Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Northern Independence Party in 2% Breakthrough Support for ‘left’ Resurrection of Ancient Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms.

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“I trust that to very few of you, at least, I need dwell on the sublime origins of these legends. The very names of your borough] bear witness to them. So long as Hammersmith is called Hammersmith, its people will live in the shadow of that primal hero, the Blacksmith, who led the democracy of the Broadway into battle till he drove the chivalry of Kensington before him and overthrew them at that place which in honour of the best blood of the defeated aristocracy is still called Kensington Gore. Men of Hammersmith will not fail to remember that the very name of Kensington originated from the lips of their hero. For at the great banquet of reconciliation held after the war, when the disdainful oligarchs declined to join in the songs of the men of the Broadway (which are to this day of a rude and popular character), the great Republican leader, with his rough humour, said the words which are written in gold upon his monument, ‘Little birds that can sing and won’t sing, must be made to sing.’

So that the Eastern Knights were called Cansings or Kensings ever afterwards. But you also have great memories, O men of Kensington! You showed that you could sing, and sing great war-songs. Even after the dark day of Kensington Gore, history will not forget those three Knights who guarded your disordered retreat from Hyde Park (so called from your hiding there), those three Knights after whom Knightsbridge is named. Nor will it forget the day of your re-emergence, purged in the fire of calamity, cleansed of your oligarchiques.

Is this ancient spirit of the London townships to die out? “

How Regionalism Might Spread to London: The Napoleon of Notting Hill. C. K. Chesterton. 1904.

A couple of days ago the Guardian published this dish on the Northern Independence Party (NIP).

Is the Northern Independence party more serious than it looks?

Alex Niven

In recent years, the north of England has become a blank slate for whichever stereotypes the London-based media wants to foist on it. Whether the topic of debate is the “red wall” or “left behind” voters, there is usually an assumption that northerners are socially conservative (patriotic, Brexit-y, even a bit racist). “Northern safari” media features, in which journalists parachute into former mining villages to gather vox-pops from disgruntled, often elderly voters, have tended to back up the point.

Now, a new political movement, the Northern Independence party (NIP), has started to make the case that the north can and should be a place of radical potential rather than a reactionary backwater.

NIP’s tactics are a challenge to established parties that need to raise their game and reconnect with younger voters who don’t seem to feature much in the political debates of the 2020s. One of the latest NIP mottos states: “We joke but we’re serious”. They might just be on to something.

It’s all go with the Nips, or Weasels, Stoats, Seals, Ferrets or Santa’s Little Helpers.

NIP has received a serious broadside from Prometheus writer Ed Mustill.

AGAINST REGIONALISM, AGAINST SEPARATISM, FOR CLASS POLITICS

Anecdotally it appears that a layer of what we might call the post-Corbynite left are considering supporting the NIP. Twitter handles are now adorned with red and yellow icons, as 21st century socialists bizarrely adopt the imagined motif of an Anglo-Saxon kingdom from the 7th century. 

More than that alt-news sites like Skwawkbox, Novara Media, and the Canary, has puffed the Nips.

He continues,

A strong Twitter game has rapidly pushed the NIP towards 50,000 followers. Sparse on details, the party promises a referendum on northern independence, professes democratic socialism and advocates socially progressive positions.

The centrepiece of the NIP’s political offer is a referendum on the creation of an independent state in the north of England to be called Northumbria. The borders of this state, whether it is to be a republic or keep allegiance to the Windsors’ crown, and the currency it will use are all apparently questions to be settled at a later date. 

Pointing that national self-determination is not some student union joke, or an idea from organs like the Suffolk Gazette, but (at present) a deadly serious matter for Kurds, Uighurs and Palestine, Mustill states,

There is only one small problem with applying the principle of self-determination to the north of England: there is no Northumbrian nation. No-one describes their national identity as Northumbrian. There is no distinct Northumbrian language or culture. There is, broadly speaking, a ‘northern’ identity, which is often defined negatively as against the south, and London in particular. But within this the north is home to a patchwork of local and regional identities, many of which are quite different to one another, and none of which constitutes a national group.

Mustill hits the nail on the head by effectively locating the self-identifying socialists of NIP with the right-wing identity politics of the ‘somewhere’ people railing at the ‘anywhere’ foreign, rootless cosmopolitans.

 Their professed enemies – the ‘Westminster elite’ and the City of London that so imbalances the British economy – are the English ruling class, albeit described using lazy populist rhetoric. But they are defined as enemies not primarily in class terms but rather because they are not here but elsewhere. There is a comparison to be made with the Brexit movement. Many who supported Brexit were genuinely opposed to the undemocratic nature of the European Union and perhaps objected to its economic agenda, but the fundamental problem the Brexit movement had with Brussels was that it was over there, it was foreign.

