British vs. English, Scottish, Wlesh, etc.

topic posted Sat, August 20, 2005 - 6:21 PM by  Unsubscribed
Hey Guys,

I have a Scottish friend out visiting me and she was enraged to see a book review mention that the author is English-born, and that there had been so many English sales, but refer to the book as British. Now, I'm sure the publisher is British, but where do we draw the line of political correctness?

Britain, as I know it, consists of England, Wales, and Scotland (with a few islands here and there). The United Kingdom consists of all of the above, plus Northern Ireland. Maybe I have this backwards, I dunno.

Anyway, when is something British, and when is something not? There really doesn't seem to be any rules here. There is quite a number of national football teams, but there is only one team to represent all the UK in the Olympics. I guess when talking about global politics, we would refer to the UK as the UK, as it's not England or Scotland that decided to attack Iraq. But it is England and Scotland when we are talking about education, or even healthcare. There is no British language; 'Cymru' is certainly not a British word just as much as 'Hello' is. Haggis is by no means is a British dish, or is it?

There is a lot of confusion over here in North America between the differences as well. We have all these terms like 'UK, Britain, England' all molded into one, so it gets rather confusing. Most people over here probably could not tell you what the difference between England and Britain is. Though we can tell you that we absolutely 'love the British accent'. Even politicians in New Westminster occasionally refer to Britain as England (probably mistakingly) when addressing a British issue.

To me, the UK only exists as a political body, as representation. Gone are the days when the British Empire stretched across the world. I want to say that British culture does not exist, but I guess it does. One only needs to look at the BBC, or Top of the Pops to see British culture. But one could conversely argue that this is English culture being spread to the reaches of the UK. Which category do British comedies fall under?

What is British, and what is not?
posted by:
  • OK Col - I'll try and give you a coherent answer - and hope things do not go nuclear!
    Just to set the ground rules - I'm not a fan of nationalism or patriotism cos I'm an old vulgar Marxist ok?
    But I was born and have lived the larger part of my life in Scotland.
    Scotland is a nation. We have our own parliament now in Edinburgh and our own First Minister. Scotland has its' own legal system, currency, education, languages, literature, Arts, music and Culture etc etc. So it is not 'English'. I don't know why this 'British' term is creeping back probably because of that oxymoron 'the war on terror' and some attempt at hegemony in the current fiasco.
    It has been the UK for years to reflect that it is made up of other countries:
    England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Great Britain etc harks back to empire and all that crap. People were told : " The sun never set on the British Empire" A with (correctly IMHO) retorted : " That's because God didn't trust the buggers in the dark". Anyway lots of peoples and places are still paying ( average 40 dying in Iraq every day) as a consequence of the British Empire.
    Anyway back to your friend - of course- she isn't best chuffed if you say that Irvine Welsh (Trainspottin'); Fleming; Robert Burns etc are 'English' or even British. It's the same as if I describe you as Canadian or Mexican etc.

    I don't know if you ever visited this tiny island but then you would understand. Scots intensely dislike being described as 'English'. This is most probably mostly directed at SE Englanders btw. Of course the English would HATE to be called Scottish For example our Scottish banknotes (lawful tender - Bank of Scotland ) always attract cheek and problems when I arrive in London and try to pay. I don't know what 'British culture' is - and I won't be pledging allegiance to Tony Blair or any of that shit. The BBC has regions also - so I don't know how you can say there is 'BBC culture'. Since it is the official political opposition just now it is under sustained attack with funding and job losses.
    Anyway at New Year the world over - from Baltimore to Bangkok - sing 'Auld Lang Syne' written by the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns.
    Scottish people since devolution are increasingly pissed off with Blair and 'New Labour' and by and large do not consider themselves 'British' and don't write that word on official forms - and they are certainly NOT English.
    Scots are in the United Kingdom and Europe.
    So - lang may your lum reek !
    and don't scunner us with all this pish!
    Greetings from Glasgow
    • Apologies addendum. I see that you are located in Canada.
      Well I suppose the ananalogy is if I described you as American of South American.

      • All this bullshit about who's being called what only ever generally comes from the Scots and the Irish.

        The patriotic bile that has been festering inside their stomachs for hundreds of years can't be good for them. They all need to fucking grow up and get over themselves already. Wankers.

        I've had to live with all this "we're Irish, not British" bollocks from my Irish mother and all her barking mad army of brothers and sisters for the past 40 years (the vast majority of whom live in "England" by the way). I told a few of them over the years that I heard most of the supermarkets in Ireland do now have plenty of potatoes in stock so why don't they fuck off back there.

        "Ooh...we're not British, please don't call us that". Fuck off.

        • thanks Mitchy Mitch for taking the discussion to a new intellectual high !
          Never let the facts get in the way of a good (?) rant
          I don't need to 'fuck off' - I am in Scotland and paying my taxes there.
          I come to England from time to time. When I am in London I tolerate the witty cracks of : 'Oh we have a Jock / sweaty sock etc in the cab."
          I spend my Scottish money (which they happily pocket with insults).
          I lived there before - it's better to visit believe me.
          Ireland is great. You know I am constantly amazed at the generosity of women.

          "Pro libertate" - "FOR FREEDOM".
          • It IS petty nationalism though. There is a point to be made there.
            • there is also a point to be made when we are stuck with a government we didn't vote for - taking us into illegal wars, killing innocents, preventing us being fully in the European union etc etc. So maybe the 'we are better than you stuff' like USA version of democracy is better than anyone else and needs imposing is certainly petty but I don't see how stating facts like Scotland is a separate country is petty. The facts are that the ISAs and Church and Law are completely different. Get rid of all descriptions then.
              Also please explain to me why the English require sub-titles for Scottish comedy programmes like Rab C Nesbitt - if we are all the same? We don't get subtitles for Eastenders. This is usually a problem centring on a few zenophobic types. History is important - even the most casual look round the world proves that. Scotland and Ireland have strong cultural identities that should be celebrated. I am still waiting to hear any coherent description of 'British' values though. Michael Howard said it was : "Fair play, decency and tolerance" - well I had a good laugh at that !
              OK Tribe - help me out here and tell me what it is??
              • We didn't get subtitles for Rab C Nesbitt, don't know where you got that from :/ I think it got them when it was shown abroad (US/Canada) if it was.

