More on the Future of England

Stephen Moriarty

The history of the post-war period in Britain makes much more sense when one grasps this common thread: the British elite’s determination to destroy Englishness and recreate the British Empire within England, partly in order to secure itself from socialism and partly in order to prove that the Empire had been a workable project: ideologically untenable after the struggle against Nazism, the British elite attempted to recreate the Empire – with disingenuous justifications as though it had been a moral project all along – within what had been its citadel, almost the only place it felt certain of hanging on to.

The power of the English working-class had been enhanced by the shortage of manpower occasioned by the hundreds of thousands of men killed and wounded during the war (the appalling suffering and danger experienced by British troops in the defeat of Germany 1944-5, when casualty rates were worse than during the Great War, has, interestingly, been erased from national consciousness; we remember the victory over fascism, but not who did it) and trade unions were able to gain good pay rises for their members after the war. It is in this context that the decision to use migrant labour and the lofty tone of the dismissals of queries as to the wisdom of this should be seen. I have seen internet postings claiming that some of the post-war migrations had their origins in strike-breaking. Far from being “with it”, multiculturalism is old-fashioned middle-class deference to imperial ruling-class ideology, rippling on like gravitational evidence of the Big Bang.

The identity “English” was occluded by such terms the as “white British” and Britishness was hijacked by the ruse of taking the original equation (that if one was English, Welsh or Scottish one was British) and transforming it to a meaning that none of these nationalities were obliged to accept: that Britishness was a multicultural identity and that any national identity or none was a sufficient condition to be considered British. Occasionally one senses a sadistic pleasure in this destruction, as in Andrew Neather’s notorious recollection that some in the Labour Party wanted to “rub the Right’s nose in diversity.” Notable also was the inaction against those who made death threats against Emma West, whose spitefully broadcast altercation looks now to have been a defining moment of a character entirely contrary to that expected by the witch-hunters. Like the little boy in the fable she had spoken the truth: “the English are nothing now.”

In practice it has been the English who have been forced to accept this redefinition. Indeed New Labour gave devolution to the Scots and Welsh, thus implicitly admitting the potential for multi-identity societies to disintegrate (and abandoning any pretence to democratic principle in the process: Scottish and Welsh MPs vote on English law but not vice-versa; there are already “second class” MPs – English ones), just as it embarked on its eclectic-aesthetic “cool Britannia” project. Yet such “multiculturalism” is an implicit admission that multi-racial societies are difficult to make work, as even avowed “anti-racists” seem to assert in this way that it is impossible to assimilate people of different races.

Below I will make an appeal for a return to a kind of assimilation, but I hope you will see that my idea is a bit more subtle than a demand for conformity; it helps to remember that “the project” is at its heart negative – it hates Englishness, or, rather, any kind of domestic national identity, more than it loves anything. This was the real reason assimilation was abandoned.

Ordinary English people feel grief. They are bewildered by what has happened. They had, in the overwhelming majority, been willing to die for their country, and this betrayal is their thanks. It is as though the British ruling class knew that it had run up a debt it could never repay and, unable to face endless obligations, decided to liquidate its creditors. Now, like Macbeth, it finds itself so far advanced in wrong that the opposite shore seems nearer than the departed.

The strongest arguments the “multicultural” lobby have are the arguments of inevitability and practicality: that, with modern communications, immigration is unavoidable and that in any case attempts to avoid it entirely will rapidly become grotesque. I think they are right about this. However, this needs to be dealt with much more robustly. People are willing to face unpleasant realities, it is being made to pretend to like them that causes resentment. We must face the reality that, although driven by technological “progress”, change may not be for the good. Indeed there is no guarantee that society will be workable at all.

One can see in events like the remand of Emma West (in a maximum security prison), the murder of Lee Rigby and the secret surveillance of three million people (as reported by the BBC; the security services have a budget of £2bn per annum which works out at about £100 per adult), to mention but a few examples, just how unstable and consequently totalitarian British society has become.

