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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

By ATWadmin On January 16th, 2007

UK.jpg

We try and cover many different issues here on ATW.  For me, there is no greater issue than the retention of the Union in ALL FOUR of its component parts.  Yes I have strong opinions on Europe, Islam, the protection of Israel, our ties with America and the Commonwealth, transport and the operation of the economy.  Nevertheless, each pales into insignificance when it comes to my conviction on the need to keep my country together as one functioning unit.

This, the 300th anniversary of the first Act of Union, should allow us to think about the UK and what it has achieved.  It once ruled the world and, as recently as the end of the First World War, was considered the only global superpower.  It created the largest Empire the world has ever seen and, in contrast to many other imperial ventures by our European neighbours, did far more good than ever it did harm to the countries which submitted to its control (whatever you may think about the principle of empire, that is a fact).  Today, there is nothing equivalent to the Commonwealth for the former conquests of France, Spain or the Netherlands.  Not only did the United Kingdom build much of the infrastructure in its imperial backyard, it also forged great and significant ties with countries never under its colonial stewardship.  The two best examples of this are Argentina and Chile, where the railways, roads, agriculture and naval strengths of those two countries were created and built by the British – not the Spanish.  Even as recently as the early 20th century, more people in Argentina spoke English and Italian than Spanish.

In the 21st Century, the UK is still a global player and is one of only 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council.  It is Europe’s (excluding Russia) foremost military power and has ties to the United States unequalled by any other country.  The importance of this alliance cannot be underestimated for anyone who has lived through WW2 or has seen the global ventures undertaken by ourselves and the Americans since that time.  The United Kingdom has given the world the English language, the business lingua franca.  Although Mandarin and, since 1999 Spanish, are spoken by more individuals than English, it is still the world’s most important language.  No less than 27% of the countries of the world have English as an official language and in others, such as Holland, Sweden and Denmark, English is understood by over 60% of the population.

Our United Kingdom has pioneered arts, modern music, legal institutions and inventions far out of proportion to its size.  It has given the world items from the lawn mower to the umbrella.  Britain remains one of the largest economies and has the most important city on the planet as its capital.  It is culturally, socially, emotionally and economically intertwined between its four components.  Unlike many other countries, the territorial unit did not come first.  Our country is a formal legal expression of the internal ties it has developed throughout history.  And it would be inevitably weaker as a result of losing even one of those parts.

Which brings me to the final part of this piece.  Our United Kingdom has been periodically under threat from Irish insurrection since 1921.  It has more recently been attacked by the petulant voices of Scottish and, to a lesser extent Welsh, separatism.  However, it has endured notwithstanding these attempts.  No opinion poll in Northern Ireland has ever even come close to suggesting that it requires a divorce from the Union.  If the results of this poll are to be believed, there is no similar desire amongst the three parts of the mainland, either.  So today, on this 300th birthday celebration, we raise our glasses to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is also the longest official name of any country in the world) and hope it survives for another 3 centuries.

UPDATE:  I found this article on the legal moves necessary to grant Scottish separation interesting. Contrary to Irish nationalist assertions, the exact same procedure would be necessary for Northern Ireland.  The ONLY difference between the two is that Parliament at Westminster is not compelled to hold a referendum on separation in the event of a nationalist majority in Scotland as it is in NI.  However, Parliament also has the legal and constitutional right to vote down the results of a NI referendum, as has the right of Dail Eireann to refuse the annexation of NI within its territorial remit.  Both decisions would be valid in international law.

93 Responses to “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”

  1. >>It has more recently been attacked by the petulant voices of Scottish and, to a lesser extent Welsh, separatism.<<

    No mention of English nationalism, which it could be argued is the most dangerous one of all.

    Google English nationalism and see how many sites are returned.

    As for the UK, the UK might have been best for some parts of the UK, but it depended on where you lived.

    If you were an Irish catholic, your time in the Union featured

    – no the right to vote for the first 30 years and not allowed to take a seat in the UK parliament.

    – Two famines with a population decline from 8 million to under 3 million due to the famines, poverty and forced emigration.

    – Forced to pay taxes to the religion you had no association with

    A catholic still cannot be head of the state in the UK.

  2. Further to that, once the Irish parliament was shutdown and the owners of the parliament Ordered to completely destroy the inside of the parliament building to remove any remnants of the chamber from memory, that Dublin as a city began a very quick decline in stature as businessmen moved to where the action now was, ie London.

  3. There was also discrimination against the working classes, and smaller scale famines in both Scotland and England. My point, Kloot, is that no country’s history is perfect.

    Your Republic owes much of its culture, its legal structures and its primary language to the UK. Think about that once in a while.

