I might now call the mighty metropolis that is London my home, but I still definitely have roots in the north, so I was quite perplexed to read this news earlier. “A banner with the defiant message ‘Northern Republic Now’ has appeared above the road in south Manchester…Photos of the bridge earlier in the day also showed a second part to the sign, which read ‘End London Rule.'” Obviously, this sign was probably made in jest, but I suspect it hints at serious and growing social tensions: people in the North of England are starting to feel really left behind by an increasingly London-centric economy and society. For me it also raises a few interesting questions: what would such a ‘northern republic look like? Where would it’s capital be? Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle? Where would it’s borders be, and how far south does The North actually extend? More to the point, how popular is this idea in reality, and how popular could it become? If the Tories proceed the way they are going, and the perceived social and economic divisions between The North and The South, particularly London, are opened up even further, might an idea which is just a few words on a banner at the moment actually start gaining traction? In this era of Brexit, Trump and Coronavirus, to be honest I wouldn’t rule it out.