Distorting St George’s day

11:00 am - February 21st 2009

by David Semple    

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To the dismay of the hysterical anti-PC brigade in Sandwell, the local council has cancelled funding for a St. George’s Day parade. Suddenly a cause celebre, the issue is discussed on Stormfront, and has become part of a campaign by nationalist nutjobs, the English Democrats.

This news has been picked up by our own Bob Piper and has received stinging rebuke from Tory Harry Phibbs of Conservative Home. One wonders if Councillor Phibbs knows what sort of company he is keeping on the issue. He should do, if he reads his own comment box.

It has always seemed something of an irony that the imagery adopted by parts of the far right in the UK has been of a mythical individual, a foreigner, who never visited England.

That England celebrates St. George’s Day as its national day has always struck me as somewhat absurd, bearing in mind the number of eminent Saints who graced these shores: the healing St. Cuthbert, the humble St. Thomas Becket who stood up to autocracy, or the learned humanist, Thomas More.

Why we have to have a Saint’s day as a national day is a debate for another time, but suffice it to say that the militaristic St. George complements the vision the political Right have of British history. In particular, it’s easy to see the difference between the Irish celebrating St. Patrick’s day and the English celebrating St. George’s day. As nations, neither Ireland, Scotland or Wales have much history of subjugating other nations to their power. England, on the other hand…

That’s not to say that the ‘loony left’ – that’s me – don’t object to overt and irritating celebrations of other national days. Overt patriotism bugs me, and it’s hardly ameliorated when the overt patriotism is essentially a celebration of several hundred years of butchery. I should be immune, having grown up between two armed camps where green, white and orange, and red, white and blue adorned even the kerbstones, but somehow that makes it even worse.

But Councillor Harry Phibbs, and the various further right commentators, skip over the part where Sandwell council actually organised an investigation into incidents that were reported from the previous years’ events.

This included interviews with witnesses, as reported by the BBC. They also skipped over the part where Sandwell council pointed out it would be spending £38,000 on St. George’s Day celebrations, just not on the parade element; this would include a family fun day and a concert at the town hall in West Brom.

Hardly a case of criminalising Englishness, I would think. Phibbs asks, “do the Councl not see that cancelling the event is a gift to the BNP?” It’s a gift only when berks like you don’t report all the facts, nor correct some of the flagrantly ill-informed assertions in your comments post. The same goes for the local media, which had a details-light article on the subject.

Parades are a difficult issue; they tend to bring out the worst in people. In Northern Ireland, ordinary Protestant workers who don’t care about religion for 351 days a year get worked up over the course of the 12th of July fortnight and dangerous things happen. If the council thinks there are better, more family-friendly ways to celebrate St. George’s day, while still actually celebrating St. George’s day, isn’t that to be applauded? Especially by the Right, one would think, since they’re still getting the celebration.

Instead, Phibbs rather short sighted article tries to trumpet the activities of Conservative-run Calderdale….which, significantly, don’t include a parade. Sandwell and Calderdale actually share numerous features, such as entertainment at the city hall and the raising of English flags on April 23rd.

If the Conservatives and their allies in the media ever wonder about the inscrutable actions of the ‘loony left’ (me again), perhaps they should first consider how their behaviour and misinformation contributes to the problem, rather than solving it.

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David Semple is a regular contributor. He blogs at Though Cowards Flinch.
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Reader comments


I think you’ve completely failed to grasp what St. George’s day is all about.

It’s not about celebrating centuries of butchery. Nor is it about the activities of the historical St. George. In fact, most English people’s knowledge of St. George is likely to be on a par with their knowledge of St. Crispin – namely it is limited entirely to fragments of speeches from Henry V.

What St. George’s day is all about is parity. The Irish, the Scots and the Welsh all have national holidays so the English nationalists want one too. The Irish, the Scots and the Welsh all have national holidays linked to saints, so the English nationalists want one too. At this point if the Welsh and Scottish had national “fuck your father in the shower and then have a snack” days then you’d have the English nationalists demanding one too regardless of how hungry they were or what their relationship with their father might be.

It’s nationalistic keeping up with the Joneses and nothing more.

The reason why it’s a silly idea is that it’s a holiday that has never really been celebrated and so the attempts to elevate it into a national holiday are transparently political.

Nobody, and I include the BNP and other nationalist politicians, actually wants to celebrate St. George’s day but it’s a good excuse for generating some headlines by having a crack t the jocks and taffies. This is a textbook example of politicians trying to increase their power by concocting a problem that only they can solve.

See also the Salman Rushdie Fatwa and the War on Terror.

No wonder council taxes are so ridiculously high.

What are Councils doing sponsoring St Georges day parades?

But then what are they doing funding libraries, sports centres and ethnic Chinese photographers?

Why are they administering our schools and police forces?

So many questions and never enough answers…….