  4. >>My point, Kloot, is that no country’s history is perfect. <<

    Spot on. But a sign of maturity is the ability to acknowledge the past injustice, just as the ROI is only now acknowledging the injustice it did the those that fought in WW1/WW2 or to those abused in state care, to the undue influence of the catholic church on our state, to the corruption in its politicians….

    >>Your Republic owes much of its culture, its legal structures and its primary language to the UK. Think about that once in a while.<<

    I’m completely at ease with that fact Andrew. No problem at all with it, If you think my comments are anti brutishness, then you are wrong.

    Your making a statement about the greatness of the UK, but only give one line to its failings and even then you brush that off by saying that more good was done then bad.

    A challenge to you would be to point out the good AS WELL as the bad.

    You claim that Irish insurrectionists tried to break the union, wrong, they tried to LEAVE the union. They would have had no hassle at all with the rest of the union staying in tact.

    You fail to look at this from the side of the Irish person, whose rights were subdued in the great Uk, because the absolute majority of Irish were catholic, were not landowners, were uneducated, were banned from speaking their own language, and so on.

    That was the failing of the Union in Irish respects, the inability to look at this from other peoples mindsets. How could up to 1 million Irish people die of hunger and disease, literally on the footsteps of the UK parliament ? If you family was dying one by one, your community dying as well, due to the inactivity of a parliament on a different island, how would you honestly feel. Your watching food being shipped across the water daily and yet you cant feed your family. Emotive scenes, but that scene was played out across the country im sure.

    The biggest failing of the UK was its slowness in its early days to address these issues.

    I agree with you fully on the positives from the UK. No one can deny that the form of democracy in the UK has been a model copied across the world. But lets address both sides of the coin

  5. Excellent post, David. As a Bangalorean, I have been brought up in an environment suffused with the colonial heritage. Though I don’t approve of certain British governors-general such as Clive, Warren Hastings, the Marquess of Hastings, Lord Dalhousie and Lord Curzon, I recognise the contributions made by colonialism in general.

    Not that there were no alternatives that might have had equally successful results. The break-up of the Mughal Empire did give rise to quite a few fairly progressive Indian states who sought to modernise their economies and armies along European lines. Several of them asked for French help in this regard. The only thing that ‘native’ Indian rulers didn’t exactly think of modernising was the education system which had to wait for Lord Macaulay and the Indian Renaissance of the mid-nineteenth century. Education in the English language has probably been one of the greatest blessings we received under British rule.

    However, history has chosen to bind us all in one great family called the Commonwealth – and here’s to the future of the Commonwealth as well!

  6. ‘If you think my comments are anti brutishness, then you are wrong.’

    Best Freudian slip I’ve seen in a long time! (It was a slip, right?) 🙂

    ‘Our United Kingdom has been periodically under threat from Irish insurrection since 1921’ and ‘has been in serious decline ever since’ could have been added.

  7. ‘Excellent post, David.’

    To my equal surprise, this was Andrew. Glad to see he can make a cogent argument without descending to his baser instincts ("Faint Praise" for Andrew twice in one week – must lie down)

  8. Excellent 09:59AM post, Kloot.

    Indeed if being alligned to Great Britain was so great how come there was so much revolution? By both planter and Gael?

  9. Oh sorry
    Excellent Post, Andrew.

  10. ‘has been in serious decline ever since’?

    In the last twenty years its economy has overtaken that of France and Italy and is on course to overtake that of Germany within the next twenty years if the Fatherland maintains its economic timidity thanks to membership of the euro.

    ‘Best Freudian slip I’ve seen in a long time.’

    I wonder if Bertie was thinking about ‘brutish’ Freudian slips when he was out praising Pearce and Co.

    ‘Faint Praise’

    Don’t expect any reciprocation from me, faint or otherwise.

  11. >>Best Freudian slip I’ve seen in a long time! (It was a slip, right?) :)<<

    It was a slip. Meant to address that. 🙂

  12. And how many years will it take to overtake the Irish economy?

    At the current rates India will overtake Britain in 60 or 65 years, assuming that the jihadis don’t take over Britain and start drilling oilwells there.

    Of course the current rates are to be taken with a pinch of salt. I was just reading HG Well’s article on the progress of World War I (written in 1916 or therabouts) and his predictions regarding the Eastern Front made me realise how little we know of what’s going to happen in 2007 itself, let alone a couple of generations down the line.

  13. Adrian

    The UK economy is worth $2,229,472,000,000.

    The RoI economy is worth $200,770,000,000.

    We never overtook, we were always streets ahead.