                Its petty because it really serves no purpose and I find it objectionable in the same way I find the BNP objectionable. Its all a bunch of flagwaving silliness.

                And hey, the government has a minority of support, that's nothing new, happened under Thatcher and has happened before. There's plenty of complaints down south as well about how much tax money disappears north of the border.

                Its all pretty much irrelevent in the face of growing larger organisations (such as Europe) anyway. Its also a contradiction to pull towards greater 'autonomy' while also wanting to push into Europe.

                What's Britishness? The humour I'd say is the major unifying thing, perhaps the drinking culture as well, and probably weather.
                • the BNP are beyond vile. Flag waving is silly. But remembering and understanding the history, culture, music, literature of your birthplace is not.
                  Neither is calling yourself a Scot.
                  The fact that you mentioned about tax money disappearing 'north of the border' suggests to me that you are not totally convinced. We know all about Thatcher - we were the 'Poll Tax' experiment remember.
                  I don't think the humour is the same - how can it be when so many of our comedy programmes are not shown in England and Wales?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    You can't edit on here. But I think in fact if you disallow people from celebrating rich heritages like Scottish, Irish - it is called fascism in fact.
                    Banning languages, history etc....
                    Oswald Moseley - of course - he called himself 'British'
                    • I don't think preventing it is called fascism, in fact, facist regimes have tended to play up on the nationalist angle a great deal in order to accomplish their aims and to stir up patriotism etc. Part of the reason Britain has been resistant to that is - I believe - differing local customs, words etc, even from village to village. Still, nationalism is dangerous and irrelevent IMO and you either end up with supremacist overtones, violence or cartoonish charicatures (St Patrick's day in the US).
                      • The first thing all repressive regimes do is stamp out indigenous culture and replace it with imposed art and propaganda to reflect the ideology.
                        Like Nazi Germany. I call that right wing - no - fascist.
                        Plenty of good information here:

                        With regards to painting - you can see plenty of examples at Tate Modern.
                        The work of Harold Pinter and Ariel Dorfman also reflects these themes.
                        • Nazi Germany played up on the 'Manifest Destiny' of the German people, encouraged them to think in terms of superiority, tapped into Nordic culture for much of their influence and past Empires etc. They tapped into and fuelled nationalism and myth. The same in Fascist Italy, the same in Imperial Japan, the same in Stalin's Russia and these days the same in Bush's US.
                      • Unsu...
                        "Still, nationalism is dangerous and irrelevent IMO and you either end up with supremacist overtones, violence or cartoonish charicatures"

                        I'll have to disagree with you there GRIM, at least to a certain extent.

                        There is a fine line between nationalism, and aggressive nationalism. I think when we are talking about Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, or imperialist Japan, yeah, I'd say nationalism isn't too cool at all. I wouldn't say the nationalistic tendencies in countries when WWI broke out did much to make the world a happy place either. However, one just has to look at recent reveloutions in countries like Georiga and Ukraine to note that nationalism does not have to be dangerous or irrelevant. Nationalism is a very powerful thing indeed, probably more powerful than we think. It was nationalistic pride that help win the Viet Cong the war in Vietnam, help end apartheid in South Africa, and help create countries like the US amongst others.

                        I can appreciate your comments regarding nationalism in Britain, and how it is not really productive to the national interests of Britain. But one can feel for the Irish, or the Scottish, who did not have a choice in becoming part of Britain. While it would be nice if people could forget and move on, that is not the world we live in. If you were from one of these countires, you may have different feelings toward nationalism. Also, I believe the BNP do their best in England, which tells you where nationalistic anti-Sentimism lies in Britain.

                        It can be a terrible thing, but a very beneficial things as well. To me, nationalism is part of a countries culture. I can tell you nationalism runs pretty high here in Canada, and helps me define my country that much better. I think one could also say it helps define quite a number of other countries as well.
                        • As I recall it was a Scottish King who did a lot of the unifying and took the crown of England wasn't it? King James?
                          • Yes Grim- you can read about it here:

                            SUCH A PARCEL OF ROGUES

                            ( Robert Burns )

                            Fareweill tae aa our Scottish fame
                            Fareweill our ancient glory
                            Fareweill e'en tae our Scottish name
                            Sae famed in martial story
                            Nou Sark rins ower the Solway sands
                            An Tweed rins tae the ocean
                            Tae mark whaur England's province stauns
                            Sic a parcel o rogues in a nation!

                            What force or guile could not subdue
                            Thro many warlike ages
                            Is wrocht nou by a coward few
                            For hireling traitor's wages
                            The English steel we could disdain
                            Secure in valour's station
                            But English gold has been our bane
                            Sic a parcel o rogues in a nation!

                            O wad, ere I had seen the day
                            That Treason thus could sell us
                            My auld gray heid had lain in clay
                            Wi Bruce an loyal Wallace
                            But pith an pooer, till my last hour
                            I'll mak this declaration -
                            We're bocht an sold for English gold
                            Sic a parcel o rogues in a nation!


                            Written about the Treaty Of Union of 1707 which, in theory, abolished the independent Parliaments of Scotland and England and created the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In practise, it merely ended the autonomy of the Scots* and reduced them to the status of a province of England.
                            *Fabric from the 1707 Parliament has been incorporated into the Scottish Parliament.

