Happy British Day?

The BBC History magazine poll has chosen 15 June, the anniversary of the Magna Carta, as the best day for celebrations of Britishness. With 27% support it beat VE day and D-Day. Perhaps some of them were persuaded by Tristam Hunt’s argument for embracing a radical British historical narrative.

  • Brian Boru

    Magna Carta is over-rated. It has no relevance today, and has been superseded in every way except the existence of a parliament, which in turn is chosen in a radically different way from the past.

  • ballymichael

    hey, it could have been worse. One of the other nominations was the cromwellian republic.

    Now that would have had people here going mad.

  • foreign correspondent

    Another post about Britishness zzzzzzzzzz

    Somewhere in the background a voice dreamily sings:

    ´I had a dream today oh boy.
    The English army had just won the war.
    A crowd of people turned away.
    But I had just had to look,
    having read the book…´

    At least British culture produced the genius of the Beatles, I´ll give it that much, I suppose.
    (Time for more caffeine methinks…)

  • Nevin

    “50. We will entirely remove from their bailiwicks, the relations of Gerard of Athee (so that in future they shall have no bailiwick in England)” Avalon project

    Gerard of Ballymurphy once had a similar problem.

    Alan of Galloway, named in the Magna Carta, had been granted part of Ulster three years earlier:

    “In the spring of 1212, Alan, Earl of Galloway, was assigned on the King’s behalf 140 knights’ fees of land extending apparently over the whole northeast of the province from the River Foyle to the Glens of Antrim. From this grant were excepted ten knights’ fees on each side of the River Bann near the castle of Kilsanctan, which were retained meantime in the king’s hand. Under the year 1211 the Annalists relate that Thomas McUchtry (Alan’s brother, and Earl of Athol) came with a fleet of 76 ships to Derry and plundered Inishowen.”

  • Dec

    Quite what the Magan Carta, a solely English charter from 1215, has to do with ‘Britishness’ is beyond me.

  • fair_deal

    “beyond me”

    Perhaps if you spared some time to learn about the development of the British state ie key events which shaped England went on to shape the Unitary state.

  • Loyalist

    Fair Deal

    Dont you realise the world started in 1916?

  • fair_deal

    Loyalist

    It can’t be 1916 what about the other 710 years of oppression 😉

  • DK

    Dec, not sure that there was a concept of “England” at that point, just a general reference to the whole country as Britain. And the king also still owned the original Norman bits of France, so maybe it should be a French thing?

    Here are the votes & whether English or British:

    Magna Carta: 27% = French/British/Norman
    VE Day: 21% = British & Allies
    D-Day: 14% = British, Canadian, American
    Armistice Day: 11% = British & Allies
    Trafalgar victory: 10% = British
    Slave trade abolished: 6% = British
    Napoleon’s defeat: 4% = British & Allies
    Churchill’s birth: 3% = English and American
    Cromwellian republic: 2% = English
    Reform Act: 2% = Don’t know

    I’d also go for Magna Carta from that list – it’s well known and a starting point for devolution of power from lone monarch to everyone else.

  • Loyalist

    FD

    Very good!

  • foreign correspondent

    ´´Perhaps if you spared some time to learn about the development of the British state ie key events which shaped England went on to shape the Unitary state.´´

    Hmmm,that would sure be high up on my list of things to do, FD. Along with learning embroidery, or grouting or other such exciting pastimes. Still, whatever floats your boat 🙂

  • Loyalist

    foreign

    “At least British culture produced the genius of the Beatles, I´ll give it that much”

    “At least Irish culture produced the genius of, err, Boyzone, I’ll give it that much…”

    You objectionable little creep.

  • DK

    Magna Carta – is also an Irish thing. John was:

    John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou

  • Loyalist

    DK

    Don’t say that you’ll get the trolls started about 1180!

  • fair_deal

    DK

    The Reform Act of 1832 can be defined as British as can the Cromwellian republic as it wasn’t restricted to England.

  • PHIL

    Dec,

    “Quite what the Magan Carta, a solely English charter from 1215, has to do with ‘Britishness’ is beyond me.”

    Because organisations such as the BBC, ITV, the “British” press and the “Brittish” government have a rather confused understanding of what is English and what is British.

  • Nevin

    [i]our venerable fathers, Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry, archbishop of Dublin, William of London, Peter of Winchester, Jocelyn of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, Benedict of Rochester, bishops; ….[/i]

    I see the archbishop of Dublin appears to be ranked second in the religious list. Were there other liegemen from Ireland at Runnymede in 1215?

