Salmond vs Darling round 2 – The  shameless chancer versus the trembling incompetent

Robert Henderson

The second Darling vs Salmond debate on 25 August was even more depressing than the first. It might have been thought that having gone through one debate the palpable nervousness both showed the first time round  would have been largely gone.  In the event Salmond  was less nervous,  but Darling was  embarrassingly anxious.

Whoever thought Darling was a safe pair of hands for this type of work was profoundly wrong. The man is woefully ill equipped for a one-to one-debate. Throughout he frequently fell into  stuttering and even when he did not – which was primarily when he was reading from prepared notes – his delivery was leaden. When Salmond attacked him Darling  seemed peevish; when the audience derided him or asked insulting questions he was utterly at sea. (example audience comment: “I think the  fundamental difference here is that the YES campaign are fighting passionately for the future of  Scotland; Alastair Darling and others are fighting passionately for their jobs”)  Darling  spent much of the debate staring blankly ahead  like a rabbit caught in a car’s headlights while Salmond stood looking at him grinning insultingly. Darling also waved his hands for emphasis far too much, while  his habit of pointing at Salmond was a sorry mistake.

Darling also got his strategy wrong by concentrating heavily, almost obsessively,  on the point which he had laboured in the first debate,  namely, what Salmond would do if there was a vote for independence and Scotland was denied a currency union with the rest of the UK .  This is a seriously difficult question for Salmond,  but there  are only so many times a debating opponent can be prodded with the same weapon before the audience becomes restive, and restive is what they became here. The nadir of this Darling obsession came when the debate reached the section where the two politicians questioned each other. What was Darling’s first question? You’ve guessed it:  “What is your plan B for the currency?”  It was an open goal for Salmond who immediately taunted Darling with being a one-trick pony.

The way Darling asked  questions was also feeble. Not only did he keep repeating the same things, but time and again he allowed Salmond to ask him questions when he, Darling,  was supposed to be grilling Salmond. nNor did Darling seemed to have prepared himself properly,  because he was constantly running into trouble with  questions for which there was a perfectly reasonable answer, an answer which should have been anticipated.  For example, Darling was asked what his choice of the best  currency for an independent  Scotland would be if a currency union was not available. That should have been his cue to say any of the alternatives on offer was  unpalatable or that none was better than the others  and use the opportunity to run through the various weaknesses of the currencies on offer: new currency, sterlingisation and joining the Euro. Instead Darling kept on feebly saying he would not choose anything which was second best for Scotland. That of course led to calls for him to explain why he did not back a currency union which was, of course, the best bet.

Apart from  his personal deficiencies and misjudgement of which subjects to raise, Darling was at a disadvantage because he is a Scot, a Labour MP  and the last Labour Chancellor.  The fact that he is a Scot means he is vulnerable to any question which places him in a position where he if he answered honestly he might be portrayed as having no confidence in Scotland. In the first debate when Salmond asked Darling  whether Darling believed Scotland could go it alone, Darling floundered around saying he thought Scotland could but it would not be the best thing for Scotland. This allowed Salmond to keep on pressing him by asking why he had no confidence in Scotland. Here, Darling  allowed himself to be lured into flatly admitting that Scotland could use the Pound if they chose to use it because the Pound  is  a freely traded and convertible currency. This had Salmond bouncing around shrieking that Darling had said Scotland could use the Pound. Darling  desperately tried to mend the damage by pointing out that it would mean having no say on how the Pound was managed or having a central bank to act as lender of the last resort, but the damage was done with his initial admission without qualification.

The fact that Darling is a Scot also meant that he could not easily raise the question of the interests of the rest of the UK  for any suggestion that he was concerned more for the rest of the UK than Scotland  risks accusations of being a  Quisling in the service of England. Consequently,, those interests were only raised very briefly when Salmond tried the “will of the Scottish” people gambit again in an attempt to get  Darling to agree that if there is a YES vote  that would mean Salmond would have a mandate to insist on a currency union with the rest of the UK  (Go into recording of the debate at 21 minutes)   Darling  did point out that sharing the Pound with Scotland might not be the “will of the rest of the UK”.

When Salmond repeated his threat  that  Scotland’s liability for a proportionate share of the UK national debt would be repudiated  if a currency union was refused, Darling did not do the obvious, say  that  Scotland could not have their independence  legally unless the Westminster Parliament repealed the Act of Union.  No taking on a proportionate share of the debts, no repeal of the Act of Union.   Darling  could also have pointed out that the rest of the UK could block Scotland’s entry into the EU if the debt was not taken on, but failed to do so.