When a large indigenous group perceives itself as discriminated against in what it regards as its country, it is only a matter of time before there is trouble, much more serious trouble than that made hitherto by unhappy minorities. At the moment the English remain just sufficiently visible in parliament, the army, the police and the judiciary, but this cannot last much longer given demographic trends and “equal-opportunity” hiring. From the moment that these arms of the state are no longer perceived as English, the English will consider themselves ruled by foreigners without their consent. No government has ever had a mandate for “multiculturalism”. The English accepted “multiculturalism” because it was inconceivable to them that this was ever anything else than a hypocrisy designed to facilitate assimilation under conditions of strict immigration control, as promised by all political parties in their manifestos (Powell was vilified, but his policies were adopted). Hitherto the English middle-class has sided with the elite, but the recent UKIP vote shows that it is starting to have doubts. It is much more difficult to suppress political movements that have a base among the educated.

One of the lessons of history is that once such a struggle begins it has a tendency to create the conditions for its continuation: lack of investment (investors demand a higher return to compensate them for the higher risk, driving down wages) and bitterly-resented repression. A point can be reached where there is no hope of victory for the colonising power, unless they resort to genocide. There is no limit to the amount of suffering the indigenous will endure in order to regain what they feel they have lost. This tenacity is often dismissed as irrational, but if one considers the fates of landless peoples and their descendants, it is not.

One of the most alarming misapprehensions in vogue is that human-made catastrophes are caused by great evil. In fact they often have their origins in trivial acquisitiveness. If this is met by passivity for too long its perpetrators acquire a righteous tenacity and require force to be dislodged. Moral statesmanship is the art of showing sufficient and timely will to deter such misunderstandings. It is lack of assertive statesmanship that is usually the cause of human-made disasters, not evil. Democracies, although, pace the European Movement, very unaggressive, have proved to be prone to appeasement and it is notable that they seem, like Victoria Wood’s “excellent driver” friend, present at a large number of “accidents”. Of course the English have been inattentive in just this way.

England is perilously close to a fatal “Hobbesian trap” in which the wrong done by the colonising power is perceived as unforgiveable by both sides and creates a vortex from which none can escape: the colonising power, fearing retribution for the wrong it has done already, finds itself impelled to totally destroy those it has wronged; its victims, seeing this logic, find themselves impelled to resist, thus reinforcing their opponents motivation, and so on, into hell.

I therefore want to make a plea for what seems to me the only way we might avoid these horrors: the relative abandonment in England by the state of Britishness and the relative adoption of Englishness. This may seem implausible at first sight, but, properly understood, it is our best hope (which is not to say that it is likely to be successful; it is not – it is almost certainly far too late for any liberal solution; but, before you scoff, have you got a better idea?).

The BritishEnglish identity works by maintaining both identities simultaneously. This is more than the logical function, already explained, that one can only be British by being one of Britain’s constituent national identities first, it is also a functional dualism in which Britishness is the body and Englishness is the soul. Britishness and Englishness cannot be separated. People in England who claim Britishness but not Englishness claim the protection of the British state but fail to make a spiritual union with their compatriots. As Rory Stewart said recently, “Nations are held together by love.”

It is this dualism that is at the heart of the hitherto highly successful combination of liberty and security that British subjects have enjoyed. By using the terms British and English seemingly interchangeably, the BritishEnglish have been able to cope with some cultural diversity because the duality admits the difference between messy reality (Britain) and romance (England): “Nations are held together by love”.

It is therefore more than merely good manners that settlers in the English part of Britain should agree to become BritishEnglish. The bitterness that “multiculturalism” causes is due to the fact that it is both straightforwardly rude and spiritually distressing to the BritishEnglish. Many immigrants are in fact looking for a new identity and in England that identity must be BritishEnglish.

There must be, therefore, a general promotion of Englishness. Now, before you scoff, is there any other identity available? Remember “British” won’t work because the English, all 40 million of them, rightly see the use of this identity as proof of the betrayal of their boot-on-face-stomping political class. If the shocking scale and nature of this betrayal was explained to newcomers, and that therefore the noble thing for them to do would be to adopt English as their identity (such as, in addition to calling themselves English, adopting English attitudes to religion and marriage, joining English cultural and conservation associations, marrying English people, making scones, playing cricket and using English names), we might have a chance, because it is the right thing to do.

