On the day when the beginning of the decisive Allied push to rid Europe of Fascist tyranny was commemorated, 65 years on, some disturbing news from my housemate Debbie’s home town of Doncaster:
Horrible, and this on top of a BNP representative gaining a council seat in Hertfordshire. The English Democrats are essentially the BNP under a cuddlier, more liberal/left-wing sounding name. You know, a bit like the National Socialist party during the dying years of the Weimar Republic. Like all Fascists, the English Democrats are not only toxic and bigoted, they’re also unfathomably stupid. Calling for “English freedoms and values, not multiculturalism” is nonsense on various levels – chief of which is the fact that England has been multicultural for a very long time. At least 2,000 years, in fact. Everyone who’s invaded, colonised or moved here has left a legacy, be it in the language, place names or customs. To talk of an “English culture” is to talk of a culture that is an ever-evolving hybrid of other cultures, yet which still retains its own identity. And as for “freedoms and values”, well these appear to be denying the rights of anyone who isn’t white, English, heterosexual and male.
A quick scan through their Manifesto and Constitution starts with some nonsense, like having the St George Flag on all public buildings, then starts sounding quite reasonable by demanding a decent health service for all, one that cuts down on bureaucracy and targets. Which is fair enough. Except when you scroll down and find that, actually, “NHS services must not be made freely available to non-nationals.” Now, let’s pause a minute here. What exactly is a “non-national”. Given all the bluster earlier about wanting a devolved government and recognising England as a separate nation, does this mean that Scottish and Welsh people wouldn’t be entitled to free healthcare on the NHS? Which was of course the brainchild of a Welshman.
Anyway, education should be free and for all (except the market-based system of choice should still operate), there should be greater spending on public transport (but we shouldn’t be so mean to motorists, except foreign ones of course, although we’ll tax them if they pollute as part of some half-baked grasp at being green), housing obviously won’t be available to immigrants etc. Perhaps one of the most disturbing clauses comes under a section dealing with policing, where it suggests that security staff could be trained to be Special Constables, “their powers of arrest applying to their place of work and its neighbouring streets.” In other words, enabling them to take the law into their own hands (a promise that they’d be subject to Police “monitoring and discipline” is somehow not reassuring). Naturally, immigration and the EU are the subject of a lengthy treatise (including that classic fudge, “genuine refugees”, whatever that means), there’s some illogical nonsense about multi-culturalism and Englishness and a plea for St George’s Day to be made a national holiday. As for gays and lesbians, well as they don’t fit in with the heterosexualised ideal of the family, they don’t get a mention. Doncaster’s new Mayor has however made it clear where he and his party stand on them otherwise. Probably with a jackboot.
So there you go, that’s English Democracy. Nasty, ignorant bilge, tied together with a manifesto whose logic is so full of holes, you could drive one of those foreign lorries through it. This is what the people of Doncaster have voted for. Their last mayor was an unpopular, incompetent idiot. But at least he wasn’t a hate-monger. Shame on them.