There Is Another England 1079


Given the centuries of economic exploitation, political domination and depopulation, I perfectly understand why many Scots support any team at the World Cup which is playing England. But, with an English mother and two English grandparents who largely brought me up, I do not feel that way and I raised a glass at Harry Kane’s late winner. Let me tell you why.

My grandfather Henry was a lifelong socialist who had no illusions about the British Empire and its role in the World. Yet he was also a patriotic Englishman whose life, like so many of his generation, was largely defined by the struggle against Nazism, in which his only son had been killed. That focus on the Second World War partly explained his fondness for the Soviet Union, in discussing the abuses of which he would always remark “But you have to consider what came before. Given where they started, they are making progress”. He would recite “A man’s a man for a’that” to me as a small child and explain its meaning. Yet Henry would fly his St George’s flag proudly when occasion warranted it. I do not therefore automatically associate that flag with UKIP or with Essex man.

Because there is another England, that from which Henry sprang, the England documented lovingly by E P Thomson and vividly recorded by Robert Tressell, the England of William Hazlitt, Mary Wollstonecraft, the Putney debates and Thomas Paine. Michael Foot embodied the inherited wisdom of that tradition and it has re-emerged with unexpected vigour in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn, a man whose attraction lies in the very fact he encapsulates notions of basic decency that the English political elite had attempted to cast off.

I regard Scottish Independence as part of the continuing process of decolonisation. Ireland’s population will in the next decade overtake Scotland’s for the first time in centuries, and as of today Ireland’s GDP per capita stands 25% higher. Scotland can never achieve its potential without first achieving its Independence. But we can do that without wishing ill to our neighbours; some of them are quite nice.


1,079 thoughts on “There Is Another England

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  • Sharp Ears

    QT last night from Exeter. 1.The torture report. 2. Tory govt slow on Brexit. 3. Heathrow. Then I switched off.

    1. The audience supported prosecutions. Clive Lewis good.
    2. Braverman, Tory MP was useless
    3. General derision from the panel on the decision.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09zg78h

  • quasi_verbatim

    May has threatened to unleash the Jihadis on the EU if the EU doesn’t play ball. Now that’s what I call negotiation. Quisling take note.

  • Sharp Ears

    Absolutely no mention of Craig in the BBC report on the UK’s complicity in rendition and torture. But the war criminals’ Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw is allowed a lie. Chutzpah from him and Falconer.

    ‘Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who was responsible for overseeing GCHQ and MI6 between 2001 and 2006, said he was not aware of the activities or approach of the agencies, adding: “Many lessons… have since been learnt”.

    Ken Clarke, who chairs the parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, renewed calls for an independent inquiry into the UK’s role, “to get to the full truth”.

    He said the ISC report’s findings were “not small issues which can now be swept under the carpet – and the government must address them urgently”.

    Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight programme, Lord Falconer said: “We took much too long as a country to work out what our red lines were.”

    He called for the inquiry into UK complicity in torture overseas to be reopened.

    Labour’s shadow attorney general, Baroness Chakrabarti, and human rights campaign group Reprieve also called for a judge-led inquiry, saying the ISC’s report was too limited.’

    UK ‘knew US mistreated rendition detainees’
    8 hours ago
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44640086

      • Sharp Ears

        Someone on LBC was including Alastair Campbell in the list of those culpable in the cover up. O’Brien would not have that and said that as he was not a politician, he could not be held responsible in any way!

        Campbell works for LBC (Global Radio – the Tabor family*) and fills in for O’Brien at times!
        https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/alastair-campbell-3rd-june-2018/

        *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_(company) Tabors – bookies. horseracing and property.

  • Sharp Ears

    Over two hours of debating time was spent in the House of Lords yesterday, mainly in defending Edward Heath. The debate was entitled Police and Crime Commissioners and centred on Operation Conifer.
    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2018-06-28/debates/00AB6EE8-99E4-42C7-BBDA-AE5FACEEBF7E/PoliceAndCrimeCommissioners

    Lord Armstrong – ‘I propose to concentrate this afternoon on the role and responsibilities of the police and crime commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon in relation to Operation Conifer, Wiltshire Police’s investigation of allegations of child abuse by the late Sir Edward Heath, an investigation which started in the summer of 2015, lasted for more than two years, and cost some £1.5 million.’

    Armstrong was principal private secretary to Heath and chairman of the Sir Edward Health Charitable Foundation. Also Cabinet Secretary under Thatcher and head of the Civil Service.

    Goodness gracious. He’s 91.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Armstrong,_Baron_Armstrong_of_Ilminster

    Milords Blair and Stevens, ex Chief Commissioners of the Met spoke. Blair dismissed the creation of PCCs. That was one of Theresa’s nonsenses which replaced local police authorities.

