Born in Britain?

Following Gordon Brown’s recent push for Britishness, the Sunday Times finds his home town of Kirkcaldy isn’t so fond of the idea.

  • Crataegus

    George

    If it would help I would be the last to object.

  • George

    Crataegus,
    I think it would, especially in Britain. It would send out a signal to those in the UK (and there are many) who continue to consider the Irish fight for independence as something without honour or worth and Irish independence itself as something that Britain deigned to bestow upon us as benign parents.

    It might help to make these people realise there are still wounds to be healed and they must honour us as much as their own if we are to truly prosper together.

    Most importanly from an Irish point of view, it would also put the Queen on our side (the Irish state and its citizens) for good and all.

    The Queen coming as an equal and treating us and our state as an equal. Can’t see any downside.

    A quirky side-effect would be that it would completely confuse those few (and it would be a very small number) demonstrating against her visit to see her pay her respects at Glasnevin.

  • Betty Boo

    Crataegus,
    I didn’t drag him in I googled him in.

    This thread reminds me of an incident ages ago where friends and neighbours were sitting together over some nice food. An argument broke out over the name given to some of the sausages.
    We just came from different places but were eating the same daft sausages with names we couldn’t agree on.

  • Baluba

    ”The Queen coming as an equal and treating us and our state as an equal.”

    Not likely. Her own loyal subjects aren’t ‘equal’ to her.

    An acquaintance of mine was photographing her on her recent visit and was instructed that he may NOT look her in the eye, he may NOT engage her in conversation and he MUST remain turned away from her until she was ready for the photo.

    Being from the nearly upper-class estate of Lenadoon in West Belfast ;o), he was obviously taken aback that he wasn’t on equal footing.

    She can come round our house and peel some spuds if she wants to show she’s ‘equal’. The whole institution’s a joke.

  • Crataegus

    George

    The DUP would be in trauma for the next decade.

    Betty Boo

    These threads are exquisitely surreal. Its like reading Dadaist poetry.
    howl howl howl howl howl howl howl howl
    howl howl howl howl howl howl howl howl
    Who still considers himself very likeable

    Tristan Tzara

    Says it all.

    Baluba

    She can come round our house and peel some spuds if she wants to show she’s ‘equal’.

    Superb first part of this thread I can truly relate with.

  • Biffo

    Nick A

    “However, that term is frequently misused (especially everytime some twit in the Daily Mail writes about putting the Great back in Great Britain)…”

    Or when the loyal people of Ulster stick GB stickers on the back of their cars

  • Or when the loyal people of Ulster stick GB stickers on the back of their cars

    That’s a good one I hadn’t thought off… but yes, that is obviously incorrect.

    And given I have already proved how anal I am about historical definitions of locations, don’t get me started on Unionist abuse of the term Ulster!

    Oh and few more things whilst I’m posting. Although some comments have correctly said that Ptolemy was born in Greece, he is actually regarded as a Roman geographer and not an Ancient Greek one, as by the time of his life, Greece was a part of the Roman Empire.

    As for the comments who questioned why he should have any baring on the discussion – I thought we were debating the etymology of the term “British Isles”. The man who invented the phrase would seem to be highly relevant.

  • Brian Boru

    “If you are referring to our wee spot of Europe, you must be ignorant to the fact that our country is not called “The North”, but instead Northern Ireland. You are obviously oblivious also to the fact that there are almost one million Protestants who live in this country, the vast majority of, long with a sizeable minority of the Roman Catholic and ethnic minority communities, who identify themselves as “British”… ”

    Well I have many times heard Northern Unionists calling NI “The North” on the radio and I’m sure you have too. They certainly tend to call the Republic “The South”. I will continue using the term.

    A sizeable minority of Northern Catholics don’t call themselves “British”. And I’d be interested to know where you source your claim on ethnic-minorities.

  • Brian Boru

    65% of NI Catholics call themselves “Irish” and 24% “Northern Irish” in polls btw.

  • Betty Boo

    Nick,you may have given me unintentionally green light.

    “In the time of Ptolemy, the Scoti occupied much of Ulster, including (some say) county Monaghan. Ultimately, the Romans used the word Scotia refer to refer to all of Ireland (Roman writers referrred to Ireland both as Scotia and Hibernia.), and Scoti to refer to all Irishmen. Early in the first millennium, the community of Dal Riada included both the north and northeast part of what is now county Antrim in Ireland and what is now county Argyll in Scotland. Travel over the narrow channel of water that separated the two parts of Dal Riada was easier than communication over land with other parts of Ireland. The seat of the king of the Dal Riada was in Ireland until about 490 A.D. when Fergus Mor MacEarca moved to what is now Scotland. For centuries before then, however, the kings of Dal Riada exercised control from Ireland over the Dal Riada in Scotland and, despite their location in what is now two countries, the people of Dal Riada were one community.”
    http://www.magoo.com/hugh/scotskings.html

    Crataegus, get some susages.

  • Brian Boru

    Yes and with the term “Scot” coming from the Irish word for “raider” (Scaoth) it is clear those originally called Scots were not a separate group from the Irish overall.

  • Brian Boru

    Backing up my case is the following article showing that 16.7% of people in West-Central Scotland are descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King of Ireland (379-405AD). http://unitedirelander.blogspot.com/2006/01/irish-warlord-boasts-3-million.html

    “Up to three million men around the world could be descended from a prolific medieval Irish king, according to a new genetic study.

    It suggests that the 5th-century warlord known as “Niall of the Nine Hostages” may be the ancestor of about one in 12 Irishmen, say researchers at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Niall established a dynasty of powerful chieftains that dominated the island for six centuries.

    In a study of the Y chromosome – which is only passed down through the male line – scientists found a hotspot in northwest Ireland where 21.5% carry Niall’s genetic fingerprint, says Brian McEvoy, one of the team at Trinity. This was the main powerbase of the Ui Neills, which literally translated means “descendants of Niall”.

    McEvoy says the Y chromosome appeared to trace back to one person.

    “There are certain surnames that seem to have come from Ui Neill. We studied if there was any association between those surnames and the genetic profile. It is his (Niall’s) family.”

    The study says that Niall “resided at the cusp of mythology and history but our results do seem to confirm the existence of a single early medieval progenitor to the most powerful and enduring Irish dynasty”.

