English Democrats, Northern Ireland, Mr Uncles and Mr Butler
Originally posted by Kent Community Activist Original article
In recent years power has been devolved from the Westminster Parliament to Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland has had devolved powers for much longer, interspersed with periods of direct rule. England does not have devolved powers.
As far as I am aware the English Democrats’ policy is for symmetric devolution to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England within a UK federation or union.
However, not all within the ED would appear to agree with this policy. A ‘leading’ member of the party, recently elected as the South-East Area chairman and thereby a place on the National Council contributes to a blog entitled English Passport. The member in question is Steve Uncles, and although he has denied being the blog owner, the vast majority of posts are made by him and he has not disassociated himself from the standing post on the blog’s front page. This includes the following:
To the extent that it advocates the political separation of England from the (remainder of the) UK, English nationalism is not compatible with Scottish or Northern Irish Unionism, indeed modern Democratic English Nationalists, support a United Ireland, to end the subsidy from the English Tax Payer to Northern Ireland.
Note the last part of that sentence: modern Democratic English Nationalists, support a United Ireland, to end the subsidy from the English Tax Payer to Northern Ireland.
Really? Whatever happened to the concept of self-determination? So we have the strange position that ‘modern Democratic English Nationalists’ want self determination for England but deny it for the people of Northern Ireland. Instead they would hand Northern Ireland over to a foreign country. I read no caveat about the will of the people being paramount. Will Mr Uncles disassociate himself and the English Democrats from the statement in italics above? Indeed why not condemn it on the English Passport blog or have it removed.
Mr Uncles has a track record of supporting a united Ireland.
Earlier this year Mt Uncles ran into a spot of bother for emailing Sinn Fein. the Secretary of the English Democrats published the following draft press release after a National Council meeting:
On 12th February 2011 the National Council of the English Democrats unanimously voted to remove Steve Uncles (ex- South East Area Chairman) from all his official positions within the party, although he remains a party member. We have taken this action in order to ‘draw a line’ under recent events connecting our party with both Sinn Fein and some ex-BNP leaders, because Steve Uncles was both the initiator and the primary driver behind these approaches. His actions were kept from the majority of the National Council until the public revelations of an ex-party member revealed some of these matters in November 2010.
Steve Uncles took it upon himself to contact and indeed ask for support from Sinn Fein in 2009. The National Council of the English Democrats condemn this approach by Steve Uncles as an opportunistic attempt to associate us with the IRA, with whom we wish to have no association. The English Democrats are struggling to ensure that the people of England are treated fairly within the United Kingdom and we have no interest in interfering in the politics of Northern Ireland. We believe in a government for England but we also believe that it is the sole preserve of the people of Northern Ireland to determine their political arrangements, and it is not for others to interfere.
In 2010 Steve Uncles took it upon himself to contact both Eddie Butler and Richard Barnbrook who at the time were both leading members of the British National Party, although they had fallen out with Nick Griffin. Mr Uncles believed that these people would be useful converts to the English Democrats. We wish to state categorically that at no time have we attempted to initiate any political arrangements with the British National Party as we consider their political beliefs to be an anathema to the vast majority of the people of England. The English Democrats remain, as we always have been, committed to advancing the political, social and economic interests of all the people of England regardless of their race, ethnicity or heritage.
Steve Uncles, by his actions, called into questioned this commitment and that is the reason he no longer speaks for our party.
All very commendable. However, the official press release was significantly different:
I would like to welcome the appointment of Stephen Morris as our new National Communications Director. Stephen has been doing excellent work as our North West Chairman. Since he took over he has re-energised our Party there. I look forward to working closely with him in this new role too.
On 12th February 2011, I, as Chairman of the English Democrats, also accepted the resignation of Steve Uncles, who had been our National Communications Director. Steve had been a long serving and active member of the National Council. Despite Steve’s many exceptional services to the Cause of English Nationalism and his innovation and drive in moving the English Democrats forward to the point where it is now the 7th largest political party in England, it was felt that the Party needed to “draw a line” under the recent false allegations of negotiations between our Party and Sinn Fein or the BNP.
As a result of the recent betrayal of Steve’s trust by a former colleague, it now appears that, in 2009, Steve took it upon himself to attempt to contact Sinn Fein
On behalf of the English Democrats, we also wish to state unequivocally that at no time have we (or Steve) had any discussions with a view to any political arrangements whatsoever with the British National Party. We consider that Party’s political beliefs to be anathema both to us and to the vast majority of the people of England. The English Democrats remain, as we always have been, committed to advancing the political, social and economic interests of all the people of England regardless of their race, ethnicity or heritage.
Steve, by his actions seemed, we believe unwittingly, to give unnecessary ammunition to those who wish to attack our Party and the cause of English Nationalism generally, and that is the reason why he no longer speaks for our Party
Were they at the same meeting? The very fact contact was even attempted with Sinn Fein, along with the statement on the English Passport blog, is a cause for concern.
Although Mr Uncles no longer spoke for the party he appeared on a television programme as a representative of the English Democrats.
The reference to Eddy Butler is to the former BNP National Organiser who has expressed a desire to join the English Democrats. His membership has to be agreed by the National Council. Mr Butler has defended the action of Mr Uncles regarding contact with Sinn Fein as follows:
Several years ago Steve Uncles sent what I would call a rather silly and ill-informed e-mail to Sinn Fein in an attempt to establish mutually beneficial links on the mistaken basis that Sinn Fein were a party, a bit like the Scottish Nationalists or Plaid Cymru that wanted to loosen ties with Westminster. Of course most people will know that Sinn Fein actually want to do rather more than loosen ties and want absolutely nothing to do with the mainland Brits, and indeed they are the political wing of the now decommissioned terrorist group the IRA.
Firstly it must be recognised that Sinn Fein have renounced violence and they work very intimately with the ultra loyalist Democratic Unionist Party on a daily basis in governing Northern Ireland.
Secondly Steve Uncle’s e-mail seemed to think that Sinn Fein would be satisfied with fiscal autonomy and would want to be included in a new federal structure for the British Isles.
The e-mail is mildly embarrassing and somewhat ridiculous in my opinion, and was very clearly written on the basis of less than perfect knowledge of what Sinn Fein are about.
Not a very big deal. No ‘normal’ people, including fierce loyalists, think it is a very big deal. To people with an axe to grind it is of course a big deal.
There are a small number of people who post on obscure internet chat forums who think it is massive. This is invariably because they are members of tiny splinter group political parties and think that if they can portray the English Democrats as fellow travellers with the IRA then they will gain more recruits for their outfits.
Cliff Dixon says of the issue: “The email from Steve Uncles is constantly regurgitated and is not only distasteful but used by the opponents of our party to put off a section of the electorate that should be part of our natural vote.”
As I said, I personally think the e-mail was silly and ignorant. However it is only regurgitated on a very obscure internet chat forum by opponents of the EDs. The mass of the English public are unaware and would be totally unconcerned by such issues, and people with strong loyalist sympathies (such as myself) are also unfazed by it.
So, according to Mr Butler the actions of Mr Uncles were:
- rather silly and ill-informed
- mildly embarrassing and somewhat ridiculous
- silly and ignorant
Mr Butler’s attempts to downplay the silly, ill-informed, mildly embarrassing, somewhat ridiculous and ignorant actions of Mr Uncles cut no ice. As I stated above, Mr Uncles has not disassociated himself from this:
indeed modern Democratic English Nationalists, support a United Ireland, to end the subsidy from the English Tax Payer to Northern Ireland.
Now, which political party wants to see a united Ireland, indeed one of its leading members is standing for election as President of the Republic?