  • foreign correspondent

    I´ve p*ssed off a loyalist. My day´s looking up.
    And here´s another lyrical reflection on England for you Britophiles. Verse three is particularly apposite, in light of the Iraq war-crime, just that they´re now sticking their flag where it don´t belong in the service of someone else´s empire instead of their own. How pathetic is that?
    Have a nice day, y´all…

    “Waterboys Old England lyrics”

    Man looks up on a yellow sky
    And the rain turns to rust in his eye
    Rumours of his health are lies
    Old england is dying

    His clothes are dirty shade of blue
    And his ancient shoes worn through
    He steals from me and he lies to you
    Old england is dying

    Still he sings an empires song
    And he keeps his navy strong
    And he sticks his flag where it ill belongs
    Old england is dying

    You’re asking what makes me sigh now
    What it is makes me shudder so
    Well
    I just freeze in the wind
    And I’m numb from the pummeling of the snow
    That falls from high in yellow skies
    Where the time stained of england flies
    Where the homes are warm and the mothers sigh
    Where comedians laugh and babies cry
    Where criminals are televised politicians fraternize
    Journalists are dignified and everyone is civilised
    And children stare with heroin eyes
    Old england!

    Evening has fallen
    The swans are singing
    The last of sundays bells is ringing
    The wind in the trees is sighing
    And old england is dying

  • Dec

    Perhaps if you spared some time to learn about the development of the British state ie key events which shaped England went on to shape the Unitary state.

    Well, I do know the Act of Union to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was passed in 1800 which was 785 years after the Magna Carta ( pretty much bugger all of which was ever adhered to at the time) but if you want to draw a direct linkage between the two, go for it. A similar argument could be put forward for continental drift.

    Phil

    Because organisations such as the BBC, ITV, the “British” press and the “Brittish” government have a rather confused understanding of what is English and what is British.

    It’s really to placate the likes of Fair_Deal where they can cherry-pick all the best bits of English culture and history (ie Shakespeare becomes British) and exclude the English from any parts of their specific cultural highlights ie highland dancing – Scottish, male voice choirs – Welsh; soda bread – Ulster.

  • DK

    Did anyone else catch the article in the Observer about how ethnic minorities are buying the English flag in record numbers and it is gradually being reclaimed from the BNP?

    Maybe “Britain Day” should celebrate inclusiveness of all the ethnicities of modern Britain – perhaps the date that the Epire Windrush carrying the first Afro-Carribean immigrants docked (22nd June 1948). Or the birthdate of the first non-white MP (Dadabhai Naoroji – MP for Finsbury 1892-95, born 4th September 1825).

  • fair_deal

    PHIL / Dec

    When Henry III reissued an amended Magna Carta in 1219 it was sent to Ireland too.

  • Nevin

    If Shakespeare is the Bard of Avon who is the Bard of Craigavon?

  • George

    Fair_deal,
    “When Henry III reissued an amended Magna Carta in 1219 it was sent to Ireland too.”

    Must have got lost in the post because mine never arrived.

  • smcgiff

    ‘Trafalgar victory: 10% = British’

    Surprised this isn’t much higher. I’d be surprised if the average British person knew what Magna Carta was. Something to do with a wine list?

  • Crataegus

    The problem with Britain is that seldom does anything happen dramatically. It is the innate conservatism of the place. The right to vote for example was obtained by various expansions.

    In my opinion the single most important event was the Black Death of 1348, but for that we would still be feudal!

  • PHIL

    Fair_Deal,

    I realise that there is much shared history between these islands that pre-dates any acts of union between the conponent nations, but you cannot deny that the British institutions and unionists generally are very good at claiming the good things things that should be credited to England whilst heaping all the bad stuff on the English (both pre and post union).

    By all means have your “British Day” if it makes you feel more comfortable with your “nationality”, just don’t try foisting it upon those of us that already have a nationality that we are very happy to be and a national day that has been celebrated for years and is growing in popularity every year in spite of the disapproval of the aforementioned British institutions.

  • fair_deal

    PHIL

    “whilst heaping all the bad stuff on the English”

    Such as?

  • Dec

    “whilst heaping all the bad stuff on the English”

    Such as?

    Morris dancing?

  • PHIL

    Where do I start FD!

