David Willey

“Are you English? We hate the English.” I was six years old and just starting my new school in Scotland, having moved up from Yorkshire due to my dad’s work. Up until that point I had no concept of England or Englishness. I knew I was from Britain because all the railways and gas and steel were British. Even my toy cars were “made in Great Britain”. I had no idea of Britain’s colonial past and no clue as to why the Scots would hate the English. Yet here I was, being told that the English were hated because of stuff that happened hundreds of years ago; stuff that I knew nothing about nor had any control over.

England has an image problem. The Irish, Welsh and Scots (and let’s not forget the citizens of all those overseas colonies that were once part of the British Empire) all see England as conquerors, as subjugators. The UK is not a union of equals, it is the English empire. This may not be the whole truth, but it is the perception. The Irish were so aggrieved by their treatment by the English that they resorted to armed insurrection to be free of English rule. While it is too late to save the union with Ireland, the union with Scotland still hangs on, but only by a thread. Brexit has again brought up the spectre of Scottish independence. Scotland sees itself being “dragged out of the EU against its will” by an England apparently populated by racist football hooligans.

It was pointed out by someone on the telly (can’t remember who or when) that in the famous (or infamous) 1966 world cup final, you would have thought that Britain had won. There were plenty of union flags on display, but not so many St. George’s crosses. Up until relatively recently the English merely saw themselves as “British”. Indeed, for foreigners, England and Britain are one and the same (much to the annoyance of the Scots and Welsh). There has never been a demand for English independence because England were the conquerors, the senior partners in the UK. Even in the devolution of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this was England granting “home rule” to the Celtic nations. The very thought of English devolution never crossed the government’s mind.

Is it time for England to assert its own identity, separate from “Britain”? If England is to lose its image as bullying conquerors, perhaps England itself should be devolved. If England had the same level of representation as the other UK nations, if the UK was a truly federal country like Germany or the United States, then England might finally be seen as an equal partner in the UK. It’s time for all parties and politicians to embrace federalism as a way to keep the UK from tearing itself apart.

David Willey was born in 1981 in Wakefield, Yorkshire and moved to Scotland in 1987. He studied Engineering at the University of Liverpool from 1999 to 2002, and spent the years from 2004 to 2014 in the Merchant Navy. He now lives in Bellshill and works in a factory making roofing tiles. www.steamboatwilley.blogspot.com

Mik Clayton

We English were moulded together over more than 1000 years and have stood mostly alone for well over 1000 years since.

We have survived the Norsemen, the Normans, the Papists and the Puritans, the Kaiser, National Socialism and Mondialism, for the most part by tolerance and self-reliance.

We have kept what we liked and made it our own, but we have discarded the rest.

Our natural religion has bound us together in resistance to oppression and stupidity, and yet may well have inspired Christ’s rebellion against there being a chosen people. Unspoken and often unknown English Heathenism has seeped into western Christianity and has formed the basis of many apparently Christian practices.

English folk naturally have a feeling for, if not a conscious understanding of, the wyrd. That web of fate that binds us to each other and to the past and the future.

Romance languages have a compound form for the past tense and a simple form for the future. Germanic languages are the reverse: I went but I will go as opposed to Je suis allé and mais j’irai.

This is an indicator that we English see the past as the fixed reality which explains why our options in the present have limitations, but what we do now, which is not fixed, will alter the options available to future generations.

This is why we feel a debt to our forebears for all the land, skills, legal and physical infrastructure they have bequithed to us, and a need to act wisely to protect what we have for our children.

This is why we knew our folk would vote for Brexit because we knew instinctively that we must get back control of our country whatever the cost. We owe so much to the Englishmen and women who came before us. King Alfred the Great who provided us with a legal system and the basis for nationhood; all the social reformers who freed us from serfdom, who emancipated women, ended the workhouse and forced transportation; the explorers who brought us tea and potatoes; our folk who found cures for diseases, and; all the non-English that helped build our canals, roads and railways. We owe a debt to see that these resources are used wisely.

We have developed a great wealth of folk culture over the years from nursery rhymes to pantomime, variety shows to cinema, morris dancing to sea shanties. We know we have a duty to resist the deliberate destruction and pollution of these things.

The very bones of our ancestors are being dug up and left in boxes, our sacred sites are imprisoned behind pay-walls. Monuments sold off and lost. In a variety show we enjoy foreign acts but we must also have our traditional English acts. English films as well as Foreign films.

We also need to protect our families. Honour our mothers by building a society where our daughters can be married mothers, have a house and look after their own children. Where their husbands can have a decent job and not need to move away. With schools for their children that will teach our English culture before other cultures.

We need to be able to provide our own health service for ourselves and pensions for our old folk.

Then we can feel happy and willing to assist others both at home and abroad.

Our culture provides a place for everyone whilst establishing a social norm that is the best for society as a whole. We are probably unique in the extent that we use irony and jokey insults to preserve this. This allows us to encourage conformity whilst permitting very large degrees of non-conformity. An example of this would be that a woman with young children should stay at home and look after them. All sorts of other options are permitted out of necessity or even choice but so is the odd ironic comment.

Mik Clayton was born in Leicestershire village founded by Saxons, in his grandparents’ council house.
Follow Mik on Twitter @SaveEnglishFolk