    The results also lend support to surviving genealogical and oral traditions of Gaelic Ireland and are a “powerful illustration of the potential link between prolificacy and power”.

    The study says the chromosome has also been found in 16.7% of men in western and central Scotland and has turned up in multiple North American population samples, including in 2% of European-American New Yorkers.

    “Given historically high rates of Irish emigration to North America and other parts of the world, it seems likely that the number of descendants worldwide runs to perhaps two to three million males,” the study says.

    It compares the result with similar research that suggested that Mongol emperor Genghis Khan has 16 million descendants after conquering most of Asia in the 13th century.

    Though medieval Ireland was Christian, divorce was allowed, people married earlier and concubinage was practised. Illegitimate sons were claimed and their rights protected by law.

    “As in other polygynous societies, the siring of offspring was related to power and prestige.” The study points out that one of the O’Neill dynasty chieftains who died in 1423 had 18 sons with 10 different women and counted 59 grandsons in the male line.

    Niall of the Nine Hostages, who became high king of Ireland, got his name from using the taking of hostages as a strategy for subjugating his opponent chieftains. He is known in folklore as a raider of the British and French coasts. Supposedly slain in the English Channel or in Scotland, his descendants were the most powerful rulers of Ireland until the 11th century.”

  • Brian Boru

    This is the original link I believe:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8600

  • Crataegus

    The problem with genetics is once you go back far enough you find that instead of being related to one person you are in fact related to half the world.

    Forgive me I am going to use the terms Ireland and England to illustrate a simple pattern but in truth in the 4th to 9th centuries I doubt if these identities had gelled. The political and physical infra structure were not in place. Therefore that period is crucial in understanding the formation of the identities that later became the various Nations.

    For me one of the defining moments in the history of these islands was the conflict between the two early churches, the Irish model was replaced by the Roman model in England and from that time, in many ways, Irish influence on these islands went into decline. The church which in England helped unite the country did not have the same influence in early Ireland. Also England (in whatever guise) then looked increasingly to the East. English identity as a concept probably started to form in the conflict against the Danes. In Ireland there was merely endless internal squabbles and no uniting outside enemy. The Norman invasion simply reinforced both the Eastern outlook of England and the unity of the country and brought in an era when relationships with France were pre-eminent.

    For 1000 years the English perceptions of Ireland has been based on the possibility of the threat of invasion from that quarter and possible Irish allegiances with other European powers. Irish leaders have been dire at foreign policy and as the island was seldom united in any coherent purpose was politically and militarily weak.

    In recent times the diversity has been further increased by immigration from around the world and emigration to other parts. We are hopelessly inter-related with far reaching contacts and the sooner we accept that the better. We are British, Irish, European, Ulster Scot and whatever else we feel. We are mixed and diverse and our heritage is not merely one of these but the many and our Diaspora is global. We are one species.

  • Crat, while accepting all that, how comes the prodses eyes are further apart, and the taigses eyes are closer together?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “the British have gotten over losing the War of Independence”…

    So George, you recognise then that Ulster is a separate, independent nation under British jurisdiction that Eire lays no claim to?

    If not however, and you aspire to a “United Ireland”, then all the lives lost in your “War Of Independence” were all in vain as the protaganists failed in their dual quest to “free” Ireland from British “Imperialist” rule whilst keeping the island “United”…

  • Betty Boo

    CL,
    You say this as if we are from now on frozen in time.

  • Mike

    Gerry O’Sullivan –

    “What’s your cut-off point for percentage of population? 90%? 80%?

    80% or thereabouts of the population of the Iberian Peninsula is Spanish. Using your criteria, maybe we should refer to it as the Spanish Peninsula?”

    Well, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are referred to as the Indian sub-continent…

    Biffo –

    “Or when the loyal people of Ulster stick GB stickers on the back of their cars”

    ‘GB’ on car stickers is used to refer to the United Kingdom, not just Great Britain.

  • Crataegus

    Pope

    Eye spacing is probably in inverse proportion to ego times a factor related to the exposure of your ancestral home to south westerly winds. Obvious!

  • Well, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are referred to as the Indian sub-continent…

    Can’t imagine that the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are too chuffed with that arrangement either… 🙂

  • Betty Boo

    Your previous comment was much appreciated but as you can see with our pope, some are still a bit behind with their vision.
    Unable to agree on common ground and necessities leaves every place in the dumps and that is visible in the slow progress

  • DK

    Poor Ptolemy,

    Some have called him Greek, others Roman. Surely with the name “Ptolemy” he is a Macedonian (like Cleopatra – the last of the Ptolemys who ruled Egypt – descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals)

  • CL
    “you recognise then that Ulster is a separate, independent nation under British jurisdiction that Éire lays no claim to”

    Only 6 counties of Ulster are under British jurisdiction.

    Everyday’s a school day on Slugger my friend-you learn something new every day and I am happy to teach if you wish to learn! 🙂

  • Biffo

    Mike

    “GB’ on car stickers is used to refer to the United Kingdom, not just Great Britain.”

    No, the car stickers don’t refer to the UK, they refer to Great Britain.

    Northern Ireland isn’t in Great Britain. Most British people, wherever they’re from, don’t know what Great Britain is.

    For people in England, Scotland and Wales the sticker would be correct anyway.

    But people from Northern Ireland are caught out because the sticker is obviously inappropriate.

    “Well, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are referred to as the Indian sub-continent…”

    Yes they are referred to that by English speakers in the British Isles. But I would be extemely surprised if that geographic entity has a name that translates to anything remotely like “Indian sub-continent” either in Pakistan or Bangladesh, and possibly not even in India.

    Which brings me to my next question. Anybody know what “Indian sub-continent” is in Pakistan or Bangladesh?

  • Betty Boo

    Biffo,
    I don’t but we could start with Ptomely.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:PtomelyAsiaDetail.jpg
    and the Indo – Greek Kingdom:
    “The Indo-Greek Kingdom (or sometimes Greco-Indian Kingdom) covered various parts of northwest and northern India from 180 BCE to around 10 CE, and was ruled by a succession of more than thirty Greek kings, often in conflict with each other. The kingdom was founded when the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded India in 180 BCE, ultimately creating an entity which seceded from the powerful Greco-Bactrian Kingdom centered in Bactria (today’s northern Afghanistan).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Greek_Kingdom

  • Brian Boru

    “you recognise then that Ulster is a separate, independent nation under British jurisdiction that Éire lays no claim to”

    I recognise that 6 of the 9 counties of Ulster are in a separate jurisdiction to the Republic of Ireland. I reject though the idea that Northern Nationalists are not part of the same Irish nation as me as they are. Mary McAleese is from NI and she is not a foreigner to us.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    Maca:

    Sounds like the Greek response over Macedonia.