                            The 'parcel of rogues' refered to were the bourgeousie of the Scots Parliament who were, quite literally, bribed into voting for the Treaty, completely abandoning all the principles of The Declaration of Arbroath:

                            Declaration of Arbroath

                            To the most Holy Father and Lord in Christ, the Lord John, by divine providence Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman and Universal Church, his humble and devout sons Duncan, Earl of Fife, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, Lord of Man and of Annandale, Patrick Dunbar, Earl of March, Malise, Earl of Strathearn, Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, William, Earl of Ross, Magnus, Earl of Caithness and Orkney, and William, Earl of Sutherland; Walter, Steward of Scotland, William Soules, Butler of Scotland, James, Lord of Douglas, Roger Mowbray, David, Lord of Brechin, David Graham, Ingram Umfraville, John Menteith, guardian of the earldom of Menteith, Alexander Fraser, Gilbert Hay, Constable of Scotland, Robert Keith, Marischal of Scotland, Henry St Clair, John Graham, David Lindsay, William Oliphant, Patrick Graham, John Fenton, William Abernethy, David Wemyss, William Mushet, Fergus of Ardrossan, Eustace Maxwell, William Ramsay, William Mowat, Alan Murray, Donald Campbell, John Cameron, Reginald Cheyne, Alexander Seton, Andrew Leslie, and Alexander Straiton, and the other barons and freeholders and the whole community of the realm of Scotland send all manner of filial reverence, with devout kisses of his blessed feet.

                            Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since. In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken by a single foreigner.

                            The high qualities and deserts of these people, were they not otherwise manifest, gain glory enough from this: that the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus Christ, after His Passion and Resurrection, called them, even though settled in the uttermost parts of the earth, almost the first to His most holy faith. Nor would He have them confirmed in that faith by merely anyone but by the first of His Apostles -- by calling, though second or third in rank -- the most gentle Saint Andrew, the Blessed Peter's brother, and desired him to keep them under his protection as their patron forever.

                            The Most Holy Fathers your predecessors gave careful heed to these things and bestowed many favours and numerous privileges on this same kingdom and people, as being the special charge of the Blessed Peter's brother. Thus our nation under their protection did indeed live in freedom and peace up to the time when that mighty prince the King of the English, Edward, the father of the one who reigns today, when our kingdom had no head and our people harboured no malice or treachery and were then unused to wars or invasions, came in the guise of a friend and ally to harass them as an enemy. The deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson, imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and killing monks and nuns, and yet other outrages without number which he committed against our people, sparing neither age nor sex, religion nor rank, no one could describe nor fully imagine unless he had seen them with his own eyes.

                            But from these countless evils we have been set free, by the help of Him Who though He afflicts yet heals and restores, by our most tireless Prince, King and Lord, the Lord Robert. He, that his people and his heritage might be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, met toil and fatigue, hunger and peril, like another Macabaeus or Joshua and bore them cheerfully. Him, too, divine providence, his right of succession according to our laws and customs which we shall maintain to the death, and the due consent and assent of us all have made our Prince and King. To him, as to the man by whom salvation has been wrought unto our people, we are bound both by law and by his merits that our freedom may be still maintained, and by him, come what may, we mean to stand.

                            Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

                            Therefore it is, Reverend Father and Lord, that we beseech your Holiness with our most earnest prayers and suppliant hearts, inasmuch as you will in your sincerity and goodness consider all this, that, since with Him Whose vice-regent on earth you are there is neither weighing nor distinction of Jew and Greek, Scotsman or Englishman, you will look with the eyes of a father on the troubles and privation brought by the English upon us and upon the Church of God. May it please you to admonish and exhort the King of the English, who ought to be satisfied with what belongs to him since England used once to be enough for seven kings or more, to leave us Scots in peace, who live in this poor little Scotland, beyond which there is no dwelling-place at all, and covet nothing but our own. We are sincerely willing to do anything for him, having regard to our condition, that we can, to win peace for ourselves.

                            This truly concerns you, Holy Father, since you see the savagery of the heathen raging against the Christians, as the sins of Christians have indeed deserved, and the frontiers of Christendom being pressed inward every day; and how much it will tarnish your Holiness's memory if (which God forbid) the Church suffers eclipse or scandal in any branch of it during your time, you must perceive. Then rouse the Christian princes who for false reasons pretend that they cannot go to help of the Holy Land because of wars they have on hand with their neighbours. The real reason that prevents them is that in making war on their smaller neighbours they find quicker profit and weaker resistance. But how cheerfully our Lord the King and we too would go there if the King of the English would leave us in peace, He from Whom nothing is hidden well knows; and we profess and declare it to you as the Vicar of Christ and to all Christendom.

                            But if your Holiness puts too much faith in the tales the English tell and will not give sincere belief to all this, nor refrain from favouring them to our prejudice, then the slaughter of bodies, the perdition of souls, and all the other misfortunes that will follow, inflicted by them on us and by us on them, will, we believe, be surely laid by the Most High to your charge.

                            To conclude, we are and shall ever be, as far as duty calls us, ready to do your will in all things, as obedient sons to you as His Vicar; and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge we commit the maintenance of our cause, casting our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to naught.

                            May the Most High preserve you to his Holy Church in holiness and health and grant you length of days.

                            Given at the monastery of Arbroath in Scotland on the sixth day of the month of April in the year of grace thirteen hundred and twenty and the fifteenth year of the reign of our King aforesaid.

                        • <I believe the BNP do their best in England, which tells you where nationalistic anti-Sentimism lies in Britain. >

                          The BNP are primarily anti South Asian, and in that primarily anti Muslim, they recently attempted to make alliances with the Sikh against Muslims in northern English towns.

                          Scotland (look out for the fireworks) has its own National Party, the SNP.