It is only normal and natural that state institutions, such as schools, in England should promote Englishness. As in France, as it were, children need to be taught English manners and the fundamentals of English civilisation. This is no time for a long debate about what being English means, however, not least because those who argue that it cannot be defined are missing the point (usually, however, they seem ignorant of the cultural artefacts that do indeed constitute Englishness): what matters most is that the word “English” is used as an identity by everyone in England, just as one sees “Scottish” used everywhere in Scotland (“The Scottish Labour Party”, for example). This is not a draconian demand that everyone behave identically, rather an attempt to create sufficient loyalty to allow democracy to function.

In Wales and Scotland people must agree to be Welsh and Scottish of course. The English can tolerate these other identities because they have been politically subordinate and because they are extremely familiar. Just how delicate these matters are, however, is shown by the boost to Scottish nationalism that was given by what amounted to little more than tactlessness on the part of the Thatcher government. It is notable but natural that even those in the “No” campaign for the Scottish Referendum wish to be considered British and Scottish.

Although I have cast some doubt on the slogan “Britain is a nation of immigrants”, it is of course true if one looks back far enough and it is certainly true now. What people who use the phrase seem to forget is that there has been a certain amount of nation-building in-between. The mess that the British state has got into is that it has set up an opposition between Britain and its constituent nations. We need a return to nation-building, but that nation cannot be to Britain per se because there is nothing to be loyal to, apart from tawdry trappings of empire.

It takes only a moment’s reflection to grasp the grotesque and tragic ignorance contained in the dismissal of things English. The following, for example, used (and where degraded they must be restored) to be the envy of the world: the right to elect for jury trial; adversarial justice and debate; strictly-defined police powers; an unfettered press and free-speech; the sanctity of the home. I will not try to make a list of English cultural and scientific achievements for obvious reasons.

English civilisation is one of the greatest of human achievements. No matter what one’s origins, everyone has an instinct to love and cherish their land and its people. My father had no English blood and yet he played cricket and supported England at football. One of the first things I can remember him doing is building a model of a Spitfire for me. If I moved to another country I would set myself to loving it. What other behaviour does decency allow? It is time to stimulate and encourage this natural love and end the harping on difference.


  1. Stephen, half of my ancestors were Irish, and I think Englishness and Irishness are quite compatible, especially once Irish people have left Ireland, which has a certain background to its grievances, some justified.

  2. I’m interested in the Munster dialect o Irish, and the surname Moriarty is associated with Munster: Ó Muircheartaigh in Irish. Irish surnames are highly place-specific, and there would be a good chance your ancestors were from Co. Kerry and were Irish Gaelic speakers well into the 20th century.

  3. Having lived in England for a number of years, I am skeptical that there is much remaining of Englishness to preserve or promote. Although it is legitimate to expect a national culture to be promoted in schools and other ‘national’ institutions, if one has been reduced to relying on the State for the task, then a culture is already lost. The problem is less that Englishness is derided in London and more that it has been forgotten in the Englishman’s home. England, I have come to be convinced, has made some critical errors in this past century and I suspect that they are symptoms of a disease that is possibly uniquely English and most certainly fatal.

    • I’m currently considering an hypothesis about “Englishness” (to be not confused with “being British”). It, this hypothesis, hangs on some presumptions about people being isolated for many centuries at a time on a rather large island.

      This fairly large island is rather far away from giant-unhospitable-land-mass-pre-capitalist-barbarians-who-hack-heads-off-random-people-accidentally-met-on-their-nomadic-travels. (Migrations of these always seem to travel Westwards, suggesting that the buggers don’t like it where they came from, or else they’ve already slaughtered everyone and thus there are no doctors or vets left.)

      This Island is also cooler, rather wetter and much, much windier than the climate most of the time in the huge Biome inhabited by the head-hacking-barbarians, and there is no “climate” in it – only “weather”. This makes travel and fodder for for head-hackers’ cavalry rather unpredictable.
      It’s also slightly difficult to reach. Even Hitler “blinked first”.

      Left to itself, a People marooned on this Island will naturally develop a culture and civilisation based on small, hard, intraloyal nuclear families (perhaps sometimes living in groups of these but also legally and propertarianly- separated), plus the notion of “leave us-and-ours alone and we’ll leave you-and-yours alone”…but if you’re bogged down in a hole, we’ll come and help get you out.”

    • “Having lived in England for a number of years, I am skeptical that there is much remaining of Englishness to preserve or promote”.

