1 EAGLETON NOTES: Here's A How-De-Do!

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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Here's A How-De-Do!

Wouldn't Gilbert and Sullivan be having a field day if they were alive and writing and composing just now? I would love to have the talent to parody some of their work and adapt it to modern circumstances.

I really want to write a considered serious post or two on the present situation because I think it is far more serious and the consequences far more far-reaching for our children and the world and the future of the countries that make up the United Kingdom. Indeed I may do that but for now I'll address one point: that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is not made up of four regions! People's ignorance astonishes me demonstrated by the number of time I have heard a reference on television and radio recently to Scotland being a region or area of the UK or, on one occasion, a region of England (sic) not even of the UK.

Perhaps it's the weather:

30 comments:

  1. This nonsense of referring to the countries of the UK as regions smacks of internal colonialism to my mind.

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    1. Good evening Heron. Thank you for your comment. It looks like my post has either hit a nerve or people are just reluctant to comment. Unusual in my Blogworld. Welcome to it.

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  2. I think that here in Sweden it is probably quite common that people think of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as regions rather than separate countries and may also casually say England when really we mean all of Great Britain. I do think in newscasts they usually use Great Britain (Storbritannien) and British correctly though. (But the Swedish words for "United Kingdom" are rarely included.) I've been pondering this since I read your post earlier today and have to say I'm not even sure how I've been regarding it myself. Even if I do think my awareness has been growing in later years. (But if it's true that not even the British media manage to get it right - perhaps no wonder if the rest of us are a bit confused!)

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    1. Monica I have always regarded the countries as separate countries because, despite being born in England, I am from a family with connections in Scotland, Wales and England (none from Ireland that I'm aware of) which were part of my childhood. Since I came to live in Scotland, though, I have become more and more aware of the English attitude towards the peripheral areas and, oddly, more aware of the divide between the North and the South of England. One of the biggest insults to anyone from the North of England was to call him a Southerner. That's ignoring the 'friendly' rivalry between Yorkshire and Lancashire.

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  3. I've always been confused on this one. History gets in the way. Novels don't help. I hate to admit that I don't really care even though my wife was born in Yorkshire. In spite of my wife I've not been informed as to what the correct term would be.

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    1. Well Red I don't blame you for not caring (let's face it few people in Britain are concerned about the Quebec issue in Canada). PS If you want some fun try telling your wife you thought she was from Lancashire!

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  4. I don't think I've ever heard of Scotland referred to as a 'region', but nothing surprises me in a country where illiteracy is now rampant.

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    1. Cro I think I'm much more aware of it now that I've lived in Scotland for so long.

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  5. Why isn't it United Queendom?

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    1. Adrian that really is worth a post all of its own. Brilliant question despite the fact that it was made in semi-jest (knowing you as I do).

      Another Columbia fella
      Told Queen Isabella
      "I don't think the world is flat
      "Now whaddaya think about that?"
      And she said, "ya don't?"
      And he said, "no, ma'am"
      And she said, "ya get outta my queendom"
      And he said, "yes, maam" -- Johnny Cash
      --21:22, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

      Given that King comes from kin (so I believe) why not King Elizabeth as a neutral approach?

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    2. I was merely suggesting that as she has been in charge for lord knows how many years and reinflated a tyre in the war against her family it seems a little odd that we haven't realised what sex she is.
      Me take the piss. Never.

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  6. Adrian does have a point, doesn't he!
    Like Monica's experience with the Swedish use of terms, in Germany, people often say "England" when they mean all of the UK. In the media - at least the ones that I read/watch - it is always either Großbritannien (Great Britain) or das Vereinigte Königreich (UK), and if they talk/write about England, Scotland and Wales as separate entities, they usually say "Land", as in country, not "Region" as in region.

    I agree with you that this whole Brexit business is far more serious and far-reaching than what it may appear at first glance. Hard for me to come up with clever and thoughtful ponderings myself, especially since I am rather careful about making political comments on my or other people's blogs.

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    1. Meike Adrian does have a point! As with Monica's comment it's good to understand how Germany views this. I generally avoid political or religious comments or posts too although sometimes with YP and a few others I feel I can make a political comment on a political post.

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    2. Librarian, the markets decide and the people here voted. The fact that the dumb nuts who decide for us can't even coalesce when faced with people power shows how incompetent they are. It is just drop dead gorgeous. We don't need big government and silly rules we just need to get on with proper jobs.
      We don't need May but Cameron said he wasn't a quiter and then quit. Once a liar always a liar.

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  7. I have never heard of the countries called regions. Our media refer to them as countries. The ramifications are scary.

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    1. That's good to know Diane, thank you.

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  8. I mostly hear reference to England here but I think older folk like myself will still know that it's Great Britain and Northern Ireland and what countries are included.
    Honestly I don't think the youngsters care too much one way or the other but it's sad when news reporters can't take the time to get it right...that's one sure way of misleading the public.

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    1. Virginia I think on the whole youngsters are much more global and less concerned with such matters. Having said that despite Scots being a very outward and colonising nation (I challenge you to find me a country without Scottish blood in its population) they are fiercely proud of their Country and the forced union with England and Wales in the first decade of the 1700s still rankles.

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  9. I'll just keep on watching Wimbledon...it's more fun!

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    1. It is at the moment Lee: Andy Murray is 1 set up against Lu>

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    2. I'm not a fan of Murray, Graham. He and Kyrgios are meeting up today (tonight our time). Perhaps they both will get disqualified for childish behaviour. I'm not, you see, a fan of Kyrgios, either...or Tomic. Both are a disgrace to this country and it's time they grew up!

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    3. Ah well, Lee, I am a Murray supporter. I'd like to see him win again.

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    4. I was going to email you Lee but I can't find an address. Whether either of us likes Murray and/or Kyrgios they are both playing some superb tennis is their dual.

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    5. Okay so they started off well!

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  10. Well, unlike Red, I care (my parents and all my extending family being from Scotland may have something to do with that) and I don't understand how anyone could get it so wrong. And i remember refreshing my memory on the Quebec referendum before my last visit in Sept 2014 only to find no one cared one jot whenever I tried to inject it into a referendum conversation (of which there were far too many)

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    1. I think, Violet Sky, that anyone of Scottish descent always has their antecedents in their mind somewhere. In New Zealand if there were people with the same forename the Scottish one would always be "Scottish Whoever" when there was a likelihood of a mix-up.

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  11. Here they are referred to as countries you will be pleased to know. We are also hearing a lot about all of Scotland wanting to stay in the EU, and that many English are regretting voting out. Interesting months ahead I feel for the UK.

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    1. I am pleased to hear that Lynda. Interesting, I fear, in the sense of the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times."

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  12. Was just discussing this with a friend. I was thinking that if two of the countries of the UK wanted to vote out, surely it would be anti democratic to go ahead with Brexit. But the friend said something about the powers in Scotland and N Ireland being devolved, and at that point they lost me. Have you seen any discussion of this point?

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    1. Jenny I have seen and heard many discussions on the point. It is the UK that is the member state in the EU. Strictly speaking we are all bound as one state however the question as to what is or is not a democratic decision (for example whether a simple majority constitutes democracy in constitutional matters) is up for grabs. When I read British Constitution as a subsid at Uni it's exactly the sort of question which we would be required to argue.

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