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Londonian independence? watch

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    I just got back from a week in Venice, which was absolutely marvellous. This post will be about Londonian independence, but I will get there circuitously via Venetian history. It's a long post so put the kettle on, or click the back button or something.

    Anyway, re Venice... As if it wasn't cool enough that the city has no cars and its main streets are water instead, the city also has an incredible history. The city was founded in 421 AD by refugees who were fleeing from barbarians on the mainland; they went out into the Venetian lagoon and settled on a group of marshy, salty, flood-prone islands.

    From 421 until 1798, the Venetians developed their society such that they were completely oriented toward the sea and to trading. They had their own dialect of Italian and in many ways considered themselves to be more a part of Byzantium (whose nominal vassal they were) than a part of Italian polities. The Venetians had trading interests that spread from the Adriatic and Italy through to the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey, Palestine, Egypt) and far beyond. They traded with the Mongols and with China, and in the 1300s they even had a resident trade envoy in Thailand, at a time when most Europeans knew nothing about what was east of the Levant

    The Venetians became a merchant republic, with a very unique and singular sort of national pride in their characteristics; "We are a sea people, not a land people". There's little doubt the Venetians were the greatest seafaring race until the rise of the British Empire.

    Their republic, called the Serene Republic (or La Serenissima), was headed by an elected monarch called the Doge (pronounced "daw-jay"). However, he was mainly a figurehead and power was held by a group of legislatures and councils. They had incredibly strict rules to prevent anyone from becoming a despot or to have too much power to acrrue in the hands of any person or family.

    They had a patrician nobility, however these were not feudal landlords but a nobility of the greatest merchant families. The Venetians had great pride in their constitution; although their political system was quite oligarchical (the main plenary body was the Great Council, a body with about 1,500 members of all the male members of the greatest trading families), the Venetian nobility ruled in a very selfless manner and always in the interests of the republic. They ruthlessly stamped out any corruption and the great pride of the Venetians in their constitution, and their pride in their uniqueness, meant the nobility had instilled in them from birth that they had to always act in the best interests of the republic. To ensure that doge elections could not be stitched up, they made it extremely complex;

    Their object was to minimize as far as possible the influence of individual great families, and this was effected by a complex elective machinery. Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine; the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, who chose twenty-five. The twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five. Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, and the eleven finally chose the forty-one who actually elected the doge.
    Anyway, having been immersed in their history for the last week, I have wondered whether we might consider Londonian independence. The City of London is politically constituted in a way that is closest to La Serenissima of any in existence today; it is a sort of oligarchical merchant polity (in the City of London, 80% of votes are held by corporations and only 20% by residents). They also have a very complex system of guilds, councils, and elections (if you want to see an awesome short video on it, see here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1ROpIKZe-c)

    I was thinking, maybe London (not just the City, but the whole metropolis) could also become an oligarchical merchant republic? The United Kingdom would cede the metropolis of London to the City, and allow it to become a republic headed by a Lord Mayor who would be an elective monarch for life (but they would have to have a minimum age of 70 so they wouldn't live too long, and would also be wise). The Republic of Londonia would still be under the suzerainty of the British crown, and in exchange for the granting of our independence, and in consideration of Londonia's vassalage, we would would pay an annual tribute of perhaps £30 billion to £40 billion. The United Kingdom would continue to control the Republic of Londonia's defence and foreign relations needs. Perhaps Londonia could also join the EU (although I would be against it if the EU wanted to strangle the Republic with useless regulations and red tape).

    Also, those parts of Westminster encompassing the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, the Supreme Court at Guildhall, all of the civil service departments along Whitehall, along with the Mall and Buckingham Palace, woudl remain a United Kingdom enclave within the Republic. Venice also had an empire encompassing the Dalmatian coasts (Croatia, basically), parts of Greece, Crete as well as an independent colony in Constantinople and special trading rights throughout Byzantium. Perhaps the United Kingdom could cede British Overseas Territories like the Channel Islands, Manx, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and so on so that these territories with significant financial industries could become Londonia's overseas empire and add to its financial clout.

    I'm not totally wedded to the idea, but not completely against either. I think it's an interesting and stimulating idea, and I am in favour of anything that permits us to emulate the Venetians. What do you think?
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    What do I think? It is a total joke.

    Well you did ask...
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    DOGE
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    (Original post by frankielogue)
    DOGE
    Doge doge

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    (Original post by generallee)
    What do I think? It is a total joke.

