The Northern Spring

The North would almost certainly look like a different place if we had previously had a Northern Government, chances are Northerners would be more affluent with better employment and health prospects and a cleaner environment, and it is, perhaps surprising, that it is only now that demand for a Northern Parliament is beginning to take a hold on the political scene

The socio-economic history of the North suggests we have suffered far too many years of Tory control through the Westminster system, despite generally voting Labour; this system has not represented the Norths’ voting preferences

However, a general view of the Northern political landscape suggests big changes are happening, or are about to happen, as Westminster politicians, at the moment, are about as popular as, er, Westminster politicians, with any number of political scandals on the near horizon

In Scotland, and in the North, traditional Labour people are deserting Labour in their droves, even long-serving councillors have recently been in the media ripping up their membership cards in front of a Tees-side Labour Party shop!

Dis-affection with “mainstream” politics is rife under the ConDem government, disillusionment and protest is widespread, with people increasingly expressing themselves in the manner of direct action, and sensible policies and reasonable politics these days are often referred to in the “right-wing” press as radical

However, with all sorts of new political players on the scene, perhaps the use of the word radical is descriptive of a new, progressive politics that is forming from the likes of the Peoples Assembly, Green Party, Left Unity, Plaid Cymru, Trade Union & Socialist Coalition, SNP, Respect, Pirate Party and Reality Party

In reality, people are having to work harder every day to survive and politicians seem to have become enveloped in a corporate bubble, plastic and astro-turf political events are arranged with the same PR stooges, featuring the same “business leaders”, where corporate lackeys converse and tweet amongst themselves, oblivious to the dis-connect, whilst media is manicured, manipulated, co-ordinated, and the media machine cranks into operation rather than covering issues in a fair and balanced manner

However, a brand new national independent media is now beginning to form under the title Real Media, to accompany a new political awakening

The phrase The Northern Spring could spring up all sorts of visions to different people, to some it might be the glistening River Eden in Cumbria, to some it might be the seabirds gathering upon The Farne Islands, to some a wildflower meadow in the Yorkshire Dales, to some it might be the new political mind-set that is beginning to form, a mind-set that is prepared to contemplate societies’ previous mistakes and learn from the past, but that is also growing up very quickly and is mature enough to take on new and exciting political challenges

So, the question is, do we have the ground conditions for real change ?

One result of the ConDem government is the number of campaign groups that have been formed to combat policy- we have seen several student protests, anti-Bedroom Tax protests, benefit sanctions protests, Generation Rent and Beat the Bailiffs groups form, whilst the riots of 2011 illustrate the frustration of the youth, and Occupy and Anonymous have gone from underground movements to mainstream popular culture

The North has a huge number of anti-fracking groups, the exceptionally organised Frack Free Lancashire has fought every dodgy move from the ConDems and big business, whilst Yorkshire has its’ own campaigns such as The Battle of Crawberry Hill

Also in Yorkshire, in 2012, there was a hint of a Bradford Spring when Respect persuaded the electorate of Bradford to not vote for the “mainstream” parties in an election, whilst areas such as Liverpool are experiencing the Green Surge with the Green Party the official opposition here

Whilst turn-outs for elections have recently reached some all-time lows (such as a 16.6% turnout in a Salford election in 2013), at the same time, activism at a grass-roots level has reached an all-time high, proving wrong commentators who suggest that this generation is not politically engaged

The North had its’ own taste of the Arab Spring in summer 2014 when 8000 people converged on Salford Quays at a Pro-Palestine MediaCity protest (not covered by the BBC despite it happening just yards away from their office!!)

Campaigns against Westminster policy are at all levels of Northern society, both rural and urban, in the countryside people are campaigning to stop HS2 and fracking, whilst in the suburbs of Trafford, residents have been compelled to form the Breathe Clean Air Group, to campaign for the basic human right to breathe clean air! Northerners are over getting a dodgy deal time after time, and are now looking for the real deal

Visiting the voting booth in May 2015, perhaps for the first time for many people, might be a pleasure rather than a chore with a plethora of new choices on the ballot paper, but the real change may be a Northern Republic

Recent activity in the Manchester area has encouraged seasoned political activists to proclaim a Mancunian Spring, and this modern political renaissance is transferring to the whole of the North

Reflecting and promoting the desire for change in the North is the Campaign For The North, and the brand new Northern Party

Twitter @CampaignNorth @northern_party


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