rootsair
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:35 pm

This is a question I have very very often wondered about.

Why are the 4 British countries considered as one in some cases and separate in other ?

For example, when we look at rugby or football games, we see that there is no UK team . Instead you see a Scottish, an English, A Welsh ,etc team.Only the olympics is the major sports event where you see a UK team .

However they all share same passport, same ID and all have the GB as the country's code

In addition doesn't Scotland have its own parliament ?

And last but not least, I've never heard anyone say they are from the UK or proud to be from the UK. They all say I'm Scottish, Welsh, N.Irish or English. The few people that say they are from the UK are people from England since many take it for granted that to foreigners you are directly English if you say you are from the UK. (trust me I know a few)
Plus there has been many threads on people asking why the flags from Scotland, N.Ireland or Wales weren't put up on the website

I would like to ask the following questions
1) To you British folks out there, what is your opinion on the U.K existing as such . Do you think its good it remains the U.K or you'd rather have it split up
2) I would like to know why Scotland, England , Wales, and N.Ireland are considered separate entities in sports events but not politically!

Regards

B.M
A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
 
Klaus
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:46 pm

Britain de facto has a federal structure, just still in an embryonic form (England has no regional structures, while the other regions do). It´s not really fundamentatlly different from the structure in many other countries such as the USA or Germany. The separate regional representation in some international sports events is just a historical oddity. In practice, Scotland is not structurally different from Bavaria regarding its political status (and more than a few cultural peculiarities, for some strange reason).

I don´t think the regions could survive on their own (except maybe for England), so I doubt there´s really an alternative to complete a federal reform and get it over with.

Especially if it cuts down the whining in the forums... Big grin
 
VS74741R
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:51 pm

Quoting RootsAir (Thread starter):
And last but not least, I've never heard anyone say they are from the UK or proud to be from the UK. They all say I'm Scottish, Welsh, N.Irish or English. The few people that say they are from the UK are people from England since many take it for granted that to foreigners you are directly English if you say you are from the UK. (trust me I know a few)

I don't know about anyone else but I always say Im British or I come from Britain. There are a lot of people who wouldn't know where England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland are but they know where the uk is. lol It's just our identity to the world I surpose.

Quoting RootsAir (Thread starter):
1) To you British folks out there, what is your opinion on the U.K existing as such . Do you think its good it remains the U.K or you'd rather have it split up

I'd rather it remain the UK, there's no point splitting us up, we're all friends here  wink 

Quoting RootsAir (Thread starter):
2) I would like to know why Scotland, England , Wales, and N.Ireland are considered separate entities in sports events but not politically!

We all have our loyalty and pride  wink 
Obviously a Virgin Atlantic fan!!!
 
bill142
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:37 pm

British and Irish Lions anyone?
 
duke
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:51 pm

Here's why it's all one state: England was "given" Ireland by the Pope in the Middle Ages, and then conquered it. Ireland eventually got the style of "Kingdom", but was treated more like an English colony (I'm simplifying perhaps). The issue of home rule for Ireland eventually came up. When Ireland separated in the 20th century, Northern Ireland stayed part of the Union (more on this below). Wales was conquered by England in the Middle Ages, and I think was seen as an integral part of that country for many years (but nowadays, it would be politically incorrect to say such a thing). As for Scotland, it was an independent kingdom (albeit at war with England on several occasions, including some overlordship) until 1707. At that year, the parliaments of England and Scotland were united, and these states became one - Great Britain. However, Scotland retained much of its own legal system. A few years ago, it got its own Parliament, which is similar to a provincial/state/teritorial legislature in North America or Germany. I think Wales has something like this developing or in place, but don't know if it's the same.

Now, as to the question of why they're all together, part of the reason is, very simply put, that there is not enough of an independence movement in the remaining countries. People seem generally content to express their nationality and to do some things differently on a regional level. Moreover, in Northern Ireland, people tend to be loyal to the British Crown. Their ancestors came over from Scotland and England to colonize that area (the Scotch-Irish or Ulster Scots in North America are descendants of these).