    Well you did ask...
    :yawn:
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    I just got back from a week in Venice, which was absolutely marvellous. This post will be about Londonian independence, but I will get there circuitously via Venetian history. It's a long post so put the kettle on, or click the back button or something.

    Anyway, re Venice... As if it wasn't cool enough that the city has no cars and its main streets are water instead, the city also has an incredible history. The city was founded in 421 AD by refugees who were fleeing from barbarians on the mainland; they went out into the Venetian lagoon and settled on a group of marshy, salty, flood-prone islands.

    From 421 until 1798, the Venetians developed their society such that they were completely oriented toward the sea and to trading. They had their own dialect of Italian and in many ways considered themselves to be more a part of Byzantium (whose nominal vassal they were) than a part of Italian polities. The Venetians had trading interests that spread from the Adriatic and Italy through to the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey, Palestine, Egypt) and far beyond. They traded with the Mongols and with China, and in the 1300s they even had a resident trade envoy in Thailand, at a time when most Europeans knew nothing about what was east of the Levant

    The Venetians became a merchant republic, with a very unique and singular sort of national pride in their characteristics; "We are a sea people, not a land people". There's little doubt the Venetians were the greatest seafaring race until the rise of the British Empire.

    Their republic, called the Serene Republic (or La Serenissima), was headed by an elected monarch called the Doge (pronounced "daw-jay". However, he was mainly a figurehead and power was held by a group of legislatures and councils. They had incredibly strict rules to prevent anyone from becoming a despot or to have too much power to acrrue in the hands of any person or family.

    They had a patrician nobility, however these were not feudal landlords but a nobility of the greatest merchant families. The Venetians had great pride in their constitution; although their political system was quite oligarchical (the main plenary body was the Great Council, a body with about 1,500 members of all the male members of the greatest trading families), the Venetian nobility ruled in a very selfless manner and always in the interests of the republic. They ruthlessly stamped out any corruption and the great pride of the Venetians in their constitution, and their pride in their uniqueness, meant the nobility had instilled in them from birth that they had to always act in the best interests of the republic. To ensure that doge elections could not be stitched up, they made it extremely complex;



    Anyway, having been immersed in their history for the last week, I have wondered whether we might consider Londonian independence. The City of London is politically constituted in a way that is closest to La Serenissima of any in existence today; it is a sort of oligarchical merchant polity (in the City of London, 80% of votes are held by corporations and only 20% by residents). They also have a very complex system of guilds, councils, and elections (if you want to see an awesome short video on it, see here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1ROpIKZe-c)

    I was thinking, maybe London (not just the City, but the whole metropolis) could also become an oligarchical merchant republic? The United Kingdom would cede the metropolis of London to the City, and allow it to become a republic headed by a Lord Mayor who would be an elective monarch for life (but they would have to have a minimum age of 70 so they wouldn't live too long, and would also be wise). The Republic of Londonia would still be under the suzerainty of the British crown, and in exchange for the granting of our independence, and in consideration of Londonia's vassalage, we would would pay an annual tribute of perhaps £30 billion to £40 billion. The United Kingdom would continue to control the Republic of Londonia's defence and foreign relations needs. Perhaps Londonia could also join the EU (although I would be against it if the EU wanted to strangle the Republic with useless regulations and red tape).

    Also, those parts of Westminster encompassing the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, the Supreme Court at Guildhall, all of the civil service departments along Whitehall, along with the Mall and Buckingham Palace, woudl remain a United Kingdom enclave within the Republic. Venice also had an empire encompassing the Dalmatian coasts (Croatia, basically), parts of Greece, Crete as well as an independent colony in Constantinople and special trading rights throughout Byzantium. Perhaps the United Kingdom could cede British Overseas Territories like the Channel Islands, Manx, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and so on so that these territories with significant financial industries could become Londonia's overseas empire and add to its financial clout.

    I'm not totally wedded to the idea, but not completely against either. I think it's an interesting and stimulating idea, and I am in favour of anything that permits us to emulate the Venetians. What do you think?
    me on this independence; :rofl: :rofl:
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    Some pics from my Venice trip (pics 3 and 4 in posts below). The first is of the Grand Canal; the palazzi (palaces) on the banks of the canal were built by the various patrician families of the republic. The second picture is a porphyry sculpture made in the 4th century to represent the senior and junior emperors of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. It was likely plundered by the Venetians from the Byzantines during the 1205 sack of Constantinople. The third is the Palazzo of the Doge, and probably the finest example of secular gothic architecture in the world (religious Gothic structures, like churches and cathedrals, are a dime a dozen in Europe... but a secular Gothic palace is unknown elsewhere). The final one is of the Basilica di San Marco, the main cathedral of Venice completed in 1096 AD, at a time when England had very few stone structures let alone one of such beauty. The four bronze horses at the top of the Basilica were made in the 2nd or 3rd century in Rome, then taken to Constantinople by Byzantium after which they were plundered by the Venetians.

