The English must not take their future for granted

England has a truly remarkable history. It was here that Parliamentary government evolved; here that the Industrial Revolution began, here that the only world empire ever worthy of the name was acquired and ruled.  In the arts and sciences  the English can point to the likes of Shakespeare, Newton and Darwin; in martial matters Cromwell, Marlborough, Wellington and Nelson; in goverment the Pitts, Disraeli, Glasdstone and Churchill.  The country has remained unconquered for the better part of a thousand years  and her domestic history is one of remarkable peacefulness when put in the context of  the wider world.  The English are  one of the rare peoples who do not need to exaggerate their history because the reality is sufficient for pride.

But gratifying as our history is, we must never forget that we live in a dynamic universe. The past is but the past and  old glories no guardians of the future. As a matter of urgency the English must learn to resist the incessant insult  to which they are now subject. A nation may be likened to a man. If a man continually accepts insult or engages in  repeated self-denigration, we think him a poor fellow. At first such behaviour is embarrassing. Soon it becomes  irritating. Eventually it breeds a profound contempt and contempt is mother to all enormities. So it is with peoples.  On the simple ground of self-preservation, the English cannot afford to continue to permit the present gratuitous and  incontinent abuse offered by both foreigners and her own ruling elite nor tolerate the suppression of the English  voice.

How may the English reverse the present state? As with all peoples, the English need to be taught their history to give them a psychological habitation. Moreover, the myths of the England haters dissolve readily enough in the acid of fact.  The problem is that there is presently a conscious effort backed by the forces of the state to deny the English a proper knowledge of their history, or indeed any meaningful  knowledge at all. Incredible but true. The attack is two pronged: denigration and a concentration on historical trivia at the expense of the important.

The habit of denigration has a long history. Here is Friedrich Hayek’s description of the left of fifty years ago:

The Left intelligentsia…have so long worshipped foreign gods that they seem to have become almost incapable of seeing any good in the characteristic English institutions and traditions. That the moral values on which most of them pride themselves are largely the products of the institutions they are out to destroy, these socialists cannot, of course, admit. Sdaly, this attitude is unfortunately not confined to avowed socialists. Though one must hope that it is not true of the less vocal but more numerous cultivated Englishman, if one were to judge by the ideas which find expression in current political discussion and propaganda the Englishman who not only “the language speak that Shakespeare spake”, but also “the faith and morals hold that Milton held” seems to have almost vanished. [The Road to Serfdom]

What the left internationalists did not have fifty odd years ago was control of education or a supremacy in politics and the media. They now possess this utterly. The concentration on trivia is of more recent birth and had its roots in the late fifties and early sixties. Prior to then, complaints about an over concentration on “Kings and Queens” history existed, but no one in the academic world seriously suggested that such history was unimportant. That has now gone. Even pupils who have taken A-Level history know next to nothing. Facts and chronology have been replaced by “historical empathy” and investigative skills. Where once pupils would have learnt of Henry V, Wellington and the Great Reform Bill, they are now asked to imagine that they are a peasant in 14th Century England or an African slave on a slaver. The results of such “empathy” are not judged in relation to the historical record, but as exercises in their  own right. Whatever this is, it is not historical understanding. Because history teaching has been removed from historical facts, the assessment of the work of those taught becomes nothing more than the opinion of the teacher. This  inevitably results in the prejudices of the teacher being reflected in their presentation and marking. In the present  climate of opinion within British education this means liberal political correctness wins the day. Thus history  teaching, and the teaching of other subjects such as geography which can be given a PC colouring, has become no  better than propaganda. This would be unfortunate if the propaganda promoted English history and culture uncritically. But to have anti-English propaganda in English schools and universities is positively suicidal. That it is state policy is barely credible.

The extent to which the state has embraced the politically correct, anti-British line is illustrated by this letter to the Daily Telegraph from Chris McGovern when director of the History Curriculum Association, which campaigns against the failure to teach British history fairly or comprehensively:

SIR–The landmarks of British history have become optional parts the national curriculum (report Sept. 10). They appear only as italicised examples of what is permissible to teach.