    What of the irony that political entity Ireland/Éire means not all of the island of Ireland/Éire?

    What of Fódla and Banba?

    Atholl in Scotland was from Ath Fotla, or “Second Ireland”, or “Ford of Ireland”, or “New Ireland”.

    So why was Fotla used, rather than Éire? Do Eriu, Fódla, and Banba actual refer to regions of the island, and not the whole island? Does Banba refer to the river Bann?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Nick A,
    “don’t get me started on Unionist abuse of Ulster”…
    Will you elaborate please? In what way do my co-idealists “abuse” the term “Ulster”?

    Betty Boo,
    You remarked;
    “You say this as if we are from now on frozen in time”.

    No I “say this” because local and national elections tell us, without a shadow of a doubt, there is a clear majority in Northern Ireland who wish to maintain her integral link with the rest of the United Kingdom, and that this is not going to change in the short-medium term. I also say this because there are thousands of indigenous men and women who have even gone one step further than merely voting for this, by joining organisations to show they are willing to GIVE THEIR LIVES rather than live in a 32-county socialist republic- a cold-house for British, Loyalist culture where Protestants would be treated as second, or even third-class citizens behind Roman Catholics and ethnic minorities…

    Maca,
    Just to make you aware. Like most other Unionists,Loyalists, or whatever box you want to put us into, when I refer to “Ulster” I am describing Tyrone, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Antrim, Down and Armagh. I do not recognise the three counties under the jurisdiction of Dail Eireann.
    Taking my lead from Bill Craig in the 1970’s, I would react favourably to the changing of the official title “Northern Ireland” to “Ulster”, or a dual name, just as the Republic is called “Eire”/”Republic of Ireland”…I have mentioned this before on Slugger.

  • Betty Boo

    CL,
    I hope you are aware that giving your life for your beliefs pre-empts a violent situation including an anticipated willingness to kill.
    And it is fair to make this presumption since there are not many examples in the past where larger groups of people have been murdered without any retaliation in the form of further loss of lives. And under such circumstances you have entered what is known as a lethal spiral.
    And I thought you just came out of one.

  • CL,

    “rather than live in a 32-county socialist republic- a cold-house for British, Loyalist culture where Protestants would be treated as second, or even third-class citizens behind Roman Catholics and ethnic minorities… ”

    This is the sort of scare mongering that would have afflicted the generations before yours and mine my friend… no such thing would happen in the event of reunification, I choose to give you more credit than actually believing this

  • jfd

    these Islands : offends no-one, sums it up nicely, so obviously it’s a massive non-starter then…

    North Wester European Isles: nuetral, precise, accurate if a tad boring… like Switzerland. Where did you go last summer, oh… I toured the North Western European Islezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    British Isles: Out-dated and incorrect as like nearly 5 million inhabitants of this Island who hold Irish citizenship I’m Simply not British. That doesn’t mean I am anti-British, as I like, admire and respect our near neighbours, but I’m just not British. My passport says different. Simple fact.

    Surely our corner of Europe’s official naming should refect this simple fact?

    British & Irish Isles: most apt at spanning soveriegnty, national identity, shared space. Implies equality, diveristy and proximity.

    Who really cares about what the Greeks, Romans or the Greco-Romans called us. Arcane factoids a solution does not make.

    In re-naming these Islands, we a) respect the multilateral nature of ‘shared’ identities within the two land masses, b) celebrate our close proximity by putting poltical identities on a equal footing c)move past narrow nationalisms’ and out dated imperialism that has stiffled generations on both sides of the Irish Sea

  • harpo

    ‘I have often wondered how Unionists describe themselves as British if they don’t come from Britian

    Could you explain it for me?’

    1. Britain is shorthand for the UK. What you mean is that unionists don’t come from ‘Great Britain’ – the larger of the island in the British Isles. They do come from the other British isle. It is now called Ireland.

    Great Britain comes from what a Roman geographer called the larger isle, and guess what the English translation of what he called the smaller isle is – Little Britain.

    This all fits in with the view of some unionists that Irish means coming from the island of Ireland,’ and doesn’t have the legal political meaning of belonging to the ROI. Thus one can be both Irish and British.

    But some other unionists take the legal political
    meaning of Irish and thus do not count themselves as being Irish. Thus they are British. Since to many – especially nationalists – being Irish definitely means not being British.

    Before partition of course unionists were happy to be called Irish as all of Ireland was part of the UK, so unionists could happily count themselves as being Irish and also being part of the British family. There was no conflict between being Irish and being British at that time. The former did not exclude the other. But nowadays to some it does.

    2. The general rule is that if you are born in the UK you are automatically British. NI is part of the UK, so unionists are born British. That is the law, and while you might not like it, that’s reality. People born in NI are British because the law says so.

    Now you can argue about the definition of British, but that’s the way it is. That’s the law. I didn’t invent the word British, or what it means in UK law today, but them’s the facts.

  • Can we get a slugger poll with options for the renaming of our little archipelago?

    I still would like to persue the Anglo-Celtic Isles (and I think the hyphen is important).

    Others prefer the NWEI or NWEA, which for me are a bit long winded

    Or maybe the British-Irish Isles

    (I would suggest that British Isles not be an option, due to lack of cross community support)

    Mick, if you’re reading this how about 2 polls to make up the new name…

    should the first part be “North Western Atlantic”, “British-Irish” or “Anglo-Celtic” and the second poll be should the secon part be “Isles”, “Islands” or “Archipelago”

    I’m sure other people could come up with other suggestions, then we could have a cross community campaign to have them renamed on maps n stuff, at the very least it’d be a bit of crack…

  • harpo

    ‘Two people, both from Ireland have a child. What nationality is the child?

    I would say Irish but Unionism somehow says British and I just wonder why?’

    Chris Gaskin

    Which part of Ireland are they from? You are trying to be cute and pretend that it doesn’t matter which part of the island they come from, but it does.

