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Man who wants to be king of Midlands; EXCLUSIVE AND HE WOULD TAKE THE QUEEN AND PM TO COURT.

Byline: BY BEN GOLDBY at the court of Mercia

HE is the Midland man who would be king. Because Jeff Kent wants to turn the clock back to 1066 by rein-stating the ancient Kingdom of Mercia and becoming its ruler.

He has launched an official separatist campaign which has already won the support of 1,000 people living in the former medieval region, which covers the entire Midlands.

Yet Jeff, 56, says his dream of redrawing the borders to pre-Norman Conquest times is not because he wants to enjoy satin gowns and jewelled crowns.

He simply wants us all to live in a harmonious democracy.

And to achieve their aims, the Mercian separatists are refusing to recognise the Queen or any UK laws.

Writer and lecturer Jeff, from Cotes Heath, Staffordshire, said: "The Queen is not elected, which is clearly undemocratic.

"We, the people of Mercia, do not accept her as monarch and as such we do not accept UK law as having any legality in Mercia.

"William the Conqueror was not the King of England. He simply abolished our laws and removed our local kings illegally."

Jeff is the convenor of a 1,000-strong group called The Acting Witan of Mercia.

They represent an interim authority until a proper Witan - an Anglo-Saxon word for Government - can be elected by the citizens of Mercia.

Those citizens would include any-one from the modern counties of West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Gloucestershire.

If Mercia is reinstated, the convenor of the Witan will be an elected King, putting Jeff in line to the throne.

But it is not just the Queen who is in the crossfire of campaigners.

Gordon Brown could also be living on borrowed time.

Under the official Mercian Constitution,

produced by the group back in 2003, there would be no Prime Minister and all power would rest at local level.

Mr Brown and Queen Elizabeth could even face a showdown in a Mercian courtroom, if Jeff gets his way.

"We are in the process of establishing an official Mercian Court and are encouraging people to break UK law, as we only accept Mercian law," he said.

"As far as we are concerned our constitution is final. So anyone breaking UK law is not breaking the law in Mercia.

"Our court will refine our laws and it will be a very humanitarian code.

"We have already asked the key UK political agents, including the Prime Minister and the Monarch, on what basis they claim to have authority. So far they have refused to put their case forward.

"We have made it clear to them that if they don't take us seriously, then we will go to our regional court to gain indictments and bring them to our court for crimes against Mercia.

"We know we may not be able to force Gordon Brown to attend court. But we are going to serve a summons to bring our campaign to the attention of the public and the authorities."

The new Mercian Court is just one of the many measures the group is putting in place for a return to pre-1066 Britain.

The separatists began minting their own currency three years ago. The Mercian penny is equivalent to one British pound - yet the Witan encourage citizens to use barter instead of money wherever possible.

Jeff explained that Anglo-Saxon life embraced a 'sustainable society with co-operative communities based on organic democracy'.

"Our campaign is nothing new," he insisted. "It has been going on ever since the Normans invaded in 1066.

"Quite a lot of blood has been spilled over this issue over the centuries. Throughout the last Millennium people were unwilling to accept the illegal conquest in 1066. We are just the current incarnation of that movement.

"The fundamental staying power of our campaign shows the strength of feeling there is today.

"If you have an infection that has not been cured, it will fester and grow. We have still got that disease from 1066."

But the cure for that disease may not be too far away.

According to Jeff, the children of today may well be the Mercians of tomorrow.

"I believe it could be possible for the change to happen in this century. In fact, it is close to a certainty," he said. "We are trying to turn our Government the right way up. At the moment the country is run from the top down - we want it run from the bottom up.

"A sustainable society is absolutely crucial. Anglo-Saxon Mercia was a self-sustaining region, which is what we want.

"At the moment, around 50 per cent of the population faces starvation when oil runs out and food exports stop.

"A change has to come. This is the crisis century. The alternative to change is extinction."

King Jeff would be following in some illustrious footsteps.

In Eighth Century England the King of Mercia, Ethelbald, cheekily annexed London from Essex and claimed to be King of Britain.

After his assassination the infamous Offa, a man so powerful he was referred to as "brother" by the mighty Emperor Charlemagne, became King of Mercia.

Offa gained lasting notoriety when he built a giant rampart between his kingdom and the Welsh, known today as Offa's Dyke.

But King Jeff last night reassured nervous Welshman everywhere, by insisting that modern-day Mercia would be peaceful - and would not resort to any acts of conquest.

The Mercury contacted Buckingham Palace to hear their side of the story, but a spokeswoman for the Queen refused to comment on Jeff's claims.

bengoldby@mrn.co.uk

What do YOU think? Has King Jeff got some good ideas? Or is he just a harmless eccentric? Write to King of Mercia, Sunday Mercury Letters, Weaman Street, Birmingham B4 6AY, e-mail SundayMercury@mrn.co.uk or text 80010, starting your message with MERCLETTERS.

MERCIA CONSTITUTION

THE Acting Witan of Mercia has drawn up a constitution ready for the day when the ancient Kingdom returns.

Here are some of the highlights:

POLICING: The national police force would be dissolved, replaced by what the constitution describes as "a series of interlinked, self-policing communities".

PENAL SYSTEM: All prison penalties introduced since 1066 will no longer apply. The emphasis of the new system will be rehabilitation and community service.

CITIES: Communities will have the right to destroy high-rise buildings and any property that pollutes the environment.

POPULATION: The region's population will have to be reduced to a sustainable level, giving space for the absorption of genuine refugees and asylumseekers but retaining large areas of wilderness.

FOREIGN POLICY: Mercia will hold no territorial claims outside the shires which will initially constitute the region and therefore will not station any armed units on foreign soil.

DEFENCE: All arms sales are prohibited by the Mercian constitution. Mercia will also be free of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and would withdraw from NATO.

CAPTION(S):

MONEY: the Mercian penny is equivalent to one British pound; SHOWDOWN: the Queen and Gordon Brown; FLYING THE FLAG: Jeff Kent wants to reinstate the kingdom of Mercia Picture: SAM BAGNALL
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 14, 2007
Words:1176
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