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BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?

theleveller 29 Sep 10 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Silas 29 Sep 10 - 06:01 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 10 - 06:08 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Sep 10 - 06:15 AM
Backwoodsman 29 Sep 10 - 06:21 AM
John MacKenzie 29 Sep 10 - 06:32 AM
Stu 29 Sep 10 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Patsy 29 Sep 10 - 07:07 AM
Newport Boy 29 Sep 10 - 07:23 AM
kendall 29 Sep 10 - 07:42 AM
The Sandman 29 Sep 10 - 07:45 AM
kendall 29 Sep 10 - 07:50 AM
Arthur_itus 29 Sep 10 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Sep 10 - 08:29 AM
Terry McDonald 29 Sep 10 - 08:51 AM
DMcG 29 Sep 10 - 08:53 AM
theleveller 29 Sep 10 - 08:56 AM
kendall 29 Sep 10 - 09:22 AM
Terry McDonald 29 Sep 10 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Patsy 29 Sep 10 - 09:35 AM
DMcG 29 Sep 10 - 11:17 AM
Terry McDonald 29 Sep 10 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 29 Sep 10 - 11:50 AM
Bill D 29 Sep 10 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 29 Sep 10 - 12:04 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Sep 10 - 12:04 PM
theleveller 29 Sep 10 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 29 Sep 10 - 12:44 PM
maple_leaf_boy 29 Sep 10 - 12:45 PM
greg stephens 29 Sep 10 - 12:56 PM
greg stephens 29 Sep 10 - 01:21 PM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 29 Sep 10 - 01:43 PM
Terry McDonald 29 Sep 10 - 01:46 PM
Paul Burke 29 Sep 10 - 01:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Sep 10 - 02:20 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Sep 10 - 02:44 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 29 Sep 10 - 02:49 PM
romanyman 29 Sep 10 - 02:57 PM
Terry McDonald 29 Sep 10 - 03:08 PM
Terry McDonald 29 Sep 10 - 03:17 PM
gnu 29 Sep 10 - 03:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Sep 10 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Guest 29 Sep 10 - 05:35 PM
bubblyrat 29 Sep 10 - 06:07 PM
Dave MacKenzie 29 Sep 10 - 06:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Sep 10 - 07:47 PM
theleveller 30 Sep 10 - 03:41 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Sep 10 - 03:56 AM
theleveller 30 Sep 10 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Patsy 30 Sep 10 - 04:09 AM
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Subject: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: theleveller
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 05:55 AM

Which name do you prefer? From an historical, nationalistic and purely personal perspective, I much prefer Great Britain. As a republican, I object to my country being referred to as a kingdom and, with more and more devolution, we are becoming less and less united. Great Britain, on the other hand, encompasses a degree of autonomy and national (and regional) difference and pride, whilst implying that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts – which I believe it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:01 AM

They do not mean the same thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:08 AM

Bloody silly to call it a kingdom when we have (unfortunately) a queen. Great Britain somehow still has the ring of Rule Britannia about it (and in any case, strictly speaking, it's the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - sheesh). I suppose we could call it Greater Bitain (like Greater London and Greater Manchester) but I don't think it'll catch on. Britain will do me. We'll all be saying geebee soon anyway. Let's get John Humphrys on to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:15 AM

Greater bittern? Greater Britain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:21 AM

Well, as members of the most important nation on earth - Americans - think it's all called 'England', why not stick with that? :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:32 AM

And we'll call you all Yanks, if that's OK :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Stu
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:49 AM

Albion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 07:07 AM

If I am holidaying in another country and someone asks where I come from I usually say from England really to explain where I am on the map. If I came from Wales, Scotland or Ireland I would say that. At home/work I use UK because that is what I use when answering the telephone in my job at work short and to the point but not the full United Kingdom which is a bit of a mouthful. GB reminds me of GBH.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 07:23 AM

England is England.
With Scotland & Wales it makes Great Britain.
Add Northern Ireland for the UK.

I was born in Wales, live in England and am a UK citizen. GB has no practical use, except as a geographical description.

Phil


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: kendall
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 07:42 AM

Not as great as before? (Runs for cover)

Why not simply break it down to it's parts? England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

Here's one Yank who gets peeved to watch old war films in which it would appear that we won the freakin' war!