                          • The SNP under its last leader John Finney before the last election ditched outright nationalism in an attempt to get the vote of the business community and take the 'new labour'
                            vote. They had a duff vote and now are led by Alex Salmond at the Westminster and Nicola Sturgeon at the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Socialist Party now led by Colin Fox after they sacked the charismatic Tommy Sheridan also favour total Scottish independence. I must make it totally clear that neither the SNP or the SNP espouse vile the policies of the BNP in any way. I cannot emphasis that enough. 'New Labour' are in a coalition in the Scottish Parliament primarily with Lib Democrats. The BNP don't hold any sway here.
                            The recent proof of this was the horrible and terrible kidnap, torture and murder of Kris Donald by a gang of Glasgow Asian men in the south side of Glasgow. The BNP tried to capitalise on this but totally failed and the community stood very strong together. One man is in jail serving life for this awful crime and 4 others are being extradited as I write largely because of the communities' MP , Mohammad Sarwar.
                            We have never had race riots in Scotland up until this point in
                            in time.
                            • <neither the SNP or the SNP >

                              that was 'SNP or the SSP' right? That was just a typo right?

                              <race riots in Scotland>

                              Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 05:12 GMT 06:12 UK
                              'Living hell' for asylum seekers
                              'A Glasgow GP has warned it is only a matter of time before an asylum seeker is murdered in the city. Some 90 racially motivated attacks have been reported to the police already this year and the situation is said to be at boiling point. There are around 4,500 asylum seekers in Scotland and most of them are in Glasgow.'

                              Saturday, 25 August, 2001, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
                              Sighthill residents stage 'unity' march
                              Around 350 people turned out in a show of solidarity after racial tensions escalated following the death of a 22-year-old asylum seeker.
                              • "that was 'SNP or the SSP' right? That was just a typo right? "
                                Yes Aidan. Mea culpa - I find it regrettable that I can't edit on here ;)

                                You are correct about the utterly shameful murder in Sighthill and the disgusting elements who disgraced us all when the asylum seekers were dumped in the Sighthill high rise flats in the north of Glasgow. That was extremely badly handled by the UK government and Glasgow City Council.
                                I think they now have made improvements in community relations there. However when I say 'race riots' I mean like Handsworth, Toxteth etc. I am not saying that there is no racism obviously. The Kris Donald murder was also dubbed as racially-motivated by the Judge when sentencing the only man convicted

                                The Rangers FC and Celtic FC 'Old Firm' sectarianism is different again. It has been going on since the 19th century.
                                Glasgow Rangers FC and Glasgow Celtic are the two biggest soccer teams in Scotland.

                                I don't think it has been hijacked by the BNP - at least I have never heard any potential BNP candidate crank up the Roman Catholic and Protestant conflict. The 'Old Firm' thing is more like the Northern Ireland situation but 'contained' hopefully.
                                It is better in recent years since Rangers FC signed Roman Catholic players and First Minister, Jack McConnell has a special campaign 'nil by mouth' against bigotry in football.
                                It used to be used as a way to find out what religion someone was in the west of Scotland to ask what Football Club they supported.
                                I only went to my first football match last night LOL
                                - I have never been to an 'Old Firm' derby where I have been told that the atmosphere is charged with a kind of hatred.
                                There are still 'Orange Walks' but they are no longer allowed to have marches that can't be crossed or any of that crap.
                                • <can't edit on here ;)>

                                  Click preview and then you if you catch something click edit from there, you can do that as many times as you like before you click submit. It's easier to catch it on preview because you get the overview of what the post will look like.

                                  <any potential BNP candidate crank up the Roman Catholic and Protestant conflict.>

                                  My thought: 'BNP or any fringe right wing movement'.

                                  Active in England:

                                  National Front, Combat 18.

                                  Loyalist / Republican conflict:

                                  LVF UDF (which have been in the news lately eliminating each other)

                                  Historically: Red Hand Defenders.

                                  Of which the second 2 categories are understood to have had support at a variety of levels on the British mainland.
                                  • I'm not any kind of expert about what goes on at football matches - so I don't know who infiltrates 'Old Firm' matches.
                                    Certainly no BNP or NF candidate has been elected in Scotland. There are none in the councils. It was only recently (last couple of general elections) that their election literature was distributed by the post office through the mail with the other candidates' leaflets. I was disturbed to see those on the doormat. My trade union - the National Union of Journalists has strong policies about the BNP - so we try to be vigilant about them.
                                • <There are still 'Orange Walks' >

                                  In Glasgow?
                                  • Unsu...
                                    Yup, there's Orange Walks in Glasgow still. There is a lot of secterian problems in the West of Scotland.

                                    I was actually a wee bit cheeky once. I temped at the Ranger's Football Club at Ibrox when I lived there. Now, my family is mainly Irish Catholics, and my favourite colour is green, so naturally I'd support Celtic. I didn't tell them this however. They did make Catholic jokes, and talked about all the different orange walks around the city. One day, I wore a green tie to work. No one in Ibrox would wear a green tie. I think I got away with it cause I was a foreigner.

                                    Good times, good times.
                                    • It's a weird mentality. There is a pub beside the Barrowland called Baird's that is a shrine to Celtic F.C and another place where they sing IRA songs and used to take collections for the IRA. There is an equivalent place in Duke Street which is 'Bitter Orange'. When I worked in Govan it was not uncommon for Rangers FC fans not turn up to work for a couple of days if their team lost at an 'Old Firm' derby. I lived in the Irish Republic for about 5 years and I founded it very amusing when I saw the actual site of the 'Battle of the Boyne' which is just like a small garden - I could only imagine a few drunk men having a brawl. I am very disappointed that this idiocy still prevails in the 21st century but it seems very ingrained and I don't know if the 'Nil by Mouth' campaign will be effective if these attitudes are always being passed from father to son.
                                      Some people have been stabbed and worse for wearing the wrong 'colour' in the wrong parts of the West of Scotland.
                                      Football was 'never just a game' around here. As I said I only went to a football match for the first time on Wednesday - European game at Ibrox (now being re-branded as 'Murray Park' ): Rangers vs Famagusta and there was plenty of singing of the same old songs as far as I could hear.
                                      • <these attitudes are always being passed from father to son.>

                                        good thing the mothers and daughters are all innocent in that case.
                                        • "good thing the mothers and daughters are all innocent in that case."

