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Is England a country?

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TashkentFox
758979.  Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:54 am Reply with quote

welshwizard wrote:
Get paid for doing nothing? I'm sorry, but I disagree with you on that point entirely. They might not be countries, but Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are Nations, defined as a collective group/area where people that shale the same national identity. I'd argue that the National Parliament/assemblies of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales do a great deal to preserve the national identity of these nations, and as such, do not have "pretend jobs" and do not "get paid for doing nothing" as you put it. They also pass great laws that benefit the people of that nation, such as free prescriptions in Wales, no tuition fees for scottish students and so forth. I personally think that it is a shame that England does not have its own devolved parliament/assembly, as this would solely benefit the nation of England, not the whole of the UK as the current system does.


I disagree entirely, local identities may be strong in certain places, but I do not believe they constitute nations. Northern Ireland and England in particular cannot be called 'nations' under any definition in my opinion, Northern Ireland has two completely at odds identities that have absolute mutul hatred for each other, and england has nothing uniting it beyond one or two state institutions and a football team, it can't be said to be a cultural entity since I hardly think it's likely that someone in Carlisle feels more in common with someone from, say, Dover, than with someone from just up the road in Scotland. I also believe that the devolved assemblies should be closed down because it's unfair on the rest of the population that a few million people should have, say, free prescriptions or no tuition fees. All devolved powers should be returned to Westminster and any good policies they instituted should be applied to the whole country.

 
suze
759025.  Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:21 am Reply with quote

TashkentFox wrote:
I hardly think it's likely that someone in Carlisle feels more in common with someone from, say, Dover, than with someone from just up the road in Scotland.


Now here's an odd thing. I think the extent to which they do differs depending as whether one goes up the country on the right hand side or the left hand side.

On the right hand side, we have Berwick upon Tweed. The people there have an accent which is intermediate between Northumberland and Lowland Scotland, and indeed the whole town has that intermediate character. (For instance, there are both English and Scottish banks, and no one looks funny at a Scottish banknote.)

On the left hand side, we have Carlisle and Gretna. People in Carlisle have accents which are a mixture of Manchester and Newcastle, but in no way do they sound Scottish. (Unless of course they are Scottish, as a fair proportion in Carlisle are.) Yet people in Gretna ten miles away sound very Scottish indeed.

I've never been to Longtown, which is in England by about an inch. Do people there sound English, or do they have the Berwick thing going on?

 
dr.bob
759173.  Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:13 am Reply with quote

I've found that people tend to become ever more fiercely protective of their "nationality" the closer to a border they live. Take a drive through the Welsh or Scottish borders and make a note of the number of English/Welsh/Scottish flags you see flying in people's gardens. I'll warrant it's many times more than you'll see anywhere else in the respective "country".

As for TashkentFox's suggestion that local parliaments/assemblies should be disbanded because they have the bare faced cheek to actually come up with good ideas, I think that's probably the most convincing argument for keeping such parliaments/assemblies that I've heard :)

 
suze
759256.  Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:35 pm Reply with quote

The same thing certainly happens along the US/Canadian border, so I reckon that your suggestion has general validity.

Possibly not in Berwick upon Tweed though. I've only been there once, but I don't recall any fierce expressions of Englishness (in contrast, one absolutely does encounter fierce expressions of Scottishness in Gretna).

It occurred to me wonder whether or not the SNP fielded a candidate in the Berwick upon Tweed constituency at the election; it did not. Although perhaps it should have done, since it is party policy to regard B-u-T as part of Scotland.

 
bobwilson
759326.  Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:32 am Reply with quote

I'd just like to point out that there are more nationalities than there are elements in the periodic table - but even Tom Lehrer couldn't come up with an amusing song about them.

Nationality is a stupid distinction imposed by exceptionally stupid people on a populace who have the singular distinction of being even more stupid than their rulers.

I defy anyone to come up with a definition of any nationality which includes 10 (or more) people and excludes the rest of humanity.

I remain, Sir, closer to Calais than Newcastle

 
Fleabag
760231.  Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:28 pm Reply with quote

Where local policies are paid for from local funds, I have no issue.... so if the Welsh people are paying for the free prescriptions, it's fair enough.

I would be concerned if these free prescriptions were coming from the national insurance purse, as this is something we all contribute to, and should have equal benefits from... I'm sure someone can enlighten me on the finer points of funding.

 
exnihilo
762555.  Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:48 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
I'd just like to point out that there are more nationalities than there are elements in the periodic table - but even Tom Lehrer couldn't come up with an amusing song about them.


No, but the Animaniacs did.

 
sjb
762562.  Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:09 am Reply with quote

That brought back so many childhood memories. Thanks exnihilo!

 
suze
762604.  Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:31 pm Reply with quote

I wonder how many diplomatic incidents that one created? Naming England and Scotland as "countries", but not Wales and Northern Ireland, may have raised a few eyebrows. OK, so no one really got too upset that Tobago, Abu Dhabi, Borneo, and Mahore (where?) are named as countries - but so is Palestine. And Tibet.

Unsurprisingly, the same stable's song about state capitals of the USA gets them all right. (Yes, Americans really do pronounce Montpelier like that.)

 
sjb
762606.  Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:47 pm Reply with quote

Hey, Steven Spielberg can't be all things to all people. (He was the executive producer.)

 
Rawblues
765544.  Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:02 pm Reply with quote

The name of your country is that which is emblazoned across the front of your passport, and for all of us, that's "The United Kindom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". The word "England" won't be printed anywhere in any English person's passport because England is not a country. It was once, but not now. It's a HUGE anomaly that England, Scotland, and Wales are allowed to have teams that play other countries in certain sports as they are all just states of the UK.

 
Eezebilt
828456.  Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:52 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
Quote:
I'd also like to point out that Wales is not a principality, as thought by many. Indeed Prince Charles holds the title "Prince of Wales", however he has no law making powers and has no rights to govern Wales, therefore Wales is not a principality.


I'd like to point out that the UK is not a Kingdom as thought by many. ER has no law making powers and has no rights to govern the UK, therefore the UK is not a kingdom.



Someone had better tell the Queen, then!

All the laws proposed, drafted and voted upon by Parliament do NOT become law until they receive the Queen's assent and signature. This is the point at which the laws are MADE.

The Queen, by tradition, does not initiate legislation (though who knows what is discussed at the regular meetings between the Monarch and the PM?), but she certainly MAKES every law....

 
cinnamonbrandy
861302.  Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:47 am Reply with quote

exnihilo wrote:
bobwilson wrote:
I'd just like to point out that there are more nationalities than there are elements in the periodic table - but even Tom Lehrer couldn't come up with an amusing song about them.


No, but the Animaniacs did.


But can you tell us which highly respected country they've mis-spelled, there?

 
exnihilo
861321.  Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:19 am Reply with quote

Probably several, as they adjust a few names for rhythm and rhyme, but they make the common error of spelling Colombia as Columbia.

 
soup
861322.  Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:27 am Reply with quote

exnihilo wrote:
bobwilson wrote:
I'd just like to point out that there are more nationalities than there are elements in the periodic table - but even Tom Lehrer couldn't come up with an amusing song about them.


No, but the Animaniacs did.


Bob was "talking" about nationalities that song is about countries.

 

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