    In Ireland alone I could mention the famine, partition and the troubles all of which occured after England ceased to exist as a political entity but all of which are blamed on England by many. The Scots blame the English for the poll tax when it was a British government that decided to impose it upon them. The Welsh blame us for flooding one of their valleys to create a reservoir that happens to provide water for Liverpool but conveniently forgetting that it serves most of north Wales too. Worse of all though are the English self-loathing PC brigade who perpeptuate and pander to the England bashing, banning the St. George’s flag in case it causes offence to minorities when in reality it offends nobody but themselves. There is no doubt that there is English involvement in everything bad that the British state has been involved in, but a bit of collective responsibility from our neighbours would be nice!

  • smcgiff

    I dunno, Crataegus.

    Not so sure ‘Happy Black Death Day’ has the legs to rival other British festive occasions such as, “the national day of Morris dancing”.

  • fair_deal

    You began by saying that

    “the British institutions and unionists generally are very good at claiming the good things things that should be credited to England whilst heaping all the bad stuff on the English”

    Now that has changed to the Scottish, Welsh and the PC Brigade. Don’t see how they fit the previous categories easily.

    The Irish famine was a natural pheonomenon exacerbated by government inaction – a british government.

    “partition”

    I am a Unionist and I am somewhat dumbfounded by us apparently blaming that on England as we were the ones who asked for it in the first place.

    “the troubles”

    Something as complex as the troubles cannot be attached to one group and if anyone tries to make that claim I advise you to just call them the bloody fool they are. Again I don’t see how British institutions or Unionists have lined up to blame the English or England.

    “The Scots blame the English for the poll tax when it was a British government that decided to impose it upon them.”

    I thought they blamed the Conservatives – it certainly explains their near annihilation in Scotland in the 80’s.

    “The Welsh blame us for flooding one of their valleys to create a reservoir that happens to provide water for Liverpool but conveniently forgetting that it serves most of north Wales too.”

    One reservoir doesn’t exactly fit into a major political event in the British Isles, whatever the local prejudices.

    “the English self-loathing PC brigade who perpeptuate and pander to the England bashing, banning the St. George’s flag in case it causes offence to minorities when in reality it offends nobody but themselves”

    Again how do they fit into British institutions and unionists?
    Again the term Bloody fools would seem to apply.

  • Scotick

    Ha!

    “England ceased to exist as a political entity”

    it never did anything of the sort., perhaps there are some grounds to state it ceased to exist as a legal entity, but the English were and are the dominant political, linguistic, economic and cultural entity on these islands.

    “The Scots blame the English for the poll tax when it was a British government that decided to impose it upon them.”

    A government drawn from a parliament with a permanent and overwhelming English majority that has always confused English national interest with British state interest, strangely enough though, usually to the benefit of English interests…

    “The Welsh blame us for flooding one of their valleys to create a reservoir that happens to provide water for Liverpool but conveniently forgetting that it serves most of north Wales too.”

    Fair point, tell you what, let’s let the Welsh assembly DECIDE themselves if they want to drain the valley, or keep the reservoir and charge Liverpool and anywhere else outside of Wales for the pleasure of using Welsh water.

    “Worse of all though are the English self-loathing PC brigade who perpeptuate and pander to the England bashing, banning the St. George’s flag in case it causes offence to minorities when in reality it offends nobody but themselves.”

    -Yeah, I don’t really know why they bother wasting their energies, especially since most English people up until recently were quite happy to use the union jack as England’s national flag, demonstrating that they understood quite well the true foundations of the ‘British’ state.

    “There is no doubt that there is English involvement in everything bad that the British state has been involved in, but a bit of collective responsibility from our neighbours would be nice!”

    Sure. While we’re at it, let’s just make it clear that the military contribution of the average Gaulish mercenary delivered in equal measure to the culture, society and prestige of both Gaul and Rome. Enough of this horrendously simplistic ‘Roman Empire’ nonsense – henceforth, this wonder of human history shall be known as the Egypto-Graeco-Latino-Gallo-Hispano-Sarmatio-Dacio-Germano-Romano Commonwealth of the Middle Sea. My, what a rich history of common endeavour to act as a template for us…oh, wait, we already have one, right?

  • FD – I too was perplexed by Phil’s claim that “unionists generally are very good at claiming the good things things that should be credited to England whilst heaping all the bad stuff on the English”

    before going on to quote examples from Irish nationalists as well as the Scottish and Welsh – completely ignoring the fact the initial accusation was against “unionists generally”.

  • kensei

    “before going on to quote examples from Irish nationalists as well as the Scottish and Welsh – completely ignoring the fact the initial accusation was against “unionists generally”.”