    Whether you like it or not, the island was partitioned, and there are different laws in each part. So if the child is born in the part of Ireland that is in the UK the child is automatically British. You may not like that, but it’s the law.

    ‘People are agreed though that Britian is made up of England Scotalnd and Wales.’

    No – that is Great Britain. Britain is the UK.

    ‘British Isles include Ireland

    So you say, many don’t agree with that.’

    Indeed he does say it and so do I and so do many others too. What is your point here? That ‘the many’ get to dictate the way things are? Which many gets their way where you have 2 opposing lots of many?

    Do you see how this works? We can all define things the way that suits our political agenda – you did it by claiming that Britain does not include NI, but then you question people using the term British Isles. You can also make up your personal definition of British so that unionists can’t be British despite the fact that you know very well that UK law says that they are British. But it is just your personal definition of British, not the legal one.

  • Harpo…

    Manx people are British citizens, and the Isle of Mann is not part of the UK. You can be a British citizen without being from either Britain or the rest of the UK.

    By the way, if Ireland is British why was the UK called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland? Instead of the United Kingdom of Britain?

  • While we’re on the subject of controversial terminology, I noted that Jeremy Whittle (a cycling correspondent please note, not a political journalist),writing in todays Times on the news that London will host the opening stage of the 2007 Tour de France says the following:

    “The Tour de France has visited the British Isles three times before, most recently in Dublin in 1998, but this will be the first time that the…race has begun on the British mainland”.

    A slap on the wrist for Jeremy?

  • harpo

    ‘Furthermore, it was a term created by outsiders (in this case the Romans) purely for descriptive reasons.’

    Nick A.

    But isn’t the term Irish used in exactly this way these days? As a descriptive term meaning ‘coming from the island of Ireland’ as opposed to any legal meaning.

    The legal definitions of Irish and British are there for all to see, and nationalists delight in proclaiming that they are Irish only and not British, as if the 2 are wholly exclusive terms.

    Yet when it comes to advocating a united Ireland and/or goading unionists, many nationalists revert to the descriptive use of Irish, ignoring the legal. And so anyone from the island is Irish, and can’t be British.

    I’d say that the problem is wholly a nationalist one. While they get upset if anyone dares call them British, Northern Irish or anything else that they see as demeaning their Irishness, they do exactly that to unionists in order to demean the Britishness of unionists.

    This whole thread started with the snipey ‘how come you call yourself British when you aren’t from Britain?’ attitude. It’s pathetic.

    The obvious comeback would be ‘how come you call yourself Irish when you aren’t from the Republic of Ireland?’. But it’s equally pathetic.

    Why can’t we all be what we are without someone else telling us what they have decided we are? I’d ask Chris Gaskin if he accepts that NI unionists are British? I accept that he is Irish, so can he respect my position? Or will he revert to the snide ‘but how can you be British when you don’t come from Britain?’ remarks?

  • Harpo,

    I respect that you are British, however it’s got nothing to do with the so called “British Isles” it’s because you are british, you define yourself as such, fair enough, I don’t care if you come from China, you’re still British, if you don’t want to be Irish also fair enough, it’s your call (you’re missing out on some great fun paddys day but anyway…).

    What I object to is the term British Isles to describe our archipelago and the inherent implication that all things therin are British when this is not the case. Understand?

  • harpo

    ‘(I would suggest that British Isles not be an option, due to lack of cross community support)’

    Pope

    So you are limiting the choices, as nationalists usually do.

    It’s like the old nationalist question to unionists – the question is ‘what sort of united Ireland do you want?’ and not the simple ‘what do you want?’. No free choice and a limited range of options instead.

    Let’s see if there is a lack of cross-community support as you claim. Let’s not just assume that.

    If there is to be a poll, are you saying that everyone has to declare themselves to be either unionist, nationalist or other and then there has to be support across all 3 groups?

    I say have a free poll – with British Isles being one of the options.

  • harpo

    ‘By the way, if Ireland is British why was the UK called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland? Instead of the United Kingdom of Britain?’

    Pope

    I don’t know. What’s the answer? Maybe they had a Slugger poll at the time (or the equivalent) and came up with that name. On a cross community basis. Why is anything called anything? Because someone/some lot of people decided on the name at some point, that’s why.

    Why would it be called the United Kingdom of Britain anyway? Why not just Britain? Or the British Isles?

    I presume that the namers used the terms for the two big islands that were in common use at the time. Great Britain and Ireland. Both of them being BRITISH isles. Another common name of the time. When they were united the Britishness of both was formalized.

  • “I say have a free poll – with British Isles being one of the options.”

    Well I say have a free poll over the entirety of Ireland about the continued existance of Northern Ireland within the UK… would you abide by that result?

    It’s not an option to protect your rights as a member of a sizeable minority on this island, I suggest restricting the option of “British Isles” because it is objectionable to a sizeable minority of people across these islands.

    Further I would say that any of the member countries of the archipelligo, namely UK, Ireland, Mann could hold a veto over the new name, and that we should continue until consensus was found…

    However in the initial slugger vote for a new name to propose and campaign for I suggest that “British Isles” cannot be an option, if for no other reason, because it is not a new name…

  • harpo

    ‘A slap on the wrist for Jeremy?’

    Why? Is he to be denied freedom of speech?

    Maybe he is a united British Isles man and this is how he really thinks of things. That Ireland is Little Britain and that GB is the mainland of the 2 isles.

    If nationalists can contort their words to avoid the reality that Northern Ireland is actually really called Northern Ireland, why can’t anyone else do it to suit their personal fantasy? If they have one.

    Or it may be simpler than that. British Isles is used commonly and everyone understands what it means, even if they don’t approve of it. And by British mainland he is obviously referring to GB as opposed to Northern Ireland, which is British but isn’t part of the mainland of the UK.

    I don’t see that he has said anything that is inaccurate.

  • harpo

    ‘What I object to is the term British Isles to describe our archipelago and the inherent implication that all things therin are British when this is not the case. Understand?’

    I also have objections. What I object to is the political term Ireland being used to describe an entity that includes Northern Ireland, and the inherent implication that all things therin are Irish when this is not the case. Understand?’

  • Mike

    Biffo –

    “No, the car stickers don’t refer to the UK, they refer to Great Britain.

    Northern Ireland isn’t in Great Britain. Most British people, wherever they’re from, don’t know what Great Britain is.

