2021 elections: Showdown for civic nationalist and Brexiteer parties

As we explained last week, the 2021 elections for a variety of local councils, mayoralties, and the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments take place at a time of transition for the racial nationalist movement.

It’s also the end of an era for the various civic nationalist, populist and Brexiteer parties, many of which emerged out of splits in the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a force that changed the direction of British politics during the past decade but has been in prolonged death throes for the past few years.

The largest faction of the old UKIP followed Nigel Farage into his new Brexit Party, but Farage has now retired from frontline electoral politics. His ally Richard Tice now leads a party renamed and rebranded as Reform UK, which is still the largest of the post-UKIP factions but a lot weaker than its predecessor.

According to our analysis of documents produced by more than two hundred returning officers across England, Scotland, and Wales, Reform UK has 276 candidates for English councils. In addition they are fighting all 14 Greater London Assembly constituencies as well as putting up a GLA slate. (This citywide list, elected on a proportional basis, is one of the few elections where parties such as Reform UK stand a chance. The BNP’s Richard Barnbrook was elected to the GLA via the citywide slate in 2008.)

Nigel Farage has left frontline politics, while his Brexit Party has been rebranded as Reform UK

Reform UK have candidates for 13 of the 39 Police & Crime Commissioner posts up for election on May 6th; as well as three mayoralties.

The biggest showdown between Reform UK and the rump of UKIP is in Wales, where Reform UK is fighting all 40 constituencies as well as all five regional slates. UKIP is fighting all of the regions, but only has candidates in 14 of the 40 constituencies.

At the previous Welsh election in 2016, UKIP won seven seats via the regional list system.

Across the English councils, UKIP’s relative weakness compared to Reform UK is even more marked: we estimate that they have 131 English council candidates (fewer than half Reform UK’s total), plus a London slate. Unlike Reform UK, UKIP have a London mayoral candidate, and they are also contesting the North Tyneside mayoralty.

A Covid-sceptic party called Freedom Alliance (and its South Wales sister party ‘No More Lockdowns’) is fighting four of the five Welsh regional lists and 15 Welsh constituencies. Across England we estimate that they have 89 council candidates. A similar but higher-profile anti-lockdown party is led in London by Piers Corbyn, brother of the former Labour leader. This party – Let London Live – is fighting three GLA constituencies, the citywide list, and the London mayoralty (with Corbyn himself as mayoral candidate).

David Kurten left UKIP to form the Heritage Party

As we have previously reported, yet another anti-lockdown party contesting the London elections is the Heritage Party, founded by former UKIP leadership candidate David Kurten. The half-Jamaican Mr Kurten is standing for the London mayoralty and heads a GLA slate, in a bid to retain the seat he won as a UKIP list candidate in 2016.

The Heritage Party (which has absolutely no connection to H&D!) has 22 candidates nationwide in various English council contests: its strongest area seems to be Surrey, where it has five county council candidates – otherwise it has one or two candidates dotted around the country.

An even smaller UKIP splinter is the Alliance for Democracy & Freedom, founded by yet another former UKIP leadership candidate, ex-MEP Mike Hookem. This has just four council candidates around the country.

Some populists and Brexiteers have quixotically rallied behind the Social Democratic Party (SDP), rump of the party founded by prominent ex-Labour politicians in the 1980s. Most of the SDP was fanatically pro-EU and eventually merged into today’s Liberal Democrats, but the tiny group that kept up the name SDP have been joined by a surprising number of Brexiteers who were unhappy about the ‘far right’ direction of UKIP and its other splinters.

The SDP have 62 council candidates across England, as well as a London mayoral candidate and GLA list.

Robin Tilbrook, leader of the English Democrats

The English Democrats have long attempted to rival the various UKIP splinters by promoting their particular constitutional argument in favour of an English Parliament, and for a while attracted a number of defectors from Nick Griffin’s collapsing BNP.

Almost all of those ex-BNP types are now in the For Britain Movement, but the EDs retain a hardcore of English nationalists led by Essex solicitor Robin Tilbrook. They will have six council candidates, two mayoral and two for Police Commissioner elections.

Independent candidates in these elections include former ED Frank Calladine, standing for Mayor of Doncaster.

The bottom line is that Reform UK is by far the biggest of the parties to emerge from the chaos of a bitterly divided Brexiteer political scene. However we expect them to poll quite badly this year, despite killing off UKIP, the Heritage Party and other splinters.

There will be some strong independent results, and we expect Jim Lewthwaite of the British Democratic Party to poll well in his Bradford City Council ward. But the biggest successes of this year’s elections on the broadly nationalist side of things are likely to be for the For Britain Movement, which will draw support from both civic and racial nationalists despite fielding several non-White candidates.

While these elections will (by the standards of the early 2000s) produce very few nationalist or even broadly populist successes, they will help to clarify the post-Brexit, post-pandemic scene.

H&D will post full reports on the results and their implications, both here and in what will necessarily be a slightly delayed May-June edition of the magazine.

Local Elections 2021: a nationalist movement in transition

Steven Smith, National Front candidate for Cliviger with Worsthorne, Burnley

Nominations closed yesterday for local elections across England, plus elections to the Welsh Assembly, and the many different local authorities have been steadily publishing lists of candidates during the past day and a half.

For H&D readers and supporters of the British racial nationalist / patriotic movement, this is a transitional election, not merely because of the Covid pandemic that has absorbed most public attention for the past year, but also because British politics is finally moving out of the shadow of Brexit.

Over the weekend, this website will analyse what has happened to the entire political tradition that was built up by Nigel Farage for the past decade or so around UKIP, the Brexit Party and its various splinters and offshoots, several of which are contesting some of these elections but on a far smaller scale than we have become used to.

But for now we shall look closer to home at some of the ‘real’ nationalist candidates and parties.