I happen to be something of a Scottish nationalist (although I am a Serbian Canadian who has moved to Prague). I have gotten the feeling that making Scotland an independent country once again would solve some of the bickering and politicking. However, if this were done, I would hope that relations between Scotland and England-Wales-Northern Ireland would remain friendly, that the border would stay unguarded, and that maybe some institutions (like British Airways and British Rail) would not be broken up but just stay together. Furthermore, I would suggest that the two new countries establish a reciprocal voting right (this now exists between Britain and the Republic of Ireland) by which a citizen of one country living in the other can vote there. And maybe the entire British Isles could make a military alliance (but not a common military).
 
GDB
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:13 am

Parties like the Scots Nationalists, Welsh Nationalists, make a lot of noise, but they've yet to win mass support, or anything even close.
 
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nighthawk
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:26 am

Duke: British Rail dissapeared years ago. Now services are operated by franchise operators, Virgin, GNER etc. The railway system was until recently operated by network rail, but im not sure if they are still trading (i think they collpsed a year or 2 ago?) I believe scottish railways are maintained by a division of whoever operates the lines nowadays...

As for British Airways, there is a reason they are called "London Airways" you know, they only operate about 1 european route from scotland, the rest are all doemstic links, many of which other airlines compete on. The majority of island services are done by Loganair, a BA franchise. So to lose BA would be no major loss!!

Personally I believe scotland would be much better off independent. The UK government always favours the south east, and encourages companies to set up there rather than pushing scoland. Since devolution began, the scottish economy has boomed considerably, and quite a few high profile companies have now established offices in Edinburgh. If independence was to be granted I believe this would continue.

Also as an independent nation we would be given control over the north sea oil reserves, this will generate further income for scotlnd and help drive the economy.

Right now pretty much most areas are controlled from Scotland, why not take the next step and grant us independence?

The scottish people are very patriotic, and there are many who share my views that scotland should be independent.
 
Banco
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:16 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
Britain de facto has a federal structure, just still in an embryonic form (England has no regional structures, while the other regions do). It´s not really fundamentatlly different from the structure in many other countries such as the USA or Germany

*Sigh*. Klaus, you keep repeating this and it isn't any more true than when you first did. The UK does NOT have a de facto federal structure, it has a unitary one. In a federal system, the primary power is held in the regions, with reserve powers, and the central government has its power limited. In a unitary system, power is central, but may be devolved to the regions. That doesn't mean that the power cannot be removed from the regions and returned to the centre, something which cannot happen under a federal system.

If the UK Parliament were to abolish the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly; if it were to order everyone to stand on their heads, it can do so. The power is central, the devolved authority on the sufferance and say so of Parliament.

This isn't a matter of opinion or perspective, but a matter of fact.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:47 am

Banco: The UK does NOT have a de facto federal structure, it has a unitary one. In a federal system, the primary power is held in the regions, with reserve powers, and the central government has its power limited. In a unitary system, power is central, but may be devolved to the regions. That doesn't mean that the power cannot be removed from the regions and returned to the centre, something which cannot happen under a federal system.

Nonsense. The characteristic of a federal system is a distribution of powers between central and regional institutions, regardless of how that distribution might be modifiable.

The power distribution in Germany, for instance, is in the process of being changed (probably in a few decades at the rate it´s going), which doesn´t change the fact that we´ve got a federal system.

Neither does the way the british power distribution might be changed change the fact that de facto it´s a federal system as well, just an incomplete and relatively awkward one.

Have a nice evening! Big grin
 
FDXmech
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:57 am

>>>This isn't a matter of opinion or perspective, but a matter of fact.<<<

Well, that's *your* opinion.

Just kidding, couldn'd resist.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
Banco
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Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:19 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
Nonsense. The characteristic of a federal system is a distribution of powers between central and regional institutions, regardless of how that distribution might be modifiable.

Klaus, I strongly suggest you go away and do some reading on political systems and definitions.

A unitary system and a federal system can be similar in execution, but not in terms of the source of power. You will find every single damned textbook and authority on the subject in the whole world will say the same thing; the UK is not a federal system, it is a unitary one. In fact, if you can't be arsed to properly read up on it, why don't you type in: " "unitary system" british constitution" into Google and see what you come back with? Oh, yes, page after page after page talking about the UK being a unitary system. What a surprise.  Yeah sure

Stop being so bloody arrogant and insisting you are correct and that the rest of the world is wrong.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:17 am

Banco: A unitary system and a federal system can be similar in execution, but not in terms of the source of power.

What about the term "de facto" do you need to have explained?

