I have decided to introduce an occasional guest writer to my blog, and begin today with Edward Beaman, shared surname but no relation. Edward and I have been in contact through the blogosphere for some time. He is extremely active, courageous and commonsensical on Twitter too.
So, I have pleasure in inviting you to read the following piece by Edward, my first ever guest blogger. If you wish to comment please do and Edward will respond:
It is both fascinating and in some cases, very worrying, to note the changes that have taken place in Britain over the last few decades. In today's modern Britain, words such as 'ethnicity' and 'indigenous' have become taboo words which people associate with either the sterilised and scientifically neutral journals of human history or the bigotry and racism of fringe groups like the British National Party. In everyday life, the mere mention of these two words can send a shiver down the spine of the speaker and the listener.
That is of course unless one is piously explaining to or heckling anyone who dares deviate from the acccepted norms of this politically correct age. Then of course, these words must be treated as derogatory and dismissed as old fashioned, racist and even false. Take for instance, the African-American playwright Bonnie Greer who appeared on the BBC's flagship discussion programme Question Time last week. I was both bemused and shocked to say the least when she calmly stated "there are no indigenous British people". This was followed by claps from the Liberal-Left audience. Also on the panel was the leader of the BNP as well as three representatives of the three main political parties.
It's well known and practically taken for granted that the BNP's Nick Griffin is a genuine racist and bigot. That fact is undeniable and so I will leave rightful criticism of him for the rest of the blogosphere to complete. However, what Bonnie Greer said and in fact got away with, when thinking how little coverage her outrageous comments garnered from the media, is in my view an indictment on England's lost identity. Thankfully, many a commenter on online newspaper forums also picked up on these remarks which leads me to think a silent majority were also rather taken aback.
People might not think ethnicity matters and in many regards it does not. For example, no one should be treated any differently if they are black or white, different races should inter-marry and immigrants from Asia or Africa should be welcomed to these shores if they fit a job skill which is lacking. However, in other ways, ethnicity is an important distinction and no matter how much one denies it, we inherently judge people by the colour of their skin and their probable ethnic background. Is this bad? No, it's just natural and as long as it's not used to discriminate, abuse or alienate, it won't lead to negative repercussions.
That's where Bonnie Greer's comments come into play. Her derision and denial of an indigenous people of Britain was both discriminatory and alienating. What she fails to realise and has failed to study, is the myriad of research conducted by historians, forensic archaeologists, genetic anthropologists, genealogists, and linguists. These studies have shown, especially those of the last decade, that the overwhelming majority of English people today are descended from a group called 'the first people'.
Professor Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at The University of Oxford has observed:
"We are an ancient people, and though the Isles have been the target of invasion and opposed settlement from abroad ever since Julius Caesar first stepped on to the shingle shores of Kent, these have barely scratched the topsoil of our deep-rooted ancestry. However we may feel about ourselves and about each other, we are genetically rooted in a Celtic past. The Irish, the Welsh and the Scots know this, but the English sometimes think otherwise. But, just a little way beneath the surface, the strands of ancestry weave us all together as the children of a common past." (1)
Isn't it sad that people can applaud a woman who denies the English their ethnicity and ancestry? Isn't it a further tragedy that it's left to the leader of an odious fascist party to be the only panellist to have stuck up for the indigenous English?
It's certainly not a problem our ancestors had in the 6th Century AD. In a letter to Augustine of Canterbury in the year 597 AD, King Ethelbert of Kent wrote:
"The words and promises you bring are fair enough, but because they are new to us and doubtful, I cannot consent to accept them and forsake those beliefs which I and the whole English race have held so long"
We see in this communication the recognition of both an English ethnicity and identity as well as a considerable history of such, preceding this letter. Bonnie Greer would do well to study the history of her adopted nation.
What I am basically saying, is that we shouldn't hide away from our history, our shared history that the majority of English people have in common. We should not baulk at the fact that yes, the indigenous people of Britain were and are, white. The words 'indigenous' and 'ethnicity' should not be seen as insults or concepts to deny, regardless of which race is being discussed. Common sense should not be thrown out of the window in the face of political correctness by claiming British citizens whose grandparents came from the Caribbean or Pakistan, are indigenously English or Scottish. Or worse still, a denial of the majority ethnicity, just so as to avoid any possible discrimination or alienation of ethnic minorities.
We must of course fight racism wherever it is found and condemn the likes of the British National Party whenever possible. Inter-marriage of races is and should be an accepted and celebrated fact of modern British life. That said, it's also important to note that people do identify more with people like themselves. Whether we or the political correct elites like it or not, the famous phrase "birds of a feather flock together" is true. We must also distinguish between race, nationality and culture, the latter of which deserves an essay of its own and is in my view, the most pressing concern facing modern Britain.
(1) 'Blood of the Isles', Bryan Sykes, Bantam Press, London, 2006
Edward's website is: Home Interior Design Themes