A while back someone set up the Facebook group "Is Gerry Adams an English Democrat?"
To which Steve Uncles responded:
I thought nothing more about it, until today when I received the email below and it occurred to me that the person responsible for setting up that group may also have received something similar. The date of the email is 13th March 2009 and the date of Steve's comment is 26th March 2009.
From: Steve Uncles
Sent: Friday, 13 March, 2009 1:00:54 PM
Subject: Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom ?
Dear Sinn Fein
I would like to introduce the "English Democrats" party to you - we are the largest English Nationalist party in England with approaching 3,000 members.
On 4 June 2009, we will be standing in every English Constituency, our current manigesto position is a Federal United Kingdom with Fiscal Authomony for the various parts ie England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.
Recent events, have however inspired some members of our party to suggest that a policy of a referendum by the people of England, Scotland & Wales to "ask Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom" would be an interesting and unique policy to develope, and would certainly promote both the English Nationalism Cause and the Irish Nationalism Cause at the same time.
We believe that such a policy would further the aims of Sinn Fien for a United Ireland.
We have the opportunity to get this message/suggestion to the door steps of 45 Million people in England by leaflet in May 2009, and via Party Political Broadcast during May 2009.
If Sinn Fien is interested in opening discussions to further our parelllel causes and developing this strategy then please do not hesitate to get in touch, we are willing to meet in Dublin if this is of interest.
Like Sinn Fien, the English Democrats have had enough of "British Rule" we wish to have "English Rule" for England, "Irish Rule" for Ireland, "Scottish Rule" for Scotland and "Welsh Rule" for Wales the time for Britiain is in the past, England needs to rise as a Nation in it's own right.
We recognise the historic & geographical links between our Nations, and feel that this is best served by the "Council of the Isles" with English rather the UK representation in future meetings.
I look forward to hearing from you further, I do hope this genuine offer is of interest.
National Membership Secretary
Wanting Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom is a perfectly legitimate political goal, as is the more aspirational political goal of Irish unity, but it's not - not as far as I am aware - the policy of the English Democrats Party.
Do the EDP have something to tell their public?
Steve Uncles, the English Democrats Director of Smear Campaigns, has had enough of me and is now targeting Ed Abrams, following Ed's decision to quit the EDP. Over at Socialist Unity's coverage of Ed Abrams' resignation, someone called 'Socialist Brother' chips in with this:
It has all the hallmarks of a classic Steve Uncles smear, anonymous, cowardly, pathetic.
I contacted Socialist Unity to enquire whether the IP address of 'Socialist Brother' happened to be 184.108.40.206 and to my complete non-surprise it was. Andy Newman of Socialist Unity kindly sets the record straight with a follow-up comment.
Here's an example of the sort of intelligent high-level communication that occurs between the English Democrats Party and The English Lobby. Steve Uncles is the Director of Communications for the English Democrats, and Alan England is the Director of The England Lobby, an organisation set up by Robin Tilbrook, leader of the English Democrats.
It's interesting that Alan England, who was kicked out of the English Democrats after a very public falling out with Steve Uncles, is back in the fold and in possession of his very own engdem.org email address.
Presumably I'm now bracketed as someone with a funny-sounding foreign name, and as such someone - along with John Demetriou - who is un-English, anti-English, and to be deported should the EDP ever come to power. Or perhaps deportation would be too good for me, after-all the EDP were in bed with a far-right neo-nazi party whose policy was to reintroduce the gibbet.
Alan England, who as 'Cassie' holds court for the English Democrats on the British Democracy Forum, offered this opinion on John Demetriou.
"The indications are that Dimeeteeooo is of Greek national or ethnic origin, assuming he was born here, who presumes to sneer at all things in England! Instead of tolerating such creeps - as we English people have in the past - we should ostracise them, shun 'em, let 'em know we are not going to put up with their bad manners without protest.
After all, if it is really so despicable here, they can always go the land of their forebears and save valuable space here. With luck, they might even enjoy another military junta, which could be more to their sour taste.
