Alex Salmond is a chancer in the mould of Paterson and Law

Robert Henderson

William Paterson was the main mover of the Darien disaster which bankrupted Scotland in the 1690s through a mixture of ignorance, general incompetence and embezzlement; John Law was the Scot who ruined the currency and economy of Louis XV’s France through the use of paper money backed by land.  The men  had something in common with Salmond: they were both hideously reckless. This disastrous trait was evident in spades during the first of the debates between  Salmond and Alastair Darling on 5 August 2014.

Overall the event was a truly depressing affair, being  little more than a shouting match.  Salmond  spent most of the time with a fixed condescending smile glued to his face while Darling,  thinking he had to be seen as assertive, frequently sounded and looked peevish as he adopted a behaviour  horrendously  at odds with his reticent and mild personality.

The discussion was horribly narrow, being concerned almost entirely with the material advantages and disadvantages of independence and even there much was either omitted or barely touched upon, for example, the  large numbers of  businessmen warning  of  a likely decamping from Scotland to England of many organisations if there is a YES vote or  the loss of UK government contracts if Scotland becomes a foreign country.   Other issues which had economic implications but a much wider significance, most notably  immigration,  remained unmolested by the debate.    To a significant degree the debate was limited in scope by the disproportionate amount of time taken up by  Salmond’s refusal to give a straight answer to the question of what currency Scotland would use  if the vote was for  independence . More of that later.

Completely lacking was any mention of   the consequences of a YES vote for the rest of the UK in general and  for  England in particular. The debate was  conducted entirely on the basis of what was to  the advantage of Scotland.  The fact that the programme  was only available on terrestrial television in Scotland on STV or streaming  through  the STV Player  (which crashed because it was unable to handle the demand)  made some unkind souls see this as  ironically symbolising both  the exclusion of the rest of the UK  from the debate and the many  warnings  from various quarters that Scotland would be a shambles if it goes  alone.

Darling had the better of  the debate simply because Salmond was so inept . Making cheap gibes about Westminster and repeatedly  telling the same old evasive lies on any topic which caused him problems  did not go down well even with the sizeable studio audience .  The polling after the programme confirmed it. The first   YouGov poll taken after the debate  showed  those who have decided  which way to vote will  vote  61%  No  and  39%  YES. With the undecided included   there were 55% supporting a No vote and  35% backing independence,  with  9%  undecided.

Perhaps even more telling than the polls, on the 13 August the Better Together campaign asked that no more contributions be sent to them because there had been thousands of donations  sent in after the debate and they were in danger of breaching the spending limits for the campaign.


Salmond was particularly weak on the question of the currency.   He started from the objectively false claim that the Pound belongs to Scotland as much as it does to England. Darling counter-argued that the Pound belonged to the entire UK.

Legally speaking they were both wrong. The Pound Sterling  is the English currency which Scotland was allowed to share when they signed the Act of Union in 1707, viz.

XVI  That, from and after the Union, the coin shall be of the same standard and value throughout the United Kingdom as now in England, and a Mint shall be continued in Scotland under the same rules as the Mint in England; and the present officers of the Mint continued, subject to such regulations and alterations as Her Majesty, her heirs or successors, or the Parliament of Great Britain, shall think fit.

The Scottish pound became defunct at the same time. If Scotland repudiate the Act of Union of 1707,  they lose the right to use the Pound Sterling in the sense that they no longer have a political right to share the Pound on an equal basis with the rest of the UK.

Scotland  could of course simply use the currency, but they would have no say over its  the management,  no printing or coining rights, and the Bank of England would not act as lender of the last resort to Scottish financial institutions.  Scotland would also have the problem of buying enough Sterling on the open currency market. To do that  she  would have to sell goods and services abroad to provide the wherewithal  to buy  Sterling.

During the time set aside for the Salmond and Darling to question one another,  Darling asked Salmond repeatedly what was his Plan B for the currency now that all three main Westminster Parties had stated categorically that there  would be no currency union between England and Scotland if there was a Yes vote in the referendum.  Salmond simply kept on repeating that if there was a Yes vote Westminster would cave in and accept a currency union. This so angered many of the studio audience that Salmond  was roundly booed as time and again he evaded the question of what would happen if there was no currency union.

Salmond has stuck to the same line on the currency since the debate  saying in an interview that “There is literally nothing anyone can do to stop an independent Scotland using sterling, which is an internationally tradeable currency.…the No campaign’s tactic of saying no to a currency union makes absolutely no economic sense. But it also makes no political sense, and is a tactic that is a deeply dangerous one for them.”

This is classic head-in-the-sand Salmon.   His position is built upon  two ideas: (1)  that anything he demands for Scotland must happen simply because he has demanded it and (2)  that any attempt by the English to point out dangers or look to their own interests is illegitimate and bullying.  At one point Salmond made the incredible claim that if Westminster did not grant Scotland whatever they demanded Westminster would be denying the democratic will of Scotland.  This piece of Lilliputian arrogance was sharply knocked down by Darling, who pointed out that all a YES vote would do would be to empower Salmond  to negotiate terms with the rest of the UK.

At another point Salmond claimed that if there was no currency union , Scotland would not take a proportionate share of the UK national debt. Incredibly Darling did not challenge him on this issue, most probably because he would have had to say that if they did not take  their share  Westminster would have to veto Scottish independence which is, legally speaking, ultimately dependent on the UK government agreeing terms.

No opinion poll over in the independence  campaign has shown the YES camp ahead. The odds are heavily on the  referendum will producing  a NO result.  If the ballot produces a seriously bad result  along the lines of the YouGov poll cited above,  Salmond  and the SNP could be in a very difficult position because it would put another vote on independence  out of the question for a long time, perhaps a generation.   There would it is true be new powers given to the Scottish Parliament,  but the ones likely to be on offer are things such as Scottish control over income tax rates and the collection of the tax by the Scottish government.  Such developments would mean the Scottish government having to take the blame for tax rises or public service cuts if taxes are not raised. That would make  the Scottish government and Parliament much more prone to unpopularity than they are now. If that happens,  those living in Scotland would probably become less and less enamoured of the idea of independence because they would have had a taste of what both sides of government – taxing and spending – would  under an independent  Scottish government.

Even if there is a NO vote with a small majority, much of the difficulty which would occur with a heavy defeat for the YES side would still exist, for it would still be improbable that another vote on independence  would be held quickly, probably not for  least ten years.  During that time those is Scotland would have plenty of opportunity to become disenchanted with their government having to make  the type of hard decisions on taxing and spending  which are the common  political currency of a fully fledged state.  Indeed, things might even be more awkward if the referendum is close rather than heavily against independence.  That is because the closer the vote the more powers Westminster are likely to grant Scotland. The more powers given to Scotland, the greater the opportunity for those in Scotland to blame the Holyrood government rather than Westminster.

There is also the unresolved question of England’s place in a devolved UK. In the event of a NO vote and the granting of greater powers to Scotland (and Wales and Northern  Ireland) there will be pressure for the number of Scottish MPs to be reduced, for English votes on English laws or an English Parliament.  This will eventually produce circumstances which reduce or even completely exclude Scots from English domestic affairs.

Both the increased powers for Scotland and the reduced participation of Scottish MPs  at Westminster will make it more and more difficult for  the Scottish devolved government to blame Westminster for so much of the decision making will occur in Scotland.  In addition,  if the Commons becomes  increasingly an English chamber through English votes for English laws or a completely English chamber if it is used as the English Parliament, that will produce   English politicians who will not be able to neglect English interests as they are now more or less completely neglected.

What does Salmon really want? He certainly does not want true independence because he wishes to have a currency union with the rest of the UK, to keep the Queen as head of state and to join the EU,   which would be a much harder and intrusive taskmaster than ever England would. I suspect that he does not want a YES vote but rather a narrowly won NO vote. That would allow him to get the most potent form of DEVOMAX.

What will be the consequences if, against all the polling  evidence, there is a YES vote?  Salmond will rapidly find himself in the mire. His fantasy world is one in which there  a currency union,   England acts as lender of the last resort  if Scottish financial institutions fail, Scotland is allowed to join the EU on the terms they now  enjoy as part of the UK, England continues to  push huge amounts of money by way of defence contracts and research grants to Scotland and  the revenues from North Sea oil and gas continue to flow like ambrosia from heaven.

