Crossing the Rubicon: Peter Rushton speaks to the John Tyndall Memorial Meeting 2011

On 8th October 2011 Peter Rushton, assistant editor of Heritage and Destiny, chaired the sixth John Tyndall Memorial Meeting in Preston, Lancashire, and gave the following address.

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John Tyndall led the nationalist movement from obscurity to the forefront of British politics, but he knew that anyone involved in our cause must experience the depths of crisis as well as the heights of achievement.

As National Front chairman, as founder of the British National Party and as editor of Spearhead for more than forty years, he knew both triumph and disaster – and for the six years between Nick Griffin’s takeover of the BNP in 1999 and his own death in 2005, John Tyndall consistently argued that those who were increasingly sceptical of Griffin’s leadership should remain within the BNP and fight to recapture it.

The position of British nationalism today requires a reassessment of that position.

We now face the most serious crisis in the history of our movement.  On Monday night the BBC will broadcast allegations of fraud against the BNP chairman Nick Griffin and his cronies. I have no doubt that those allegations will be fully documented, with evidence provided from people who until recently were Mr Griffin’s closest associates.

But none of this changes the underlying political realities. None of this changes the more serious crisis, which is the one facing our people and our nation – in fact facing all European peoples and nations.  None of this changes the potential for a nationalist party capable of presenting a credible face to the voters of England.

For the first time since 1066 our country’s population growth is mainly due to immigration, with a disastrous impact on schools, on the chronic shortage of affordable housing, and on the National Health Service.

The political establishment has never consulted the English people about this radical transformation of our country: a transformation that has been accelerated because just as foreigners have been arriving, increasing numbers of indigenous Britons have been leaving.

Let’s dispose of the nonsense that this is all perfectly normal, that England is some sort of mongrel nation built up through immigration.  The truth is that our population grew steadily up to about 1750, and very rapidly after 1750, without any mass immigration – until after the Second World War.

Our population in 1541 was about 2.7 million, which grew during the relative peace and stability of the Elizabethan age to about 4 million by 1600.

Over the next century and a half our population grew quite slowly to about 5.7 million by 1750.  Interestingly it is assumed by demographic historians that this 1750 figure was probably lower than the total English population in 1300, when there were probably more than six million inhabitants of England.

The total British population was reduced by about 30% by the Black Death in the mid-14th century, so by the 1380s was only about 3 million.

It was the Agrarian Revolution followed by the Industrial Revolution that led to a population boom, so that by the early 1840s the English population was around 15 million: more than double its previous record and more than five times the population a century earlier!

One of the earliest official historians of postwar immigration, J.A. Tannahill, pointed out, in words that should be repeated to every lying apologist for multiracialism:

“Britain is not by tradition a country of immigration.  In fact, between 1815 and 1914, she not only quadrupled her population without resorting to large-scale foreign immigration, but also despatched over 20 million people to destinations beyond Europe, at first largely to the USA and later in ever increasing proportion to the developing countries of the Commonwealth.”

One of the few major influxes of immigrants before modern times were the so-called Huguenots,  Protestant refugess from France and Flanders arriving in two waves at the end of the 16th and 17th centuries.  But in total even these Huguenots numbered perhaps 40,000 or 50,000.  (This was far larger than for example the Jewish immigrant population, which as late as 1750 probably numbered only about 5,000.)

We hear a lot about the economic benefits of immigration, but the Huguenots were one of the very few examples where this is true, bringing with them not only capital assets but skills in weaving, hat making and watch making.  There were about another 40,000 immigrants from France as a result of the Terror in the 1780s and 1790s after the French Revolution.  Strangely enough it was this wave of immigration, causing concern that some revolutionary spies might be smuggled in among the immigrants, that led to the first ever English laws regulating immigration.  Until the 1790s this was never thought necessary, because the numbers of immigrants were so small.  Far from our country being a creation of waves of immigration, immigrants were such an insignificant factor that no one bothered to formulate regulations!

Until the late 1940s the overwhelming majority of immigrants in England were Irish immigrants.  A few thousand black immigrants arrived as a result of the slave trade, but hardly any interbred with the indigenous English population.

If you read the Sherlock Holmes stories you will occasionally find reference to another type of immigrant who could be found in Victorian England – the so-called “Lascars” who usually lived in dockland areas such as Limehouse, having arrived as crew members of British ships trading with the Far East.  A few female Asian immigrants were known as “ayahs”, nannies for East India company officials, or later officers of the British Raj.

Yet as Dr Roger Bullard of Manchester University has estimated:

“Until the beginning of the 20th century the South Asian presence in Britain remained minute.  At any given time it would have included no more than a few hundred Ayahs and Lascars, [and] a rather smaller number of students seeking professional qualifications, whilst the number of princes and other aristocrats – most of whom only made the briefest of visits – could probably have been counted on the fingers of one hand.”

You can imagine why ­– given this historical context of very low immigration – Englishmen were very concerned by the tidal wave of Jewish immigration at the end of the 19th century.  About 150,000 Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe settled in Britain between 1880 and 1914, the majority in a fifteen year period between 1891 and 1906.

Just as the French Revolutionary immigration in the 1790s had led to a brief period of immigration control, it was this Jewish immigration that led to the basis for modern immigration laws, the Aliens Act of 1905.  It wasn’t a matter of “anti-semitism”, more a question of the scale of this Jewish immigration being way beyond anything our country had previously experienced.  We were not a nation of immigrants.