Being the last Labour Chancellor also allowed Salmond to attack Darling on the grounds of his economic competence because of the vast addition to the National Debt built up under his chancellorship and the massive budget deficit he left the coalition.  Being a Labour MP left him open to jibes about  being in bed with the Tories just because he was putting the case to stay within the Union.

There was also two other  built-in advantages for Salmond which had nothing to do with Darling’s shortcomings . 200 of the  audience of  220  was supposedly scientifically chosen by the polling organisation ComRes  to reflect the balance of YES, NOs and Don’t Knows in the Scottish electorate.  The remaining 20 , again supposedly chosen to reflect the balance of opinion in Scotland, were chosen by the BBC from those who had sent questions in prior to the debate.  Whether the selection was honestly and competently made to reflect the balance of opinion, judging by the audience reaction there seemed to be more YES  than NO  people in the audience.  The YES camp certainly made a great deal of noise while the NO camp was pretty quiet.

Darling’s final handicap was the fact that debate’s moderator  Glenn Campbell  behaved in a way which intentionally or not  favoured Salmond.  Arguably ten of the thirteen questions  from the audience came from committed YES voters. It is rather difficult to understand how simple chance could have produced such a bias to one side of the debate.  In addition Campbell made only half-hearted attempts  to stop  Salmond and Darling interrupting one another. As Salmond was the prime culprit,  this gave him advantage, because whenever he interrupted he almost invariably went into a long riff which was rarely cut short by Campbell.  When Darling interrupted it was generally to correct Salmond on a point of fact and his interruptions were generally short. Moreover,  Darling did his cause no favours by allowing himself to look visibly put out by questions which were essentially crude abuse.

Salmond’s  strategy in the second debate was straightforward: to make an emotional appeal to Scots patriotism as often as possible whilst giving as little detail  as he could get away with of what would happen if there was a YES vote.   He largely succeeded  because of Darling’s truly dreadful performance and Campbell’s ineffective moderation, although his refusal to tie down the currency question continued to cause him discomfort and he got himself into a mess when answering a question about the loss of jobs if the Trident nuclear subs and missiles were removed from the Clyde as the SNP promised.  (To the latter question Salmond claimed that the Trident Base would become the centre of Scotland’s independent defence force   and this would  make up for the loss of Trident. On being pressed for details of how that could be, he did his usual, simply claiming it was so.  )

Some important issues other than the currency and the Nuclear deterrent were raised, the oil and gas reserves (a shouting match with different figures being thrown around), the NHS  (Salmond had to admit that Scotland could not be forced to privatise the NHS because they controlled the Scottish part of it) and the entry of an independent Scotland into the EU (Salmond simply asserted that the EU would let Scotland join without being bound by the requirements of new members such as membership of the Euro).  Important issues al, but l treated in a superficial fashion.

What effect did the debate have? An ICM Poll for the Guardian shortly after the debate ended gave the debate 71% to 29% to Salmond. However, the sample was unscientific, viz: ‘ICM,  said the sample of 505 adults was not representative of the Scottish electorate at large and support for independence was “identical” before and after the debate. ‘ 

That there has been no radical shift is unsurprising because of the unsatisfactory nature of the debates which provided all too little hard information. For the onlooker,  the two debates could almost be reduced to the unwillingness  or inability of Salmond to address the currency question meaningfully  and Darling’s nervousness and general ineptitude  which showed all too bleakly  just how much modern politicians rely on the recital of set positions and are unable to think on their feet.    As  vehicles for informing the voters in the referendum they were next to worthless.

All in all, a most dismal display of the meagre quality of our politicians.

 

See also

http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/alex-salmond-is-a-chancer-in-the-mould-of-paterson-and-law/

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What is treason today?

A vital part of the liberal internationalist plot to destroy Britain as an independent nation is the destruction of the concept of treason. They do this the attempt through a tidal wave of propaganda about the joys of diversity, the incessant reciting of mantras such as that “we live in a globalised world” , the signing of treaties which embroil Britain in supra-national authority and the repeal of laws relating to treason. (see http://www.hmg.gov.uk/epetition-responses/petition-view.aspx?epref=TreasonAmend as an example of the present government’s mentality).