For various reasons the National Front wasn’t expected to have very many candidates this year: so far three have been confirmed. Former Burnley BNP organiser Steven Smith will be NF candidate for his home ward, Cliviger with Worsthorne, Burnley. Chris Jackson is NF candidate for Todmorden ward, Calderdale; and Tim Knowles will contest Langley Mill & Aldercar ward, Amber Valley.

John Clarke, BNP candidate for New Addington, Croydon

Despite its head office having far more money than the NF, the BNP once again has fewer candidates – and even those that are standing are really doing so on their own (creditable) initiative rather than as part of a centrally planned campaign. John Clarke will be BNP candidate for a Croydon Council by-election in New Addington ward, once considered a major target for the party; while Ray Beasley is contesting the Boothville & Parklands ward of the newly created West Northamptonshire council.

Dr Jim Lewthwaite, British Democratic Party candidate for Wyke ward, Bradford

Dr Jim Lewthwaite is once again likely to have one of the most effective nationalist campaigns anywhere in the country: he is again contesting Wyke ward, Bradford, for the British Democratic Party

Some well-known nationalists are standing as independent candidates this year. As we have already reported, H&D editor Mark Cotterill is standing both for Preston City Council (in Ribbleton ward) and Lancashire County Council (in the Preston SE division). Similarly Chris Roberts, one of London’s most dedicated racial nationalist activists of recent decades, is contesting both an Essex County Council seat in South Benfleet, and his local district council seat in Boyce ward, Castle Point. The latter is a by-election that follows a typical Tory financial scandal.

Chris Roberts, independent candidate for South Benfleet, Essex, and Boyce ward, Castle Point

Pete Molloy – an ex-serviceman and former BNP activist who is among the very few nationalists now holding public office at any level – is standing as independent candidate for the Spennymoor division of Durham County Council, as well as for re-election to his Spennymoor Parish Council seat where he has been an effective representative for his local community.

Pete Molloy, parish councillor and independent candidate for Spennymoor, County Durham

Former BNP candidate Dr Andrew Emerson is again contesting the Chichester West division of West Sussex County Council, as well as a by-election for the Chichester West ward of the district council.

With the new party Patriotic Alternative not yet registered with the Electoral Commission, so unable to field candidates in this year’s elections, one of the largest nationalist parties standing this year is the For Britain Movement, who already have borough councillors in Hartlepool and Epping Forest. H&D subscriber and former BNP councillor and mayoral candidate Julian Leppert, already an Epping Forest councillor, is standing for the Waltham Abbey division of Essex County Council.

There are four For Britain candidates for Epping Forest District Council. Veteran NF, BNP, Freedom Party, English Democrat and now For Britain campaign strategist Eddy Butler is contesting Loughton Broadway; his wife Sue is candidate for Waltham Abbey NE; former BNP councillor Mrs Pat Richardson is standing in Waltham Abbey Honey Lane; and Jim Searle in Waltham Abbey SW.

Julian Leppert, seen here (second right) celebrating his 2019 victory in Epping Forest, is For Britain candidate for Waltham Abbey, Essex County Council, this year: also shown (from left) are Mrs Pat Richardson and Mrs Sue Butler, two of this year’s Epping Forest candidates

There are dozens of other For Britain candidates nationwide – in fact we make it a total of 58. They include former BNP councillor Graham Partner in Coalville North, Leicestershire.

However the majority of these candidates should not really be classified as racial nationalists: one or two indeed are non-White, and people like party leader Anne Marie Waters (a candidate in De Bruce ward, Hartlepool, this year) are avowedly and sincerely non-‘racist’ or anti-‘racist’.

We shall therefore be examining For Britain’s nationwide campaign over the weekend, in the context of its post-UKIP rivals including Reform UK, the Heritage Party, and what remains of UKIP itself, as well as longstanding civic nationalist parties such as the English Democrats.

End of an era: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh RIP

(above left) The Duke of Edinburgh in 2006 at Basra Air Station, Iraq, with the Commanding Officer and soldiers of the Queen’s Royal Hussars Battle Group

We are sorry to learn of the death of the Queen’s consort, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, earlier today at the age of 99.

The Duke was one of the last living links to a very different Britain that was still British, when we still manufactured some of the highest quality goods in the world, and when people could still leave their doors unlocked.

Moreover he was perhaps the last of a generation of VIPs who were unafraid of political incorrectness. Those of our readers in the Forces or ex-Forces will remember the Duke’s lifelong commitment to veterans and associated charities.

There will be much more to be said about the Duke’s life and connections – and a few surprises from the archives. But today is not the time for that. We send our condolences to HM The Queen.

Campaigning for the local government elections is likely to be suspended as a mark of respect. H&D editor Mark Cotterill will be in touch with campaign volunteers to inform them of any revised schedules.

Jim Dowson enters electoral politics as Scotland prepares for May 6th polls

Jim Dowson (above left) with ally, turned enemy, turned ally again Nick Griffin.

Jim Dowson – right-hand man to former BNP leader Nick Griffin – is making his debut as a Scottish parliamentary candidate. 56-year-old Dowson has extensive experience in political fundraising and publicity, initially for the anti-abortion movement, and despite his longstanding Ulster Loyalism has in recent years built bridges with a small Catholic and Irish nationalist group in the Republic.

His previous electoral experience was on the Britain First slate in Scotland at the 2014 European elections, but most of Dowson’s recent political activity has been in collaboration with Nick Griffin, the former BNP leader with whom Dowson first worked professionally almost fifteen years ago. They split for a few years after Griffin (to no-one’s surprise) failed to pay bills, but a reunion was promoted by the Italian nationalist Roberto Fiore, who is the real organiser behind Dowson and Griffin’s new venture, the British Freedom Party.