    For people in England, Scotland and Wales the sticker would be correct anyway.

    But people from Northern Ireland are caught out because the sticker is obviously inappropriate.”

    I’m afriad it is you who is incorrect.

    The ‘GB’ stciker is the sticker for the whole of the UK, just as new cars from across the UK have ‘GB’ on the number plate.

    My British passport, which refers to the United Kingom og Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and its issiung by the United Kingdom Passaprt Agency, has as its issiung state code ‘GBR’.

  • I also have objections. What I object to is the political term Ireland being used to describe an entity that includes Northern Ireland, and the inherent implication that all things therin are Irish when this is not the case. Understand?’

    So campaign to have the Island renamed like I’m doing…

  • Mike

    Pope Buckfast –

    “Manx people are British citizens, and the Isle of Mann is not part of the UK. You can be a British citizen without being from either Britain or the rest of the UK.”

    The UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands make up the British Islands, though (which is always fun to say to the more ignorant type of ‘republican’ who will say “you’re not from Britain, you’re not British”, the confusion when you tell them you’re from the British Islands is priceless and more amusing than drumming into them that that nationlaity of the whole UK is British and that Britain is often used to refer to the UK).

    On that point, by the way, harpo is correct – Britain is often used to refer to the UK as a whole. Certain nationalist commentators may like to say that, when for example Gordon Brown talks of a day for Britain he’s excluding NI (“ha, see, the Brits don’t care about you lot”), but in fact it’s a reference to the United Kingdom, not to Great Britain. That’s why in laws both for NI and UK-wide you’ll see an unambiguous reference to Great Britain if referring to England, Scotland and Wales – never to Britain.

    “I respect that you are British, however it’s got nothing to do with the so called “British Isles” it’s because you are british, you define yourself as such, fair enough, I don’t care if you come from China, you’re still British, ”

    He’s also British because he’s from the UK, i.e. the British state. That is after all how he qualifies for British nationality.

    Harpo –

    I think you’re absolutely right, it’s certain nationalists/republicans who appear to have the hang-ups. They’re the one’s dictating to people “you’re not really British”, “how can you be British”, “there’s no much thing as being Northern Irish”.

  • Mike,

    How many times… I honestly don’t care if you or Harpo are British or not, I object to being labelled as British simply because I live in a part of the “British Isles”. I do not live in the UK, and as you say if I did I would be qualified to be British, but I don’t so I’m not, I think you would join me in objecting to people from the Republic being called British as it would belittle your own Britishness as based on Northern Irelands membership of the UK.

    Again if you object to being called Irish because you come from the Island of Ireland I suggest starting a campaign to have that Island renamed to something less objectionable… “Western Isle of the Anglo-Celtic Archipeligo” perhaps? I don’t know, it’s up to you I guess…

  • It’s come up a few times that Ireland is the “Little Britain” when in fact it is Brittany in France which is literally “Little Britain”

  • CL
    “Like most other Unionists,Loyalists, … when I refer to “Ulster” I am describing Tyrone, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Antrim, Down and Armagh.”

    I know, that’s why I corrected you. Ulster is still 9 counties.

    “just as the Republic is called “Eire”/”Republic of Ireland””

    Éire/Ireland are the official names, just to correct you again 😉

  • harpo

    ‘So campaign to have the Island renamed like I’m doing…’

    No. Wouldn’t it be better to rename the country so that there is no confusion between the island and the political entity that is currently called ‘the Republic of Ireland’? It’s a modern entity whereas the island isn’t. That’s what confuses everyone.

    Say it was to be renamed Hibernia, and all citizens of it would then be Hibernians. Then you could be Irish (coming from the island) and Hibernian (coming from the 26 county state). Or Irish (coming from the island) and British (coming from the 6 county bit of the island that is in the UK).

    Why didn’t they think of that when partition happened. It could have been the Hibernian Free State to start, followed by plain old Hibernia.

  • Pope
    “when in fact it is Brittany in France which is literally “Little Britain””

    As is Wales (in irish).

  • harpo
    “Wouldn’t it be better to rename the country”

    Nah, rename the island. I like my country’s name and don’t want to change it. I’ve often said the island should be called Hibernia.

  • harpo

    ‘How many times… I honestly don’t care if you or Harpo are British or not, I object to being labelled as British simply because I live in a part of the “British Isles”.’

    Just as I objected to being labelled as Irish simply because I lived in a part of the island called Ireland.

    So there is a difference between geographical descriptions on the one hand and the countries that form the basis of nationalities is there?

  • harpo

    ‘Nah, rename the island. I like my country’s name and don’t want to change it. I’ve often said the island should be called Hibernia.’

    So you are from the ROI?

    We would then have 2 countries: ‘The Republic of Ireland’ and ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Hibernia’.

    Citizens of the former would be Irish, citizens of the latter would be British. And folks in Northern Hibernia who don’t like the British thing could declare themselves to be Irish if they wished.

    Well that would eliminate the ‘how can you be anything other than Irish if you are born on the island of Ireland’ ‘argument’.

  • slug

    Maca:

    What do you think of re-doing the provinces so that Ulster is co-terminous with Northern Ireland? Surely that would be a desirable tidying-up operation.

  • harpo
    Who said anything about renaming Northern Ireland?? If Ireland (state) didn’t change then why would Northern Ireland?? Just change the name of the island, leave the two countries alone.

    Slug
    “What do you think of re-doing the provinces so that Ulster is co-terminous with Northern Ireland?”

    I’m happy enough the way it is. Works well with the football & hurling, not to mention the rugby.

  • harpo

    ‘Who said anything about renaming Northern Ireland??’

    I just did.

    ‘If Ireland (state) didn’t change then why would Northern Ireland?? Just change the name of the island, leave the two countries alone.’

    You couldn’t do that. The name Northern Ireland is based on the place being (part of) the northern part of the island of Ireland. If you didn’t change it to Northern Hibernia then you would be left in exactly the same place as we are in today – confusion that NI is really part of the ROI and is just a description of part of the ROI.

    Isn’t the whole point to avoid confusion?

  • Harpo
    “You couldn’t do that”

    Course you could. It doesn’t matter what the name was based on.
    The confusion is because the southern state name is the same as the island name, change the island name only – no more confusion.

