"The Former Scottish Constituency of Northumbria"

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 24 October 2008

The year is 2058.

It is 12 years since the Scottish Civil War ended.

Scotland finally achieved independence from England in the 2020s, but the newly founded Republic of Scotland was short-lived. Initially a handful of the northernmost islands seceded from the Republic in disputes over their level of funding and self-sufficiency. Then, old Sectarian fault-lines, political wrangles between the party power-bases of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and an ideological split over whether the new Republic should retain close ties with England or look more to Scandinavia caused an irrevocable split.

2058 map of post-Civil War Scotland

By 2046, the Republic of Scotland covered around a third of the historical country, with the capital remaining at Edinburgh, based in the old Scottish Parliament building.

Scottish Parliament

New Caledonia, based around Glasgow, was the other major nation to emerge. The islands and very North had formed a loosely affiliated 'Federation of Scottish Islands and Highlands', but it was in the south of the old Scotland that the most controversial new territory emerged.

Occupying a space roughly equivalent to the old Scottish parliament constituency of Roxburgh and Berwickshire, a small independent nation emerged which stunned the English by declaring its constitutional name to be the "Republic of Northumbria". The English Parliament resolutely refused to recognise the new nation state, which it said was appropriating the name of a historical region of North-East England.

Undeterred by the protests of the English, the new Republic of Northumbria began to establish diplomatic relationships with the other countries that now made up the region of Scotland, and was recognised by ENAU member states including the Republic of Ireland. The country joined the UN, but, with their considerable influence as a former permanent member of the UN Security Council, the English were able to insist that officially the UN recognised the new nation state as "The Former Scottish Constituency of Northumbria".

Despite an official line that 'FSCoN' was making no territorial claim over North-East England, there seemed to be plenty of evidence to the contrary. The country's first flag was almost identical to that belonging to the English county of Northumberland, and after protests by the English, it was changed to a more neutral flag, which retained Northumberland's colours, but not the entire design.

Disputed flags of the Scottish Republic of Northumbria

School text-books were illustrated with maps that showed a historical 'Greater Northumbria' which covered territory from Edinburgh down past the Tees in England.

The new country funded an academic programme which sought to find evidence that St. Oswald had spent more time north of the border than used to be believed. St Oswald was an early convert to Christianity on the British Isles, and had been a fifth century King of Northumbria. Linguistic scholars were employed to "prove" that a common Northumbrian dialect existed throughout the whole historical region.

Saint Oswald

Despite more objections by the English, the new nation began to take its place in the sporting world, being admitted to UEFA and FIFA. Although official documents listed the nation as "The Former Scottish Constituency of Northumbria", to all intents and purposes everyone outside of the British Isles referred to the new country simply as Northumbria. When they competed in the 2056 Seattle Olympics, for example, their three letter IOC code was NTH, and despite carrying a sign that said "The Former Scottish Constituency of Northumbria", the team marched in alphabetical order alongside countries beginning with an 'N'.

Seattle 2056 Olympic logo

The name dispute descended into some bitter tit-for-tat moves, which seemed childish and incomprehensible to those outside of the dispute. England renamed Newcastle's Airport from "Kevin Keegan Airport" to "Northumbria Airport", and there were repeated calls to officially rename Northumberland as Northumbria.

Newcastle Airport

For their part, FSCoN funded a 'Northumbrian Unity Party' that stood in English local elections on a platform of uniting Northumberland with the new Republic.

As relations deteriorated further, and England persistently blocked attempts by the Republic of Northumbria to join the European and North African Union, the dispute became more bitter. The President of FSCoN began a tour of European countries claiming that the Northumbrian people in England were an oppressed minority, who the English Government refused to recognise and actively discriminated against. The English counter-claim was that whilst there were some Scottish-born nationals within Northumberland, they did not constitute an 'ethnic group', never had, and never would.

By 2058, the rest of the world had grown tired and impatient with the name dispute, and the two sides seemed to have backed themselves into corners where it seemed a compromise would never be reached. England refused to accept any name proposal that included the 'N' word, even with a geographical qualifier like "Republic of Upper Northumbria". The formerly Scottish Northumbrians meanwhile, stated that any name without the 'N' word was unacceptable, as that was their identity. It was difficult to see where any solution would come from....