There is not  one of the elements in Salmond’s fantasy world which will be realised. Even our Quisling Westminster politicians would not agree to a currency union which would involved England underwriting the Scottish financial system.  The EU will be less than delighted at the prospect of one of the major EU members losing part of its territory to an independence movement because of the precedent it set for places such as Catalonia and those parts of Italy which favour the Northern League.  It is likely that Scotland would have to apply for EU membership like any other applicant. This process would be both time consuming, perhaps several years, and Scotland would have to sign up to the requirements which any new EU applicant has to agree to, including membership of the Euro.  There is also the possibility that the remainder of the  UK could veto Scotland’s application to join the EU.

As for  contracts for defence work and  research grants,  Westminster would have every reason to keep those within the UK. At best, Scotland would have to compete for the contracts and research grants as just another  EU member.  At worst, the rest of the UK might vote to either leave the UK or  remain after obtain concessions which allowed preference to be shown to business and research institutions within England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Either way Scotland could easily find itself excluded.

That leaves the oil and gas dream.  Production of  the oil and gas in Scottish waters  and the tax collected has been steadily declining, viz.:

 Significant production decline and increasing costs have led to total revenues from UK oil and gas production dropping by 44% in 2012-13 and by 24% in 2013-14. In the last two years Corporation Tax revenues have declined by 60% from £8.8 billion in 2011-12 to £3.6 billion in 2013-14 and Petroleum Revenue Tax by 45%  from £2.0 billion to £1.1 billion in 2013-14. [These figures are for the entirety of UK oil and gas production, some of which is in English waters].

The decline is likely to continue, perhaps even speed up, as shale oil and gas deposits are increasingly being exploited.  Nor should the possibility of other energy advances such as cheaper and safer nuclear power be ignored.

But those are only part of the problem for Scotland If the vote is YES. There are many public sector jobs in Scotland which deal with English matters, for example, the administration of much of the English benefits system. All those jobs would leave Scotland.   Many Scottish businesses, especially those in the financial sector  are likely to move at least their head offices to England.  There would have to be border controls to stop immigrants using Scotland as a backdoor to England. More generally, the Scottish economy is dangerously dependent on public sector jobs.  These jobs  would almost certainly have to be severely culled.  The  economy is also very narrow  with drink,  food, financial services and the oil industry making up much of the private enterprise part of it. .

The danger for England would be a Scotland which got itself into a terrible economic mess  and Westminster politicians bailing the country out with English taxpayers’ money . However,  because the  politics of the rest of the UK would  of necessity become ever more centred on English interests, that would become a very difficult thing for the Westminster government to do.

Salmond’s attempt to  lead Scotland to independence on a wing and a prayer is horribly reminiscent of Paterson and Law’s behaviour  300 years ago, with the idea riding way ahead of reality.

Posted in Anglophobia, Devolution, Nationhood | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Commonwealth Games:  England should have many  more medals against their name

Robert Henderson

Gratifying as the official success of the England team at the Commonwealth games –173 medals made up of 58 gold, 59 silver and 57 bronze medals – this underplays the scale of England’s dominance.

Of the 19 gold medals officially ascribed to Scotland and the five ascribed to Wales, no less were won by competitors born in England.


Gold medallists born in England (Place of birth beside each) taking gold for Scotland are:

Dan Keating – Kettering – Gymnastics
Dan Purvis – Liverpool – Gymnastics
Sarah Addlington – Shrewsbury – Judo
Sarah Clark – South Shields – Judo
Libby Clegg – Stockport – Athletics
Chris Sherringham – Ormskirk – Judo
Hannah Miley Swindon – Swimming
Euan Burton Ascot – Judo

8 golds won

Scots born competitors taking gold for Scotland

Darren Burnett bowls
David Peacock bowls
Alex Marshall bowls
Paul Foster bowls
Neil Spiers bowls
Neil Fachie Cycling
Daniel Wallace Swimming
Ross Murdock swimming
Kimberley Renicks Judo
Louise Renwicks Judo
Josh Taylor boxing
Charlie Flynn boxing

11 golds won

The places of birth can be found at

NB the Scots born winners include those in bowls who won playing as pairs. Hence, there are more than 19 names when the two groups are added together. The English born competitors all took individual golds.


The gold medallists born in England (Place of birth beside each) taking gold for Wales were:

Jazz Carlin Shrewsbury
Georgia Davies London
Francesca Jones Kettering
Welsh born competitors taking gold for Wales
Geraint Thomas cycling
Natalie Powell Judo

2 golds won

The places of birth can be found here :

The two Northern Ireland golds were won by Northern Irish born boxers, Michael Conlon and Paddy Barnes.

It is reasonable to assume that the use of competitors born in England by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will occur amongst those winning lesser medals or not winning medals at all. The percentage of Scots , Welsh and Northern Irish golds won by English-born competitors is 42% (11 out of 26). If this is repeated in the silver and bronze medals against the Scots, Welsh and N Irish names, that would mean 14 extra silver and 20 extra bronze for England. The English medal total overall would read:

69 gold – 73 silver – 77 bronze, a total of 219.

In addition to the skewing of the medal table by large numbers of English men and women sailing under Celtic flags, England also aids the Celtic Fringe born competitors in many sports because they are part of GB performance programmes which are largely funded by the English.

Posted in Culture, Nationhood, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

How to get larger crowds for County Championship cricket matches

Robert Henderson

In 2001 I put forward a plan  to improve interest in and attendance at County Championship matches to  the  then Chief Executive of the ECB Tim Lamb. The proposal was to allow anyone who purchased a ticket for an England game in England to present that  ticket stub at any County Championship match  to gain free admission to  a day’s  play.   Tickets for Test matches, ODIs and international T20s would qualify.

The beauty of the scheme was that it involved  no cost at best or negligible  cost at worst to  either the ECB or the individual counties. The spectator would simply turn up at their chosen game and hand in the ticket stub. There would be no significant  cost to the county because all the most they  would have to do  would be to  count the number of stubs to allow a judgement to be made as to how successful the scheme was.  As the stub is  produced automatically by the normal ticket design for England matches no extra cost would arise there.

Hundreds of thousands  watch England play cricket in England every year so there  would potentially be  a very  large number who could use their free entry tickets. Many probably would  because entry to Championship  games is  becoming increasingly expensive and  people find it hard to resist something which is free, especially if it is expensive.

Many people who would not normally dream of going to a Championship match would probably   be brought into grounds. Once there they might like what they see and come back as paying customers. Even regular Championship watchers might be persuaded to go more often as paying customers.

But even if  attendances only rose when the free entry ticket stubs were used,  that would be a benefit for it would increase takings for the caterers and club merchandise. Moreover, larger crowds would also create a better atmosphere and that would make the games more attractive to  spectators, broadcasters  and sponsors.

Sadly, although Tim Lamb  showed interest,  nothing ultimately came of  my  attempts to persuade  him to put  the proposal to the ECB.  Arguably the scheme has even  more merit now that it did in 2001 because of the ever  greater dominance of international cricket over domestic  first class cricket   which is struggling throughout the world. What I am proposing for England could  be used in any Test playing country to revive interest in their domestic first class competitions.  It is vital for  the long-term health of world cricket that domestic first class cricket is preserved because it is that which is the conveyor belt producing players  for international cricket.

Would the plan work? Most probably because of the numbers involved and the lure of something free. It is at least worth a trial for a few years for it would cost next to nothing to run the scheme .

Posted in Sport | Tagged | 1 Comment

English sport and the alien invasion

Robert Henderson

In the past few weeks England have lost three times to the All Blacks at rugby and crashed out of the World Cup with only one point from their three pool games . This week  they lost for the first time ever a home  cricket series against Sri Lankra . During the winter the Ashes series was lost 5-0.

What is going wrong? The answer is beautifully simple. English top-flight team sport is suffering from the same sickness that England as a whole is carrying: it is the victim of immigration. Our three  most popular team sports , football, cricket and rugby union, have all opened their doors to any number of foreigners and foreign players, coaches and owners have flooded in.


Of the three most popular teams sports, football is the most advanced in terms of denying places to young English players a, managers and coaches.  This is unsurprising because of the twenty Premiership clubs starting the 2014/15 season ten are foreigner owned,  as are  twelve of the  twenty two Championship clubs. Foreign owners will have no concern for the wellbeing of  English football,  merely a desire to be successful at all costs either from a  desire to make money or for the prestige footballing success brings on the world stage.

