Monday, March 20, 2006

"There is no England," says Newcastle City Council Leader

Our great political leaders cannot help putting their foot in it time and time again. First we had LibDim North East Party Leader, Chris Foote Wood, and his Wear Valley District Council removing the Cross of St. George and replacing it with the EU's 'ring of stars' and now we have Peter Arnold, the Lib Dim Leader of Newcastle City Council saying that there is 'no such thing as England.'

It is important that such views are challenged and exposed. Mr. Arnold conveniently omitted his political title when replying to a letter in the Independent newspaper. It was well spotted and passed to us and we have assisted the local press in bringing it to everyone's attention. The story is running with a full page in the Newcastle Journal and the Council Leader's comments have created news and debate on Radio Newcastle. It appears as though everyone's wrath is turned on Mr. Arnold's statement.

This is not the first time he has created controversy. Some months back he branded the unelected North East Assembly 'boring, invisible and a waste of money' whilst at the same time committing tens of thousands of pounds of public money to the body and allowing the Assembly to use the prestigious Guildhall Building on the Newcastle Quayside rent free.
He again claimed he was merely voicing his personal opinion.

If people across England wish to remind Mr. Arnold through the letters page of the Newcastle Journal that there is such a country called England and it is not, as Labour MEP Stephen Hughes mistakenly points out, 'just a collection of regions,' then they can send an e-mail to

The Journal story can be seen below...

Council leader sparks debate over 'mongrel nation'
Newcastle Journal
Monday, March 20, 2006
by Ross Smith

It may mean a new set of maps, a bank with an identity crisis and thousands of confused supporters at the World Cup.
But the leader of Newcastle Council has declared that there is no such thing as England.
The somewhat surprising statement was made in a letter by civic centre chief Peter Arnold to a national newspaper.
He wrote: "There is no need for an English parliament because there is no England."
He said that while Scotland, Wales and Ireland are "fairly homogenous", England is "the genuine mongrel nation, and I welcome that".
And he continued: "I regard myself first and foremost as a Northumbrian, then as British, and finally as European.
"Here in the North-East we only began to be part of the nation after 1603. Before that, the independent kingdoms of England and Scotland played havoc with the area, and used it (and abused us) for their own dynastic ends. I have no loyalty to England."

Coun Arnold last night revealed he had received "vitriolic" emails since the letter was published, accusing him of being a traitor to the country.
He said he was writing in a personal capacity, rather than on behalf of Newcastle Council or the Liberal Democrats.
But his views raised eyebrows among his political opponents.
Conservative Euro-MP Martin Callanan said: "I find those views astonishing for the leader of a major English city.
"I'm not sure what fantasy land Peter Arnold is living in - clearly not England.
"If he hates England so much, he can always nip across the border and bore the Scots with his tedious politics."

Labour MEP Stephen Hughes added: "It's not a viewpoint I share. I know what he means, because there are distinct regions in the North.
"We are a nation of regions, but we have shared traditions we can be really proud of. I think we rank up there with the best."

Political campaigner Neil Herron said: "To say there's no such thing as England is bizarre, to say the least.
"I wonder who he will be cheering for in the World Cup, as neither Northumbria nor Great Britain have qualified."

Points of view
Proud to be whoever it is we are ...
North-Easterners yesterday seemed unsure whether an English identity actually exists.
Although most people said they still considered themselves to be English, they found it difficult to describe what exactly they associated with their national identity.
Adrian Snell, 34, of Gosforth, Newcastle, said: "There are a lot of things English people can be proud of. We invented the English language not to mention the beautiful game. And we'll always have World Cup in 1966 to remember.
"I do think the English identity still exists, but people have definately started to think of themselves as coming more from a region. I know I think of myself as being from the North-East and that's a big part of my identity."
Ted Reay, 56, of Festival Square, Gateshead, said: I'm proud to have been born in England, but I don't really know what you would associate with being English any more.
"It used to be things like hunting, playing cricket, and drinking tea, but I think a lot of people from other countries would probably associate us with football hooligans these days.
"Because of that kind of behaviour it's almost seen as being wrong to be patriotic, but if someone asked me where I was from I'd definately say I was English."
Ted's wife Rosaline Reay, 51, also of Festival Square, Gateshead, said: Well I'm Irish, but I definately think the English identity is not promoted as well as other nations.
"Take St Patrick's Day, for instance. It's celebrated all over the world, but I doubt many people even know when St Georges' Day is. English people don't seem to celebrate their identity as passionately as the Irish, Scottish or Welsh."
Norman Atkinson, 61, of Carlisle, Cumbria, said: "I always put down that I am English whenever I get the opportunity. We are a fantastic nation with a proud history and culture.
"I think the English identity should be promoted as much as that of the Scottish, Welsh and Irish."
Ian Simpson, 43, an Army major, of Hartlepool, said: "I consider myself to be British rather than English. But I don't think people are really encouraged to have an English identity any more.
"A strong sense of national identity isn't encouraged in this country the same way as in Scotland, for example. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, however, and I'm happy to call myself British."