We all know that England was into it long before we were, but how many know that England invented RADAR? How many know how we managed to develop a fighter that could escort the bombers from England to Germany and back? Maybe it's because we don't give credit where credit is due. Fact is, the old P-51 Mustang couldn't carry enough fuel for the round trip, so the Brits pulled the old engines, replaced them with Rolls Royce Merlin engines and presto, a much better plane.
We are not all uninformed Americans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 07:45 AM

neither. I prefer British isles


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: kendall
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 07:50 AM

When people ask where I'm going on my trip I say, "England; and if I have time, maybe Scotland or Wales.
Each country has it's own identity and that should be recognized.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 08:05 AM

I live in England, born in England and am proud of being English.

I would be proud of being British, but considering how Scotland and Wales want to do their own thing and that people living in those countries get better facilties such as free health/free university etc etc, then I do not want to be classed or be proud of Britain.

So until things get equal, I go for England. I didn't used to feel that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 08:29 AM

Newport Boy has it right. The United Kingdom is a nation. Great Britain is an island. It's made of rocks and has a geologic history. It would still be an island if all the people on it disappeared.

If the glaciers return and cover it with 2-3 miles of ice, it will still be Great Britain. The United Kingdom, however, will be no more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 08:51 AM

The United Kingdom is not a nation - it's a state.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 08:53 AM

A year or so ago, I was asked by an American to explain the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Having spent about 15 minutes on that, and also the distinctions between them and Britain and the British Isles, he sort of lost interest ...

As I said to him, most people on this side of the pond don't have it quite clear either (Isle of Man, anyone?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: theleveller
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 08:56 AM

"The United Kingdom is not a nation - it's a state."

Well, it's certainly in a state!

For me Great Britain is a collection of nations - the United Kingdom is a defunct concept.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: kendall
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 09:22 AM

"A Rose by any other name...


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 09:32 AM

Isle of Man? Easy - same as Jersey and Guernsey, its a Crown Dependancy and therefore not part of the United Kingdom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 09:35 AM

Exactly, if I say England most people from elsewhere will get the gist that I am from that section roughly not quite in the middle. When I go to Wales which I love I call her Wales and expect to feel the same about Scotland and Ireland when I can get to visit them. It's got nothing to do with whether I am proud or not.

Talking of Islands I lived on the Isle of Wight for a few years and was surprised at the animosity felt for mainland Britain. Most of the islanders I've met consider themselves to be independent from England.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 11:17 AM

True, Terry. But I didn't want to get into all of the complexity of Crown Dependancies, Crown Protectorates, Principalities and how they relate to countries ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 11:23 AM

You're a wise man, DMcG!


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 11:50 AM

As we are officially "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" then in one respect, I suppose it isn't a choice as one is part of the other.

I assume theleveller means in terms of which you use. I am comfortable with UK, and when abroad use it on hotel registration cards, potted bio' info at conferences I speak at etc.

Mind you, as it is a free country, it is quite right that you can think of yourself as a republican, but not, I fear, as a practicing one. The thing that makes us free to waffle is in part that we are democracy, and will be a Kingdom until a government has a mandate to give us a referendum on the subject. I don't feel I am being ruled by the Windsor family, (although our new Prime Minister is a distant relative...) but I like the idea of a head of state who didn't actually apply for the job. To promote a republican idea is a good sensible cause for debate, but acknowledging of course that as a democracy, we are not a republic as we haven't yet as a nation been swayed of the argument to the degree of voting it through. (Our Aussie friends thought about it, but at the last try, decided a President could be a bad idea after all.)

Arthur C Clarke wrote as a common thread in many of his novels of a world governed by the person who, by some futuristic brain scan, wanted the power the least. Interesting thought...


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 11:51 AM

How about the "Loosely Associated and Sometimes Compatible Semi-Autonomous Culturally Diverse Political Divisions on the Various Islands often called Britain & Ireland"

feel free to edit....


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 12:04 PM

You'll have to say which parts of Ireland otherwise there will be hell to pay....


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 12:04 PM

Here I though I was doing a good job (for an American) to carefully distinguish between England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, and now I find Brits themselves can't even agree on the use of those terms!

I must say I find some of the ideas being thrown around here rather silly.

For one thing, I think it is silly, and a bit dishonest, to try to manipulate people's political opinions by the words you use. (Yeah, I know, people do it all the time, even in the US, but that doesn't make it right.) We ought to be able to agree on a common vocabulary even if we differ in our political opinions. How else is communication possible?