The practice  of excluding English players and managers can be found throughout the professional  English football pyramid, but is seen at its most blatant in the Premier League where less than a third of the players regularly starting are English.   This compares with an average of around a third of players being foreign in the top divisions throughout Europe.

The level below the Premier League, the Championship,  is also heavily infiltrated by foreigners and contains one team, Watford, which starkly demonstrates exactly how quickly English players can be squeezed out.   Watford were taken over by the Italian Pozzo  family who also own the Italian Udinese club and Spanish Grenada  club.  The English manager Sean Dyche – who has just led Burnley to the Premiership –  was quickly replaced with the Italian Gianfranco Zola. This was followed by the ridding of the club of most  of the established  English players and their replacement  with foreigners, most being on-loan Italians from Udinese

In addition, the very successful Watford Academy  was  downgraded from  category 1 to category 3 . This  means that Watford can no longer sign boys from nine onwards and can now do so only from the age of 12  and may no  longer compete in the U-21 League which gives experience against the likes of Man U and Arsenal.  This of itself will mean fewer English youngsters coming through the Watford system,  even assuming that young English players will now reach the Watford Academy for it could become a training ground for foreign  imports from Udinese  and Grenada.


County cricket  is increasingly  staffed by foreign players and managers.  Foreign ownership does not really come into the picture because county clubs are private members clubs and as such cannot be purchased.  Nor is there the money or  public profile in county cricket to make any attempt to change this situation  worthwhile.

With cricket it is difficult to give an exact percentage for foreign players  because  so many flit in and out of the county game, as they arrive for particular competitions such as the T20 or contract for far less than a full season with a county because they want to play in other T20 leagues  or go away  with  their national sides.

An idea of  the scale of the foreign invasion into county cricket can be gleaned from the Playfair Cricket Annual,  which gives pen portraits of the players  registered for each county for the coming season. By my count the 2014 annual shows  thirty-seven players marked as not  qualified to play for England because they were born outside the UK and have either played for Test teams other than England or have not played for another country but have not lived long enough in England to qualify through residence . A further forty-five who were born outside the UK but have qualified through residence.  Many of the latter group are those who have had a substantial first class career, including in some cases, Test experience , outside of the UK . Few will want or have a realistic chance of playing for England.  They include the likes of the Australian Test player Phil Jacques and  the New Zealand Test player Hamish Marshall. The two groups produce  a  combined figure of eighty-two foreigners either disbarred from playing for England or very unlikely to do so at the beginning of the 2014 season.  Experience shows that additional  foreign players will be employed as the season progresses.  It would not be unreasonable to imagine the eighty-three foreigners at  the beginning of the 2014 season will swell to one hundred plus  by the end of the season.

There are  eighteen  first class county sides which gives 191 places in their first teams.  The vast majority of the foreigners, whether  qualified or not for England,  will be regulars in their county sides, not least because counties are very reluctant to drop a foreign player who has cost  them a good deal of money to hire .   On average there will be three or  four  foreigners in each county side for Championship matches, that is, about  40% of the total  places.   The percentage of foreign players in the limited over games, especially the T20, will probably be higher.

Rugby Union

Rugby Union is a Johnny-come-lately to the paid  sporting ranks, the game only turning professional  in 1995. But it is made up for lost time when it comes to the foreign player stakes , although not to the extent of the football influx, the percentage of foreigners into the Avia Premiership being around a third rather than the two thirds or more of  the Premier League.

Football, cricket and rugby are the main team sports but what has happened to them can be found to varying degrees in all teams sports which have any degree of popularity in Britain  and individual sports  where either there are occasional team events  organised on a national team basis such as the Davis Cup (tennis ) or Ryder Cup (golf) or the sport carries enough popularity and prestige for those controlling the sport to engineer  English or British representation at a high level, no matter how bogus that is. Think of Greg Rusedski  (tennis) or  Zola Budd (athletics).  In principle they should be treated as I suggest sports such as football and cricket should be  treated.

How  foreign players are distributed

The raw number of foreigners is not the only concern. In  any team  sport certain positions are considered to be the most important. In football those positions are the goalkeeper, centre-backs and strikers.  In rugby union it is the scrum half and fly half and full back, in cricket the opening batsmen and fast bowlers.   The foreign imports disproportionately fill those positions.   The consequence is that England teams are left with few players to choose from when selecting people to fill those positions, for example, the England  football team  has very few goalkeepers and strikers to choose from at present.

In the case of cricket, it is almost invariably the case that foreign players are given the plum places in the batting order and if pace bowlers use of the new ball.  That means  English batsmen get pushed down the batting order and English pace bowlers often do not get use of the new ball.

The demoralising effect on English players

English players will be subject to the  politically correct propaganda which the British political elite have institutionalised  within English society.  The mistreatment by the state, the mainstream media and employers of those label led as racist, homophobic or chauvinist  has created considerable fear amongst  the British public, who will often voice politically correct views which they do not subscribe to because they are afraid. The fear also creates a sense of  disconnection with the country which they come from, because they think, rightly, that  they cannot  praise England  without shrieks of racist hurtling in their direction To that can be added the deracination of English children through the emasculation of the English school curriculum so that it does not provide them with their culture history while incessantly promoting any culture and history other than that of the English.

The fact that as budding elite sportsmen they are of necessity forced to live in a world with a great deal of racial and ethnic  variety will reinforce the sense of disconnection and isolation from their own culture and history.  Even if English players did want the situation to change and see the foreigners kicked out  of their sport  there is little they could safely do.  If  they   did wish to protest against the denial of opportunity  to them because of foreign players,  every one of them will know that if they voice criticism of  the influx of foreigners their career will be at best damaged and at worst ended.  It is a toxic environment to work in, especially toxic in clubs where the playing personnel and often the management and coaching  staff are foreign.

In such an environment , the  focus of English players will almost certainly be  concentrated upon their own playing careers to the exclusion of any wider interest  social or national interest in what is happening to their sport.

The selection of English national sides

Pedantically the selection of players who were not English to play for England has been going on for a long time. That is particularly true of cricket where the Indian Ranjitsinji was first  selected in the 1890. But  foreigners in an England shirt were  rarities until the 1980s. Cricket led the way with a horde of  South Africans, Australians and West Indians and the odd New Zealander .   By the 1990s England were regularly putting out sides with four or five foreigners, people such as Alan Lamb, Robin Smith,  Graeme Hick,   Andy Caddick and  Devon Malcolm.  The selectors’ obsession with foreigners waned somewhat in the first half of the  2000s, but strengthened again from 2005 onwards.   Three of the four most recent England Test caps have been unambiguously foreign, that is,  they were both born abroad and spent the large majority of their childhoods in the country of their birth:   Robson (Australian), Jordan (West Indian),  Balance (Zimbabwean ) .  On the managerial side, the Zimbabweans Duncan Fletcher and Andy Flower  between them held the position of head coach for  all but two years of the period 1999-2014.

In the case of football most of the foreign input has occurred on the managerial front. Since 2001,   the England side has had  foreign managers  (Sven-Goran  Eriksson  and Fabio Capello)  for  a combined total of nine years.  Nonetheless, there are signs that the FA are now  willing to grab players from anywhere . Last season feelers were put out  to get the Belgium youngster Adnan Januzaj to play for England on the grounds of his residency in England.  Januzai rebuffed the approaches but the attempt demonstrates how the FA have thrown in the towel when it comes to not selecting foreigners.

Rugby Union began to be really promiscuous with the selection of  foreigners in the England side around the time the game  turned professional (1995).  The squad which toured New Zealand in 2014 contained South Sea Islanders  Manusamoa Tuilagiand  and Semesa Rokoduguni , the South African Brad Barritt and  the New Zealander Dylan Hartley.

What can be legally done?

While Britain remains within the EU only players from outside the EU can be excluded from English professional sport. Moreover,  this is weakened to some degree by the ability of players from outside the EU to gain EU state passports. Nonetheless a blanket ban  on non-EU imports would have considerable although varying effects, viz:

1. Football would probably  be least affected because all European states play professional football, most to a decent standard.  Nonetheless, the available talent pool would be massively reduced and make it much more difficult  for clubs to claim that  the players they were bringing were of exceptional talent.

2. Cricket would be the most affected for the simple reason that cricket is not played to a professional standard outside of England within the EU.

