No wonder there is a growing dislike of London, or should we call it The Great Wen? (a disparaging nickname, coined in the 1820s by William Cobbett, the radical pamphleteer, who saw the rapidly growing city as a pathological swelling on the face of the nation. A “wen” is a type of cyst, full of pus and blood like material, with a soft cheese type feel to it)
The shirt promotes our rich regional differences and history. Our industry, in which the UK was once a world leader, until London decided it didn’t like getting its hands dirty and passed the baton to Germany (“Vorsprung durch Technik”). Our culture and leisure, trips to the seaside for fish & chips and beer, with Auntie Mavis and little Snotty in the back.
Blackpool Tower: Inspired by the Eiffel Tower, iconic symbol of the North West. Built at a time when industrial cities were bursting at the seams with workers, creating demands for leisure and tourism. 650,000 visitors every year make it one of the most popular attractions in the UK.
Stonehenge: A feat of engineering, built over 5000 years ago, without tractors or pneumatic drills. London would probably like to see the whole thing turned into a car-park.
Cerne Abbas Giant: Britain’s famous phallus: If a woman sleeps on the figure she will be blessed and if she has sex on the phallus any infertility will be cured. Modern scholars think it originated as political satire, possibly against the controlling government of Oliver Cromwell in London.
The Forth Bridge: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is still after 135 years, one of the world’s longest single cantilever span bridges, second only to Quebec Bridge in Canada.
Welsh Dragon: A pioneer in the Industrial Revolution and still famous for rugby and culture (Europe’s largest Book Fair, Hay-on-Wye and Europe’s largest competitive music and poetry festival, National Eisteddfod.
Brighton Pier: The most magnificent pier ever, with over 4m visitors a year, mostly from London, people wanting to get away. Even Winston Churchill felt the need to escape London, for walkies along the pier.
White Cliffs of Dover: Like a curtain rail round the South Coast, stretching 10 miles east and west of Dover, they are the first and last sight you see. A striking and sentimental symbol.
Angel of the North: Britain’s largest sculpture, symbol of the North East. Its steel structure is 66 feet tall and wider than the Statue of Liberty is high!
Onwards and Upwards
Enough of London, the Swamp, the Great Wen, The Great Wart, The Cthulhu Octopus with suction pads, the Big Wind. It’s time to castrate its power bases (a big ouch I know, but there you go) and devolve them to the Regions. A body cannot be healthy if just one part of it is being looked after; imagine the human body with only its South East bit being fed. Ridiculous.
Power to the Regions.