomed in the Labour Party, but they should not be patronised, they should be properly challenged.
    4. Are English muffins English? Are the Cornish?
    5. What we’re really talking about is white working class people living in England whose ancestors, or some of them, lived in England too.
    6. Identity politics is a dead end, Tristram.

    • Vieuxceps2

      “Identity politics is dead end”- Tell that to the muslims.eh?

  • Norton Folgate

    Some members of the English working class feel utterly alienated by the liberal middle-class consensus, as we at the Dalston Mercury learned to our great discomfort: http://bit.ly/1R40jR0

  • Freddythreepwood

    Can one (or more) of you Labourites please explain something to me? The Labour movement was supposed to have been set up to protect the working class, their jobs, wages and standard of living from greedy and exploitive businessmen. (Please correct me if I am wrong about that). There are only a finite number of jobs in this country filled by working class people. Unfettered immigration threatens those jobs. More workers in the market, particularly from low wage economies, drives down wages and with them, the standard of living of all working class people. Hospitals are unable to cope, GPs are overrun and schools are overcrowded and unable to teach without interpreters. All of this affects most the working class -the very people Labour are supposed to protect. In the meantime, the greedy and exploitive businessmen get richer and richer, hiding their squillions away so that they cannot be taxed. So, here’s my dilemma; Why does the Labour Party support unfettered immigration and Remain in the EU Referendum? And why do working class people vote for the Labour Party?

  • bravo22c

    Here’s the problem – a disconnect in thought written down:

    ‘The difference is that while activists typically welcome the ‘progress’ wrought by mass immigration, …’

    The first part of the sentence talks about ‘mass immigration,’followed by:

    ‘ … many historically Labour communities are much less enthusiastic about the impact of globalisation, industrial decline, and rapid social change.’

    ‘Globalisation.’ A failure to acknowledge that ‘many historically Labour communities’ are ‘much less enthusiastic’ about the actual issue raised in the first part of the sentence, mass immigration, which has changed the face of many communities in England and Wales with no consideration of the feelings or wishes of the indigenous inhabitants of those communities.

    The ‘Labour’ party is no linger the party of ‘labour,’ but of the Islington socialists – lawyers, sociologists, PR hacks and devotees of the ‘politically correct.’

    • Vieuxceps2

      A perceptive observation. Depersonalise “immigration”into “globalism” and Labour’s past mistakes fade away

  • Seatofmypants

    Pat Glass anyone?

  • PeterA5145

    Didn’t you recently compare the English flag to the Confederate one, Tris?

    • homeruleforengland

      It’s the Saltire that is similar to the Confederate flag is it not?

  • Conway

    As Naushabah Khan, our candidate for Rochester and Strood, writes in a new book on Labour and Englishness …” You write this with no sense of irony, too.

    • Tom Cullem

      I remember Khan: she admitted when she was a candidate in this by-election that many voters were bringing up immigration on the doorstep – but her comment was, “But they’re really talking about something else.” Q.E.D. Is it any wonder Labour lost up there?

      The left has been refusing to listen for a very long time – their condescension to such voters is breathtaking. Shah is a perfect example. The working-class, as a result, is turning right. I don’t blame them.

      Labour have boxed themselves into a ridiculous corner and now they are hoist with their own petard.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      No surprise you deny many English people their identity.

      • Vieuxceps2

        No surprise YOU abrogate English identity to yourself and to others who are not entitled to it.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Ah yes, Jews like me can’t…right.
          Thanks for that.

          Good thing your fanatics are not in charge.

          • Vieuxceps2

            You claim we treat jews differently yet stressyour jewishness every time. Tthat’s why you’re not English,because you keep telling us you’re a jew.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So your personalities can’t accept British Jews like me exist. Right.

  • rtj1211

    The reason there’s such a hoohah about it is that the majority really aren’t that clear about what ‘Englishness’ actually means.

    Does it mean the right to get paralytically drunk and smash foreign countries up during football tournaments? Probably not, but in the absence of real, deep-seated debates about what it does mean, it’s one of the more pernicious advertisements of the English between 1975 and 2000.

    Does it mean thinking that subjugating foreigners in their own lands and proclaiming that ‘God is an Englishman’ is what it was all about? If so, a large number of immigrants from aforesaid countries won’t be too keen on it and I as a white man born in this country would be implacably ashamed of it.

    Does it mean setting up secret sects and societies to spy, steal, blackmail and subordinate under the cover of ‘religion’, ‘gentlemen’ clubs’, ‘the security services’, not to mention most ‘professions’? Because if it does, it’s not a concept I want any part of.

    Is it about ‘the rights of man’? Well, until we get a non-sexual word to include women in those rights, to discuss that is a bit silly. And as long as talking about those rights actually covers up the fact that the Establishment have no intention of granting you those rights in reality, rather than abstract conceptual form, it’s a pretty poor synthesis too.

    So, if you want to address this matter: first of all come up with a concept of what Englishness actually means in every day languages, in day-to-day experiences etc etc. And then find out if people actually ascribe to such a concept or not……

    • Give our God Immortal Praise

      Bla bla bla. What’s your point?

    • Tom Cullem

      Oh absolutely, that really is ALL England can be reduced to. What a typically moronic statement. You know, the Chinese have a quite identifiable culture and they, too, at times, have presented it as the ne plus ultra of cultural frameworks, it is totally illiberal, and they were still engaging in foot-binding of females in the early 20th century. Does that mean their culture is, ipso facto, not a culture? Sixty percent of girls in Egypt are still having their genitals sliced up to keep their menfolks’ honour safe, they are in the hands of a military dictatorship and have been mired in poverty and inequality for a very long time – does that mean there is no such thing as Egyptian culture?

      It’s like art: I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.

      A certain kind of humour, a surprising amount of spine, respect for law (now vanishing as the country becomes less English), then of course our long tradition of writers, poets, painters; our universities, customs, the extraordinary and unique countryside that has figured in so much of our art.

      So, “Oh to be in England/Now that April’s there” . . . ring a bell?

      Did you know that blacking up on Guy Fawkes originated in the need to evade arrest for disturbing the peace, and was meant to disguise identity? Now it has to be abandoned because it makes more recent black immigrants “uncomfortable”.

      A sense of a shared history, values, cultural framework . . . it really isn’t that hard.

    • ossettian

      It’s really not difficult: Englishness is a matter of ancestry.

    • homeruleforengland

      Good idea. As an aide could you give us a concept of what Scottishness means in every day languages etc? Maybe you could also try Frenchness and American ness. Then we can use these definitions to work on a definition of Englishness.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Definition of Scottish: Born in Scotland.

        That was easy. Let’s try another one.

        • homeruleforengland

          I asked for a definition of Scottishness. Care to attempt that? Of course defining Scottish is easy as is defining English: Born in England.

        • Vieuxceps2

          I am tall and blue-eyed. by your definition,had my mother been in Peking when I was born I’d have been Chinese. Doesn’t work, does it?

          • Dominic Stockford

            There are white West Indians, black Englishmen, so why not a white Chinese?

