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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Reflections on British Nationalism and the Foundation of the British Freedom Party: Part 2

Recognising the Boundaries of Belonging
Since the advent of the Blair era in particular, mainstream politicians and journalists have repeated the mantras that “Britain is a nation of immigrants” and that “the British cannot define themselves because we don’t know who we are”. The first of these mantras is of course an act of tendentious distortion, comparing distinctly unlike phenomena taking place over vastly differing timescales. The second is an out and out lie, unless the referents of this statement are taken to be those who happen to be recent immigrants (i.e. those who have arrived in the post-WWII era) or their descendants.

Although Daniel Defoe’s poem of 1701 – A True-Born Englishman – is often cited as a precursor to the contemporary multicultural dogma, in truth Defoe wrote this piece specifically with a view to ridiculing a wave of anti-Dutch xenophobia then abroad in England that extended to attacks on ordinary law-abiding residents of Dutch descent. It is worth quoting the most famous passage from the poem to set the context:

Thus from a mixture of all kinds began,
That het'rogeneous thing, an Englishman:
In eager rapes, and furious lust begot
Betwixt a painted Britain and a Scot.
Whose gend'ring off-spring quickly learn'd to bow,
And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough:
From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came,
With neither name, nor nation, speech nor fame.
In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran,
Infus'd betwixt a Saxon and a Dane
While their rank daughters, to their parents just,
Receiv'd all nations with promiscuous lust.
This nauseous brood directly did contain
The well-extracted blood of Englishmen.
Note that Defoe compresses the history of 1800 years into 14 lines, enumerating the various peoples who had had some input into the genetic and cultural inheritance of the English. Nowhere does he make reference to Saxon, Danish or Roman ‘communities’ as this would have been (and still is) errant nonsense. All of these strands, drawn from closely related European peoples, had become woven into a single people who saw themselves as a distinct nation: the English. The historical migrations of peoples to the British Isles took place over millennia, and although open to various interpretations, recent studies suggest that the genetic input from elsewhere after the Neolithic period was relatively modest. The closest genetic relatives of the English, particularly those resident in the West of the country, remain the Basques, even though there is nothing in recorded history about any Basque migration. Our ties reach back into deep prehistory (see ‘The Origins of the British’, Stephen Oppenheimer, 2006).

I raise the question of genetics not because I believe that the English are a ‘pure race’, for this is in the same realm of fantasy as the idea that we are ‘a nation of immigrants’, but because it highlights the reality of the current politically motivated desire to erase English identity and English conceptions of nationhood. There is a real continuity, genetic and cultural, between the people who inhabited what we now know as England in prehistory, and those who today know themselves to be the English. However, we English only exist for many in the media and political class when there is call for an imperialist bogey, for somebody to blame for the woes of the world and to pay for them. Then suddenly, we become all too readily identifiable, even though the architects of the imperial design were the ruling stratum who dispossessed our own humble forebears of their rights to common land and an independent existence.

In England, the English constitute a readily identifiable indigenous people, and as such we deserve the right to political self-determination and primacy within our own land. Is it so wrong for us to demand this right in line with indigenous peoples elsewhere? I think not.

Who then, I hear you ask, is English? The answer is straightforward: if you are a UK citizen who lives in England and you have to ask yourself the question “Am I English?” then patently you are not. If the question should pop into your head “Am I Pakistani, or am I English” or “Am I Nigerian, or am I English?” then you are not English, but a resident Pakistani or Nigerian UK passport holder. In such cases you hold the same civil rights as every other citizen, but you are in no respects English, and it is precisely because of this cleft identity, this split loyalty, that you should not have a determining voice in the future of England, for it is not your land to dispose of. Such people have an ethnic homeland as we do, and should not see it as a right to colonise and take ours.

For someone to simply turn up in the UK and to receive citizenship under our current immigration regime does not in any way magically impart to them the quality of being ‘British’, ‘English’, ‘Welsh’, ‘Scottish’ or ‘Irish’. Whereas in bygone centuries those who settled here gradually lost their ties with their lands of origin and were absorbed into the host population and dominant culture through intermarriage, those who have come in recent decades have not done so. Why is this so? The reasons are quite straightforward and are derived from the radically different set of historical conditions that have arisen since the Second World War. These have militated against the absorption of incomers and promoted a heightening of perceived difference as well as its perpetuation, and can be characterised as political, legal, technological, sociological and economic. Importantly, there is also the scale and pace of immigration to consider. This dwarfs anything previously described in the historical record and in itself has thus acted as a barrier to the absorption of incomers.

Political factors militating against absorption into the host society and identification with its culture include: the official promotion of multiculturalism through schooling, employment law, the mainstream media and the university system. These are underpinned by ‘hate’ laws. Ethnopluralism is vigorously promoted as are minority religious beliefs associated with non-indigenous peoples. Anyone opposing the official multiculturalist dogma is stigmatised and barred from taking positions of influence in the state sector.