Such pieces as Dimeeteeooo's serve to encourage right thinking English folk that something needs to be done to rid us of all those foreigners who do not want to fit in but impose their ideas on us, whether they come from north or west of the borders or from further afield!"
The other recipient of this email, Martin Butler, may be the person that is responsible for one of the EDP's fake Facebook accounts. He lives on the Isle of Wight, so it would make sense for him to control the Isla White Facebook account and parrot Steve Uncles.
I wonder why Robin Tilbrook sanctions this type of behaviour, the man must have the morals of a dog.
The following is a letter from Ed Abrams of the English Democrats Party to Robin Tilbrook, party leader.
Published with permission, unedited and with no comment
It is with great sadness and regret that I write to inform you of my immediate and irrevocable decision to resign from all offices within the English Democrats party and from the party itself.
That decision, although painful is I feel the only recourse open to me - as I can no longer associate myself with the direction the party is taking.
To be honest, I have to say that I am frankly staggered that not only has the party not learned the lessons from that debacle of a tie-up with the England First Party, it seems hell-bent on making things worse and alienating our natural supporters even further by cultivating insane amalgamations with various right-wing factions. I simply cannot and will not support a party which enters into discussions, agreements and pacts with groups such as the BNP and the EDL - and nor will millions of ordinary English voters.
I blame Steve Uncles for these bizarre dalliances with the far right - and for the initial impetus to tie-up with England First. At that time, I was bullied into meeting their officials by Steve - afterwards, I made it perfectly clear-as-crystal to you told you I would never-ever be put in that position again. As there have been recent meetings and discussions with the BNP and EDL it has regretfully left me with little choice but to resign.
For some strange reason, Mr Uncles appears to believe that engagement with these groups is the right direction to take the party - I don’t, and neither do the many, many other former members who have left the party over the past two years as a direct result of the England First initiative.
The English Democrats should be the natural voting choice for any proud English person - the party should be about championing our country - and our people. We should have many millions of sympathisers and voters throughout the country .... To coin a phrase, 'Not Right, Not Left, Just English'.. But by pursuing the BNP and the EDL, the public perception of the party is that it has veered hard to the right; thereby alienating millions of our natural supporters and making the party strap-line sound like a sick joke.
After initial accusations from the media and the British Establishment that the EDP was a right wing organisation, the party worked hard to brand itself to the public as the English equivalent of the SNP but can you in your wildest dreams ever imagine that party having beer and sandwiches with Griffin and company?
No, neither can I.
In the 8 years that I have been a member I believe the EDP has taken the cause of ‘a fair deal for England’ and planted it firmly into the consciousness of thousands of English voters. However, I believe the party's mainstream breakthrough will never-ever happen just as long as Mr Uncles is allowed to play fast and loose with the party's public image. To be frank, it is he who is the biggest danger to the future of the party.
Over the years, virtually every member who has ever been in conflict with Mr Uncles has left the party, devoid of support and back-up from the top. Robin, your absolute failure to apply any controls to his role within the party and his ill-judged public pronouncements has seen many-a-good activist leave the party in disgust and disillusionment.
While Mr Uncles plays at cultivating right wing supporters of Pro-British Groups, England and her people continue to get shafted by the British Establishment. Millions and millions of people are routinely being filched, abused and fleeced - they are crying out for an inclusive champion, yet, amalgamations with groups like England First seems to be the overriding consideration of the party hierarchy. This cannot be right. Our fight must be against the British Establishment and what they have done and continue to do to our people and our country. Whilst I do agree that we have a problem with certain elements of the Islamic community, we as a party should not focus on this single issue but rather on achieving a united England under an English Parliament, free from British state interference. That should be our vision and one which we should be taking to the electorate.
And if the party does actually show signs of a breakthrough, I am afraid all the positive work that scores of party activists have done over the years will be unceremoniously undone when any junior reporter decides to type the name of the second highest official of the party into the Google search engine and view the resultant horrors for themselves. (Why not try it for yourself Robin?)