    Of course, Unionists are more suspicious of the British government (and by extension, the English, since they run it) more than just about anyone else here – see the UWC Strike, Anglo Irish Agreement (,GFA?) and just about anything else that the British Government does that they don’t like.

    Just how many times has Unionism accused the British Government of selling them out? Is it the biggets example of collective cognitive dissonce ever?

  • Nevin
  • George

    Fair_deal,
    “The Irish famine was a natural pheonomenon exacerbated by government inaction – a british government.”

    I should know better than to rise to such statements but I find that an astounding comment.

    I would agree that the catalyst for the Great Famine was a natural phenomenon but to blithly state that the Great Famine itself was a “natural phenomenon”?

    Maybe you consider it a sort of Irish tsunami, where blame can only be apportioned for the subsequent relief effort?

    Did it never occur to you that British policy in Ireland up to that point may have had an effect or even worse, that the effect was welcomed?

    Perhaps you should have a read of “Late Victorian Holocausts” by Mike Davis which tells the story of famines that killed between 12 million and 29 million Indians. He argues that these people were murdered by British state policy.

    “When an El Nino drought destituted the farmers of the Deccan plateau in 1876 there was a net surplus of rice and wheat in India. But the Viceroy, Lord Lytton, insisted that nothing should prevent its export to England. In 1877 and 1878, at the height of the famine, grain merchants exported a record 320,000 tonnes of wheat …. As millions died, the imperial government launched “a militarised campaign to collect the tax arrears accumulated during the drought.” The money, which ruined those who might otherwise have survived, was used by Lord Lytton to fund his war in Afghanistan.”

    Interestingly, British Troops also protected food exports from Ireland during the Great Famine 30 years earlier. In fact, the British reaction to both famines is extremely similar. Both resulted in the desired land clearances.

    To let one colony starve, Mr. Fair Deal, may be regarded as a misfortune; to let two looks like policy.

    Funny how even Britain’s main man in Ireland at the time, Lord Lieutanant Clarendon, was calling his government’s policy in Ireland “extermination”. But what would he know?

    P.S. You may be interested to know that your view is the exact same as then permanent undersecretary to the British Treasury, Charles Trevelyan (he of Fields of Athenry fame), who called the Great Famine “the direct stroke of an all-wise Providence”.

  • fair_deal

    george

    1. The potato blight was not created in a british government lab. It is a naturally occuring plant disease. Its arrival and spread could not have been predicted. Hence the natural phenomena.
    2. Ireland was part of the United Kingdom during the famine, it was not a colony.
    3. A similar policy was pursued in both. Government inaction in India and Ireland were both based on the attachment to the same prinicple – laissez faire – non-intervention in markets. I don’t know if they pursued non-market interventions in India as they did in Ireland ie public works but they were probably as ineffective.

    They is also some comparison (although not in scale nor in the form of shortage) with the policy pursued to the depression in the Lancashire Cotton industry during the American Civil War based on the belief of a cotton shortage (although recent research would argue hoarding took place rather than a shortage). The plight of hundreds of thousands was ignored until serious rioting broke out. Again the response was not market intervention but public works.

  • George

    Fair_deal,
    you haven’t addressed the issue, merely peddled what you believe to be truths, such as the one that the Great Famine was an avoidable hunger tsunami and that Ireland wasn’t a colony. It was certainly treated like a colony.

    As I said the blight was the catalyst but not the sole cause of the Great Famine. I find it astounding that you can believe that myth.

    Perhaps I am the myth believer so maybe you can you explain why India had 14 famines between the 11th and 17th centuries but that while all the earlier famines were localised, it was only after 1860, during British rule, that wholescale mass famine emerged leading to the deaths of between 30-40 million Indians?

    Coincidence perhaps?

    Maybe you can explain why Ireland suffered the highest number of famine deaths for size of population of any country in history at the exact time the British state was looking to clear the peasants from the land?

    I suppose you consider it coincidence that the Indian famines ensured all of India’s native industries suffered almost total collapse while at the same time British imports flooded into the Indian markets.

    The millions of Irish and the tens of millions of Indians were just victims of a “natural phenomenon” and British economic, political and administrative policies had nothing to do with it?

  • fair_deal

    George

    I have addressed the issue simply not to your satisfaction. The basis of your attack is flawed as it relies on splitting my comment into two when it was written and intended to be read and interpreted fully. I said it was a “a natural phenomenon exacerbated by government inaction”. I made no attempt to remove government for culpability.