The word ‘revolution’ is much overused, but its application to communications technology in the latter part of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is apposite. New modes of transport including intercontinental flights facilitate the mass transit of people from Asia and Africa to the UK, whereas distance and expense would previously have debarred such a movement of people, as would have the many states that lie between our islands and their lands. Telecommunications ensure that once immigrants arrive here they never have to feel that they our out of touch with their country of origin: the telephone and satellite television followed by the internet have allowed diasporas to keep in touch with the mother country without feeling any great psychological need to adapt to the culture of their new home which is itself denigrated and denied by the UK’s political and cultural oligarchy (the same situation can be found across most Western European countries).

Sociologically, immigrants increasingly cleave to their own identities and cultures because of the aforementioned factors. Some groups, such as Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, constantly replenish and reinforce their ancestral cultures through the importation of ill-educated rural dwellers (usually close relatives) from their homelands via chain migration. Our law allows for so-called ‘family reunion’. I’ve nothing against family reunion, but shouldn’t it be in the family’s land of origin? Looking at the increasing social fragmentation and atomisation of the receiving society, these immigrants tend to feel more comfortable in their own ethno-communal networks and cultural contexts. Although some people from such backgrounds have come to identify with and adopt the host culture, most have not. This is particularly true of those with Muslim identities who tend to define themselves against indigenous British norms and values.

Economics plays a role in the promotion of ethnic fragmentation and mass immigration because immigrant labour can be used by those within our ruling oligarchy (I prefer to use this term rather than ‘elite’, because I do not think that the oligarchy necessarily contains our ‘best’, even if some of them may be amongst our ‘brightest') to make handsome profits by undermining domestic labour rates. In summary, multiculturalism and mass immigration are favoured by those who control the levers of the economy because these mechanisms can net them huge profits. Whereas ordinary indigenous Britons suffer, members of the ruling oligarchy can afford to insulate themselves from the deleterious impact of their policies by living in exclusive residential areas (often rural) and by sending their offspring to private schools where they do not have to mix with the polyglot multifaith multitude that are a significant burden on state schools.

Having outlined the reasons why there are now many UK citizens who have no sense of affiliation with the native peoples of the British Isles, I can however say that there are many people in England (Scotland and Wales too) who can recall that some of their ancestors entered the country from elsewhere such as Poland or Italy, but over the generations have been assimilated through intermarriage and adoption of the native culture. I regard these people as English, certainly more English than someone who can trace their ancestry here back ten generations who has converted to Islam. Those who convert to Islam consciously turn their backs not only upon their nation but also their ethnicity, their culture and Western Civilisation: there never has been and never will be such a creature as a Muslim Englishman or woman. The concepts are antithetical. A non-Muslim individual of Jamaican descent who loves England and English culture is more English than an ethnic English Muslim convert, for the former has chosen to embrace our heritage and identity, whilst the latter has spat upon it. Such an example I take to illustrate the concept of cultural nationalism.


  1. A Jew never says: "Am I Israeli or English?" We say we are English Jews: English.

    Only in islam do they reject Western culture, regardless of whether they were born here or came 40 years ago, whether they call themselves "moderate" muslims or any other kind.

    Muslims only recognise islam and islamic countries. Time the morons running this country saw this, because England does not belong to them either!!

  2. Excellent article - agree with you totally. I was particularly interested in your mentioning the Basque heritage in the west of the country and there being no recorded migration from there. My mother's family have been in the south west for as long as we can discover. I inherited from her a rare blood group the epicentre of which is the Basque region yet no trace of them appear in family records. The assimilation has been total which unfortunately like you I cannot see happening here in the future.

  3. Excellent article. I have similar reservations although for slightly different reasons. Juniper, do you agree that the cultural nationalism ideology of the BFP mirrors that of the EDL? Cygnus.

  4. Hi PatD. That's an interesting nugget of familial information there. In Tacitus' 'Agricola' he described the native Britons as being divided into three distinct physiological sub-groups: one resembling the Germans; a second, the Gauls, and a third, the people of Iberia. Our Basque-related forebears were here long before the English as a self-identifying ethnic group came into being.

    Thanks Cygnus. My thoughts on the relative strengths, weaknesses and prospects of the BFP have yet to come in Part 3. Before writing it though I thought that I'd better make my own position as clear as I could, hence the seeming digression into an exposition of my conception of Englishness in Part 2. I've had a lot on lately though, so much as I'd like to get this written for tomorrow evening, it may not appear for another ten days, as I'm juggling a lot at work and home right now. Do not fear, I'm not giving up blogging, but I may have to go into temporary hibernation until the beginning of next month.