          • Vieuxceps2

            There are no black Englishmen. There are black British men,just as there are white South Africans. Let me know if you come aross a tall dachshund or a small great dane.

          • Vieuxceps2

            Doesnt work, does it?

    • Billo Qasira

      This post is an example of the pompous witless waffle of the Guardianista Left

      • JSC


    • JSC

      “…first of all come up with a concept of what Englishness actually means…”
      “…first of all come up with a concept of what Islam actually means…”
      “…first of all come up with a concept of what Socialism actually means…”
      “…first of all come up with a concept of what Love actually means…”
      “…first of all come up with a concept of what Art actually means…”

      You see you’re not so much disproving the specific concept at hand, simply demonstrating the general impossibility of concrete definitions of wooly subjects where subjective opinions may vary; but that doesn’t mean those things don’t exist or have an effect in the real world.

      If you asked me to describe a cloud, but demand I account for the position and motion of every wisp and eddy from now till the end of time, I can’t do it. But clouds exist and they’ll rain on you whether you can give a concrete definition of every single atom in one or not. In fact I find most people take your point as given before wading into such an argument and IMHO this line of questioning is a dead end as the ultimate conclusion to it is “well I think that X is a defining aspect of Y” vs “well I don’t”. And predictably there it ends.

      The short answer to it is: if you have to ask, you’ll never know.


      “Is it about ‘the rights of man’? Well, until we get a non-sexual word to include women in those rights…”

      The ‘non-sexual’ gender neutral word you’re looking for is in fact ‘man’, understood as ‘human’. Look it up in any dictionary you choose if you don’t believe me.

      • Cassandra

        What you’re seeing is the dead hand of postmodern critical theory, which has infected discourse not just in academic subjects, but in sociology and politics too. It asserts that nothing can be precisely defined, therefore nothing really is: all we have is a set of possibly erroneous perceptions, all equally valid. It’s ruined generations of young minds, and now they’re the ones in charge.

    • Vieuxceps2

      “What does Englishness mean”? Strange that no-one ever asks what Frenchness means or beingPatagonian or German or Uzbekhi means. Why is that? And why does nobody make lists of things that are strange or wrong about other lands than England? Is it because lefty is scared that the English might forget their manners and tell him where to stick his bizarre notions? Or is it because he’s been to lefty evening classes on self-assertion and how to avoid feeling inferior by denigrating others?
      let us not fallfor this lefty ploy,they do it to try to belittle us, the poisonous t u. r d s

    • terence patrick hewett

      Look at some Gillray and Cruikshank cartoons whilst taking in the Rakes
      Progress by Hogarth and Thomas Rowlandson’s the English Dance of Death. Then start on Boudicca and work your way through history taking in the Roman Conquest, the Saxon Invasion, Alfred, Harold, the Norman Conquest, the Magna Carta, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, the Black Death, the Peasants Revolt, the third Poll Tax, the Lollards, Henry V, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, Mary I, Elizabeth I,
      Walsingham, Richard Topcliffe, the Douai Priests, Dr John Dee, James I (James
      VI of Scotland), Guy Fawkes et al, Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, the first three
      English Civil Wars, the Levellers, the Diggers, the Ranters, the Shakers, the
      Quakers, the Seekers, the Muggletonians, William and Mary, Pitt the Younger,
      George III, Pitt the Elder, the fourth English Civil War commonly called the
      American Revolution, the Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution,
      Richard Cobden, John Bright, Macaulay, Nelson, Wellington, Victoria, the
      Chartists, Sir Robert Peel, Palmeston, Disraeli, Gladstone, Daniel O’Connell, Lloyd
      George, Churchill, Atlee, Enoch Powell, Thatcher, the fourth Poll Tax (see the
      third Poll Tax). Or you can read 1066 and All That by Sellar and Yeatman.

      Not forgetting to take in Chaucer (for glossary see The A.B.C. of Reading by Ezra Pound), Piers Ploughman, Shakespeare, Milton, Thomas Hobbes, Pilgrims Progress, John Locke, Adam Smith, the Authorized Bible, the Vulgate, the Douai Bible, Isaac Newton, Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler, Cobbett’s Rural Rides, John Stuart Mill, Samuel Pepys, Edmund Burke, Dr Johnson, William Blake, Thomas Paine, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Dickens, Karl Marx, the Bab Ballads by W S Gilbert, Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor, A Child of the Jago, The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith, Three Men on the Bummel (chapter 14), England Their England by A G Macdonell, George Orwell, P G Wodehouse, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, the Rainbow, the Boys Own Paper, the Magnet, the Beano, the Dandy, the Wizard, the Eagle, Viz and the Fat Slags and the Wordsmiths at Gorsemere by Sue Limb.

      After all that, you may concur with George Bernard Shaw that “It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.” Well, you would be right. We have spent the last two thousand years trying to kill each other in the most horrible ways we can devise. Although we have done for an awful lot of foreigners on the way, we reserve our most vicious bile and malice for our own. British history, with its tradition of satire, scandal and sedition, is about settling old scores, real or imagined and we can hardly wait to put the boot in.

      However, not being a cynic, I am more inclined to the view propagated by Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. “L—d! said my mother, what is this story all about? —A C*ck and a B*ll said Yorick—And one of the best of its kind, I ever heard.”

      * Disqus means that you cannot even quote Sterne.

      • Cassandra

        Delightfully robust post! Thank you. Though I was sorry to see Aphra Behn, Moll Cutpurse, and George Eliot weren’t on the list, and the Anglo-Saxon poem ‘The Seafarer’ has some lovely lines about the meadows foaming fair with blossom.

        • terence patrick hewett

          Well I think The Seafarer is one of the greatest poems in the language: knocks spots off Beowulf: but yes I missed out a great deal.

          • Cassandra

            Milton’s Areopagitica is something I taught to students in Saudi Arabia. That dusted the text off somewhat.

            Your post reminded us brilliantly what we inherited, and need to pass on. I’ve actually had (university) students from families of indigenous origin who asserted that neither England nor Britain had a culture of their own- they’d been taught that only ethnic minorities have a culture, and the important thing is that the majority don’t oppressively interfere with its expression.

  • Give our God Immortal Praise

    The English Flag strikes fear in the hearts of our enemies. Hence the fact they hate it. Thus moslems, lefties, atheists, gays, Nazis, and anyone who thinks they’re bigger and more important than England, they all know only too well if they mess with the Flag of England they’ll be peeing the bed or filling their pants with brown stuff, not to mention having their guts ripped out and used to grease the wheels of our advancing English heroes as they surge foreword repelling every single repugnant hater of the English Flag.

    • No it does not. The “enemies” and their “hate” are all in your head. In real life people just live their lives minding their own business. (Not offering therapy, sorry if sounds misleading -I am booked up for three years ahead, so many paranoids need help around here)

      • Vieuxceps2

        Ah, the superior lefty, secure in her self-assessment as intellectual marxoid giant,willingto rescue us oiks, de haut en bas, with amused condescension. Perhaps a good kick up the a*se might be benficial? Form a queue here lads……

    • Adam Peak

      I agree, other than bringing gays into this. Where an Englishman chooses to stick his genitalia is between him and his partner, as long as it’s legal. Sexuality has nothing whatsoever to do with defending the English flag – perfectly possible for a homosexual person to be deeply patriotic and fight for their country.

