The producer and co-originator of the long running ITV series Midsomer Murders Brian True-May has entered the pantheon of liberal villains. His “crimes” were the capital ones of having, by implication, defined being white as part of being English whilst unashamedly relishing and celebrating Englishness.
This un-pc atrocity was committed in an interview with the current issue of the Radio Times. (http://www.radiotimes.com/blogs/1215-midsomer-murders-producer-brian-true-may-no-ethnic-minorities-suspended/) . True-May first pointed out that black and brown faces would have been inappropriate in an English village because ‘”it wouldn’t be the English village” that viewers know and love… We are a cosmopolitan society in this country, but if you watch Midsomer you wouldn’t think so. I’ve never been picked up on that, but quite honestly I wouldn’t want to change it.”
‘Asked what he meant by “cosmopolitan”, Mr True-May, 65, replied: “Well, we just don’t have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn’t be the English village with them. It just wouldn’t work. Suddenly we might be in Slough. Ironically, Causton [the town in Midsomer Murders] is supposed to be Slough. And if you went to Slough you wouldn’t see a white face there.
‘”We’re the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way.”’ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8381769/Midsomer-Murders-creator-suspended-after-calling-show-the-last-bastion-of-Englishness.html)
The show has a steady audience of around six million and is sold to 231 territories around the world, a popularity True-May believes rests on its Englishness: “When I talk to people and other nations they love John Nettles, but they also love the premise of the show. They love the perceived English genteel eccentricity. It’s not British. It’s very English.” (Ibid)
True-May’s behaviour has (natch) led to an eruption of liberal posturing of Tambora proportions as the usual media suspects queue up to insist the man is thrown into the outer darkness. ITV solemnly announced: “We are shocked and appalled at these personal comments by Brian True-May which are absolutely not shared by anyone at ITV. We are in urgent discussions with All3Media, the producer of Midsomer Murders, who have informed us that they have launched an immediate investigation into the matter and have suspended Mr True-May pending the outcome.” (Ibid).
Why are liberals so fanatical in their suppression of English self-expression? To the proverbial Martian it might seem very odd because they are constantly saying how weak a plant is Englishness . Here is a good example:
“Six hundred kids in schools in four English towns were asked about their identity in a Joseph Rowntree Foundation study to be published on Wednesday. Those from ethnic minorities didn’t hesitate with their answers – black, Pakistani Muslim, Muslim, Asian – while the white majority were left stumbling. “I’m sort of tanned,” said one. “I’ve aquamarine eyes,” said another. Some of the white kids could describe their heritage – “I’m a quarter Scottish” or “I’m an eighth Japanese” – but they couldn’t label the identity it gave them. Being “English” meant nothing to them.” Madeleine Bunting (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/mar/14/britishidentity.politicalcolumnists)
It is a question of protesting too much. You do not attack that which is weak. Liberals attack Englishness and the English because they fear its strength. Here are a few choice examples of such elite hatred and fear:
‘English had used their “propensity to violence” to “subjugate Ireland, Wales and Scotland”. He said: “Then we used it in Europe and with our Empire, so I think what you have within the UK is three small nations in terms of their population who’ve been over the centuries under the cosh of the English….”
“There is a particular problem with some people’s view of Englishness. There is a distorted, incomplete idea of what it is to be patriotic for those in England, which is different from that in Wales or Scotland or Ireland.”
