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Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Ray Honeyford "Affair" & National Identity

To put the case simply. To the Left, and to a lesser extent to many Left-Liberals, any form of nationalism or patriotism is fascism or Nazism. This is especially the case with groups like Hope Not Hate, Searchlight, the SWP-UAF, Counterfire, the Guardian and New Statesman. Even the Independent is prone to this way of thinking. I suppose it all depends on how you - or they - define “Nationalism” or “patriotism”. However, in some case, any definition of these words will defined as fascism or Nazism to some people.

Patriotism is tied in with what can be called a “national identity”. If there is no national identity, as such, then patriotism doesn’t make much sense. In the specific case of English education, it has often been seen, more so in the past than today, that British schools should “transmit a sense of national identity to their pupils” (now “students”). Clearly this shouldn’t be all that they do. And even as a patriot/nationalist, I’m not sure if schools should transmit anything outside transmitting mathematics, science, knowledge of the English language, history, etc. 

Despite saying that, it’s still the case that what should be transmitted are the subjects, or areas, which will allow students to develop a sense of English identity, such as English history, the study of the English language, the study of English literature, etc. That is, national identity shouldn’t be directly taught or taught in terms of propaganda. (Wouldn’t that be political indoctrination?). Instead, the areas, subjects and tools which enable English students to develop a national identity themselves should be put in place. Indeed why shouldn’t this be the case? How can anyone possibly argue that English history, English literature and even English politics shouldn’t’ have a special place in English schools? After all, we are talking about English schools here. I’m hardly saying that schools should concentrate on the Japanese language, or on Marxism, conservatism or whatnot.

Despite all that, when the then head of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (in the early 2000s), Dr Nicholas Tate, suggested that British schools should “transmit a sense of national identity to their pupils”, he was accused - by some and possibly by many - of “cultural fascism”. To put this another way. Leftists and left-liberals involved in the education business, as well as elsewhere, believed and said that the very notion of a “national identity” is to tantamount to Nazism or fascism. Or, to a lesser extent, to Nationalism (as when the word is seen negatively). 

The Ray Honeyford "Affair"


One consequence of this intolerant left-wing or left-liberal way of thinking about education was the sad and disturbing case of Ray Honeyford in Bradford. 

In the 1980s, Ray Honeyford (who was then the headmaster at an inner-city Bradford school) dared to suggest that his mainly Muslim students (90%) should spend more time – or even some time – on learning the English language and English history. He was severely reprimanded for this. In fact he was sacked (later, in 1985). I remember particularly the Socialist Workers Party intimidating the man and even threatening violence against him. But it wasn’t only left-wingers who campaigned against him. The Lord Mayor of Bradford at the time, Mohammed Ajeeb, also called for his sacking. His demand was acted upon.

The opponents of Ray Honeyford (who died last year) believed that these Muslims students/pupils should learn about “their own culture” – not ours! But English culture should have seen – by young Muslims and their enablers – as their own culture. They lived in England! Not only that. Without a grasp of the English language, and even of British history, culture, traditions, etc., they would have been severely ill-equipped to function - let alone succeed - in English society. And many of them didn’t as a consequence. Many Muslims are now unemployed in Bradford and in many other English areas. 

These Muslim school kids were made to be disadvantaged in this way in order to serve the ideological beliefs and desires of Leftist and Left-Liberal educationalists and political activists. Muslims have been made to be “disadvantaged” and poor in order to instantiate a cultural order that was ideologically satisfactory to various educationalists and politicos. (The very things these leftists and liberal claimed to be fighting against!)

Ray Honeyford himself foresaw many of these problems. No surprise there! That’s why he spoke out. (Actually he didn’t really “speak out” as such. The national reactions to his words, and his actual sacking, were a direct response to an article he wrote, for the Salisbury Review, in 1984. They weren’t reactions to what he had said on TV, in the local press or on the radio. And he certainly didn’t express his views on multicultural dogmatism and blindness in the school in which he worked or even to the local educational authorities.)

Honey wrote that 

"[a] growing number of Asians [Muslims] whose aim is to preserve as intact as possible the values and attitudes of the Indian sub-continent within a framework of British social and political privilege, ie to produce Asian [Muslim] ghettos.”

More specifically, in terms of education, he wrote:

"Those of us working in Asian [Muslim] areas are encouraged, officially, to 'celebrate linguistic diversity', ie applaud the rapidly mounting linguistic confusion in those growing number of inner-city schools in which British-born Asian [Muslim] children begin their mastery of English by being taught in Urdu."

So the less these Muslims could speak – but mainly write! - English, the less they could function in the job market and therefore the more alienated they became. The larger and more insular the Muslim ghettos became, the more the chances there were of riots and Islamisation. (The Bradford Muslim Riots of 2001 - or the Bradford Uprisings, as the Leftist and Islamist “rights group”, ‘JUST West Yorkshire’, called them - occurred some 15 years after the Honeyford case.) 