                                          You don't agree that football tribalism and football related violence is mainly a male activity in the West of Scotland? Be interested to see your stats on the women's figures.
                                          • <You don't agree that football tribalism and football related violence is mainly a male activity>

                                            I am not discussing football.

                                            I am discussing sectarianism.

                                            In this instance reflected in loyalties disguised as football.

                                            This involves entire communities which women are also members of.
                                            • Aidan - ok - that's enough for me.
                                              Have a good weekend
                                              • 'In this instance reflected in loyalties disguised as football'

                                                Maybe for your pals on the website 10 years ago.
                                                Sounds like you want there to be sectarianism in modern Scotland. All sounds pretty retrograde on an international website. Racist jokes and a bit unevolved round here aren't we?
                                                • <Maybe for your pals on the website 10 years ago.>

                                                  That website is current, that sectarianism exists still. It is not a fiction of my making. There was a report again on the BBC website today of internal feuding between loyalist groups in Ulster. Johnny Adair was very recently moved with female members of his family to the British Mainland after it is understood he ordered a killing from the Maze prison. Glasgow was discussed as a possible destination. I don't think being prepared to discuss the far right fringe component of a current and historical political dynamic makes those people my 'pals'. Nor do I have to declare my distaste, disgust or allegiances to participate in a rational or analytical debate. All of this subject matter is one of political science and anti terrorist studies. No less at St. Andrews.

                                                  <Sounds like you want there to be sectarianism in modern Scotland.>

                                                  There is sectarianism in modern Scotland.

                                                  <All sounds pretty retrograde on an international website.>

                                                  Websites are international by nature. Some of this information is sourced from none other than the BBC. I am making a point that I am not alone in making. I don't think a cover up of the facts, nor the representation of Scotland in this case, which as I have stated in a post further down, as a haven of racial harmony is a service to anybody. This is not a tourist office.

                                                  <Racist jokes>

                                                  I am not sure what racist joke you are referring to other than the one you commented on regarding a misplaced currency issue. But if there are others please let me know.

                                                  That joke was not placed by myself. Nor by anyone on my 'friend' list.

                                                  There has been a policy on this tribe that no post would be deleted or anyone removed from the tribe. Although a picture was removed by the individual who placed it after a protest was made by another member.

                                                  <and a bit unevolved round here>

                                                  This is usually a statement made on political lines by members of the socialist left when one is deemed either no longer to be, or never having attempted to be, a fully fledged cadre. I would say that defending statements where females are portrayed as noncomplicit members of communities participating in violence is rather more to the point in this case unevolved.

                                                  <aren't we?>

                                                  I am not sure which we you are referring to.

                                                  The Lib lab coalition most certainly has no interest at this stage in a fully independent Scotland, a requirement that Alex Salmond and the SNP has also dropped.

                                                  As I have also said in another post the connections between Northern Ireland and Scotland are demonstrable and myriad. The issue of independence for Scotland is inextricably linked to political fortunes or lack of in Northern Ireland. These 2 regions within eyesight of each other are in daily contact with at all levels of trade, culture and politics and have been for millennia.
                                    • <Orange Walks in Glasgow still.>

                                      Will the real Scotland please step forward? ;}

                                      For out of town viewers who were or were not interested LVF stands for the Loyalist Volunteer Force. Oh and by the way note the url if nothing else:

                                      ' The LVF is an extreme loyalist group formerly led by Billy Wright, who was killed in the Maze prison at Christmas 1997, allegedly by THE Irish National Liberation Army in collusion with the British government It is believed to be made up of loyalists dissatisfied with other paramilitary organisations. Mainly ex U.V.F but now has very close links to the U.F.F. In March 1998, the group threatened Protestants who colluded in the peace process. In May, it declared an "unequivocal" ceasefire to encourage people to vote No in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement. The Loyalist Volunteer Force had been formed in 1996 following an acrimonious split between Billy Wright and the Ulster Volunteer Force, (UVF). Until 1996, Billy Wright had been clearly identified with the UVF in the mid-Ulster area. However, his opposition to the politics of the UVF and his open support for the Orangemen'


                                      other groups in this category excuse some of the mixing of abbreviations earlier are:
                                      UDA; Ulster Defense Association.
                                      UFF; Ulster Freedom Fighters.
                                      UVF; Ulster Volunteer Force.

                                      And yes you can see the North of Ireland from parts of Western Scotland without the aid of binoculars.
                                      • 'Will the real Scotland please step forward'

                                        This thread has moved considerably from whatever point I was trying to make. Just like the typos - maybe people should just try and get the facts right. If Sean Connery is Scottish - he is not English or Irish. However, being Scottish in Scotland is one thing and the activities of the diaspora something different again. I believe people should learn about history to care about the future. Nationhood is about the people of a country not the narrow Tony Blair ethnic thinking which is starting again now. Maybe that is your real Scotland - LVF and all that - it isn't mine. I'm an atheist and couldn't care less about moronic bigots of any label. Which is why I have been involved civil liberties council and trade union movement. I have heard about it but never seen it. It is certainly not routinely reported in the media. I have lived in the centre of Glasgow for most of my life - and yes I have travelled extensively.
                                        • <This thread has moved considerably from whatever point I was trying to make.>

                                          Your point is clear enough. But there are points that others including myself have made, are making and they are absolutely relevant to the debate.

                                          <Maybe that is your real Scotland - LVF and all that - it isn't mine.>

                                          First of all I am happy to accept and respect that, that isnt your Scotland. This is not from my side an attack based on your personal stance or perspective.

                                          but based on this statement:

                                          <I have heard about it but never seen it.>

                                          do you not think it is slightly disingenuous to pretend that just because you yourself are not involved in this world as you have also mentioned in your posts about activities at 'the old firm', that it somehow does not exist?

