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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More pie and mash

My little piece on the Englsh Democrats seems have hit a raw nerve. I have been inundated with e-mails from their members objecting to my gentle ribbing. None of them seem capable of posting a comment on this blog and despite their protestations to the contrary do not seem willing to enter into a debate, preferring to indulge in common abuse. This latest one is typical:

A fundamental part of the English Democrats' policy is to give voters a real say in determining issues. You, Mr Black (in common with many other Welsh people), seem miffed that the citizens of Monmouthshire should even be given a chance to participate in making such decisions. Perhaps, you feel that the case for it remaining part of Wales is extremely weak? Perhaps it's simply that the proposal has emanated from England?

You disparage Gary Bushell's idea of England and, in asserting that the Anglo-Welsh culture of Monmouthshire communities are "gentle, sophisticated and diverse", imply that English Democrats are none of those things! Indeed, on the evidence of this blog, there's not much chance of you fitting in with such a culture! Again, it is a poor opponent who contents himself, as you have, with merely being insulting.

From your prejudiced and antagonistic position, you fail to acknowledge that individuals' ideas of England vary according to their tastes and experiences. No doubt, Gary himself could have mentioned other aspects of England and English life which he cherishes, but only gave a 'snapshot'. You even have the arrogance to presume to speak for David Davies MP!

You, Mr Black are obviously one of those sneering, clever dicks who doesn't stand for anything and, if you did, would we want to know? Pity you have been unable to get off your high horse and seriously debate the issue. English and Welsh people deserve better than you in the Cardiff Assembly!

There, I have provided some balance. Just one point, I wasn't implying that the English Democrats are not gentle, sophisticated and diverse, but now he comes to mention it....

Update: You will note that in the e-mail our English Democrat friend accuses me of being arrogant in seeking to speak for David Davies AM MP. Well in the Western Mail today (26 May), David speaks for himself:

Even though there was a big majority in Monmouthshire against setting up an Assembly, people show their allegiance to Wales by supporting Welsh national sports teams. There is no grassroots support for transferring Monmouthshire into England, and while the English Democrats may well find someone to stand against me at the next general election, I'm not losing any sleep over the prospect of losing my seat to them.

David also points out that the Monmouthshire referred to in some old Acts of Parliament was much larger than the Monmouthshire of today. Effectively it is the Gwent area of South East Wales, including Newport and the eastern Valleys. He says that the idea that a referendum proposition in that area to secede from Wales would have any chance of success is a total fantasy. Maybe the party of pie and mash should stick to areas they know something about.
Annoyingly, however, I haven't received a single abusive message from an English Democrat despite my gentle mockery being accompanied by an 18pt headline and a huge picture of the erstwhile Gal Gonad himself. What does one have to do to provoke fury around here? I despair.
Not much pie. Lots of tripe.
you know its funny, no english democrat contacted me about my blog, prehaps it is because i suggested that welsh claims over the forest of dean might be more firm than english claims over monmouthshire, and they apparently had no plans to offer the same democratic choice to the people there.

prehaps they didnt want to get embroiled in that arguement, or prehaps they havent read my blog - which is probably more likely.
link to post on my blog - in case anyone is interested.

The English Democrats excuse for standing in Wales is:

The Nationality of Monmouthshire has been a matter of debate since 1284.
In 1960’s the then Labour and Conservative governments conspired to put Monmouthshire into Wales, partly to dilute the growing Welsh Nationalism in Wales generally.

Bollocks! Before the Acts of Union of 1536 Monmouthshire did not have the right to send MPs to Westminster, because it wasn't considered to be a part of England. After 1536 it is true to say that Monmouthshire was annexed into England, but so were Caernarfonshire, Merioneth and Carmarthenshire. However every law relating to Wales alone since 1536, the first of which was the order to translate the Bible into Welsh, has included Monmouthshire as part of Wales.

The real reason why ED is standing in Wales is in order to spite Plaid Cymru for a snub. In 2004, Elfyn Llwyd, the Parliamentary leader of Plaid Cymru, was invited to address the ED conference and to discus a joint ED / PC / SNP campaign for the 2005 election. Elfyn refused the offer because of ED's attitude to Europe. Plaid and the SNP are both favourable to the EU; the English Democrats are opposed to the institution.

My personal opinion is that Elfyn made a mistake in refusing the invitation. A strong English nationalist party would be advantageous to the cause of Welsh, Scottish and Cornish nationalism. English nationalist's attitudes towards Europe are a matter for English nationalists to decide - that is what independence is all about - the rights of free nations to follow their own course.

The ED's decision to spite Plaid by standing in Wales is an even bigger mistake. It has added an unnecessary enmity between Welsh and English Nationalists and it is a huge waste of resources.

As a Welsh Nationalist of part English descent I want the English Democrats to have electoral success in England. The ED is likely to lose up to £11k in lost deposits from their pathetic stunt of standing in Monmouthshire. That £11k and the time and effort of their Welsh candidates could have been used to get a foot in the door by securing the election of a couple of councillors in the English Local Government elections being held on the same day as the Assembly elections; a much more positive way of using party funds and of supporting the cause than wasting resources on creating un-needed animosity between Welsh and English nationalists.
Name: Steven Uncles
Username: English Democrat
Email: Steven.Uncles@EngDem.org
Location: Dartford, Kent; ENGLAND
Occupation: Consultancy, Sales & Marketing
Interests: Rugby, F1 Motor Racing, Politics, England,

From another site - proof that Steven Uncles posts under different names ..
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