Leicester, or the Republic of Leicester was an unrecognized landlocked country on the island of Great Britain which gained its independence from Newolland in 2018 through violence, after an armed militia known as the Sons of De Montfort occupied East Leicestershire and Rutland and ventured out into the uncontrolled North West Leicestershire and south-west and claimed them as their new state.
It lasted little more than a year (specifically 1 year and 7 months) until the government of Newolland gained the support of the Organisation of British Nations, which led a coalition force into the republic's seat of government, Loughborough, and put an end to the brief nation.
Three factors can explain the short-term success of this unusual left-wing nationalist coup: the chaos and general instability in the Leicestershire region after the victory against the TBA; an underestimation by the central government of Newolland of the gravity of the situation in former Leicestershire (there were very few soldiers stationed there and they were unprepared against a sudden violent uprising, explaining why it appeared so easy for the Sons of De Montfort to gain the territory they took by surprise) as well as a general misunderstanding of Newolland's intentions on behalf of what can only be called a collective of gullible people (perhaps due to a lack of proper education on critical thinking while under the TBA occupation). Rumours would spread like wildfire with all the fake news and rumours that would come with it as a result of mind-shortcuts interpretations to confirm their panic. Some radical political leaders, such as Peter Soulsby and his left-wing nationalist party Together for Leicester, only put oil on the fire of that minority with rhetoric and aggressive oratory, and thus they'd form the violent vocal minority of the Sons of De Montfort, ready to explode against troops who were there to be benevolent, not to fight. Another possible motive for the people supporting the political party Together for Leicester was their fear of their local pre-Doomsday rights and traditions being lost to a greater Newolland (having already nearly lost them during their occupation by the TBA).
On the 10th of February 2018, the Sons of De Montfort gained East Leicestershire and Rutland's independence from Newolland by force, advancing through the Royal Guardsmen with relative ease and establishing a socialist republic with former Labour Party councillor Peter Soulsby as Premier (head of government) and Sean Sheahan, a key figure of the secessionist movement, as President (ceremonial head of state). The republic was founded on the idea of shire nationalism or "shireism".
After this declaration of independence, Newolland troops retreated the farthest from Leicestershire with an evident lack of prepared back-up.
In the drafting of the Constitution, Hindi was made a co-official language in order to accommodate the enormous Indian population living there. Because of this, the country was officially bilingual. However, the majority of the population is of English-descent and speaks English as a first language, and 80% of the Popular Council only speak English. This caused people to question the necessity of this official bilingualism.
Since the actual city of Leicester was destroyed in World War III, the Popular Council decided to establish a temporary state capital in the town of Loughborough (the second biggest settlement in former Leicestershire, which survived Doomsday). The plan was to eventually venture out into what was Leicester and rebuild the old city from scratch. Because of this, the nation's constitution named the City of Leicester as the capital city of the Republic of Leicester (on paper).
In March of 2018, as soon as they became a self-proclaimed nation-state, Leicesterian Pound (LEP) banknotes with the face of Premier Peter Soulsby started entering in circulation. Before this, they had continued to use the Newolland Pound for little more than a month.
Propaganda and plans for expansion
In July 2018, the military ventured into the recovering irradiated zones near what was the city of Leicester, occupying and incorporating Coalville, Ashby de la Zouch, Hinckley, Bosworth and southern Blaby (Sharnford) into the republic. During this expedition, a military camp was set up in the rural village of Stapleton, near Hinckley.
In addition, in both Loughborough and Coalville, Together for Leicester had several small statues and miniature monuments representing left-wing propaganda and values built. One of these being a very poorly made and now vandalized statue of Karl Marx which stands beside the Loughborough Town Hall, which was unveiled in August of 2018.
In early September 2019, the area that was once the old city centre of Leicester was bordered off by the government and it was announced that the reconstruction of the city would begin in 2021.
Attempts at gaining recognition.
The Republic of Leicester never formed part of any international organization like the League of Nations (although the Popular Council has requested their membership). However, the Premier of the Republic Peter Soulsby publicly expressed his desire for the state of Leicester to join the CSTO, something which would have been extremely dangerous for the neighbouring Organisation of British Nations and something which the majority of the Popular Council all frowned upon.