                                          Others have also posted their experiences of Scotland and I have my own. I might agree that it was a misguided policy to dump asylum seekers in a high rise building in a low income area without appropriate liasons with the surrounding community. A young man was murdered, there were a series of 'incidents'. It made the national feed. To portray Scotland as a Socialist haven of racial harmony is not quite the 'historical' facts in that case.

                                          I think I have quite clearly demonstrated the links on the British (England,Scotland and Wales) mainland with loyalist paramilitaries in Ulster including the 'Orange Order'. Currently and historically.

                                          The ethnic, and mainstream business and political connections have also been fairly well laid out. The facts remain in this case that Scottish independence is intrinsically linked to the political fortunes or lack of them in Northern Ireland.

                                          Call it a diaspora if you like but as I have also I believe made the case for, there is daily traffic between these 2 regions, that are within eyesight of each other, and there has been for millenia.
                                          • "do you not think it is slightly disingenuous to pretend that just because you yourself are not involved in this world as you have also mentioned in your posts about activities at 'the old firm', that it somehow does not exist?"

                                            1. Let me make it crystal clear Aidan - I never said it didn't exist. What I was attempting to convey was that I had no accurate, empirical data. I know that there have been Scottish government, football clubs, churches and initiatives like 'Nil by Mouth' which have been working for a few years now to address the problem. There have been educational initiatives. You might use the term 'disingenuous' but I wasn't prepare to comment on things about which I have no information. You can actually live your life and never go near Parkhead or Ibrox if you are not interested in football. I wrote that I went to a football for the first time in my life last week. It was a European match. Rangers won - there were no arrests. In the pub afterwards there were Greeks living in Glasgow wearing RFC supporters scarves etc.
                                            I don't honestly know what you expect me to say further about this. As far as our press and media tell me - no-one was murdered after the 'Old Firm' match the week before. RFC fans returning to Belfast have been banned by Stena ferries for singing sectarian songs and some have allegedly been banned from Ibrox according to a statement from the Rangers PR to BBC Scotland.

                                            2. "A young man was murdered, there were a series of 'incidents'. It made the national feed. To portray Scotland as a Socialist haven of racial harmony is not quite the 'historical' facts in that case. "

                                            Aidan - as I said this was utterly disgusting and shameful.
                                            A young Turkish asylum seeker was murdered by the son of a local politician. A lot of local people living in Sighthill ( high rise flats with the highest chill index in the city and not very good from a lot of aspects) made a disgusting display and said racist stuff about those asylum seekers getting shelter, electrical appliances etc. Those people were escaping torture and had been shunted about between London and Glasgow.ending up in that high rise block. The locals living there had separate problems of their own and used the arrival of the asylum seekers as a campaigning point with the Sun, Daily Record etc

                                            "To portray Scotland as a Socialist haven of racial harmony is not quite the 'historical' facts in that case"

                                            - I certainly didn't say that - saying that we had no BNP politician elected and race riots like Toxteth or Leeds etc - is hardly saying Scotland is :'a Socialist haven of racial harmony '

                                            I did also mention the other recent racially-motivated murder last year where a 15 year old white boy was the victim. I think it is hopeful that the BNP who tried to whip up hatred by leafleting and on their website failed and that community stood firm in that horrible tragedy. It was Mohammad Sarwar MP and Bashir Mann, Glasgow City Councillor, who have succeeded in getting the other killers extradited. That case got plenty of UK and international news feeds also.

                                            I said that Scotland didn't vote for Thatcher, rejected the Poll Tax, rejected 'New Labour' and voted for devolution and opposed the War in Iraq. I haven't ever seen a : 'Socialist haven of racial harmony' anywhere in the world and I don't know if I ever will.

                                            'links on the British (England,Scotland and Wales) mainland with loyalist paramilitaries in Ulster including the 'Orange Order'. Currently and historically'

                                            I said that there were still Orange Walks.
                                            I said that this year for the first time all that crap about not being able to 'cross the line of the marchers' and snarling up the city centre traffic was abolished. There has been more serious discussion about having them stopped - some people think that it 'too pc'. Orange Walks have been dwindling anyway as far as Glasgow City centre is concerned.
                                            When I was a girl they were bigger and louder and I think they even had a church service in Glasgow Cathedral. I always thought they were stupid as soon as I knew what they were. However some people defend them. I just know that you hardly notice them now and I am with earshot of Maryhill Road where historically there used to be one of the biggest parades 30 or 40 years ago. Funnily enough the biggest Orange Walk I ever saw was in Toronto in the '80s - diaspora again.
                                            I haven't visited Northern Ireland since the '70s. When I lived in Ireland it was in Cork and Dublin.

                                            I said that I had made contribution I could on the Scottish Council for Civil Liberties and as a trade union activist against racism, facism, bullying and for equality. I am a director of my local community development trust in the largest multicultural area of the city with a more highly educated community - which is where Glasgow City Council should have placed the asylum seekers in the first place.

                                            • <I am a director of my local community development trust in the largest multicultural area of the city with a more highly educated community - which is where Glasgow City Council should have placed the asylum seekers in the first place. >

                                              Sounds cool!

                                              Looks like we got all the latest from Scotland.

                                              Can we do Wales now?
                              • Unsu...
                                Scotland is horribley racist in my view, but the BNP will still never get any seats. I worked for the housing department in Sighthill and it opened my eyes to a whole new breed of hate. It's not nearly as bad as it was, of course, but it's still not great.
                                • < Scotland......the BNP will still never get any seats.>

                                  They sort of don't have to. First of all the BNP arose from the ashes of the National Front (whose leader just died) which as its name implied was an umbrella group for all sorts of boot and barrow boys some made, some made not so good. The far right in the UK during the Thatcher era.

                                  All of these groups had links with each other and were held in check by the policies and actions of the Conservative government. As recently as the last election Michael Howard made trips to Burnley to garner support in his anti immigrant campaign.

