The Leicester Speech
Leicester, December 6, 2008 (video, transcript)
This is the transcript by V. S. of one of Jonathan Bowden’s shorter British National Party stump speeches, delivered in Leicester on December 6, 2008. The speech can be viewed at the Internet Archive, here. If you have corrections, please post them as comments below.
Much of the blather between the [mainstream political] parties, who agree on 80% of the agenda and argue ferociously about the 20% that remains, about which they differ in terms of implementation, is froth and turns the mass of the public off as they increasingly realize that these parties, the blue one, the red one, and the orange and yellow one, are sort of interchangeable.
But in relation to this party [the British National Party], which disagrees with the others 80%, there might be the odd correlation on this or that, because we’re in the same country, on 20% of matters, but +80% there’s a total difference. So, when Blunkett says there is a danger to the entire system and society, he means politically and ideologically and philosophically and structurally, he’s right. He’s not being alarmist. He’s not being a fool. He’s not stirring the pot unnecessarily. They know the sort of society they’ve created in the last 50 years, and they know they didn’t do it with the consent of the British majority, and they didn’t do it with the consent of the people here in Leicester.
As I’m sure you realize, Leicester is England’s and Britain’s first ethnic city. Leicester is the first city where if you aggregate all the minorities together they are a majority. Of course, these people have little in common with each other, but aggregated so together they are a majority and the indigenous population, a phrase that the constitutional mongers in the courts and in Trevor Phillips’ Human Rights Commission don’t care for, are in the minority. It’s something like 51% and 49% or 52% and 48% in Leicester.
I don’t know Leicester very well, but when I went there a couple of times in the last couple of years it struck me that like a lot of our urban spaces it’s been effectively ruined at several different levels. It’s been ruined demographically. It seemed to be slightly ruined for a Southerner like me by putting a motorway or several motorways right through the heart of it, which is what they’ve done with Leeds and various other cities. They’ve knocked down some of the best buildings and some of the Victorian quarter. So, you can see – and I’m viewing it from the outside – that there are several levels of destruction going on in the last 40 to 50 to 60 years. Biological destruction and decay, architectural and structural semi-devastation, and sort of “urban planning.” What Wilson called in the 1960s the “white heat of technology.”
Do you remember all that? The white heat that would bring us into a new era like the atomic promise that was offered slightly before that. Where’s all that white heat of technology gone? All the people that were bombed out in the war in the big cities, say in the East End of London, and these great tower blocks that were sprung up in the big cities. Most of them have been blitzed or blown up or taken down in inner Birmingham, in inner Glasgow, in inner London. They’ve been taken down, because they’re the eyesores and rat-runs that they became for the people who were bombed out during the war and stuffed into them in the new peace that came thereafter with the Labour landslide in ’45 and the Labour governments from ’64 through to ’70 and ’74 through to ’79.
Now, since 1997 New Labour has come in and been elected three times. The problem with many of our people is that they can’t see what’s genuinely in front of them. Everyone with any sense at all realized that Blair wasn’t some magic antidote to the Major years. Remember the Major years at the end? Tory MPs holding up manila envelopes with dubious questions in their mouths, waiting for the envelope to be filled with thousands. A very sordid period. The Tories had been there for about 20 years. They were tired, they were dying, they had no new ideas, and they were swept away.
I remember going to a polling booth on that very Thursday and you could see the anger in people’s faces. They wanted to punish Major and the Tories, and there was an 180 majority for Labour. Extraordinary! Even in middle class areas. The Tories were swept out in the biggest defeat they’d had since 1832.
And what comes in? New Labour comes in! Labour promised a sort of New Deal and a new change. It was a differentiated version of Wilson’s promise of the white heat of technology in the ’60s or the rebuilding of the society under Attlee after 1945.