    ‘However, the creation of PCCs has had presumably unintended but certainly unfortunate consequences. It was an unnecessary reform; no one really knows why they were created, and certainly no one is claiming credit for their creation. The reform Act, which introduced PCCs, allows central government to wash their hands of controversial police investigations, as the noble Lord, Lord Armstrong, has repeatedly said in this Chamber. Equally repeatedly, the Minister has said that the question raised by the noble Lord—whether an investigation should be inquired into—is a matter for the local PCC. The local PCC has equally often stated that they are not going to do anything about it. Apparently, that is okay by the Government, but it used not to be okay.’

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig Murray‏Verified account @CraigMurrayOrg ·

    53 minutes ago
    COMPLETELY MSM UNREPORTED – Theresa May’s incredible obstruction of ISC inquiry. Allowed to interview only 4 of 23 requested witnesses who were “not allowed to talk about the specifics of operations in which they were involved nor fill in any gaps in the timeline”. Paras 9 to 14.

    1 hour ago
    Theresa May barred the Committee from questioning any official who might be placed at risk of criminal proceedings – para 11 ISC report. Her effort to protect those complicit in torture tells us much more about future intentions than any fake apology. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fdRN3G1T9IEYXMnJcedgxt6U4yJSSK3f/view

  • Xavi

    Theresa May tells eu countries: if you don’t allow me dictate terms to you over Brexit then I’m not going to forewarn you of potential terrorist attacks.

    Has a British PM ever appeared more pathetic on the world stage?

    • Jo Dominich

      Xavi, I don’t think there ever has been. This time though, the EU have had enough. They have made it very clear what is possible within the rules and not possible. It’s the old ’empire’ mentality again – “we are Great Britain it is for you to do what we tell you otherwise there will be serious consequences”. Fact: Treason May doesn’t actually know what she’s doing and neither do her team of rabid Brexiteer negotiators. Bad news for the British Nation. However, Corbyn was great at PMQs – he blasted Moggie and Redwood the former for moving his Hedge Fund to Dublin so his company will not be affected by Brexit and Redwood for moving financial interests to European Institutions and advising investors not to invest in Britain because of the state of the economy. Corbyn went on to talk about a letter he had received from an Adam in Swindon who works in the care industry. At this point, all the Tory backbenchers started jeering and laughing. Corbyn said he didn’t know why they were laughing as this was a real person, with a real job, a real mortgage and other commitments. Good for him. That’s the trouble with the Tory’s don’t care about anything else other than the rich and clinging on to power.

      • Xavi

        Ah, didn’t know Corbyn had broadcast that about Mogg. Hope it won’t dissuade Tory members from annointing him May’s successor, because that hypocrisy is so huge and laughable I think he would almost guarantee Tory defeat. Might have been better not to start highlighting it until the Tories had actually made the mistake of making him leader.

          • Xavi

            Polls show he’s the outright favourite among Tory members, Jo. Could be for the best if his double dealings on Brexit are effectively hung round his neck.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    They’re back again. These people don’t give up easy. The House of Representatives trying to reintroduce legislation to criminalise BDS. Rather than draft the law themselves they are inviting the Orange one to enact law by executive order (nothing comforting about that).

    https://theintercept.com/2018/06/28/israel-boycott-law-bds/

    Cross party support from the AIPAC whores in the House. On the plus side, if they weren’t worried they wouldn’t be acting.

  • Republicofscotland

    Was last nights footy match a preview to the Brexit deal, with Brussels coming out on top? Two reserve teams fought it out, whilst May and Barnier fight it out in the boardroom.

    Meanwhile as the Welsh NHS sinks into oblivion (don’t get sick that’s the key) under Labour. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, is to visit Livingston, in a jaunt to Scotland.

    In which he and his Scottish branch manager Richard Leonard, will highlight the pressures facing GP’s and NHS staff in Scotland.

    Sort out your own house I say, and leave the best performing NHS on these Isles to us to manage. Of course it’s all just a desperate attempt to gain votes north of the border.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the British government has given Donald Trump an invitation to visit. However if the orange man child decides to visit Scotland, Police Scotland may be left with a £5 million pounds security bill to foot. The Tory government who issued the invite, hasn’t yet said that it will cover the costs of the Trumpsters visit north of the border.

    One can only hope that El Trumpo, after his rendezvous with Putin in Helsinki on July 16th is over, that he heads home to the Land of the Free (unless youre an immigrant child) or London, were he can hold the PM’s hand again, and not up to Scotland.