  14. Andrew,

    The Irish famine was in a much much greater scale to any Scottish/English famine. Im not sure if you have traveled around Ireland, but along the west coast you will find mass graves in quite a few places.

    Even if you take all 3 famines into account, and the reaction of each of the nations to it, you could applaud the Irish for coming to the conclusion that their participation in the Union was having a massively detrimental effect on its people and that the clear choice was to leave, considering how little effect that had to institute change in the UK parliament.

    Serious question though, where do you believe Irish insurrectionism came from ? . How did it come about ?

  15. ‘It was a slip. Meant to address that.’

    Yeah – I believe you! 🙂

  16. >>We never overtook, we were always streets ahead.<<

    The Irish economy is nowhere near being one of the biggest economies in the world.

  17. ‘The UK economy is worth $2,229,472,000,000.

    The RoI economy is worth $200,770,000,000.

    We never overtook, we were always streets ahead.’

    Yip Andrew, thanks to imperialism and other tactics (famine was one) the UK has a far greater population than the ROI, but don’t you think that numerical advantage should provide a critical mass to the extent that the UK has a greater economy per head of population than the ROI?

  18. Strange. The British system of administration did tend to result in famines here in India as well, from the 1760s right down to the 1940s. In each case millions perished.

    The famines were partly caused by the economic system that encouraged farmers to grow indigo and textiles destined for British industries rather than food crops needed in India.

    However, in at least one or two cases the famines were caused by the fact that although there was sufficient food available, the average Indian didn’t have the money to buy it and the Government did nothing to control prices. Although the authorities were responsible, I can’t blame colonialism alone for this since the same happened under pre-British governments.

  19. SMCGIFF
    Famine was not a "tactic" – as far as I know, not even the most fanatical republican has ever claimed that the famine was deliberately caused by Britain.

  20. Sorry for being silly. When I said Irish economy I meant that their per capita GDP (at purchasing power parity) is far ahead of the mainland UK – so that the average Irishman earns around 8000 dollars a year more than his British counterpart (at purchasing power parity; in fact it’s 9000 dollars in real terms).

  21. ‘ not even the most fanatical republican has ever claimed that the famine was deliberately caused by Britain.’

    Silly them then. Whatever about being caused (I see the British as a figurative Blight on Ireland not a literal one), they certainly didn’t do their best to contain or alleviate the damage) – I’ve no doubt there was an element of strategy involved here.

  22. ‘Thanks to imperialism and other tactics.’

    Britain did not have a plan to become an imperial nation. It was in a position to do so because it pioneered so many of the things that made imperial venture almost inevitable.

    And it’s thanks to these same pillars of ‘imperialism and other tactics’ that we have the structures of liberal capitalism, institutions of parliamentary democracy, freedom of the press and the English language – among many others – in so many parts of the world.

    Whatever ‘wrongdoings’ took place against the Irish were matched by successive attempts by the same to rid the island of its Protestant population (an ideal some republicans still cling to)

  23. Peter,
    but hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Irish people were deliberately let die.

    Things weren’t helped by the fact up to 70 ships a day were leaving Ireland with food for England while a million Irish starved to death.

    The Times in 1845:

    "In England the two main meals of a working man’s day now consists of potatoes." England’s potato-dependence was excessive; reckless. Grossly over-populated relative to its food supply, England faced famine unless it could import vast amounts of alternative food. But it didn’t grab merely Ireland’s surplus food; or enough Irish food to save England. It took more; for profit and to exterminate the people of Ireland."

    I’m with George Bernard Shaw on this one:

    "When a country is full of food and exporting it, there can be no Famine."

    You do the math, as they say in America.

  24. ‘they certainly didn’t do their best to contain or alleviate the damage) – I’ve no doubt there was an element of strategy involved here.’

    There was also a severe outbreak of bubonic plague in the Gorbals in the early 20th century, partly as a result of a lack of concern in London. The difference is most people in Glasgow are today too mature to keep dragging up elements of the past in order to justify their own sense of piss-artistry victimhood.

  25. >>Whatever ‘wrongdoings’ took place against the Irish were matched by successive attempts by the same to rid the island of its Protestant population (an ideal some republicans still cling to)<<

    Not good enough Andrew, You seem to be saying that it was good enough for them because of past history. That would be a shocking statement, if made.