3. Rugby would come somewhere between cricket and football because only France and Italy play the game to international level, although there are a few talented individuals outside of those two countries.

What about foreign ownership of English  sporting clubs? This only seriously affects English football of the big three English team sports.  Even as things are foreigners  from outside the EU could be excluded  if the political will was there. Things would be more difficult  with foreigners from within the EU, but it is  debatable whether the free movement of capital rule throughout the  Single Market would be a bar to preventing the sale of English clubs to foreigners within the EU. Certainty the other large EU countries manage to prevent their top clubs falling into foreign hands.

All that is required to substantially restrict the number of foreigners coming into English professional sport  is for the British government to ban every  would-be owner from outside the EU and every manager, coach and player from outside the EU from working in Britain.  The only thing which has prevented this happening is the ghastly ideological commitment to free trade (including in practice the free movement of peoples) to which the British political elite has succumbed.

Apart from banning non-EU foreigners,  much might be done if  politicians, the media and fans  constantly challenged English sporting clubs over the number of foreigners they employ. Sponsors are sensitive to changes in public wants and might well shun clubs if the public atmosphere was strongly against the employment of foreigners. The same would be true of media outlets which earned their money from sales of their product and advertising.   If fans took up the issue they could bring pressure on clubs by not buying the club merchandise or  making it clear with chants and  banners that they wanted English players in their team. But  to be successful I this tactic does require the mainstream parties to take up the issue and start the ball rolling.  In these politically correct times the general public needs to be reassured that they will not find the police feeling their collars if they start chanting slogans  such as “English players for English teams.”

The perfect solution would be for Britain to leave  the EU. Then every foreign manager, coach and

National sides must be national to have a point

The claiming of people as natives of a country when they manifestly are anything but makes a mockery of the very idea of national sporting sides.   There really is no point in an English cricket side comprised of three or four Southern Africans , an Australian and a West Indian or an England football team managed by  a Swede or Italian.

To keep professional   team sports healthy in England what is  needed is a concentration on English owners, managers, coaches and players in our major team sports.  Only  by keeping the personnel English will there be a large enough pool of talent to draw on for the England  national teams, but also because it will mean the players are  living week by week in a thoroughly English atmosphere and that will accustom them to thinking not only of themselves but of the English national interest.

Such a change would also have a beneficial effect on the audiences for the sports. They would go to see English players playing, managed by English managers and clubs owned or controlled by those raised in the country.  Team sports such as football, cricket and rugby are not just games as liberals would have us believe, they are trials of strength, physical prowess and nerve. .  If England started winning consistently that also would boost national sentiment.


See also


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The Commons Education Select Committee  and the libelling  of the white working-class

Robert Henderson

The Commons Select Committee (CSC) on Education has  produced a report on the underachievement of white British working-class children.  This  ostensibly  highlights the poor educational performance of white British children who are eligible for free meals (FSM)  compared to those in receipt of FSM from ethnic minority groups such as those of Indian and Chinese ancestry.  I say ostensibly because there are severe flaws in methodology.  These are:

  1. The definition of white British is far from simple. The report distinguishes between Irish,  traveller of Irish heritage,  Gypsy/Roma and Any other white background (see CSC table 2 page 13).  The Any other white background is the largest.  It is not clear from the report how the white British were defined, for example , a child of white immigrants might well consider his or herself white British.  Who would whether they were or were not British?
  2. The numbers of  some of the ethnic minority groups cited are small, for example, at the end of Key Stage 4 (the end of GCSE courses) in 2013 there were only  168 Chinese in the country who pupils who qualified for FSM. (see CSC table 2 page 13).

3. The use of FSM  as a proxy for working-class  means that  white British apples are being compared with variously coloured ethnic minority  oranges. Most importantly the use of FSM means that the British white working-class as a whole is not represented , but only the poorest  section of it. Hence, the general treatment in the media of the report, that it shows the white working-class to be falling behind ethnic minorities, is grossly misleading. The report recognises this:

…measuring working class performance in education through FSM data can be misleading. The Centre for Research in Race and Education (CRRE) drew our attention to a mismatch between the proportion of children who were eligible for free school meals and the proportion of adults who would self-define as working class:17 in 2012/13, 15% of pupils at the end of key stage 4 were known to be eligible for free school meals,18 compared with 57% of British adults who defined themselves as ‘working class’ as part of a survey by the National Centre for Social Research.The CRRE warned that projecting the educational performance of a small group of economically deprived pupils onto what could otherwise be understood to be a much larger proportion of the population had “damaging consequences” on public understanding of the issue. The logical result of equating FSM with working class was that 85% of children were being characterised as middle class or above.

The  white British group  will be overwhelmingly drawn from the most deprived part of that  group’s population, while many of the ethnic minority groups  held up as superior to the white British children , will have a large  component of people who are not drawn from the lower social reaches of their society, but are poor simply because they are either  first generation immigrants or the children of first generation immigrants and  have not established themselves in well paid work – think of all the tales the mainstream media and politicians regale the British with about immigrant graduates doing menial jobs.  These  parents  will both have more aspiration for their children and a greater  ability to assist their children with their schoolwork.

The range  of  those qualifying for FSM is extensive and there is  considerable  complexity resulting from pupils  going in and out of the qualifying criteria, viz:

(Para 12 of the report) . Of the  Children are eligible for free school meals if their parents receive any of the following payments:

Income Support

• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

• the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

• Child Tax Credit (provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and

have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)

• Working Tax Credit run-on—paid for 4 weeks after they stop qualifying for

Working Tax Credit

• Universal Credit

13. A report for the Children’s Society noted that the criteria for FSM mean that parents working 16 or more hours per week (24 hours for couples from April 2012) lose their entitlement to FSM since they are eligible for working tax credit; as a result there are around 700,000 children living in poverty who are not entitled to receive free school meals. In addition, not all those who may be eligible for FSM register for it; a recent report for the Department for Education estimated under-registration to be 11% in 2013. This figure varies across the country: in the North East under-registration is estimated to  be 1%, compared to 18% in the East of England and 19% in the South East. 

4. Greater resources, both material  advantages and better quality staff,  are being put into schools which have a  very large ethnic  minority component  than schools which are predominantly filled with white British children.  This is occurring both as a matter of deliberate government policy and through not-for-profit corporations such as charities.

Government policies are things such as the  pupil premium . This is paid to schools for each pupil  who qualifies under these criteria:

In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, schools will receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years:

£1,300 for primary-aged pupils

£935 for secondary-aged pupils

Schools will also receive £1,900 for each looked-after pupil who:

has been looked after for 1 day or more

was adopted from care on or after 30 December 2005, or left care under:

a special guardianship order

a residence order

The amounts involved for a school can  be considerable. Suppose that a secondary school with 1,000 children  has 40% of its pupils qualifying for  FSM. That would bring an additional  £374,000 to the school in this financial year.   At present £2.5 billion is being spent on the pupil premium.

According to a Dept of Education (DoE) investigation published in 2013, Evaluation of Pupil Premium Research Report ,  a  good deal of this money is being spent on ethnic minorities and those without English as a first language     (see tables 2.1 and 2.2, pages 27 and 30) . The pupil premium can be used to provide extra staff, better staff, improved equipment after school activities and so on.

Schools can allocate the Pupil Premium money  at their discretion and often make the identification of where money has gone next to impossible because they do things such as merging the Pupil Premium money with money from other budgets and joining forces with other schools in the area to provide provision (see pages 14/15 in the DoE report).  It is probable that the Pupil Premium money brought into schools by white British working-class FSM children  is being used,  at least in part,  to benefit ethnic minorities. The converse is wildly improbable.

Ethnic minorities are concentrated in particular areas and particular schools. This makes it more  likely that ethnic children will go to schools with a higher  proportion of  free school meal pupils than schools dominated by  white pupils.  That will provide significantly greater funding for an ethnic  minority majority school than for one dominated by white Britons, most of whom will not qualify for the Pupil Premium. .

Because ethnic minority families, and especially those of first generation immigrants, are substantially larger on average than those of  white Britons, the likelihood of ethnic minority children qualifying for FSM will be greater than it is for white Britons because  the larger the family the more likely a child is to qualify for FSM.   This will boost the additional money from the pupils premium going to ethnic  minority dominated schools.