    However we all know that the Comb Over King, is a golf nut, so I won’t be holding my breath

      • Republicofscotland

        Midges only bite those with blood in their veins, that rulesout the Trumpster. 😀

        On a more jocular note, but true, there’s a hotel near Oban, that’s supposed to be selling midge burgers….hmmm sounds delicious says I tongue in cheek.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile nearly 200 rape victims had to go through a further traumatic ordeal, by retelling their nightmare to DWP staff to gain Child Tax Credits. No doubt Colonel Rape Clause Ruth Davidson, who’s an avid supporter of the Tory policy see’s this as normal.

    However the reality of this inhumane Tory policy, is to deter any woman from claiming Child Tax Credits for a third child.

  • Republicofscotland

    Back to the Trumpster, and a US Supreme court judge is to retire, they usually die in office, such is the sway they hold in US law.

    The Republican’s see an opportunity to tip the balance in the Supreme court in their favour, (a bit like Westminster really where stuffing the HoL with old duffers to win votes is the norm) if the Republican’s can replace Justice Anthony Kennedy with a Trumpian yes man.

    Think of it this way, there’s no piece of legislation, no executive order, no Supreme court decision that Trump won’t be able to overrule or change or initiate, if the Republicans control the Supreme court.

  • Republicofscotland

    “A senior United Nations investigator will probe the impact of Tory austerity policies in Britain, in the organisation’s first visit to a western European country in more than five years.”

    “Professor Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty, is due to make a fact-finding trip to the UK in the autumn, where he will examine the challenges facing the poorest citizens.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/un-uk-extreme-poverty-investigation-austerity-conservatives-philip-alston-a8422396.html?amp

    It’s about time the UN stepped in, to take a closer look at Westminster draconian policies which frankly are killing the poor, disabled and the sick in society.

    The British government hankers back to the days of the supposedly glorious empire, through building staging post aircraft carriers and renewing WMD’s at eye popping costs (Labour also backed the renewal of Trident) whilst the vulnerable in society carry the huge burden of austerity on their backs.

    Brexit and the inevitable sidelining of EU legislation after we exit, will only compound matters surrounding poverty and austerity.

  • Sharp Ears

    Best news of the day, so far. Note the BBC’s defence of Gideon.

    Evening Standard to record £10m loss
    Amol Rajan
    Media editor
    1 hour ago

    Image caption
    George Osborne was a surprise appointment at Evening Standard, and initially said he would continue as an MP

    The Evening Standard will post a loss of £10m for the year ending in September 2017, a reversal in fortunes for London’s paper that poses a big headache for its owner, Evgeny Lebedev.

    The Standard’s loss – £9.98m – comes after a recorded profit of £2.2m in the previous year, representing a £12m swing into the red.

    The causes of the sharp financial deterioration reflect both long-term, structural changes in the newspaper industry – above all the downward pressure on print display advertising – and specific issues arising in that financial year.

    Those exceptional circumstances include a London food festival which was, commercially at least, and allowing for sub-optimal weather, an expensive failure.

    The weakness of sterling pushed paper costs up for all newspapers. And the slowdown in London’s property market always augurs ill for the Standard, whose Homes & Property supplement is a key driver of revenue. The Standard also took on costs as a result of the closure in 2016 of its sister title at ESI Media, The Independent, where I was editor of the print edition until it closed in March 2016.

    The Standard recently denied allegations that it had sold favourable news coverage to big advertisers.

    Model behaviour

    The losses will inevitably alarm George Osborne, the former chancellor who became editor of the London paper last May. As the architect of austerity in the Coalition years, he has foes. And as a surprise appointment to the role of editor with virtually no journalistic experience, critics will point to his tenure as an explanation of the losses. However, pinning the losses on him would betray a certain naivety about the business model of the paper, and timings. Osborne took the editor’s chair more than half way through the financial year to which the results pertain’.

    /..
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-44537728

    PS Amol Rajan worked for Lebedev as editor of the Independent! Lebedev acquired the Independent titles in 2010. Downhill all the way since. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amol_Rajan

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Looked like the same old English football to me.

    A mean spirited game which made me hope that they both would lose.

  • John Munro

    The trouble, from the Scottish point of view, about appealing to this ‘other’ English radicalism is that it was also often dismissive of Scotland and the Scots or even actively hostile. From the Cromwellian ‘radicals’ who happily occupied Scotland, murdered Scottish PoWs through violent anti Scottish/French xenophobes like Wilkes and many other representatives of English radicalism to the rather anti-Scottish Orwell. Your alternative, inclusive, welcoming England largely didn’t exist unless you were happy to pretty much assimilate to it.

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