      The true English way is simply not to bring up the topic. But, other than that, I’m in.

      • Give our God Immortal Praise

        Sorry, gay boy, we don’t want you in. No way.

        • Adam Peak

          You think I’m gay? Shows how much you know! Why would any normal person give a monkeys about anyone else’s private life? You never heard the expression “An Englishman’s home is his castle?” You’re no Englishman, you’re a traitor, a fifth columnist. WE don’t want YOU in, no way. The only people bothered by homosexuality are those who are worried they might like a little too much. We all know your sort, it stands out a mile off.

          • Give our God Immortal Praise

            Stop wriggling, gay boy, the fact is normal people want nothing to do with your unnatural stuff.

          • Adam Peak

            I’m wriggling because I’m extremely disturbed by your obsession with men’s reproductive organs, it makes you sound like you’re secretly gay to be honest. Any real man would fight to defend the right of his brothers and sisters to find love wherever they want. You’re secretly gay and I’ve called you out on it, let’s face it! It doesn’t bother me, I just think you should get some help, for your own peace of mind.

          • Planet Vague

            He is quite clearly a leftist troll attempting (and succeeding) to make normal right-thinking Englishmen look bad.

    • Planet Vague

      I get the feeling you probably typed that one-handed and had to reach for a kleenex shortly afterward. Freud would have a field day.

  • Tom Cullem

    You must understand that “Englishness” is a threat to “internationalism” and “multiculturalism” the twin pillars of leftist ideology. The Left in Germany, Austria, France, and Sweden take precisely the same line.

    If it were just a problem with the British left, you wouldn’t see Hofer of the FPO in Austria about to become, this weekend, the first head of state elected by a “far right” party.

    Labour are fools for being unable to question or detach themselves from ideologies they have never ever had the courage to dispute.

    • Pete

      Merkel being handed the German flag at an event only to shake her head, fold up the flag and throw it away, springs to mind.

    • Vieuxceps2

      If Englishness is a threat, why does lefty not object to flags from Scotland and Wales?

      • terence patrick hewett

        Because historically, in the face of the increasingly powerful English hegemon, Wales, Scotland and Ireland developed robust nationalisms and identities and England depressed its own: these countries do not tolerate any other isms but their own: try it on and you will end up with a very short sell-by date.

        • Vieuxceps2

          Doesn’t explain lefty’s acceptance of some nationalisms and not others, USA or Germany or France say.

          • terence patrick hewett

            That is another game entirely.

      • Planet Vague

        They do, though.

  • Hating symbols is pathetic. Who and why hates that flag? Muslims? Lefties? Really? Collective identity works well when people unite on the best in them. Searching who might hate you so you could desperately hate them back together is a lousy grounds for a group identity.

    • Vieuxceps2

      If hating symbols is pathetic then so is loving symbols. What price the Red Flag now? What price the flag of Da’esh? What price the Hammer and Sickle? And what price the fine old Flag of England?

  • MikeF

    The Labour Party is now simply an organised negation of everything Englishness is meant to stand for – instead of tolerance, good humour, even handedness, free speech and recognition that divergent opinions can be sincerely held it practices intolerance, self-righteousness, censoriousness, sectarianism and neo-Marxist reductionism that postulates a single ‘correct’ viewpoint on any issue you care to mention. It is in effect a cult of self-regard nowhere more so than in its obsession with ‘racism’ which it regards as a pernicious evil that is somehow hard-wired into the vast majority of, let’s face it, white people in this country – unless, of course, they happen to be ‘socialists’ – and the institutions and culture that developed here over the several centuries that culminated round about three quarters of the way through the last one.
    Not the least of the evils that has resulted is that in order to vindicate this delusion of its own moral perfection it has developed a hostile, vindictive attitude towards that majority portion of the population that has caused it to degrade the legal system of this country into a machine for obtaining convictions for ‘racially aggravated’ offences irrespective of the evidence. It has also sought to degrade the idea of representative politics by constructing ethno-religious voting blocs in which the trade-off is that in return for members of particular communities becoming Labour councillors and MPs those communities are given a de facto degree of autonomy to continue with an internal culture that is utterly regressive.
    This is nowhere more apparent than in the treatment of women – not just through the domestic subservience of the female members of those communities but also, of course, through the organised sexual exploitation of women from outside of those communities. This reached its apogee in Rotherham where – let’s be clear about this – the hierarchy of the local Labour Party was complicit in actively suppressing the publicising of the fact of widespread sexual abuse of young women because of the danger that might present to the system of power and patronage it had built up. The rape quite literally of other people’s daughters was a price they were prepared to pay for the maintenance of their position,
    Do you really think Mr Hunt that if the Labour Party utters a few platitudes about Englishness and wraps itself in the Flag of St George people are going to forget all that? You are a fool if you do and more than that you just show how little real regard you have for English people if you really do believe that is possible.

    • daner

      Bravo from a Yank who sees a striking parallel between Labour and the Democrats over here. Very few distinctions between the two, especially as it relates to smugness. They just “know” things, and are eternally frustrated that we rubes don’t get with their program.

      Very much pulling for you guys to vote leave next month.

    • mrpyeinthesky

      Thank you for your acuity, a superb post.

  • seangrainger

    Brown is mad and if you think he was the pinnacle of anything then etc etc

  • Jab

    The labour party despises the English working class and now these have been sidelined by the Islington left to accomodate the extremist left and the immigrants it is only a matter of time before the hordes wake up to this.Who they vote for remains to be seen but it will not be Corbyn.
    I can see the whole of politics changing in the next few years.

    • alecto

      “I can see the whole of politics changing in the next few years”
      The whole political scene needs reform – and not before time!

  • Perseus Slade

    What is the Labour Party
    but a weird coalition
    of all that hate England and all it stands for:
    IRA, Islam, Marxists, QWERTY, Black (anti-white), pro-Russia etc etc ?

    It is going round in ever-decreasing circles
    and looks like it will soon disappear up its own whatsit
    when its ideological contradictions come home to roost.

    It certainly does not stand for
    the indigenous working class,
    and sneers at the England flag.

    This party can only prosper
    in a climate of general apathy
    among a soap-watcher and football-fan population.
    God help it if the base wakes up.

    A new party with energy,
    offering the people what they want,
    could now sweep the board, possibly the UKIP.
    Look at what is happening with Trump in the USA.

    • Planet Vague

      Why is your comment
      formatted like some
      absurd piece of
      blank verse?

      If the intent was
      to annoy then you
      have succeeded

      • Perseus Slade

        You have something against Englishness, I think.
        I wonder why…

        • Planet Vague

          Perhaps I simply have something against semi-coherent numbskulls too dim to properly format a comment, something everyone else here can manage perfectly well. And I don’t believe for a moment you are English, given your poor command of our glorious language.

          • British Patriot ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I bet he’s some vile creeping Eurotrash scum paid by Brussels to pretend to be a true patriot to make those of us in favour of Brexit look like morons.