Would it not be better to grant the funding and then hold the ensuing farce up to public ridicule on prime-time television?
Mockery is a very effective way of dealing with idiots like that.

I thing your arse has fallen opend and you’ve just posted whatever fell out.

It’s PRECISELY this kind of middle-class self-loathing – and a refusal to engage with the meanings this festival has for ordinary English people – which leads so many to the BNP.

I doubt whether I’d attend a St George’s Day parade. As it happens, I am a proud Englishman & Briton but these sort of displays don’t do much for me. I think throughout the year, it’s more important to respect cultural shite such as the countryside, locally produced food, real pubs, English literature & thought & so on.

But I observe that no one has tried to restrict these parades, merely reduce funding. Well, I think the council shouldn’t pay for this & before anyone starts I also think half of the “outreach” & so on should not be paid for by taxpayers either.

Do these people not realise that if they want a parade & a celebration the withdrawal of council funding is a good pretext for setting up their own local initiative? They obviously feel deeply about the matter. Well, let them form an organisation & provide for themselves & prove that what they do is worthwhile.

I take the point about this being a national day & a national event. But what could be more English than a bunch of free individuals coming together to celebrate what unites them?

Bit oif a political own goal though.

Middle class self-loathing. I love constructive phrases like that.

@ Shatterface…I’ve been to any number of parades and protests in different parts of these islands. One that I’ll always remember is August 2006, during the Lebanon War, when a vast crowd of Muslims marched in Hyde Park and there were screams of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free”…I don’t think I’ve ever been so disgusted. And I’ve seen Orangemen marching. I wasn’t at the parade last year in Sandwell, but from the reports by local councillors, I can well believe that the problem is far from ‘a refusal to engage with the meanings this festival has for ordinary English people’.

Quite the opposite. Allowing this ‘common sense’ idea of what it is about to prevail endorses the sort of low-level nationalism which infuses all that I’ve ever seen of St. George’s Day – whether celebrated in schools, by churches or by town councils. That sort of low level nationalism should be challenged. One perfectly valid way of challenging it is by structuring the day so that it brings families together rather than allowing a bunch of bully boys to usurp a march. If you think bringing families together and shutting out the BNP is ‘a refusal to engage with the meanings this festival has for ordinary English people’, then I’d love to know the following things:

a) on what grounds you claim to speak for ordinary English people?
b) by what means have you come by the view that English people would rather march alongside right-wing tossers than go to an evening concert of live music or have a fun day out with the kids in the local Park?

Its symptomatic of the totalitarian mindset that they beleive that THEIR interpretation of all cultural practices is the only one that matters: if there’s an offence to be taken, they’ll find it. We saw that with the violent pornography billl and we see it with all variety of religious nutjobs.

If you have any evidence that everyone who celebrates St George’s Day is a ‘right wing tosser’ then the onus is on you, as prosecutor, to provide evidence for you accusation.

For most of my life I’ve been amused by the fact that St George is the patron saint of England. Why? Because he is also the patron saint of small village in Southern Italy where I was born. On that day the villagers go to Mass, follow the procession round the village and then go on to get absolutely plastered and eat far too much. Great fun is had by all and although it is a small village it still manages to pay out enormous sums for the many fireworks and other celebrations.
Sadly all the residents have now been displaced after a major landslide a few years ago rendered the village unsafe and so the festival has to be carried out in nearby adjacent villages.
Being a village of ethnic albanians the St George connection comes from his obvious links to the Eastern church. In England’s case I would suggest that the Norman monarchy were probably responsible since they had a taste for warrior saints like St Michael and also St George.
Quite frankly I find the obsessing with the BNP rather worrying. Of course they will try to gain some publicity from any situation but to purposefully put them at the centre of any considerations is probably a mistake. The villagers mentioned above are mostly left-voting and St George never made them Fascisti even during the regime.
I suspect that there may, however, be a problem with an unresolved issue going back to the Reformation and although left liberals (which most people here are) would shun any specific religious allegiance, they may feel tha St George is somehow “idolatrous” and wrong.
In case anyone is interested the village is called Cavallerizzo and there is some material on the web about the landslide.

4. Shatterface . Good comment on middle clas self- loathing, never thought of it in that way. Your summary explains why so many vans and lorries driven by working class people carry the Flag of St George. In addition,it summarises why so many ordinary people feel emotionally disconnected from the middle class Labour Party.

which leads so many to the BNP.

My god, I love how so many people have different theories abotu why the proles vote for the BNP….

Isn’t the idea of St. George’s day an anachronism anyway? England (and the UK) is no longer a catholic country and yet the concept of sainthood is exclusively a Roman Catholic thing. The Archbishop of Canterbury does not create any new saints for example, it is not something that the Church of England does.

