| Friday, October 28, 2005
| REMEDIAL BRITISH GEOGRAPHY AND POLITICS
|I have been getting a few international readers and for the purposes of international understanding I would like to make a few things clear. Please don't take this the wrong way, I read this stuff about other countries and many people in the UK do not know the correct formation of this stuff (including my students). I have had an email telling me that Scotland was one of the nicest parts of England so I think I should explain. I have my teaching hat on today. If you are looking for more tubthumping posts then there is much more to get your teeth into if you scroll down.
This is not intended as a patriotic or nationalistic piece - just for the purposes of information. The political classes in the UK are as parasitic as anywhere else (if not more so) but this is just to explain how the whole thing is supposed to play out.
What is the difference between England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom?
In the image above you will see the various COUNTRIES and one PROVINCE that make up the United Kingdom. They are not REGIONS.
The colour coding on the map at the top should help a little. The United Kingdom consists of Scotland (in red), England (in blue), Wales (in Orange) and Northern Ireland (in yellow).
Great Britain is the name for the island that encompasses Scotland, England and Wales and therefore does not include Northern Ireland. On a UK passport it states "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" - which is the full name. Now it is perfectly ok with me to debate how 'United' or for that matter, 'Great' it is but that is how it works.
With a bit of Wiki help I will go through the constituent parts of the United Kingdom - Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales
Scotland (Alba in Gaelic) is a NATION in and a constituent country of the United Kingdom. It occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain.
The Kingdom of Scotland was united in 843, by King Kenneth I of Scotland, and is thus one of the oldest still-existing countries in the world. Scotland existed as an independent state until 1 May 1707, when the 1707 Act of Union merged Scotland with the Kingdom of England to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. Scotland has 3 official languages - Gaelic, English and Scots
England is the largest and most populous country of the United Kingdom. England is named after the Angles, one of a number of Germanic tribes believed to have originated in Angeln in Northern Germany, who settled in England in the 5th and 6th centuries. It has not had a distinct political identity since 1707, when Great Britain was established as a unified political entity; however, it has a legal identity separate from those of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as part of the entity "England and Wales". England has one official language (no prizes for guessing).
Northern Ireland is one of four constituent parts of the United Kingdom. It was created by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920.
Wales (Cymru in Welsh; pronounced "KUM-ree") is a country and one of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom. Wales is in the south-west of Great Britain (in Orange). The term Principality of Wales is often used, although the Prince of Wales has no role in the governance of Wales and this term is unpopular among some. Wales has not been politically independent since 1282, when it was conquered by King Edward I of England. Wales has two official languages - Welsh and English.
Scotland IS NOT part of England.
Scotland IS part of Great Britain
Scotland IS part of the United Kingdom
Northern Ireland IS NOT part of Ireland (though many feel it should be)
Northern Ireland IS NOT part of Great Britain
Northern Ireland IS part of the United Kingdom
Wales IS NOT part of England
Wales IS part of Great Britain
Wales IS part of the United Kingdom
There are independence movements in Wales, Scotland, a small section on England's south coast called Cornwall and there is even a fledgling English independence movement.
Scotland has its own parliament. The "devolved matters" over which it has responsibility include education, health, agriculture, and justice. It has limited tax-varying powers. A degree of domestic authority, and all foreign policy, remains with the UK Parliament in Westminster. Scotland also has, and always has had, separate legal and education systems and although the currency is the same Scottish banks print notes that are different in appearance.
Northern Ireland has its own assembly. The Assembly is a home rule legislature established in Northern Ireland under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement but currently under suspension.
Wales has its own assembly. Set up by the 1998 Government of Wales Act, the National Assembly for Wales cannot pass its own primary legislation, nor can it raise its own taxes, as these powers remain with Westminster. This is largely because Wales has had the same legal system as England since 1536. The Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly, have stronger powers.
I hope that clears matters up.
|posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:57 pm
I've been to all but the yellow and purple bits. My favorite is the red part. Been there three times. I would be happy to go back for a long long stay, esp. around Skye.
Enjoyed the remedial, looking forward to the advanced class.
i've been to lots of the island s but not skye yet - its next on the list. but if you've been hen you know that past the cities a lot of places in scotland are tricky to get to. makes them all the better once you are there
Skye is so, so incredible to look at, and mostly to look from (all the views of water) I envy anyone who is going to get to see it for the first time.
Michael, linking to your blog now. Keep it up.
Thanks for that. As an American, I've always been confused about all those terms you just explained.
So we're all in the Commonwealth then ?
not ireland, as you well know.
sweet. that explained, i feel a billion times more intelligent.
not really, but it was interesting enough for me to read straight through. i'll most likely forget it all by morning.
|What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?
Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile
|Thumping The Tub Video
I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc
Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie
How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song
What You Like
I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.
What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.
Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing
Gorillas and us
I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams
art not oil>
campaign for press freedom
cost of war
downing street says>
food not bombs>
mixed up records
radio 4 all
snow shoe films
video activist network>
U.S. MONETARY Cost of the War in Iraq - other people are spending too, and the human cost is much higher
|some of the blogs I look at
|Arse of the month
The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..
NODOBY KNOWS ME>
|It's All Gone Scottish
A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.
The Scottish Patient>
big stick small carrot>
J. Arthur MacNumpty>
World of Jack McConnell>
The Firefox Chronicles>
Radio Free Scotland>
Scots and independent>
Scottish Independence Guide>
Inveresk Street Ingrate>
|Want to Swot?
If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.
politics and the english language>
the gore exception>
your tax dollars at work>
a cultural chernobyl>
choose life (not trainspotting)>
shooting an elephant>
a war crime within a war crime...>
>the menace of liberal scholarship
the modern era of law>
naming the problem>
the four ages of sand>
a news revolution has begun>
>money is the cause of poverty
countering corporate power>
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