Sunday, 13 July 2014

A riot of regions

Being the cynic I am I don't think that the Scots will vote yes in the Scottish independence referendum in a couple of months. But I DO think a large minority will - maybe 40 to 45%. Of course, London will then, duty bound, bestow Devo Max (more powers to Edinburgh). Whatever the result, the 18th September could well deliver up strengthened calls for devolution and autonomy right across these islands. In Scotland itself Auld Reekie will become the new London and we could see Shetland and Orkney pulling at the leash along with the Islands, Highlands and the Borders with the Lallands finding a stronger voice still.

Logically, Devo Max, and certainly full independence for Scotland, will furnish a serious boost for Wales and Kernow. The latter, especially, surely emboldened by the recent official recognition of its nationhood from the powers that be (good of them, that!) could edge closer to autonomy. There's more to Welsh nationalism than Plaid Cymru, with a large spectrum of national voices, including regional ones in the north. Greater Welsh autonomy could open up a new politics in Wales, nurtured by wider British devolution. In England too there are new emerging calls for greater regional autonomy right across the political spectrum from the Wessex Regionalists to the Socialist Workers Party England. It's encouraging also, that de-urbanisation and pro-rural bias are to the fore. Yorkshire devolution is really on a roll, and wider northern voices are picking up steam from the Free North Campaign to the Hannah Mitchell Foundation. What's with the ghastly named North East Party? Where's that? Northumberland and Durham, I would have thought would suffice.

The Mercian Party exist and other Mercian movements are active, so there's much potential in the midlands. The Wessex Regionalists appear reinvigorated in recent times and could well stand its largest number of candidates at next year's General Election since 1983. However, areas where autonomy movements appear lacking where they shouldn't include Kent (that proud shire with a great culture and dialect), East Anglia and Sussex. Hopefully the Scottish impact will kick start something in these regions. Obviously county pride has never been higher, so let's hope that plays a part in a new England.

Of course, regional identity can overlap. If Dumnonia rises, those in West Wessex who feel drawn can rally to it. I see no reason for conflict. Devolution means enough room for a myriad of identities in increasing autonomous areas. A National Anarchist vision could see a Devon made up of Wessex villages with settlements down the road with allegiance to Dumnonia or just Devon.The regions have had enough imperialism from London so they don't need any home grown varieties! All ways are real. Although the 18th September presents regionalists with an opportunity, the real lesson of the Scottish independence referendum is that the regions don't need to wait for state directives. The public mood is shifting their way - so regionalists should just get on with things and increasingly they are...And we National Anarchists can help. The real tragedy, however, for the Scots, is that even if they do break from London they will still be shackled to Brussels. Where's the logic in that?