You yourself have agreed elsewhere that the current arrangement is rather awkward and will need to be corrected, so with England getting its own regional representation and administration (and Northern Ireland being resolved), Britain would in fact have a federal system in practice.

Everything else would primarily just affect the way how changes to the distribution of power would be made, not the actual arrangement.


Banco: Stop being so bloody arrogant and insisting you are correct and that the rest of the world is wrong.

Sorry to invade your very own terrain...! Big grin
 
Banco
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Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:34 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
What about the term "de facto" do you need to have explained?

What about the term "opposite" do you need to have explained?  Yeah sure

Further, would you like the word "antonym" explained? The antonym of "federal" is "unitary".

Germany is federal, The United States is federal, France is unitary, the UK is unitary.

Your statement is as nonsensical as saying

"The United States is not federal"
"Germany is a constitutional monarchy"
The capital of Canada is Rio de Janeiro"

I'm not debating this matter with you, I'm telling you what the facts are. Arguing black is white doesn't make black white. Once again, Britain is not federal, de facto or otherwise, it is unitary, with devolved assemblies.

Just, for once in your life, admit you are wrong.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
You yourself have agreed elsewhere that the current arrangement is rather awkward and will need to be corrected, so with England getting its own regional representation and administration (and Northern Ireland being resolved), Britain would in fact have a federal system in practice.

If you'd been paying attention, rather than trying to get the facts to fit your preconceptions, you'd know that England is not getting regional representation and administration. "England" never was. One or two regions within England might have been, but they are not. It was rejected in referenda.

Even if it had gone ahead, it would not be a federal system "in practice". It just wouldn't. It would be a unitary system with devolved powers.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
duke
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:41 pm

Both you guys raise good points. I think things are not always black and white. The USA and Canada are quite clearly federal. France and the Czech Republic are quite clearly central/unitary. However, I think the situation in Britain is more fluid. Scotland has a similar status to that of a state or province in a federal country; England doesn't. Britain is sort of in between, I'd say.
 
Banco
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Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:52 pm

Quoting Duke (Reply 13):
However, I think the situation in Britain is more fluid. Scotland has a similar status to that of a state or province in a federal country

Absolutely! It is indeed similar in some elements. And had Klaus said that, he would have been correct, with the proviso that the central Parliament can remove those powers - in other words a devolved, unitary system.  Wink

But you cannot say it is de facto federal, because that fundamentally misunderstands the meaning of federal. There is a reason we have two terms to describe structures, federal and unitary, because they mean different things.

The reason I keep banging on about this, is because it is fundamentally misleading to use the "federal" with any reference to the UK.

Quoting Duke (Reply 13):
England doesn't. Britain is sort of in between, I'd say.

No. This is my point. It is not in-between, it is a unitary system with devolved assemblies. In practice there are similarities, but that doesn't alter the basic fact. There are similarities in the real world between empirical and theoretical levels of proof, but they are still different in execution.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:01 am

Banco: Absolutely! It is indeed similar in some elements. And had Klaus said that, he would have been correct,

I did.


Banco: with the proviso that the central Parliament can remove those powers - in other words a devolved, unitary system.

What you don´t seem to understand is that there is a conceptual difference between the actual execution of administration and the formal status behind it.

Your hangup about having to prove the differences precludes your recognition of the structural similarities which are clearly emerging.

As I said, it´s in an embryonic form, but it is (and should be) developing into the same direction.


Banco: Just, for once in your life, admit you are wrong.

I don´t see why I should start now, of all times!  bigthumbsup 
 
Banco
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:10 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 15):
I don´t see why I should start now, of all times!

Enough of this. You are wrong. End of story. Your attempts to try to get out of it are silly. Your ignorance of constitutional realities as it pertains to the United Kingdom has been demonstrated by your continual gainsaying of a fact acknowledged by every single political writer and authority there is.

And your refusal to acknowledge that fact in itself speaks volumes.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:25 am

Banco: Enough of this. You are wrong. End of story.

You are simply looking from a different angle at the same things. If you can´t recognize the different abstraction levels involved, I´m afraid I can´t help you either.

You seem so obsessed with your visceral rejection of the dreaded "F-word" (no, not that one, mods! Big grin) that you lose the necessary capability to differentiate between them. You might want to take a step back and re-read my posts again.
 