A concept of treason is fundamental to every society because it sets the bounds of loyalty. Allow that there is no difference between a native of a state and a foreigner, as the liberal internationalist does in practice, and the coherence of a society is destroyed which puts its very existence under threat.

This is particularly pertinent now because of the emergence of large numbers of British born Muslims showing unambiguously their rejection of British society through violence and threatened violence.

The article below examines what constitutes treason today.  It was published in Right Now! magazine in 2001.
What is treason today?

Robert Henderson

Treason is a famously slippery word, not least for the reason enshrined in the oft-quoted but, because it contains a savage truth, eternally potent rhyme:
Treason never prospers,
What’s the reason?
For if it does
None dare call it treason.

Yet elusive as it is, treason clearly has an objective reality, a reality, moreover, whose essence is changeless. That quality is betrayal which goes beyond the personal. If a friend betrays you to another friend that is not treason. If a fellow countryman betrays you to an occupying power that is treason.

As a legal concept, treason has been redrawn during the past millennium. In a dynastic context, where the king is king in executive fact as well as name, treason is the betrayal of the sovereign by a person who owes him allegiance. That betrayal may be through disloyalty or an attempt to harm the person of the monarch (and generally his family). By extension, the same applies to those to whom the monarch’s executive power is delegated. Kill the King’s man and you attack the King.

But treason in dynastic circumstances was not a straightforward matter of simply plotting against the king or attempting harm to the king’s person or doing the same to his representatives. A great noble or courtier close to the king might well lose his head through being deemed to have given “evil counsel” to the monarch, even though that counsel had been accepted and acted upon by the king. The “evil counsellor” would be blamed (and probably executed) to ensure that the monarch was not held to account.
The idea of “evil counsel” had an important effect in English constitutional development and a consequent broadening of the idea of treason. Evil counsellors were generally identified not by the king but by others, most notably Parliament. Thus the practical application of the idea of the evil counsellor both reinforced the idea that the monarch was not a completely independent agent and created the idea that any man involved in politics owed not merely his formal loyalty to the king (and later the people), but also should take care to act and speak in a way which would not be to the disadvantage of the king and his subjects.

The notion of treason evolved in Europe because monarchs have rarely if ever been able to act indiscriminately in their own interests. Indeed, European monarchs have been remarkably unsuccessful in creating efficient and lasting despotisms. Because of that, their subjects never truly succumbed to politically debilitating ideas such as the divine right of kings. Rather they expected of a king duty as well self-promotion and satisfaction. The concept of the unjust prince was well developed by 1100 and culminated in the doctrine of tyranicide developed by John of Salisbury in the 12th Century. Here is Manegold of Lautenbach writing in the 11th Century:

No man can make himself emperor or king; a people sets a man over it to the end that he may rule justly, giving to every man his own, aiding good men and coercing bad, in short, that he may give justice to all men. If then he violates the agreement according to which he was chosen, disturbing and confounding the very things which be was meant to put in order, reason dictates that he absolves the people from their obedience, especially when he has himself first broken the faith which bound him and the people together.*

* Quoted by A.J. and R.W. Carlyle in A history of Medieval Political Theory in the West , Vol. III, p. 164, n. 1.

For Manegold a people’s allegiance to its ruler is a promise support him in his lawful undertakings and is consequently void in the case of a tyrant. In a sense, a tyrant committed treason by dishonouring the office of monarch and its implied and inherent obligations.

Restraints on the monarch were given formal status by their coronation oaths. In England, Magna Carta (1215) moved matters on to another stage where a monarch was forced to agree to direct constraints on his power. The example of Magna Carta in turn led to the development of the English Parliament, which moved from a petitioning and tax granting body in the 14th century to the point where it practically, if not in theory, usurped the power of the king.

As the power of monarchs waned, the emphasis of who was betrayed gradually moved to the idea that the entire population of a country was an entity in itself and betrayal of that entity amounted to treason. The shift from monarch to people was completed with the advent of the formally democratic state, where, in theory at least, the general population became the sovereign.

Of what does treason consist in the formally democratic nation state? Generally it must be the conscious decision to act in a way which will weaken the integrity of the nation state. Betrayal in the old manner of spying or acting for an enemy in war is still part of that. But the primary treason in the modern formally democratic state is more insidious. It is the abrogation of the sovereignty of the nation state by immersement in larger political entities and through the signing of treaties which restrict the opportunity for national self-determination.