And what has happened since 1997? This country is bankrupted now to several dimensions. The amount of money that the country owes is astronomical. We are spending enormous amounts of money as if there is no tomorrow in order to prop up capitalist banks, at least half of which went bankrupt about a year and a half to two years ago. It’s an extraordinary situation that we are now in. If Lloyd’s had collapsed and if NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland had collapsed, about a fifth to a quarter to a third would have went to these machines and put these cards to the machine and no money would have come out, and similarly a certain proportion of benefits wouldn’t have been paid either. You’re talking about a stationary change of a sort that Western societies have not seen since the great crash in 1929/1930.
Brown said he’d abolish boom and bust, but in actual fact there was a boom and now it’s well and truly busted and he managed to get out of Number 11 Downing Street just before it occurred and moved over to Number 10 to replace Blair as he always plotted to do and as he always wanted to do, because Blair was an actor and a performer and an artiste and a sort of mountebank and a pathological liar. It took about 10 years for British people to work out what he was like. Blair could argue for a position over there and then he could go over there and argue with equal sincerity against the position that he had just annunciated. He was a performer! Someone who’s more like one of these stars in soap operas and so on than a politician. The interesting thing is that British people trusted him once and then again and then, to a slightly lesser extent, even again.
But the greatest damage that New Labour has done to the society isn’t the Iraq War, important though as that is in relation to the Chilcot Inquiry that’s going on at the moment. It’s not even the economic crash, substantial and devastating though that is for many particularly as we face the prospect of a double dip recession. The real damage they’ve done to the society is the opening up, and then the opening up again, and then the opening up again, to mass migration from the Second and the Third and the Fourth World, which between about 1999 and 2003/4 has changed the nature of the island and its internal demography out of all recognition.
Parts of inner London now, parts of inner Birmingham now, Handsworth: 80% non-White. Parts of the East End of London are literally in the Third World. Areas like Dalston or Greater Hackney or parts of Stoke Newington or elements of De-Beauvoir Town or elements of Lambeth south of the river, parts of Newham and so on. It’s as if virtually we do not exist there anymore. Nearly all of the indigenous people have gone out of these areas, have fled out of them. The only people who are left are the people who are too old or too sick or too poor and can’t get out.
About four to five years ago, there were lots of Polish and some Ukrainian and other immigrants who had come into the European Union to take cheap jobs during the trashiest part of the credit- and debt-fueled boom cycle that was then riding high, and Brown said he was the Iron Chancellor who controlled movements of capital, controlled movements of labor, which is what migration is.
We have a system now where our economy and most Western economies are locked into global structures of power and finance, where great walls of money move across the world at the touch of a screen in the city bureaus of London, Leeds, Glasgow or wherever. Where jobs move from the south of England to the north of England to Hungary to China to Indonesia, and they’re undercut at each level as lots of people work in and around or just under or just over the minimum wage. Any trouble and they’re out and replaced by somebody else.
In order to have an economy where you can have a mobile phone at 3 AM or have a pizza at 4 AM or have a plasma dish arrive at your door in a van with a man in a cap at 5 AM who you pay with some plastic and you pay on the never-never and that this all goes on 24 hours a day with a bit of a blip on Easter Day and a bit of a blip on Christmas Day. But otherwise it’s full on consumption without production fueled by debt and based upon credit. The flip side to all this cheap and easy money, which builds up almost like into interconnected pyramid schemes or scams or forms of fraud. If a private individual did them, which is what many of these institutions and banks got themselves into. The flip side of this is the mass movement of people all over the world swarming after the money, crossing over borders, crossing over continents, getting up into Europe from Africa through the Arab countries.
In the Libyan Desert, Gaddafi’s forces throw them back and allow some through and some die in the Mediterranean, others are sunk by Italian patrol boats, and a certain proportion get in. Mafias in Turkey and elsewhere funnel people in; other people are trying to get out of Albania or out of the old Yugoslavia into the underside of the European Union. Great swathes of people are coming from war zones which have been created by the policies of certain Western leaders in Iraq, in Afghanistan, maybe in the next couple of years in Iran.
