UKIP and the reality of Britain

The revelation yesterday that UKIP had employed Latvians to deliver the very leaflets that warned people that their jobs were under threat from Eastern Europeans was greeted with amusement and some surprise – but it really shouldn’t have been surprising. This is the same campaign that had posters starring an Irish actor, displayed on billboards owned and run by a French company. This is the reality of modern Britain – and a reality that should be celebrated rather than feared. We’re a country where people of all kinds of origins work well together and, in general, get along pretty well together too. What’s more, it’s not just modern Britain, but Britain throughout the ages. In a lot of ways, for me, it’s the best thing about Britain.

UKIP should really realise this. A quick glance at the names of their leaders should give them the clue. As well as having a German wife, Nigel Farage has a French name – or perhaps a Belgian one. Roger Helmer, the MEP who is now their candidate for the Newark by-election, has a name that comes from southern Germany. No prizes for guessing the origin of the name of their Director of Communications, Patrick O’Flynn. It’s a regular (Swedish) Smorgasbord of national origins at UKIP.

UKIP’s logo also demonstrates their original mission – to save the pound. That’s the pound ‘sterling’. The word sterling is short for ‘Easterling’, the nickname given to the representatives of the Hanseatic League, a powerful group of German merchant towns in the late middle ages: even our currency is originally German. Our language, too, is a hotchpotch of others, mixing Old English, Latin, French, German and others. We might eat pork (French) that comes from a pig (Old English) or a swine (German), with apple (German) sauce (French) and potatoes (Haitian Carib via Spanish). That’s if we’re not eating chicken tikka masala…

The further back you go, the clearer it becomes. Pretty much every Royal House we’ve had comes from Europe. The Normans (French), Plantagenets (French), Tudors (Welsh), Stuarts (Scots), William of Orange (Dutch), Hanovers (German) were all from outside England – and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (German) only became Windsor for presentational purposes. One of our ‘greatest’ kings, Richard Coeur de Lion, didn’t speak a word of English and much preferred to be in France. St George, the Roman/Palestinian mercenary  we share (like so much else of our culture and history) as patron saint with a wide number of other countries, from Georgia to Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro and Palestine. Britain has been swept by waves of immigrants as far back as we can record. Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Danes were just the start – the likes of the Lombards and the Huguenots more recent examples. In every age we have been mixing cultures with people from all over the world.

That’s the bottom line. Our culture and history, as well as our present day, is one based on immigration and the joining, merging, mixing and enjoying of different cultures and peoples. It has always been that way – and that’s something we should understand and celebrate. We shouldn’t be trying to invent some ‘pure’ past or mythical identity of Britishness that is separate from everything else. We’re not separate. It’s the mix that makes us what we are – and the continuous changing and developing of that mix. Immigration doesn’t threaten some pure culture – because that pure culture doesn’t exist and never has. Our culture is one of immigration, and always has been. That’s the reality of Britain.

7 thoughts on “UKIP and the reality of Britain

  1. You forgot the report of the tories using people on jobseekers to post leaflets, and labour hiring a well heeled advertising agency to deliver leaflets and the lib dems not knowing what leaflets are. You never mentioned the Milliband son of a marxist father has never done a job in his life only being a politician, Cameron son of a millionaire tax evading stockbroker, has only had one job which was found for him by his wifes father, and Clegg having worked as an adviser in brussells has to be positive about the eussr or he loses his pension from there, paid for by british taxpayers of course. Mind you the real smorgasbord of nationalities you mention shows just what a bunch of liars those who call UKIP racists really are. I wonder how badly damaged we would have been had it not been the fact that the ERM was deliberately slewed to drive down the value of sterling against the euro, and we got ejected from it. Sterling certainly left us in a stronger position when the global economy collapsed. UKIP policy isn’t anti immigration, it is one of controlled immigration, just as it is throughout the world, although of course the current situation controls all the world other than the mainly white nationals of the eussr nations which is the epitome of racism forced on to us by the democratically rejected constitution that got forced on to us. Thank you Paul for highlighting the multicultural nature of UKIP, it has clarified that UKIP is neither xenophobic or racist, as the old fashioned parties would have you believe.

    • Excellent blog Mr Bernal. With any luck it will lure out even more like My Davies, whose reply only goes to highlight, yet further, what a slimy little gang of halfwitted nincompoops UKIP and it’s leader, Lord Haw Haw, really are.

  2. That is a wonderful post. And it’s true, the reason I and so many others choose to live in Britain is because it’s a gentle and open society. Government is usually civil and honest, relations between people are mostly straightforward and based on merit, and large personal differences are accepted so long as everyone agrees to also accept and respect each other. That’s special and worth defending – other societies, including the US, are not like that.

    The essence of Britain is not fish & chips with mushy peas, milky tea, garish wallpaper, hot & cold taps, tabloids, ludicrous house prices, Saturday drunkenness, insipid franchises, warning signs, and pictures of the Queen on the currency. These are areas where more mixing with different cultures I think improves the society.

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