(Of course, this is just a story, and it isn't meant to imply anything about the respective claims of Greece or FYROM to the historical name of 'Macedonia', or indeed anything about Scottish politics. I just wanted to have somewhere on the Internet I could point people to when they asked "What is the name dispute between Greece and Macedonia all about?")

18 Comments

Nice story device. I think there is a key difference though, in that Macedonia existed as a Republic of Yugoslavia for over 50 years, and in the Yugo constitution being a Republic was close to proto-statehood. So it's not like the Northumbria example above where a group tries to expropriate a geographical name that clearly "belongs" to someone else. Apart from that, it is just as messy and complicated as your example.

Yes, indeed, it isn't as if the 'M' name came out of the blue. There are those that argue that Tito used the name in the 1940s because of his territorial ambitions on Thessaloniki, and that it was called Vardaska Banovina in the first half of the 20th century. And some people think that is a nonsense. The post wasn't meant to be an exact parallel of course, just a roughly similar fable to get the gist across.

Thanks Martin.

The ironic thing is that when I first went to Greece the fact that the southern province of Yugoslavia was called Macedonia was a total non-issue.

It was only during the 90's when the newly elected New Democracy party, seeing a way to gain political leverage over its rival promoted the issue.

However, not even they realised the dimensions it would take and soon nationalist sentiments spiralled out of control leading to its defeat in the following elections due to a party split over the issue.

Since then a whole generation has grown up imbibing ultra nationalist rhetoric via history text books and the media.

Or you could have used the example of the People's Republic of China vs Republic of China (Taiwan) back in the 1950s at the United Nations...

Hopefully '£ngland' will be rid of the Scotch EU Region far sooner than the '2020s'.

However, a little free advice to Scotch people, dont get any grand ideas about 'Independence', Salmond will sign over your Region to the EU, you will be a mere EU outpost,feeble and irrelevant and subsidy reliant, the EU will take your percentages of the north sea revenues and reclassify them as a 'shared EU resource.

You will not be 'Independent', you will go form bumming and leeching in one 'Union', only to leave and do the same in another 'Union'.

What a pathetic little Region.

Bearing in mind that the whole of the south east of Scotland is historically derived from England and was seized by the brutish Scottish king Malcolm II in 1018 after invading England five times!- there is some evidence that it should indeed be reunited with Northumberland/bria as part of England of course.

You will not be 'Independent', you will go form bumming and leeching in one 'Union', only to leave and do the same in another 'Union'.

What a pathetic little Region.

I should probably add here that my better half was born in Inverness and my paternal grandfather in Edinburgh, so Steve, easy on the parochial name-calling there, eh?

I sort of liked this article...however I would like to point out the difference between The Republic of Northumbria in your article and the FYR of Macedonia in that whereas the people of Lowland Scotland were Northumbrian (there is no evidence of any meaningful cultural or ethnic divide until the Celtic Nationalists claimed it in the modern era) and Anglic/Anglian/English in culture, the "Macedonians" of the FYRM are not even Greek as the historic Macedonians were, the country is mostly made up of Slavic groups, mostly Bulgars (who started as a Turko-Slavic group).

I would compare it to the British nationalists who try to claim they are really Brythonic in origin and have some sort of Arthurian fetish going on, when in fact the English are in fact Germanic "barbarians" in origin (though I shall not go into genetics as it's flawed and frankly verging on Eugenics at the moment)...it seems many cultures are ashamed of their origins and wish to be part of the previous culture that dwelt in their current home, lest they feel foreign!

Lowland Scotland is English. The English conquered it. They then populated it over many centuries from Anglo-Saxon times. Just look at the surnames in the region if you don't believe me. What's more Lallands or 'Scots', the language of Burns, is pure Anglo-Saxon.

Had not Eadgar foolishly given Lothian to the Scots that ghastly little country would be even smaller than it is. Their most famous philosopher, David Hume, admits this and more. For Hume the Lowlands were 'German'. Tellingly he also warned against the 'fabulous annals' of Scottish historians - or liars as they are sometimes known.

Almost everything Scots have was given them by the English. The kilt was invented by an Englishman. Tartan is English too (an English con-trick actually, one scots had no problem with once the money started rolling in). It's quite likely we even introduced you to the bagpipe.