  • slug

    Actually Maca I think things are moving in that direction. Thus if I say Im from Ireland people normally assume ROI, while if I say NI they know I mean NI.

  • Biffo

    Ultonian Scottis American

    What of the irony that political entity Ireland/Éire means not all of the island of Ireland/Éire?

    The political entity of Ireland/Éire doesn’t include Northern Ireland but the geographic entity does.

    It’s ironic that many northern unionists wrongly believe they live in Great Britain while not realising they live in Éire.

    So why was Fotla used, rather than Éire? Do Eriu, Fódla, and Banba actual refer to regions of the island, and not the whole island?

    No. Fódhla, Banba and Éire were a trinity of goddesses, as you probably know. They all mean “Ireland”.

    Mike

    The ‘GB’ stciker is the sticker for the whole of the UK, just as new cars from across the UK have ‘GB’ on the number plate.

    I see your point but GB doesn’t equal UK. Most people in the UK don’t actually know that.

    The civil servants who came up with the GB or GBR abbreviation were ignorant. “UK” would have been the natural and logical choice, but they probably weren’t aware there was a difference.

  • J McConnell

    As this whole British Isles geographical name business is obviously another of those plots by perfidious Albion the only logical solution is to return to the original Latin names for these islands, Bigger Britain and Little Britain. Megale Brettania and Micra Bretannia.

    After all the Latin word Brettania is derived from a fine celtic word for the native celts, not some anglo-saxon or norse import. So by no stretch of the imagination can the more belligerent Irish nationalists claim that the name was chosen as part of some underhand sassanach plot to oppress them.

    Little Britain has a definite ring to it … and so suitable too.

    Micra Bretannia. Micra Bretannia. Micra Bretannia. I could get used to that.

    Now to chose a suitable flag…

  • Ben A

    Let’s put this issue to bed for once and for all.

    The idea that ‘most’ UK citizens don’t realize that the UK is not the same as GB is an untested assertion. You can speculate as you wish, according to your own prejudice.

    GB refers to the landmass of Scotland, England and Wales. Important other parts, usually referred to as GB because fo their proximity to the landmass include Ynys Mon, the Isle of Wight, the Scilly Isles and the various Hebrides. This is not an exhaustive list. The Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom. The Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom.

    UK refers to the same areas, plus the North Eastern six administrative counties of Ireland, and islands offshore to these.

    The nation of which Northern Ireland is legally part is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    A person born in Northern Ireland after 1948, normally resident there and deceased before 1st January 1983, would have been a CUKC (Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies). There would have been a right to claim Irish Citizenship also, and this right was recognised by the UK Government and Irish Government, through the ‘no alien’ framework. That person would also have been recognised as a British Subject, but this had limited effective legal status.

    After 1983, the status ‘CUKC’ was abolished and replaced with three main types of nationality. The most common by far for thos in the UK was the status of ‘British Citizen’ which conferred a natural right to reside and work in the United Kingdom. Persons born in the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man (Manx) and Falkland Islands would have had this status conferred as well. British Citizens are normally also considered to have ‘British Subject’ status, but that status is limited in law.

    A person who is not a British Citizen, but who is a British Subject, has normally no right of residency in the UK.

    The island of Ireland has two jurisdictions; the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Citizens of either jurisdiction may have a right to Irish Citizenship.

    Other than for spouses of Irish citizens, residence in Northern Ireland does not count for naturalisation as an Irish citizen. Migrants to Northern Ireland from outside the United Kingdom and its territories are permitted to become naturalised British citizens on the same basis as elsewhere in the UK.

    Those born on the island of Ireland on or before 31 December 2004 are generally automatically Irish citizens, or entitled to be so.

    A resident of Northern Ireland who does not have links through birth or descent with Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, and who is not married to an Irish citizen, may only become naturalised as an Irish citizen through waiver of the residence requirement by discretion of the Minister. Irish government policy on such discretion is not published.

    Because of the reciprocal “non-alien” status of the two nationalities in each other’s country, thus making it practically virtually irrelevant whether one holds Irish, British, or both, passports, the maintenance of British citizenship in the Republic of Ireland or Irish citizenship in the United Kingdom can be seen as largely a personal political statement.

    Of course, all this would have been avoided if ye rebels had accepted the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921, which provided for commonality of citizenships.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    PBF:

    I could see refering to the Anglo-Celtic Isles. Here stateside, some social/historical commentators use it as a cultural/ethnic term. What concessions might nationalists trade to make it official?

    ——————————————

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but Britain is the island. Great Britain is the kingdom formed by James I/VI’s union of the crowns.

    ——————————————-

    Would it be correct to call NI the Kingdom of Ireland? Or perhaps Earldom of Ulster?

    Yes, yes, not all of Ulster, but the only part that’s in the Earldom.

  • JMcC
    “the only logical solution is to return to the original Latin names for these islands”

    That certainly isn’t the only logical solution or even A logical solution. Sorry to disappoint you.
    It would be more logical (given the politics in this region) to change the island names to Hibernia and Bretannia or perhaps use Éire as the Irish state name in both English and Irish leaving Ireland as the island name.

    “Now to chose a suitable flag…”

    Well we have a fine flag but if you wish to fly your own fire away.

  • J McConnell

    maca

    > Well we have a fine flag but if you wish to fly your own fire away.

    Really? If its such a fine flag why is there such general embarrassment about flying it. Look around Dublin, not may tricolors flying. Walk around the capitol city of any other small country in Europe and you will see lots of the national flags flying. Oslo and Helsinki come particularly to mind. Both countries that have not too different histories from the ROI.

    The flag like the national anthem are both fundamentally symbols of anti-democratic violence. They are symbols that originated in a political ideology that has had little to do with the politics of democratic dialog and persuasion and everything to do with the politics of violent coercion and terrorism. This is not the politics of the majority in the South hence the subconscious embarrassment about the flag. Its only at sporting event (and on St Patrick’s Day) that you will see ordinary people waving the tricolor with any kind of enthusiasm.

    The only political inclusive flags for Ireland are the St Patrick’s Cross flag and Presidential Standard which is derived from the tradition coat of arms for Ireland. My vote would be for the Presidential Standard as a more suitable flag for a democratic state.

  • jfd

    Unionists are really having a hard time with this 21st century fact that a soveriegn entity within the ‘British’ Isles is not actually British.