On the 12th of September 2019, President Sean Sheahan made an announcement aimed at the neighbouring states in Britain, declaring:
"We, in possession of the power and rights of a nation-state, like any other on this once great isle, demand only recognition and trust from our neighbouring communities. The autonomy and rights of ceremonial counties of old have been cast aside by our ex-rulers, and the creation of our republic has been the only possible way to regain this autonomy of which Leicestershire had been stripped. On behalf of the proletariat of our community, as head of state, I merely wish to say this to the outside: We exist. Leicestershire exists. I call upon the working class of all places outside these borders to unite and strive towards a common goal: that of improving our conditions of life and looking to the horizon to help create a better Earth with no possessions and no materialism. Strength to the workers, and Ave Ratae".
This announcement was met with criticism from the Organisation of British Nations and even the Celtic Alliance.
Collapse. October 2019.
After some time attempting to desperately contact the Organisation of British Nations, Newolland Chancellor Nick Boles finally achieved contact with the OBN and proposed a reorganisation of troops and the formation of a united coalition to march into Loughborough (the proclaimed temporary capital of the Republic of Leicester) and put down the republic.
The OBN coalition, under the command of Chairman Edward Poll, reached the Loughborough Town Hall and swiftly brought down the separatist government without casualties on any side. The Sons of De Montfort, conscious of their defeat and hoping to avoid any death or violence, surrendered to the OBN under the condition that Together for Leicester be allowed in as a political party in the Peoples Assembly of the government of Newolland; which Newolland accepted. And so, the Republic of Leicester's flags were lowered and were replaced with Newolland's.
This was, in reality, a triumph for the Expansionist Party of Newolland, as the situation with the Republic of Leicester and its eventual surrender led to Newolland fully incorporating what was left of Leicestershire (before, only east Leicestershire formed part of the country, now they control the entire county).
The state's eventual goal was to rebuild the old city of Leicester (which was obliterated in Doomsday by a 100KT bomb) and create what they call "a blend of a perfectly reconstructed historic city of Leicester, and a glorious socialist utopia, which shall stand out among the rest of the world as a haven for all proletarians", to quote the Popular Council's statement. Leicester was hit by a 100KT, which according to scientists working for the Celtic Alliance will begin to be completely habitable again by roughly 2020.
In a speech in the ministers chamber, Peter Soulsby named an example of what type of buildings they intended to build in the employment of this blend: "The new Palace of the Popular Council shall be built in the image of the old Chinese Great Hall of the People, and on the frieze of its splendid façade: AVE RATAE."
In addition, among these future projects, the government planned on initiating an urban planning and housing project which would have resulted in the construction of several Soviet-style standardized apartment blocks across what would be a rebuilt Leicester and also in towns like Hinckley and Coalville for the slowly rising population.
Whether the Newolland government plans on bringing any of these plans (or greatly modified versions of them) to fruition is unknown.
The Republic of Leicester was officially split into administrative divisions called cantons, which are in turn subdivided into districts.
The Popular Council stated however that the republic was in a state of expansion, and that the permanent territorial division of the republic would be completed and settled once all of former Leicestershire was under republican control.
It was divided into six cantons, those being:
- La Zouch Canton: its administrative centre was Ashby de la Zouch, though its largest settlement was Coalville.
- Charnwood Canton: its administrative centre was the country's temporary capital city, Loughborough.
- Melton Canton: its administrative centre was Melton Mowbray.
- Rutland Canton: its administrative centre was Oakham.
- Bosworth Canton: its administrative centre was Hinckley.
- Canton of South Blaby: its administrative centre was Sharnford. This canton was to be (and could be if Newolland decides on doing so) expanded to the north and would have been renamed Blaby once the northern part is recovered/rebuilt.
The remaining former districts of Leicestershire (Harborough, Oadby and Wigston, the northern part of Blaby and the City of Leicester) would have been incorporated into the union had the republic lasted longer.
Leicester was essentially a unitary, parliamentary republic. It was formed by a unicameral legislature, the Popular Council, a President who served as the largely ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties (the office is very similar to that of a constitutional monarch), and the head of government, the Premier, who was to be elected directly by the people every six years in a general election. The President, however, was to be chosen every ten years by the Popular Council (and would have had to be a member of the ruling political party) and could have ruled another decade if the Popular Council approved his or her request.
The only Premier was Peter Soulsby, of Together for Leicester; the main socialist party, which was the largest party of the country.
Despite trying to market itself as a socialist republic, Leicester had a multi-party system with two main political parties:
- Together for Leicester: the largest left-wing party in the Popular Council which was in power by absolute majority, almost having a parliamentary monopoly. It was founded by Peter Soulsby and was basically brought to power by the Sons of De Montfort.