Popular throughout Europe in mediaeval times and neither the preserve nor the invention of Scots or Irish the bagpipe in the earliest written Scottish records is referred to repeatedly as 'Inglis' (English). Oops!

Quite truthfully scottish history is a fiction - invented to shore up the union at a time of huge imperial expansion by impressing us with the sheer indispensability of our northern neighbour.

Northumberland is not Scottish. It never was. It never will be. It may be separate one day if the BBC euro-fanatics continue to try to break up England by promoting a regionalism Newcastle people actually rejected in a referendum a few years back (a tactic the corporation uses with Liverpool too, where the 'scouse nation' is promoted relentlessly).

But Northumberland is not Scottish. Americans, I know, are allowed (encouraged?) to believe the Geordie accent derives from that part of the world. Regrettably that is another lie. I do sometimes wonder whether Scots are even capable of telling the truth. Whatever isn't nailed down they claim for their own.

They are a wrenching, grasping, covetous people, whose influence with elements in London anxious to maintain the union they decry but know to be boundlessly profitable is perhaps the only reason English men and women continue to their misplaced courtesies toward those who insult them and steal from them and mock them behind their back. No-one hates like a Scot? Don't you believe it. I'd have tanks on the streets of Glasgow the very day after independence.

But then Scots don't want independence. Not really. That too is a lie. The SNP is a creature of Brussels. Salmond has no more wish for Scots to 'rise up and be a nation' - that is, be independent in the true sense of the word - than he has for England to win the next World Cup.

Scots denigrate the UK only because the new Europe has seen an even bigger gravy train pull into the sidings but it's same old ambition - for Scotland to live off Europeans the way she's lived off the English for centuries (it was you lot, not us, who pleaded for the Act of Union you now blame the English for, this after economic catastrophe left you with a desperate need for access to England's colonies in America).

And Scottish method is so simple. It is simple and nor does it change. Having demanded and been granted favourable terms their rampant parasitism must be justified. This is done by means of a PR onslaught of unrelenting intensity, in which Scots display all the jaw-dropping lack of consideration for others, and all the peacock-like self-regard, for which they are renowned, behaving like a man given a piggy-back across a stream who complains to his good samaritan about the hem of his garment getting wet.

We in the south have heard enough lies, enough bluster and indignation, and enough of preposterously inflated Scottish claims to having contributed disproportionately to 'British' life that it should be an honour to subsidise their wretched little country. Scotland needs slapping down. Independence? Please God let it be so! Then won't be paying their own bills of course, but it would be a start. Then will might have the opportunity to finish what was started at Culloden.

Stick that in your haggis and cook it.

Jack, you seemed to spell every mention of Scotland or the Scottish with a small 's'. I'm sure someone so proud of being English would be embarrassed to have such a basic grammatical error in your native tongue littering your outpourings on the web, so having checked first with my Scottish wife, I corrected them all for you, OK ;-)

I'd like to point out that I personally have nothing against the real Scottish (I do not count East Lowlanders as Scottish sorry...they are Northumbrian English same as this side of the border) and I have Norse-Gaelic ancestry on both sides of my family (both from the same "clan" oddly enough), however I do consider myself a Northumbrian Englander first and foremost and I write a lot on the history and folklore of the region.

I am just sick of boneheads in Scotland and even England (mostly the south) trying to deny their own culture as if it's some disease. I think Celtic culture (which I like...honest!) is romanticised and Germanic culture is associated with villains in stupid Hollywood "epics", savages, the far right and Nazism...they forget that most of the Germanic nations (England, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands et al) were actually against the Nazis and helped defeat Nazism for a brief time (until it returned as "Celticism" or "Briticism"...AKA Brythono-Racism in England and Scotland).

By the way I'd like to point out that though the modern Kilt differs from it the Kilt is actually derived from a Norse garment ("Kjilt" was the Norse word) that was worn by the Norse settlers in the Hebrides.

The Bagpipe is played in many countries (Sweden, England, Spain, Romania, Germany...etc...) as it was one of the easiest instruments to make. But yes Bagpipes in Scotland do seem to be English and Norse in origin (the Shetland pipe for instance is Norse and I'd guess the Highland Pipes as well. The Lowland Pipes are the same as most English pipes of old).

