Monday, 30 September 2013


 I’ve had a brilliant idea. It’s the perfect solution to something that’s been bothering and upsetting me for a while.
In just under a year, the people of Scotland will be voting on whether they should become independent. I have worked in Scotland a lot, and have many beloved Scottish friends on both sides of the border. I was also born into a country called Britain: it had been like that for a couple of hundred years. I’ve never seen myself as anything other than British. If that country is pulled apart, it will pull me apart with it. I’ll become stateless. I’ll become something called English, which I never signed up for, and I'm not that keen on, and without anyone even asking me.

So I hope Scotland votes No. But most- not all, but most- of my beloved Scottish friends are going to vote Yes. I don’t think they’re going to do that because they dislike the English. Some Scots will vote Yes for that reason, but I don’t think the majority of Yes-voters will. No, I think those Scottish friends of mine who are going to vote Yes will do so (and break my heart in the process) because they’re sick of being governed by Westminster.

That’s when it struck me. I’m sick of being governed by Westminster too. I am a grudging member of a party I haven’t believed in since I was 20, merely because I have decided they’re least worst. That party is out of government: instead, we’re being governed by a savage and moronic bunch comprised of the other two parties, a government which is tearing apart our most treasured national ideals like a bunch of gatecrashers who know the police have been called. A government which is only in power because three quarters of it is unwillingly/willingly propped up by the other.

If I were Scottish, I’d be so annoyed about that, because they didn’t vote for those people. Then it struck me: nor did I. And nor did my city.

So that’s the idea. If Scotland votes for Independence, I am going to start the LNP like a shot: the London National Party. We, like most UK cities, tend to go red on Election nights and end up with a Blue government. If my 5 million brothers and sisters North of Hadrian’s Wall can escape from that, then so can my 8 million London compadres. (Well, not quite 8 million, acksh: I’m going have to trim things off after zone 3 because it’s all those Beckenhams and Bromleys and Richmonds whose votes stuck us with that floppy-haired psychopath. Don’t worry, they won’t mind- they’ll happily live in Tory England while those of us over the border in Leftie London celebrate).

Don’t think, by the way, that when I rejoice in the idea of an independent Left-wing London that I’m necessarily talking about the Labour Party. They’d have to behave- they learned that in 2000 when they tried to foist the well-meaning apparatchik Frank Dobson on us and he ended up losing to a leftier alternative.

And seriously, who would be upset about this? Wales would soon follow suit and have a nice Plaid (in both senses) government. Manchester and Liverpool and Leeds and Newcastle would all opt for independence, I’m sure, if the alternative were to be part of an England made up only of the True Blue shires. Birmingham's always wavered between L and R, but I'm sure finally becoming capital would sweeten that pill. ‘England’ could have its monarchy and its tradition and its pound notes and the rest of us would happily make do with President Izzard, renationalisation of TFL, and nice tax and spend cities with decent schools and hospitals. And of course Independent Scotland and the People's Republic of London could form a New Auld Alliance that would make Gloucestershire shake in its boots.

So I desperately hope my country doesn’t get torn apart next year. But if it does, I have a GREAT alternative to being part of a Forever Tory England. Who’s with me?


RJW said...

Ahem. I think you've forgotten to mention Brighton who have the only truly socialist MP in England - Caroline Lucas.

David said...

Count me in. Who likes the idea of Eddie Izzard for mayor, btw?

On a similar note, aren't you rather impressed by the Evening Standard's espousal of projects to get kids out of gangs? 'Two beards' Lebedev is doing a rather good job - and needless to say he's very gay friendly too. This is not the world of the Daily Mail...