Delenda est Londinium
By Colin Liddell
Alternative Right, September 28, 2013: My dear old Dad – God bless him – was, by any definition, a bit of a character. He had seen the World at an early age, thanks to a government scheme for decreasing the shipping tonnage of an upstart Oriental empire.
His voyage aboard the submarine "mother ship" HMS Adamant brought him into contact with knife-wielding mobs (Port Said), naked savages with dark taboos (Tikopia), dead Americans (Guadalcanal), and finally the Japanese themselves, just after their surrender. As he liked to say, "I was in Hiroshima when the stowr was still coming down.”
After that formative experience, he worked in car and aero engineering, and was a trade union shop steward, before marrying late and taking us all out to South Africa as kids in the 1970s.
He had a variety of opinions, very few of which squared with the conventional pro and contra positions trotted out in the media, and he used to expound on them at great length, even when me and my brothers, due to the larger than normal generation gap, were not in the least interested in what he was saying. Possibly, I absorbed a lot of his views at some subliminal level, but most of what he said was lost on us. However, there was one theme he continually harped on about that stood out – the sheer and utter evilness of The City of London.
For someone who had been in a war fought essentially to protect the global business interests of London’s financial elite and who had then seen the way that same elite had corralled and corrupted British socialism (and therefore working-class democracy) while also sucking the lifeblood out of British industry, such an attitude was entirely natural and even predictable, but what struck me was the language and imagery that he used.
Taking his cue from the Roman republican statesman Cato the Elder, he thought that The City – and indeed the entire Home Counties "Stockbroker Belt" – should be levelled with the ground and ploughed with salt. Another reference point was Pol Pot. Come the revolution, the parasitical class, betrayed by its soft hands and cut glass accents, was to be marched out into the "Killing Fields" of Surrey and Kent.
His hatred of London was no doubt flavoured by the spirit of Calvinist apocalypticism and Scottish Anglophobia found in many a Scottish heart, but it also expressed an awareness of the mismatch that has always existed to varying degrees between London and the territories it has ruled. This is hardly a new problem. In the 18th century it was realised, with varying success, by both the Jacobites in Scotland and the colonists across the Atlantic.
In the 19th century, as Britain arose as the preeminent global empire, this mismatch became less obvious. The financial resources of The City, the industry of the North, and the markets and raw materials of the colonies created a positive win-win synergy, of which Scotland was very much a part. But, as the 20th century dawned, the mismatch between London and the rest of the UK became progressively greater as The City strove to continue its global hegemony "by other means."