This is a post I made on the Wessex regionalist yahoo group and I thought it might be good to post it here as this blog has been dead for a while.
"I recently read two works on British politics, neither of them explicitly
regionalist or decentralist but which I still feel would be very educating for
any member of the party or anyone interested in British politics.
The first one was Anthony King's The British constitution:
This book obviously focuses on the British constitution and is mostly
descriptive with only the final chapter containing much thought on what should
be done or similar judgments and it is hard to pinpoint the authors own place in
the political spectrum although he is clearly enough pretty mainstream, probably
slightly left of centre. He describes basically a constitution that is a mess
and, particularly for those like us, almost despairingly perverse and yet
He shows that Europe is deeply entrenched in almost all levels of gov't and
society in Britain, that, often with the help of Europe, our judiciary have
become increasing activist, that local gov't is as he says little more than a
ghost and the house of lords is powerless and lacking any real sort of
Interestingly King proposes that new, major reforms be shied away from in the
final chapter as causing probably more problems than they solve and although he
has some points about the lack of experience of Britons for a constitution
convention, I sure wouldn't want one right now it would probably entrench the
despotism of today and I can't see the cause of regionalism/decentralism or
liberty and restrained gov't having many advocates, he seems to be very
mainstream and not really too adverse to the New Labour ideal of gov't. Those
like us who have very different ideas on gov't would disagree with him very much
about this no doubt. His final chapter should not however take away from his
brilliant descriptive analysis of the current constitional situation of Britain,
or "Euro-Britain", today.
It shows us just what we are up against and that unlike some of the more naive
seem to suggest it will be very hard to achieve change and in some ways it is
very depressing for those like us who have set ourselves against a lot of the
poltical and social mainstream of today. But it should also have a galvanising
effect as it shows ho.w bad things have got and why we must continue to fight
the good fight against rampant centralisation, stealth surrender of more and
more sovereignty to Brussels, aggressive judicial activism and such.
I suggest all British regionalists should read this work.
The other work well worth reading is Anthony Sampson's Who runs this place? :
This work is much wider than King's focusing on all British political and
society rather than just the constitution and most importantly it is about the
balance of power in modern Britain.
Sampsons goes through all the familiar institutions of Britain and shows exactly
what position within the power structure of this nation they hold. His analysis
is very interesting, he shows the decline of the Commons and Lords and to a
lesser degree even the cabinet, he also shows the decline of political parties,
the palace, trade unions and academia and the rise or continued massive power of
the PM, bankers, Whitehall, pensions funds and above all the rich and the media.
He includes an interesting Venn-diagram at the beginning to show this.
Again this book is excellent in showing us just what we are up against
and how entrenched the organs of power, often unaccountable, are. Again though
some regionalists may find it depressing to me it is more educating and
galvisining whilst good for injecting a bit extra realism into the debate. We
are going to have to take on powerful interests in order to achieve anything,
for instance the media and the rich are immensely powerful(and not particularly
our allies at this time.) and any propaganda and action campaign will have to
somehow take this into account, particularly the media.
It, like King's work is excellent for any British regionalist. These two works
though not specifically aimed at us are very useful, indeed must reads, because
they help to illuminate the political, economic and social system we take and
knowing what we are up against, even if sometimes dismaying, is essential in my
Originally posted at the Wessex regionalist and English confederation yahoo usergroups.