So accepting that St. George is a Catholic saint why has he got a saint day at all when the Catholic church decided that he had never existed and struck him off the register some years ago? They replaced him as patron saint of England with St. Thomas More.

Perhaps celebrating St.Thomas More day may be just a mite too divisive for the Monarch and the Church of England to swallow.

“The Irish, the Scots and the Welsh all have national holidays so the English nationalists want one too”

In Wales we don’t have a national holiday for St Davids day anymore. Its just used as an excuse to go to the pub.

Even if I DI approve of enforced celebration of things related to religion (which I don’t) St George is patron saint of far too many things – Aragon, Catalonia, England, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia, as well as the cities of Amersfoort, Beirut, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg, Genoa, Ljubljana, Gozo, Pomorie, Qormi, Lod and Moscow, Scouting, as well as a wide range of professions, organisations and disease sufferers..

I prefer St Boniface, myself, who actually WAS English, and also has the benefit of being patron saint of brewers (and Germany, but nobodyu’s perfect ;)).

10. Sunny Hundal . Your attitude to the “proles ” has just provided another reason why the BNP is becoming popular or are just being ironic?

Sunny (10): you’ve just proved my point. There are far too many paranoids and misanthropes obssessing over everything they see or hear looking for something they can willfully take offence at, rather than trying to understand what is actually being said.

it’s a holiday that has never really been celebrated

Really? You want to tell that to the 100s of thousands of Scouts, Guides and similar that celebrate it every year all over the country?

I was at a St George’s parade virtually every year as a kid, and apart from the idiotic religious aspect have no problem with it at all, a lot of people like to celebrate a shared identity with friends and neighbours, and I’d much rather they were able to do so without idiots accusing them of being racist or the whole thing being hijacked by racists after the former idiots refuse to have anything to do with it.

But apart from that, I agree with Jennie. Dump St George, adopt St Boniface, and celebrate his day in the traditional English manner. Get horribly drunk on decent hand pulled beer.

I don’t like the idiotic religious adpect of Christmas but I’m happy to put up with it for a festival which helps alleviate the most miserable part of the year.

I quite like the idea of St Thomas Moore Day as he gave us the term Utopia but since he was executed by the head of state it isn’t going to happen. St George’s Day is the one we have, any attempt to change it will fall on deaf ears.

Ah, but Christmas is a traditional midwinter feast day hijacked byt the church after they tried to ban it. Proper Christians don’t celebrate it as they know it’s a pagan festival, and the only time it’s been banned was when we got a Christian fundamentalist military junta in charge of the country (although Scotland banned it for a lot longer).

St George’s Day has no significance other than a St we don’t actually recognise as such, and is thus utterly pointless. But if you’re going to have a national day, it’s as good as any other.

Having a festival based on a character who’s origin is so obscure that, to all intents and purposes, he might as well be fictional, spares us the embarassment of having to celebrate the life of a real historical figure who might turn out to have approved of burning Jews or drowning witches. St Patrick himself was responsible for the extinction of Irish snakes.

I think Beuwolf’s Day – or even Gandalf’s Day – would be an acceptable alternative.

Refreshing for a member of the far-left to come out and actually admit that he is uncomfortable with English patriotism and is happy to sneer at the majority who aren’t.

You want to tell that to the 100s of thousands of Scouts, Guides and similar that celebrate it every year all over the country?

Yes, Scouts in several countries celebrate St George’s Day, because St George is the patron saint… of scouting.

It’s PRECISELY this kind of middle-class self-loathing – and a refusal to engage with the meanings this festival has for ordinary English people

I am an ordinary English person. St. George’s Day has no meaning for me or for anyone I know. It has never been a national festival in England, and it’s several centuries since even the Church celebrated it as a principle festival. I can see no reason to suddenly make it our national festival now, and if we want to have one there are better dates. The 15th of June or 11th of December, for instance. Or perhaps we could go the whole hog with the 5th of November – which is already the closest thing England has to a national festival. Or, if you want a national holiday that actually connects with the reason that people drive around with St George’s Cross on their cars and vans, then make it the 30th of July.

22. historysidekick

Just to say…

St George wasn’t mythical (in that he actually existed), and was chosen as the patron saint of England as he was seen as the patron of chivlary, and Edward III was determined to be the perfect Christian King (thus, merciful, dutiful, charitable, just etc). It wasn’t a militaristic choice in the C14th, and he shouldn’t be seen as militaristic now….

And why should it be a celebration of the negative? Can we not celebrate the positive that this country has done in its history, while remembering the negative to ensure it doesn’t happen again

Shatterface, not sure about Gandalf although anything’s better than a catholic saint. Four days of the week are named after viking gods. What about a festival named after one of them? None have any bullshit morality attached to them.
I think the snakes allegedly driven out of Ireland by that sheep-shagging retard were actually druids, who had snake tattoos

24. Stephen Rouse

Unfortunately, Thomas More was not Paul Schofield. Encouraged the burning of Protestants and wrote the following as a riposte to Luther:

“As long as your reverend paternity will be determined to tell these shameless lies, others will be permitted, on behalf of his English majesty, to throw back into your paternity’s shitty mouth, truly the shit-pool of all shit, all the muck and shit which your damnable rottenness has vomited up.”