                                  The role of the fringe groups is to agitate so that the mainstream political parties co opt their policies, garner their votes, or at the very least their favour and agreement to co operate. When the SNP drops its demand for independence and forms a pro business ie innately conservative policy tacitly supporting the Unionist movement 'brethren' in Ulster then all the Rangers fans can rest assured that despite a few 'tighes' on their team all is safe and well.

                                  My point: The 'Nationalist' as opposed to patriotic agenda in Scotland includes Northern Ireland, and takes precedence over issues which the far right ie BNP and outlawed unelectable groups such as Combat 18 primarily involve themselves with in England namely: Asylum seekers, Muslim South Asians, Afro Carribeans.
                            • <The SNP under its last leader John Finney before the last election ditched outright nationalism>

                              <The Scottish Socialist Party now led by Colin Fox after they sacked the charismatic Tommy Sheridan also favour total Scottish independence.>

                              What I understand from your post and from what I have followed in the news is that there was a migration from SNP to SSP on the part of not just a portion of the electorate but also some politicians, precisely over the issue of SNP dropping its demand for outright ceding from the United Kingdom, that the Conservative party holds no sway in Scotland and that it is the Lib Lab coalition that holds the majority in Scotland. Is that basically it?

                              There is an issue of the fans of 2 different football teams as I recall in Glasgow.

                              I am also unaware of the BNP or any fringe right wing movement apart from the above mentioned football fans having any presence of note in Scotland. The BNP in England has the majority of its support in northern Industrial towns that were areas of high immigration from south Asia and now have depressed economies due to unemployment.

                              Scotland and Wales both have their own issues of national identity which revolve around incorporation in the United Kingdom. England is another story. In part because if you break down population figures in Britain what you get is 0f approximately 60 million people 2/3 of that live in England, and the majority of that lives in the south and specifically in the southeast, anything within commuter distance of London which has the highest concentration of population anywhere in the UK.

                              This is the North South divide. Until Britain furthers its program of decentralisation this is likely to continue to be an issue. France suffers from the same problem, but both Germany and Spain apart from the issue of the Basque which you might say corresponds to Northern Ireland, also have regional assemblies/landesbundt. An attempt to institute this kind of regional overview in England has worked on some levels in the Midlands, but was unsuccessful in the attempt to initiate a Northwest regional assembly in Britain. Meanwhile efforts to move offices of government ministries and portions of the BBC (to Manchester and Liverpool) are proceeding.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    I don't watch telly a great deal so I'm nto fully qualified to comment on the spread of regional comedy programs, but then, I can't think of any specifically English only comedy 'reviews' either.

                    I do still think there is a common thread to British humour, self-depricating and 'eccentric' regardless which part of the isles it comes from.
              • English require sub-titles for Scottish comedy programmes
                When the DVD copies of “The Office” were made available in the United States we had the standard inserts of the promotional material for the show AND this hokin' (large) dictionary insert which painstaking explained nearly all of the dialogue referenced, converting it to American English.

                No lie ... for Americans who were not familiar with British comedy since 1972's "Monty Python's Holy Grail" these folks were hurriedly looking up the terms "wanker" (derogatory term meaning one who masturbates frequently, a British slur), Scottish egg, loo, arse .... and so forth, as the show progressed.

                And supposedly both nations speak English! But I am not British, English, Scottish or Welsh, so I will close the door quietly and switch off the light as I should probably leave at this point.
    • Unsu...
      haha, I actually am Canadian.

      I actually know Scotland and Glasgow very well, and I know the stigma it attracts when you call Weegie English.

      It's funny how you mention that the sun doesn't set on the British Empire, because the flag of my province, British Columbia, is actually a sun setting over the Union Jack to represent just that.

      I think it is quite easy for a Scottish person to say there is no such thing as British culture, but I think others in this tribe may disagree with you. As for Irvine Welsh and co, I'd never say they were English, but one could say they were British, right? I was just making the observation that most people in North America use the term 'English' and 'British' interchangably here.

      • Col, surely thats because people in North America are generally geographically and culturally challenged when it comes to knowledge of other countries..... rather than there being any inherent blurring of the different identities of countries in the British Isles?
        • Unsu...
          You can't really group the education here as 'North American'. It's like saying that all of Britain has the same education system when it does not. In my opinion Canada has a pretty decent education situation. I always found the States education to be a bit closed minded in the sense that they educate from an American point of view. But yup, I actually had to learn what the countries of Europe actually are. We were even told what the difference between Britain and England is. Unfortunatly the terms still get used interchangably incorrectly all the time.
      • I know that Col :) I did correct myself below that you were Canadian (after I checked out your profile). I know about the terminology problems. My Turkish friends (the ones that haven't lived here are the same with the 'English' bit). Primarily that is down to the primary language spoken - although increasingly in Scotland signs are also in Gaelic like in the Irish Republic. It gets worse with your use of the term 'Weegie' no self-respecting Glaswegian ever uses that term - that's used by people from Edinburgh and the like maybe you get those nuances (This is all joking Tribers - so don't get your blood pressure raised !)
        I still don't know what 'British' is. That 'Little Britain' tv prog was about the English. Also in Scottish Indian/Pakistani restaurants we have Pakora - they cannot ever be found south of Carlisle - and no - they are not the same as samosas !!!
  • <What is British, and what is not?>

    One example, Col. I am neither English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh, but I am British (and proud of it, if I may add). And I never understood why the English were always OK to be called 'British' and the others nations indigenous to the British Isles were so keen to NOT to be called that way.