Tartan/Check is universal. Almost all cultures wore Tartan/Check...specifically ones like the original "Border Check" due to the ease of making such a pattern.
Many claim that Border/Northumbrian Check is derived from the piece found near Falkirk (which may not even be native but could be an import anyway) however the Angles of Jutland used to wear the same patter and thus it is equally (in fact more) likely that the check is derived from the pattern worn by the old Northumbrians. But no one mentions this as it doesn't fit with British Nationalistic race theories.

I think Northumbria should be independent and we should take back Occupied Northumbria form the Scots when we break away from the UK. It's only fair. The Scots claim they are oppressed and thus should leave the UK and thus we the folk of Northumbria have a right to break away from the UK and have our lands occupied by Scotland returned to us.

Martin - clearly you recognize what is an established Scottish device. When for example I enquired at your national tourist board about Lord Byron's English father I was politely informed the poet was 'Anglo-Scottish'.

Relax. The English are terminally bewildered. They are unlikely to rumble this one. Anyway they are too passive. Look at how nice the replies are everywhere on these pages.

Nothing unusual there. Use the 'English bastard' epithet and watch the reaction. All you'll get are milk-and-water smiles and mutterings about having an Auntie Doris whose scotch on his Uncle Bryan's side of the family.

The desperate fear of 'unpleasantness' is almost as ingrained in the English as the fear of admitting to the nationality itself, a disease Orwell thought left us preferring to be caught with our hand in the church poor box.

Today my life's work is to remind my people of their past, a past kept from them and characterized by an insularity and fierce national pride the equal of any of the more privileged nations in these islands.

Maybe a nationwide chain of schools is the answer. Get 'em young. Incidentally if anyone doubts the sly, deliberate immigration campaign being waged against the English (and which scottish politicians ensure their own patch steers clear of) you will find incontrovertible proof here (audio file opens with Real Player)

Thank you for publishing my remarks Martin. Most Scots, raised on a diet of unvarnished admiration provided for the London media's favourite victim-culture, wouldn't have the stomach.

OSWIN the Northumbrian: Your post of 26th December makes a succession of good, interesting points. I've heard North Africa suggested (by Eric Hobsbawm) as the birthplace of the bagpipes, but that in no way injures your own general point about widespread use of the instrument in Europe. Tartan in a Scottish context was definitely introduced to 'clan' chiefs by the Allen brothers of Godalming (Surrey) by the way.

You might be wondering, as I once wondered, how Scots came to have everyone across the world believe what is patently untrue. They did so by means of union with England, the conduit for their introduction onto the world stage, without which no-one would have heard of them, and as you've clearly worked out for yourself by an unmatched (save perhaps in Ireland) capacity for telling lies.

Where we part company, unfortunately, is in respect of your silly denunciations of 'right-wing' influence (the now almost universal identifier, along with 'forces of conservatism', for all that is supposedly wrong with society). 'British Nationalistic race theories' (sic) have nothing to do with it.

First you do not understand the word 'race'. No blame attaches to you for this. Efforts to keep the facts of differential race characteristics out of biology curricula, and from young minds, have been unyielding since the end of the war.

Race is biology. It means that if you are not white you are not English. Neither are you Scots, Welsh or Irish either. These peoples are entitled to say as much since it is true historically and because it is no-one's damned business how they define themselves in our own land. Is a white man Japanese because he was born in Tokyo?

Scots share this view but say nothing. Go to my earlier link. You'll soon understand what is going on. We are being marooned while Scots actively protect themselves.

The equalitarianism you appear to favour has nothing to do with 'caring' and going off into the sunset to pick daisy-chains together either. Equality, feminism, abortion(ism) - all are intrinsic to COMMUNISM and just as deadly.

Communism is why you are bombarded relentlessly with anti-nationalist propaganda (ooooh the Nazis!) yet hear nothing about an estimated 40 million killed in Russia's Gulags under Stalin, a systematic mass murder yet denied the status of 'holocaust' by the EU (there can be only one...)

The idea of a 'right-wing' conspiracy is a convenient propaganda distraction. All multi-national business ('evil capitalists') and everyone on both sides of the House of Commons is signed up to World Government - a leftist plot, not a conservative one, as should be obvious from the fact that venture capitalists financed the Russian Revolution.

