Timing.. again

There had been a suggestion that the meetings wouldn’t take place until after the summer.. but as it turns out the delay only lasted a week or so [perhaps a longer delay was deemed too perilous for The Process™? – Ed A more prosaic answer might look at the Welsh situation.] It’s probably in the interests of the optics, and the DUP, that the British Irish Council will meet first, on Monday 16th July, with the North-South Ministerial Council expected to meet on the Tuesday. And I see that the BBC’s Mark Devenport was pulled up on his use of the term “the British Isles”.. a meeting of the governments of the “Atlantic Archipelago” does sound better to my ear.. but, then I would say that.. [And what about “The unnameable constellation of islands on the Eastern Atlantic coast”? – Ed]

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  • Dewi

    The name is simple:

    “The Welsh lost lands”

    I’m sure everyone will be happy with that !

  • Donnacha

    What!? And get confused with Patagonia? And Reading?

  • joeCanuck

    Such short memories.
    The unnameable are known as “here” and “there”.

  • Hell’s bells! They’re all too busy with their expenses claims (see the BBC NI posting at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6291216.stm)

    The Big Man took £9,828.62, the mean Máirtín just £650.

    The DUP’s Allan Bresland, along with the SF’s Paul Butler, Clare McGill, Daithi McKay and Cáral Ni Chuilin still haven’t worked out how the forms work, or been satisfied with not a sou. The SDLP lady for Foyle, Mary Bradley, had £18,757.64 “because she had recently refurbished her office” (presumably nobody told her of the MFI in Bangor).

    The total for all 108 amounts to £717, 594.87 (£6,644 as an average).

    Curiously, the NI Assembly website for MLA expenses (http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/members/expenses/members_expenses_homepage_2ndmandate.htm) seems not to have been updated since dissolution.

  • Yep, I know that last one was off-topic, but where else could I have put it?

    Couldn’t someone concoct something along the lines of the Anglo-Celtic-Jutish-Frisian-Kernow-Manx-Norman-Norse-Pictish-Saxon Feis-Gorseth-Moot? And then render it into all necessary languages, including Middle French for the Huguenots?

    Ah, just forget it! Everyone else did.

  • Dewi

    Malcolm Redfellow

    So come on – what do u suggest as a name ?

  • páid

    Well the name of my island homeland is Éire, or Ireland. You can call the other island whatever you like.

    I know who the British are.

    And my Ireland is not a British isle, despite what Mark Devenport and the BBC might want to believe.

  • joeCanuck

    A lot of people think that “nationalism” is about land.
    Crap. A nation is a group of people who share certain values and agree to live together.

  • This is too big an issue to compact into Slugger’s little comment box. And I know I’m going to regret this contribution.

    páid @ 12:53 AM:
    Some basic thoughts:

    “Ireland” is universally acceptable. I was in a pub in the deepest-dyed Co. Down for the 43-13 Six Nations game: no doubts there.

    There are ambiguities about “Éire”. These largely stem from the 1937 Constitution’s partisan, political and illiberal elements (and, yes, I recognise it had more to it than that).

    “British” (unlike the word “Britain”, perhaps) is a very slippery concept — which has caught out more than just Devenport. For more, see below.

    Daniel Corkery, way back in 1931, reckoned the three characteristics of nationalism, land and religion distinguished the Irish “national being” from those of England (and I think he used that name, rather than any other).

    So far, so good?

    Now, that leads us to JoeCanuck @ 08:34 AM:

    A “group of people who share certain values and agree to live together” form a community. It becomes “a nation” when someone sticks up a flag, and invents an incantation for which the community is prepared to fight and die.

    Is it not significant that, right now, the [British] National Theatre has revived Shaw’s Saint Joan? That Preface and play, written in 1923-4, tries to approach nationalism.

    Shaw gives Cauchon (the Bishop who sends Joan to the stake) a key speech:
    … as a priest I have gained a knowledge of the minds of the common people; and there you will find yet another most dangerous idea. I can express it only by such phrases as France for the French, England for the English, Italy for the Italians, Spain for the Spanish, and so forth. It is sometimes so narrow and bitter in country folk that it surprises me that this country girl can rise above the idea of her village for its villagers. But she can. She does. When she threatens to drive the English from the soil of France she is undoubtedly thinking of the whole extent of country in which French is spoken. To her the French-speaking people are what the Holy Scriptures describe as a nation. Call this side of her heresy Nationalism if you will: I can find you no better name for it. I can only tell you that it is essentially anti-Catholic and anti-Christian; for the Catholic Church knows only one realm, and that is the realm of Christ’s kingdom. Divide that kingdom into nations, and you dethrone Christ. Dethrone Christ, and who will stand between our throats and the sword? The world will perish in a welter of war.

    This all resonates with me, but particularly because I was tidying a shelf yesterday, and flicked the last chapter of Jeremy Paxman’s The English. This is his concluding paragraph:

    The English are simultaneously rediscovering the past that was buried when ‘Britain’ was created, and inventing a new future. The red-white-and-blue is no longer relevant and they are returning to the green of England. The new nationalism is less likely to be based on flags and anthems. It is modest, individualistic, ironic, solipsistic, concerned as much with cities and regions as with counties and countries. It is based on values that are so deeply embedded in the culture as to be almost unconscious. In an age of decaying nation states it might be the nationalism of the future.

    For all these reasons, I find some sympathy for linguistic sloppiness like Devenport’s, and squirm when banner-waving mobs, armed with prejudices, catch-cries or shibboleths, take to the barricades.

  • joeCanuck

    “It becomes “a nation” when someone sticks up a flag, and invents an incantation for which the community is prepared to fight and die.”

    Thank you for clarifying my thinking Malcolm.

  • páid

    As a more-than-likely unread footnote to the excellent above, not many remarked on the Irish Supreme Court’s judgement some years back on the Blasket Islands National Park Case. The Court found that the concept of pedigree was alien to a Republic – in my view a serious body-blow to blood and soil Irish Nationalism.

    Blood and Soil passion in my own view is a defining human male characteristic, but is it a civilised one?