It’s as radical as somebody who stood in 1910 and looked out to the world. Think of what awaited them and they didn’t know. The First World War, the Great Crash, the false boom of the ’20s, the rise of Fascism and Communism, the Second World War, the Cold War thereafter. None of it could have been predicted by a man unless he was a seer in 1910.
I think we’re standing in 2010 and we’re looking out on the world. 34 countries are developing nuclear weapons. Iran will have them certainly in two years. They have missiles that can reach London now. North Korea has missiles that can reach the Pacific seaboard of the United States. Hundreds of millions of people are moving across continents. Certain countries are dying. Some are remaining there to perish. Others move what remains. But most countries consist of a tiny bourgeois group, professionals, an elite at the top, which is usually military, and a mass. And there’s really nothing in between. There’s no middle class essentially.
Many people who think they’ve got a bit of vigor are trying to get into the West for a new life. And of course if we’d been born in those groups people with a little experience, people with a bit of get up and go might be doing something similar. Life isn’t pleasant. People do go where they see the chance is. We have to remember certain verities about life. We have to forget the blandishments of the liberal media.
We have to remember that the three parties are in favor of the same things. Clegg and Brown and Cameron all support mass migration; they all support globalization; they all support movement of capital and labor around the world; they all support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, liberals slightly less on the war in Iraq, that’s a minor difference, but in some ways that’s come and gone; they all support our membership in the European Union; they all deny the people the right to vote on the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution. Brown lied blatantly at the last election and said there would be a vote. That’s revoked because they know they would lose it. So, they all agree on it. Cameron said there’d be a vote, but now it’s gone through so, “Sorry. No vote. Can’t do it.”
In any case, they represent big capital through CBI and its institute of directors and so forth. Not small or middling capital. This means the last thing they want to do is to open up voting to referendums on Europe, because it opens up the question – as UKIP do generally say – of whether we remain in or not. So, there’s another issue where they’re all the same.
They’re all the same about Sinn Féin in government in Northern Ireland; they’re all the same about essentially letting Venables and Thompson out and similar extreme and egregious crimes on the margins of society; and they’re all the same pretty much about political correctness.
Cameron is allegedly a member of United Against Fascism! Extraordinary! When I was born, Sir Alec Douglas-Home was Tory Prime Minister. Pretty out of touch, pretty aristocratic in all sorts of ways. But imagine a snob like him would be a member of United Against Fascism or would give them money! It’s extraordinary and shows you how this society has changed!
Criticize homosexuality now and you face, not imprisonment, but a fine, cultural disprivileging, discipline certainly if you work in the public sector. Forty to 50 years ago the thing itself was illegal! So, you see in issue after issue there’s been a complete reversal and transformation and turnaround.
In relation to ethnicity, things could be said by The Daily Express in 1966 which would land the editor or the sub-editor in prison now, and that’s only 40 to 50 years. It’s changed because of the ideas of the people who’ve been educated. It’s changed because of the ideas that went through the society after the 1960s. Ideas which maybe 8 to 10% believed in then, but 88 to 90% of those who are educated believe in now!
But there is one problem with the liberal project and that is that the bulk of the people, such as those in this audience tonight, don’t really go along with it. They don’t always have the words to challenge it, but instinctually they reject it and increasingly are looking for a way, within the parceling up of what passes for democracy, to vote in a manner which expresses that. If they vote Liberal, they just ramify what exists. If they vote Tory, they do the same. If they vote Labour, they do the same.
But there is a change. There are significant working class communities, particularly in the north but also elsewhere, who are turning on Labour now. They have turned on Labour semi-tribally and as a group and hate Labour now. Many Labour activists go on estates, and they have a Walkman in their ears, because they don’t want to hear the abuse when they go for the door or they put the leaflet through and hurry off or they say, “Sorry mate, don’t have a go at me, Iraq and all that. You know what I mean. I’m just delivering these things. It will be pizzas tomorrow.” And that’s how they get out of the abuse.