However, this permission is offered in guarded terms. A guidance letter already sent to every school in the country states: “… we would also like to emphasise that it is very much up to individual schools to determine whether or not to use the italicised examples”. However, there is no such equivocation about teaching history through a host of politically correct social themes. Failure to filter history through such perspectives as gender, race, agent and cultural diversity will be in breach of the law. (Sunday Telegraph 4/12/94).

That was the state of affirs 16 years ago. It  has worsened considerably since. How have we reached this state? The root of it was in the mentality which Hayek noticed fifty years ago, but it  required mass immigration for its realisation as a state policy. Multiculturalism was embraced as a mainstream  political ideal in the late 1970s because politicians did not know what to do about mass immigration and its consequences.  Both Labour and the Conservatives initially embraced the French solution to racial tension, namely integration. But by the end of the seventies integration was deemed by the our elite to be a failure at best and oppression at worst.  Multiculturalism was its successor. Once it became the new official doctrine, the many eager Anglophobic and internationalist hands in British education and the mass media were free to give reign to their natural instincts.

Apart from the denigration and underplaying of English history and culture, the espousal of multiculturalism has had  profound effects on English society. By continually denigrating and belittling the English, ethnic minorities have been encouraged to develop a contempt and hatred for England. It is the most consistent form of incitement to racial hatred within these shores, made all the more dangerous by its espousal by the British state and elite.

The practical effects are the creation of a grievance culture within the various ethnic minorities and a belief that English laws and customs may be ignored with impunity, a belief perhaps best exemplified by the Muslim attack on free expression. The position is made worse in that instance by the existence of the Race Relations Act, which is an attack  on one of the things Englishmen have long prized: namely the right to say what one wants without fear of the criminal law.

If England is to survive as more than a geographical entity, it is essential that the young be imprinted with a knowledge  of the immense achievements of Britain in general and England in particular. This need not mean the creation of a  vulgar, contrived chauvinism for there is so much of  undeniable value in Britain’s past that a fictionalised and bombastic history is unnecessary. For example, why not base GCSE history teaching on a core of the development of the English language, the history of science and technology (with special emphasis on the industrial revolution), the  development of the British constitution and the growth and administration of Empire? Multiculturalism should be  abolished in the schools as a matter of policy.

No nation can maintain itself if it does not have a profound sense of its worth. In a healthy society this sense of worth  simply exists and children imbibe it unconsciously. Our society has been so corrupted by the liberal’s hatred of his own culture that a conscious programme of cultural imprinting is necessary. If it is not done, how long will it be before English children express surprise when told they are speaking English and not American? The corrosion of English society can only be halted if pride of England and her achievements is instilled in the young.

The words of the younger Pitt in 1783 (following the disaster of the American War of Independence) seem peculiarly  apt for our time:

We must recollect … what is we have at stake, what it is we have to contend for. It is for our  property, it is for our liberty, it is for our independence, nay, for our existence as a nation; it is for our character, it is for our very name as

Englishmen, it is for everything dear and valuable to man on this side of the grave.

The English must learn to attend to their own interests for reasons of simple preservation. They may best do this by the creation of an English Parliament to provide England with a political and public voice. Only when that is done, may the liberal censorship of the ordinary men and women of England be broken.

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8 Responses to The English must not take their future for granted

  1. Barry says:

    Have to say this piece is superbly written..and so very true..lets stand up ans stand up NOW

  2. Alexandra says:

    It is indeed time that an English Parliament was set up. As to education, a state schooling system will almost inevitably be collectivist in its philosophy. When state schooling was introduced in England (in around 1870 I think) many parents strongly opposed it. They were devout Christians, and wanted their children to receive a Christian education. At this time, most children were receiving education, and mainly through the churches. The state schools promoted patriotism, but of a rather excessive kind. However, sometime after WWI, this gave way to socialism as the dominant ideology in state schools. That has been so ever since. One answer would be to demand tax relief for school fees ( up to some limit) or to demand vouchers that parents could use to pay the schools, or maybe just the teachers, of their choice.