      What do you mean by this?

      “England, I have come to be convinced, has made some critical errors in this past century and I suspect that they are symptoms of a disease that is possibly uniquely English and most certainly fatal”.

      What errors?

      • In answering your question I would point to the ruling elite’s adoption of the ideology of multiculturalism and the broader population’s acceptance of it. I would suggest that ideology itself is contrary to English tradition. I would also point to the rapid decline in traditionally middle-class English values that respected traditional English structures, in particular the nobibility which has, for effective purposes, now vanished. I could go on about the changes to more traditionally English educational institutions, courts of law, church etc etc.

        I believe the errors are quite evident if one is objective in assessing British history over the past century. But I believe the British state has been so successful in pulling the wool over the eyes of the British public that it is almost taboo to raise the points. But since this is the LA, I’ll do so anyway. Britain’s reasons for entering WW1 were a lie and the British establishment conducted itself deplorably both before and during that conflict. Prior even to that Britain engaged in a a de facto act of genocide against the Boers in a conflict that was marked by the civility of one side and the incivility of the other. I would also argue that how ever monstrous her opponent, Britain’s conduct during the Second World War was criminal. It ought to be acknowleged that Anglo-Saxons are the only population in the history of Western Civilization that have ever waged genocide against their own kin (e.g. the Boers). This is the symptom of the illness I was referring to.

        • I can at least see the point that you are making in the first paragraph, though I do not accept that this assault by a hostile elite portends doom.

          I do not know enough about the second part – the apparently uniquely genocidal tendencies of the Anglo-Saxons – to really discuss it. However, I do not ascribe to theories of collective guilt.

          • Hello Leonardo,

            In no way am I suggesting that all Britons are guilty or responsible. I only make the point that there is something unique about Britain’s elites (and their counterparts in the United States) that is, I believe, a consequence of its civilization’s corruption which may well lead to self-destruction as current trends suggest.

  4. I asked some questions about this general topic in another thread – the questions were not answered, so it is logical to assume that the people here have no answers.

    They do not know what principles (what core beliefs) make up either Britishness or Englishness. I think it is fairly clear what these principles (these beliefs) used to be – but what are they now? Clearly the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Freedom of Speech (what the typical “Constitutional Club” person would have named in 1914) no longer apply – so what principles, specifically, are being pointed to?

    Actually, in his second last paragraph, the author DOES point to some specific things – sadly just about none of them would be accepted now. Also they were British (rather than specifically “English”) principles. As for “cultural and scientific” – well, for their size, the Scots produced more in these areas that we in the south of this island did (although Scots culture has now declined more than English culture has – perhaps because the Scots were more reliant on working from first principles, so when they are corrupted……).

    As for references to the sacrifices of the “working class” – there is no evidence that any particular “socio economic group” suffered disproportionately in either World War (well apart from boys from certain schools – but Eton and so on are not normally associated with the “working class”).

    As for the “ruling class” after World War II doing this and that – does this mean Clement Atlee and Mr Bevin, or it is pointing to Mr Wilson and Mr Heath somewhat later?

    Waffle about “working class” and “ruling class” (and on and on) tends to fall apart when one actually examines it.

    The people who created the Welfare State (from its start under David Lloyd George to the present) thought they were doing good – it was not a conspiracy.

    On immigration – actually the traditional British (and English) policy was an open door.

    If the “ruling class” did anything in recent decades it was to, partly, close that door – and for very good reasons.

    Indeed I would have closed it more – and closed it earlier. Like Mr Powell I would say that people can-not-have-both-ways – if one rejects the Queen as head of state (indeed expresses great hostility to the United Kingdom – making up absurd lying stories of “exploitation” in sum sub Marxist way) one can not then be expected to be greeted with open arms when one turns up demanding to be let into the United Kingdom. And if one hates the past of this country so much – believing the nonsense about “British crimes against the Third World” then one can bugger off out of the country (to use language that Mr Powell would not have used – although he would have agreed with the conclusion), after all why would anyone who so hated Britain want to stay here?

    Almost needless to say – Mr Powell was a loyal Unionist.

    As for the efforts to live with people who did-not-really-like-Britain-very-much – such Acts as that of 1965 (which violates both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association) are a mixture of two things.