          • Perseus Slade


  • Billo Qasira

    Oh dear Tristram. You have no hope. Labour has sold its soul to Guardian orientated multiculturalist ideology and moral relativist identity politics, which despises Englishness, patriotism, and on a wider plain, white people. Labour has become the party of self loathing and self hatred, and eventually that will be reflected in your electoral demise. Labour will be the party of Guardian readers and one section of ethnic minorities in particular. You’ll be the party of London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, but that is it. You’re finished. You’re a dying party. And you brought this all on yourselves, with the decisions you took.

  • Back in about 1984 I compiled a league table of Oxford colleges that had old boys in the Commons. Joint first were Christ Church and Balliol, and third was my college, Ruskin. That’s right, as recently as then, Labour MPs were still leavened by people who had left school at 15, worked their ticket in their union, gone to Ruskin and then eventually ended up in parliament.

    Today, the Labour benches are stuffed full of men with silly names like Tristram or Hillary, and women like Emily, Lady Nugee, who just loves to pretend that she is from a council estate, when actually all she did was live on one for about five minutes when her frightfully upper middle class parents divorced.

    The membership is by and large made up of the local government employed C1 caste of teachers, social workers, generic NHS managers and ancillary lower middle class rabble. I can take the old aristocracy, but this new polyocracy leaves me feeling in need of a bath.

    Next month we will have the chance to give the two-fingered salute to the lot of ’em. I for one intend to take it by voting Leave.

    • Billo Qasira

      Labour is the party of Guardian readers and Muslims. That’s all it is now.

  • AliQadoo1

    One thing you seemed to have overlooked, Mr Hunt.

    Socialism: starts with envy, ends up like Venezuela.

    • Johnnydub

      “ends up like Venezuela.”

      If lucky – it could be the next Great Leap Forward…

      • Sue Smith

        ….the preferred choreography of most swamp frogs.

    • Muireach MacGilleChaluim

      Or worse, like Sweden… full of millions of dusky untermenschen raping everything in sight!

  • SonOfaGun

    Neo-Labour’s problem isn’t Englishness, it is a greater problem of crank universalism, the idea that people are people, that any creature can find his merry way here, claim to be homosexual, be given a ‘free’ house, education, healthcare, paid for and meant for English folk. It is patently irrational and unsustainable. It is the reason Labour are ostracised from British politics, and why there are no houses, school places, and the NHS is on the brink, as HMS England sways under the weight of economic migrants picking at our bones.

    Universalism has it’s root in Catholicism and the Enlightenment, and later adopted by jewish immigrant Karl Marx for Social Marxism. It is a creed of the foreigner to serve the foreigner, with no consideration for the host nation. Long live England.

    • Tom Cullem

      Marx was opposed to open borders and mass immigration, I believe.

    • MikeF

      England was for a long time a Catholic nation and I think you will find that the people who are anti-English tend also to be anti-Catholic.

    • anonuk

      Yeah, those terrible Catholics, warbling along in church while some octogenarian Irishman tries to find where he put his glasses so he can see the various cups and plates in front of him on the altar.

  • grumpyoldrockape

    Labour’s EU champion calls worried voter racist.
    Yesterday Labour’s shadow minister for Europe was caught on tape branding a voter a “horrible racist”.
    Pat Glass was caught sneering at the end on a radio interview when she believed the recording had finished.Echos of Gordon Brown’s 2010 gaff when he called a woman voicing concerns about mass immigration as a “bigoted woman”.
    Both the Labour opposition & this Conservative Government are for continued mass immigration.
    They are different cheeks on the same ar*s*.

  • Hippograd

    That has to be Labour’s task once more: in language and policy we need to show we love England.

    You don’t. You hate England. That’s why you opened the borders to the Third World and ignored what was happening in Rotherham to the people you supposedly care “passionately” about.

  • evad666

    Labour has a problem with the non Muslim English. As far as Labour is concerned the working class kids are there to be abused by Muslims in exchange for Votes.
    200 Sikh victims
    5287 white victims

    all spread across 44 English towns and Cities.

    • D J

      …and that is only the numbers involved in actual convictions so far.

  • Frank

    TBH Tristram,what you write tends to indicate your own self-accorded olympian status as you look down on the bag of sh*t that is the modern Labour Party.
    Most of us would simplify your message: the Labour Party needs better quality MPs, who are grounded in experience and reality.
    To steal from your text, to most of the public, Parliament is a bucket-shop airline experience we all have to put up with and pay for, whilst trying to get through the increasingly horrible experience that is living in modern Britain.

  • JJD

    OK, Tristram, fair enough. That has to happen at the selection stage though. Good luck with that, while Corbyn’s mob are in charge!

  • Dominic Stockford

    If Labour could bring itself back to its roots, the very Englishness of Methodism along with standing up for the working man (the ‘ordinary’ man), rather than obsessing about being left wing, politically correct, or socialist, then it might do something useful, and it might stand a chance.

    • anonuk

      Problem is, there aren’t many Methodists around anymore. There aren’t that many Anglicans around either.

      There are, however, 200,000 SJWs and that’s a big enough army of guaranteed Labour supporters to go out onto the streets and campaign. The votes can come from a couple of million Muslims. They may never see power, but they’ll have made their point!

  • hobspawn

    I’m repelled by ‘repulsed’. It’s repulsive. Nearly as bad as giftedededed. How many past participle parts do we need?

  • hobspawn

    Since they’ve disabled comments on the Erdogan limerick story, I may as well post here.

    A friend of mine sent in a limerick which I think was better than Boris’s winner. Here it is:

    A goat-herd called ‘Wretched’ Erdogan,
    Was ​sodding the goat he preferred again.
    He wiped off the curd,
    Said “Shh, Mutti’s the word”,
    Then dipped his delight in the ​turd again.

    Here is Boris’s:

    There was a young fellow from Ankara,
    Who was a terrific ​wankerer,
    Till he sowed his wild oats,
    With the help of a goat,
    But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

    If you think my friends’s effort is a worthier winner than Boris’s, please upvote this comment.

    • ossettian

      But the second line has one more syllable than the first.

      And why the “shh” in the fourth line?

      And he rhymes “again” with “again”.

      So while nowhere as crap as Al’s, he shouldn’t have won.

      • hobspawn

        Are you a nativ​e Englis​h speake​r? Wretch-ed is two syllables. It is more important that the meter is preserved, for its rhythm, than the precise number of syllables. The first two lines preserve the meter by repeating the pattern of long and short syllables. Erdogan, like cardigan, is a very difficult word to rhyme because it has an unusual emphasis on the first of three syllables. This is why the rhyming of ‘…ed E​rdoga​n’ with ‘preferred again’ is funny. It is funny rhythmically.

        Shh is a hissing sound which native English speakers make to ​s​hut someone u​p. It is probably short for ‘​s​hut up’ and is often accompanied by the gesture of index finger placed vertically across the lips. E​rdoga​n is warning the goat to remain silent about his d​epravit​y, as if the goat were a German comedian.

