'SMILE at us, pay us, pass us, but do not quite forget,

For we are the people of England, that never has spoken yet."

So said that great Englishman GK Chesterton in his poem The Secret People.

Well, GK we have spoken now and there is no doubt about what we said. We spoke last week when more than 95 per cent of us backed the farmers and hauliers protesting against the price of fuel.

We spoke even more loudly in the opinion polls which showed the collapse of New Labour's lead. But it was a miracle that we kept our patience and held our silence for so long and through such a catalogue of injustices perpetrated by this arrogant, partisan, out of touch and lying Government.

We kept quiet three years ago when the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced a dishonest tax which ate into our pension funds. We said nothing when Tony Blair exempted Formula One motor-racing from the ban on tobacco advertising having accepted a £1m gift from Bernie Ecclestone.

We held our peace when the whole gaudy shambles that is New Labour made the Queen turn up at the Dome on Millennium Eve to be photographed singing Auld Lang Syne alongside the grinning Prime Minister.

We kept silent when, having ordered Frank Field to look into the appalling waste in the benefits system, Blair shelved Frank's findings because his hidebound left-wingers didn't like the look of them.

We turned aside in embarrassed silence when a Government which says it supports family values repeatedly tried to get a bill through Parliament licensing 16-year-olds to practise buggery.

We kept quiet when it abolished mortgage tax relief and the married man's tax allowance. We pretended we hadn't heard when Mo Mowlam said the Queen should move out of the palace and into a council house.

We said nothing, preferring to give the Government time, when hospital waiting lists did not shorten as promised.

We looked perplexed but kept quiet when the nonsensical Macpherson Report was published with the result that the police were hampered in their crime-prevention work - with the entirely predictable consequence that crime has increased.

We remained silent as the numbers of police officers fell and terrorists were released from prison.

We said nothing when "two Jags" John Prescott's much-trumpeted transport plan never saw the light of day, when the traffic in our cities moved more slowly than walking pace and the motorways regularly seized up - just like the trains in fact.

We kept quiet while Blair sidelined Parliament and preferred to make policy announcements through his spin doctors. We said nothing when, out of the usual Labour mood of envy and policy of class war, David Blunkett proposed to abolish the grammar schools.

Through all these accursed events and more besides we kept quiet. But at last a great cry has gone up: "Enough is enough!"

The immediate cause of our breaking our long-suffering silence was of course the high price of fuel - our petrol and diesel taxes are higher than anywhere else in Europe with the likelihood that our haulage industry will suffer the same fate as our farmers.

We have at long last turned against the whole sham, spin, smoke and mirrors of the Blair Government.

The English people have spoken at last and what we are saying to Blair and his cronies is a repeat of those words spoken by Oliver Cromwell to the Rump Parliament in 1653: "You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart I say and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go."

l The Rev Peter Mullen is Rector of St Michael's in the City of London and chaplain to the Stock Exchange.