I wanted the restaurant to be English in character but I discovered that in Spitalfield that meant spare and pricey and not oak and hearty so I settled on Dilchad, in Widegate Street. It was Bengali so there would be plenty of vegetarian (even if it, too, would be halal-certified) and when I went in at eleven o’clock to look over the wine list and book the table in the window corner, the young fellow in charge was polite and it looked safe and so I wandered back down Bishopsgate to St Botolph’s, the church where Keats had been baptised, the one the IRA had bombed in 1993, and sat in the pews and thought about what I would say to her and whether it would be awkward and, if it were, whether I could manage that kind of situation satisfactorily. She had, after all, been very generous in the way she had answered an unsolicited request from a retired Australian judge to meet her.
A wise woman buildeth up her own house.
It was a Friday and Anne Marie had asked that we meet near Liverpool Street station. I had never been to that part of the East End but after arriving from Australia on the Wednesday it was already clear to me that since my last visit in 2011 London’s decline had been in free-fall and this part of it was no different. As I walked about that district and watched the sub-continental fellaheen shambling down the streets and through the monuments and relics of this most ancient ward of the capital, the expletive-laden chatter of young Threadneedle Street bankers managed to make itself heard over the din of the buses and the mini-cabs. I remembered that the City had been—it still was—the Remainers’ redoubt. I also remembered that London wasn’t all that Britain was.
But, still, this wasn’t good. Pubs were harder to find. I found out why. I talked to the owners who have kept theirs open and also to the odd brave patron. They had signs on the door and at the bar telling people not to proselytise their customers about drinking alcohol. The signs are not directed at the Salvation Army, let me tell you.
Stuart Lindsay’s report appears in October’s Quadrant.
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Back in Australia, I had thought that the chaos and indignity of Mrs May’s premiership might be enough for the British people to refuse to cop it sweet from their elites any longer. After such national humiliation, politics surely could not merely remain “downstream” from culture (as everybody says some deceased young media tycoon once said). Cultural imperatives would assert their former primacy in political life. They had to, I thought. If they didn’t, Britain would not survive. These things concern me deeply because I am British and because I love my country as much as I do the nation it founded on the other side of the earth.
I had kept myself posted on all that was going on in Britain, not through the papers or the television, but by talking with friends who live in the UK and by reading and listening to Douglas Murray and Roger Scruton and Rachel Johnson and Katie Hopkins and many more of the writers and bloggers of the new citizen army. All of them have to be samizdat some of the time and some of them have to be samizdat all of the time but the Left are not yet powerful enough to stop the word getting out altogether.
The party For Britain was formed when Anne Marie Waters was prevented from taking up the leadership of UKIP after Nigel Farage’s resignation, by the same kind of middle-class martinets and appeasers who had already taken charge of the Conservative Party. A vicious slur campaign against her, of the kind more commonly associated with Hope Not Hate, saw her beaten into second place by a boorish candidate who as soon as he was elected left his wife for some head-office tottie and consequently was himself booted out of the Party. UKIP never recovered. Patriots who could never be Tories had nowhere left to go. Then Nigel Farage came out of retirement and took up the career of self-promotion which within a couple of years would see him, without any discernible consciousness of the irony involved, lead a “Brexit Party” back into the very heart of the corrupt European project—the one he was supposed to have saved us from in the first place.
The charge whispered against Anne Marie during that UKIP election, and which Farage repeated publicly many times, was that she was a “racist”. The evidence for this was her relentlessly articulated belief that Islam constituted the gravest threat to the survival of Britain. But telling the truth can never be racist. And Islam is an ideology, not a race.
So Anne Marie formed her own party and travelled the country speaking at her newly-minted party branches and at Tommy Robinson rallies and animal welfare events and anywhere else she could spread the word that a vigorous defence of Britain and of the habits and beliefs, even the preferences and dispositions (the audacity!) of its people had begun. The defence of those beliefs had been abandoned long ago by those who controlled its parliament and schooled its children and determined the character and content of its cultural expression. Defended? They were no longer even tolerated. And the powerless folk to whom she spoke could see that their future was in the hands of someone who was unmistakably one of them.
I was able to watch these events online. Straight away, of course, she and her party were designated persona non grata by the newspapers and BBC. And as hard as the Soros-funded groups tried to have her removed from the internet, somehow—accidentally I think—she survived on YouTube and on Facebook (though not on Twitter) and that kept the whelp of a party alive. Maybe the activists were too occupied at that time with smothering the fires of insurgency that Tommy Robinson had lit among the indigenous poor of the north. In his case nothing was left to chance. Every big-tech entity disappeared him with such einsatzgruppen efficiency that even readers of the Independent (though not its writers or editors) were left with feelings of unease.