It's silly to refuse to use the term "United Kingdom" simply because you disapprove of the monarchy. Like it or not, THERE IS a monarchy. Whether the monarch has any political power or is merely a symbol is beside the point. And the fact that the current incumbent is a queen makes no difference, either. Nobody, not even the staunchest monarchist, wants to call it a "queendom." That's simply a matter of language, not of politics.

And besides, there is no synonym for "United Kingdom."

Does the parliament of the United Kingdom make laws that apply on the Isle of Wight? If so, then the Isle of Wight is part of the United Kingdom. (And you could use the same rule of thumb for the Isle of Man, etc.) Since there is no such thing as an "English" parliament nowadays, it is pointless to argue that the Isle of Wight is (or is not) "independent from" England.

I will leave it to the geologists to decide whether the Isle of Wight is part of Great Britain, since an island is a geological concept. But, off the top of my head, it seems that, if the Isle of Wight is not part of Great Britain, then Manhattan is not part of North America.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: theleveller
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 12:26 PM

"It's silly to refuse to use the term "United Kingdom" simply because you disapprove of the monarchy."

You may think it silly but it's not your country. I refuse to see my self as a 'subject' of anyone as, I believe, did Americans before the War of Independence. That, however, is just a personal opinion and not the main point - which is that, as Scotland and Wales in particular, are demanding, and getting, greater autonomy ( and also bearing in mind historical resentments and nationalistic pride)is there a more acceptable name that we can all be proud of?


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 12:44 PM

I did point out with the rest of my waffle that it is, strictly speaking, "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland." To answer Jim Dixon's point, the Isle of Wight is classed as part of Great Britain, (after all, you can walk there at certain low tides...) The Isle of Man is a crown dependency, not subject to Westminster parliament, same as Jersey etc, but running their own parliament. Scotland does now have a parliament, but only legislating for those areas devolved from Westminster. Wales has an assembly which is similar in some ways to Scotland but to set out the differences might just start another debate.. (!)

theleveller does have the right to feel he is not a subject of anyone, and if our monarch did try and push her constitutional rights, somebody may just push Cromwell's.   In any event, our head of state is a titular one. When other countries send their heads of state to discuss things such as at UN or G8, we send the Prime Minister, as he is the elected head of state. the Queen has a part to play hosting dinners, but you never see her debating international politics with other heads of state, as she is not a politician.

That said, theleveller has the right to say he is not a subject in the same way I have the right to say I am a banana. In the final analysis, I am not a banana and theleveller has to abide by the democratic will of the nation which at present is a constitutional monarchy. So, sorry mate, you are a subject. (Don't fret, earlier on the phone I was a cretin, a bastard and the anti christ, if an ex girlfriend who somehow got my number is to be believed....)

Anyway, off to a folk club in a while. I will "subject" Epworth to my proclamations.... Haven't been there for ages.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 12:45 PM

"people living in those countries get better facilties such as free health/free university etc etc,"

When I was looking at some schools, they had tuition costs displayed on their websites. Who gets free tuition?


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 12:56 PM

Can you really walk to the Isle of Wight at certain low tides? This is news to me. When is the next chance?


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 01:21 PM

Further to Steamin'Willie's claim that it is posible to walk to the Isle of Wight, I have had a look at a map. It would seem that the Solwent channel is always at least ten metres deep, judging by the colours on the chart; so I think any attempt at walking by a human(unless exceptionally tall) would be ill-advised.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 01:43 PM

A United Britain would be a Great Kingdom !


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 01:46 PM

I've always liked the idea of the UK losing Northern Ireland and changing its name to the Kingdom of Great Britain, or KGB for short.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 01:56 PM

Great Britain, or Grande Bretagne, was, I believe, originally used to distinguish the island of Britain from Brittany.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 02:20 PM

The United Kingdom is a state. Great Britain is an island.

Two possible political eventualities could mean the United Kingdom cease to exist. One would be if Scotland decides to go independent, since even if Northern Ireland or Wales stick around, they aren't kingdoms. The other would be if the monarchy was pensioned off, in which case perhaps the UK would presumably be replaced by the UR.

But in either eventuality the island Great Britain would still be keep its name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 02:44 PM

McGrath: Since the name is not "United Kingdoms", I don't see any necessity that it be composed of more than one kingdom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 02:49 PM

Defunct or not, theleveller, the sovereign state to which you belong is the United Kingdom. The entities of Great Britain, England, Scotland etc have no status at the United Nations or in international law. Sotland has its own legislature, devolved from the UK, but England doesn't even have that. I am not sure that there are ANY laws applicable exclusively to England, though there are may that run in England and Wales combined.