Anonymous said...

Labour's Lord Falconer has ruled out an English Parliament. The Labour MEP says England is a collection of regions - in line with EU policy.

A prominent Lib Dem has said England doesn't even exist, while a civil servant who works for Newcastle City Council described the area as "hideously white". In other words, too English!

The Tories are still wedded to the Union status quo and rule out an English parliament despite the sympathetic (but dishonest) sound bite from the North East Tory MEP.

A new constitutional settlement is needed for Britain, but don't expect the failed old parties to come up with the necessary reform.

Toque said...

If the Councillor thinks that a nation should be racially pure in order to be considered a nation then he is nothing more than a Nazi and should be sacked by the Liberal Democrat Party immediately.

I will be writing to them to insist that he is.

Anonymous said...


The BBC have been encouraging the idea we are a "mongrel nation", so no surprise that a fully paid-up member of the liberal elite repeats what his media friends have been saying the last few years.

You should be more upset the Fib Dem thinks we are 'mongrels' than spout the usual nazi smear claptrap.

Unless you are a Labour troll trying to make a point prior to the local elections? If you are, then spare us. Labour hates (and fears) the English, more than the other failed old parties do!

Anonymous said...

Toque is right: this does indeed echo Nazi sentiment. According to this dreadful Lib Dem – you don't have to read too hard between the lines – the Scots and Welsh are the master race "Arians" and we English are "mongrels", not worthy of recognition as a people, nor of any respect to our history, traditions and culture.

How dare the "mongrels" have the audacity to complain and wish for parity with the nations. No to England and no to an English parliament.

This man should be sacked.

Anonymous said...

Arnold's view is wide spread and runs to the very top of government.
I'd like to know who and when all this was decided on? Who was the brains behind the plan and where were the discussions held?
This is an interview with Straw
in 1995 when this was all academic,
so they must have decided we were a non people around this time or before.
I think we should concentrate on referenda,these politicians are
liars and bullies.
1.Do you want An English Parliament?.
2. Do you want to leave the EU?

Arthur - King said...

Chris Foote is no better better than the now infamous fellow Lib Dim, Peter Arnold, by having commented (during a Wear Vally Council meeting) that those who wanted the Council to fly the English flag were "promoting prejudice & ignorance"! Now I ask you, how can wanting to fly your own flag - a practice followed by many nations - be prejudiced or ignorant!
It is well known how obsessed Lib Dems are with all things EU, but what is being revealed now is a deep hatred towards England & the English.
Would it be indelicate to suggest that all those with such views would do better to remove themselves to another nation, rather than to remain here inflicting their traitorous opinions on the people of England!
Shame on them!
Thank goodness we have heroes like Neil Herron to fight our corner for us!

Anonymous said...

err, duh, the comments about there being "no england" might be a bit daft, but they're hardly on a parallel with the nazis, get a life. in fact, if anything, they are the complete opposite. but you might need an understanding of history - or just a vague clue of what you're talking about - to realise that!

Jimbo said...

The thing I'm not happy about is, if there is no England, why does Mr Arnold constantly refer to it as England?

And if there is no England then why can there be a Scotland and a Wales? Either they're part of Britain or they're not and if not, I wouldn't call England "Britain". And besides, Scotland is as much a nation of mongrels as England. Nowt wrong with being mongrels, of course, but not good grounds to choose whether we get a parliament or not.

Dan said...

We should have a federal system of government with equal levels of devolution for the four nations of the UK.

Why do the Scots deserve more law-making powers than our Welsh friends? And why do our Welsh friends deserve more democracy than us English?

There is a more sinister political motive here- Scotland and Wales have a left-leaning electorate which will help Labour push politically correct left-wing policies through in England.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing 'Left' or 'Left-wing' about the Labour government that has been in power since 1997. Open your eyes please.

Political correctness also is a red herring. To be politically correct would be to respect the people of England's choice about the form of government they wish to have.

The fact is that technically, legally, administratively, there is no such entity as 'England'. But culturally and geographically there is.

As for mongrel nations and pure races, there is no such thing as a non-mongrel nation. They don't exist. It's complete fiction.

There is one race of humans: the human race. Full stop. End of story.

Now, as for whether England should have its own Parliament, that is a clearly a debate that should be followed by a referendum. It should not be imposed or denied by Westminster.

I will vote against it; I want to be a British citizen. I want the UK to be one nation, not three or four or ten or twelve. But if others - whether in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, or Scotland - disagree, I will completely respect that choice. That is what democracy is.

Can you live with democracy? Can you live without it?

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