- The People's Party: the largest right-wing party, led by Andrew Bridgen. However, it could have really been considered centrist or even aiming towards the centre-left, as they fully supported Together For Leicester and Peter Soulsby as Premier (possibly by force). Therefore, it was criticised for not being a true opposition party, despite it supposedly being the main opposition to the socialists.
In addition, there were four minor parties in the legislature, both left and right-wing:
- Baen - बाएं ("Left" in Hindi). It aimed to support and fight for the interests of the Indian population of the area, and was pro-multiculturalism and was the biggest supporter of State bilingualism in the Popular Council.
- British Unionists. Leaning centre-right, the party aimed to reunite the country with Newolland and Cleveland, and eventually negotiate with the other successor states such as the Celtic Alliance to create a united island of Great Britain again, with Leicestershire as a province of sorts. In a sense, this was the true main centre-right conservative party. It eventually merged into the British Party of Newolland once the republic collapsed.
- Vox. Far-right nationalist. Supported the republic's independence, but was against socialism. Their goal was to transform the republic into a capitalist nation and completely eradicate Hindi elements from the government (such as by abolishing official bilingualism), preferring to embrace their English heritage. This party was declared illegal after the fall of the republic and its members were arrested by Newolland law enforcement.
Branches of power
The republic's government comprised of three branches:
- Executive: The head of government was the Premier. The holder was appointed by the President of the Republic after each general election and had to have the confidence of the Popular Council to remain in office.
- Legislative: The legislature of Leicester was under a unicameral parliament known as the Popular Council, a permanent body that had 60 members who served in staggered six-year terms and were directly elected by popular vote in the general elections.
- Judiciary: The highest-ranking court of the Leicesterian judiciary was the Supreme Court, with jurisdiction in all Leicester, superior in all matters except in constitutional guarantees. The Supreme Court was nominated by the President of the Republic and proposed by the General Council of the Judiciary.
Head of state
The ceremonial head of state of the Republic of Leicester was the President of the Republic.
As the head of state, the President had the power to promulgate laws, select and dismiss the Premier (prime minister) as well as the ministers of the Popular Council, declare a state of emergency, issue mass mobilization orders, and issue state honours. In addition, the President named and dismissed ambassadors to foreign countries, and could sign and annul treaties with foreign entities. The President also conducted state visits on behalf of the Republic as the main representative of the unity of the nation. The President of the Republic was, in essence, a symbolic post without any direct say in the governance of the state. The Premier, the head of government in Leicester, was, de facto, the most important political appointment in the Leicesterian government.
The President of the Republic was, however, not elected by the people, instead being elected for ten years by the Popular Council in joint session.
The Internationale was used as the country's unofficial national anthem, as it was the one played on government loudspeakers on celebrations, and was sung in the first opening of the Popular Council. The country did have an official anthem, Oh Fair Leicester (which uses the melody of the Pontifical March by Charles Gounod), but it wasn't as popular and wasn't seen as inspiring as the Popular Council's unofficial anthem; however, it was considered the official national anthem in order to include the non-socialist deputies in the Council (who were in reality very few).
|OH FAIR LEICESTER|
|Arise, Oh Fair Leicester
From the rubble you shall be reborn
We, great Leicesterians
Our blood runs strong through the Sence and Soar
Our race is History and Future
Corieltauvi, Ricardians and pioneers!
The grand old Shire we shall lead forth!
Rejoice foxes, and look ahead
The colors of hope and might are white and red
Stand, and salute our free republic
The land of one and all!
|Arise, all victims of oppression
For the tyrants fear your might!
For justice thunders condemnation:
Give deadly battle to the foe!
|Aao ham gulaamee apanee chhoden,
Hon aazaad aur riha.
Badalen ye saaree duniya! Badalen!
Jis mein zor o zulm o jafa!
| Chorus (x2)
Proletarians, come rally!
And the last fight let us face!
Unites the human race!
The Republic of Leicester was notorious for its strong left-wing propaganda, which was comprised of communist-style posters with inspiring messages aimed at the working class and also of several military and resistance themed songs which would be sometimes played on the loudspeakers outside the town hall in Loughborough.
Leicester's military was small, but strong and very well trained; and managed to resist Newolland's forces and occupy East Leicestershire and Rutland.
Most of their weaponry was presumed to come from old TBA outposts. They had a very reduced number of pistols (rarely used, as ammunition is scarce). The Sons of De Montfort mostly relied on knives, bats and homemade explosives.