Monday, 4 August 2008

Nationalism or Regionalism?

According to the European Union, there is no England. There's only 9 regions carved out of her with no consideration to local cultural or historical markers. These phony Euro zones have given regionalism a bad name, not least within English nationalist circles. Berrocscir's Banner is for the continuing unity of England on political, ethnic and cultural levels. However, regional autonomy can happily co-exist with national unity. Authentic regionalism is not artificial and merely for administrative purposes like the grey and rootless Euro Zones.

Some English regionalists such as the Wessex Regionalists and the Mercia Movement want devolution and sometimes independence (!) for the old sub-kingdoms of the old Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy . Now, there should be an historical element to regionalism and a revivalist renaissance of the Heptarchy, no harm in that, but to all intents and purposes hasn't the Heptarchy fallen out of folk memory? The Heptarchy is certainly part of what defines the English and is part of their rich heritage and history, but does it mean much to the English today? No, the Heptarchy has been demoted to the history books, a process which started with the Norman Conquest and cemented with the 1707 Act of Union which bought about that most strange of all nationalisms - British. This might be a tad harsh, but real regional pride these days is manifested in county/shire pride. Yorkshiremen hold the White Rose close to their bosom, the Norfolk are very self-aware and down in Somerset, well they know who they are. Returning political power back down to the Shires can help re-enforce this sense of place. Adopting a Swiss style Canton system, giving real powers to local government, will encourage decentralisation and self -reliance, thus eroding the globalisation of everyday life. English nationalists might argue this will inevitably lead to the break-up of England. Quite possibly, but a growth in regional identity might actually reignite English identity by overtaking the 'global village' mentality and vague internationalism which has got its claws into large swathes of the social strata. England has been united since the tenth century, so that's long enough to actually mean something, but if transcending the global order means taking devolution to its natural conclusion and the concept of England passing into history, then so be it. England will always be in my heart, but that doesn't justify its existence.

MINORITY REPORT - Titbits from the Outer-Limits

The Passing of a Great Helmsman
Such are the fortunes of Veritas these days that I rarely check its website. So I was unaware that Patrick Eston, the chap who had the unenviable task of picking up the pieces after Kilroy's departure, had himself jacked it in a while back. It really should be game over for Veritas, who presently still seem determined to stick with it. For a week or so after the party's launch, it really looked like something was happening, but Veritas, through their own making, have made themselves figures of fun from all quarters. But the membership however, remain sincere people. Maybe some of their old adversaries in UKIP should let bygones be bygones for the good of their cause and welcome them back.

Keith pips Derek
Meanwhile, over at the Green Party, Brighton councillor Keith Taylor, a centrist, has beaten arch-leftie Derek Wall into third place on Green party's Euro-list for the South East region. Is this a sign of dissatisfaction in the ranks of the party of the tyranny of the Reds or has this blogger got a fertile imagination and its simply down to Keith being a good councillor and activist? Probably the latter. The former's a nice thought, though!