King of The North: Could the North West be an independent country?

It’s official. The people of The North have spoken. A spate of various online petitions suggests it is time we seceded from the United Kingdom, joined the Scots and walked off into the sunset.

As one embittered online comment put it: ‘It would solve all of this country’s problems if we could dig a big trench around London and push it out to sea with a long stick.’

Another wrote: ” Lets isolate the self centered trash and build a new country together!” Crikey!

All agreed that something must be done about the Tories and their endless pageant of austerity.

Even Mr. Manchester himself, the late great Anthony Wilson believed it. A supporter of regionalism, he kick started a campaign for the North West to be allowed a referendum on the creation of a regional assembly, called ‘The Necessary Group’ after a line in the US Declaration of Independence.

And a recent online poll in The Manchester Evening News found that 72 per cent of readers clicked ‘yes’ to leave the UK and join our Scottish Brethren. The same goes for readers of the Liverpool Echo (73%), the Lancashire Telegraph and Chester Chronicle. Another online petition by (#takeuswithyouscotland) has over 46,000 signatures.

So it is settled then – at least online. But why join Scotland? Why not an independent country altogether? Admittedly, how this would take form and function hasn’t been fully devised, but a few ideas have been circulating.

Firstly, all prospective independent nations, to be taken seriously, need an official obscure minority language, preferably spoken by no more than, say, five academics. We all know about Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and some obscure version of Celtic spoken in Cornwall, but what do we know about Cumbric?

Google tells me it’s a common Brittonic language spoken 500 years ago in the north of England or ‘Hen Ogledd’ as we shall now call it. Although extinct, probably through the hidden machinations of the Westminster London elite, I proffer forthwith it becomes our second official tongue and forcibly taught from age 3 in primary schools; be emblazoned on our new passports; inscribed in massive bold letters on road signs, so people get the message.

Secondly, we need a new national flag. After wading through the obvious boring stuff like roses, castles and coal pits, let’s liberate that flying witch from the Borough of Burnley and Pendle use it as our national emblem and bring back the old witch trials for heretics – besides, everyone knows that witches are roaming all over the moors and dales of the North West.

Naturally, we need to appoint a monarch. Who this new ‘King of the North’ might be is causing particular upset among our ruling families. Some have suggested House Gallagher or House Hucknall, while others favoured the late Cilla Black – now it’s a standoff between Karl Pilkington and Morrissey.

Thirdly, since the climate of the north is bitterly cold, veering to the subarctic in the wild lands of Scotland, I suggest we deed poll Manchester and rename it Winterfell. It might also be wise to extend Hadrian’s Wall to the Midland rift – just to make our borders sacrosanct to any interlopers. Anyone to the north of this wall shall henceforth adopt the demonym ‘Northerners’ or alternatively ‘Northpersons’ – to avoid causing offence.

Then there’s the question of currency. Probably best to do away with money and its corrupting influence altogether, perhaps return to a barter system. Squirrels anyone? The north is full of them and they’re long overdue a cull. We’d also need to establish foreign embassies; a military; a parliament; the list is exhausting.

Finally, the most hotly disputed dispute: our new national anthem. Some have suggested The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead, others Take That’s Mancunian Way or even Ewan MacCall’s Dirty Old Town. But it’s Pere Ubu’s Non-Alignment Pact, which is the clear winner – how all this would play at global sporting events isn’t clear.

Our adopted Latin motto shall be ‘Credo quia absurdum est’ – translated, as ‘I believe it because it is absurd’.

Although Tony Wilson’s campaign was initially successful, it was later thwarted by the North East and abandoned. But what more of an endorsement can you want? Since independence isn’t coming anytime soon, for now we’d just have to make do with the ‘Northern powerhouse’, greater fiscal autonomy and a new mayor. It’s not much, but it’s a start.


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