England is under attack. She is denigrated and her identity repeatedly brought into question while questions which could be posed just as easily to historically dishonest Scottish or Irish histories are never asked.

The reason is that to control - balkanize - England is to forever remove the capacity of a historically obdurate people to act in their own interests. Can't you see this? Don't fall for the BBC line.

Many do, regrettably, particularly among the young. It is this which fuels a retreat from Englishness into historical ethnicities which pre-date it - encouraged by the same globalist forces which endorse paganism and who use such things to divide and rule. The more fragmented we become the better.

But just what exactly is so 'fair' about Northumbrian independence anyway? How would you live? How would you pay your bills? I absolutely agree that if a people 'feel' they are a nation (etymologically nation implies ties of blood, of kin, not just somewhere to hang your hat) they must be allowed to go their way.

But likely as not you would live as the scots live - off others. The Cornish are similarly deluded. They too (courtesy of a 'Cornish nationalism' page maintained at the BBC website, in flagrant disregard for its own much-trumpeted 'impartiality', and since no equivalent page for the English is provided) sneer and condemn and demand 'freedom' from the English.

The bit they don't tell you, these superannuated English polytechnic lecturers and disgruntled second-homers, is that the only reason this fuss gets an airing at all is because they have their greedy eye the EU gravy-train.

Plans are based on being subsidized to hell while they distance themselves from a nation suddenly unfashionable, suddenly blamed everywhere for all the ills of the world. If only we could be 'Celtic' eh? Then we'd be excused our every misfortune and we'd feel better about ourselves!

These people are not much different in my book from Viking re-enactors, who choose their ancestors on the basis of media popularity. Disloyalty is unpleasant, but the weakness of traitors is always better expunged.

I wish you well Oswin. You clearly think about these things and read widely. Many do neither. But you are an Englishman and the people of the north-east are part of the fine weave of an German-Scandinavian mix (albeit mainly anglo) which is the basis of English nationhood but which racially is virtually indistinguishable from one another.

All I would ask is that you to add to your all ready considerable store of knowledge by looking beyond the Guardian agenda to how we are manipulated.

Fragmentation leads to insecurity, distrust and conflict. It is important to look to the future and plan how you want your history to be made. Rather than always looking to the past and criticising things that have no impact on our actions now. Nationalism is an archaic and counter-productive movement, in the end no one wins and we start at square one again.

Its been down hill really since the roman legions were recalled . On a serious note though every enlisted legionaire was given land on completing his service and so the legacy they left would be substantial ( with regards to race / genes etc etc )

Marcus I disagree, if it wasn't for the past we would have no present. Meaning that we can't change the past, we just have to accept it. Nationalism has its uses on a localised level. It can protect a country's interests to an extent by curbing immigration and lowering population anxiety.

I agree with Mike here, Marcus the past does have an important role, even now, obviously me must learn from the past, to shape our future, hopefully better. And it truth Nationalism does servea very important roll. Firstly, it aids in the survival of language and culture. If it was not for Nationalism then a huge number of languages may not be around to day. Extremist I do not believe in how ever. What is the point in having everything all the same? A homoginised entity, would we all want to be like america, speaking one language with all others slowly dying out, I know I wudn't. Identity is fun, it gives us something different to look at and enjoy, I know I dontlike to go on holiday and realise that I am in a different country but yet its all the same (i.e. some places in Spain for example where english over run the place). Also Northmbria was once a very powerful and independant country in its day, and It would be interesting to see wat happened if this was true, perhaps the Northumbrian dialect would not be in such troubles as it is now if this happened, as most english dialect are in too. I truthfully think us english need to realise our heritage etc and perhaps do something about all this loss of culture and language/dialect in this country. Does anyone agree. It would be a shame for us all to sound like London or posh Oxford folk. Wheres the fun in that. And after all alot of predjudice has gone regarding accent and dialect, hence why its better to show and use dialect now more than ever. Gosh I've gone off on one an't Ah!!!!!!! Anyway, I do like this it was enjoyable. But Northumbria was definatly larger than you have given it credit for

Hope you are well

Gregg

Jack. An excellent post. Don't agree with you entirely but refreshingly insightful.

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