  3. Robert says:

    A great article about our achievenments in England but very rose-tinted, and the type of opium that keeps all people in England (of whatever background or origin or faith) from protesting. The idea that England was the world’s first modern democracy is a complete myth, Magna Carta, The Bill of Rights and so on were to protect only the English Elite (who eventually became the British elite we all despise). The great mass of English people were hardly even considered English by these elite even before 1707.

    What about English democracy? With an unelected House of Lords, an unelected executive and only a indirectly elected House of Commons, just where is England’s democracy? And what is there to be proud of the Industrial Revolution when English children and women worked 18 hours a day, were sent down mines and worked in the most appaling conditions? We are so class-ridden that most of our Prime Ministers in history have come from the aristocracy!

    England has been successfully invaded many times, by the Danish and Poles in 1016, by the Norman French in 1066 and 1215, by the Welsh in 1485, by the Dutch in 1688 (who gave us the Bank of England and Bill of Rights). We haven’t had an English King of England since 1016(with the brief exception of Edward the Confessor).

    Our laws and language have been a great achievement but only imposed by imperialism, I am not sure if there is anything inherently unique about the English language.

    I am not criticizing this great article, but I feel that we in England often seem trapped in the past, mesmerized by myths of our achievements (of which most English people suffered and often paid with their lives) which were actually enjoyed only by a small elite. I want a new English Parliament, an English Prime Minister, and English independence. Perhaps then, for the first time in history, and decades after other countries became democracies, England might have the first taste of democracy it has ever known in its existence.

    • I did not claim the English invented democracy. I said they invented representative government which is undoubtedly true.
      Your claim that the Bill of Rights defended only the elite is self-evidently wrong because it was law which applied to all. There were no special privileges restricted to a class granted by the Bill.
      The idea that the English elite before 1707 did not consider the masses as English is simply bizarre. I suggest you read Wingfield Stratord’s The history of English patrotism.
      As for successful invasion, there has been none since 1066. The Tudor’s were about as Welsh as roast beef, Henry Tudor being by descent at best one quarter Welsh and largely raised at the English court; William was invited into England in 1688 and was at the will of Parliament as the Bill of Rights emphatically showed.
      As for having English monarchs, the normal and natural behaviour of monarchs is to marry other Royals which means they marry foreigners. Moreover, being English is a matter of imprinting not genetics and barring James I, William III and the first two Georges, English monarchs have been raised wholly or largely in England since the 13th century.

  4. englishinengland says:

    I am appalled at how little people in England know about their own country’s history. Appalled but not surprised. I went to school during the 80s and early 90s and was taught little about English/British history. Everything I know has been through my own efforts to learn, mostly after I left school.

    I don’t go in for conspiracies, but I do feel there has been a deliberate policy on behalf of successive governments to ensure English boys and girls know little about English history. Why is for other people to answer, but it probably has something to do with a self-loathing British elite who wish to remodel English society in their own image: guilt ridden, shame faced and embarassed about their country.

    One more comment (more properly a question) is I’d like to know how Scottish schools teach history, and how much importance they place in teaching from a Scottish (rather than British) perspective.

  5. Alexandra says:

    Greetings from Scotland. I did not grow up in Scotland, although I live here now. My Scottish friends mostly consider that they did not learn much Scottish history at school. They tend to think that they probably did learn something about English history, if not very much. Many of them are Scottish Nationalists, as am I, so they do know about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, but I think that this knowledge came from talking to other nationalists, and doing some reading for themselves. Scottish schools have never promoted Scottish nationalism, as far as I know, so the survival of nationalism in Scotland owes little or nothing to schooling.

    • englishinengland says:

      I’m surprised at that, Alexandra. But at least Scottish people are willing to be proud of their country, unlike many of their English counterparts.

      Like some of your friends I am a self-taught nationalist. I just wish there were as many English people as there are Scots willing to put some effort into learning a little of the history of their own country.

  6. Pingback: England: forgetting the past jeopardises the future « Churchmouse Campanologist

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