Even in the period between the two world wars, and even accounting for the number of colonial troops who stayed in England after 1918, immigration was a very minor factor in English life.  Only about 6,000 to 7,000 immigrants from the Indian sub-continent settled in Britain during the whole period from 1918 to 1939.

(About another 60,000 Jews arrived as refugees from national socialism during the 1930s, plus another 10,000 during the War.)

As is obvious, the scale of immigration post-war dwarfs anything previously seen in our history – which is not surprising because the British Nationality Act in 1948 explicitly granted the right of entry to 800 million subjects of the British Empire worldwide.  Madness, you might think – or was it wickedness?

Even in those days it was known perfectly well that a sane immigration policy would have to be a racially conscious policy.

In 1949 the Royal Commission on Population determined:

“Immigrants on a large scale into a fully established society like ours could only be welcomed without reserve if the immigrants were of good human stock and were not prevented by their religion or race from intermarrying with the local population and becoming merged with it.”

Four years earlier, immediately after the end of the war in 1945, the Fabian Society, closely linked to the Labour Party, had issued a pamphlet Population and the People, which said that:
“From the population point of view we need to encourage potential parents of healthy stock to settle in the British Isles, and to discourage those whom we already have from leaving.  …Men and women of European stock, between the ages of 20 and 30, are the immigrants best suited to assist population policy.”

The Fabian pamphlet added that immigrants should be chosen carefully to “ensure they were assimilable and could adapt to the British way of life.  …The utmost care should, of course, be taken to admit only those physically and mentally sound, and free from criminal records, who will introduce a sound stock into the country.  The eugenics of immigration cannot be overstressed.”

In 1948 – two days after the arrival of the infamous immigrant ship Empire Windrush, eleven Labour MPs wrote to their leader, Prime Minister Clement Attlee, warning:

“An influx of coloured people domiciled here is likely to impair the harmony, strength and cohesion of our public and social life and to cause discord and unhappiness among all concerned.”

As we have a former Bradford city councillor with us today, I should mention that two of those Labour MPs who spoke out against immigration in those early days were from his city: Frank McLeavy, later Lord McLeavy, MP for Bradford East, 1945-66; and Meredith Titterington, Bradford South, 1945-49, former Lord Mayor of Bradford.

[This website will later have a special section to honour those Labour MPs of yesteryear who spoke for England in opposing mass immigration.]

Since those days, the element within the Labour Party that truly aimed to fight for the white working class has steadily diminished, even as the truth of their warning that immigration would lead to “discord and unhappiness among all concerned” has been demonstrated time and again (most recently with the riots a few weeks ago).  Nationalist parties have become the true representatives of white workers.  While in many ways very different men with different outlooks, Oswald Mosley, Enoch Powell and John Tyndall spoke for Englishmen and English interests that the Labour Party (and of course the Conservatives and Liberals) have abandoned.

So it is with a heavy heart that nationalists must face the fact that we ourselves have been betrayed by the leadership of our largest nationalist party.  In Ancient Rome provincial governors had to disarm themselves before crossing the River Rubicon and re-entering Roman territory.  To march across the Rubicon with your army was to challenge the leadership of the Roman Republic and was treason, punishable by death.

In 49 BC Julius Caesar deliberately defied his leaders by taking his army across that river, and still today we speak of “crossing the Rubicon” as an irreversible step when we boldly choose to confront destiny.

On Monday night we will cross the Rubicon.  Whether we like it or not, events will carry all serious nationalist activists across the Rubicon and force us to face facts too long ignored.

The leadership of the British National Party will be exposed for criminal fraud, which tragically cannot avoid staining every member of that party, regardless of their personal honesty and decency in the vast majority of cases – everyone who represents that party at any level will be tainted.

Many people have had to wrestle with a conflict of loyalty, and most especially with the knowledge that breaking away from the BNP, exposing the division of our movement to public view, trying to build a new movement out of the wreckage of the old, would be a titanic endeavour.

After Monday all such conflicts, all such strategic calculations will be settled.  It will simply no longer be possible to argue that somehow the BNP leadership can be persuaded to see sense, somehow our difficulties can be patched up.

All personal and factional divisions pale into insignficance next to the overriding division of our movement:
on one side a tiny gang of crooks and embezzlers;
on the other the vast majority of decent and committed patriots.

In St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he writes:
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Let us as nationalists find the courage to put away childish things and confront reality.

We will not succeed in building a new post-Griffin movement by pursuing narrow factional agendas.  It seems to me unquestionable that none of the alternative parties currently operating will be big enough to take on this task alone.

I therefore call on the leading activists in British nationalism to make a complete and irrevocable break from Nick Griffin and his party.  To make the tough choice to cut loose from the BNP before its corrupt leadership drags down even more good nationalists.

Precisely because our national crisis and our racial crisis has moved on to an even more acute stage, the challenge is in some ways even greater than that faced by John Tyndall during the creation of the National Front and the British National Party.  But the potential prize is greater too, as so many of our people are permanently disillusioned with Lib, Lab and Con.

We have absolutely no chance of capturing the loyalty of those disillusioned voters while our own movement is mired in corruption.

Yet if we can find the courage to cut out that cancer, our recovery can be rapid and our future can be bright.

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