On second thoughts, maybe this does qualify him as England’s patron saint.

If not, he could be patron saint for the campaign for plain english

David S is more sneering at the way Tories such as Harry Phibbs use this for pathetic point scoring more than anything.

Your attitude to the “proles ” has just provided another reason why the BNP is becoming popular or are just being ironic?

I’d like to address this Charlie, and you shatterface. It annoys me when people ascribe such attitudes as why the BNP are growing because it’s the kind of simplistic drive-by commenting that is more attributable to the people who feature on SpeakYourBranes than here. Both of you are more intelligent than that, going by your past comments.

Firstly, there is the assumption that white working class people are on the verge of voting BNP and things like this push them over the edge. I find that incredibly patronising to them. Frankly, I highly doubt such issues feature prominently compared to New Labour ignoring things like social housing, transport and local conditions. Sandwell, for example, saw an increase in BNP votes, and then a huge collapse once the local Labour party made a serious effort to engage people locally – just ask Unity or Bob Piper. The idea that sneering at St George’s day pushes people to vote BNP is downright idiotic.

Secondly, so what if David S isn’t too bothered about this day? I’m not either. It doesn’t really fit high on my social calendar. That doesn’t however mean I’m less able to connect with a white working class person (and I fully understand the value and necessity of national symbols).

This attitude rather smacks of the traditional Tory view that anyone who doesn’t share the same concerns as them is somehow a traitor to the country’s true spirit. David S does care about their concerns (as I do) but we would rather express that through arguing for increased social services for people living in deprived communities or laws for unions, than simply creating faux outrages over parades that did or didn’t happen.

Sunny, nobody is asking for St Georges Day to be compulsary or claiming that middle-class sneering alone is responsible for people turning to the BNP: we just want the right to celebrate a national festival – or adorn our cars with the St George cross during the world cup – without the automatic assumption that we are racist thugs.

The myth of St George – like other national myths such as King Arthur or Robin Hood – are open to endless reinterpretation but somehow its always the negative connotations you find appearing in The Guardian and the like. Myths, whatever their origin, mean precicely what those who take them up think they mean: rather than projecting our fears onto myths that other people respond to we should try to understand what these myths mean to THEM.

And that goes for other cultural practices too, whether they involve religion, sport, violent films, pornography or videogames. Meaning is largely an artifact of analysis and its far too easy for a critic to mistake the meaning he has constructed using the formula he learnt at university (and such meanings are ALWAYS formulaic) for the revealed truth.

St Gregory the Great was the patron of the English mission, but it doesn’t really matter who popular culture celebrates so long as we get to remember our true legacy.

I `d like to pay tribute to the satiric genius that is David Semple …

the imagery adopted by parts of the far right in the UK has been of a mythical individual, a foreigner, who never visited England.

Ha ha ha * tears of mirth*, brilliant , never noticed that , Semple should be on TV or something ….( when they have programme called ’ a tedious snot regurgitates an old as the quills school boy smirk) . Got the level haven’t we.
According to a recent survey one on four are considering voting BNP. Sunny is probably right it probably has nothing to do with the quintupling of immigration under Labour the assault on the English of the assumption that when people come here the ones who have to change are the English not the incomers who turn up ,change the TV station, help themselves to the biscuits and contribute nothing but bitching . That’s right ,thats probably why immigration was ( until New Labour condemned us all to penury) was the top concern of the British voter in Pole and Pole after Pole (sic) . The fact is that many of the English are only just waking up the fact that they no longer have a country. Admittedly they can go and work in Europe .It certainly worked for Mandelson , its just a pity we do not have million tax payer funded Euro troughs for ordinary working people and their families
I think Semple is interesting when he draws parallels between this country and the no go areas of the N Ireland were there is of course a dispute about whose country this is I `d also like to thank him for allowing the English to express any national pride at all if only in a suitably apologetic way as prescribed by the relevant immigrant group with which the Labour Council wishes to curry favour.
Very kind .
Why are the English Democratic Party Nationalist nuts ? How so more than the SNP , the Welsh everyone’s ignores or indeed the Irish Nationalist movement ? I wonder as I understand it chiefly address the gerrymandering New Labour rely on by counting Scottish and Welsh votes twice so as to disempower English voters . What wrong with that is it the English of the Democrat you object to most ?
In fact this is all part of the dismantling of the identity of this country so at to sell it to Europe and Internationalism . It goes with the relegation of the English to only one of many ethnicities in England the abandonment of English history and culture in schools , the endless and now legal favouring of everyone who is not white or male . This process is designed to reduce what was a country into a car park As for the bogey man of the BNP it was the authoritarian left who out killed the right in the 20th century by a damn long way .