“We’ve had all the global baggage of the empire and a lot of jingoism here. And I think it’s very important that we redefine not only what it means to be British, but also what it means to be English.” Jack Straw when Home Secretary on BBC Radio 4’s “Brits about what it means to be British” (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/distorted-view-of-englishness-causes-racism–straw-707325.html)
“I think English nationalism is the most dangerous of all forms of nationalism that can arise within the United Kingdom, because England is five-sixths of the population of the UK.” William Hague when Tory leader (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/hague-and-straw-warn-of-dangers-in-aggressive-english-nationalism-728492.html)
“I don’t care whether pandering to English Nationalism is a vote winner. The very fact that in my two years as leader I haven’t ripped open the Barnett Formula and wandered round England waving a banner shows you that I am a very convinced Unionist and I’m not going to play those games. — David Cameron Speech in the Scottish Parliament, BBC, 14 May 2010”
“…it has only been in the last five years or so that I have heard people in my constituency telling me, “I am not British – I am English”. That worries me. British identity is based on and anchored in its political and legal institutions and this enables it to take in new entrants more easily than it would be if being a member of a nation were to be defined by blood. But a democratic polity will only work if citizens’ identification is with the community as a whole, or at least with the shared process, which overrides their loyalty to a segment. “ Gisela Stuart German-born Labour MP from Birmingham in 2005. (http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-opening/trust_3030.jsp)
A catalogue of further anti-English comments by politicians and mediafolk can be found at https://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/the-british-elite-express-their-hatred-and-fear-of-england/
To acknowledge the power and strength of Englishness and England’s dominance within the UK threatens three prime positions supported overtly or tacitly by Britain’s political elite: membership of the EU, unlimited immigration and the imposition of the totalitarian ideology which is political correctness. In addition, Labour and the LibDems have the venal reason of not wanting an independent voice because so much of their electoral strength is drawn from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If the English were allowed a Parliament this would begin the shattering of the liberal internationalist consensus and that would mean the questions of Britain’s sovereignty, the reality of what mass immigration has meant and the tyranny of political correctness would become truly live political questions and politicians elected in England would have to address, just as the assemblies in the Celtic Fringe do, the interests of England not the UK as a whole. This would include reducing or wholly removing the subsidies England sends to the other home countries each year. (Simply reducing the Treasury per capita payments to the Celts to the same level as those in England would save England around £16 billion pa at present rates).
But an England with its own Parliament and government would be a very different beast from the other devolved assemblies. Because of the great predominance of wealth and population in England (around 84% of the UK population) the English Parliament and government England would in practice be the determining political power in the UK. The Celtic Fringe would not be able force the continuation of the subsidies English taxpayers are currently forced to pay; if England wished to leave the EU it would happen; if England decided there was to be an end mass immigration it would happen.
Such things would be far from improbable if there was an English government, because the very existence of politicians having to concentrate on English interests would produce a political class with a different mentality to either that of the present UK national politicians or those in the devolved assemblies. Unlike the existing devolved assemblies, these would be politicians representing a country which paid its own way rather than held its hand for subsidies from outside its borders. Nor would they have to concern themselves with placating the peoples of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as the present UK government is forced to do. Most importantly, those forming an English government would, even if they only had the present powers of the Scottish Parliament, spend the large majority of the UK budget.
It is the prospect of these possibilities which makes the British political class and their fellow travellers in the media and all other positions of power and influence within the country so determined to prevent the English having a political voice.
There is a gross imbalance in the latitude permitted by Britain’s political elite to ethnic minorities and to the English in their self-definitions. Non-white ethnic minorities are allowed to define themselves as they wish. If someone is black it is not frowned upon if they define themselves as African, Jamaican or Nigerian even if they have been born here. A person whose antecedents lie in the sub-continent can define themselves as Asian, Indian, Pakistani without fear of being described as racist. A person born of Chinese parents will routinely describe themselves as Chinese. Those are all de facto racial descriptions, because the people who describe themselves so do so on the basis of belonging to broad racial types. That is all True-May has done.
How do ethnic minorities view the programme? The British Film Institute (BFI) funded research which produced a report in 2006 entitled “Media Culture: The Social Organisation of Media Practices in Contemporary Britain” (http://www.bfi.org.uk/about/pdf/social-org-media-practices.pdf). This found that amongst ethnic minorities “popular dramas like Midsomer Murders and A Touch of Frost are strikingly unpopular, and – although this is not shown in the Chart – more so on the part of those born in Britain.” (p26) and a “ lack of interest in television programmes with strongly white, middle-England associations (Midsomer Murders, A Touch of Frost)” with a “ strongly negative reaction on the part of minority groups to the classic signature of ‘quality’ British cinema – costume dramas and literary adaptations”. (p34)