    Most of the massacres that you talk about predate the Union. Lets keep it to the period of the Union, the Union is after all the focus of the debate

  26. >>The difference is most people in Glasgow are today too mature to keep dragging up elements of the past in order to justify their own sense of piss-artistry victimhood.<<

    Hold on a second here. Are celebrating the last 300 years of the Union, or just recent history. No ones claiming victim hood here. Were debating history. I havent made any claims for compensation, I havent said that Irish people cant move on with their lives until the get an apology or any of that sort ( although cheers for the apology Tony 🙂 ). Were debating history and whether it was of benefit to the constituent nations or not, int he same way that English and Scottish nationalists are doing the same today. Simple as that

  27. ‘The difference is most people in Glasgow are today too mature to keep dragging up elements of the past in order to justify their own sense of piss-artistry victimhood.’

    Andrew, I brought up the famine as a reason for population differences.

    Did the plague in Scotland wipe out a significant proportion of the population and prove a catalyst for the mass migration of a constituent part of the UK (THE UNITED KINGDOM).

    Ironically the mass migration of the Irish from within the UK lead to an empire of its own – so I suppose we should say thanks.

  28. Andrew,
    One of the things that Britain pioneered was commercial exploitation of existing native structures. In India at least, I’m sorry to say that Clive’s dual government in Bengal was similar to and no better than the current situation in Iraq. The commerce of the country was left in British hands while any little law and order problems were blamed on the incompetence of the Indian Nawabs and the general indiscipline of their subjects (and furthermore used as an excuse to dismiss the Nawabs).

    Warren Hastings was a bit worse (almost as bad as George Bush) since he invaded countries (like the Rohilkhand) for economic reasons.

  29. Sorry. That was in reference to your 11:24 post on the so-called inevitability of imperialism. Imperialism grew from the immorality of CERTAIN British pioneers and was consolidated (in India at least) by a need to prevent other European powers (France and Russia) from getting the prize. Nothing inevitable about either.

  30. Andrew,

    You know full well that Ireland has a higher GDP and a higher GNP than Britain.

    On a per capita Basis Ireland is Streets ahead.

    You claimed that London is "THe most important city in the world"

    Really?

    More important than New York????

    YOu really think so???

  31. Andrew,

    Im not sure on what you tink of this idea, but how about a talking points on whether, on the balance, the ROI has benefited or not by it leaving the Union.

    That would allow equal criticism of what the ROI, in terms of what it has achieved with independence, and believe me you will not find me wanting in criticism.

    Why ? because if you dont acknowledge, debate and criticise the problems, they cant be fixed or prevented. The very mistakes shown to the Irish leaving the Union are now being applied to the scottish, ie, just telling them they are better of in, because its been around for so long, as opposed to putting the economic, social and other benefits to them. I will say though, that nationalism, has a tendency to see past these things, and therefore is a very hard thing to control.

  32. >>Im not sure on what you tink of this idea<<

    Sorry, im making a bucket load of spelling and grammatical errors today. A very interesting discussion, but bucket loads of work to do as well

  33. Yes Kloot, we are talking about the Union. But as I stressed, the historical intertwining of the British Isles is the foundation from which the Union sprung – not vice-versa. Thus, the various massacres of the Protestant population are relevant here.

    What I am saying is that no nation comes close to the Irish for constantly bleating on about the historical failings of others whilst turning those who instituted their own wrongdoings and failings into icons of historical legend.

    ‘One of the things that Britain pioneered was commercial exploitation of existing native structures.’

    There were few precious ‘native structures’ to exploit. Most of the structures in our former Empire were created by use and have scarcely advanced since.

    Armaghlite

    Look at the link to the survey. On the crucial indicies which denote a world city, London comes top. It’s not a question of what I ‘think’. I prefer Paris, Rome, Naples and Moscow, pal!

  34. I suppose the UK was a great Nation.

    Look at it now though. It has lost more relative power and influence and economic moght since 1960 than it realises.

    It is now filled with people comitted to a different way of life, it’s inner cities squalid, it’s northern bleak cities decimated culturally.

    The decline of manufacturing and heavy industry has hit so hard.

    It has lost almost all the empire – The great Hong Kong is even gone.

    It is subservient to Rule from the European Union.
    It’s people find pride in the past rather than present.

    It’s overcrowded. It lost 33% of it’s own territory in 1922.

    Won two world wars having been bailed out by America but at great cost. Britain paid Billions to America for lend lease and was still paying the bills up to recently.

    It’s Monarchy a joke (the old lady herself seems nice) but her heir and Future King once told his mistress that he wanted to be her Tampon. Talks to plants etc.

    GDP and Purchasing power etc the UK is now one of the poorest in the EU 15 group (which excludes eastern europe)

    Her once great infrastructure needs updating and to top it all off the place is being bomned by it’s own people.

    British people born, and bred and educated hate the place so much that they are willing to die to bomb it.

    What more to come???

    Happy Birthday Union !!!!