Whenever I had watched her she always spoke straightforwardly, without resort to any form of cant and without a trace of pettiness or self-pity. Her analysis of the harm Islam has done to every aspect of British life was always witheringly explicit.
I had to meet this woman. I had to know if a real and viable insurrection of the British people was actually afoot.
And so that is why I had travelled from the furthest reaches of the old empire and why I was standing outside Dilchad at half-past twelve on that Friday afternoon in May when a diminutive woman in her late thirties wearing jeans and a lime green boucle coat with big black buttons approached me and told me in a soft Irish accent after I had smiled at her that I must be Stuart.
I am very glad I made that journey. It has meant that I am able to tell you something very important.
A real and viable insurrection of the British people is now afoot.
That the leader of this insurrection is a liberal Irish lesbian some may consider paradoxical. I don’t. Mind you, we drank two bottles of red and put a pint or two away at the station afterwards and if you get the chance to talk like that with someone whose company you enjoy you forget all about the accidents of nativity and opinion. What if she’d been from Hong Kong or if she were a Sikh? What difference would that make to her national significance or to my affection for her? None. Even before the masala dosa had been ordered I knew I was with someone who shared my deepest affinities and my deepest fears about my race. I am not referring to a race to which we both belong but to a race we both have. If you don’t follow me, go and read your Spengler. You will find out why the Nazis despised him. The affinities of which I speak and which enable me to speak of a British race are not zoological, or material even, but cultural and only understood intuitively and we must never again allow anyone to instruct us to be ashamed of them.
Now that I have got to meet and to know Ms Waters, and as For Britain gathers membership and momentum, let me give some advice to Owen Jones and Diane Abbott and Nigel Farage and Nicola Sturgeon and the rest of the media and political ascendancy-of-the-moment in the UK. She is wholly unaffected by your slurs. They pass her by as the idle wind.
I shouldn’t have worried about any awkwardness in our meeting. There was little difficulty in getting to know her, and if she was not wholly relaxed at the outset, who was I, after all? She was remarkably open and easy in the circumstances. There was a moment of conversational clumsiness on my part when I recalled a magazine interview after she had been celebrating with Geert Wilders when her party was made a member of the Identity and Democracy Alliance of European parties (quite a big deal for a new party). The article implied she was affected by drink. So what, especially given her petite frame, was my attitude. But understandably she was sensitive about it. It was all forgotten anyway after we had started on our second bottle.
I noticed from the beginning of our conversation that she had a kind of studied carelessness about being maligned or misrepresented. Not that there is anything resembling resignation about her attitude; it’s more that she understands that those who relentlessly call her a “racist” or her party “far Right” are to a man and woman doing so for tactical reasons. The people who do this—the politicians, the police officers who have been savvy and unprincipled enough to have climbed the ladders and jumped through the hoops of political correctness to end up commissioners, professional minoritarians and grievance peddlers, journalists of the corporate and big-tech media—are literally invested in quarantining the British public from hearing or reading any kind of reasoned challenge to the power they have appropriated.
“Stuart, I spent years being a Labour activist in London, standing for elections, writing their speeches and campaigning for them. I know who these people are. I know they have no principles. I know how corrupt they are,” Anne Marie explains. “They ignore violence and suppression of women by Islam because they depend on Muslim community leaders backing them.”
The apotheosis of this corruption for her was the capitulation by regulatory authorities to halal butchery of animals in the UK. It has long been the law in Britain and everywhere in the West that animals must be stunned before they have their throats cut; they must be insensate at the point of death. Islam, however, prescribes that the animal must be truly alive when killed. An ineffective “pre-stunning” electrocution is the only concession that it will make to British demands for humane treatment. The veterinary profession is clear that such a shock only prolongs and intensifies the creature’s terror during slaughter. Yet Britain’s legal system and its supermarkets and its politicians pretend they don’t see through this farce. Why? How did this happen?
“It’s the power that this religion has in our country now. The government won’t challenge them. There are too many votes. And people are scared. They are terrified of what will happen to them if they speak up and insist that our laws are enforced.”
Anne Marie’s commitment to animal welfare activism long preceded her anti-Islamisation crusade. The same is the case with her campaign for British independence from a Delors Europe, against the subjugation of women and for liberty of expression. Unlike many conservatives—me, for example—she was a radical about all of these things from her youth. They are not issues she just used to go after Islam. But a socialist EU has directly facilitated Islam’s rapid expansion within the nation-state. Women and girls are measurably much less safe in Britain because of it. Islam in concert with other identitarian impulses is responsible for the invention of “hate speech” and other gross disfigurements of our heritage of free expression. Her confrontation with Islam was natural and inevitable and would have been so for millions of other liberals in the West but for the ravages of political correctness.
