English version Lincen
Anyman who Angleland cenneð, can ðee tellan, ðat ðere great cvstombvnchiscen and folcligen oðernessen twicst ðe folc ðes Norðs and ðe folc ðes Sovðs gifes. Ðese oðernessen cannen on allen levellen ðes dayliglifes geseen bean: from ðe openner and friendliger way ðat we twicstworcan, to ovren lifestandsteaden, from ovren eatnormen, to ovren talcwayen. As an Norðerner worcans me ðe Sovð efery bit as welsc as Scotland or Wales. For an Geordie mvsten ði licenissen wið LowlandScotland miccel greater ðan ðose wið SovðAngleland bean. Ðe Midlandfolc falleð clearlig somewhere twicst ði two steaden, ðovgh ig ovtðince, ðat an man from Birmingham most licelig miccel more in common wið an Manchesterman or an Newcastleman ðan wið an Londonman hafan wovld.
Ig finde, ðat ðese oðernessen right bac to Anglelands ontocoming by ði Angelen, Sachsonen and Dgvten in ðe 6ð yearhvndred stemmen. While ði Sachsonen ðe Sovð ontocamen (hense ði namen Essechs, Svssechs and Wessechs for East, Sovð and West Sachson orderlig) and ði Dgvten Cent ontocamen, ontocamen ði Angelen ðe Norð and ði NorðMidlanden. Twas ði Angelen what ðeir name to Angleland gafen, which ðe weightigness ðis Anglianen cingdomen Norðvmbria and Mersia scoweð, dvring ði earligen tryen, ði AngloSachsonen cingdomen togeðertopvttan. Sadlig was it to Wessechs Alfred geleft, ðe AngloSachsone cvstombvnch in Angleland to safan, when first Norðvmbria and ðen VpperMersia to ði Ficingen fellen. Great cing ðovgh he was (he was ðe Fağer ğes Anglisce Scipfleetes, ðe scriber af gooden and fairen lawen in an tide wiğ few and an oferpvtter weightigen welscen worcens into ðe commontong), Alfred bilt ðe folcðinglige mastering ðes Sovðs ofer ðe Norð what still ðe day ðe fall is. Wales, Scotland and Ireland, togeðer wið greaten worldtracten dvring ðe tide ðes Britiscen Worldrealms, weren allen later vnder ðe might ðis Londoner folcðinglige highgrovps gemastered. Yet wið ðe apartfalling ðes Britiscen Worldrealms hafen ði mosten ðis former newlanden selfstandingness gegotten. In newligen tiden hafen efen Wales and Scotland hiðerto vnspeacable selfrvle gewonnen. Now mvst it ovr tvrn bean!
An folcðing for ðe Norð wovld an good start bean. Wherefore ðovgh ðere haltan? Safelig aren we ðe beste folc, on matteren what vs onworcan to bescvttan. Selfstandingness wovlden ovr folc and ovr cvstombvnch ðe dueness and hailing gifan, ðat ðey worð aren. It wovld vs ðe docanligness gifan, wið ovr ownen movðen (and ovr ownen vnfettereden Norðernen areaovtspeacingen) to talcen, ovr meaningen acrosstopvttan and from ðe Evropaisce Togeðerstanding and oðeren acrosslandiscen bodyen, ðat which we want to gettan, wiðovt ðat we afterðincan mvsten, what ðey in London ðincen mighten. Ig am not against-Sovð. Ig beliefe merelig not ðat we ðe same cvstombvnch or folc aren, and ig see not, wherefore we from an stead gervled bean scovlden, ðat for ðe mosten vs as welsc and farof as anig welsc greattown is. We needen not, behind bilden af Big Ben and men in bowlerhatten wið rainscielden as ovr cvstombvnchiscen iconen to hiden. Hey betocennan vs neiðer now nor before. We needen aye ovr cvstombvnch againtofindan and it on ðe world forwardtoðrowan, and Norðvmbromersian can an bit ðereaf bean. Govn ðvs ovt and anwendvn it! And anwendvn it, for selfstandingness to scovtan; for only ðen cannen we ovr sooðen selfen ovtscowan!
Sendvn your ðovghten on ðis tryscribing here.
Anyone who knows England can tell you that there are great cultural and social differences between the people of the North and the people of the South. These differences manifest themselves on every level of daily life: from the more open and friendly way that we interact, to our attitudes to life, from our eating habits, to the way we talk. As someone from the North, it seems to me that the South is every bit as foreign a place as Scotland or Wales. For a Geordie, the similarities shared with Lowland Scotland must far outweigh those shared with the South of England. The people of the Midlands quite naturally fall somewhere between the two camps, though I suspect that a person from Birmingham is likely to have much more in common with someone from Manchester or Newcastle than with a Londoner.
I believe that these differences stem right back to the settlement of England by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes in the 6th century. While the Saxons settled the South (hence the names Essex, Sussex and Wessex for East, South and West Saxon respectively) and the Jutes settled Kent, the Angles settled the North and North Midlands. It was the Angles who gave their name to England, showing the importance of the Anglian kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia when early attempts were made to unify the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Sadly, when first Northumbria and then upper Mercia fell to the Vikings, it was left to Alfred of Wessex to be the saviour of Anglo-Saxon culture in England. Great king though he was (founder of the first English Navy, instigator of fair laws, translator of important foreign works into the vernacular), Alfred established the political hegemony of the South over the North which still exists today. Wales, Scotland and Ireland, along with large parts of the globe during the British Imperial period, were all later subjugated by this London-based political élite. Yet with the disintegration of the British Empire, most of the former colonies have achieved independence. In recent years even Wales and Scotland have been granted hitherto unspeakable autonomy. Surely now it is our turn?
A parliament for the North would be a good first step. But why stop there? Surely we are the best people to take decisions which affect us. Independence would give our people and our culture the respect and the recognition they deserve. It would give us a chance to speak with our own voice (and in our own unfettered Northern accents), to put our point across and to get what we want out of the European Union and other international organisations, without having to take into consideration how this might go down in London. I am not anti-Southern. I just do not believe that we are part of the same culture or the same nation, and I do not see why we should be ruled from a place which, for most of us, is as strange and remote as any foreign city. We do not need to hide behind images of Big Ben and men in bowler hats carrying umbrellas as our cultural icons. They do not represent us and they never have. We do need to re-discover our culture and project it onto the world, and Northumbro-Mercian can be a part of that. So go out and use it. And use it to call for independence; since only then can we express our true selves.
Please send your reactions to this essay here.