Banco
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:35 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 17):
You are simply looking from a different angle at the same things. If you can´t recognize the different abstraction levels involved, I´m afraid I can´t help you either.

It has nothing whatever to do with abstraction. It has everything to do with using inaccurate and plain wrong terms to describe a system. You can't even bring yourself to admit that the UK is a unitary system not a federal one for heaven's sake!  Yeah sure

It has nothing to do with not liling a federal system either. I haven't even mentioned a view on the subject, but for what it's worth, a federal structure here would work perfectly well. However, and this is why you are entirely, incontestably wrong to use the term, it would require a total and utter re-write of the constitution removing the primacy of Parliament. We are not "moving towards" a federal system as you so incorrectly put it, because we cannot have one without changing absolutely everything.

Get over it. You can whinge all you like, but it won't change the facts.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:12 am

Banco: It has nothing whatever to do with abstraction.

Just re-read my posts. I am talking about the factual structure, not about the formal powers of how to make changes to the factual structure (which you´re talking about exclusively).
 
Banco
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:27 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
Just re-read my posts. I am talking about the factual structure,

Oh, for heaven's sake.  Yeah sure

You just don't get it, do you?

Why don't you go away and do some reading about the UK? Or France. Or in fact, both. France has devolved power to the regions too, but they are not federal either.

When you actually comprehend the difference, come back and discuss it.

And you STILL won't actually admit that Britain is unitary, will you?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Kieron747
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:38 am

Airliners.Net - The Jam Rag Of The Web.
 
Banco
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:59 am

Kieron, I'd love to think that that post would clear it up, but sadly, I fear not. I've given Klaus every encouragement to look at any and every reference book in the world which will say the same thing, and also every website not written by a 12 year old which will also say the same thing. I deliberately didn't want to provide any links because I wanted him to find it for himself - if he was prepared to look (not that I am ungrateful to you!).

He hasn't done so, and I very much doubt that you providing the definitions for him will make any difference either.

It's been like trying to argue with someone who says that Ireland is a country located off the coast of Australia.

I'll await the next time this subject comes up, when no doubt he will repeat the same thing.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:06 am

I have never denied the formal structure of Britain being centralized ("unitary") - my point regarding the initial topic of this post was simply that de facto Britain implements an embryonic and incomplete form of a federal structure.

A centralized structure with "devolution" tacked on as a band-aid to relieve some of the regional pressure is an unstable transitional form towards a federal form which has turned out to be much more stable.

The open acrimony - even hostility - emerging from occupied territories in centralized states (Northern Ireland, the basque region, Corsica etc.) gives clear testament that actual regional rights cannot be replaced by a fictional unity which merely invites the occupied to join their occupiers by discarding their own identity.

Provisionally granting some rights under the constant threat of arbitrary revocation is not a solution - it´s a stop gap measure.

Interestingly (but not surprisingly), many britons project their fears onto the EU under wild and unrealistic assumptions that the EU would act or work like the current british system does now. Small wonder they´re unenthusiasticBig grin

(If anything, the EU is developing into a "weak center" variety of a true federal system with guaranteed regional (in this case national) rights, not a centralized one!)
 
Banco
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:21 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
I have never denied the formal structure of Britain being centralized ("unitary") - my point regarding the initial topic of this post was simply that de facto Britain implements an embryonic and incomplete form of a federal structure.

Oh, stunning.  Yeah sure You finally admit it, and then go on to repeat the same crap you did before, despite all the evidence that you were, and are, talking utter nonsense. Unbelievable.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
The open acrimony - even hostility - emerging from occupied territories in centralized states (Northern Ireland, the basque region, Corsica etc.) gives clear testament that actual regional rights cannot be replaced by a fictional unity which merely invites the occupied to join their occupiers by discarding their own identity.

I've never read such a load of bollocks in all my life. "Emerging" hostility? In Northern Ireland? Because it isn't a federal system? Are you really that stupid?

Then there's is the phrase "occupied". I'm not even going to go there with that one. It's even more stupid than before.

You really haven't got a clue, have you? You've got absolutely no comprehension or understanding of the subject at all.  Yeah sure
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:26 am

Dealing with the distinctions and the actual points is too much to ask?

Pity.
 
Banco
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:44 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):
Dealing with the distinctions and the actual points is too much to ask?

Pity.