    PS – did i mention the Amritsar massacre or the camps in the boer War???

  35. ‘Im not sure on what you tink of this idea, but how about a talking points on whether, on the balance, the ROI has benefited or not by it leaving the Union.’

    Because this thread is about the Union, of which the RoI has not been a member for 86 years. It is an independent country. Most feel it has been for the better; a minority don’t. Other than wishing your country would keep its nose out of NI affairs, it really doesn’t feature strongly enough in my political thoughts to warrant the devotion of an article to it.

  36. >>Irish for constantly bleating on about the historical failings of others whilst turning those who instituted their own wrongdoings and failings into icons of historical legend.<<

    Andrew, the Irish weren’t even asked if they want to be part of the Union. Thats the point. The majority catholic population had no say in our participation in the Union. From day one they tried to get out. All the UK had to do was to let them go.

    Look, religion was a terrible force between these two islands back then, and is responsible for the majority of the problems between these two islands and indeed continues to be.

  37. Andrew,
    There were readymade agricultural setups, revenue systems, economies and chains of command for Clive and Hastings to exploit in India.

    For example, the outcome of the Battle of Plassey seems pretty insignificant when you go into the agreement that followed the battle. All that the British got was some money (which they didn’t need), an alliance with the Nawabs, the exclusion of French competition, and the "Zamindari" intermediate tenancy of some lands.

    What Clive created from this was the British Empire in India.

  38. >>Because this thread is about the Union<<

    I meant another thread, Sorry, thought that was clear. And it was a direct tie into the history of the UK.

  39. ‘Andrew, the Irish weren’t even asked if they want to be part of the Union. Thats the point.’

    The Aborigines and the native Red Indians weren’t asked whether they wanted to be part of Australia and the US respectively. It does nothing to undermine the legitimacy of those two states.

    The Scots weren’t asked, either. It doesn’t change what the UK has achieved or its legitimacy as a world power. If countries were formed on the basis of people consultation the world map would look very different to what it does now. You people were taken into the UK and united under it for the very first time; you have now been 86 years outside of it. You may not be a territorial appendage of the UK, but you are certainly a cultural one in so many respects.

    Move on!

    Shallbeslaves

    Every advanced country has its multitude of problems. It doesn’t lessen what the UK was or is. As for your figure on EU purchasing power, I’d appreciate some substantive figures rather than mere words.

  40. But then again, there are positive things about the UK – it is very open to immigrants. It is very tolerant of those who run it down.

    It brought us things like ‘Ibiza Uncovered’

    It produces some of the worlds fines cultured individuals – Did anyone see the Jeremy Kyle Show this morning?

    And of course, last but not least – it pays for the BBC !!

    Thanks Union and Happy Birthday!!

    PS Andrew, Did you know that roughly the same amount of Brits emigrate to nice countries each year as the amount of foreign born residents come into the UK!!

    Where are we all headed sir!!

    Happy Birthday Union!

  41. So Andrew,

    Will you be proud when Charles the adulterer accedes the throne?

    Will you swear loyalty to the personal embodiment of your nation?

    The same individual who told his mistress that he wanted to be her Tampon?? Then married this this women he was having an adulturous affair with?

    She will be your Queen (technically but the won’t say so in public!!)

    And he talks to plants.

    Will you be proud???

    And tell me this – With all that is going on at present, English Nationalism on the rise, Scots chomping at the bit to get away from the Union, Seperatists in NI on the brink of power, A joint secretariat with the Irish Govt running NI.
    Increasing power to Brussels etc etc….

    Do you think the Union will last another 300 years? Or will the UK be a memory then. Something Muslim Children in Bradford will learn about at the Local Madras???

  42. ‘Do you think the Union will last another 300 years?’

    In one word – ABSOLUTELY!

  43. >>The Scots weren’t asked, either. <<

    And what two nations have spent most of the time since being in it, arguing about getting out of it.

    Again, this comes down to religion. If the UK has been united under a Catholic head of state, with protestants being the second rate citizens, I bet you would have had different results.

    With the religious history between these two islands, a union heavily influenced by religion, was never likely to succeed.

  44. In one word – DELUDED !!!

  45. ‘In one word – ABSOLUTELY!’

    Andrew, it was the UK union he was talking about, not the EU! 🙂

  46. Andrew,

    Please anwer my other Questions sir.

    Will you be proud when Charles is you King?

    Will you pledge allegience to him?

  47. shallbeslaves might well be writing in espanol soon enough, or arabian……. we shall see what becomes of these islands, those who glot over their fall will not be far behind.

    from blowjob bill to peado pearce (i could write for the star) no nation is without its questionable leaders,

  48. ‘Will you be proud when Charles is your King?’