The BFP, whose figurehead leader is former Britain First deputy chief Jayda Fransen, has not yet registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission, so its three candidates next month cannot have the party name on ballot papers.

Ms Fransen will be an independent candidate for Glasgow Southside in the Scottish Parliament election, opposing Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, while her colleague Joe Finnie (a former BNP organiser who remained loyal to Griffin after the latter’s expulsion from the party he once led) will contest Glasgow Pollok, against the SNP’s Justice minister Humza Yousaf.

Jayda Fransen (above right) with her ‘deputy’ Nick Griffin, who will no doubt be sharpening the knives in the party office kitchen if the party raises any serious money or support.

These two campaigns have long been expected and mentioned in previous editions of H&D. The new development is in Airdrie & Shotts, where Jim Dowson has only recently decided to stand as a candidate himself. At first we understood he was going to stand both in the Scottish parliamentary election and in a Westminster by-election that will be held a week later on May 13th. In the event he decided not to stand in the Westminster contest.

H&D understands that Mr Dowson saw a political opportunity in Airdrie & Shotts for two reasons. Firstly the farcical and money-wasting circumstances, where the sitting Westminster MP Neil Gray has triggered an unnecessary by-election because of his decision to stand for the Holyrood parliament (a farce worsened by the returning officer who quite pathetically decided that he and his team could not safely and competently hold the by-election on May 6th alongside the Holyrood polls).

And secondly because in typical ‘woke’ fashion, the ‘Scottish’ National Party is putting up yet another Asian candidate in the Westminster contest.

For some reason neither Mr Finnie nor Mr Dowson have put the word ‘Independent’ on their nomination papers for Holyrood, so they will appear on the ballot as ‘no description’.

Anum Qaisar-Javed, former general secretary of Muslim Friends of Labour, defected to the SNP a few years ago and will be the party’s candidate in the Airdrie & Shotts by-election on May 13th

Mr Finnie is unlucky to be facing opposition in Pollok from the anti-woke party Reclaim’s only Scottish candidate as well as UKIP.

Various other parties are fielding candidates across Scotland either to the right of the Tories on immigration and social issues; still flogging the dead horse of Brexit; or committed to anti-lockdown or anti-vaccination campaigns that have attracted some support from sections of our movement.

Scotland’s parliamentary election is similar to that for the Greater London Assembly in that there are first-past-the-post elections for constituency MSPs, plus additional MSPs elected via a proportional list system – one very important difference being that in London this list covers the entire city region, whereas the Scottish Parliament has eight regions each with their own list.

This means in practice that (unlike London) a fringe party stands little chance of getting an MSP elected unless their support is very heavily concentrated in just one of these regions. Whereas the system does favour the more substantial smaller parties, notably the Greens and Liberal Democrats, and in theory protects 21st century Scotland from one-party SNP domination.

Leo Kearse, ‘right-wing comedian’ and Reclaim candidate for Glasgow Pollok

Parties standing at the 2021 election include:

Reclaim (anti-woke party led at a UK level by actor and London mayoral candidate Laurence Fox)
– comedian Leo Kearse is standing both for the Glasgow regional list and in the Glasgow Pollok constituency

Freedom Alliance (a new anti-lockdown party)
– all eight regional slates;
– constituency candidates in Banffshire & Buchan Coast; Edinburgh N & Leith; Caithness, Sutherland & Ross; Glasgow Southside

Reform UK (the Scottish branch of the former Brexit Party, led by Richard Tice and associated with Nigel Farage before the latter’s retirement from party politics)
– all eight regional slates

Abolish the Scottish Parliament (a new party led by John Mortimer who founded the British Union & Sovereignty Party, later renamed the British Sovereignty Party)
– seven of the eight regional slates (not contesting Highlands & Islands region)

Scottish Family Party (anti-woke, social conservatives)
– all eight regional slates;
– constituency candidates in Renfrewshire N & W; Mid Fife & Glenrothes; Edinburgh S; Coatbridge & Chryston; Strathkelvin & Bearsden; Edinburgh Pentlands; Perthshire N

UKIP (a now much-diminished force across the UK, and especially so in Scotland)
– all eight regional slates;
– constituency candidates in Glasgow Pollok; Edinburgh C; Eastwood; Moray; Motherwell & Wishaw

Scottish Libertarian Party (a rare example of a party that’s both pro-Brexit and pro-independence; but mainly a US style small-state, pro-market, pro-privatisation party)
– all eight regional slates;
– constituency candidates in Aberdeen S & N Kincardine; Dumbarton; Kilmarnock & Irvine Valley; Glasgow Pollok; Kirkcaldy; Edinburgh C; Edinburgh W; Caithness, Sutherland & Ross; Motherwell & Wishaw

Restore Scotland (another pro-Brexit but pro-independence party; has attracted a very small number of veteran SNP activists who were also pro-Brexit; seems to be concentrated in the north / Highlands)
– regional slates in Highlands & Islands; NE Scotland;
– constituency candidates in Dundee City West; Banffshire & Buchan Coast; Inverness & Nairn; Shetland

Vanguard (sometimes known as Scottish Vanguard Party; founded by former Brexit Party candidate and barrister Michael Banks; no known connection to the Ulster Vanguard Party of 1970s fame)
– regional slate South Scotland; plus the Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale constituency

Social Democratic Party (a pro-Brexit party whose other policies seem more like the old right-wing of Labour; rump of the old SDP that supported David Owen, though Owen is no longer in any way associated with the party)
– regional slate Lothian.

Numerous other parties are standing representing leftist, liberal or establishment political traditions. H&D will report here and in the next issue of the magazine on these elections and their implications for racial nationalism.

