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The Annual General Meeting of the North East Labour History Society, followed by Alex Niven: New Model Island: How to Build a Radical Culture Beyond the Idea of England (by Zoom, agenda and link to be circulated)

September 8 @ 19:00

Please let us know if you would like to attend this meeting by clicking this link and giving us your email address and name. We will then contact you before the meeting with the Zoom link.

Please note that any member wishing to submit a change to the Constitution (see pages 187 – 188 of the 2019 Journal) must submit a motion in writing to the Secretary by 10 August.

The meeting will be followed by a talk by Alex Niven, Lecturer in English at Newcastle University on his recently published book, New Model Island: How to Build a Radical Culture Beyond the Idea of England

In the early twenty-first century, “Englishness” suddenly became a hot topic. A rash of art exhibitions, pop albums and coffee table books arrived on the scene, all desperate to recover England’s lost national soul. But when we sweep away the patriotic stereotypes, we begin to see that England is a country that does not — and perhaps should not — exist in any essential sense.

In this provocative text combining polemic and memoir, Alex Niven argues that the map of the British Isles should be torn apart completely as we look towards a time of radical political reform. Rejecting outdated nationalisms, Niven argues for a renovated model of culture and governance for the islands — a fluid, dynamic version of regionalism preparing the way for a new “dream archipelago”.

“One of the sharpest, most unusual critics writing today, and with this call for the end of England, he has surpassed himself. Personal, polemical and historical in equal measure, this is a strange, powerful and beautiful book.”

Owen Hatherley


September 8