Monday, 25 March 2013

Peter Porcupine makes two fifty

Whilst I was dipping into Richard Ingrams' The Life and Adventures of William Cobbett over the weekend it occurred to me that this month marks the 250th anniversary of the great man's birth. I have always been intrigued by Cobbett ever since my school history lessons, and I've always been ashamed I don't know more about him. At school I remember thinking that here was a man with a vision of England that appealed to me more than one of workers' soviets and red flags flying from imposing factories, but gradually I pushed Bill to the back of my mind and down the Leftist path I trod.  
What Cobbett would make of National Anarchism and similar currents it is impossible to say, but we National Anarchists and other radical nationalists surely share much of his views, even if his world and ours are so different. Cobbett's patriotic radicalism is not so different from our own nor his love of his people, but not what was happening to them. His dislike of increasing industrialism and urbanisation is one I believe most National Anarchists concur with too. His advocacy of the cottage economy and self-sufficiency, together his opposition to 'big' capitalism in favour of the small producer and tradesman can certainly be aligned with the distributist ideas that came after him and still influences radical nationalism today.

Cobbett's 250th birthday is a good excuse to revisit his ideas have them inspire national radicals today.


On This Day

Today is Lady Day and apart from the religious significance, it is one of the quarter days of old England. For those National Anarchists who base their tribalism on common origins and collective heritage (and I accept some choose not to) our folk calendars provide timely reminders of our identity. As Ray Davies sang - Thank you for the days.