This raises an interesting question, namely can an elected politician commit treason if the treasonable activity is part of an election manifesto or it is put to a referendum? The textbook answer would be that ultimate sovereignty in a formal democracy lies practically and morally, if not always legally, with the electorate. An electorate which elects a party or individual on a manifesto or votes yes in a referendum is considered to be tacitly granting the policy legitimacy. However, there are strong objections to this interpretation.

The first is that the treasonable activity may be misrepresented by the party or politician. A classic example of this is Britain’s entry into what is now the European Union (EU). The British electorate were undeniably deliberately misled by the 1970 Tory manifesto into believing that they were merely joining a free trade area.

They were deliberately misled again during the 1975 referendum on Britain’s continued membership. They have been deliberately misled consistently in the 35 years since the referendum, being told by every government that British sovereignty is not being lost, when massive amounts have been ceded. That is treason by any meaningful definition that has ever been used in the past.

But what if all the sovereignty which had been ceded to the EU had been done after it was presently honestly to the electorate? Suppose every change had been the subject of a referendum. Suppose those referendums had been conducted with absolutely fairness.What then? Here the old idea of “evil counsellors” has utility. In the modern formal democracy, politicians play the role of counsellors. Where their counsel is bad and the results of it disadvantages the people to which they owe their good sense and loyalty, then that might be said to be treasonable. Our representatives owe us their best judgement and courage. If they act in a way which is compromised by considerations other than their honest judgement and that action has results which are treasonable, they are guilty of treason. Not only that, but the representative must be honest about the foreseeable consequences of what they propose. In the representative’s special position, treason may be committed though acts of omission as well as commission, through not pointing out consequences.

What are the great particular treasons of our time? They can be defined in terms of what causes damage to the viability of the nation state. In the case of Britain, the most dramatic formal act of damaging the nation state has been our membership of the EU. But that is only one of a number of serious attacks on the British state and people. The permitting of mass immigration is a profound form of treason, for mass immigration is a form of conquest. North America is now dominated by the white man because of a slow accretion of settlement not through sudden and violent conquest. To that treason is linked its sister act, the attempted cultural cleansing of the native population of Britain in general and the English in particular, through the wilful denigration of the native population of this country, the deliberate denial to them of their history in our schools and the suppression of dissent through the power of the state, willingly assisted by the mass media.

To those may be added these others which are patently against our interests. Entering into treaties which remove freedom of action from the country, for example those governing membership of the World Trade Organisation. The failure to maintain the country’s military capacity and the use of what military we have in foreign adventures in which Britain has no natural interest. The deliberate refusal to ensure that the country’s economic capacity can supply all essential items in time of emergency, in particular the securing of the food supplies. The spending of taxpayers’ money on foreign peoples. All these treasons, and those of the preceding paragraphs, apply to a lesser or greater degree throughout the First World.

Our own time has brought a new problem of definition to treason. The elite ideology of the moment is Liberal Internationalism. This might seem to be a direct challenge to the very idea of treason, for where neither the primacy of the nation nor the authority of a sovereign is recognised, against whom is treason committed? The answer is that for the Liberal Internationalist, treason is any dissent from his ideology. Treason has put on totalitarian clothes.

Unfortunately, the Liberal Internationalist propaganda has been so successful that treason has an old fashioned ring to the modern Briton. It is mocked along with the very idea of patriotism. So long have the British been at peace, so safe does everyday life seem, so ruthlessly have the liberal elite and their educational and media nomenclatura promoted the idea that the time of the nation state is passed, that even naturally patriotic Britons find the idea of treason an uncomfortable one.

That is a mortally dangerous because a belief that treason may be committed is vitally important if we wish to maintain our independence. It is so because the nation state requires a concept of treason as a foundation of its integrity. We desperately need to understand the nature of treason and act upon it for our own protection.

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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.

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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.

Scotland

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 http://results.glasgow2014.com/nation/SCO/scotland.html

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.

Wales

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 : http://results.glasgow2014.com/nation/WAL/wales.html

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.

Football

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.

Cricket

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.

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See also

http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/english-football-became-foreign-football-played-in-england/

http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/is-it-in-the-blood-and-the-hypocrisy-of-the-media/

http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/is-it-in-the-blood-peter-oborne-and-the-question-of-englishness/

 

Posted in Culture, Immigration, Nationhood, Sport | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Conclusion

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

http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/the-english-white-working-class-and-the-british-elite-from-the-salt-of-the-earth-to-the-scum-of-the-earth/

 

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