        There is an English idiom for keeping a secret: “mum’s the word”. It alludes to the sound of starting to speak and then deciding against it. “Shh” and “Mutt​i’s the word” are both efforts to censor the goat. Shh does not add a syllable, so does not spoil the scansion, but it does introduce play on the word ‘​s​mutty’ which is one of the intentions in the competition, and describes the poem itself.

        The mention of curd obviously has connotations.

        To rhyme Erdoga​n with ​tur​d​ again relies on the English laziness with short last syllables. It is acceptable to rhyme again with again because the first rhymed word of the poem is a three syllable word, so those are the three syllables that must rhyme, but not repeat, as they do when uttered with a standard English accent. The last syllable of all three of those lines would be pronounced as a short ghn. It is really a rhyme of Erdoghn, ferred aghn, ​tur​d​ aghn. Whereas in Boris’s poem, oats and goat simply do not rhyme, and w​ankerer and thankerer aren’t words, albeit quite funny non-words.

        ‘​Tur​d​ again’ is a well-crafted rhyme because it converts his whole surname into something disgusting in a memorable way. Dipping his (​Turkish) ‘delight’, a euphemism for his ​kno​b, into the goat’s ​tur​d​ heightens the ​s​catalogica​l​ discomfort because ​Turkis​h delight is a food which one would hope is kept well away from goat ​shi​t.

        • ossettian

          You’ve put a huge effort into defending a crap poem.
          It’s yours, isn’t it?

          • hobspawn

            I didn’t actually write that post. The author is sitting here having a beer with me! But well spotted.

            P.S. I genuinely do think his is better than Boris’s.

          • ossettian

            I’d accept “less bad than Al’s”

          • Lawrence James.

            This must be untrue for MacGonagall was a teetotaler.

    • Lawrence James.

      MacGonagall would have done better then either of you.

  • It is, most certainly an English problem. Labour politicians in Wales have absolutely no such qualms about expressions of Welsh nationalism, and join in enthusiastically. The hypocrisy seems utterly lost on them.

  • Stuck-Record

    “That has to be Labour’s task once more: in language and policy we need to show we love England. ”

    The problem isn’t that the modern Labour party doesn’t love England.
    The modern Labour party actively hates England.

    The cadre of teachers, academics, social workers, journalists, artists, activists, NGO and charity workers, comedians, and actors you have spent the last thirty years educating to HATE the West (generally), and their country (specifically) have finally come of age. They’ve seized control of your party.

    They own it. The party is now the party of the dependent Client state and it’s deluded inhabitants of predators and parasites.

    You, Tristram are the past. They are the future. And hand-in-hand with their Islamist allies they are determined to destroy everything that your Labour party founders held dear.

    Well done.

  • Duke Amir Often

    No such word as ‘Englishness’.

    The very idea! Tsk!

  • Joe Long

    “Central to this disconnect is immigration and a nation being forced to accept incredible transformation.”

    Very largely forced by your Nulab regime, you maggxt

    You have the nerve to talk of England when your filthy Party pxmped little English girls for votes – see comments by Prof Jay and the admission by Denis MacShameless(Prison Diaries)

    If you really wanted do England a service you would top yourself.

    A para-medic friend of mine remarked that a bottle of whisky and 80 paracetamol taken together is most efficacious in this regard.

    It would be an easier way out than you deserve, that is certain.

  • Central power

    Not a good plug for his book.

  • Martin Jennerson

    Jihadi John was the prototypical Labour voter before he went on his study visit

  • Mode4

    ‘the apparently seamless link between Englishness and whiteness has long since broken,’

    I don’t believe that to be true, that is why the Labour party appear to be against the English. The term excludes many of their voters. It’s a huge problem for the Labour party and something they will not overcome as they move more towards a party that represents anyone other than English. More Mass immigration is their only hope.

    • And that option would be electoral suicide.
      No wonder they are supporting ‘Remain’.

  • davidblameron

    The Left has always hated England, it springs from the Bloomsbury Set in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
    Never mind, so long as they love New England, eh?

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Not just the Left that have ceased to “love” England.
      Patriotism, nationalism are for football club supporters. So last season. It’s highest bidder time, so fly the coop and seek your fortune in the colonies, Britisher pals. And combile emigration with spouse acquisition. So obvious when you think it through.
      How can you be loyal to a country that shafts you at every turn?
      Suspect we’re pretty much on the same side, Dave.
      Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

      • davidblameron

        yep! right ; all influenced by the Bloomsbury Set – scared to go against them.

      • Escape from the EUSSR asylum

        Every football supporter is a racist football hooligan … every football supporter is a football hooligan … every football supporter is a football hooligan …

        • JSC

          Except when they’re leftist hooligans, trying to kill the police, robbing and burning down local stores, then they’re “protesters”.

  • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

    Large swaths of what passes for the Left in Europe secretly crave dhimmitude.

  • Some reasonable points there, Triss old bean, but they certainly won’t endear you to Comrade Corbin, nor will they be acted upon!

  • Pretty_Polly

    David Cameron of course hates England which is why he wants to bury the green belt under houses to accomodate migrants..


    Vote Leave to protect the English countryside.

  • Are You Sure

    Sorry Tristram but Labour under its present leadership is not interested in any of that. This is just one of many reasons why the 2020 GE will bring a tory landslide.

    • The Elderking

      Labour draws it’s base from a very unhealthy mixture of libtards, welfare claimants and the immensely powerful muslim block vote.

      That some working class people still vote Labour out of unthinking tribal loyalty is no more or less than turkeys voting for Christmas. They are stupid enough to vote for people who have imposed mass migration, multiculturalism, globalism and institutionalised a hatred for the English. I only hope they wake up because it is 5 minutes to midnight!!!

  • alecto

    You are nothing if you don’t stand up for your country and fellow countrymen! You are not an extremist for loving your country. Those who hate our country and loathe its history should FO some place else!

  • Andrew Cole

    Sorry Tristram, One BS article in the Speccie pretending to understand the working class’s feeling of betrayal isn’t going to cut it.

    This is a very thinly veiled attempt at brushing off the actual problem by focusing on flag waving and sense of patriotism. What you and your party should have been focusing on for the past decade is why more and more of your traditional vote was being ignored when they complained about the competition for jobs and being undercut on wages.

    10 years of denial by Blair and Brown. Took Milliband until just before the election to admit it and even then it was a last ditch attempt to get votes.

    Labour can keep on about worker’s rights and how the EU is good for the working class all they want but worker’s rights are no good unless you are working and with 4 out of every 5 jobs going to a non British citizen in the past year your denials are just beyond the pail now.

    Labour has betrayed it’s working class roots. It is trying to deny the existence of any problems that their trad voters are telling them exist and is now only out for luvvies and champagne socialists.

    As a party you are finished because no one knows now who you represent and there are only so many establishment that can pretend they care about anyone other than themselves.

    Goodbye and good riddance and hope that someday there is a new party that represents the working class without forgetting it over the years.

    p.s. I know you won’t read the comments because your article was just a blah blah “best pretend we know something about normal people” effort.