We have lost so many good, honest and hardworking activists because of the insane shoot-from-the-hip actions of one person. Robin, to say I am appalled that so little control has been exercised on him by yourself is somewhat of an understatement. You had/have the responsibility of controlling him. Whenever the opportunity arose to confront him and stop his scheming, you patently failed to do so - preferring to side with him and by implication back and further encourage his actions - thus leaving any opposition with little alternative but resignation. In my opinion, that inaction is unforgivable.
We have a country and 50 million people to save for God's sake, yet the party seems obsessed with avoiding the voting mainstream! In my view, existing and ex-Labour voters must be the party's target. They only vote Labour because they perceive them to be the party of the working class. It is clear that Labour has failed them - they will not vote Tory and are desperate to find a new political home. There is absolutely no reason why the English Democrats cannot fill that void. Those people in the Labour heartlands are the ones who will feel the British financial belt-tightening more than anyone, yet as far as I can see we have done next to nothing in trying to gain support in these areas.
England means more to me than life itself. Justice for our people is something I have always striven for - and it is a cause for which I will continue to fight! But remember, careless talk costs votes, credibility - and power. The sooner you and the rest of the NC realise this, the sooner a breakthrough will happen.
I would like to thank members of the party who have given me so much love and support over the years, I have made many lifelong friends. Please heed my comments Robin, the party is bigger than any one person - but certain people need to get off their power trips and put England first.(that's a small 'f' by the way).
Could you please ensure that any page of facebook or any other social network site that has been set up in my name by members of the party is deleted.
Shalom to you and your family
John Cruddas, writing in the Sunday Times, 24th October 2010.
...concerns with the EDL of today could simply be the early skirmishes in a much bigger future battle around English identity.
Government has attempted to tackle the question of national identity before, most recently with efforts by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. These were expressions of nationhood concocted in Westminster against a benign economic backdrop. Now all our political parties must search for an animating, inclusive and optimistic definition of modern England to choke off what the EDL taps into.
Some political parties are having none of that, they'd prefer to just tap directly into the EDL. Here's Steve Uncles of the English Democrats attempting to rally the anti-Islamist mob to the English political cause.
And here Steve is again wishing them a happy Trafalgar Day and being informed by the EDL Facebook administrator that he cannot advertise his party.
The very same Helen North is then spotted on the EDL page promoting the English Democrats "English & Proud" page.
And also promoting the "English Passport" page.
Another English Democrat supporting beauty, Anne Berkshire, also pops by to inform the EDL that there is a good source of recruits on the English Democrats "English & Proud" page.
Anne also suggests to EDL supporters that they might like to check out "English Passport".
Meanwhile a third English Democrat beauty, Brenda Hampshire, pops up to ask the English Defence League supporters if they would consider voting for Garry Bushell as London Mayor.
And as a bonus a fourth English Democrat beauty (who knew that there were so many lookers in the EDP?), Isla White, promotes the group Liberal Democrats - Ugly People with Ugly Policies to EDP supporters.
Makes you proud to be English, doesn't it?
Well, it does if you're the Chairman of the Tunbridge Wells English Democrats.
Hilarious quote from the English Democrats' new Elect a Mayor website.
"The English Democrats won the Elected Mayoralty of Doncaster on 5th June 2009, ever since then we've turned the place around and ended the endless gravy-train"
Hat-tip to Jonathan Snelling.
From a purely promotional point of view, working on the basis that all publicity is good publicity, the Elect a Mayor campaign should provide some good coverage for the English Democrats. Whether the campaign leads to an improvement in the way that England is governed, or gets us any closer to an English parliament, is another matter entirely. Certainly one to watch though.
For fuck's sake, what is wrong with these people?
It's almost as if they go out of their way to present English nationalism in the worst possible light.
And I've just had some festering dick named Tony Holyoak giving me a Twitter ticking off for questioning Steve Uncles' statement that "An attack on the English Democrats is an attack on the English Cause itself". Commenting on my disagreement with Steve Uncles, Tony advised me that "as long as you let your ego & personal arguments get in the way English Nationalism is doomed to fail..I fucking despair of you!"