The answer is simple
1 Cut immigration to 97 levels
2 Abandon aggressive multiculturalism
3 Restore democratic equality to the English( and thus destroy the Labour Party)
4 Assert the culture of the English in England
5 Have a St. Georges Day Parade, which will remain a harmless affair provided we are not threatened by those who hate the country and deny its right to exist
I won’t attend it bores the tits off me

Newmania, I agree with the majority of what you’ve said. But as someone who is always bemoaning state spending on X, Y & Z, surely you’d grasp the point that these organisations don’t need taxpayer support. Why don’t they get together & put on their own parade with their own money? It would probably be better than something a half-arsed jobsworth arranged. No one is prohibiting them, just cutting their funding, which is politically silly but hardly the end of their world.

Yes, I think all the “diversity” & that could manage without my money going towards it. Culture doesn’t need Sandwell Council to thrive. Maybe libraries, museums & what have you should be funded out of the public purse, but one-off parades could easily be organised by citizens themselves.

If people drink lager in chain pubs, watch mindless football matches, eat food flown in from thousands of miles away & don’t read English literature, I fail to see how they are asserting our culture in the first place, any more than those who wave England flags at football matches are somehow more patriotic & better citizens than the rest of us.

I am always suspicious of the likes of Harry Fibs trying to stir up trouble. It reminds me of the nowtrage every year over “Winterval”. They couldn’t give a toss about England, they just want to berate people who fail to be Tories.

PS- Don’t infer from this that I agree with David Semple or anything.

While it’s clear that the reporting of this particular incident has seen many pertinent facts ommited and that the BNP interest was a very good reason for the council not supporting the parade I am some what concerned by the rather hand wriging attitude that there seems to be to St George’s day over all.

The key word in the title of this blog is Liberal. If people in a given community want to celebrate St George’s day then as long as it’s not an excuse for some kind of xenophobic ferver then local councils should be assisting and encouraging. The council should, after all, be servants of the electorate. If it’s not your thing then you don’t have to join in.

I am not always moaning about state spending just state waste and failure (most of it admittedly ). I am in favour of the state playing an active role is communal and culturally enriching activities which could be organised by communities but are far more easily centred on the elected administration. St Georges Day is only one small part of it .I would like to see a range of cohering encouragements as well as measures to marginalize that which fragments the country (preferably out of public space altogether ).You might call it mono-culturalism
For example you could requires a knowledge and understanding of English history to take public sector jobs as well as a competence in English , something like the Welsh are doing for Welsh , which I would stop . So basically use the resources currently employed for making things worse for making them better. OK I `m semi serious at best but you get the point . Look what we put up with!
It’s a thought though .Such spending would be small and enormous social dividends will more than repay the effort , take out of international aid which should be an individual choice and almost no-one wants to waste money on.
Imagine Sunny Hundal and simple Semple being legally obliged to spend one afternoon of the week Morris dancing . If they really have to be Marxist moon bat nutso loons why not re enact the peasants revolt , read the revolutionary poetry of William Blake re-enact the Peterloo massacre or commemorate the Tolpuddle Martyrs .

George Loveless
God is our guide! from field, from wave, From plough, from anvil, and from loom; We come, our country’s rights to save, And speak a tyrant faction’s doom: We raise the watch-word liberty; We will, we will,we will be free!

. Or we can stick with funding the vacuous gloop of multicultural crapola currently inflicted by the Liberal Conspiracy of year zero soulless barbarians

Newmania, you are wrong. There is no requirement to be able to speak or write Welsh (or to have a knowledge of Welsh history) to get a job in Wales unless that job requires you to use Welsh as one of its core competencies.

Peter a quarter of the Welsh under 35 now speak Welsh a language of no use whatsoever which for the most part they demonstrably have no interest in . In 2000 after 18 years Sianel Pedwar Cymru had 7.7% of viewers in Wales and that number has been falling steadily it is down by a third , even its English language programmes are shunned . Without endless cash flung at its signs , translations and so on Welsh would be a teeny marginal anomaly as it is the costs are immense , and who pays ?Guess who….
Public spending Wales is £5,052 per head in Wales. This compares with a figure of £4,283 for England. In other words the English tax payer subsidises Wales including its expensive regionalism . Over half of the Welsh economy is in the Public sector so its ability to survive alone at all is dubious
No it is not obligatory to speak Welsh to get a job in the huge public sector but unofficial preference is given to Welsh speakers , this fact is well known and used to further inflict Welsh Language on the aspirational who fear that the professions wills soon be closed them without it
Set this against the active loathing of English Nationalism shown by those who hate the country to the point where we cannot even have a St. Georges Day Parade
Don’t get me wrong I love the Welsh but why they are hugely subsidised to pursue arcane cultural absurdities the English are denied any national expression at all .
Why not? It is the power of those who share the anti English prejudices of Hundal; and Semple a type who hide in the Labour Party ,whose voters oddly enough find their dislike of the English quite as annoying as I do .