    I agree wholeheartedly that ‘Ireland’ is a misnomer, generally speaking I like to define my country as the Republic of Ireland first, Ireland second.

    Never the less the trem ‘British’ Isles is simply incorrect, it implies and inherent inequality and allows narrow nationalism to flourish and out-dated imperialism to fester.

    As we collectively share these islands through proximity the diversity and range of identities the exist within and between the two landmasses requires updating and a new expression.

    Presently the ‘British’ Isles primary components are the UK and the Irish Republic. Do unionists really have a problem with the name reflecting this reality?

    For my money ‘The British & Irish Isles’ adequately expresses this totality, poximity and shared space in a post-colonial geographic sphere.

    One feels Unionism irational attachement to all things ‘Empire’ means it hates to see the last vestiges of 18th Century Pax-Britannia it clings so dearly to for meaning, just as nationalists insult unionist with terms like ‘the North’.

    Times have change.

    It’s time we put the political reality of the make up of these islands to the fore and get on with being good european neighbours.

    jfd.

  • USA,

    I don’t see the renaming as a concession, just an adjustment to reality, I’m not talking about finding a name that ONLY the Irish are happy about, but that EVERYONE that lives in the islands can be happy with? I don’t think that requires any horse trading…

    but if I have to give something then I’ll promise to stop complaining about the name on the archipelago 😉

  • JMcC
    “If its such a fine flag why is there such general embarrassment about flying it”

    I don’t know a single person too embarrassed to fly the flag and i’ve seen it lots of times in Dublin and elsewhere.
    The only reason I can think of that some might not want to fly the flag is obviously because of the situation up North. That’s no reason to change our flag though.

    And in case you didn’t know, Norway or Finland haven’t been struggling with the problems we have for the past 40 years.
    And if we were flying it as much as the Finns you’d be whinging about us being narrow minded ultra-nationalists.

  • Regarding the Tricolour, I understand how Unionists dislike it because of it being hijacked by the provos.

    However the concept of the flag itself should be applauded, i.e. the coming together of the traditions of Green and Orange in a state of peace, what’s not to like?

  • Mike

    Pope Buckfast –

    “However the concept of the flag itself should be applauded, i.e. the coming together of the traditions of Green and Orange in a state of peace, what’s not to like?”

    This is the bit many nationalists like to stress but it’s only half the story.

    The Tricolour was actually designed to stand for the coming togther of Catholics and Protestants in a 32 county Irish republic, with no ‘British connection’.

    You can’t blame unionists for being opposed to that. By definition they have to be.

  • Mike,

    Your point is taken, anything which promotes a United Ireland outside the control of the UK is going to be an anathema to Unionists, there’ll never be a single unionist that will want to leave the UK, by definition.

    I suppose at the very least it’s non sectarian, and should appeal to protestants and catholics equally…

  • Brian Boru

    “Really? If its such a fine flag why is there such general embarrassment about flying it. Look around Dublin, not may tricolors flying. Walk around the capitol city of any other small country in Europe and you will see lots of the national flags flying. Oslo and Helsinki come particularly to mind. Both countries that have not too different histories from the ROI.

    The flag like the national anthem are both fundamentally symbols of anti-democratic violence. They are symbols that originated in a political ideology that has had little to do with the politics of democratic dialog and persuasion and everything to do with the politics of violent coercion and terrorism. This is not the politics of the majority in the South hence the subconscious embarrassment about the flag. Its only at sporting event (and on St Patrick’s Day) that you will see ordinary people waving the tricolor with any kind of enthusiasm.”

    No I reject your criticism of our fine flag.

    First of all, tell me this: Would you make the same criticism of the US flag and if so why not? Remember that there was no electoral mandate directly from the Americans for independence and it was their representatives that made the decision, whereas in 1918 there was a direct-mandate for Irish independence – including in parts of present-day NI like Fermanagh, Tyrone, present-day Foyle and South Armagh.

    Revolutionary means are not always terrorism in my opinion. In general, civilians were not targeted by the Old IRA and if some were it was by a small fringe of the group. The Black and Tans burnt 102 towns and tortured and killed thousands of civilians. Lt.Col Smith ordered that if a RIC barracks was burnt, that the best houses in the town should be burnt, and that that the Crown forces should not take care to avoid shooting unarmed persons, on the grounds that eventually someone guilty would be killed. I also read about how a man returning from serving in the British army was nailed to a tree by the Tans and burnt alive. This is not a state we wanted to be part of. Perhaps in a similar position you would take a different view…

    The armed campaign of the Old IRA was not the first action of the war. The British effectively started the war by arresting 58 of the 73 newly-elected SF MPs before the new Dail was proclaimed. They declared war on democracy in this manner, and force was the only way to accomplish a democratic mandate that was itself being subverted by an army. When democracy is replaced by military dictatorship in a country the ppl have a right to rise up, and what was going on amounted to military dictatorship. We will not apologise (except a small West Brit minority) for seceding by force in 1918-21. The patriot dead deserve respect.

    The recent rumpus over the PSNI calling-out badge demonstrates that parts of Northern Unionist still reject the legitimacy of our contribution to the foundation of the Southern state. Unless Unionism is going to start calling George Washington a terrorist, they should in the name of consistency accept that it was a war and not terrorism.

    A key influence in the design of the flag was French republicanism and therefore is it suitable in that that republic was also formed by revolution. But its Green, White and Orange reflect the noble ideals of peace between the 2 traditions and as such, in the fullness of time Northern Unionism should learn not to find it offensive.

  • PHIL

    I’ll give you some perspective on this “Britishnes” debate from an English nationalist point of view. To me the terms “Great Britain” and “The British Isles” are geographical terms only and have nothing whatsoever to do with my nationality. I accept that a state exists called “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” and that I presently, though not for much longer I hope, live in that state, but it is not and never has been my “country”. I don’t have a problem with unionists, but Gordon Brown and others can wave their union flags on their own, just don’t expect me to join in.

  • Biffo

    Ben A

    Let’s put this issue to bed for once and for all.
    The idea that ‘most’ UK citizens don’t realize that the UK is not the same as GB is an untested assertion. You can speculate as you wish, according to your own prejudice.

    It’s not speculation. That Great Britain is also widely, but incorrectly, used as a synonym for the sovereign state properly known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
    is well attested with the result that very many, if not ‘most’, believe they are one and the same thing.