Excuse me? After you ignored my repeated requests to answer a simple question. After you refused to look up information I asked you to? After you refused to even acknowledge that you were wrong (again) about devolution in England?

You have the nerve to say that?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:15 am

Banco: Excuse me? After you ignored my repeated requests to answer a simple question.

I have always said that I wasn´t addressing the formal structure - which was the only thing you were talking about. You simply missed my point and insisted on something that was never in dispute (also frequently stated before).

Difficult to discuss anything that way.
 
Andreas
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:47 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 24):
I've never read such a load of bollocks in all my life.

I did...some English papers, and, following them out of his own free will, a certain Forum member by the nickname of Banco, did actually believe that England could win EC 2004 ....... LOLOLOLOL, what a load of crap!!! Big grin Big grin Big grin


Ok boys, carry on  Wink


btw: Do you guys know what Germans are trying to say when they talk about the "Hornberger Schiessen"? Big grin
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
 
Banco
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:10 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 27):
I have always said that I wasn´t addressing the formal structure - which was the only thing you were talking about. You simply missed my point and insisted on something that was never in dispute (also frequently stated before).

Oh rubbish. You insisted on a specific point that was totally and irrefutably wrong, and refused - and still refuse - to back down.

And you also refused to acknowledge the follow up points. I'm finished with this.

Come back when you learn not to behave like a complete idiot.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
JGPH1A
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:21 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
Just re-read my posts. I am talking about the factual structure, not about the formal powers of how to make changes to the factual structure (which you´re talking about exclusively).

Banco is right. The UK is a unionist structure, in fact as well as in law.

Another example would be South Africa. In the early 1900's following the surrender of the Boer republics, the 4 colonies in SA were given the choice of how they wished to combine into a single country, the options being a Federation (following the Australian 1901 model) or a Union, with much greater centralised power and only very local power devolved to the provinces. The choice eventually fell to a Union (the former Boer republics favoured a Federal model, which would have allowed them much greater autonomy, which was exactly the reason the Federal option was vehemently opposed by the former British Cape and Natal colonies). SA thus became the Union of South Africa, comprising 4 provinces, Cape Province, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State. Each province retained some local powers (education, roads, provision of certain services) but the vast majority of power was retained by the central government.

The UK is not quite this kind of union of equals, since England has never had a seperate "provincial" status or assembly or anything of that kind. The other "provinces" were attached, willingly or unwillingly, to England and came thereby to be ruled by the "English" Parliament at Westminster (which became the "British" parliament)
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
gkirk
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:25 pm

Banco, stop being so harsh on poor old Klaus. It's not his fault that he's Germa...oh wait, carry on Big grin
Andreas, stay out of it  Wink
 old 
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
MD11Engineer
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:30 pm

Kirkie,

But here is the reason why you will never gert a Scottish flag on A.net.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Klaus
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 pm

I see good manners are on their way out on the foggy isles... as is the capability to address the actual point. Sad to see.
 
gkirk
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:54 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 22):
It's been like trying to argue with someone who says that Ireland is a country located off the coast of Australia.

You mean, it isnt?  Wow!

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
I see good manners are on their way out on the foggy isles... as is the capability to address the actual point. Sad to see.

Is this you admitting defeat? Big grin
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
Klaus
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:03 pm

Gkirk: Is this you admitting defeat?

If the actual content of my posts is being ignored in favour of madly hopping up and down over a point that wasn´t contested in the first place - why bother any more?
 
skidmarks
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Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:14 pm

Oh dear. I think I'll stay on the Isle of Man - at least we KNOW what sort of government we have. And also what we are. Big grin And that is a Dependancy of the UK with independance in some matters.

Klaus, you do raise one or two interesting points but I have to agree with Banco, UK is not Federal, and never will be until it becomes part of the greater European Nation, which may or may not happen.

Banco, you should know better than argue with the Germans, they just don't know when to stop Big grin

Anyway, lets all have a nice cup of tea and think of which emerging nations we would all like to re-colonise. And who we could fob Scotland off to.

Have a good one peeps.

