Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Freedom for, er, Mercia

The 'Acting Witan of Mercia' group seem to have been quiet for a while, which is a shame. This eccentric body wants independence for the area covered by the Anglo-Saxon, Dark Ages kingdom of Mercia (which had Staffordshire at its centre), and a return to greener, more agrarian ideas.

They were very vociferous last year (when the photo above was taken), when the recently-discovered treasure trove, the 'Staffordshire Hoard' - which dates back to Mercian times -, was in the news a lot.
I thought they might re-surface this summer, as the Hoard is now on a major tour across the county's main towns - but no, and their website is silent.
Anglo-Saxon White Dragon

I suppose their chances of success, are, er, slim, but they are a bit of fun.
One of the aspects of their manifesto, written by Philip Snow and Jeff Kent, who are in the photo, is that they wish to substitute the present church system with an order of priestesses. This certainly works for me.

They draw on a lot of the myths of the past. The famous Saxon 'White Dragon' symbol - sometimes known as the Worm or Wyrm - was adopted by them.
Bram Stoker, the writer of Dracula, even had this dragon, which, yes, is legless, come back into existence (in the Staffordshire Peak District of all places!!!) in his novel The Lair Of The White Worm.

It's all fun-times, living in Staffordshire...

Links: Acting Witan of Mercia / Staffordshire Hoard on tour / Anglo-Saxon Mercia


  1. I'm glad we're the bringers of pleasure. There are worse things than being a bit of fun!
    I was eccentic when I was an eco-warrior in the mid-1970s, when environmental campaigners were considered to be fringe lunatics, and I'm at it again now with bizarre deas of ecological sustainability, co-operative community and grass-roots democracy to replace those of ecological degradation, sod-you-Jack competition and authoritarianism practised by the UK government, although accepting the latter is plain common sense, isn't it? Do you see where this is going?
    The chances of an independent Mercia seem slim at the moment, but ask yourself what did the chances of the SNP achieving an independent Scotland seem like fifty years ago? It's best not to have your head stuck in the tyranny of the present and pooh-pooh those with different ideas for and visions of the future because you risk looking very foolish in due course.
    Also, do try to get your facts right:
    Philip Snow wasn't involved in the Mercia initiative when the constitution was written and therefore played no part in it - which isn't a criticism of Philip. Indeed it was the ideas behind the constitution which persuaded him to join us.
    Also, sorry to disappoint you, but we've never said anything about substituting the present church system with an order of priestesses. I don't know where you've got that nonsense from.
    Finally, do let us all know what your your ideas are for achieving a fairer and sustainable society in the future and if they're better than ours, we'll admit we were wrong and will join you!
    In the meantime, we'll carry on thinking and campaigning, gaining ground in the struggle of the grass-roots against the authoritarian system, and you can carry on mocking things which you haven't got the intelligence to understand!
    Jeff Kent
    Convener of the Acting witan of Mercia

    1. Cheers. But I think you're being a little touchy... I only said "eccentric" !

      As for the priestesses, the idea features in the 'Manifesto for a Sovereign Mercia' (see: I think it's a little unfair of you to call such an idea 'nonsense' - because, as you say, it's not a great idea to pooh-pooh others' visions.
      However, I didn't realise that there were distinctly separate bodies campaigning for an independent Mercia. I guess their vision is a little different to yours.