A reminder that “nations and states can evolve as well as endure…”

Hat tip to Word By Storm, today’s Guardian editorial on Michael D Higgins state visit to the UK. In particular this last paragraph:

Some in Britain will be tempted to dismiss the Higgins visit as a sideshow. But this is not how it is seen in Ireland. That’s worth remembering, because the networks of connection between the different nations of these islands are currently being put to the test. The Scottish referendum, like the history of British-Irish relations, is a reminder that nations and states can evolve as well as endure. The British – the English, in particular – have paid too little attention to this, with the consequences that now loom in Scotland. This week’s pageantry and mutual self-congratulation should not mask the reality that political relationships in these islands have rarely been in such flux

WBS is wary of the superficiality of the rest of the piece. The Scottish problem perhaps has gone on unaddressed for so long because the whole British thing is in certain respects itself a superficial construct, bearable mostly because like its monarchy, outside Northern Ireland’s loyalist heartlands, it draws such little attention to itself. Indeed, such open displays of British belonging are considered elsewhere to be intrinsically unBritish.

In some respects this superficiality leads many of its opponents to underestimate its enduring appeal. Nevertheless, there is a struggle underway to make our democracies more relevant to the peoples they profess to govern.

  • socaire

    When I updated my e-mail address here, I lost my beloved gravatar. Went to site and chose my gravatar to suit my address but although new address is on profile I am still gravatar-less. What have I done wrong?

  • JR

    just listening to the complete BS from the BBC in their live coverage. How did those two guys with a complete oversimplified view of British Irish relations ever get to comentate on the visit?

  • socaire

    I hope when Martin rises to his feet to toast her Britannic Majesty along with the rest of the Free Staters, hasbeens and wannabees, that he will remember and quote Heaney “Be advised, my passport’s green etc” and remember that 5000 English soldiers are still stationed on Irish soil. Civility be damned – we want our country.

  • Barry the Blender

    5000 English soldiers are still stationed on Irish soil


  • Occasional Commentator

    I think someone is confusing British Ulster with dear Oul’ Oireland.

  • Occasional Commentator

    btw, I was reading a Telegraph article about the visit, was surprised as I was expecting a more right-wing chauvinistic tone from that paper.


  • socaire

    Six counties may be under British control but there is no doubt it is Irish soil peopled to some extent by British klingons.

  • aquifer

    It was the Irish Book of InvasionS plural.

    Which gang did you arrive with?

  • Mick Fealty


    I’ve no idea. Did you open a new account with the new address at Gravatar?

  • socaire

    No, Mick, just updated my e-mail and gravatar disappeared so I went to gravatar page, re-chose my original gravatar, synchronised it with my new e-mail, clicked ‘select’ and lo and behold – rien. Life is stressful enough – as I’m sure you’ll agree – without tussling with hitech at my time of day.

  • socaire

    aquifer, we’re here so long now that I forget but I’ll bet you can prove when you landed. Which of the landgrabS did you come in on?