Andy  old 
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
Banco
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:21 pm

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 36):
Banco, you should know better than argue with the Germans, they just don't know when to stop

It's the holding on to a point when it has been shown time and again that he's talking drivel that's the most irritating bit.  Yeah sure

Then he tries to change the goalposts by saying that was never contested. Yet about a dozen posts went by when he refused to address the point. The he has the unmitigated cheek to say that others aren't answering the question. Even if we were as charitable as we could possibly be, he still never acknowledged how wrong he was to go on about devolution in England. Never let the facts get in the way of his prejudice.  Yeah sure
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cornish
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:29 pm

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 36):
Anyway, lets all have a nice cup of tea and think of which emerging nations we would all like to re-colonise. And who we could fob Scotland off to.

Maybe we could swap Scotland with the French for some of those nice island territories of theirs Big grin
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
Klaus
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:47 pm

Banco, you were exclusively clinging to the letter of the word, completely ignoring the context in which I made my remarks. And as you could see for yourself, the context has been very specific right from the beginning of this thread.

Again: The formal structure was never in dispute. If I made the claim that the formal structure of Britain was federal, I´d like you to point out its precise location in this thread. Since that´s what you´re claiming so insistently, it should be no problem at all.

In fact I was talking about the de facto structure (literal quote, in case you´re still incapable of scrolling back up) as opposed to the thread starter´s initial statement.

There are underlying structural issues beneath the various alternatives such as alliance / federation / centralized state which can and should be discussed. The formal and the de facto structures usually coincide, but always just to a degree - there are deviations, transitional inconsistencies and traditional peculiarities which make the real picture more complex than a simple catch-all term could describe.

And - obvious sensitivities aside - there is a relatively fluid situation in Britain right now, which merits some attention to potential underlying issues.

That it seems impossible to conduct a halfway civilized discussion about this topic strikes me as somewhat odd, given that we´re supposed to be talking about a distinguished european nation and not some third-world hotbed of hate and violence.

Strange.
 
Banco
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:58 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 39):
In fact I was talking about the de facto structure (literal quote, in case you´re still incapable of scrolling back up) as opposed to the thread starter´s initial statement.

Oh, for God's sake. It has been pointed out that the UK's structure is not remotely federal, not even de facto federal. It's just the opposite. Would you like yet another dictionary definition of what "opposite" means?

Are you going to acknowledge any of the other points miles up the thread, or are you going to ignore them yet again as you usually do?

How about acknowledging you were wrong with reference to England for a start?
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Klaus
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:15 pm

Banco: Oh, for God's sake. It has been pointed out that the UK's structure is not remotely federal, not even de facto federal. It's just the opposite. Would you like yet another dictionary definition of what "opposite" means?

The opposite of acknowledged regions with regional administration and constitutionally guaranteed rights is not acknowledging any rights of the regions in the first place: Strict centralism!

And - especially when coming from the context of the thread starter - the current british de facto situation looks a lot like an embryonic federal structure to me: (At least some) acknowledged regions with regional administration, the primary remaining difference being the absence of constitutionally guaranteed rights.

In that sense there´s a rather close relationship, especially considering the practical difficulty of revoking those rights of regional administration and representation - if you´d have to risk civil unrest or worse in that case, it´s not really far away from a constitutional guarantee for all practical purposes.

Obsessing about a nominal label for the de jure status is rather pointless in this context. But I have not seen you do anything else so far.
 
Banco
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:20 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 41):
The opposite of acknowledged regions with regional administration and constitutionally guaranteed rights is not acknowledging any rights of the regions in the first place: Strict centralism!

Oh, you haven't actually bothered reading those definitions have you?

Did you look up what "antonym" means? The anonym of "federal" is "unitary". Got it yet?

Now, again: Do you accept you were wrong with your comments about English devolution?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Klaus
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:46 pm

Banco: Oh, you haven't actually bothered reading those definitions have you? Did you look up what "antonym" means? The anonym of "federal" is "unitary". Got it yet?

Ultimately only in the single dimension of region rights, not addressing the distinction whether regions are acknowledged entities or not, for instance. Which - again - I wasn´t denying on the formal (abstract) level but which is entirely beside my point.

You´re still hoping that complex real situations could somehow be reduced to a single word to be "right" or "wrong" about. In reality, however, things are usually more complex. And that´s where you´re still coming up empty so far.
 
Banco
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:52 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 43):
You´re still hoping that complex real situations could somehow be reduced to a single word to be "right" or "wrong" about. In reality, however, things are usually more complex.

Crap. The definitions are there to point up the differences. By concentrating on regional government and calling it "federal" all you are doing is showing that you don't actually understand what federal means either.

