Tony Paulsen reports from this year’s Traditional Britain Group Christmas Party

After a fallow year in 2020 when Covid restrictions forbade social gatherings (a prohibition that was, it seems, honoured more in the breach than the observance by Downing Street staffers!) the Traditional Britain Group’s now itself traditional Christmas party took place in a Mayfair pub on Saturday 11th December 2021.

As in 2019, the event sold out and indeed, was over-booked, with a record 75 tickets sold and yet more people attending the after party when the main event was over.

Guest of honour was the historian and film-maker Thomas Rowsell aka “Survive the Jive” (whose Twitter feed as @Tom_Rowsell is well worth following).

Thomas Rowsell, TBG guest speaker

Tom gave an erudite and insightful talk about the Anglo-Saxons and their heritage. He had, he said, listened to a speech by Sir Roger Scruton at his first TBG event some seven years ago, and had been hugely impressed by the speaker, but not persuaded by Scruton’s thesis that English institutions and the common law should be the foundations upon which resistance to what is now called woke-ism should rest.

On the contrary, in Rowsell’s view, those institutions had long since fallen to the enemy and were much more likely to be used as tools of oppression of our folk by a corrupted and deracinated elite.

Rather we should look to a community of shared descent, for while the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who first began to arrive in England in the fifth century were purely Germanic peoples very distinct from the Romanised Britons, by the end of the seventh century, they had largely merged with the Brythonic natives to form the modern English people, rather different from the earliest Anglo-Saxon settlers by reason of the absorption of the Celtic element.

Our language, though suffused with Norman French loan words and much changed by time, comes down to us directly from the early Anglo-Saxon settlers, but the ethnic make up of the English had changed significantly long before the Norman Conquest (which in the speaker’s view had little impact upon our genetic inheritance compared to the absorption of the Romanised Britons), to include a minority Celtic as well as a majority Anglo-Saxon-Jutish component.

We are, said Rowsell, a distinct people but at the same time we share a common cultural and religious heritage with other European peoples and our separateness had been overemphasised after the Reformation, sometimes by outright cranks such as the “diggers” who attained a notoriety out of all proportion to their minuscule numbers and complete failure to change society after the English Civil War, claiming to restore a supposed primitive Anglo-Saxon social order against the heirs of the Norman landlords.

Bad though William the Tanner’s Bastard might have been in 1066, there is no evidence to support the myth that six centuries later, the English aristocracy of Stuart times was racially different from the common people to any discernible degree.

Historians in the insular Whig and Protestant traditions often failed to acknowledge facts that were unwelcome to them, for example, that our forefathers had long shared the heathen faith of other Germanic peoples before becoming Catholic, as was the whole of western Europe in the Middle Ages. We are not so very different from other European peoples. The nineteenth century imperialist myth of Anglo-Saxon particularism would have surprised the Anglo-Saxons!

An earlier TBG event in 2013 was addressed by Jacob Rees-Mogg, now a Cabinet minister, seen here (above left) with TBG Vice-President Gregory Lauder-Frost

A noteworthy aspect of the gathering was how young and well-educated so many of those attending are, and also how many women attended a meeting in a movement too often a male preserve. The TBG’s successful social media operations and the high-profile online presence of the guest speaker clearly have an impact and disseminate our ideas beyond the usual white working-class male dominated stereotype.

It is also interesting to compare the very high attendance at the Christmas party with the rather less well attended annual conference some two months earlier in the year, which may well reflect the continuing reluctance of the older age group that is more in evidence at the annual conference to attend large events in a time of continuing anxiety about Covid. Whether well-founded or not, such concerns clearly continue to trouble many in our circles, as well as in society more generally.

The TBG continues to play an important role in bringing people together different in an agreeable non-party political, non-factional meeting place. We hope that it will continue to do so in the coming year, despite the likelihood of government-imposed constraints upon meeting in the earlier part of 2022.

Editor’s note’s: Tony’s report on the 2021 Traditional Britain Group Conference, which was held in London on October 23rd, will be published in H&D #106, which will be out in early January 2022.

Those who wish to join TBG yet perhaps live too far from London (it is a rather London-centric organisation, less in terms of membership, than where the meetings are held) might wish to visit its web page or subscribe to its Twitter feed @TradBritGroup

TBG can also be contacted by writing to: Traditional Britain Group, BCM Box 9045, London, WC1N 3XX

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