Crowded field in London elections – but no racial nationalists

On May 6th most of the UK (with the exception of Northern Ireland) will have local government elections for the first time in two years. May 2020’s polls were postponed for a year due to the pandemic, so this year is a double set of elections, the biggest of their kind in British history.

However, campaigning is still obstructed by pandemic regulations. For this and other reasons explained in recent issues of H&D, the National Front and some other racial nationalist parties are (for the most part) avoiding these elections.

We now know the lists of candidates for the Greater London Assembly and London Mayoralty, while other lists will not appear until next week.

As predicted in the March-April edition of H&D, there are (for the first time since the GLA’s creation) no racial nationalist candidates for either Assembly or Mayor this year – but there is a crazily crowded field of what we might call pro-Brexit and anti-lockdown parties.

Several of these are explicitly ‘anti-racist’ but might be backed by some H&D readers because they are also to a greater or lesser extent anti-woke.

Laurence Fox (above right) with two of the small band of comrades who back his mayoral candidature.

The highest profile is television actor Laurence Fox, whose political views have become more prominent during the past year as he has shocked the left-liberal establishment with his criticisms of the ‘woke’ and Black Lives Matter agendas. Mr Fox’s new party Reclaim has little or no membership/branch structure and seems to be really just Mr Fox and a few friends, heavily backed by a former UKIP donor, tycoon Jeremy Hosking.

Mr Fox is standing for Mayor but does not have candidates for the Assembly.

No fewer than five other parties from this pro-Brexit/anti-woke spectrum do have Assembly candidates.

  • UKIP, once a powerful force in British politics but now much diminished: controversial columnist Katie Hopkins had been announced as UKIP’s number one candidate for the Assembly, but for unexplained reasons is not in fact standing
  • Reform UK, the successor to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and now run by his former ally Richard Tice, now that Farage has stepped aside from party politics
  • the Heritage Party, whose leader and number one Assembly candidate is the half-Jamaican David Kurten, elected to the GLA on the UKIP slate in 2016; a year later he finished third in one of UKIP’s many leadership elections
  • the London Real Party, founded by US-born YouTube conspiracy theorist Brian Rose
  • Let London Live, an anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination party founded by Piers Corbyn, elder brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
David Kurten, seeking re-election to the GLA, this time for his own Heritage Party rather than UKIP

Kurten, Rose, Corbyn, and UKIP’s Peter Gammons are also among the twenty (!) candidates for London Mayor, by far the most crowded ballot paper ever for this election. To some people’s surprise, Richard Tice has avoided the mayoral election to concentrate on the Assembly. Due to the proportional electoral system in London (unlike the first-past-the-post system used for English local councils outside the capital) Tice stands a chance of being elected there, as was the BNP’s Richard Barnbrook at the 2008 election.

Other parties fielding either mayoral or assembly candidates or both include two rival anti-Brexit parties, Rejoin EU and Renew – further evidence that (in London at least) our former membership of the European Union remains a divisive issue.

Katie Hopkins – a no-show at this election despite having been announced as UKIP’s lead candidate

Then there’s a new leftist party called Londependence, a mirror image of separatist racial nationalist parties in Canada and the USA – this new party is composed of fanatical multiracialists who want the capital to break away from the ‘backward’, pro-Brexit, and presumably ‘racist’ provinces of non-metropolitan England.

Of course there are also the main four parties (Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green) plus fringe parties including:

  • the Social Democratic Party (SDP), pro-Brexit rump of the party that set out to “break the mould of British politics” in 1981
  • Christian Peoples Alliance, a party that gets support from some conservative black churches in the capital
  • the Animal Rights Party, a more militant alternative to the Greens
  • two rival parties representing strands of the old Marxist left: the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and the Communist Party of Britain
  • assorted joke parties and vanity independents
  • the Women’s Equality Party, which because of recent publicity about an especially horrific murder of a young woman in South London, is likely to achieve a more credible vote than the other minor parties.

And finally there’s the strangest curiosity of all: the National Liberal Party, which has a slate of Assembly candidates. Though this has the same name as a party that existed during the 1930s as a pro-government breakaway from the Liberals, the NLP has no connection with its predecessor other than the name. It is in fact – though a multiracial party none of whose candidates this year appear to be White Britons – a remnant of the factional splits that tore the National Front apart during the 1980s!

Patrick Harrington (above right) with his former ally, then enemy, then ally, then enemy again Nick Griffin. A party descended from Harrington’s faction in the 1980s NF splits is now the last remnant of those nationalist ‘radicals’ – but its slate of candidates in London is non-White!

After the big NF split of 1986, the so-called ‘cadre’ faction underwent a further split in 1989-90, with a faction led by Patrick Harrington and Graham Williamson forming Third Way. This then evolved into the National Liberal Party at the end of the 1990s. Apart from Williamson, the NLP’s candidates have generally been from ethnic minorities, especially Sikhs and Tamils – yet in terms of an organisational ‘family tree’ of political parties, the NLP is the only party in this year’s London elections that is descended from the NF!

Such is the weird world of London politics in 2021. Even weirder is that those racial nationalists who prioritise anti-lockdown, anti-vaccination issues might find themselves voting for Piers Corbyn’s party, whose candidates are drawn from the fringes of Trotskyism and trendy leftism.

The positive aspect of all this is that the 2021 elections will surely end an era in which the broader nationalist movement was overshadowed by Brexit. The various pro-Brexit, anti-lockdown parties will (we predict) achieve very poor results, clearing away a lot of political ‘dead wood’ and allowing some form of racial nationalist politics to re-emerge in post-pandemic Britain.

H&D will have extensive reports on the local elections (in London and nationwide) here on this website and in the next edition of the magazine.