She told me she had lived in Holland for many years. I sensed a latent sadness when she talked about this; maybe it was tied up with a relationship that ended there or started there—I don’t know, it was none of my business. But I found that I cared about these personal kinds of things the more we spoke. I liked her and found myself telling her I liked her. I also told her that I thought British men should feel ashamed that it was a woman, and an Irish woman at that, who was putting up the most effective fight against the enemies within. She accepted that comradely remark in the spirit in which it was made. I could see hers was not a feminism of the modern kind, obsessed with chivalry-policing. I seem to remember that over the afternoon she used the word feminist about herself but it doesn’t matter if she did or didn’t. She cares that women are being harmed and that we are permitting medievalist mistreatment of them in our heartlands and she has determined to put it to an end.
It seemed to me too that her beliefs, while clear-cut, are the product of experience and not dogma. I don’t think she sees it as a prerequisite to political leadership to have read broadly in philosophy or history. I didn’t get an impression that she reads widely, even now. I suspect she reads for pleasure and diversion. She didn’t do a lot of talking about Burke, for example. She hadn’t heard of Quillette. She was familiar with Jordan Peterson, but so is everyone. However, it’s a long time since Labour attracted Crossman types or the Tories had a prime minister who read and understood Hayek. Boris Johnson might be a classicist and no doubt it helped him get his leg over with literary types after Spectator Christmas parties but it’s hard to see what good it has done him since or will hereafter. The Momentum cadres who pushed Corbyn through the ropes and into the ring before he even had his trunks on know nothing except the slogans and catechisms their postmodern lecturers drilled into them at university. No, Anne Marie is as clever and as well-informed as she needs to be to lead the insurrection in an unlettered age like ours.
I walked her to the station when lunch was finished. Outside the entrance we bumped into an attractive young Spanish lady kitted out in the colours of the EU handing out pamphlets promoting some diktat or other from Brussels. I can’t remember what it was about except that it claimed to be for our own good. Very quickly, Anne Marie was challenging her on Brexit, with courteous insistence. A young tradesman-type coming out of the station joined in—I think he vaguely recognised Anne Marie—and took the senorita’s side. He argued that people were misled during the Brexit referendum, that another vote was needed. I chimed in, perhaps too assertively, and he told Anne Marie he couldn’t argue with her and her husband at the same time.
We drew a crowd. For twenty minutes they stood and listened to us. The argument was certainly more civil than any I had heard on the topic on the BBC or in parliament or on the radio. The crowd were involved, mostly pro-EU, and you could sense their engagement. Gradually they quietened though, became more reflective. Anne Marie’s arguments prevailed. If there were a Remain result second time around why could it not also be trumped with the same unfalsifiable claim of voter ignorance, she asked them? But we all shook hands before we parted.
It was a half-encouraging experience. There had been an echo for me in this of the way Brits had formerly conducted their political discussions in public, or maybe that was just something in my 1950s Eric Blair versus Cyril Connolly imagination. But Anne Marie’s ability to persuade through polite but persistent truth-telling was real enough and manifest to everyone that afternoon on Liverpool Street.
After a couple of pints in the crammed station bar (she got both rounds) where we talked of more personal matters such as our mothers (mine recently deceased, hers alive and well in Ireland) and other things about her I know you would be interested to hear but I can’t tell you because there are so many Antifa bastards out there, it was time to part. She put her backpack on and she was off into the crowd to her platform.
I have just read over all I’ve written here and I’m sorry if it seems a little adulatory in parts. I am not someone who is easily charmed and I am certainly not naive. It is just that I really liked her. Straight after, it was those close to me I wanted to tell about her, and that was interesting to me.
I wanted her to be safe. She shouldn’t be doing this on her own. Englishmen must really hold their manhoods cheap after all, I thought.
In the week that followed I hired a car and went to parts of the country she had talked about in connection with recent by-elections or just with fondness, mainly in the north and east, and other places I wanted to know more about. I went to Hartlepool, Peterborough, Hull, Ely, Grantham, Luton, York and other places I will remember when I turn to reflect upon the trip.
But I believe already that it is in such parts of the country and others inhabited by the same kind of citizen—uncosmopolitan, disconsolate not so much at the surrender of empire but at being tricked into it by elites who turned out to have hated them and not imperialism after all, bridling at speech control, angry about their cultural decay, with ineradicably Christian roots but without a Church that nourishes them—that the movement Anne Marie has created will flourish.
That’s why I think you need to know more about her. That’s why I have written this.
Stuart Lindsay is a retired Federal Circuit Court Judge. His most recent article for Quadrant was “How the Left Has Captured Professional Associations” in the September 2018 issue