  5. Thankyou for the information - much further back than I imagined. Look forward to your next post.

  6. Apologies for jumping the gun Durotrigan, I look forward to the next article. Cygnus.

  7. What a thoughtful and beautifully written essay. I am looking forward to the third installment.

    Your mention of a hypothetical ethnic English convert to Islam who has spat upon his heritage reminded me of the curious case of Kim Philby, the unrepentant traitor of the 1950s. His father, St.John Philby, was an Arabist and a Muslim convert, and I have often wondered if this rejection of English values 'enabled' (in the current jargon) his son's even more extreme rejection of all things English.

  8. Your exposition of your idea of nationalism is welcome and one I very much adhere to. I have long wished that the BNP website would permanently have a 'British nationalism explained' page outlining the nationalist position in such a clear and erudite way as you have done here ( Part 1). Only by explaining the larger ideological overview of nationalism and at, the same time, dispelling popular and potent liberal myths such as 'there is no definable ethnicity as British', or, that 'nationalism is about agression to other nations and ethnic groups' will the majority of Britons - who are instinctively nationalistic but whose nationalistic instincts have been undermined and subverted by the plethora and relentlessness of globalist propaganda - be able to find the moral and intellectual strength necessary to commit themselves wholeheartedly and actively to the nationalist cause.

    Without finding and embracing the moral and ideological base of nationalism, those otherwise sympathetic to it ( the majority) will always be easily scared away or suffer the constraints of a superimposed liberal false consciouness - but which is sold to and 'felt', erroneously, as 'conscience!- by the majorityof Britons today. How reassuring it would be to these instinctively patriotic Britons to be readily enabled to understand that nationalism is NOT totalitarianism and tryranny per se! If only those potential voters and members and curious visitors to the BNP website were able to find such re-assurance at a glance then I am certain that our cause would win many, many more invigorated and righteously patriotic Britons to it, and that our political detractors would find their defamation campaigns met with ridicule by the British people in general.

    On the whole I have felt that the BNP suffers most from a failure to understand, engage with and counter the dominant globalist 'one world' orthodoxy as it operates in the public mindset, which is so widely - though I doubt entirely convincingly so - subscribed to by the British people, as well as from its subsequent failure to articulate the nationalist vision in electorally effective ways. The quality of the BNP election material has, in the five years or so that I have been familiar with it, been a matter of all style and little substance; embarrassingly banal and ultimately ineffective in stimulating support beyond the core level. It has been 'dumbed down' to a point whereby it infers that voters are too dumb to want to go beyond a few bullet points of policy which everyone is aware of anyway! Nothing explained or supported by facts - only pictures of Spitfires! Hence, the sympathetic but yet still doubting voters have been unable to be reassured or find their nerve to commit to us to the extent of giving us their 'X' in the polling booths.

    I wish that the malcontents who have gone off and formed yet another nationalist party (with, as far as I can make out, no discernable ideological or tactical differences to the BNP!) would have kept their head and lobbied for a change in direction of the party's publicity and election strategy instead.

  9. Re: Salford BNP


    There is ideological, structural, constitutional and internal cultural differences between British Freedom and the BNP.

    We gave party reform a chance. We spent six months 'lobbying' for change at the top of the BNP. It will never happen whilst Griffin refuses to stand down. I guarantee it.

    I won't have it said that we didn't try everything possible to avoid another fissure within British Nationalism. The sad fact is, only Griffin held the power (and responsibility) to avoid splits.

  10. Michael: I put it to you, do those members of the Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem parties who are frustrated with the direction of their respective parties go off and form separate parties? They do not, they bide their time and act with responsibility to the greater cause. Probably, they also realise the futility of establishing more political parties to scramble for the same piece of electoral turf. I fear that much of the BNP Reform Group was driven by little more than personal griping and sniping. An election was held and Nick Griffin won by an overwhelming majority, you and your cohort should have respected the members and buckled down to the job again. Not that I see the need to immediately ditch him, but Nick Griffin will be stepping down as Chairman in two and a half years time anyway. What is more pressing than unseemly public squabbling would be to address the paucity of intellectual leadership within the nationalist movement - a reflection of the marginalisation of nationalism in society today. It is the fact that the current dominant culture and structures of society are globalist ( think of the media and the education system) thet is the uphill struggle British nationalists have to confront if we are to progress.

    I have perused the BFP website to try to ascertain the ideological differences you speak of. I was dismayed to see much emphasis on 'integrating' recent immigrant communities. This is the talk of the Mail and the Express. I ask you what would be left of native Britain if we were to absorb the millions of Asians and Africans who are here? Britain would be gone forever and exist in name only! The very survival of the British people rests upon the continuance of upholding ethnic distinction.


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