    He furthers the instution of the Monarchy. Of course.

    I leave delusion to the Irish republican movement.

  49. ‘He furthers the instution of the Monarchy. Of course.’

    Such blind allegiance – It’s the stuff that put the great into Great Britain.

  50. My father came to this place from India. He had nothing. They gave us house. Money each fortnight. School.

    But even we can see that this place is not what it was and is headed south more and more each day.

    Grow up and be realistic about the place.

  51. Blind allegience to an imbecile.

    This place really will be the laughing stock of the world when Charles the Adulter is King.

    Andrew why pledge allegience to someone who is clearly a big eared idiot? Eve his father detests him.

  52. does it not alarm you that the nation to whom you turned to for charity after the legacy of your own fathers had failed you should be ‘heading south’ ? you are celebrating the extinguishing of a light that guided you to a better dawn, whom will you turn to when it is no more ?

    besides, there are many of us who feel that our lot will improve by regaining the old standards, maybe one day soon our labours will come to fruition.

    ps, there is no such thing as blind allegiance over her, we have constitutional monarchy, which is why you are permitted to talk so freely and disrespectfully to those whom you owe your everything.

  53. ‘It’s the stuff that put the great into Great Britain.’

    No, the geographical size of the island in relation to its smaller immediate neighbour is what put the ‘great’ into Great Britain.

    Shallbeslaves

    Have you thought of emigrating to your father’s land?

  54. Andrew – terrific post.

  55. Since the King is basically a symbol, Prince Charles’ ears and IQ shouldn’t worry anybody. Sweden has a dyslexic king and they aren’t the laughing stock of the world.

    That honour is reserved for certain vast nations that actually vote their idiot presidents into office.

  56. ‘No, the geographical size of the island in relation to its smaller immediate neighbour is what put the ‘great’ into Great Britain.’

    LOL – That makes Ireland "Little Britain" so, no, but yes, but not but.

    It could also be reference to Brittany in France.

  57. Shallbeslaves – heres a suggestion. Why dont you piss off? I can think of a good nos of eastern euros and brazilians friends with a hard-working, can-do, positive respectful attitude towards this country. If the country is stuffed to the rafters id sooner see the back of the likes of you. Along with all the chavs. Seriously. If you’re not part of a way to solve it you are part of the problem pal. ‘Grow up’ and be ‘realistic’ enough to get lost. Preferably ASAP. We need the housing.

  58. This has to be one of the funniest articles, I’ve read on this site for a long time.

  59. Thank God you popped along when you did Todd. We so nearly bought it all.

  60. Tell me why, Todd? And don’t forget to write your response in English.

  61. Andrew,
    "No, the geographical size of the island in relation to its smaller immediate neighbour is what put the ‘great’ into Great Britain."

    It’s actually to differentiate it from Britanny in France but don’t let facts get in your way.

    You guys have been going downhill fast ever since the Irish went their own way.

  62. That’s not what I’ve read, pal. BTW, it’s spelt Brittany but don’t let crap spelling get in the way of a good rant.

    For 75 out of the last 86 years the Irish have been the poor man and economic laughing stock of Europe. When you have equalled the years of economic prosperity with the years you spent languishing at the foot of every European economic league, you might have something to crow about.

  63. >>For 75 out of the last 86 years the Irish have been the poor man and economic laughing stock of Europe.<<

    Ye didnt leave us much to work with mate!!
    Ye left us with an economy which was practically 100% reliant on Britain.

    Couple that with the idiots that ye DIDNT shoot. We hadnt much of a chance

  64. Heres one that confuses me a little, and maybe the contributors might clear this up.

    Why are the individual nations not represented as the UK in all sports ? How come in soccer, rugby and other sports, the constituent parts of the UK are allowed compete as individual nations ?

  65. From Wikipedia:

    Great Britain may well be a translation of the French term Grande Bretagne, which is used in France to distinguish Britain from Brittany (in French: Bretagne), which had been settled in late Roman times by Romano-Celtic troops from Maximus’ army and later by refugees from Roman Britain, who were then under attack by the Anglo-Saxons. Since the English court and aristocracy was largely French-speaking for about two centuries after the Norman Conquest of 1066, the French term naturally passed into English usage.

    See
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Britain

  66. ‘Ye didnt leave us much to work with mate!!’

    There wasn’t much there to begin with! In 1921 it was completely reliant on Britain. Today it is completely reliant on EU membership.

    As for the sporting question: football and rugby both have their beginnings in the UK. When the respective international governing bodies were created, the British sneakily argued for the privilege of being represented as constituent parts as opposed to a single nation.