    One is indeed a conspiracy – that of the Toy Town Marxists (the Frankfurt School types) – but that was not the major part of it all.

    The other important factor was the desire to use the law to make people “get along” – the idea that the law can be used to make people “just and good” – to “shape society”.

    This error (this massive blunder) is as old as Plato and Aristotle (oh yes – Aristotle is almost as bad as Plato in this regard) – but it wormed its way into English (and Scots) law with the rise of utilitarianism.

    The Common Law (and Scots law) used to start from the non aggression principle (actually a libertarian starting point) – but then came the idea that Parliament could do anything it liked (an idea that would have horrified Chief Justice Sir Edward Cook or Chief Justice Sir John Holt a century later) – an idea pushed by Blackstone and others (it helped lead to the American War of Independence – as the Americans, quite correctly, regarded the idea as an outrage).

    Then came the utilitarian idea that law should be used to make people happy – to make every nice and live together happily.

    If one starts from the unlimited power for the state of Thomas Hobbes (AGAINST “a student of the Common Laws of England”) and the conception of law to be found in Jeremy Bentham (that “law” is just commands of the state – there to make people happy, hence the 13 departments of state he wanted to control every aspect of life) then the present state of affairs is inevitable.

    People are not happy? People do not seem to be getting along like good little kittens?

    Well pass laws (such as that of 1965) to MAKE them get along in happiness together. Then everyone will love each other – white and black, gay and straight, Christian and Muslim, because the state wants them to be happy (be happy – OR ELSE…..).

    Not a conspiracy – unless one considers Thomas Hobbes and Jeremy Bentham part of the conspiracy against the British people.

    Rights AGAINST the government?


    Natural rights AGAINST the government?

    “Nonsense on stilts”.

    Benthamite ideas lead quite naturally to the “New Liberalism” (a wildly different thing fro the Old Whig ideas of people Chief Justice Sir John Holt,) and the New Liberalism leads on quite naturally to modern Britain (even if one ignores the efforts of the Fabian socialists and the Frankfurt School Marxists).

    No conspiracy needed – although, yes, both the Fabian socialists and the Frankfurt School Marxists do indeed play their horrible part.

  5. Freedom of speech?

    Freedom of the press?

    No chance that such things will be accepted in modern “England”.

    When I have argued for them I have been shouted down (at once) as a “racist” and so on.

    This is not Texas – this country rejected that sort of thing a long time ago.

    Not that the principles that there are rights AGAINST government is safe anywhere – including Texas.

    • The fact that these ideas are not universally accepted is no reason to abandon them. There were surely various wicked people who argued against these precepts even when they were the law of the land. The fact of the matter is that freedom of speech, the press, association and religion – Thomas Jefferson paraphrasing John Locke obviously springs to mind – are core British and English values (the American War of Independence was fought – at least propagandistically – to preserve what the colonists, regardless of their ethnic background – referred to as “the rights of Englishmen”), though certainly NOT in the sense that liars and creeps like Cameron and Clegg maunder on about.

      • Yes Lost Leonardo – I will continue to support freedom of speech. But as Sean found when he was deemed to have made “homophobic” remarks (a “charge” that was not even true – Sean has been passionately PRO Gay Rights all the years, indeed decades, I have known him) the modern English hate freedom of speech. It is not just the university crowd (although it started with them) – it has gone into the general population.

        You are correct – one must fight against this vile “spirit of the age” (Hegel), the line of “this is not we do here” or “you can not say that!” must be rejected – the modern English must be challenged, regardless of the cost. “That is not our way” as regards to Freedom of Speech should be replied to with – WELL THEN IT BLOODY WELL OUGHT TO BE YOUR WAY.

        Bugger “social evolution” and all that Hayek stuff (much though Hayek may be good on other stuff – he fails when one needs clear support for human liberty most, just as Hume does).

        There are some things that are universal truths, regardless of place or “historical period”, and basic freedom of speech is one of them.

        A human being has the ability, with effort, to know right from wrong – and human beings, again with effort, have the ability to choose to do what is morally right against the desire to evil.

        And those who deny this and seek to enslave human beings should be told to fuck off.

        And that is an end to it.

