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6.9.09

The Unfortunate face of English nationalism

Do the English have a right to a nationalist movement? Of course they do and if the people of England want an English Parliament then they should have one.

I doubt if such a parliament centralised in London would do much more for Cornwall than the UK parliament does now but that's democracy.

No matter how rich the current bellyaching from English nationalist is about the 'raw deal' England gets in the current post devolution set-up (think about the centuries of pre-devolution Anglo-dominated rule from London which of course they were more than happy with) their arguments are still valid. A nation has a right to self-determination.

A little bit more humility from them when dealing with their Celtic neighbours and an understanding of the Cornish question might be expected but sadly this is not the case. There are of course some honourable exceptions. Paul Kingsnorth is a very respectable English nationalist, but sadly they are few and far between.

The problem seems to lie in the well spring of English nationalist support. Right-wing, reactionary and xenophobic: English nationalists appear to be former British nationalists/unionists (BNP, UKIP etc) who, slightly more savvy than their ex-colleagues, realise devolution is a process and that Anglo-dominated Britain is finished.

Whether the English Defence League or the English Democrats, a supposed moderate civic nationalist party, the majority face of English nationalism is ugly and ultimately damaging for the campaign for English home-rule. It seems that the Scots and the minority SNP government are doing more for the English cause than the entire English nationalist movement united.

Perhaps Newquay's very own Keith Riley would consider adding a link on his website to the extremist white nationalist England First Party with whom his party, the very civic English Democrats, have an alliance. Personally I'd rather eat a pasty full of glass than be a member of a party that composses with fascists but there you go, Keith has never felt the need to give his opinion on this issue.

On Keiths website we see "committed to government of the people, by the people, for the people". Very good but is that just 'white people' as his allies in the north would have it? And from a Cornish perspective: does not the demand for a Cornish assembly backed by the petition of 50,000 signatures qualify for consideration as being 'of' and 'by' the people?

The current situation in the UK is unfair for England (and Cornwall) and the English should be allowed the right to self-determination. This right to self-determination however also includes having the choice of powerful devolved regional governments across England instead of a centralised English Parliament. Democrats should be pushing for the residents of England to be given the choice of what form of government they want.

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