‘Tommy Robinson’ heads for bankruptcy despite mountain of donations

‘Tommy Robinson’ (above right) with former UKIP leader Gerard Batten

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known under his alias ‘Tommy Robinson’ as former leader of the English Defence League (EDL), was yet again in the headlines for the wrong reasons this morning.

The EDL grew rapidly after its creation in 2009 as a reaction against ‘Islamist extremism’. Never a membership organisation and never having any form of constitution or accountability (despite large amounts of cash swirling around), the EDL nevertheless managed to organise mass demonstrations on a far bigger scale than anything 21st century nationalist parties could manage.

Based on an alliance of football hooligan ‘firms’ rather than a political structure, the EDL included many good lads but also numerous petty criminals such as Yaxley-Lennon looking for a fast buck.

There is of course a certain group with many generations of experience in exploiting such petty criminals and their greed: so it was no surprise that ‘Tommy Robinson’ became the most devoted cheerleader for Israel in the (broadly defined) nationalist movement.

Tommy Robinson (above centre) promoting the UK launch of anti-Islam group PEGIDA (one of numerous short-lived attempts to politiicse the EDL) alongside Anne-Marie Waters (now leader of the For Britain Movement) and Paul Weston

But the wheels came off a few years ago, and for some time ‘Tommy’ has seemed an increasingly desperate shadow of his former self. He is presently being sued for libel in a case that H&D cannot discuss for legal reasons, and recently told a court that he couldn’t afford legal representation due to imminent bankruptcy.

Today’s stories detail the vast amounts of cash that ‘Tommy’ has burned through in the past decade.

While H&D has little knowledge of these particular allegations, we have warned readers about ‘Tommy Robinson’ for many years. If our movement is to rebuild itself as a credible force in the post-Brexit, post-Farage era, we must look on the sad saga of ‘Tommy Robinson’ as an object lesson in how not to do things.

A Happy St Patrick’s Day to all H&D readers worldwide

St Patrick

This article was first published in Heritage and Destiny magazine, #71 (March-April 2016), but is still very valid today. (See also our article on ‘St Patrick: Patron Saint of the USA?‘)

Enoch Powell’s Suppressed Article (on St Patrick, Ulster and the Scots Irish Identity) Rediscovered – with introduction by Peter Rushton, H&D Assistant Editor

After the Conservatives returned to government under Margaret Thatcher in 1979, Enoch Powell hoped Ulster’s status as an integral part of the United Kingdom would be reaffirmed. Some of the leading figures on Thatcher’s wing of the Conservative Party were Powellites, and until the eve of the 1979 election the Tories’ Northern Ireland spokesman had been Airey Neave – a strong and determined Unionist. Tragically Neave was murdered by a car bomb at the House of Commons in March 1979, and his successors pursued a very different policy: commitment to Ulster’s identity was progressively weakened through the 1980s.

Powell came to believe that the CIA had a hand in Airey Neave’s murder, and it is now established that MI6 and CIA operatives had been pursuing a deal with the IRA since the mid-1970s.

In January 1981 however (still believing that Thatcher’s government would defend the Union) Powell proposed that the Foreign Office should produce articles and booklets for the American public to explain Ulster’s distinct identity. It was agreed that Powell would write a brief article to be published in U.S. newspapers on St Patrick’s Day (17th March 1981) and that a 1965 booklet – Scotch-Irish and Ulster – would be reprinted, both with Foreign Office support.

Although Powell submitted the article and welcomed republication of the pamphlet, both were sidelined: the anti-Ulster faction in Whitehall and Washington triumphed. The article and related official correspondence remained classified until February 2015, and H&D now reveals the story for the first time after I obtained the documents from the National Archives.

Enoch Powell on the campaign trail

If St Patrick has a Member to represent him in Parliament, I must surely be that man. My constituency in the House of Commons is Down South, the southern half of the county of Down, which looks across the Irish Sea beyond the Isle of Man to Cumberland and Galloway. From that southern half there projects a peninsula which the ancient geographers were already calling Dunum, or Down; and Downpatrick, the town which stands at the isthmus of that peninsula, happily combines the name of the place and that of the British missionary with a late Roman surname who we believe brought Christianity from the largest to the second largest of the British Isles.

The peninsula where he landed, baptised his first converts, built his first church and laid his bones to rest has still a palpable individuality. When I drive into it – its traditional name is Lecale – from some other part of my constituency, I am always conscious of crossing a threshold. But the same is just as true of the whole north-eastern part of Ireland to which that peninsula is attached: it is distinct and separate from the rest, as if by a decree of nature. Geographically and geologically it had its own pattern, a mountain ring enclosing an inner central plain, long before man came there at all; and its earliest inhabitants were linked by blood and intercourse with the neighbouring mainland. The passage which St Patrick made was no voyage of exploration: he took a ticket on a two-way traffic route rather like that across the English Channel between Dover and Calais (which in point of fact is somewhat longer).

This north-east part was called “Ulster” centuries before Henry VIII (no friend of St Patrick’s!) used the word to dub one of the four administrative provinces into which he divided his Irish kingdom. Whatever elements, across the centuries, came to Ulster were drawn into its distinct identity. The Norman baron who, with a handful of knights and the king’s permission, rode north from Dublin into Ulster in the 1170s founded an independent principality – the earldom of Ulster, which is today held by the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester. Into Ulster flowed settlers from England and Wales as well as from Scotland, long before the Plantation of James I; and the separateness of the province claimed and enveloped them all.

St Patrick’s grave

That happened pre-eminently to those Scots who were the major element in the settlement of the forfeited lands at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Research has proved that they by no means displaced the earlier Ulstermen so comprehensively as was intended and is often believed. It is also true that they only represented one, albeit the largest, of a series of contingents earlier and later who returned across the narrow North Channel to the land from which the ancestors of many of them had originally come in remote, even prehistoric times. The great fact, however, is that, like the rest, they became part of Ulster.