  67. Brittany was settled by Britons. The name derives from them – it was ‘given’ to western france when settled and then returned via the french court system in this country to seperate the larger geographical britain from western france.

  68. >>In 1921 it was completely reliant on Britain. <<

    Where does the blame lie for that!

    That was one of the reasons that the Irish decided that they need to leave the union. The Irish nation could not develop itself, unless it had economic freedom from the UK. Same argument that the scots are using now. You have practically agreed above, that Irish membership of the Union left us with practically nothing. Your backing up my argument!

    >>Today it is completely reliant on EU membership.<<

    Ha ha, funny guy. Research the Irish economy a bit, your above statement is plain silly.

  69. Again, with the bad spelling Kloot.. apologies

  70. The question is Andrew,

    Does anything need to be done to preserve the Union, and if so.

    If not, do you expect the nationalism that has rared its head in all off the constituent parts bar NI, to just go away.

    How can those nationalists be appeased within the UK. What compromises can be made to encourage them to stay. Are any compromises likely to encourage nationalism further

    Honestly, im not one of those sitting on the bench waiting for the UK to break up. But I do find it interesting that people are not willing to accept the dangers that are lurking at the moment and to attempt to confront them.

  71. I wouldn’t think that England needed to belittle its neighbors to assert its own achievements, but perhaps the provoker has been provoked. One can admire the accomplishments and contributions without having to ignore the periods that were less glorious. It would be like presenting a history of the United States that ignored such dark perios as slavery and prohibition.

  72. So Andrew was wrong on what ‘Great Britain’ meant. He thought it was in relation to Ireland??

    Aww Bless.

    So many things to get wrong. But at least he is corrected now, and now he knows how the country he claims to love really got it’s name!!

    He once said that Ulster Protestants had been in Ireland as long as the Gaelic population.

    I don’t think anyone had told him or taught him about the plantations!!

    Still, this forum may ad to and improve knowledge !!!;)

  73. "Shallbeslaves"

    This continual correcting I’m having to do on this site with the likes of yourself and the deluded LIB2016 on Slugger is really becoming sooo tedious.
    For God’s sake check the actual statistics before making yourself look foolish.

    "GDP and Purchasing power etc the UK is now one of the poorest in the EU 15 group (which excludes eastern europe)"

    How can I put this politely?
    I can’t. That statement is basically bollxxcks.

    I consult my Economist World if Figures for 2005:
    The UK has the fifth biggest GDP in the world after USA, Japan, China and Germany,1556.3 billion $ if you’re interested. Don’t know which atlas you’re using, but I reckon only one of those countries is in the "EU15 group".

    "Purchasing Power" er….meaning what exactly?.
    If you mean GDP/PP the UK is seventh, behind Germany and France with a lower population than both.

    Whilst I wait for you to deliver your explanation to these statistics, here’s a couple more stats to keep you going:

    The Uk is:
    1. 4th biggest exporter in the world
    2. 3rd biggest invisible trader
    3. 3rd biggest stock market capitalisation

    And it goes on…

    Do yourself afavour and stick to the "Charlie has Big Ears therefore your country’s crap argument", you’re struggling on every other front.

  74. ‘He once said that Ulster Protestants had been in Ireland as long as the Gaelic population.’

    The ancestors of many of those Planters existed on the island of Ireland BEFORE the gaels. I do love my country, dspite its flaws. I certainly won’t take criticism lightly from people in a country I consider to be inferior.

    Kloot

    There was little in what is now modern-day Ireland to benefit the rest of the UK in terms of raw materials. That is not an argument either for the Irish to have remained in the Union or to separate from it. Kamchatka has nothing to offer Moscow economically. It doesn’t translate into an argument about whether the peninsula should stay or leave the Russian Federation.

    Ultimately, separatism is about a state of mind. Irish Catholicism chose to fracture the Union. It’s a done deal. That state of mind does not exist in anything like the intensity in any part of the contemporary United Kingdom. Irrespective of whether separatists can be won over or not, they do not exist in the numbers in any part of the Union to muster strength to tear it apart.

  75. >>Irish Catholicism chose to fracture the Union. <<

    Do you accept they had reason ? I bet you would never agree to live in a UK where the Head of state was Catholic and where non catholics were barred from holding that position.

  76. Andrew: One can surely celebrate something that occured 300 years ago without reverting to a mentality of the same period. Ireland is a nation that your own country is presently at peace with. The governments of the two nations are presently engaged in a genuine effort to resolve tensions that have existed for centuries. That evolution is a tribute to both nations.

