Let's face it: "England" is divisible into many historic regions with their own identities.

The regions of England have legitimate historic identities, some with their own ancient languages and customs, others with dialects still in common use. These identities will not be preserved or protected without recognition, and the idea of a unitary England is what prevents that recognition.

I'll start by declaring that I've been pretty open about being in favour of regional devolution, but I've seen enough conflict over the subject of England in the context of devolution that it seems like we need a discussion on what England is and what it is for. Thinking about it, I'm far more attached to the UK than I am to the idea of England.

So I'm going to assert the following:

  • England's ancient cultures and kingdoms are the start of valid lines of demarcation for regions.
  • The heritage we have won't be protected without recognition of the fact we have it.
  • England's royal heritage may be unitary, but its folk heritage is not.

I'd like to have a debate about this as it is clearly the root of the issue for some people. It'd be interesting to see what the various opponents to regional devolution think about this.

Harry Blain Apr 11, 2015

Jhackett, do you think it would be useful to try and integrate my idea on plurinationalism under this idea you've put forward? https://constitutionuk.com/category/2851#/post/102033

We can define the United Kingdom a) as a plurinational entity, comprised of nations with distinctive histories and cultures and b) comprised of "many historic regions with their own identities". We could then use your bullet points as the basis for a clause.

John Hackett Apr 11, 2015

At the risk of enraging some of the English nationalists, I'd say so - recognising the 'traditional' nations is essential for maintaining the union, and recognising the regions of each of those nations, as well as the regional identities within each. I'd say layer upon layer of unity could be built out of recognising difference constitutionally, democratically and administratively. That said, I'm not sure how to word a combination of the two ideas - do you have any suggestions?

Users tagged:

Michael Ward Apr 11, 2015

Never fear of enraging anyone. This phase is just about refining ideas before the next phase where there will be further critique. The best thing to do is to put forward your own refinement as you would most like it to be.

Michael Ward Apr 11, 2015

This idea could also be merged with this similar idea on regionalisation.



Users tagged:

John Hackett Apr 17, 2015

I'm happy for this to be merged in with Jake's idea and closed off in this thread. His idea seems to cover all the bases I'd gone for.