The vocabulary of American history has called those people Scotch Irish. The truer name is that by which they liked, and still like, to call themselves – Ulster Scots. For they were indeed, and remain in virtue of many ties, Scots; but above all they were Ulstermen. This therefore was the Ulster, unique from its beginning, which contributed a disproportionate share – including at least ten presidents – to the foundation and to the spirit of the American nation right from the origins of its independence. It is a contribution as distinct from the rest, and as distinctive, as any other, whether Irish, English or Scots.

The modern search for national roots is, I believe, as healthy as it is popular and expanding. It has already brought many Americans, and not only those with demonstrable ancestral ties, to Ulster, to learn on the spot – the only sure way – the truth about its past and its present. Those who come are coming to the place which, of all spots on the globe, is peculiarly and forever St Patrick’s. On his day America is remembered in Ulster, as Ulster ought to be remembered in America.

Editor’s note: J. Enoch Powell (1912-1998) was Ulster Unionist MP for South Down, 1974-87, having earlier been Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West, 1950-74. His career in Conservative politics ended when he was sacked as the party’s defence spokesman in April 1968, following his famous “Rivers of blood” speech which criticised Britain’s racial transformation, which can be read online here.

St Patrick – The Patron Saint of the USA?

St Patrick

Editor’s note: The following article was written seven years ago, but the same issues are still being discussed in Loyalist circles today – now mainly on internet forums. So its fitting that we republish it on the run-up to this years St Patrick’s Day. The article “Enoch Powell’s Suppressed Article Rediscovered”, on St Patrick, which we published in issue 71 of H&D certainly added fuel to the (Loyalist) bonfire!

It was America that spawned the St Patrick’s Day parade, not Ireland, and its origins are both Protestant and British…As March 17th approaches, the annual debate has reignited on whether Unionism should embrace St Patrick and the day set aside for his commemoration. Over the last five years there has been a slow emergence of Protestant participation on the date, though that has been via the creation of new events rather than involvement in existing ones. This article examines the origin of St Patrick’s Day parades, this new emerging trend, its motivation and where it may possibly lead.

The question ‘where is the biggest St Patrick’s Day parade in Northern Ireland?’ at first glance would appear easily answered. Belfast most would say, with a few probably suggesting the Cathedral City of Armagh or even where he was allegedly laid to rest, Downpatrick. What will surprise many is that the largest parade for the last few years by sheer number of participants has been in the small County Armagh village of Killylea. It is here since 2005 the Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute Band have held their annual band procession and competition. Last year the Cormeen parade saw 42 bands take part (in comparison to the seven that paraded at the Dublin event), amounting to approximately 1800 band members. Thousands of spectators stood along the route, despite it being a bitterly cold evening.

Cormeen Rising Sons of William chairman Mark Gibson explains that the bands original motivation for the parade came more out of necessity than anything else. “The band season is very busy, and when trying to find a date for our parade it was difficult to define one that didn’t clash with other bands locally.” Some members suggested March 17 as a solution to the problem, but the band was nervous. “We were concerned about how a St Patrick’s Day parade would go down in our community, the parade in Armagh never was very welcoming, but we made a decision to try it and it has been a success.”

From that initial year where thirteen bands took part, the parade is now among the largest in the Province. It’s not only the number of bands participating that has increased, but also the crowds attending to watch, and the event is increasingly becoming a fixture in the calendar for many Unionists. Another band, the Ulster Protestant Boys Flute Coleraine, have started a similar event on the date that too is growing. The ever increasing scale of both processions indicates clearly that there is certainly a willingness within the PUL (Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist) community to be involved in St Patrick’s Day. Where the schisms emerge are with the issues of why and how.

Cormeen Rising Sons of William Flute Band

It is generally acknowledged that in the distant past Patrick was not a controversial figure for Protestants in Ireland or beyond. His ‘sainthood’ was never conferred by the Pope and pre-dates the reformation, so he was never seen as being the possession of ‘Rome’. St Patrick was seen as an evangelical Christian who had made personal sacrifice to spread the gospel in Ireland. The anniversary of his death was observed and commemorated by all Protestant denominations to different degrees, with the Church of Ireland in particular very active.

The shift from an anniversary of religious significance towards an ‘Irish’ event however first took place in the United States in 1737. In Boston that year the Irish Charitable Society, made up of Protestant immigrants (some of whom were British Soldiers), held their first meeting and dinner. The purpose was to both honour Patrick in the context of their Protestant faith and to reach out the hand of friendship to other Irish immigrants. The exercise obviously struck a chord and the practise spread, with the first recorded parade in New York in 1766, with again British Soldiers of Irish blood heavily involved. It was America that spawned the St Patrick’s Day parade, not Ireland, and its origins are both Protestant and British.

During that period in history the vast majority of Irish immigrants were Presbyterian, however from 1830 it was Catholic arrivals who were in the ascendancy. With that change began an emphasis towards anti-British sentiment in the demonstrations. In the aftermath of the American Revolutionary War anything portrayed as anti-colonial was well received, with even the many original Protestant immigrant descendants non-antagonistic of this motivation. Many British ‘Loyalists’ had left for Canada, and effectively the descendants of the original Protestant Irish settlers remaining saw themselves as primarily American in identity, with all that was left for their original ‘homeland’ of Ireland simply folk memory and sentimentality.

Mike Cronin, author of A History of St Patrick’s Day, states that whilst this tradition was developing, back in Ireland the first parades didn’t take place until the 1840’s and even then they were organised by Temperance societies. Mike emphasises the lack of public celebration “The only other major events in nineteenth century Ireland was a trooping of the colour ceremony and grand ball held at Dublin Castle.” So even as late as 1911 the largest St Patrick’s Day occasion in Ireland was still rooted in a joint Irish and British expression of identity. Protestant churches and some Orange Lodges throughout the island appear to have held minor functions on the date, but these were very subdued affairs, and essentially even post-partition very little changed. Catholic observance of the day continued to different degrees in different areas, as did the Protestant nod to Patrick.