  77. I think we should invade – just for the laugh.

  78. David -if you have ever been to Dublin and witnessed the number of British Stag parties and Hen nights you would know that the invasion is well underway.

  79. "It is Europe’s (excluding Russia) foremost military power and has ties to the United States unequalled by any other country."

    For which we do thank you. (Well, most of us anyway.)

    We may be "two people separated by a common language" but we do tend to get things done when we work together. The D-day invasion of Europe being perhaps the best example, though not the only one.

  80. Mahons,

    I am familiar with the Templebar and confirm what you say.

  81. >>I think we should invade – just for the laugh.<<

    Can you make it a tuesday. Mondays arent good for me…

  82. >>I am familiar with the Templebar and confirm what you say.<<

    Having been to Liverpool an number of times, ive seen the opposite in effect also.

    I can never understand the attraction of Templebar. You get fleeced for a pint and its as fake Oirish as it gets.

  83. Andrew,
    "That’s not what I’ve read, pal. BTW, it’s spelt Brittany but don’t let crap spelling get in the way of a good rant."

    Sorry, must have been thinking of a girl I want to know when I typed that post. Happens to the best of us.

    Where did you read this funny thing about Great Britain, The Beano?

    Give me source of where you read that the "Great" in Great Britain was to differentiate it from the island of Ireland.

    Methinks it is you who are ranting here. But you can always prove me wrong and provide a source. That’s what they are there for.

    I am waiting. Any source of any merit will do. Go Andrew, show me you aren’t talking through your hate, sorry hat.

  84. Garfield

    I once read it in a book, whose title I can’t even remember. The book may well have been incorrect. So what?

    Using the slightest issue or possible mistake to try to make a point really does show you up for what you are.

  85. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/6267881.stm

    Scotland not as expensive to run afterall. Reminds one of the maxim, lies, Damn lies and Home Office Statistics! 😉

  86. Andrew,
    I’m a celt so thanks for reminding to write in your native language 🙂

    I think its funny because you unquestionably believe it.

    One eg. The great superpower that was Great Britain was one of the main contributors to starting WW1.

  87. ‘I’m a celt’.

    Yeah, something like that!

    ‘I think its funny because you unquestionably believe it.’

    It’s not about what I ‘believe’. My article is a snapshot of modern Britain with facts thrown in.

    ‘The great superpower that was Great Britain was one of the main contributors to starting WW1.’

    No, WW1 was started when Arch Duke Ferdinand was shot by a student in Sarajevo.

    Is that the sort of tripe you Oirish are taught in your schools? My, my.

  88. Andrew,
    you should be grateful that people correct you, not resent them. It’s essential in the learning process.

    As for your claim that you read it in a book, I very much doubt it. I can’t imagine any book making such an error.

    Do you know what your "so what" comment says about you? Sloppy + inaccurate.

  89. ‘you should be grateful that people correct you, not resent them.’

    I reserve resentment for people I consider important. That’s you out!

    ‘As for your claim that you read it in a book, I very much doubt it.’

    Believe whatever you like, chum. It’s a matter of supreme indifference to me.

    ‘Do you know what your "so what" comment says about you? Sloppy + inaccurate.’

    Do you know what you constant sniping says about you? A petulant little pillock.

  90. Andrew,
    you were incorrect and seem incapable of accepting it. You then resort to name calling.

  91. I may have been incorrect and, if so, I gladly accept it.

    What I don’t accept, however, are people who hide in the wings doing nothing other than waiting for the writers here to make insignificant mistakes, and then rushing forth to correct them.

    These are the same people who never contribute anything worthwhile to this debate. This thread is about the unity of my country, not some etymological demonstration of arrogance.

  92. Andrew,
    you aren’t looking for inclusive debate.

    If you did want an inclusive and mature debate about these islands, you wouldn’t automatically exclude the democratic right of the Irish people to decide their own destiny, for a start.

    You can’t have debate without mutual respect and you don’t afford people the necessary respect to encourage debate.

  93. ‘If you did want an inclusive and mature debate about these islands, you wouldn’t automatically exclude the democratic right of the Irish people to decide their own destiny, for a start.’

    The ‘Irish people’ decided their own destiny back in 1921. There’s nothing left to decide. They’ve had they’re going to get.

    ‘You can’t have debate without mutual respect and you don’t afford people the necessary respect to encourage debate.’

    I afford nothing to the shitheels who praise and excuse terrorists who murdered hundreds of my fellow countrymen in the name of an unachievable objective.

    Garfield, as you seem to be dragging up any little point with which to further your need for an argument, I am closing this thread. You don’t seem to understand that I have the last word on this site. Now move along and take your pettiness elsewhere.

    Bye for now.