I think the Welsh have got the right idea & we could use some of that spirit to stop England becoming a soulless mush of corporate shite. You may enjoy reading “Real England” by Paul Kingsnorth to see the real culprits fingered, large government bureaucracies & large corporations which are nothing but private-sector bureaucracies without any respect for what makes this country what it is, or was.

Don’t agree with his politics as such as he is an English nationalist whereas I am a unionist, but there’s some good manly stuff & shit about pubs, local food, resistance to overdevelopment & what have you.

He is also not a friend to the European Union & that.

He were also on here a few days ago criticising David Semple on another matter.

Your ignorance and your bigotry do you no credit at all. Welsh is a living language and in some communities it is the language of discourse. It also has a long and rich cultural legacy. There is a huge volume of literature written in Welsh that would be lost if the language died out. Those who speak Welsh have a right to access their news and cullture through their language of choice. If you had your way you would impose a dull uniformity on Wales, destroying its heritage and its distinctiveness.

The level of public spending in Wales partly reflects its greater needs though if it were to do so accurately it would be even higher. Surely that is the point of regional expenditure, to help those areas that are poorer than others and Wales is one of the poorest parts in the UK. You are right though about Wales’ dependence on the public sector. That is something that needs to be addressed.

As I said before you are wrong about the Welsh language and employment. I am a Welsh Assembly Member and I do not speak Welsh nor have I come across the sort of unofficial prejudice you refer to. It is a myth.

I do not understand why you believe that the Welsh should celebrate St. George’s Day.Our patron saint is St. David. However, as far as we are concerned there is no reason why you should not have whatever celebration you wish, no matter how antiquated and irrelevant.

Welsh was virtually extinct before being added to the National curriculum in1988 and then further imposed by the Welsh Language Act ,but Welsh Literature would not be lost. Is Latin Literature lost ? It is perpetually lost as are the talents of any writers thus confined to all but a tiny audience As an academic subject it should be retained. It is a means of control , it suit’s the EU who have supported it through the Charter of Regional or Minority Languages ( Signed by Blair )as a means of breaking up Nations states and removing control to Brussels . It is a means of introducing Selection into education as well as Public Sector Employment where predominantly middleclass families benefit form the Language closed shop .It is also a means of promoting separation from England a country Wales virtues to rely on fund its state sinecure life style .
The responsibility the English Tax payer for subsidising the Welsh becomes somewhat problematical when the Welsh have their own assembly with large areas of Competence from which the English asymmetrically excluded while Welsh votes continue to impose the Labour Party on the English . The Labour Party of course has notably pillaged Conservative areas and diverted I funds to its client states Wales and Scotland .The phrase no taxation without representation springs to mind . Without Welsh and Scottish votes the Labour Party would be finished in England .
If the Welsh wish to be a separate , and I see little evidence form the feeble support for the assembly in the first place ) fine . What we cannot have is a half way house that exploit’s the English.
This backcloth is part of the reason why the English identity is feared and hated by New Labour . That’s why they want to outlaw Englishness or better still break England up into regions .

40. david brough

26. Sunny Hundal. I do not think the issue over St George’s Day parade in Sandwell is a major issue in itself. However, it could be the spark which creates a fire ; the conditions having been made favourable by poor council housing, decline in manufacturing , not being allowed to discuss their concerns over immigration without being called a racist,town hall not flying flag of St George or Union Jack because it is considered racist, local Labour MP being middle class and out of touch, cancelling Christmas or Easter celebrations,council not being supportive of parade by local regiment returning from Iraq/Afghanistan etc , etc. Many white working class families have a traditional view of life and many middle class progressive Labour politicians appear to be totally out of sync with their views and in actual fact, rather contemptuous of them. As I have said before ,hardly any Labour MP has a trade, worked in industry,served in the Armed Forces , played sport or undertake any hobby which enables them to have an emotional connection based upon shared experience. Someone like the late Don Concannon MP , ex – miner and Guards NCO would totally undermined the credibility of the BNP.

As M Twain said ” Someone who has the repuation for getting up at dawn can afford to get up at midday” and “A lie is half way around the world before truth has got it’s boots on”. Former Labour politicians such as Attlee, Bevin, Concannon, Healey, Callaghan, Mason, D Owen never had their patriotism questioned by the Tories because they would never have dared to as the outrage would have swamped them.

Even if Labour is incapable of recruiting MPs with industrial experience , then if they had more like Field, Blears and Hoey they would stop the BNP.