    This is ultimately a debate about whether mass death was the aim of the policy or the result. You belive it was the aim, I believe it was the result.

    Furthermore it helps if you utilise full quotes not the abriged quotes that An Phoblacht uses. Lord Clarendon was explaining the opinion of one of his officials, Twistleton, who had resigned, not his own.
    “‘He thinks the destitution here is so horrible, the indifference of the House of Commons to it so manifest, that he is an unfit agent of a policy that must be one of extermination’”

  • George

    Fair_deal,
    you didn’t say initially that the Great Famine was any way the result of British policy, you said that “the Irish famine was a natural pheonomenon exacerbated by government inaction – a british government.”

    That statement makes no mention of British policy prior to the Great Famine being in any way responsible for it, rather it clearly implies that the famine was merely nature taking its course, a blameless event.

    I took serious umbrage at that view. However, if you are now saying that the mass death of a million Irish people was the result or even partly (enter % according to political persuasion) the result of British economic, political and administrative policy then I am more than happy to live with that.

    I can cite 19th century views of Britisth officials on the Irish Famine from sites other than An Phoblacht but they do tend to have the juiciest ones.

    Although they missed leading British economist Nassau Senior, who feared that the policies “will not kill more than one million Irish in 1848 and that will scarcely be enough to do much good.”

  • PHIL

    Fair_Deal,

    You didn’t specify unionist examples of anti-Englishnes, but if you want one then look no further than the present British government. Barely disguised hatred I think it could be called but as it’s only the English it is considered acceptable by the Islington set luvvies at the BBC and in the media. As a Northern Irish unionist I would have thought that you would understand what it is like to be demonised and portrayed as the bad guys?

  • woofus mcdoggus

    The Beatles were English hahaha

    Lennons people were from Fermanagh, McCartneys grandfather from Monaghan, Harrisons were from Wexford.

    The only English Beatle was Ringo, the talented one.

    And then theres those great pro union songs by IRA funder John – im thinking of “Luck of the Irish” and “Bloody sunday”. Oh and McCartneys “Give Ireland back to the Irish”.

  • Donnacha

    Sadly, the great canon of Beatles-produced rebel songs is let down in one fatal manner: there isn’t a song among them that isn’t complete shite, even by bar-room ballad standard.

  • woofus mcdoggus

    very true Donnacha.

  • “You didn’t specify unionist examples of anti-Englishnes, but if you want one then look no further than the present British government. Barely disguised hatred I think it could be called but as it’s only the English it is considered acceptable by the Islington set luvvies at the BBC and in the media. As a Northern Irish unionist I would have thought that you would understand what it is like to be demonised and portrayed as the bad guys?”

    Sorry Phil, but a distrust of the British government (especially the current one) based on their recent actions is not evidence of anti-Englishness – just anti-stupidity. I mean God, the writers of the Sun must also be anti-English by that definition! What with all those stories about the ineptitude at the Home Office. There are plenty in England and elsewhere who distrust the government, and rightly so.

    There are Americans who despise Bush – it doesn’t make them (contrary to claims) anti-American.

  • fair_deal

    “As a Northern Irish unionist I would have thought that you would understand what it is like to be demonised and portrayed as the bad guys?”

    Ulster Unionist please (in the non-party meaning). I do and I don’t dispute demonisation of the English takes place just not by the two groups you orginally identified but some of the others you later identified.

  • kensei

    “Ulster Unionist please (in the non-party meaning).”

    Can we give all 9 counties of Ulster a vote on the constitutional question then?

  • foreign correspondent

    So the Beatles were basically Irish then. So now I´m left with no arguments for anything worthwhile being produced by English culture.
    Oh well.
    By the way, the blithe writing off of the Famine as a natural phenomenon shows just how much the Unionist mentality can go down the denial road.

  • DK

    “The Beatles were English…”

    McCartney’s ancestry is five eighths irish
    Lennon’s is half Irish and also Welsh
    Harrison’s is quarter Irish
    Ringo’s is all English

    However, they were all born in England. What a fine example of a tolerant multi-ethnic society.

  • DK

    foreign correspondent,

    Before you descend too far into xenophobia (or is it racism?) there are plenty of other English bands out there.

    What about Girls Aloud, for example (actually, I think one of them is Irish too).

  • Ciaran Irvine

    So now I´m left with no arguments for anything worthwhile being produced by English culture

    Oh, I dunno, they do a good line in comedy. The intentional sort. The Pythons, Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett…some great stand-up comics too.