Yes Tony, the problem with English nationalism has everything to do with my ego and nothing whatsoever to do with the views and conduct of people like yourself and Steve Uncles. This is the sort of quality material that Tony Holyoak posts to Twitter.
Now that poofs only make up 1.5% of the population will they now stop trying to brainwash our kids ??
Who cares what Lee Jasper thinks...another fucking whining black holding his hand out for white men's money...when will we learn ?
Born in England & you're English are you?..just ask the Paki fans who wore a Paki shirts but spoke with London accents & hurled abuse ??
The White race really has lost the plot 'ain't it ?..appeasing, apologetic, fawning,.will the last one to leave please turn off the light !
Black history in a Tweet..You were slaves & now you're not...done !
Love Norman Wisdom films.. not a sign of rag heads or multiculturalism
And without a hint of irony he posts this:
The EDP is the fastest growing, non-racist, English political party.
I just found out that Steve Uncles, part owner of the English Democrats Party, acted as the election agent for Chris Nickerson in the 2005 General Election. According to Steve he personally pounded the streets of Gravesend to get the 10 signatures required to enable Chris Nickerson to stand, and submitted to the Gravesend Council offices.
So what, you may ask.
Chris Nickerson was standing for his own English Independence Party under a manifesto commitment to repatriate immigrants:
The number of immigrants and people from immigrant families now living in England has become so great that the time has come to turn the inward flow into an outward flow. We will implement a 20 year programme of the repatriation of post-WW2 immigrants. This will be carried out sympathetically but with determination. It will be done by 'Constructive Repatriation' i.e. by the normal government process of passing Acts of Parliament which will make England less and less attractive for the immigrants to remain. - English Independence Party Manifesto, 2005
It seems like a strange policy for an officer of the civic nationalist English Democrat Party to support, and it looks stranger still when you read how Steve Uncles taunted the Free England Party with the label 'far-right' when Chris Nickerson became their President.
The word 'hypocrite' springs to mind.
And the word 'stupid'.
And the word 'fat'.
My congratulations to Steve Uncles for his election to the post of National Communications Director for the English Democrats Party.
And he's wasting no time in communicating - now that he's no longer banned from his favourite forum, just check out this post
The man who happily calls anyone who has disagreed with him a 'liberal self-hater' (even if that person is a suicide victim) and who conducts malicious smear campaigns against members of the public, is now asking for people to provide evidence when they write something about him!
Actually, Steve Uncles isn't a moron...Well, not a complete moron. It's the people who elected him to office within his party that are the morons, assuming that there was an election and - if there was - that those people who voted for him actually exist.
ON A WALL by a road running south from Aberystwyth, arguably the best known Welsh nationalist landmark can be found. In white on vivid red, the words ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ have remained on the side of an abandoned building for several decades.
Usually translated as ‘Remember Tryweryn’ (the ‘D’ is down to a mutation), but more accurately ‘You remember Tryweryn’, the graffiti – whose author remained a mystery until well-known Welsh writer Meic Stephens confessed his part in it a few years back – has been faithfully restored on a number of occasions. There is a current campaign to buy the land it is on, and there was outrage earlier this year when it was daubed over. A number of Plaid Cymru members who travelled to the party’s annual conference in Aberystwyth recently also made the pilgrimage to this spot, and proud pictures subsequently appeared on Facebook.
Tryweryn is the name of the valley near Bala flooded in the early 1960s to provide water for Liverpool. In the face of almost total opposition from Wales and its MPs, the Welsh-only-speaking community of Capel Celyn was nevertheless lost under the waves, its inhabitants – some of whom had never left the village – scattered by Compulsory Purchase Orders.