  • Tim Gilling

    Love the Ryanair comparison. Problem in the UK is that nationalism is only acceptable if the nation is a victim. So Palestinian or Ukrainian nationalism is acceptable. US or Russian or English is not. The Scottish nationalists realised this and were very keen to portray themselves as under the English jackboot in the same way that the Irish could, in the past, have legitimately claimed. This rather ignored the fact that the Scots were undoubtedly enthusiastic participants in the British Empire.

    • jeremy Morfey

      It’s true – we do love an underdog – part of our English character, I suppose.

      • jelliedeels

        So hanging nationists in colonial nations was just part of the English character ?

        • jeremy Morfey

          Feeling bad about it might be.

          • jelliedeels

            thats OK then .

        • Lawrence James.

          We hanged nationalists when they were murderers or accomplices to murder, not for their opinions,

          • jelliedeels

            Thats the excuse the nazis used to execute the French resistance .

          • Lawrence James.

            And by the Prussian army in France in 1870 when they executed franc tiraileurs: the reason on both cases was that the insurgents did not weraa uniforms and could not, therefore, enjoy the same rights as prisoners of war. The French did the same in Algeria in the 1950s.

          • jelliedeels

            ISIS will love you

  • Jack Rocks

    Incredible. Here’s a Labour MP admitting Labour is “repulsed” by its own constituency. No wonder it’s so pro-EU and pro-immigration.

    • MikeF

      Admitting also that the established population is being “forced” to accept the changes concomitant with mass immigration.

  • Raddiy

    “Labour must stop feeling repulsed by the idea of Englishness”

    You could have saved yourself all that self indulgent blather, the problem for Labour is loud and clear, shouting out to the English people in the title of this missive at maximum volume.

    Labour IS repulsed by the idea of Englishness, every single one of the Labour establishment and its activist base, and in the nicest possible why a middle class son of a Baron, who was parachuted into working class Stoke by the Labour NEC, ignoring the wishes of the local working class Labour Party, feels he is qualified to offer an opinion on the matter, is testament indeed to the Grand Canyon wide chasm between the old Labour core support, and the middle class Islington set that runs the party like Tristram Hunt.

  • British Patriot ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    That has to be Labour’s task once more: in language and policy we need to show we love England.

    A challenge akin to the Conservatives showing that they love we plebeians!

  • UmUmUmUmUmUm

    I suspect that Labour, as it is presently constituted, with the vast majority of it’s members, councillors, MP’s and leader, can never embrace Englishness. Sadly, they abhor the very concept of patriotism, in any form. They do not even understand it, nor do they want to. Everyday healthy patriotism probably died in the Labour party with the last generation of supporters and politicians who were adults during the war years. Along with them went that distinctly English strain of Socialism, with roots that went back to the Civil War and the rise of non- conformist religion. It may be that Labours centre of gravity now is rooted in Euro-Communism and Cultural Marxism. The very fact that politicians like Hunt are writing articles like this shows that “Englishness”, is now beyond recall for Labour. The party would need to be rebuilt from the grassroots up, and would have to be an entirely different party.

  • sarahsmith232

    Ukip just on the verge of entering it’s post-Farage years, this T.Hunt is just on the verge of entering his post Labour, deselected, wilderness years. He should seriously think about joining UKip. Post Farage Ukip should become the real Labour party, they basically are already, they just need an acceptable sheen adding to it. If this T.Hunt really cares about there being a decent, pro English, really liberal, not chattering class ‘liberal’, left of centre party he should do something to help UKip move towards it. Somebody like him standing as an MP could work, a few others. John Mann and Simon Danscuk should go UKip as well. Ukip could really start to become a real political force then, really make a difference.
    He’s banging his head off a brick wall with all this Englishness stuff with this current lot of ‘diversity’ lovers. He has to know they’re not capable of anything other than constant sneering and contempt. Needy and expensive immigrants compete for scare resources with the equally needy and expensive Labour voters, London Labour MP’s first and foremost consideration is what is of most benefit to their own ego’s, their ‘White Saviour Barbie’ ego’s need constant feeding. So they have to smear and demonise the white working-class they’re pushing out the way. They need to believe that ‘they’re all racists’/’they’re all backward’/’they’re all Islamophobes’ so they can continue to tell themselves that they’re the great saviour of the dispossessed.
    Problem – they’re now running out of their thick, repellent racist cartoons when it comes to the out of favour groups to happily shove out social housing. Check the self-defining ‘so really, very, extremely compassionate’ London Labour councillors with the Syrian refugees. Just about the very last place on earth, never mind this country, should Syrian refugees have been brought into already horrendously overcrowded London. All those councillors desperate to get themselves onto the BBC to declare that they, the ultimate in human compassion, will provide for these people – ‘we will save them, we will provide for them, because, you know, look at me, am I not so very pretty, am I not the very embodiment of compassion’. ‘Course, just one small problem with that – only way that they could happen is if they forced all their current homeless children, living out of one room along with 3/4/7/8 other family members, for years, children being allowed to spend YEARS of their lives living out of one room in filthy BnB in East London, forcing them to endure even longer in those conditions. Forcing already overcrowded schools to take in even more kids, GP’s surgeries, etc, etc, etc, etc. They used to be happily able to demonise those groups as racists, so what do we care. Well now the kids having to live like that are all brown skinned, nevertheless, their ego’s still managed to win out, so the need to go gliding about the BBC studios self declaring themselves as examples of compassion.
    Absolute joke to say that was an e.g of compassion. It was an example of ego’s being rewarded for their arrogance. So while the Labour party is dominated by that, and it is, this T.Hunt might as well go do himself a real favour, like p*** in the wind for a while, ’cause needy whites can’t compete, they put a block on the Left’s need to see themselves as the great ‘White Saviour Barbie’ type, so will always HAVE to be demonised and smeared by them.

  • Peter Shaw

    The fact is that the Labour party is racist and disdainful of working class white English people as well as Jewish people. It’s racist as it positively hates English people….well English people of a certain class anyway….and it loathes Jewish people with a passion normally driven by its core vote now which militant Islamism. The Labour party is now the intellectually snooty party that hates everything working class English yet associates with Islamists and Irish nationalist terrorists. The Labour is positively at war with working class white English people. The only thing I cannot understand for the life of me is why some white working class English people vote for this disgustingly racist party?

    Similarly the Tory and Liberal party are also taking on traits associated with the Labour party…all after some mythical centre ground….That centre ground unfortunately populated by the scum of society both at the upper echelons and also the lower echelons of society…. Bring on the revolution and let’s sweep this scum away….

    • Porkbeast

      Pubs open.

    • Francis McGonigal

      Our current leader is English, our previous leader was Jewish.

      • Lawrence James.

        And whisper it – Disraeli was a Jew.

      • He might be English but he has no love for England. I have seen a clip of him saying “there’s never been a collective voice for England” which shows shocking ignorance for an MP imo.

  • davidblameron

    Mourinho will be given the Man U job this week – a cert.

    • anonuk

      What’s that got to do with the price of- well, with anything, really?

