Taxonomy of the English Tribes

    The Setantii

Broadly speaking, the underclass. The Setantii were a primitive tribe based on Merseyside of whom the ruling Romans knew and cared little. Plus ça change! Their political involvement in traditional terms is low, but they need to be included because they occasionally erupt in chaotic political action, and because their non-political actions often set the tone for ordinary politics. All politicians claim to be concerned about this tribe, but as they rarely vote, they are more feared than cultivated. The size of this class is disputed.

Typical member: Welfare recipient
Media outlet: None
Votes: Low turnout, Mixed
Political champion: None

    The Rus

The traditional working-class. This once-mighty tribe used to dominate the north, but have entered a long-term decline which it is hard to see them undoing. They remain fiercely warlike, but are incapable of sustaining a long campaign, and no longer instil fear in their enemies, and even their allies take them for granted. The youngsters are deserting to other tribes, but there is still a good deal of solidarity and organisational strength in the older members, so they can still be a power-base for a political coalition, but can no longer act alone. Economically left, but socially they are quite mixed – and often extremely far right. This tribe is perhaps 15% of the population.

Typical member: Transport worker
Media outlet: The Mirror
Votes: Heavily (Old) Labour
Political champion: John Prescott

    The Iceni

Like the historical Iceni, this tribe are patriotic, independent and small-c conservative, although not heavily political. They are working-class and lower-middle class, working mostly in the private sector. Few political leaders come directly from this class, but it is the largest and most powerful at the ballot box, and as a result it is constantly courted. New Labour’s downfall between 2001 and 2010 was caused by loss of traction in this class. Economically and socially they tend centre-right, but can be quite diverse in policies. More than any other, this tribe is loathed by the Mandarins, who dream of building a coalition against them. This tribe represents perhaps 30% of the population.

Typical member: Construction worker, small businessman
Media Outlet: The Sun, The Daily Mail
Votes: Predominantly Conservative
Political Champion: David Cameron??

    The Aedui

The newest of all the tribes, the name is a reference to the Gallic tribe best known for being Roman clients. They are mostly lower-middle class state sector workers, who have been carved out of other tribes (mostly the Rus) by social and political change. They are not hugely political, are primarily concerned with their own narrow interest, but are socially and economically leftist. This group aspires to be Mandarins, and is led by them, but is cut off by a yawning social chasm they can never bridge. They represent perhaps 20% of the population.

Typical member: Teacher, nurse
Media outlet: BBC
Votes: Predominantly Labour, some Lib Dem
Political Champion: Gordon Brown

    The Cornish

This rural tribe still think of themselves as Middle Britain, and remain strong in the South-West, but elsewhere they are in terminal decline. Some would see them as the countrified members of the Iceni, but they are cut off from them by their refusal to embrace modernity, and this is reflected strongly in their language and symbolism. They claim to be non-political, but are in fact old Tories – although surprisingly socially mixed. Like their old enemies the Rus, they cannot quite understand why they do not run the country any more, and why their allies take them for granted. This has lead some to vote Lib Dem or UKIP. Along with their suburban members, they represent perhaps 10% of the country.

Typical member: Retired
Media outlet: Telegraph
Votes: Heavily Conservative
Political Champion: Ken Clarke

    The Mandarins

Although this tribe represents perhaps 5% of the population, they have disproportionate influence as most leftist political figures belong here. Their invective is mostly aimed at the Mongols, but their real contempt is reserved for the Iceni. This is the upper-middle class who comprise the Liberal Establishment, and they are extremely politically active. They are the English equivalent of what Moldbug classed as Brahmin. Their politics is economically left of centre, socially far left. They occupy positions of huge power, but still think of themselves as outsiders.

Typical member: Journalist
Media outlet: Guardian
Votes: Labour/Lib Dem
Political Champion: Ed Milliband

    The Mongols

These are the ambitious, business-orientated upper-middle class. Mandarins love to throw invective at them, but in fact are socially comfortable with them – socially, they are almost one class. Socio-politically, however, they diverge wildly in language and symbolism – this is a fairly new class that has been carved out of the Cornish by social and economic changes, but unlike the Cornish has fully embraced modernity. Economically they are far-right, socially they are moderately liberal. They are slightly less politically active than the Mandarins, but wield huge economic power. The Iceni aspire to membership in this class. They represent perhaps 10% of the population.

Typical member: Accountant
Media Outlet: The Times
Votes: Heavily Conservative
Political Champion: Boris Johnson

This is why my political analysis is that the Conservatives must be populist and pick up Iceni votes (while not offending the Mongols and Cornish). Discourse aimed at the elites cannot win, because there aren’t enough Mandarin votes to matter, and the Mandarins we persuade cannot take the lower tribes with them – the Rus and the Aedui are leftist client constituencies. They cannot be won over; the former has to be allowed to wither, the latter has to be broken.

Note that this is just England, the rest of the UK is different, with structural Labour majorities in Scotland and Wales.


3 responses to this post.

  1. […] Comment Policy « Taxonomy of the English Tribes […]


  2. What worries me, as an Englishman, is that none of the establishment political parties here represent me.

    “Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes the laws.” – Mayer Amschel Rothschild.


  3. Posted by I am not... on March 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I think that is a problem that affects a lot of people. If I am right that there are seven socio-political groups, then with only three major parties this is almost inevitable. And if you want a party to represent your ideas rather than your “tribe,” then the problem is even worse.


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