By NICK WAKELING
RURAL DEPRIVATION is not a subject that has received much discussion or thought in Nationalist circles to date.
The reasons for this are self-evident. The factors that have contributed towards the growth of British Nationalism have most markedly manifested themselves in the inner-city areas of our industrial conurbations. We all know that Coloured Immigration and its attendant problems is exclusively an inner-city phenomenon. Likewise, Britain's economic decline with its resultant high levels of unemployment has largely affected the populations of our big industrial towns.
Strategically, it was only to be expected that in its formative years the National Front should have concentrated its efforts in such areas. However, I feel it important that the National Front must now turn its attention to Britain's rural areas.
For most city-dwellers the countryside is something that is observed from inside a car or through a train window. Whilst we all admire the natural outstanding beauty and tranquility of our countryside complete with its picturesque villages, I wonder how many of us really understand the very real problems currently being experienced by people living in such areas.
So what is happening to Britain's villages? In short, they are declining both in terms of real population and in terms of their vitality and viability. This is caused by a number of factors, mostly directly related to Britain's present economic and financial predicament.
Transport is an obvious problem to those who live in the country. Increases in the cost of petrol, road tax etc., are making it ever more expensive to run a car. Rural public transport is also gradually collapsing as bus companies are phasing out more and more services, and on the routes that remain people are being forced to pay higher and higher fares. This has led to a situation where many villages have no bus contact at all.
Unemployment is also a problem, as it affects rural areas just as it does urban areas, and the present economic climate which tends to stifle the growth of small businesses does not help. Employment in agriculture is also declining, partly due to the Common Market which has resulted in Britain's importing more food, and also to the gradual mechanisation of agriculture by profit-conscious farmers who sell their produce to the multi-national food giants.
Cost-saving operations by the GPO have led to the closure of many village sub-post offices and even the removal of telephone kiosks. Doctors' surgeries are also disappearing from villages as are dispensing chemists and village stores.
The situation has not been improved by the 1974 re-organisation of Local Government which took power away from local parish and town councils and placed it in the hands of bureaucratic monstrosities known as County Councils. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that these County Councils are controlled by Tories who, as we all know, analyse everything from a narrow financial viewpoint. This kind of attitude has led to the closure of village schools, resulting in young children being transported to large schools many miles away.
All this has drastically changed the composition of our villages. Because of the unemployment problem, the village school closures and lack of essential services many young people are leaving the villages and fleeing to our crowded cities. Their place is being taken by the urban well-to-do who have come either to commute or retire. Although their motives are honest the effect has been that villages, once healthy, lively, organic entities, are becoming nothing more than decaying, sleepy shells.
Just as the politicians of the old gang parties have no answers to the problems of our inner-cities, they have no solutions to the rural crisis. Our villages embody much history, tradition and heritage and they must be kept alive. Furthermore, I believe that British Nationalist policies can contribute much to a 'rural resurgence'.
It is up to individual NF branches in rural areas to use their initiative to produce propaganda to show that our economic policies can do much to eliminate the factors that have contributed to rural decline. It must be done if we are to sink the rural roots of Nationalism; and it must be done if we are to become a truly 'National' Front.