An example of not-for-profit intervention is  the charity Teach First.  The select committee report (para  116) describes their work:

 The Government’s response to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s first annual report noted that Teach First will be training 1,500 graduates in 2014 to 2015 and placing them in the most challenging schools, and that as of 2014/15 Teach First will be placing teachers in every region of England.

The Teach First  website states:  “Applicants to our Leadership Development Programme are taken through a rigorous assessment process. We select only those who demonstrate leadership potential, a passion to change children’s lives and the other skills and attributes needed to become an excellent teacher and leader. These participants teach and lead in our partner primary and secondary schools in low-income communities across England and Wales for a minimum of two years, ensuring every child has access to an excellent education.”

Apart from specific programmes such as the Pupil Premium and special training for teachers to prepare them what are euphemistically called “challenging schools” which end up disproportionately  favouring ethnic minority pupils,  there is also scope within  the normal funding of state schools to favour ethnic minorities because head teachers have a good deal of discretion in how funds are spent. That applies with knobs on to Academies and Free Schools.

There is also a considerable difference in funding between the funding of areas with large ethic minority populations, especially black and Asian groups,  and areas with largely white populations,  for example,   between East Anglia and London: “ The government has announced plans to raise per-pupil funding 3.7pc in Norfolk to £4,494, 7pc in Cambridgeshire to £4,225 and 2.5pc in Suffolk to £4,347 next year following a campaign by MPs.

“But councillors have called for a long term overhaul of the funding system, which will still see each student in the county receive around half of the allocation in the City of London, which will get £8,594.55 for each pupil.”

5. The effect of political correctness. With good reason any teacher,  and  especially white teachers,   will be fearful of not seeming to be devoutly political correct.  They know they are at the mercy of other teachers , parents and pupils and know that an accusation of racism from any  source could well end their teaching career at worst and at best seriously disrupt their lives while a complaint is being investigated. In addition, many  teachers will be emotionally attached to political correctness generally and to multiculturalism in particular.

In such circumstances it is reasonable to suspect that teachers in schools with a mix of ethnic minority and white British children  will devote more time and patience to ethnic minority pupils than   to white children.  They may do this without conscious intent, with either  fear or the ideological commitment making such a choice seem the natural one.

Such preferential treatment for ethnic minority children is facilitated by the large amount of continuous assessment  involved in GCSE.  (This is supposedly being reduced but the results of the change has not yet worked through to the end of a GCSE cycle.  Teachers routinely help children to re-write work which does not come up to par, in some cases re-doing the work themselves . Teachers have also been caught helping pupils  to cheat during exams . The opportunity and the temptation to help ethnic minority children is there and the pressure of political correctness may cause opportunity to become actuality.

6. The disruptive effect on schools of a large number of pupils from different backgrounds with English as a second language, the type of schools where the headmaster boasts “We have 100 languages spoken here”.   The most likely white British children to be in such schools are those from the poorest homes which means they qualify as FSM pupils.  They will be lost in these Towers of Babel not only because often they will be in the minority,  but also because, unlike children with English as a second language or  ethnic minority English speakers  who will have a good chance of enhanced tuition, the white British FSM pupils  will not enjoy  such a privilege and may be actually ignored to a large extent because of the desire of the staff to assist ethnic minority children.

7 . The downplaying of British culture. The school curriculum in Britain and  especially in England (where the vast majority of the British live)   is shaped to reflect the politically correct worldview.  This means that ethnic minority culture and history  are frequently  pushed ahead of British culture and history.   The larger the percentage of ethnic minorities in a school, the greater will be the tendency to marginalise the white British pupils, who will almost certainly be drawn largely from those qualifying for FSM. They will be deracinated and become culturally disorientated.

To this school propaganda is added the politically correct and anti-British, anti-white  propaganda which is pumped out  ceaselessly by mainstream politicians and the media. This  will reinforce the idea that being white and British is  somehow at best  inferior to that of ethnic minority cultures and at worst something to be ashamed of, something  to be despised, something which is a  danger  to its possessor.


As far as the general public is concerned, the Select Committee report is saying the white working-class children – all of them not just those receiving FSM  – are doing less well than ethnic minority children.   The reason for this is simple, the mainstream media have reported the story in a way which would promote such a belief, both in their  headlines and the stories themselves.

A comparison between  the  white British population as a whole and the ethnic minority populations as a whole would be nearer to reality, but it would still be comparing apples and oranges for the reasons given above. The ethnic minority children would still be likely to have on average parents who would not be representative of the ancestral populations they came from, political correctness would still drive teachers to favour ethnic minority pupils,  continuous assessment would still allow teachers to illegally aid ethnic minorities, heads could still decide to divert more funds towards ethnic minorities and the promotion of ethnic minority cultures and history would still exist.

What could be done to remedy matters? Continuous assessment should stop  and end of  course synoptic exams substituted . Ethnic minority children should not have more spent on them than white British children.  School funding in different areas should be broadly similar per capita.  British culture and history should be the dominant teaching driver.  Political correctness should be removed from the curriculum generally.

As for future studies, these should be controlled in a much more subtle manner than simply using FSM  as a criterion.  Any study of all or any part of group should control for parents’ education,  income, the amount of money spent on each pupil, the teacher pupil ratio,  the quality of the teachers and the general facilities of the school.

Those suggestions would not entirely cure the problem,  but it would be good start to both getting at the truth and ending the demonization of the white working-class  which has gathered pace ever since the Labour Party decided to drop the white working-class as their client base and substitute for them the politically correct groups of gays, feminists and most potently ethnic minorities.

See also


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Federal Trust meeting: Devolution in England: A New Approach – Balkanising England By Stealth

Robert Henderson


Andrew Blick  (Academic  from Kings College, London,  Associate Researcher at the Federal Trust  and  Management Board member of Unlock Democracy).

Graham Allen (Labour MP and chair of the Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee)

Lord Tyler (LibDem peer)

Meeting chaired by Brendan Donnelly  (Director of the Federal Trust )

A truly depressing meeting . Depressing because all the speakers subscribed to such a  sunny view of a decentralised  world  it  would have made Dr Pangloss feel a little uneasy; depressing because the  three speakers  were cynically peddling a Balkanise England by stealth agenda and depressing because most  of the audience were ready to swallow the agenda because it  demonised Westminster and presented  decentralisation as an unalloyed  good which would  strengthen not weaken England .

All three speakers proclaimed the devolution to the Celtic Fringe a  success, all three speakers were opposed to an English Parliament ; all three speakers wanted powers currently held by Westminster to be devolved to local government.

There was precious  little if any  awareness from any of the speakers  of the administrative complexities of what they proposed or the costs involved.

Andrew Blick

Blick was the main speaker,  having produced for The Federal Trust a pamphlet Devolution in England: A New Approach.  As he spoke my mind drifted to the provisions of the Trades Description Act because  new it wasn’t. His ideas have been around for years as a device to deny England a national Parliament and political voice.  

Blick was engaged in  a time honoured political tactic, namely, an obfuscation  exercise. He did  not rule anything out absolutely,  but  by the end of his plan the listener or reader is left in no doubt that what he wants is to Balkanise England by a thousand cuts. His method of doing  this is to advocate a  bizarrely complicated political regime whereby  powers currently in the hands of Westminster are transferred to councils not wholesale, that is, every council to have the same powers, but rather piecemeal, with individual councils to select from a menu of  current Westminster powers , choosing some rejecting others.  The consequence of this would be a mosaic of  councils with differing powers, something which would create even more confusion in the public mind as to exactly it is that councils do.

Not content with this complexity, Blick advocates councils linking together to cooperate in certain  areas. The effect of this would be antidemocratic because, as with the EU and Westminster, it would give local politicians the opportunity to say we can’t do that or we must do this because there is an agreement with another council.

Blick  seemed unaware that doing all this would  mean a great deal of extra cost both because each council would have to increase their staff to cope with the extra work and this would outweigh any saving made by central government through cuts to the civil services and greatly increased powers for councils would require full time well paid councillors.

All in all , a real dog’s dinner.

Graham Allen (Labour MP)

On his website Allen  advocates  this: “Devolution for England should be based upon local councils with the same statutory rights and tax assignment powers as those enjoyed by the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.”  He repeated this view at the meeting.

Allen  expressed contempt for Parliament, local government and the civil service, the former because too much power was with the executive; the latter  two institutions because of the debilitating effect on local government  and the civil service of centralisation.