I think for many people voting for th BNP is just a protest vote. Many white working class people are fed up with being ignored by the progressive middle class non-industrial Labour Party.

The two great advantages seems to me is that as soon as BNP councillors are voted into office they are seen to be inompetent and fight amongst themselves. Hitler was a joke until the middle classes joined the Nazis . Hitler won favour when he used the SS to destroy the ill disciplined SA thugs . Hitle was seen to clean up the Nazis Party. The rest is history .

Isn’t the difference between St Patrick’s day and St George’s day summed up in the words Marketing and Guinness? And the “nationwide” celebration of St Andrew’s or St David’s as artificial as the “nationwide” celebration of England winning the Ashes (for example?).

Or to put it another way, why can’t we accept that some people care, some people don’t and ignore the nut-jobs (on both sides of the argument) who can’t accept that some people don’t care and want to ram their views down everyone’s throats?

Many white working class people are fed up with being ignored by the progressive middle class non-industrial Labour Party.

I’m afraid the problem with the Labour party is not that it listens to middle class progressives, but that it spends far too much time listening to frothing-at-the-mouth nutjobs such as newmania (represented by the Daily Mail).

As for whether all this builds up – I think the evidence isn’t conclusive. People also have friends and relatives of different colours who remind the same people that the BNP remain an odious party. Anyway, it’s not white working class racism I worry about but white middle class racism.

From what I’ve seen, WWC communities are generally more racially diverse than middle class ones TBH.

Oh dear.

If only some people would take the time to check out the facts before flapping their gums then we might not have the twat-o-tron going into overdrive.

So, the facts…

The Stone Cross parade only started up in 2000, as a fairly low-key community event with no particular additional festivities attached to it and no significant funding.

In 2004, Sandwell Council ran its first, properly funded St George’s Day event, which is nothing more than a community fun day in a local park, and incorporated the pre-existing parade into the event.

This was done for two main reasons.

First, to counter the BNP’s efforts to infiltrate the parade and use it in their own propaganda. They did used to run their own parade in another borough, but this had basically died on its arse for lack of interest, so they set to infiltrating the Stone Cross parade to make it look they had more support than they actually had.

Second, because issues about health and safety, insurance and marshalling/policing events meant that the Council were no longer able to allow parades to go ahead using rolling road blocks, which kept the costs down. the Stone Cross parade was far from being the only event affected by this as all the other local carnivals were also told that they’d have to stump up for full road closures down the whole of their established parade routes, putting massive increases on the cost of any public parade.

So, the council put up the money to cover the costs of the Stone Cross parade as part of its main St George’s Day community shindig.

Sadly, over the last 2-3 years, the BNP have taken, again, to infiltrating the parade and trying to use it for their political propaganda, against the wishes of the Stone Cross St George’s Association. The incident that effectively killed off support for the parade happened last year when the British Ulster Alliance Flute Band shipped up without being invited and managed to sneak onto the front of the parade. The BUA is, basically, a UDA front organisation, which is all the more embarrassing as, IIRC, the UDA is still on the government list of proscribed terrorist organisations.

So, this year, the Council have withdrawn their backing from the parade and are spending the £10k or so they would have spent on marshalls and road closures on improving the static events.

That’s the actual story here, and its worth pointing out that the Council are under no obligation to mark St George’s Day, whatsoever, and are still spending far more on the two static events than most councils in England.

As for Harry Phibbs running off at the mouth… well, you either remember him from his FCS days and will appreciate the irony, or you don’t, and that’s as much as I’ll say on the subject.

St Georges Day is sybolic of the awakening of a nation. The emergence from the stranglehold of the left. The right wing have yet to be proven wrong whilst the left have succeded in exhibiting their oppressive politically correct, racist failings day in day out.
Live with it you tosser or go live somewhere else.

Don’t delude yourself that you can continue to disparage England and the English with impunity Mr Semple. We have rights also and this is another manifestation of indirect racial discrimination! Consequently, you are guilty of breaching one of the professed policies here – racist comment.. Deletion of this comment will afford further evidence of the anti-English double standard prevailing here.

You can run, but you can’t hide . . . indefinitely.


Oh look, nearly a month after the post, the Crossers have turned up because they finally noticed we were discussing it.

And the ranting incoherence of the comments descends into idiocy. Wonderful.

Yet another comment which falls far short of the professed policies here.

Clearly MatGB [another closet Scot?] has nothing sensible or constructive to say. Instead he indulges in “abusive, sarcastic and silly comments” which should be deleted forthwith.

Every time I’ve tried to engage Crossers, I’ve merely been subjected to incoherent abuse and veiled insults.

Given that you complain about racism in one comment then assume I’m a Scot and therefore ineligible to have an opinion in another, that’s pretty much case closed, you can’t complain about anti-English racism then indulge in anti-Scottish racism and still hope for sympathy.