Now, again: Do you acknowledge that you were wrong about England and devolution? I'm going to keep on until you answer.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
MD11Engineer
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:10 am

Could you guys please stop arguing?

While according to British constitutional law there is no facility to stop the London parliament from removing power from regional assemblies (like it did in Northern Ireland a few years ago by dissolving the NI parliament and ruling the province directly from London), if it feels like it, I think doing the same in e.g. in Scotland would cause major outrage, especially if it is being done in peacetime, without a civil war like situation like in NI.
In the German or American constitutions, on the other hand, the rights and responsdiblities of the states have deliberately been written down and can´t be changed on whim by the federal government
Once people are used to regional selfrule, it is quite hard to convince them to give it up again, so in this aspect Klaus is right. Just see what answeres you´ll get from Kirkie, Scotty, Scottishladdie etc. if you suggest that the Scottish parliament should be disolved and Scotland again ruled directly from Westminster.


So both of you are right.

Jan
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Banco
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:31 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 45):
While according to British constitutional law there is no facility to stop the London parliament from removing power from regional assemblies (like it did in Northern Ireland a few years ago by dissolving the NI parliament and ruling the province directly from London), if it feels like it, I think doing the same in e.g. in Scotland would cause major outrage, especially if it is being done in peacetime, without a civil war like situation like in NI.
In the German or American constitutions, on the other hand, the rights and responsdiblities of the states have deliberately been written down and can´t be changed on whim by the federal government
Once people are used to regional selfrule, it is quite hard to convince them to give it up again, so in this aspect Klaus is right. Just see what answeres you´ll get from Kirkie, Scotty, Scottishladdie etc. if you suggest that the Scottish parliament should be disolved and Scotland again ruled directly from Westminster.


So both of you are right.

I quite agree with your assessment Jan. That isn't the point. Let me try to explain why in German terms. If I said:

Germany seems to me to be a de facto unitary structure, with a central government and devolved powers to the regions...

Might you not point out the error of my ways? The situation is identical.
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MD11Engineer
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Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:45 am

Banco,
With the way the German states are often interfering in decisions made at federal level, sometimes I wish it would be more unitary, on the other hand we´ve got no provision in the constitution to stop a state from leaving the federation at any time if they wished so. Of course, it would be a major nightmare. e.g. Bavaria (which is the most independentminded state) used to be a poor agricultural state 50 years ago, with Northrhine-Westfalia being rich due to the coal mines and steel mills in the Ruhr area, then Bavaria received a lot of subsidies from mostly Northrhine-Westfalia to build up a modern industry. Now Northrhine-Westfalia has problems, because coal and steel are not that much in demand anymore, with lots of unemployed miners and steel mill and heavy engineering workers, while Bavaria built up a modern Hi Tech industry. Now the Bavarian are complaining about having to help Northrhine-Westfalia to convert their industry. So it would have to figured out how much they received from the other states and the federal government before secession and how much would have to be paid back. But there is nothing to stop them. The federal government doesn´t have any powers toe.g. sent in the military to stop them.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Banco
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RE: Why Does The UK Exist As Such&notSplit Up?

Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:56 am

They wouldn't seriously go that far though, surely? I mean, I know that Germany as a construct is relatively recent, but is there really any part of the union that has a sizeable separatist streak?

Of course, ultimately in any society if a unit wishes to separate you can't stop them, but in our case, we have the opposite issue - there is no procedure in place allowing any member to leave. Of course a way would be found, just as it was with the then Irish Free State, but all the constraints are on the devolved assemblies, not the central government, and the secession bll would have to go through the UK Parliament allowing them to go.

do you see why using "federal" with any connotation to the UK is just as wrong as "unitary" with any connotation to Germany?

Perhaps if Klaus had talked about "regional government" he might well have had a point. But he didn't, he talked all around federal, which it totally and utterly incorrect, both in fact and in the everyday world.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
gkirk
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RE: Why Does The UK Exist As Such & Not Split Up?

Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:17 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
If the actual content of my posts is being ignored in favour of madly hopping up and down over a point that wasn´t contested in the first place - why bother any more?

Indeed, give up now  Wink

And seeing as some of you (non Brits) think that Scotland isnt a country, I challenge you to go into the middle of any Scottish town or city and say that....I bet you wouldnt have the balls...or if you did, you wouldnt once you'd left...
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!

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