According to Allen the problem with Parliament today was that MPs were reduced to cyphers.  There are problems with  the executive in Parliament, but to say ordinary MPs have no power or influence is clearly wrong.  Where no party has a large majority the individual MP  can have very considerable influence, both on their own party and on the opposition because their support or otherwise of their party really matters. Moreover,  whether the parliamentary arithmetic is tight or not,  MPs can have  significant  influence through assisting their constituents, asking Parliamentary questions  and  bringing  matters to public attention.

Allen advocated devolution of powers to councils as a means of replacing  what he saw as the inadequacy of Parliament with a newly vibrant and dynamic local government. He appeared to believe this would happen simply by changing the formal structure of government, a belief if childlike naivety.  He also wants a written constitution to restrain the Westminster executive.

Lord Tyler (LibDem peer)

The man is  a regulation-issue liberal  internationalist  who is vehemently  against an English Parliament  or even English votes for English laws.  His reason?  He  claimed an English Parliament  or even English votes for English laws would mean an English government within a federal structure.  He made no meaningful attempt to  explain  that would be a bad idea.

Tyler is  much keener on devolving financial power down to councils than the other two speakers and advocated more City Deal arrangements , a policy  which has  already placed billions of pounds in local hands.

Come questions, I began by saying I  was appalled that  all three speakers were embracing  the Balkanisation of England by stealth. Having done that,    I pointed out that in a true federal system there would be no major  problem with conflicting politics between the four home countries because if full home rule was given to each of England, Scotland, Wales and NI,  the policy areas which would be dealt with by the federal government would be few in number  – defence, foreign affairs, the management of the  pound, immigration, international trade and infrastructure projects which covered more than one of the home countries .

Consequently, the fact that England would be  the dominant federal voice would not be oppressive or overwhelming because so much would be in the hands of the national parliaments.  I ended by saying that the only lasting devolution settlement required an English Parliament  because  without it the mistreatment of England would be a never healed running sore.

The only comment  I elicited  from the speakers was a  bald assertion that they were not  engaged in Balkanisation by stealth.  Hilariously they did not actually deny it was Balkanisation, merely said  that what they were doing was not being done by stealth.

With the exception of  myself and a few others, the questions raised by the audience were all predicated on the idea that centralisation is  an evil in itself.

The future

Many people will believe that that the proposals of Blick, Allen and Tyler are no more than hot, air.  That would be foolish. The anomalous position of England in the present devolution arrangements will have to be addressed sooner rather than later regardless of how the Scottish independence vote goes.  If the vote is YES,  the massive difference in size and resources between England and the rest of the UK will become even more extreme. That will drive calls for English devolution, especially as Wales and Northern Ireland have no oil revenues to bargain with and rely very heavily on English taxpayers’ subsidy to maintain public services at their present level. .  If the Scots vote NO, Scotland and Wales will get further powers and make the position of England ever more starkly different. Again the pressure for English devolution will grow.  Therefore, the question is not whether there will be English devolution but what type of devolution  Westminster will try to inflict upon England. As  the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems are all resolutely opposed to an English Parliament,  they will have to choose between regional assemblies and devolution to local councils.

Regional assemblies are most unlikely to be pushed again because of the humiliation of the last attempt under John Prescott when the referendum on a North East Assembly, arguably the area of England with the strongest regional  identity,  was resoundingly rejected with 78% voting no.

That leaves devolution to local councils. Consequently, Blick’s proposals will have legs because they fit with what the Westminster parties will feel most comfortable with, albeit as  a  least worst choice.  Add in the fact that Graham Allen is chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee in the Commons and will act as an enthusiastic advocate of Blick’s proposals makes them, in some form, very probably the recommendation of the  committee for English devolution  when they make their report.

Robert Henderson 13 6 2014


Email to Andrew Blick 13 6 2014


Dear Mr Blick,

There were a considerable number of questions and observations which I was unable to raise or make at  the Federal Trust meeting Devolution in England: A New Approach held on 10th June .  Here are some of them.

1. The idea that devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland  is overwhelmingly seen as a success  by the recipient populations is objectively false. For example, an ICM poll for the BBC in February 2014 found that 23% of Welsh voters questioned  wanted the Welsh Assembly abolished and only 37% wanted greater powers for the Welsh Assembly.

Scots are more enthusiastic,  but even there  the support is less than ecstatic or universal.  A YouGov poll on behalf of the Better Together campaign  in January 2014 found that  “ Thirty-two per cent of Scottish adults want devolution inside the UK, but with more powers for the Scottish Parliament… Scottish independence was the second most popular constitutional option, at 30 per cent, with the status quo of devolution as it stands today a close third at 29 per cent.”

I suggest you follow the local media in those parts of the Union to see how disillusioned people are, especially in Wales.  You will encounter plenty of complaints about incompetence and extravagance, for example, the struggles of the NHS in Wales or the fiasco of the Edinburgh tram system .

2. The idea that decentralisation is a good in itself  is a nonsense. For example, decentralisation in the NHS and social services has  produced  huge dissatisfaction because of the development of “post code lotteries”  in those areas. Decentralisation of other powers to local authorities or even regional authorities would simply produce more of the same.

3. Pushing decision  making down to local councils on the  pick ‘n mix basis you suggest , with councils choosing from a menu of powers now exercised by Westminster  with  councils also  free to make agreements with other councils to operate  together,  is inherently anti-democratic. It would produce a hotchpotch of local government regimens, which would  leave  voters  even more  confused than they are now,  and allow councils to shuffle off responsibility for ignoring their voters’ wishes by saying their agreements  with other councils meant that they could not do  what the voters wanted.  It would be the Britain/EU problem writ small.

4. The general quality of councillors is poor.  If you want to see how poor I suggest you go to watch how planning applications for large developments are dealt with – councillors are completely out of their depth  – and to council subcommittees .  Let me give you an example. I live in Camden.  Some years ago the council decided they wanted to place their entire council housing stock in an Arms  Length Management Organisation  (ALMO).  The ALMO would have been a limited company (limited by guarantee) managing over 30,000 dwellings.  Legally, this company would have been an extremely large public company and as such subject to company law.  Serious directorial experience is needed to run a company of that size.

Thankfully the ALMO  never happened because Camden were reckless enough to allow the tenants and leaseholders a vote on whether they wanted the transfer to an ALMO to take place. (The plan was rejected by over 70% of those voting).   However, before the vote knocked it on the head, Camden set up a “shadow” ALMO board with the intention that the shadow  board would become the actual board once the ALMO was created.

I went as an observer  to every meeting of the shadow board.  It was frightening to watch what was happening .  There was only one member of that board  who had any commercial experience and that only of running a small family company.  The rest of the shadow board consisted of councillors, council officers, civil servants and  the odd residents’ (tenants and leaseholders)  representative.

The  shadow board was  self-evidently not capable of running a large limited company . One of the shadow board’s tasks was to agree the articles of Association of the ALMO.  None of them had a clue what was going on. For example, they nodded through huge borrowing powers (a very risky proposition) for the prospective ALMO in a few minutes whilst spending around an hour debating whether an ALMO Board member could be disqualified if they were sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

5. The weakness of local government cannot be readily changed.  When local government  was strong in England,  this was a consequence of a very different social structure from that which we have today and the considerable  physical limitations on travel. Until the  latter part of the  18th century , when scientific road building was introduced, English roads were dire. Movement over any distance  was often impossible during the winter. But even when roads improved considerably , long journeys around England were still major undertakings.  To travel by road  from London to Edinburgh would take the better part of a week. This lack of mobility also helped to underpin the existence of what was a very stratified society, one stratified not primarily by wealth but inherited social position.

In such conditions  of necessity power was devolved to the aristocracy and gentry , both informally and through  formal power resting with state agents such as JPs (who had much wider powers than they do now) and  Lord Lieutenants.

The railways changed things utterly and by 1880 rapid travel around Britain was  possible.  This began the decline of local government, slowly but inexorably. It was possible to be an MP and return to a far flung constituency in a matter of hours rather than days.   Of course things did not change overnight because there was a social inertia propping up the status quo for a generation or two.  But change things  did and, aided by the growth of ever more  sophisticated mass communications,  local government steadily became less and less powerful, less and less independent of the Westminster Parties.