Right up until the 1960s the primary theme of St Patrick’s Day in both Northern Ireland and the Republic still remained religious observance, with even from 1923 to then public houses and bars in the Republic of Ireland closed by law. A poll conducted in 1968 suggested that 20% of Northern Irish Protestants at this stage still considered themselves Irish. The onset of civil unrest in Northern Ireland coincided however with the importation of the American style to St Patrick’s events in Dublin and elsewhere. Now whilst a violent conflict was being waged in the name of all things Irish, St Patrick’s Day parades were starting to display the features that had developed in the United states. On these parades Irish identity was perceived by Northern Protestants as being defined as aggressively anti-British and anti-Protestant, with the disjointed and casual nature of the parades and the now integral alcohol element alien to PUL parading traditions and customs.

The Cross of St Patrick LOL 688

As the IRA campaign escalated, many Protestants simply could not divorce the fact that these celebrations displayed an exclusive form of Irish sentiment whilst a campaign was being waged against them in the name of Ireland. As the years progressed, in Northern Ireland in particular it became apparent that the day was being deliberately used in many instances as an extension of the Irish Republican war against Unionism.

Grand Orange Lodge Director of Services Dr David Hume reiterates the view that in the recent past it has been the nature of the parades and commemorative events that turned Protestants away. “The perception among Unionism is without doubt that Irish Republicanism and Irish Nationalism has used St Patrick’s Day parades as a weapon, effectively using the ‘shield’ of Patrick to express obvious militant anti-British and therefore anti-Unionist sentiment.” David believes that the manner and focus of these events is totally at odds with the purported motivation. “St Patrick’s Day should be used as a day of reflection on the religious significance of Patrick, something far removed from the aggressive and confrontational use of symbolism; and the huge emphasis on alcohol consumption that currently seems to be the case.” David bluntly states that the date isn’t an important one on the ‘Orange’ calendar, but recognises that it does have a place in society.

There remains one annual Orange Order parade related to St Patrick’s Day, which is held each year in Ballymena. One of the participating Lodges is The Cross of St Patrick LOL 688 which was founded in 1967. A lodge spokesperson describes the motivation behind its formation as being “to reclaim the heritage of Saint Patrick” explaining that “Brethren were concerned that Patrick’s heritage was being hijacked by Roman Catholicism and Republicanism.” The lodge’s concerns would appear to have been reflecting the growing sense of alienation the PUL community was feeling regarding St Patricks events.

There is no doubt that this alienation effectively forced many Protestants into an automatically negative position regarding St Patrick’s Day. With the advent of the IRA cessations of violence and the ongoing political process however, it has become apparent that many within Unionism have been able to reflect much more on the meaning of St Patrick’s Day for them. The ending of a violent ‘Irish’ physical campaign has given space to examine the date, with many now realising that it once was a date of relevance that they were forced into denying, and there is a willingness to make it relevant again. Nevertheless this reflection and willingness has not as yet manifested itself into significant participation in civic St Patrick’s Day parades.

With a few exceptions, such as the participation of an unashamedly Loyalist Blood and Thunder band in the 2003 Limerick St Patrick’s Band competition, Unionism still does not feel comfortable taking part in the modern version of a St Patrick’s parade. Concerns still exist regarding the involvement of militant Republicanism in such events along with the aggressive use of flags and symbols, but the problem seems to go much deeper.

St Patrick’s Day in New York (pre-Covid)

Iain Carlisle of the Ulster Scots Community Network has a very straightforward and unambiguous answer regarding Unionist involvement in St Patrick’s Day events. Iain states very clearly “I don’t think there has to be ANY justification given for Protestants or Unionists marking Patrick’s day”, but goes on to say that “there is however a fundamental difference of approach to both Patrick as a person and the means of celebration within the Unionist community”. Iain’s comments would appear to reflect not just a general uncomfortable position with the overtly ‘United Ireland’ underlying St Patrick’s Day theme, but the actual motivation and method of celebration.

All historical examinations of Protestant Irish and their approach and relationship with Patrick indicates that for them he has never truly deviated from having a purely theological relevance. On St Patrick’s Day however the majority of Catholics, Irish Nationalists, Republicans, those of Irish descent and indeed anyone who wants a day out, St Patrick’s significance as a religious icon is purely tokenistic. St Patrick is merely a figurehead for overt Irish nationalism and a holiday. In turn the Unionist tradition of parading has developed from a military perspective and the American style parades are an alien concept, being perceived as being undisciplined and overtly casual.

Whilst new events have arisen, it is obvious that Unionism has no desire to abandon its central belief of Patrick’s religious relevance, and in addition is reluctant to embrace what it sees as an alien approach to parades. Even with the emergence of band parades on the date, they in themselves are a much more disciplined and subdued practise than their counterparts on the day. Whatever the future holds, it is clear that the PUL community is going through an ongoing examination of Patrick and his relevance to them. As journalist Chris Ryder recently pointed out “there will be no going back to the view that St Patrick was a Catholic, and a saint only for Catholics.”

Editor’s note: republished in issue #77 of Heritage and Destiny magazine (March-April 2017)

Setbacks for AfD in latest German elections

Jörg Meuthen of AfD, whose party lost ground in two important elections this weekend.

Regional elections in two areas of Germany yesterday resulted in setbacks for the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland – AfD).

For several years the party had seemed to be making steady advances in every area of Germany, especially after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in August 2015 to admit more than a million ‘asylum seekers’.

