“I woke up the morning after the election and saw that Brighton and Hove was now just a tiny red and green island in an absolute sea of blue. And I just wanted somewhere to share my grief,” says Jason Smart, on the moment of visceral mourning that led him to declare the independence of the People’s Republic of Brighton and Hove.
Nations have been founded on a whim, but the People’s Republic of Brighton and Hove may be the first to be founded as a therapeutic device after an unexpected Tory victory. Last week, while the rest of the England was frenziedly voting Tory, Brighton and Hove dug their heels in, and instead voted in a Green MP (Caroline Lucas, her second term and this time with a majority of 8,000) and a Labour MP (Peter Kyle, taking over a traditionally Tory constituency with a majority of just over 1,000).
Smart may have intended the republic as a joke, but as the city, full of environmentalists and lefties, woke up, there was plenty of need for venting of grief and nearly 8,000 people have signed up. There have already been requests for asylum from neighbouring Kemptown, and further north-east, Lewes has requested an invasion and promised to supply the fireworks.
So, where will be this civil war’s Fort Sumter? Who do they wish to enslave as their Peculiar Institution? Other than everyone in their Forward to the Middle Ages movement, that idea that every peasant deserves his own plough?
And most importantly where do I sign up for Surrey’s March to the Sea? Bit of murder, some plunder, perhaps some rapine of the hairy hippie chicks. And let’s be traditional about this, August 31 sound the right day for you?
Perhaps we could get Pete and Roger to write our battle hymn and Sting to lead the first charge?
(Ask Steve to fill in the dialogue bits)