Today the Westminster dominance of politics is more or less universal at any level above the parish council. The Westminster parties at local level normally  slavishly  follow policies set by their national party’s leadership.  Even if Westminster powers were devolved to local councils there is no reason to believe that national direction of policy by each major party would cease to drive the behaviour of their parties in local government.  Nor is it reasonable to assume that other parties would arise to challenge the dominance of the Westminster parties at local level.  There might be the odd council which was won by, say, a taxpayers party, but it certainly would not be a widespread phenomenon.

6. Devolving power means devolving money.  That will increase the opportunities for fraud and increased opportunities for fraud always means increased fraud.  (The massive increase in public contracts generated by the mania for privatisation has had precisely that effect).

7. Large scale devolution of powers now exercised by Westminster would require paid councillors because the amount of time needed for councillors to deal with a much wider range of duties would be too great to allow the job to be done on a part time basis with modest allowances and expenses to be paid.  Nor would this necessarily  be a matter of simply making the existing number of councillors full time. The volume of extra work might require more councillors.

8. The complaint raised about statutory instruments (SIs), namely, that Parliament cannot scrutinise them because of their number, is true,  but the idea that greater scrutiny would happen at a  lower level of government is fanciful. To begin with a large proportion of statutory instruments derive from  the EU. These cannot be devolved because the EU requires legislation to be uniform in a member state.  That means a large proportion of SIs  could not be subject to such local development and scrutiny.

The SIs  which arise from non-EU initiated Acts of Parliament could be developed at local level, but apart from any lack of ability amongst councillors, they would not have time to develop and scrutinise such SIs unless they became full time paid councillors.

9. The example given at the meeting of the USA and Germany as a decentralised states  which are powerful to dismiss the objection that the   devolution of powers to English local government  would weaken England do not stand up to scrutiny. They are federal states which were formed from   self-governing colonies in the case of the USA and from a menagerie of vastly different sovereign entities in the  case of Germany. Federalisation in those cases was a centralising not a decentralising  process.  What you and the other speakers yesterday were proposing for England is the exact  opposite.

The USA was founded on 13 colonies which had as their dominant culture that of England. Their foundations were English (at the time of the Revolution the historical section of the US census has  63% of the white American population as English by ancestry with a majority of the rest  from other parts of the British Isles). They had not only a common language, but English Common law and  English history to unite them. Indeed, the  main complaint of the leading revolutionaries before and during the American War of Independence was that they were Englishmen being denied English liberty (this was their main propaganda message).  The American Constitution was  heavily based on the Bill of Rights and the political philosophy of John Locke and their prime propagandist was the Englishman Thomas Paine.

Germany  has little history as a nation. It is formed of a large number of kingdoms, principalities, electorates, dukedoms,  counties and city-states.   Three of its  components, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony,  have a history of being important kingdoms in their own right.  Before the country’s unification in 1870 it was more of a cultural expression than a country.

10. The objections to  an English Parliament  were that they would result in an English government for the UK.  These objections dissolve if  there was a true  federal system with  each  of the four home countries having full home rule  with the federal govern dealing with a very restricted palette of policies: defence, foreign affairs, the management of the  pound, immigration, international trade and infrastructure projects which covered more than one of the home countries.

In such a system there would be no need for any more politicians or buildings. All that would be  required is for the House of Commons to become once again the English Parliament . The members of  the four national Parliaments would form the federal Parliament, which could be held in Westminster.  Something would have to be done with the Lords, either  abolition or  a transformation into a second chamber for England.

11.  The effect of your proposals for England would be, as I said at the meeting, to Balkanise England by stealth. It would be by stealth because you are representing it as something other than Balkanisation.

12. The English  wish to be masters in their own house. That means a national Parliament to provide both a focus for the English national interest and practical national direction for the country.  Theb have a particular need for such a body at the moment because the mainstream political parties are intent on selling England down the river whether the vote on Scottish independence is YES or NO. See

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

NB I shall place any reply from Blick here.

Posted in Devolution, Nationhood | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Camp of the Saints  tested against reality

English translation from the French by Norman Shapiro, Professor of French Romance Languages and Literatures Department 3089, Wesleyan University,  Connecticut, USA.   Email

The full English text can be found at

Robert Henderson

The French writer Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints  was  published in 1973. It is notorious or famous,  according to your politics,  for its story of  the Third World poor successfully invading the First World. The invaders come  armed not with guns and bombs,  but the potent weapons of  their huge  numbers and  the knowledge  that  the self-destructive  ideology of Western elites  – what we would  nowadays call  the “anti-racist” part of political correctness  – had warped the minds of most of those  elites  and also  those  of the masses of  the First World,  who  have been beaten into a state  where they either cannot see when their own interests are being sacrificed on the altar of one worldism or are cowed to the point where  they are paralysed into inaction.

At the time of its writing the  book  was set in twenty or so years in  the future. As the story opens a  fleet of 100 ramshackle ships  dubbed the Ganges Armada  gathers in India and soon  sets off  for Europe.  In the ships are one million of the subcontinent’s poor.  The intention of the Armada is to run  the ships aground on European shores – this is a strictly one way voyage – decant their cargo and present the land on which they descend  with a dilemma, namely,  allow the million  to invade or resist them with force with the ultimate sanction being mass slaughter of the invaders.

It takes  the ships fifty daysto arrive on the northern shores of the Mediterranean with Southern France as the final  destination.   As the Ganges Armada sails the Western elites are either  starry eyed about their dream of a world in which there is no us and them – no nation states, just Mankind  with a capital M –  or paralysed by the one-world propaganda which has been so assiduously fed to them.

Even those members of the elite who do not  believe in the One Worldism  have developed the  peculiar state of mind which arises  when  propaganda is not only incessant but gainsaying the propaganda is seen as   dangerous.  Such people do not embrace the content of the propaganda,  nor play along out of abject and immediate  fear. Rather, they sublimate the fear and develop a feeling that to rebut the propaganda is somehow wrong, although if asked they could not say exactly where the wrongness lay.   The state of mind is akin to that of a person who feels that a sick joke is inappropriate if expressed in company even if it makes them inwardly laugh.  In short, they have been conditioned to think of certain ideas and words as unclean for no other reason that they have been told over and over again that these things are beyond the Pale.   As for the masses,  they have variously bought into the propaganda,   had their true feelings suppressed  by the constant propaganda as described above or  been censored out of public life.

But human nature has not been utterly transformed.  There is the natural  human response to trouble of thinking it will not happen. While the Ganges Armada is a long way off heads are buried in the sand with non-pc thoughts such as that the ships will all be sunk by rough weather and seas  before they reach Europe because of their decrepit state.  Hardly anyone in a position of authority or influence is realistic and honest about the outcome of the Armada if it reaches its destination , namely,  that it will be an invasion which if not resisted will overturn the societies into which the human cargo,  full of misery  and entitlement, is decanted.  Instead they either preach the  message that  the arrival of the Armada will be a great blessing for it will allow the West to show its generosity of spirit by welcoming the invaders with open arms or indulge in the hypocrisy of secretly hoping the ships will founder at sea.

But the weather is unusually clement and the Ganges Armada comes closer and closer until its arrival off the French Mediterranean coast is imminent.  This causes the vast majority of the population of the South of France  to abandon any pretence of seeing the ships’  arrival as anything other than a threat  and the vast majority  flee to the North of France. This is only a temporary place of safety and before  long much of the French elite also hot-foot it  to Switzerland ,  thinking wrongly that it will be a haven against the One Worldist mania –eventually the Swiss fall prey to the same lack of will to resist the invaders and opening their borders to the invading Third World hordes.

The most naïve of the  One Worlders advance towards  the point at which the ships will make landfall in the sublimely silly expectation that they will be welcomed with open arms  by the invading one million. Once they  arrive the One Worldist simpletons are at best ignored and at worst attacked. They also find that they are at risk from the Third World immigrants and their descendants who are  already in France.

When the Ganges Armada finally  arrives and  sheds its cargo of one million there is little resistance because not only have most of the population fled , but the  French armed forces prove worthless, most having been robbed of the will to resist the invasion with  brute force by the ceaseless propaganda which has been fed to them.   The result is mass desertions.

The Ganges Armada is only the beginning.  Other fleets full of  Third World  misery to west upon the West  are being prepared. Nor is it just a seaborne invasion. Even as the Ganges Armada is at sea huge numbers of Chinese are massing on the Chinese border with the Asiatic Russian territories.