The Welsh have a special word for what happens to such people. Hiraeth doesn’t translate directly, but it is generally taken to mean an aching longing for the land. However, away from such personal heartbreak, the creation of Llyn Celyn reservoir – which led to an apology from Liverpool City Council in 2005 – provided a lightning rod for Plaid Cymru, a big surge in popularity as people left powerless by what was ultimately a senseless act of unhearing English authoritarianism flocked to its ranks. It led ultimately to the return to Parliament of the party’s first MP, Gwynfor Evans, in 1966 in Carmarthen – like Capel Celyn a part of the Bro, the Welsh-speaking heartland that stretches from Gwynedd in the north to Llanelli on the south coast.
The language, and the ongoing struggle to retain and propagate its use, remains central to Welsh nationalism. This became much more obvious even to this English born-and-raised Plaid member a couple of months ago when, as with the administrator of this site, my own found itself at daggers drawn with the English Democrats.
Believing it to be a nationalist movement with an approach similar to those found in Scotland, or perhaps Cornwall, myself and the other editors invited its leader, Robin Tilbrook, to contribute a piece. What followed was a poorly constructed rant against Plaid Cymru that tried and failed to call the party’s nationalist credentials into question. I kicked off what would be our most commented-upon piece by taking Tilbrook’s argument to task. I immediately found myself under attack by ED trolls. Much of it was personal, but some of it was quite funny, like the clown who argued that Wales was supported by England and paid not a single penny to the Exchequer, not in income tax, VAT or petrol duty.
But one of those funny comments, from Alan England, along with Tilbrook’s argument, also cut to the heart of what truly incensed me about the EDs. England pompously tried to lecture our readers, many of whom spoke their first words in Welsh, that Abergavenny meant “gateway to Wales” in Cymraeg. In fact, it actually means ‘mouth of the Fenni river’, and the gateway slogan found on signs entering that part of Wales, Monmouthshire, is just that – a marketing slogan.
It wasn’t even that the EDs are only a decade or so old while Plaid was formed in 1925 (and organised Welsh nationalism goes back to the 19th Century) that irked. Rather, it was the assumption that the English Democrats have developed a model of nationalism which it now expects all other self-determination movements across the British Isles to fall in step with.
It certainly took no account of the moments that have shaped Plaid. Since completing my journey to Plaid, coming initially as an economic nationalist, I have really begun to cherish the party’s rich history. The EDs, conversely, took no time to read up on Plaid, to discern what makes it tick, what it is looking for, what it believes is important to achieve, or preserve. Instead, it clicked its fingers and then accused Plaid Cymru of fighting shy of nationalism.
This isn’t the case. We just don’t want their nationalism. And, in failing to realise that we might have different ambitions - that Wales is a different country that has managed to maintain its language and culture while leaving cheek-by-jowl with a nation that has been one of the most powerful on earth for the best part of past 300 years – and that we should unquestioningly follow, the English Democrats demonstrate that theirs is not a nationalist movement. It is imperialist.
If Tryweryn is Welsh nationalism’s lament, there is the romance of Gwynfor’s hunger strike in 1980 (he is always Gwynfor, never Gwynfor Evans), after the Thatcher government attempted to renege on its electoral promise of a Welsh language television station. He won, and Wales got S4C. There are the high intellectual arguments of Saunders Lewis, whose Tynged yr Iaith (fate of the language) radio speech of 1962 led to the formation of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the Welsh language society which, with its Greenpeace-like use of non-violent direct action, has helped to slow the language’s decline. There is also the economist DJ Davies – my personal political hero – and, in recent times, Adam Price, the former Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP.
But even if these events are the moments we remember, that form the basis of the songs of Dafydd Iwan, Plaid’s immediate past president, I believe that the events of the past four years, of Plaid participating in Welsh government, as the executive arm of the National Assembly, that will provide perhaps its greatest achievement – and I hope it will allow the party to ultimately become one of sole power here in Wales.