    You can ignore that fact according to your own prejudice, it doesn’t alter it.

  • harpo

    ‘and that I presently, though not for much longer I hope, live in that state’

    You’re moving?

    Where to?

  • harpo

    ‘Unionists are really having a hard time with this 21st century fact that a soveriegn entity within the ‘British’ Isles is not actually British.’

    Not at all. What makes you say this?

    We know that the Republic of Ireland exists, and accept that.

    Irish republicans can’t accept that though. And they can’t accept that NI is part of the UK. They are the ones with a problem. It makes them do all sorts of verbal gymnastics to avoid saying ‘The Republic of Ireland’ or ‘Northern Ireland’.

  • Ben A

    Biffo,

    Please show your findings, from a peer-reviewed source, showing how the majority of citizens in the United Kingdom believe the UK and GB to be the same entity.

    Until a source can be identified, such a statement should correctly be speculation, or simply a bald assertion, based on anecdotal evidence. Your concept of ‘attestation’ is far too vague for such a statement to be posited as acknowledged fact.

    My reference to ‘prejudice’ extends only as far as the willingness people seem to have to trot out untested and unverifiable statements about groups of people.

    Your post actually contains a climbdown, so as to make the post surplus to logic or intelligent discussion. ‘many if not most’ is quite a retraction, even if, by its very unquantifiable nature, it’s as offensive to argument as the previous post.

    Deconstructing your argument, your assertion then becomes ‘some people think that GB = UK’. No shit, sherlock. Thank God there’s a Slugger O’Toole so you could enlighten us with that pearl of biffine wisdom.

    Try this one: Many people in Ireland believe that the moon is made of green cheese. Equally valid.

    Try this one: Many people in Ireland do not know of the existence of the term ‘archipelago’.

    Try this one: Many people in Ireland have never read the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921, but very many of the same people are able to express an opinion on it.

    or, try this: Very many people in Ireland, if not most, wear tweed caps, grandfather shirts, and sit around all day drinking Guinness, singing Men behind the Wire.

    If all you have to offer is mildly insulting platitudes based on an assumed characteristic of a national group, I suggest you revise your offering.

    Incidentally, Biffo, your final line ‘it doesn’t alter it’ is the intellectual equivalent of writing ‘IDST’ (meaning If Destroyed Still True) to bus-shelter libels.

  • Biffo is certainly right in his point that GB is widely used to mean the UK. There does appear to be a surprising amount of confusion about the terminology, hence the numerous websites which clarify the situation. For example:
    http://www.know-britain.com/general/great_britain.html

    Perhaps part of the problem is that the adjective “British” being used to refer to the entire UK.

  • PHIL

    Harpo,

    “You’re moving?

    Where to?

    I knew I could rely on some of that famous Ulster wit!

    Strangely perceptive though, I am moving from the ENGLISH county of Essex back to the ENGLISH county of Middlesex.

  • Biffo

    Ben A

    Please show your findings, from a peer-reviewed source, showing how the majority of citizens in the United Kingdom believe the UK and GB to be the same entity.

    You show me your’s and I’ll show you mine.

    Your post actually contains a climbdown..

    Yes, I originally estimated 51%. But my reasearch may be a bit dated because, as maca helpfully points out, there are now plethora of websites devoted to correcting the common misconception that GB = UK)

    On reconsideration I will concede to you that the figure may now be as low as 49% (but 100% of those people who thought up “GB” as an international designation for the UK.

    Very many people in Ireland, if not most, wear tweed caps, grandfather shirts, and sit around all day drinking Guinness, singing Men behind the Wire.

    Yes, In Maddens bar last night, I saw 2 such people who belonged to the important subset of those who “wear tweed caps, grandfather shirts, and sit around all day drinking Guinness, singing Men behind the Wire and who have an “IRL” sticker on the back of their car”

    What does “IRL” stand for anyway? Rockall?

  • jfd

    Harpo wrote: ‘Irish republicans can’t accept that though. And they can’t accept that NI is part of the UK. They are the ones with a problem. It makes them do all sorts of verbal gymnastics to avoid saying ‘The Republic of Ireland’ or ‘Northern Ireland’

    This has nothing what so ever to do with my question whether the current title of ‘British’ Isles should be changed to reflect the political reality of these islands.

  • harpo

    ‘This has nothing what so ever to do with my question whether the current title of ‘British’ Isles should be changed to reflect the political reality of these islands.’

    Yes it does. Northern Ireland has been around as a name since 1921 – precisely because it was needed to reflect the new ‘political reality of these islands’ at that time. That hasn’t stopped people from calling it all sorts of names that don’t reflect actual reality.

    The point is that even if you call the island some new funky agreed name, some people will still call them the British Isles. Either for sheer badness, or simply because that is what they always have called them. Personally I’d still call them the British Isles out of sheer badness. I can be as stubborn as any Irish republican and their ‘six counties’ nonsense.

    As soon as certain Irish nationalists can get it together enough to call NI by its proper 85 year old name, then we can move on to renaming the British Isles. But not until then. If you want reality then let’s have reality for all. It isn’t just about correcting things to make certain Irish nationalists feel better.

    Or if they wish we can just all stay in a state of unreality. Nationalists can keep on calling NI ‘the six counties’ or whatever else they want, and I’ll call the islands ‘the British Isles’. Then we’ll all be happy calling things what we imagine them to be instead of what they really are.

  • “As soon as certain Irish nationalists can get it together enough to call NI by its proper 85 year old name, then we can move on to renaming the British Isles. But not until then.”

    I don’t think you should or will be allowed a veto on this harpo, unlucky…

    Look at a “map” (its a picture which reproduces geographical entities in 2D miniature) it says “Northern Ireland” on it, and it also says “The British Isles” I want this “map” to say “Northern Ireland” and “The Anglo-Celtic Isles”, I’m not trying to take “Northern Ireland” off it (at least not without the consent of the majority there)…

  • Cheshire Exile

    Check out our-scotland.org. You will get a feel for how un-British Scots are. The union’s demise is very much on the cards north of hadrian’s wall.

  • Rory

    Thank God I am a communist and therefore a citizen of the world.

  • Harry Flashman

    Feck me!

    I was reading this thread and came across a post that expressed my thoughts exactly before I realised they WERE my thoughts, why are we resurrecting an eight month old post?