Good morning ladies and gentleman, my name is Derek Hilling and I am the Lead candidate for the English Democrats here in the West Midlands of England.
My campaign slogan, which you will see on the ballot paper is:
I’m English, NOT British, NOT European.
What’s does this mean?
This is our way of saying that we want to achieve political Independence for England, once again. I say ‘once again’ because England became a united country and state in 927AD, and for the majority of its existence it has been a separate country.
It means that we want to see England free of the control which membership of its 2 political unions implies. The English Democrats not only believe that the European Union is bad for England, but we also believe the United Kingdom is just as bad. We believe that the people of England will be better-off financially and socially if England becomes a separate, independent country with its own Parliament and Government.
Let me explain why we are opposed to these 2 unions.
When UK voted to join with the 6 original EU nations it was then called the Common Market. We were told by all the main political parties that it was a ‘trading block’ that was essential for our economic wellbeing. At that time EU countries had 30% of world trade, and the argument seemed plausible, but now even though the EU is larger than it was then, that proportion of world trade has fallen to 18%. Europe is desperately staggering under an enormous debt burden and an ageing population. It is not the economic power it was and England needs to look outwards to the rest of the world. Indeed England’s industry and wealth has been built-up over last 500 years on the basis of its ability to trade with the rest of the world. Trade with the Far East during Elizabeth I’s reign was so important to kick-start the Industrial Revolution that began 150 years later, here in the West Midlands.
Now the Common Market has turned into the European Union. This is where the real growth in Europe has occurred, it has developed political structures and regulations, which pervade all areas of our lives. It costs UK about £55M per day to be a member of the EU but the hidden costs of regulation are probably even greater than that.
Most crucially of all though is the freedom of movement with the EU. The ‘open borders’ policy forced upon the UK by the EU means that we have lost control of our nation’s borders. People can come to UK even if we don’t want or need them. It is as if the English Channel, the historic bulwark against European domination, never existed. This policy in particular has affected England. It is overwhelmingly into England that the vast majority of EU citizens have come in the last 15 to 20 years. No one in government or outside really knows how many have come here but the figure is certainly in millions. As a consequence England is now the most densely populated country in Europe. We have no quarrel with the migrants themselves, our argument is with our government that allows this unchecked migration. All these migrants of course have to have somewhere to live. Anyone that travels around our country can see how large swathes of English countryside are being concreted over, to house a population over which we have no control.
Ultimately that is the point, the EU is increasingly robbing us of control over our own destiny. The point of being a nation surely is to gain control not give it away.
Which brings me onto our older union – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Which was formed in 1707 by the union of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland. Enlarged in 1801 by union with the Kingdom of Ireland and subsequently reduced in 1922 when Ireland apart from Ulster, became independent.
For some time it has become increasingly apparent that the Scots and Welsh are not happy with perceived English domination of the UK. One of the first attempts to placate them occurred in 1978. Labour secretly implemented the ‘Barnett Formula’, which was designed to give Scotland more than its fair share of UK state funding. This formula was only supposed to apply for 1 or 2 years but is still with us today, almost 40 years later. In 1987 the Scottish Constitutional Convention was formed; Gordon Brown and many other leading Labour figures signed-up. The convention committed each signatory to put the interests of Scotland first and above all others. Very little of this was mentioned when these Scots later controlled the destiny of the whole of the UK, including England!
Why does this matter, you might say? It matters because England has been disadvantaged in state funding for more than 3 decades. Cabinet papers released earlier this year show that in 1984 the British Government believed that Scotland was being over-funded by up to £900 million, a sizeable sum 30 years ago. John Redwood wanted to cut that over-funding by £500 million, but his plan was scuttled by the then Scottish Secretary – George Younger (a Scottish Lord), who claimed that he would not be able to defend such cuts. Interestingly Mrs Thatcher’s Private Secretary at the time, Andrew Turnbull, who went on to be Head of Civil Service in 2002, said that “there should be no attempt to publicise the figures”.
Cover-up indeed, at the expense of the English.
Unfairness to England is still at the heart of all British Government funding. In 2012 each person in England received £1600 less than each person in Scotland, and the figure in Northern Ireland is even higher. In England working people have to pay £8.05 for each prescription but these are free in every other part of the UK.
It sickens me that the press and the mass media talk about British this and British that, but we no longer live in a united state. Devolution has changed Britain, if any thing we have become a dis-United Kingdom.
The people of England have never been asked their opinion on devolution, but it is clear that we are the ones who are paying for it.
Perhaps it is not surprising that England has never been consulted, until very recently leading Labour politicians were even denying the very existence of England. David Cameron has claimed that there is plenty of Scottish blood in his veins.
We believe though that the people of England are waking-up to this unfairness. In 2011 the UK Census showed that more than 66% of people living in England (not including London), gave their National identity as ‘English ONLY’, with a further 10% claiming a dual identity of English and British.
English Democrats support the right of the people of Scotland to decide their own fate, this is called self-determination. But how can you support that for one country, for one nation and not support it for another. At best this could be described as double standards, and at worst we believe that the main political parties have acted with blatant hypocrisy, and are profoundly undemocratic.
We demand that the people of England should be given the same rights of self-determination as those of Scotland.
We want to see the choice of England becoming independent from the EU and the UK put to the people of England at the earliest possible opportunity.
We are standing in these elections for the European Parliament to publicise our ideas on how England can be made a better place.
Public opinion with regard to politicians is at an all time low, we sympathise with this view but want to find a way forward. English Democrats believe that a fresh start is needed.
The old established ways of doing things must go. The British Parliament in Westminster is corrupt, a vehicle for political careerists. We must create new political structures, a new English Parliament in a new location.
On 22nd May, if you feel that:
I’m English, NOT British, NOT European.
Vote English Democrat