Croydon Now: The case for Croydon becoming an independent nation state

By - Tuesday 20th January, 2015

Jonny Rose calls for his fellow Croydonians to throw off the shackles of Britain’s tyrannical rule

Supporters gather for the Croydon Now campaign.
Photo by Mario Creatura, used with permission.

“A pound spent in Croydon is of far more value to the country than a pound spent in Strathclyde”
– Boris Johnson, March 2012, Huffington Post

It’s a new year and by now the dust has settled from the events of what was an exhilarating few months of rabble-rousing by our friends in the North.

Despite it all, on 18th September 2014, Scotland elected to remain a part of the United Kingdom.

However, the skirmish for Scottish Home Rule has served to galvanise the latent desire for independence in other parts of Britain. Across the country, in many of England’s major centres of industry and culture – Manchester, Liverpool, Carshalton – debate is springing up about the merits of being so closely aligned and controlled by the machinations of Westminster.

Whilst Croydon lacks its own woad-dyed warlord icon for independence, we do have Cllr Tony Newman – and for that we should be thankful.

Most of these pockets of resistance will soon be quelled by a mixture of Seasonal Affective Disorder and leftover mince pies, but not so in Croydon, where our own Braveheart has emerged in the shape of Labour leader Cllr Tony Newman – who kindly invited me to the launch of the ‘Croydon Now’ campaign at the Houses of Parliament late last year.

Croydon Now: An opening salvo of independence

Croydon Now is pitching for the chancellor to “devolve” powers to local government – allowing the borough to reinvest business rates, stamp duty and new homes bonus so that the town can fulfil its potential.

In the foundational document of the Croydon Now movement (“Our Time Is Now”), Cllr Tony Newman outlines the rationale for pushing for such devolution:

“Having cut funding to local councils more than any other public services, they have, in my view, nothing less than a responsibility to support our innovative approach here in Croydon to generate our own growth and help deliver a strong, sustainable future for London’s largest and fastest growing borough.”

Whilst the council’s overtures towards self-determination are a welcome step, it remains a perishingly feeble one.

The case for a Free Croydon

Such a statement may seem bold to the everyday man on the [Katharine] street but it is well-reasoned:

  1. Croydon has its own currency

In the early 2000s, the ‘Croydon Pound’ was circulated in a trial by traders and businesses in the old town area. In 2009, nearby Caterham devised its own ‘Caterham £1 Note’, and in the past year denizens of Crystal Palace have floated the idea of a ‘Palace Pound’ as well.

(Let’s also not forget how Croydon Tech City’s financial tech startups are revolutionising what we do with our money online as well).

The point is that, freed from servitude to the Bank of England, there are numerous options for Croydonians in a free nation state to barter, bribe and buy with.

  1. Croydon has its own oil reserves.

As Gaia-lovers amongst Citizen readers will no doubt know, in 2013, Northdown Energy Limited was given permission to explore Croydon for natural gas and oil.

As the Deepwater Horizon disaster taught us: when it comes to oil reserves – there’s no smoke without fire. A speculative bid by an obscure private energy is more than enough confidence to rest our new country’s economic policy on.

  1. Croydon Airport could support international business and tourist travel

Forget the fact it has been decommissioned and out of use for over 50 years, Croydon Airport has a TGI Fridays and a tiny hotel frequented solely by conference division U21 football teams. By this measure alone, it already exceeds Luton Airport in every way.

  1. Croydon is an “an economic powerhouse”

Croydon is an “economic powerhouse”. Not my words – the words of Boris Johnson. And he never says anything silly. Ever.

  1. Whether you like it or not, the revolution has already begun…

Last year, in the midst of Scottish Independence, radicalised terrorist group The People’s Republic of South Norwood launched a campaign to cessate South Norwood from the rest of the borough. Whilst the campaign would ultimately dissolve under the weight of local media mockery – like everything started by a hirsute madman with a penchant for Hawaiian shirts it contained a kernel of truth.

Free Croydon: the time is now

So, Croydonians, let us be bold: rather than timidly quibbling for trifling tax levying powers, let us find it within ourselves to push for full nationhood rights. We owe it to ourselves. And to our children. And to our children’s children. And to their parole officers, too.

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose is a committed Christian who has lived in the Croydon area for nearly twenty years. He is an active participant in his local community, serving at Grace Vineyard Church and organising Purley Breakfast Club, and was ranked "Croydon's 37th most powerful person" by the Croydon Advertiser (much to his amusement). He owns a lead generation company. He is the Head of Content at marketing technology company Idio, the founder of the Croydon Tech City movement, a LinkedIn coach, and creator of Croydon's first fashion label, Croydon Vs The World. Working on Instagram training and a Linkedin lead generation service. Views are his own, but it would be best for all concerned if you shared them. Please send your fanmail to: jonnyrose1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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