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England’s uncertain future. Some years back, I was driving through northern England with a friend.

England’s uncertain future

On a Cumbrian A-road west of Kendal, we passed a layby in which was situated a typical British roadside snack bar: a white caravan, a couple of plastic garden chairs, pink and yellow DayGlo cardboard stars advertising chips and fried breakfasts and tea. The full English. On top of the caravan was an aerial, and attached to the aerial, blowing in the wind that was coming off Morecambe Bay, was a St George’s cross, the English national flag – a common sight now across the nation, though I’m sure it never used to be when I was young.

“What do you think that’s about?” Rise now and be a nation again? The politics of Englishness. Michael Kenny.

Rise now and be a nation again? The politics of Englishness

UK Independence Party. UKIP: The story of the UK Independence Party's rise. With its second elected MP at Westminster in as many months, the UK Independence Party has cemented its place as the new force in British politics.

UKIP: The story of the UK Independence Party's rise

But its achievements are no overnight success. The UK Independence Party has, as its name implies, one key policy - to leave the European Union. It is a simple, understandable message, which has led to the party gaining bigger and bigger support in European elections, culminating in it topping the vote in May this year. But it is also a message which meant people often dismissed it as a single-issue party, unlikely to transfer its success to Westminster politics.

It has spent considerable effort on broadening its appeal, spelling out how leaving the EU is the answer to a whole range of issues, notably controlling immigration, while also outlining plans to cut taxes for middle earners, speaking up for grammar schools and opposing gay marriage. Profile: Nigel Farage, UKIP leader. After decades on the fringes, UKIP recently found itself in the spotlight after giving the Tories and Lib Dems a rattling in three by-elections, and the party's ebullient leader Nigel Farage was cast centre stage - but who is the man in the Home Counties blazer?

Profile: Nigel Farage, UKIP leader

Nigel Farage was never really interested in toys, says his mother Barbara. He was a good scholar, and, she reveals, his final school report from Dulwich College said the school "would be a poorer place without this boy's personality". Nigel's stockbroker father, Guy Oscar Justus Farage, was also something of a bon viveur - and, it transpired, an alcoholic.

He left the family home when Nigel was 5-years-old. The Purple Revolution: The Year That Changed Everything review – self-pitying Nigel Farage. Being a racist is like being a snob.

The Purple Revolution: The Year That Changed Everything review – self-pitying Nigel Farage

You are always on patrol; always noticing differences others ignore. Nigel Farage’s enemies accuse him of being obsessed with race. Ukip founder Alan Sked: 'The party has become a Frankenstein's monster' The founder of Ukip is trying to prove to me that, when he was in charge, the party wasn't racist.

Ukip founder Alan Sked: 'The party has become a Frankenstein's monster'

He's also trying to demonstrate that his Ukip wouldn't have had its snout in the European parliament's expenses trough, unlike its 2014 incarnation. "I had one here not so long ago," says Alan Sked, professor of international history at the London School of Economics, as he searches for a membership application form as evidence. Ukip-backed Brexit campaign employs EU migrants to rally support. The Ukip-backed campaign to pull Britain out of the EU has recruited EU migrants to staff its call centre despite telling voters such low-skilled workers “deprive British citizens of jobs”.

Ukip-backed Brexit campaign employs EU migrants to rally support

Leave.EU employs four phone bank staff from EU countries including Slovakia. Their job is to rally voters across the UK to back Brexit. The appointments come despite Leave.EU claiming that “as the world’s fifth biggest economy, the UK is well placed to supply its own labour”. Arron Banks, the campaign’s major donor who oversees the call centre operation from his Bristol offices, has told the Guardian: “I don’t feel any affinity towards French, Germans and Spaniards. I’d much rather deal with my own kith and kin.” UKIP and the Rise of English Nationalism. I identify as English, first and foremost.

UKIP and the Rise of English Nationalism

Even now, I get defensive writing this, because I also identify as left-wing. Faced with those of a similar political persuasion, I feel the need to justify myself, distancing my sense of ‘Englishness’ from the history of Empire, from tea-and-scones nostalgia, and ultimately guarding myself from accusations of racism. But English identity has never belonged to the right, and this is becoming increasingly clear as a greater proportion of this country’s population from across the political spectrum, are coming to see themselves as English rather than British. The 2011 census showed a marked strengthening of English identity over the last decade, with 60 per cent of people in England defining themselves as solely English. Such data are often disregarded, with some cause. England’s demand for greater political recognition is nothing new. It is the populist and far right that are today gaining from this transformation.

Euroscepticism in England is English not British. English believe they get a raw deal from membership of both the UK & the EU Embargoed: 00:01h Monday 8 July 2013 Euroscepticism in England is English, not British.

Euroscepticism in England is English not British

UKIP didn't invent English nationalism – it's been brewing for years. Analysis: What is the secret of UKIP's appeal? As UK Independence Party members gather in Exeter for the party's spring conference, how did it get started and what is the secret of its growing popularity?

Analysis: What is the secret of UKIP's appeal?

"We are delighted. This is massive progress for us.