    If they could just stick to that and leave off the mad tendancy to want to rule the world we’d all be happier.

  • PHIL

    Sorry FD, I like to use peoples prefered terminoligy of what they are (as you may have noticed, I’m rather touchy about that sort of thing myself!) I just thought that “Northern Irish” was more accurate than “Ulster” but Ulster Unionist it is if that’s what you prefer.

    Beano,

    How can you say that the present government are not anti-English? There are people in the government who can’t even say the word. Next time you see a government minister on TV discussing something that he or she is responsible for in England only, say the NHS or transport, they wont mention England by name, they might say “this country” but no more than that and the press (including the Sun!) will report something along the lines of “Thousands of NHS jobs to go accross Britain” or “£1 billion to be spent on Britain’s roads” . Also, check theirs and the Tory and Lib Dem manifesto’s at the next election, there will be a Scottish version, a Welsh version and a BRITISH version! Distrust the British government? You bet I do and the stupid ones are those that fall for the spin.

  • fair_deal

    kensei

    “9 counties of Ulster”

    I don’t live in Elizabethan times but the 21st century.

  • fair_deal

    PHIL

    I did not think any offence was meant nor was it taken. It was a point of accuracy not hurt. No apology necessary.

  • f_d

    ‘I don’t live in Elizabethan times but the 21st century. ‘

    True, but you like to get back there as often as possible with all the marching 😉

  • foreign correspondent

    Before i get any more accusations of xenophobia or racism thrown my way, I´m slagging. There are occasions when it´s hard to resist a bit of winding certain people up, though I stand by the famine denial remark.
    C Irvine on Python, Fawlty Towers, Adams, Pratchett: absolutely agree. They´re brilliant.
    And despite their origins The Beatles lyrics, especially from the later period are firmly rooted in and full of references to English or British culture. And fair play to them.
    BTW, Fairly Deluded, a question for you? Which province is 21st century Donegal in? Last time I checked it wasn´t Connacht, Munster or Leinster 🙂

  • Ciaran Irvine

    FD: youse can try and pretend Ulster was magically redefined to only have 6 counties in 1921 if youse like, but the other 5 million odd of us will continue to poke fun at youse for it and continue to use the 9 county definition. Even if the counties are a British invention.

    But wait, does this not mean that nationalists are respecting aspects of British heritage while Unionists are arbitrarily whitewashing it?

  • fair_deal

    CI

    No it means some nationalists are trying to live in the past while others have moved on 😉

  • DK

    foreign correspondent,

    OK – sorry for the offence, but there are plenty here who are effectively xenophobic/racist: one thing that an ideal inclusive Britain Day should avoid pandering to. There are also plenty who seem to think that Britain is still an Empire hell-bent on taking over the earth! It’s part of the same logic – if Britain is an evil empire, it is so much easier to demonise her. You may as well take the Omagh bombing and say “all irish are terrorists”.

    It’s like someone said on another post British include cab drivers, NHS workers, gay people, straight people, celibate people, people who like a bit of rough, people who are a bit of rough, happy people, sad people, etc. etc.

    It is hard to come up with a day to make all the people happy. Magna Carta day, crap as it sounds, is about the best that can be done and at least most people have heard of it and know that it had something to do with making the king accountable and, er, democracy or something.

  • kensei

    “I don’t live in Elizabethan times but the 21st century.”

    Excellent. I believe the map here show the current relevant boundaries: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ie(prov.html

    With that settled, I await Donegal, Cavan and Moneghans inclusion in the border poll.

  • fair_deal

    An electronic version of an elizabethan map is still an elizabethan map

  • foreign correspondent

    You have to ask yourself why so many Unionists refuse to accept that Donegal Monaghan and Cavan are in Ulster and also in the Republic of Ireland?
    Is it guilt at abandoning their brethren in those three counties when playing the numbers game before partition?
    Is it because if they claim Ulster for the 6 counties and use the name to systematically refer to them then they can avoid saying Northern Ireland because it just sticks in their throat, this toponymous admission of the reality that they live on the island of Ireland?
    I know why don´t ye head over to Letterkenny, or Blaney or Swanlinbar and enlighten the locals that they are deluding themselves if they think they are in Ulster too…

  • kensei

    “An electronic version of an elizabethan map is still an elizabethan map”

    I didn’t realise Elizabethian maps had Northern Ireland on it.

    What you need to realise FD, is that simply saying something isn’t enough to make it true. In which province do we place Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal then? The four provinces are clearly still used to some extent, for example in rugby.