Archive for the ‘english regionalists’ Category

There are many small indy/devolutionist/advocacy parties in England (MK in Cornwall, Yorkshire First, NEP, Wessex Regionalists etc) trying to gain traction for progressive, decentralist policies. Such groups should be supported by Scottish democrats just as much as PC in Wales. Yes, they might not be that significant in size, but neither was the SNP at one time. 
The Yorkshire Devolution Movement now has a new website and seem to be managing to get increasing press coverage.
The Yorkshire Devolution Movement is an independent pressure group set up in 2012 to campaign for a directly elected regional assembly for Yorkshire. It has no party political affiliations but is open to working with those who share our aims.
A new regionalist political party – Yorkshire First – has been created in time for the EU elections.
Yorkshire has a larger population than Scotland and an economy twice the size of Wales, but with the powers of neither. We support the devolving of powers to the least centralised authority capable of addressing those matters effectively – within Yorkshire, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Devolve Deliver is a grass-roots campaign from Labour members. 
The UK is one of the most centralised countries in the developed world. This holds us back. Join our campaign to devolve powers to regions and local areas and help us all deliver a better future.  
Northumbria People is a regionalist blog from Hilton Dawson. There is talk of a new Northumbrian party in the offing.

Why is the North East expected to make do with some sort of hotch-potch, spatchcock, papering over the cracks instead of having real power, real devolution, real democracy here ?
Autonomous England  started out as Mercian regionalists on Facebook only to change name later.
Autonomous England is a loose confederation of activists who seek to radically alter the way England is run, both democratically and economically. We aim to create an England which is not ruled from outside or above but instead governed by its people, regardless of their race, gender, creed or sexual orientation.
To keep an eye on all such developments, as well as older more established regionalists, I’ve set up this twitter list imaginatively named: Regionalists
A letter to my daughter and son-in-law in Scotland | openDemocracy: David Cameron encouraged the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland to contact their loved ones in Scotland about the independence referendum. Here a father in the north of England writes to his daughter and son in law in Scotland.

You can read the rest of Paul Salvesons letter here. It’s a great letter that, with a healthy dose of sarcasm, makes the case for breaking Westminster’s stranglehold on the rest of these Isles.

An external observer might expect that left-leaning Cornish autonomists and Northern English decentralist socialists would have more in common than most and enjoy a productive camaraderie. Sadly however this is far from the case. Whilst mention is made of Wales and Northern England – even Devon and Somerset find a place – not a jot in recognition of Cornwall. Nothing about our movement that is approaching its centenary. Not one word of the petition of 50,000 signatures calling for a Cornish assembly. Silence but for a chill wind blowing from the North.

Mr Salveson is aware of Cornwall and has clearly made the choice (on more than one occasion) to ignore us, but why? I’d really like to know. Why  is campaigning for Cornish self-determination politically incorrect in certain circles?  How are we seen by people that, normally, we might consider to have much in common with?  

Perhaps, after ferreting around in some of my posts on English Regionalism, the BBC journalist Nick Tarver felt inspired to write this: Could areas of England leave the UK?

That’s as positive as I’m going to get about the article I’m afraid. A torn flag, the menace of secession from the UK, stereotypes in lashings and a total lack of any substantive discussion on decentralisation, federalism or greater local democracy leaves me wondering what exactly is Nick Tarver trying to achieve?

Mr Tarver thinks it appropriate to use a photo of a Cornish pasty for an article that treats our desire for greater self-determination. Okay, could I suggest then a picture of a haggis for the Scottish referendum, a plate of curry for an article touching on Indian political issues and a big fat joint for anything he might write about Jamaican republicanism. With BBC employees free to use such crude stereotypes at least the age old we-know-what’s-best attitude that emanates from the shrivelled heart of empire would be less timid about pronouncing its name.

Ridicule is indeed a potent political weapon. Does this explain then why one of the most notable developments in English regionalism in recent times is strikingly absent from the article? Either Mr Tarver is completely incompetent or he has deliberately decided to exclude any mention of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation. Another example of that old connivance between Labour and the BBC? A Labour project being lampooned with stereotypes whilst being portrayed as secessionist under a torn St Georges flag on a BBC website! No, that would never do would it.
Am I lacking a sense of humour? Perhaps, but more importantly is the BBC lacking decent unbiased journalists? Which problem do you think is more important?

To complain click here: Complain on line.

We are less vocal on how England’s governance should be arranged, with the exception of supporting Cornwall’s right to self-determination, we believe that what happens in England is a matter for people in England of course. We would like to see an English Parliament emerge, with groups of local authorities forming a decentralised regional level of government beyond this. Whether this will happen will depend on English public opinion, and the extent to which the major parties in England react to the situation. 
My party – The Party of Wales – would love to work with an Alliance of progressive forces from all parts of England, as well as those in Cornwall with whom we already have a loose alliance. In 2010, it was Plaid Cymru (and the SNP) who led the calls for a rainbow alliance of progressives, which would have stopped the coalition between the Tories and the Lib Dems. We would be prepared to do that again if need be.  
A broad network in England, united behind a core set of progressive values could well include the Greens and other environmentalists. It could include the trade union movement, many in the churches and other faith organisations, the new People’s Assembly movement, our sister party Mebyon Kernow in Cornwall, refugees from Labour and the Lib Dems and, yes, refugees from Respect and the SWP, too.

Thanks to Leanne Wood for not forgetting Cornwall. I’ve blogged on the same theme some time ago for OurKingdom: To reform the UK state we need a democratic green alliance.

Following an original post  – The Wonderful Chaos that is English Regionalism – here is a quick look at some recent developments.

Yorkshire – After a promising start the Yorkshire Independence campaign (pro-devolution in reality) appears to have died a silent death. On the other hand a new Yorkshire Devolution Movement has sprung up and recuperated some of the former members of YI. YDM have produced a new blog, facebook page and twitter account that are all in need of a little tidying up but still seem promising.

Northumbria – The various facebook pages are long silent and, with its internet presence at zero, the Northumbrian Party seems to have vanished. Nothing but silence? Not quite. I’ve just stumbled across the New Northumbria blog. On the whole though no one seems to want to organise for Northumbria. The Wessex Regionalists describe the situation well in their blog post – Our Friends in the North.
While they seem hopelessly bound to the one nation (i.e British state-nationalists) Labour Party I will still give mention to the Hannah Mitchell Foundation. A Labour/socialist think-tank that supports devolution to the North of England. Sadly, when contacted concerning Cornish and grass-roots English devolution their responses was not just a little cold. Due to their proximity with Labour, perhaps the artificial government zones, including the South West region, are their preferred framework for devolution.
Both the UK Libertarian Party and European Federalist Party have given assurances that they support regionalism within the UK and England itself.
The original post can be found here.