  6. Thank you for these responses. Perhaps I am naïve, but I hope gentle English patriotism can be nurtured in the breasts of people of every background, for whilst it may be the last refuge of the scoundrel, honest people will have seen its value much sooner!

    • “I hope gentle English patriotism can be nurtured in the breasts of people of every background” – unfortunately experience shows this to be a somewhat ambitious hope. Why are the schoolgirls going to Syria if that is the case?

      • They’re going because they don’t think they are English. They’re going to Syria or somewhere nearby, which isn’t in England, and because they think they’ll be more comfortable there.

        It would be invidious and wrong to suggest that they’re going for any other reason. However, they may have been ordered to go – and that’s another reason why they cannot be considered to be English girls, who would have something sharp and terse to say about such orders.

        That division of outlook also marks them out as not English, since they nodded and went.

      • Mr Webb I think we would both agree that those who sign on with the armies of the Black Flag – armies of Islamists who seek to overthrow the Queen and establish Islamic rule in Britain as well as in Syria and Iraq, have broken-faith.

        I take a “feudal” view – those who sign on with the enemies of the Crown are no longer British. And they are not English either.

        Indeed I would go further……..

        I believe that anyone who is loyal to the Black Flag, to seeking to establish Islamic rule over the Earth – which includes this island, has rejected their citizenship – and should be deported from this island (even if they were born here).

        It is a matter of basic loyalty – and disloyalty. And I would include Ulster in that – those who plot armed treason should be expelled. They should have been expelled after the First World War (after all Unionists, Catholic as well as Protestant, were driven out of the South).

  7. First, thank you for your kind words about my ancestry: Moriarty is indeed a Kerry name. My great-grandfather was a Connaught Ranger in the Boer War and afterwards a train driver in Ireland, coming to England with his son in 1930.
    I would say no attempt has been made to inculcate patriotism in these girls. It is a widely observed phenomenon that second and third generation immigrants experience identity crises. Their adopted home needs to make a firm offer of an identity to ensure that such people do not retrench into their ancestors’ identities. As I argue above, Britishness (unless taken to mean Englishness by another name) fails to make this firm offer because it is empty of meaning. Their Muslim identity has rushed in to fill this vacuum.
    We have in Englishness an identity of unrivalled appeal, especially in England! I don’t want to start making lists and I’m a desultory reader but, what-the-heck!: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton, Dryden, Swift, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Clare, Bacon, Newton, Watt, Dickens, Tennyson, Hardy, Tolkien, Elliot, Eliot (I know!), Waugh, Larkin… We have a moderate religion with a beautiful liturgy and music, 10,000 (?) medieval churches, JMW Turner, Elgar, English Law, rugby, football and cricket, the Lake District, Derbyshire, Bath, Durham, Oxford, Stamford, Cambridge, York, and, formerly anyway, London. The food is good too, if you can be bothered to find out about it. And democracy (?).
    What’s not to like? That’s not a facetious question: if this was properly put across to people, that they are being offered an unparalleled civilisation and that to accept it just good manners in any case given where they have chosen to reside, how could any reasonable person possibly refuse?
    If, as Aaron says, Englishness is derided in London, pity them.
    Of course I’m terrified of the subject of race like everyone else (“la terreur de l’anti-racisme”), but it is pretty clear that the racist reflex is due to “phenotypic attraction” – an instinct to maintain local adaptation by mating with cousins, broadly defined. However, this attraction is only one of many. There are others for status, symmetry and form. If we can just shoot the guilt-inculcators’ fox by accepting that “we’re all just a little bit racist” (as the song goes), we will remove the main obstacle to the assimilation of different races. (There may be a problem with the non-blending y chromosome, but there are different y chromosomes in the indigenous population.)
    We do need a renaissance of, as Aaron calls them, middle-class values, particularly with regard to marriage. We need to establish the equality that really matters: the chance for everyone to have a mate and children, if they so desire, as far as possible.
    If one reads Paul Foot’s hatchet-job on Enoch Powell one can find plenty of evidence that the imperial ruling class enthusiastically encouraged the colonisation of England. This was born out of their fantasy that people enjoy being colonised and therefore loved the British Empire and would therefore prove to be ideal citizens of “Britain”.

    • An interesting and good comment Sir – but I would warn you not to trust anything that Mr Paul Foot said, on any subject.

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