I am by no means a monarchist, but I am perfectly happy with the UK nomenclature since - for the moment - that is what it is, Stev Shaw's point notwithstanding. But then (unlike Steve perhaps) I've never had a problem with women chairmen nor with names like Manchester.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: romanyman
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 02:57 PM

Great Britain it aint any more,
United kingdom it aint,
so i reckon it should be, that little island just off calais


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 03:08 PM

It's not a little island - it's one of the world's larger islands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 03:17 PM

Ninth largest, apparently. It's easily the largest island in Europe, being more than twice the size of Iceland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: gnu
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 03:50 PM

Kendall... ""A Rose by any other name... "

Oooooo. Good one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 03:54 PM

The "Great" in Great Britain has nothing to do with global power and so forth, it's just about size, about bigger than Brittany (Bretagne).

"United Kingdoms" was actually the term used at the time James VI of Scotland also became James I of England. I'm not sure when the S was dropped, but the title does seem specifically to refer to the union of the two kingdoms - no one ever talked before that time about the United Kingdom of England and Wales, or of England, Wales and Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 05:35 PM

Actually the Germans invented radar, they just didn't employ it so well (Kendall's post 29th September).


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:07 PM

Yes, but we "British" invented ways of JAMMING it,which by 1945 was the really important thing !! As to the main point of the thread; well, if asked,for example,to declare or reveal my national identity as part of a form in-filling process, I invariably put "English",even if no such box exists for me to tick ( in which case I write "ENGLISH" in large letters in the "Other" box).I hate "UK" , and resent "Great Britain" as it includes some ethnic groups whose loyalty to Her Majesty is somewhat suspect,to say the least. Better, I say, to secede or devolve from the "Union",and let the Welsh & the Scottish Nations run their own affairs, and pay for their own defence,transport,education,social & medical welfare ,etc., and give us back our National Identity,so that we can tell the French (and some other countries) what they can do with the EU / Common Market (what a joke !) once & for all !
"Perfidious Albion" ?? Bring it on, Monsieurs !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 06:54 PM

"Great Britain, or Grande Bretagne, was, I believe, originally used to distinguish the island of Britain from Brittany."

It goes back a lot further - the Romans used Brittania Major to differentiate it from the other British Islands, notably Brittania Mino, otherwise known as Ireland.

After 1707, the Scots put a lot of effort into the concept of "Britain" - look at all the variants of North Briton in the late 18th and early 19th century, but getting no response from our Southern neighbours who appeared to think that everybody was now English, went back to Scottish Nationalism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 07:47 PM

I've never heard of "Britannia Major". My understanding is the Roman's used the term "Britannia" on its own for Great Britain. Ireland was Hibernia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: theleveller
Date: 30 Sep 10 - 03:41 AM

"So, sorry mate, you are a subject."

Thinking about it, Willie, it's probably the other way around. The monarchy exists by the will of parliament, i.e. the people. Therefore, Liz Windsor is, in fact, the subjects of the British people. This is what Charles l found when he was found guilty of being a "tyrant, traitor, murderer and public enemy", so the precedent is an historical one. Wow, that makes me feel a lot better, LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Sep 10 - 03:56 AM

But, theleveller, those who found Charles guilty of these offences were themselves subsequently convicted, by a properly and legally appointed court, of High Treason and regicide, and executed in their turn. So the status quo was restored whereby the people are 'subjects' of the monarch, and that is the legal situation which persists to this day, howsomever some may endeavour to wriggle out of their [purely notional] 'subjection'.

Sorry if I've messed up your "that feels a lot better"; but there it is.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: theleveller
Date: 30 Sep 10 - 04:04 AM

"It goes back a lot further - the Romans used Brittania Major to differentiate it from the other British Islands"

Britannia is derived from the supposed founder of the country, Brutus or Brute who, according to Nennius and Geoffrey of Monmouth was the son of the Trojan, Aeneas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Great Britain or United Kingdom - which?
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 30 Sep 10 - 04:09 AM

>Great Britain it aint any more,
United kingdom it aint,
so i reckon it should be, that little island just off calais <

Actually good point, it seems more and more lately we look to France at what they are going to decide about anything. Where I work we certainly can't make decisions without France's say so first.


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