I’m English, born here, family can trace roots here going back to before Roman times. And if you’d bother to read the above thread, you’d know I’ve been engaged constructively in the discussion.

As you can’t be arsed, I can’t be arsed being polite to you. Learn to read, drop the racist claptrap, and maybe you might get a bit more traction in the discussion.

1. Every time I’ve tried to engage Crossers, I’ve merely been subjected to incoherent abuse and veiled insults.

2. Given that you complain about racism in one comment then assume I’m a Scot and therefore ineligible to have an opinion in another, that’s pretty much case closed, you can’t complain about anti-English racism then indulge in anti-Scottish racism and still hope for sympathy.

3. I’m English, born here, family can trace roots here going back to before Roman times.

4. And if you’d bother to read the above thread, you’d know I’ve been engaged constructively in the discussion.

5. As you can’t be arsed, I can’t be arsed being polite to you. Learn to read, drop the racist claptrap, and maybe you might get a bit more traction in the discussion.

1. I was responding to your particular comments. I observe that you need to resort to generalities in a vain attempt to justify them.

2. I have not assumed any such thing; merely suggested it. the rest of your comment is merely the product of your fevered mind.

3. Who would have guessed. as someone very interested in family history. I’d be very interested to see your ‘proof’. I doubt that you can trace any of your particular LINE earlier than 1535.

4. My ‘particular comments’ were not directed at touchy old you in particular and, as I said earlier, I was responding to your abusive post only. So don’t try and seek refuge elsewhere.

5. There’s no justification for rudeness. You seem very childish, and to have thrown a tantrum!

Last year the BNP hijacked this parade, it was a sham – nothing to do with St Georges, the language and the feeling was dark, and families removed their kids from the men chanting. The council having recorded this should have highlighted it in the local paper straight away, saying how downright hooliganism had ruined the parade, but instead it was left a year and when the funding was removed (for just the parade) it has all gone to pot and PC gone mad is to blame, when had you been there you can understand why they have refused it this year.

Thanks to a local business the parade will go ahead, I just hope there are people there to record it – and I hope it is put on Youtube to see just why decent real English people dont want to parade with the likes of the NF and our hard earned council tax should be put to better use.

St Gregory the Great was the patron of the mission to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity (who had already largely recanted paganism through contact with the Romano-British), while St George was the patron saint of Aquitaine which transferred to the House of Plantagenet when Eleanor was betrothed to Henry II.

The cross of St George is associated with the English nation because of Richard the Lionheart’s choice to accept papal authority in undertaking his Christian crusade. It rose in popularity as a unifying symbol during the Wars of the Roses when the myth of the slaying of the dragon (originally representing the suppression of Wales by Henry II) attained a moral force.

These symbols in fact signify the subordination of traditional English independence and liberty to authority, but it is their capacity for reinterpretation enables them to remain relevant. So anyone who cares so much about symbols then perhaps they’re prepared to show as much by tattooing a red cross on their forehead. I can offer good rates for anyone who is willing, but I’ve only got a 6lb hammer and chisel to do it with.

An English Parliament? It is less important than ensuring the principles of ‘good government’ are adhered to.

Identity politics or practical and effective law? I know which I choose.

I made the following comment on this post at David’s blog a while ago. I hope it bears repeating, it was more on the whole issue of national identity than the particular events in Sandwell, and I thought readers might appreciate hearing the views of an English (yes, a parliament) Catholic (yes, a saint!) Marxist (up the workers!)…

I think that internationalism is about expressing the ideal that there should be fraternal relations between nations, that as working people we have more to unite us than divide us. I think there is the possibility of a rights-based civic national identity – devolution in Scotland and Wales has led all political parties to express their Scottish and Welshness

Paul Kingsnorth’s book on England was about articulating the national-popular (to put it in Gramscian terms) by examining struggles against corporate power that are taking place across the country. The Real England that emerges is, to quote Billy Bragg, “the green field and the factory floor”.

Remember, the first accusation of our rulers when we’re fighting for our rights has always been to claim that really we are hoodwinked by outside agitators, etc. That there is something alien about social justice has always been used against us: early struggles for democracy being linked with possible French invasions, supposed Moscow-controlled trade unions, and so on. The security services even went as far as to get their high-placed agent within the NUM to go to Libya in the middle of the miners strike so that TV pictures could be beamed back of the “enemies within” meeting with enemies without…

The Englishness expressed by the Diggers, the Levellers, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and the Chartists is very different to the “Britishness” supported by our rulers today. Do we eschew all expressions of national identity, or engage with the articulation of a progressive patiotism?

Peter Black AM thinks that St George for England is an anachronism as he is a catholic Saint in a protestant country. What was St David, Chapel?
Other than that Peter why not keep your neb out of England’s affairs?

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