      Dutchman stops managing Man Utd. Portuguese man may start managing them very soon. Well, that’s a great relief for all concerned, except perhaps the Man Utd. medical staff.

  • Sue Smith

    Won’t be long now, comrades.

  • chalkhillblue

    I’m English but I don’t really need any politician to “value English identity”. What on earth does that phrase mean? It’s just a load of vacuous waffle.

    I’ll vote for the party that I think is best for the economy and the broader national (UK) interest. As a conservative I have no time for identity politics, which I think is puerile and fundamentally not serious, as the feminists and Scottish Nationalists constantly demonstrate. English identity likewise is an obsession for left-wing academics and newspaper columnists, and of zero interest to anyone else.

    The one policy that might have some meaning in this context is reducing immigration, but you don’t even go so far as to advocate this, except in the most oblique way. And even if that is what you mean, why not just say that we should reduce immigration, rather than couching it in some meaningless rhetoric about Englishness? If you can’t even find the words to advocate the one clear policy that is the implication of your argument then what is the point of the article at all?

    • Rob74

      Do you value English identity?

      • Porkbeast

        Only if you can describe it to fit all.

        • Rob74

          It doesn’t have to fit all.

  • Rob74

    I find it amusing how late to the party the politicians are when it comes to English identity. None of them cared until Thornberry Tweeted and made a fool of herself.

  • The Elderking

    English IS a white ethnicity.

    The English, like the Scots and Irish, are an ethnic group. People are freely acknowledged as being Pakistani, Bangladeshi, African etc British, so why so hard to recognise the English??? Why can we, alone, be denied an identity?

    Now await Labour, the BBC and the North London “elite” perverting what it is to be English.

    We will not be fooled.

  • Liberty

    Can’t do that in the EU. Their aim is to eliminate national identities.

  • Maureen Fisher

    I was recently given a lecture about immigration by a luvvie from Wales which, of course, is renowned for its welcoming attitude towards immigrants. Only Welsh speakers are hired for Government and public services jobs.

    • Hagen vanTronje

      The Welsh do love Immigrants so long as they are not English Immigrants !

    • Francis McGonigal

      Similarly English would be a requirement for most Government and public services jobs in England.

  • Hagen vanTronje

    Labour lost touch with the English working class when they decided to appoint Lawyers, Teachers, Social Workers and Foreigners etc as election candidates.
    The recent appointment of a Muslim Human Rights lawyer as London Mayor shows how little respect Labour has for the English.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      Khan wasn’t appointed. He won an election. It’s called democracy. A British tradition apparently an alien concept to you.

      • Hagen vanTronje

        Before rushing to have your little rant, in future why not take the time to read the comment to which you wish to reply.
        I mentioned that Candidates are appointed, of course they are elected by democratic vote; but the Labour Party does appoint the Candidate.

        • Disqus Bolloqus

          And if the electorate where unhappy with the candidate they would reject him/her at the election. In this case they did not, so your point is what?

          • Hagen vanTronje

            In the red corner – a Muslim, in the blue corner – a jew.
            Used to be English only, but that was in the good old days !

          • Francis McGonigal

            There were other candidates if the voters wanted neither red nor blue.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            We are concentrating on Labours choice of candidate though ! apart from the tory jew, the rest do not count.

          • Francis McGonigal

            If voters felt that the background of either Khan or Goldsmith were of concern they could give their 1st preferences to other candidates. Generally they did not, it remained a Labour v Tory contest. Ethnicity or religion were not big issues for the voters.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            The point is that Labour chose a Human Rights Lawyer to represent them, the rest is irrelevant, the fact that a Party supposedly representing the Working Classes chose a wealthy Lawyer to stand as their candidate; is what is worrying !

          • Francis McGonigal

            The fact that he is a lawyer (even a wealthy one) should not go against him.
            Clement Attlee was also a qualified lawyer. Khan is of course from a Working Class background.
            Khan was chosen in a selection contest open to all Labour members and registered/affiliated supporters. About 88,000 took part.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            Clement Attlee attended a Prep School then went to University, his Dad was a Lawyer too !
            It is said that educated folk who join Labour do so because they are embarrassed that if they join the Tories, they would be laughed at for using the wrong cutlery at banquets.

          • Lawrence James.

            The depth of your ignorance is only surpassed by the extent of your stupidity.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            You are probably quite correct, but I attended a School staffed by uncaring leftoid Teachers so what do you expect ??

          • Lawrence James.

            Bad luck. I had a good fortune to be taught at a grammar school by staff with open minds who included a former district officer and veterans of two world wars. I suspect many did not have teaching diplomas – printed loo paper – doled out by hotbeds of left-wingery and envy

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            Most English people don’t have a religion at all. But we’re talking of politics not religion.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            You are correct ! however we must note that the new Mayor was always referred to be the media as Muslim.

        • Francis McGonigal

          You posted: “appointment of a Muslim Human Rights lawyer as London Mayor”.
          The selection was by a ballot of party members in London.

      • Andy M

        You are nitpicking over terminology in order to miss the point, which is that the Labour-majority London residents voted him in, which does show how little respect Labour voters have for the English.

      • Hagen vanTronje

        “”It’s called democracy. A British tradition””

        Actually it stems from the Greeks, the clue is the name ,’Democracy’, Demos and Cracy.

      • Johnnydub

        With how many dodgy postal votes?

        • Disqus Bolloqus

          I imagine Goldsmith benefited from several thousand

    • jelliedeels

      Aye its those Jocks again

    • Francis McGonigal

      Khan was elected by English votes. He was selected by a ballot of Labour members in London.

      • Hagen vanTronje

        Real honest Englishmen or foreigners masquerading as ,’English’ ??

        • Francis McGonigal

          English residents, whatever their ethnic background.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            British residents whatever their ethnic background !! you cannot create an Englishman, you are born English, all the rest are British only, or lesser beings

          • Francis McGonigal

            Then ‘residents of England’ if you want to split hairs.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            Holders of a British passport, is probably correct

          • Lawrence James.

            Take deep breathes and your medication.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            How deep ?
            I shall be imbibing my Laphroaig shortly, never fear. .

      • Johnnydub

        London is more than 50% foreign born now. I doubt they were English votes in the literal sense.

      • According to Census 2011 London is the least English part of England. I don’t suppose that will be shock to many.

    • Porkbeast

      Appointment? In the pub already?

      • Hagen vanTronje

        Yes Porky, the Candidates are appointed by the Party.

    • Francis McGonigal

      I do not see how Khan’s candidature shows any disrespect for the English. He is London born himself.

      • JSC

        Agreed, though the response of the left-wing media was predictable in its “Khan’s, victory is a triumph for Islam and multiculturalism” narrative.

        I have news for them: Muslims have been Kings, Sultans, prime ministers and presidents; the title of mayor is nothing. Yet weirdly this is touted as an achievement, and even more weirdly, given the ubiquity of Muslim intolerance towards non-Muslims within the mono-culture that is the Islamic world, one of ‘multiculturalism’.

        • Johnnydub

          Will he campaign for what a majority of UK Muslims want – the re-criminalisation of homosexuality?