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    And the Basilica di San Marco and Doge's Palace.

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    Can't tell if serious.....
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Can't tell if serious.....
    I suppose if you have a particularly rigid mind the suggestion might make you feel uncomfortable. Speculative political ideas? What is this sorcery...

    KimKallstrom QE2 KingBradly
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    Though The City has an interesting history, it doesn't have it's own culture to be a nation. I've never heard anyone say they are from "The City". Barely anyone lives there.

    And if your arguing for the City to be independent based on it's unique history, then why should the rest of London be included in that because the rest of it doesn't share that history?
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    I'm in, on one condition: Gloucestershire also becomes and independent. London, prepare for invasion.
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    Londoners are a bunch of melts, couldn't run a bath let alone a city state.
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    (Original post by Sternumator)
    Though The City has an interesting history, it doesn't have it's own culture to be a nation. I've never heard anyone say they are from "The City". Barely anyone lives there.
    That's true that not many people live there, I think the main residential area is the Barbican. And that's also why so few of the electoral votes in the City's political system are possessed by residents.

    It's true that the City doesn't have a culture per se, but I think it does have its own unique cultural oeuvre and tradition; the traditions of the city, with the finance industry, Lloyds, the livery companies and all that... it is a sort of metropolitan cultural niche that is far more substantial than any other city in the UK.

    Stephen Fry did an excellent documentary about the City of London (can be seen here on youtube,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_gMGnAR9Ng), I think it captures just how unique and singular the City is. I think you get a similar sense from the Inns of Court, and Oxford and Cambridge.
    And if your arguing for the City to be independent based on it's unique history, then why should the rest of London be included in that because the rest of it doesn't share that history?
    The reason for City independence (and of course it would still be a vassal republic of the British crown, and its foreign affairs would be controlled by the British government) is that I think that would be the best vehicle to allow the City of London to thrive as a kind of Jerusalem for international finance and trade. It is those things already, but I think an independent republican constitution for the city could unleash great creative and market forces that would allow it to rise yet higher.

    In the 19th century the City was the world's leading financial centre. It lost that crown to New York in the 20th century, then got it back around the late 1990s to early 2000s. London is a great asset for the United Kingdom and the more the city prospers, the more the UK prospers. The World Cities Survey says that there are only two "Alpha ++" cities in the world; London and New York. I think we should try to maintain and expand London's unique position. City independence would further that, in my view.

    The reason for including the whole metropolis in the republic's territory would be that London's economy isn't just focused on the City and Canary Wharf, the city as a whole forms part of that economic powerhouse. And so it would provide London with a sufficient hinterland to make it a genuine city-state rather than just a kind of curiosity like San Marino.

    I know this is extremely unlikely in reality, but I think it's a worthwhile conversation to stimulate consideration of how to promote London and increase its prosperity.
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    (Original post by I am 1/Cos(C))
    Londoners are a bunch of melts, couldn't run a bath let alone a city state.
    What is a melt? Is that actually a thing?

    There are really only two cities in the world that are completely integrated with the global economy, which are leaders in every field (finance, insurance, legal services, accountancy, advertising, public relations, creative industries); that is London and New York. Clearly London is doing something right to be in that position, and particularly for London to have reclaimed its crown as the largest centre of global finance after having lost it to New York for about 70 years.

    London is an amazing place to live and work, and it is economically very dynamic. The whole United Kingdom benefits from having a city of London's calibre within it. I believe that city independence, in exchange for an annual tribute in the tens of billions, would mean the UK as a whole wouldn't have to provide any subsidy to London in terms of infrastructure spending, but the tribute it received would be very helpful to the UK's finances and also as the City became even more prosperous the tribute could increase
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    (Original post by Ljayne89)
    I'm in, on one condition: Gloucestershire also becomes and independent. London, prepare for invasion.
    It sounds like a Republic of Londonia will have to build a new London Wall to defend itself!
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    But why??
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    It sounds like a Republic of Londonia will have to build a new London Wall to defend itself!
    Take a leaf from Trump's book and make Brighton pay for it!
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    I'm jealous AlexanderHam

    I visited c15 years ago and would love to go back again.

    While we're on the subject of independence Cheshire should consider seceding so we can regain our historic independence from Westminster.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_palatine
 
 
 
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