Yet the Covid pandemic seems to have knocked AfD off course. At the start of the crisis there was a tendency for conservative German voters to rally behind Merkel and her centrist-conservative CDU. In recent weeks that support has begun to crumble, partly because of a perception that the German government had bungled vaccine procurement, and partly because of a couple of scandals involving pandemic-related contracts.

Yet none of this swing against the government has benefited AfD, whose leaders allowed the party to become associated with anti-lockdown protests. This seems to have distracted from the party’s core messages: far fewer German voters are radically sceptical about Covid than are radically anti-immigration.

Nigel Farage with (above right) AfD’s deputy leader Beatrix von Storch

For the past year AfD has failed to poll above 12% in any national opinion poll, where previously it was often reaching 15% or more. This decline took concrete form in both of yesterday’s elections.

In Baden-Württemberg (traditionally conservative but ruled by a Green-CDU coalition since 2016), AfD’s vote fell from 15.1% to 9.7%, losing six of their seventeen seats in the regional parliament or Landtag. This result will embarrass AfD’s national co-leader Jörg Meuthen, since Baden-Württemberg is his home state.

Yesterday’s other election in Rhineland-Palatinate, best known as the centre of German wine production, saw another sharp fall in AfD’s vote from 12.6% to 8.3%, losing five of their nine seats.

AfD has been distracted and possibly damaged by association with anti-lockdown protests.

In both of these regions the ‘centre-right’ CDU and the ‘far right’ AfD lost support, and in both the Greens were the big winners. In neither case were there any more radical nationalist parties standing, which isn’t surprising since neither region is a traditional stronghold for the racial nationalist NPD or for any of the smaller parties of similar outlook.

The only good news from these elections is that German mainstream parties are still struggling for credibility. Chancellor Merkel retires this year, and the federal election in September is likely to lead to some sort of CDU-Green coalition, further damaging Merkel’s party in the eyes of traditional conservatives. It’s not too late for AfD to get back on track and for German nationalists to escape from the cul-de-sac of pandemic politics.

Corrupt establishments face nemesis in Scotland and Liverpool

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson stepped aside after his arrest on corruption charges

With elections now confirmed for May 6th in most of the UK (despite continuing restrictions associated with the pandemic) a spotlight has fallen on two powerful political establishments: the Labour Party in Liverpool, and the Scottish National Party north of the border.

Among the many political institutions facing elections in May are the Scottish Parliament, where the SNP seemed until recently likely to extend its dominance; and the City Council and directly-elected Mayoralty in Liverpool, a Labour-dominated city in recent years.

Once mighty political boss Joe Anderson, former city council leader and directly elected Mayor of Liverpool since 2012, had expected easily to win re-election for a third mayoral term, but stood aside in December 2020 after he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

For legal reasons we cannot comment about the charges against Mayor Anderson – however their immediate impact was to throw the local Labour Party into chaos.

A candidate process involving an all-female shortlist was begun, then abruptly abandoned when it seemed likely to end in victory for a ‘left-wing’ candidate, Anna Rothery.

Joe Anderson himself paid lip-service to fashionable ‘left-wing’ notions such as militant ‘anti-fascism’, but was more an old style city boss (of a type familiar to our American readers) rather than a socialist firebrand. Ms Rothery herself wasn’t (by modern Labour standards) exceptionally far left either, but sufficiently so to embarrass the new party leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been trying to rebrand Labour for a post-Corbyn era.

The reopened Labour nomination battle seems likely to end with another left wing half-caste woman becoming mayoral candidate – ironically named Joanne Anderson, though unrelated and very hostile to the outgoing Mayor.

This discreditable farce is sure to undermine Liverpool’s tribal loyalty to Labour long-term – although in the short-term it seems likely both that Labour will hold on to power, and that racial/populist nationalism in the city will remain a negligible force.

The Scottish National Party’s Alex Salmond (now at war with his successor Nicola Sturgeon) and Humza Yousaf (SNP Cabinet Secretary for Justice).

Meanwhile in Scotland another overmighty and corrupt political establishment – Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP – is also facing nemesis.

Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor Alex Salmond has alleged that the Sturgeon regime colluded in an effort to destroy his reputation through allegations of “sexual harassment” and worse. A sexual misconduct inquiry in 2018 collapsed for legal reasons, and a criminal trial ended with Salmond being acquitted of all charges in 2020.

The entire saga has moved beyond ‘political insider’ circles, and there is now a serious possibility that Sturgeon will be forced to resign as Scotland’s First Minister.

In any event, this scandal and bitter infighting seems to have derailed what until recently seemed unstoppable progress towards a second Scottish independence referendum.

Andy Wightman in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood

Moving from high political drama to farce, Scottish politics (as in much of the White world) has become obsessed with the issue of “Trans rights”, i.e. whether people who are biologically male can force the rest of society to accept their self-definition as “female” (or vice versa).

This has led to conflict between the “Trans” lobby and radical feminists, who resent the trespassing of people they regard as men.

In common with many left-liberal parties, the Green Party has tended to take the “Trans” side, resulting in the resignation of one of their most prominent MSPs. Andy Wightman quit the Scottish Green Party after he argued that women who were victims of rape or sexual assault should have the right to demand a female doctor for any consequent medical examination.

The Greens – alongside the Liberal Democrats – had taken the line that such women would have to accept a male “trans” doctor as being a woman, if he/she claimed to be so. Mr Wightman voted with the SNP, Labour and Conservatives who accepted that (in this particular circumstance of alleged sexual assault or rape) women should have the right to reject “Trans” demands.

Mr Wightman will now stand as an independent candidate in the Highlands & Islands constituency at the May election. The circus of sexual politics moves on, much to the bemusement of most voters.

Next Page »

  • Find By Category

  • Latest News

  • Follow us on Twitter