The novel ends with France overrun and the white native French population reduced to not exactly slavery but an irrelevance as power shifts to the non-white migrants who were either in France before the Armada arrived or are part of the Armada and its successor Third World invasion. The same general thing happens throughout the West, with the white native population everywhere becoming subordinate, becoming strangers in a strange land which was once theirs but is now utterly changed.

How prophetic is  the Camp of the Saints? Raspail understood when he published the  book that it would not  be prophetic in the detail of his imaginings,    but only in his  general  message. Indeed, in  his short preface  he admits that the detail of the action in the book is unrealistic: “I had wanted to write  a lengthy preface to explain my position and show that this is no wild-eyed dream; that even if the specific action, symbolic as it is, may seem farfetched, the fact remains that we are inevitably heading for something of the sort. We need only glance at the awesome population figures predicted for the year 2000, i.e., twenty-eight years from now: seven billion people, only nine hundred million of whom will be white.”

The invasion of the First World has not occurred as  dramatically as Raspail portrayed it. If it had perhaps even the Quisling politically correct  politicians of the West would have been forced to resist it with force,  both because they feared the fury of the people they supposedly represented and for fear of what the reality would be if such an invasion force had landed.  Instead the immigration  has  happened piecemeal, surreptitiously.  There has never been a dramatic massing  of Third World immigrants to gain entry to the First World Promised Land in one fell swoop, just an  incessant trickle through numerous points of entry. The nearest events  to what Raspail describes  are the various boat people  arriving in the West  from Latin America, Africa and Asia. But although large in aggregate,  each individual attempt at invasion contains hundreds at best and most commonly in numbers of less than ten. When seaborne they come not as an imposing  fleet but singly or as a small flotilla  at worst.  More commonly their illegal entry is by plane, train or motor vehicle, a handful at a time.

Where Raspail was  strikingly astute is his prediction of the immense weight of “anti-racist”  politically correct propaganda which the West has seen. He l catalogues all the politically correct grotesquery  we have today with definitive characters.   There are those in positions of authority and influence such Albert Dufort, the trendy radio journalist,  who prostitute themselves and their country by representing  the  Ganges Armada  and the other soon to be launched Third World invasion fleets, not as a threat but as a great opportunity to show their humanity.  There are those drawn from the ethnic minorities already well ensconced in French society such as the  Algerian Ben Suad (who goes by the name of Clement Dio)  whose lives are devoted to biting the hand that feeds them.  Perhaps most forlornly there are the French  young who have  had their natural tribal feeling sucked from them: “ That scorn of a people for  other races, the knowledge that one’s own is best, the triumphant joy at feeling oneself to be part of humanity’s finest — none of that had ever filled these youngsters’ addled brains, or at least so little that the monstrous cancer implanted in the Western conscience had quashed it in no time at all. In their case it wasn’t a matter of tender heart, but a morbid, contagious excess of sentiment, most interesting to find in the flesh and observe, at last, in action.”  Chapter 1

All of this is most impressive because when the book was written political correctness was in its  early stages.  In Britain  a couple of Race Relations Acts  had been passed in 1965 and 1968, and one worldism, especially with a Marxist tinge, was very popular in academia. But there was no general  propagandising of the British population and punishments for being non-pc about race and immigration had barely begun to get a hold on British society. Even in the United States, the most advanced of states promoting  “anti-racist” measures ,  measures such as “positive discrimination” and “affirmative action”  were still in their infancy.  The secular inquisition of individuals accused of pc “crimes” that we know today with people increasingly  being sent to prison or routinely losing their jobs  did not exist. The long march through the institutions still had a good  distance to go.

The book’s general argument that the West would be subject to massive immigration which would radically change their societies  is correct.  In Britain the last national census  in 2011 showed this for the population of England and Wales combined :

White was the majority ethnic group at 48.2 million in 2011 (86.0 per cent). Within this ethnic group, White British1 was the largest group at 45.1 million (80.5 per cent).

The White ethnic group accounted for 86.0 per cent of the usual resident population in 2011, a decrease from 91.3 per cent in 2001 and 94.1 per cent in 1991.

White British and White Irish decreased between 2001 and 2011. The remaining ethnic groups increased, Any Other White background had the largest increase of 1.1 million (1.8 percentage points).

The population of England and Wales at the time of the census was”  56,170,900 in mid-2011, with the population of England estimated to be 53,107,200 and the population of Wales estimated to be 3,063,800”. In a generation the white population, British and foreign , has dropped by 8% and those describing themselves as white British  were only 45 million out of 56 million.

There is also strong evidence that the idea of deliberately encouraging mass immigration of the unassimilable to change Western societies  has been practised by  Western Governments. Think of the words of a Tony Blair special adviser  Andrew Neather :

Eventually published in January 2001, the innocuously labelled “RDS Occasional Paper no. 67″, “Migration: an economic and social analysis” focused heavily on the labour market case.

But the earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.

I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date. That seemed to me to be a manoeuvre too far.

Ministers were very nervous about the whole thing. For despite Roche’s keenness to make her big speech and to be upfront, there was a reluctance elsewhere in government to discuss what increased immigration would mean, above all for Labour’s core white working-class vote.

This shone through even in the published report: the “social outcomes” it talks about are solely those for immigrants.

And this first-term immigration policy got no mention among the platitudes on the subject in Labour’s 1997 manifesto, headed Faster, Firmer, Fairer.

The results were dramatic. In 1995, 55,000 foreigners were granted the right to settle in the UK. By 2005 that had risen to 179,000; last year, with immigration falling thanks to the recession, it was 148,000.

In addition, hundreds of thousands of migrants have come from the new EU member states since 2004, most requiring neither visas nor permission to work or settle. The UK welcomed an estimated net 1.5 million immigrants in the decade to 2008.

In May 2014 the British  think tank Policy Exchange  published a report  on racial  and ethnic minorities entitled A portrait of modern Britain.  The headline grabbing statistic in the report is the claim that ”the five largest distinct Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities could potentially double from 8 million people or 14% of the population [now] to between 20-30% by the middle of the century. Over the past decade, the UK’s White population has remained roughly the same while the minority population has almost doubled. Black Africans and Bangladeshis are the fastest growing minority communities with ethnic minorities representing 25% of people aged under the age of five.”

Because immigrants and their descendants  have a substantially greater propensity to breed than that of the native white British population and that fact coupled with  the  much younger average age  of immigrants than that of native Britons means that the Policy Exchange projections are realistic.

What the Camp of the Saints should do is force people to accept at both an intellectual and emotional level what mass immigration represents.   It is a form of conquest,  and conquest of the most pernicious and fundamental   kind when it consists primarily of  those who cannot or will not fully assimilate into the native population. Oncesuch  immigrants are  in a country in large numbers,  the country is faced with two terrible choices:  either capitulate to the fact of  their conquest and allow the country to dissolve  into a motley multicultural mess occupying a single territory or forcibly remove the  immigrants and their descendants through expulsion or  massacre.  Nor should it be imagined that the dissolution of the country into racial/ethnic  blocs will mean an absence of war. History tells a single simple story about racially and ethnically divided territories: violence is an inevitable and ineradicable  part of such societies and the more the different groups within a territory begin to be of equal size the greater the risk of conflict.

The question which Raspail brings us to is this, is the invasion to be permitted through an excessive and fatal excess sentiment or is it to be  resisted through force, including in the final extremity the    mass killing of men , women and children,  or will the invaders be permitted to come, breed and settle the territory of the original population? Mass immigration is conquest, just as surely as an armed invasion is conquest.  A people who forgets that or buries their collective head in the political sand hoping the bogeyman will go away is doomed.

There are weaknesses in the novel purely as a literary work,  although the fact that I am commenting on an English translation should be born in mind. There is little character development, the dialogue is feeble,  the language flowery, there is a good deal of Gallic intellectual exhibitionism and a considerable amount of what I can only describe as a third person stream of consciousness.  The last I must confess is not to my taste. Raspail also gives his story a strong flavour of the leftist student protest of 1968 and the widespread attraction to the Western intelligentsia of Marxism, especially in its Troskyite manifestations.  This seems like another world today  even though the period  is only 40 odd years ago and may make the work seem alien or simply dated to some readers.

But these  weaknesses do not diminish the importance of the book, for it is  Raspail’s general  message which   matters. The message is important both because its general thrust is true and for the shameful fact that it is saying things which if expressed in a new work being offered for publication today would ensure that it did not find a mainstream publisher in the West.

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