That so much has changed in that time was brought home to me recently when I was asked to provide my views on the coming political year to an audience of public affairs consultants. I found myself between two heavyweights – one of our foremost political academics and greatest authorities on Welsh nationalism, and one of Wales’ best-known journalists. Both of them confidently predicted that the Labour-Plaid coalition government in Cardiff Bay was about to fall because Labour was unable to deliver on a key promise of One Wales (the document that enables them to govern together) and deliver a referendum on further powers.
Chancing my arm, and hedging my bets by insisting I had never got a political prediction right, I argued against. Later that evening, I joined a group of Pleidwyr (party faithful) for dinner, including a couple of Welsh Assembly Government ministers. I related the event, and they promptly pooh-poohed it. We were right.
There was a simple reason for this. Plaid had grown up while in government. It knew how much it had to lose by walking out and slamming the door, and how it well might be able to persuade if it stayed. It understands power by increment.
Similarly, in the time that the party has sat in government, we have witnessed the ‘Plaidification’ of the other three main parties – and particularly in Labour since it lost power in Westminster in May, and rushes to recast itself as a bulwark against ConDem hegemony, taking on board policies which months ago its ministers, both in London and in the Bay had refused to countenance. Now those same ex-ministers have gone to fetch them from the long grass into which they themselves kicked them.
This was perceived as presenting a problem for Plaid, because, while it and Labour are the two biggest parties in Wales (Labour by some way, admittedly), they also fish in similar leftist policy waters and Plaid has demonstrated an abiding preponderance towards left wing politics in recent times – indeed, its model of governance is based upon ‘decentralised socialism’. The worry, said pundits, was that Plaid could be obscured by Labour. It didn’t help that Labour had taken to George Bush-like tactics, arguing that if Plaid wasn’t with it, it was with the Tories.
However, come this weekend – conference weekend – and John Dixon, the outgoing party chairman, had put a different view forward, arguing that Plaid was more than a party of only North Walian language supremacists and disillusioned former Labour-supporting, English monoglot speakers from what was once the great industrial Valleys of the south. He outlined three main strands of thought and, rather than an internal and impending dogfight to establish which school of thought came out on top, he could foresee an immediate future where these different approaches lived happily side-by-side and informed one another.
It set the tone for an incredibly upbeat weekend. There was some grumbling (predominantly from the media) that much of what was coming through was broad brushstrokes, approaches rather than policy. But, given the impending Comprehensive Spending Review and oft-stated budget intents of the Chancellor, it would be a brave fool indeed to announce anything costed at this stage. However, much of it served to confirm that, in the words of one of our newest members, former Labour Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, “devolution is a process, not an event”, while many of the private, off-camera discussions between members, many of them rank-and-filers like myself, were shot through with a more evidence-based rather than emotive approach to achieving independence.
And that is where Plaid finds itself today. In government, at perhaps the worst time possible since the Second World War, with an economy that is doing nothing at present other than going backwards, its lowest paid at the mercy of public sector cuts forced upon the country by the folly of a financial industry it hardly benefits from, its GVA and GDP below the UK average, its education standards slipping slightly, and its health service creaking more than its English counterpart.
Yet, in a strange way, this is a good time to be in politics, because there really are lots of good ideas in the air – not least the Holtham Commission’s report on reforming the Barnett formula and proposals for tax variation, and consequently grater fiscal responsibility. I think four years of government brings a different approach, something rarely appreciated by those in permanent opposition. It appears to have done Welsh nationalism a power of good.
So that’s Plaid today, perhaps 40 years ahead of English nationalism which, like those days of the Prince of Wales’ investiture in 1969, tends to focus on the affront caused by a cherished culture ignored, with campaigns for St George’s Day and so on. But it is important to remember that the circumstances that have given rise to English nationalism are going to be totally different to those that brought about the movement for Welsh self-determination, which is different from what happened in Scotland again. This Plaid and the SNP knows. We’ll work together, but there won’t be any lecturing one another on approach.
Welsh nationalists welcome a rise in English nationalism. I believe that more mature organisations than the English Democrats will emerge. Perhaps it will take a long time to achieve prominence; perhaps it may be one moment. Let us just hope it is not another Tryweryn. Remember that.