Regional government in the Midlands – a historical precedent

Fleetwood’s Ken Palmerton (co-founder of the Institute for Rational Economics) responds to the last post: “Why not the Midlands indeed! Mercia, under Earl Leofric and his tax cutting wife Godiva, was a viable entity, why not now?”

mercia mapA search revealed that the Midlands of England, Mercia, included much of south Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and northern Warwickshire and Tamworth was the capital of Mercia.

The Electoral Commission could only dream of such a level of engagement

BBC political correspondent Justin Parkinson earlier wrote that this period is sometimes credited with a level of engagement in local politics that the Electoral Commission could only dream of; government originated in “moots” or meetings, where small communities thrashed out their differences. If this was not conclusive, disputes moved up to the shire court and, eventually, came up for discussion at “witans”, great councils involving the great and good, including the king.

 Coins and notes

mercian coinOffa was the king of prosperous Mercia from 757; coins bore his name and the name of the moneyer from whose mint the coins came. Some coins, issued under the authority of the Church, bore the names of the archbishop of Canterbury, Jaenberht, but after a dispute, Offa gave the coining rights to Eadberht, bishop of London.

jersey note2Ken remembers causing ‘a bit of a riot’ when he told people at a Green Party meeting in Plymouth that he was a Jerseyman and nonplussed at all their fuss. The island he hailed from had ALWAYS claimed its independence and the basis of that independence was their insistence upon creating and circulating their own currency – and, later, notes. What makes the islands different is that the States, the island’s Parliament, does not borrow, or rather has not done so historically – he adds that because the pressure the Islands have been under to “conform” to international practices has been intense.

Ken – and also Ben Dyson of Positive Money points out that, nowadays, the creation and circulation of currency is ‘small change’; Ben adds that the governing entity should also issue electronic money and spend that directly into the economy.