More specifically in terms of English identity I referred to earlier. Because many of the Muslims in these Bradford schools would have developed zero English identity, that - more than anything - led to the unemployment, the alienation, the riots and the later Islamisation of various parts of Bradford. Who knows, perhaps some of these Leftist educationalists and political activists (such as Bradford’s very own ‘JUST West Yorkshire’) wanted these consequences all along. After all, the “worse it is”, to these political radicals, “the better it is”.


  1. Ray Honeyford never used the word "muslim" even once. This a pityful attempt to put in the word "muslim" in order to deviate the whole matter raised by Mr Ray Honeyford. If you read the actual document Honeyford actually refered to all ethnic minorities. Get your facts right!

    1. Most of what is written in this article (and you talk about others having problem with the English language!) is made up rubbish. You have offered little more than wild speculation. You have used Mr Honeyford's work in order to give your own rubbish some form of credibility, which it does not have. I suggest you enrol on a GCSE English language course and get a friend to proof read it before embarassing yourself on the net

    2. Jatt Puttar, do you know what square brackets are used for in the English language? They are used to indicate what the writer thinks the person, whose quote he is using, really meant.Sometimes square brackets are also used to explain a word or sentence which has been quoted or to fill in detail. That's why I used square brackets around the word 'Muslim' (check the post). It's strange, then, that such you should refer to me enrolling on a GCSE English language course when you seem to have no idea what square brackets are.

      And what have my - false by your standards - political opinions got do do with GCSE English? That's a 'category mistake' on your part. GSCE doesn't teach which political views to have, as far as I'm aware.

      I think Honeyford knew he was referring primarily to Muslims. He also knew he couldn't say that. Hence my square brackets!! He knew that his life would have been made a misery for doing so. Despite that, his life was STILL made a misery for referring to 'Asians' instead. The vast majority of Honeyford's 'Asians' would have actually been Muslims. On the whole, Sikhs, Hindus, etc. have a far better attitude towards education and assimilation than Muslims, and Honeyford would have been well aware of that.

      And which 'facts' have I made up? As for 'speculation'; you mean analysis. Political comment can never be just a long list of facts. That would be, well, just a long list of facts. You should enroll on a philosophy course, as well as GCSE course, yourself.

      Clearly, your entire rant is based on the SINGLE fact that I mentioned Muslims instead of 'Asians'. You then tarted up your silly basic problem with my references to Muslims with an absurd reference to GCSE English.

      As teachers of GCSE English may put it: 'You must do better, Puttar, by trying harder.'


    "If the 'British' feel that they are losing their identity then they should blames themselves. Most 'Britons' have adopted more of an american way of life as opposed to British. They themselves don't know what Britishness is. The argument of Britain losing its identity varies from wanting to have all white neighbourhoods to banning curries. If Britons want to keep their identity then what is stopping them? I think many Britons have a fantasy in their mind which practically they cant live upto."

    That sounds like racism to me - racism, and smugness, towards the (non-Muslim?) and white English.

    You talk about the English 'adopting an American way of life'. That sounds like a stereotype. Are stereotypes against the white English OK,Puttar? Is racism towards the English politically correct, Puttar?

    And what about those legions of Bradford, Keighley, etc. Pakistani Muslims who adopt American 'ghetto' dress, music and even their 'street language'? Or is that UNacceptable racism, Puttar, because aimed at brown Muslims?

    You quote tells me something interesting. When English people stress a real identity, it's wrong and a threat (i.e. it's 'fascist'). At other times, your argument seems to be that it is fake anyway. So English identity is wrong ('fascist') and also fake.

    What do you think of 'Muslim identity', Puttar, is that wrong or fake? What about 'Pakistani identity' - wrong or fake?

    You should be ashamed of your racism and negative stereotypes about the English. But of course you won't be because such views are now politically correct.


    Pakistani Jatt wrote:

    "You Indian Punjabis are punk
    1. You people don't have the fighter faith. Islam goes far back in the history and they wont several battles..
    2. Sikhism is based of the elements from Islam and Hinduism there own religion is no where.
    3. Pakistani Jatt eat more meat and red meat is much stronger and makes you stronger. In Pakistan the jatts do training all they long with the farms and stuff that's the good training for them.
    4. Indian Jatts are like Hindus they live on the vegetables.. that won't make you far a human body needs meat to get stronger.. if you eat meat you'll get a bit fatter . But vegetables are for those who are on deiting..
    5. Pakistani jatts are more featured stronger then Indian Punjabis you people are worshippers of the Hindus dicks ..
    6. Don't forget about 1984 when the Hindus genocided all the Sikhs in India it was the Pakistan who gave you sikh people .. help don't forget