Arguing that calling for more borders is the last thing we need at present he says, ” erecting more national barriers that “will somehow provide solutions to social and economic problems” is a dead end. In fact it’s the basis for the red-brown identarian politics of fronts like The Full Brexit, the Paul Embery Blue Labour vision of patriotism, flag, faith and family reduced to absurdity.

The self-identifying internationalists of Left Unity have now given backing to this motley crew of confusionists.

 This highly recommended article concludes, “Is anger at Keir Starmer or frustration with the Labour Party enough to propel you to devote the next 10, 20, or 50 years of your political energy to resurrecting the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy?”

Why, we ask, stop there? G.K. Chesterton, not normally considered a writer of the left, foresaw a day when the Great Wen itself would splinter into independent statelets. The point is, what began as a joke by the King,   Auberon Quin, got taken seriously by one “earnest young man who takes the cry for regional pride seriously – Adam Wayne,” A is the little Napoleon….

Written by Andrew Coates

April 6, 2021 at 2:52 pm

12 Responses

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  1. When it comes to historic boundaries the Tories have lot to answer for with their reorganization of local government in the early 1970s, when a thousand years of tradition was wiped away with a swipe of the pen. I am of course talking about the loss of the Yorkshire Ridings, a system that went back to Danelaw, with each Riding (Third) being subdivided into Wappentakes, a border defined by the laying down of weapons. We now have the ridiculous situation whereby parts of the West Riding of Yorkshire are now in Lancashire (Saddleworth area), and Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham that used to be in the West Riding are now classed as “South Yorkshire”, though there never was a “South Riding”. Other parts of what is now West Yorkshire are even more confusing, Batley for instance is deemed to be part of Kirklees but is closer to Leeds and has a Wakefield postcode! What nonsense. Bring back the Ridings and I’m sure many will give their vote!

    trev

    April 6, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    • The ancient county of Middlesex ” was established in the Anglo-Saxon period from the territory of the Middle Saxons, and existed as an official administrative unit until 1965. The county is bounded to the south by the River Thames, and has the rivers Colne and Lea and a ridge of hills forming its other boundaries.”

      IIt contained, up till the London Government Act of 1963(effected in 1965) , Potters Bar, Enfield Southgate Edmonton Tottenham Wood Green Friern Barnet Hornsey Finchley Hendon, Harrow Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge……….(and other places which had little in common apart from the majority being physically part of London).

      Andrew Coates

      April 6, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      • And what of Hardy’s Wessex? Home of King Alfred the Great but now no more. And Mercia? If the Tories get wind of this they’ll be building Roundhouses for the homeless.

        trev

        April 6, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    • Sorry no. If you did that, a lot of us solid working class Teessiders, most new arrivals from the four corners of britain…..and Ireland….. since iron was discovered under the hills, and the boom years of steelmaking started in the 1870’s, would be consigned to a local government yoke of of farm yakkers and landed gentry from the Dales, the Vale of York and the ame moors of the ‘traditional’ North Riding. They never wanted us, and, for our part we never wanted them. It is a class thing at heart. Smoggies, codheads and East Clevelanders are happy across both banks of the Tees.

      David Walsh

      April 6, 2021 at 6:09 pm

      • There are lots of us around! My Glaswegian family, for example, some of them engaged pre-First World War in shipbuilding, on Tyneside as well as Clydeside, I have distant relatives in Newcastle,

        Andrew Coates

        April 6, 2021 at 6:46 pm

        • I spent some time in Gateshead in the mid-90s and it was grim. So much for Northern unity!

          trev

          April 6, 2021 at 7:08 pm

  2. Is this the stupidest comment yet?

    Andrew Coates

    April 6, 2021 at 7:10 pm

  3. I suggested to the NIP that their new state would mean the People of the North East swapping being ignored by London for being ignored by Manchester. They didn’t take it very well. As for Thelma and her whippet. How come it’s always ex-Parliamentarians who make this jump? For some reason sitting MP’s don’t want to risk their Parliamentary salary.

    Dave

    April 6, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    • I don’t know the exact football rivalries in the North East, and where I come from in North London the Tottenham/Arsenal rivalry has no clearly Borough basis, for obvious reasons, but an Independent East Anglia would face a test with rivalry between Ipswich Town and Norwich City .

      About 3/4 years ago we were drinking in a pub ( I hate to admit it, Wetherspoons, The Queen of Iceni) on the banks of the Yare in Porch and a crowd of likely lads came over the bridge.

      “We hate Ipswich, We Hate Ipswich, We are the Ipswich haters” they chanted.

      They were not even playing Ipswich that day….

      Andrew Coates

      April 6, 2021 at 8:55 pm

      • Newcastle….Sunderland is the big rivalry in North East Football. Not much of a rivalry currentl with the Mackems in Div 2, though the possibility of Sunderland promotion and Newcastle flirting with relegation holds out the prospect of the resurrection of the North East Derby.

        Dave

        April 8, 2021 at 2:09 am


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