This is a total transformation where Labour’s frightened in its own areas. The Tories are never seen in those areas. They don’t exist in Liverpool. They come 5th. The Tories in Glasgow are 6th and 7th. They’re a minor party. They’re not a national party at all. They exist in the south of England where I come from, parts of the Midlands, and in rural areas. Otherwise, they’re just a minority party. Labour in parts of the country are a minority party except for certain wards.
There’s also a certain proportion of the population that’s outside politics. I knocked on a bloke’s door once, canvassing, and he came out and said, “Hey mate, you got any money for drugs?” Straight out! I had just banged on his door, you know? And I said, “No.” He said, “Well, F— you then! I’m not voting for you!” He staggered, because he was seeing several of me, you know. He staggered about and then fell back into his flat. And he’s not alone, you see, because in a sense he’s outside the system. He’s outside of it. New Labour? They’re a bunch of whats-its! You know. There’s a degree to which as the society fractures the ability of people to rely on poor votes is increasingly in jeopardy.
Labour have a subtext to the enormous migration they’ve allowed in. Ninety percent of all post-Africans and Afro-Caribbeans, 90% vote Labour if they vote at all. Fifty-five to 75% of all Asians, if they vote at all and unless they’re angry about certain things such as an attack on a Muslim country, they vote Labour. So, you see, there’s an in-built factor by the creation of these large wedges of population, as Enoch Powell once described it in a manner which Trevor Phillips wouldn’t care for, to vote a particular way.
But there are proportions of the society now that will never vote Labour again and even if it’s only a protest vote in the UKIP rise in middle class areas in the European elections, you see a bourgeois protest in part against the structure. What UKIP does is they channel nationalistic feeling in a moderate and slightly faffy way, people who don’t want to go outside, people who don’t want to be accused of something, and don’t want to take the heat and all the rest of it. Don’t want to be described as politically incorrect and all of the nasty words that go with that. So, they channel it through the European thing. You see, for a lot of middle class people it’s a safe option for that.
But the blocs are breaking, and they’re cracking, and if they crack a bit more major representation will be achieved across the society, taking in cities like Stoke. Parliamentary candidates in Westminster. Certainly, if the parliament is hung it’s the best possible result for the radical Right. Because it will be hung and PR will come, an English parliament will come. A democratic Lords, a so-called senate, and so on will come, because of bloat. The Lords are just stuffed with Blair’s and Brown’s cronies. You just give Lord Desai, you know. Lord Ali, the country’s first Muslim homosexual peer, as he describes himself. And all these people. They’re not Lords of the Manor! Of course not! They’re just cronies and mates of the party’s leaders who have got in. They never had a democratic assembly and partly people get so sick of voting for all these things. There will be an election every other week that their radicalism will grow and their desire to kick, electorally and politically, the desire to boot the ball into the stands, the desire to vote against the Liberals, against Labour, against the Conservatives, even against the other minority parties, the Celtic nationalist parties and their dispensations, will grow and will grow and will grow again.
And there’s one party they need to vote for now and into the future, a party which is white, red, and blue, irrespective of constitutional changes that are forced from without and with the fullness of time actually have little effect in the way this society perceives these matters as things get more complicated. Old patriotic Labour, the social values of militant conservatism, and the indigenous character of the country combined in its national emblem. There needs to be a breakthrough by one party and one party alone.
I ask you in the weeks that remain until May the 6th to vote for this party when the election comes, to leaflet for this party, to canvas for it, to buy propaganda on behalf of it, to listen for it on the media and patrol the internet to see what is said about it, particularly when it’s on the party’s own vehicles, to support candidates, to put money in buckets and to give funds so that people can stand locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally via Europe, and when people ask you on May the 7th, “Who did you vote for?” you say, “I voted for the British National Party!”
Thank you very much!