          Some achievement for multiculturalism….

      • Hagen vanTronje

        A Human Rights Lawyer is not exactly your average, Horny-handed Son of Toil; is he ?
        Labour used to despise Lawyers especially Human Rights Lawyers, how times have changed !

    • Lawrence James.

      They been doing so since the early 1900s.

      • Hagen vanTronje

        Bessie Braddock ?

        • Lawrence James.

          Jimmy Maxton, Denis Skinner et alia: yes. of course there have been plenty of working-class MPs and ministers and just as many from the middle classes.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            The Working class Labour MP’s did seem to care more for the Working class who elected them

          • Lawrence James.

            Certainly, for they had their own experience to draw upon. Yet Attlee worked in East End ‘missions’ and like so many politicians of all parties, served alongside working men in the trenches and learned much about their lives and feelings. Macmillan was one – a Liberal Tory.

          • Hagen vanTronje

            Attlees career was hampered by his lack of charisma but I am sure his time in the trenches taught him about the real world having mixed with real people.
            Macmillan was a very gifted politician, he represented Stockton-on Tees, I used to work in that town.

          • Lawrence James.

            I agree: Attlee was incisive and clear-headed; he would have detested ‘spin’.

  • Muttley

    Embracing Englishness won’t mean a damn thing unless you also stop mass immigration. Of course, that was what mass immigration was for – to kill Englishness and “rub our noses in it” (whatever “it” was!).

    If I were you Tristram, I would do what all the other Tristrams do and forget the white vote. You won’t need it to get elected any more in a year or two.

    • Hagen vanTronje

      I reckon the fledgeling EU decided that Britain would be targreted for mass immigration and then our Politicians were either coerced or bribed, (possibly both), to encourage mass immigration, the thought being if the EU could do it to the English then they can do it to anybody.

    • Hagen vanTronje

      I am still rather surprised that up to now, no Englishman has taken a potshot at Blair for his miserable tactics !

      • Muttley

        Surprised and disappointed.

      • Lawrence James.

        Assassination of opponents – isn’t that something that beastly foreigners do, but you do have a foreign name.

        • Hagen vanTronje

          In Blairs case it would be like taking an old sick dog to the Vet and yes you are correct my pen name is Foreign.

    • Lawrence James.

      And here was I imagining that tolerance and decency lay at heart of ‘Englishness’. Reading these posts I now realise that for some it is xenophobia and an absence of any sense of humour.

      • Johnnydub

        The xeonpohobia comes from the Labour party.

        After all when they couldn’t take the white working class vote for granted, they cast them aside and imported a new constituency.

  • RickDastardly

    “Labour activists typically welcome the ‘progress’ wrought by mass immigration”

    What progress?

    Maybe Labour could win a few more seats if they explained what they mean by this.

    • Porkbeast

      The NHS would collapse if we sent all the immigrants back. And finance but they don’t need passports.

      • Andrew Morton

        I disagree. If we never had immigration in the first place, I think the NHS would’ve been fine.

      • Hagen vanTronje

        Take the burden of the Immigrants off the NHS and I reckon you would find it would function quite well !

  • DuValois

    Tristam, your platitudes won’t change a thing. Labour has become the enemy, the anti-Britain cancer within?

    Like Islam, labour is now Britain’s malignant fifth column. The tragedy is that whilst Islam is alien to these shores, Labour is (or once was) British. Oh the abject betrayal of a nation that believed in and relied on it and you’re part of it. What have you got to say about that?

    Frankly I don’t care, I will vote LEAVE and help consign your treacherous anti-British Labour party to the dustbin of history once and for all.

    My children will thank me for it.

  • Michael W

    Perhaps the imagined English self shoild be clarified before Labour are criticised for being anti-patriotic.

    Presently, England is governed by an Anglo-Celtic elitist cabal; she pays homage to an ethnic-German monarchy by singing an Old Scottish jacobite drinking song (god save the…) whilst waving a flag usurped from Genoa and dont get me starting about the 3 leopards/lions or how the English chroniclers revamped the tales of William Wallace, his younger brother John, wife Marion and his men from Etterick forest in their fight against the sheriff of Lanark.

  • jelliedeels

    Its a remarkable fact that however much we English moan about the Scots and Scotland —poverty striken beggers ,living off England ,vile weather ,ECT –we seem to be desperate to keep control of them in a union .All london media and all English politicians are staunch unionists –Why is this .
    I support Scottish independence and wish them well .
    Could it be that the English are frightened of losing face if Scotland becomes independent ?

    • JSC

      The English don’t really moan about the Scots / Scotland at all IMHO. The idea (myth?) that they do seems rather prevalent in SNP supporters though, for some reason….

      • jelliedeels

        really ,you dont read the Spectator then .

        • Johnnydub

          I think you’ll find the majority of English speccie readers wished Scotland had voted for independence.

          Think oi the lols watching their economy implode…

          • jelliedeels

            economy implode ?—why does your Englishness depend on denigrating Scots ,are you hurt that many of them want to be independent of England .

            By the way Scotland`s GDP per capita is higher than Englands.

            your comment makes my point about the English moaning about Scotland

          • Johnnydub

            Again you’re mixing up cause and effect.

            Scotland has for a while now been behaving like a spoilt teenager, having regular strops before shouting “i hate you” and stomping off to their bedrooms.

            To which my response is, FFS grow up. And to take the parent metaphor further that means you leaving the house and finding your own place.

            So I was fully in support of Scottish independence. A well needed dose of reality is needed.

            But you’re not teenagers, you’re grown adults behaving like children. So forgive me if that reality would have been painful. The scots need it.

            As for the GDP remarks – good luck if you think that would endure post independence. But I’m sure my grouching wont get in the way of your fantasy.

          • jelliedeels

            I,m afraid you are smply letting ,dislike of Scotland blind you to the truth .

            However if you think Scotland is an economic basket case ,what does that say for 300 years of london rule

          • jelliedeels

            wishful thinking on your part –why the hatred of Scots?

  • Porkbeast

    I think Tristy its your version of Englishness that’s the problem.

  • mickey667

    Tristan you recently were in Oxford saying the elite 1% should regain control of the Labour party. You also don;t realise that many of us who are members of the labour party support Brexit. Further you have professionalised politics whereby only fight educated upper middle class people get a look in.

    Whereas once Labour MPs *were* actually working class, often working their way up from shop floor through the CLP or Trade Union, now its only Dennis Skinner, Ronnie Campel and ian lavery.

    We need to talk about class mate. You can’t very well have a party of the upper middle class representing the working class now can you? that is not representation at all is it?

    • Lawrence James.

      Worked under Attlee, whose cabinet also embraced men such as Errnie Bevin, one of our best foreign secretaries.

  • Watt

    ‘Labour must stop feeling repulsed by the idea of Englishness’

    Meaning :

    Yes, they are repulsive but without them it will just be middle-class metro liberal halfwits voting for us

  • willshome

    Tristram might do well to absorb this more nuanced view of Englishness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRwXsJ3wmmo

  • Martyn

    All this says to me is that politicians will do ANYTHING to gain power or keep it,