England is in trouble. We can't trust our politicians. Our democratic rights are being steadily eroded. Our culture and heritage are neglected and sneered at. Even the fundamental concept of England as a nation is under threat. This is why I will be representing the English Democrats Party in the local elections next year. I want to highlight the problems facing the English people and offer a feasible alternative.
First of all, we need an English parliament. Why English as opposed to British? Because devolution has already changed the nature of our democracy and under the current set-up English tax-payers are being duped. New Labour gave the Scots their own expensive parliament and set up regional assemblies for the Welsh and Northern Ireland, but they've neglected the needs and interests of English voters.
Scottish MPs at Westminster can now vote on purely English affairs and force policies on English voters against our wishes, and yet English MPs have no say on purely Scottish affairs.
Secondly, there is the question of Englishness. Our political masters seem to think there is something wrong with being English. While Scottish patriotism is encouraged and rewarded, English patriotism is frowned upon. Look at the last census. You could tick a box marked 'Scottish', there was also one for 'Irish' but you looked in vain for English.
Our pub landlords can't even get extensions for St George's Day. As a people the English aren't given to chest beating. Reserve and restraint are as much English qualities as inventiveness and enterprise. But most of us resent the way our heritage is sneered at. Why shouldn't we have one day a year when we can celebrate all that's great about our culture?
English patriotism doesn't mean hating other countries and other peoples. It's about loving our own. OK, not many of us know more than the first two lines of therell Always Be an England, but we do know that our country gave the world Shakespeare, Kipling, football, cricket, rugby, and tennis, the Beatles, Elgar, Churchill and Dickens. For left-wing intellectuals though, the cross of St George is tainted by memories of empire, even though the Royal Navy smashed the slave trade. England gave the world parliamentary democracy and the trade unions too.
And it's the rights that our fore-fathers fought for, that they paid for with their blood, sweat and sacrifice that are now at threat from this Labour government and its Brussels masters.
The English are strong-willed people, rightly proud of our traditions of free speech and tolerance. Keith Waterhouse, one of the greatest living Englishmen, defined our national characteristic as "constructive bloody-mindedness", illustrated by the phrase "thus far and no further". I believe it is time to say that now. I'm not European Union National. I was born English and I will die English. Enough is enough!