    I think everybody holding a British passport should call him/herself 'British' and stop this silly argument for once.
    • Interesting. However I still don't know what qualities make 'British'.
      My passport frontispiece title starts : ' European Union ...United Kingdom &&'
      Of course we didn't even discuss being a subject and not a citizen in the 21st century

      Sorry to be so jaded on this point but the longer I live and after last week's
      new revelations about the execution of the young Brazilian I am no longer
      inclined to share responsibility for the spread of the culture of lies and avoidance of responsibility that is becoming the hallmark of Blair's Britannia?
      • <Sorry to be so jaded on this point but the longer I live and after last week's new revelations about the execution of the young Brazilian I am no longer inclined to share responsibility for the spread of the culture of lies and avoidance of responsibility that is becoming the hallmark of Blair's Britannia?>

        Karen, I agree that the death of the Brazilian guy is utterly tragic and I cannot stress how sorry I feel it has happened... but don't you think that judging an entire country, population, culture by this one incident might be a bit of a mistake? Like it or not, Blair's Britannia is not going to rule forever. Somehow though I have the feeling you did not want to be called British before this incident either. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
      • Unsu...
        ok, I'll admit I have only skimmed this thread, but I will chuck in my wuppence-ha'penny.
        I am Northern Irish, and as someone who was brought up in a protestant household, was always told that I was British, not Irish. Other Northern Irish folk would agree, protestants are British, and Catholics are Irish. Without going into 400 years of political bullshit, the long and the short of it is, the voting prods want to be governed by the British government, and the voting catholics want a united ireland and independence from the British.

        I have travelled a lot and lived in London for 10 years, and have been living in the US for over 3 years. In London I was the occasional victim of racist abuse because of my Belfast accent. Once I called a company for a job interview, after they told me I lived too far away, I called again, putting on a London accent, I got an interview - I dropped the act and told them where to stick it. I was constantly told I was Irish. Bottom line - you were born in Ireland, therefore you are Irish.

        I found London to be one of the most narrow-minded, bigotted cities I ever lived.

        I lived in Wales for 9 months, due to my work, and found the Welsh to be very friendly, and fun to be around. What I found interesting was the competition between them all to be the most Welsh. Those who spoke Welsh as a first language won. At the other end of the spectrum were those born in England from Welsh parents.

        In America, I am told by nearly every person I meet that they are x% Irish", or "I that they are Irish, sure in a way they are, but they weren't born there, they have never even visited - they are American.

        The Americans know their entire racial background, and it is very important to them. As a melting pot, there is a strong need to belong and identify with a culture. Some say there is no American culture. I think there is, but it is very young, not as historic or well established as the old mother countries.

        The Welsh, Scottish, and Irish have languages, music, dance, arts etc.. that they have grown up surrounded by. Consequently they consider these things very much part of their life, when it is no longer surrounding them, it is missed, and so we tend to seek it out. The English also have these things, and each county, city or town, has its own particular set of identifying traits. Even within England, just as there is anywhere, there are great divides from north to south and east to west, city to city, town to town.

        The British accent? There are thousands. Each has it's own unique flavour. To some it sound like home, and to others it is another reason to prejudge. Having lived in the US for a while now, I am finding myself being able to identify accents over here. And although they are not as vastly different from one another as some "British" accents, they carry the same values to other americans. Some sound intelligent, some stupid, some sexy, some friendly...

        Now I have rambled aimlessly let me sum up.

        Things or people I can claim as my heritage as a person from (this is pretty random, and not a reflection of my taste!):

        Belfast - Dialect and accent, the "troubles", the "Golden Mile", "the Crown" Bar, Gloria Hunniford, Julian the continuity announcer, the Corrs, Van Morrison, Jimmy Nesbitt, Stephen Rea, Kenneth Brannagh...
        Northern Ireland - The mountains of Mourne, Carrickfergus Castle, Portrush, BBC Northern Ireland - Donegal, Dublin, Connemarra, Fiona Shaw, Liam Neeson, John Lynch, Susan Lynch...
        Ireland - Yeats, Joyce, Shaw, U2, Irish dance and music, landscape, rain, green, Guinness
        Britian/UK - Shakespeare, Irvine Welsh, Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard, Jennifer Saunders, BBC America...
        Europe - Culture, art, history - I think you get the picture...

        I would consider all these things part of my life history, important in their own particular ways, they don't identify my, but they are part of my identity.

        Most people in the US don't know where Belfast is, they think I am from London or if they are a little more enlightened, sometimes Scotland or Dublin. The more I recognize the size of the world, I understand it doesn't really matter.
        • To be fair, London has no real reason to love the Irish (Having been such a target), even if Irish navvies built a great deal of it. People will always leap to conclusions when they hear/see something, look at the way a lot of Indians are being treated these days.
          • There'a a lot of racism in Ireland too. As soon as the Economy picks up, everyone moves there, right after I immigrated too. People in The States are mostly very friendly.

            On another note, I often wondered if Protesteants in the North would still want to be British if The South wasn't so Catholic. I believe strongly in the separation of church and state and The First Ammendment over here.

            Yet another note, London has probably never Loved anybody but English Londoners, It's been the same with the Jews and Greeks and so on and so on.
            Just read Shakespeare and you will see where reinforcing negative stereotypes of ethnic minorities got started.

            The British Empire is regrouping and consolidating with THe US to form a new Empire but the people of both countries will never fully support such a concept hence The End of Democracy as we know it. Unless Euorope gets some balls.
            • <Yet another note, London has probably never Loved anybody but English Londoners, It's been the same with the Jews and Greeks and so on and so on.>

              I must have lived in a different London then. I did not have a red carpet laid at my feet coming to London, but I wasn't rejected either. People, Londoners - of all origins - treated me just fine. I even made some friends, some English Londoners, others of different ethnicity. If there has been any discrimination against me, I did not feel it. On rare occasions I felt like being a bit of a quirk, but certainly not in a bad way.

              OK, it may have helped having an Anglo sounding surname, not being a "bulk" immigrant, trying my best to fit in and speaking English almost accent-free...

              Or maybe I was just lucky.
              • Unsu...
                Hey I didn't want to be loved, I would have been happy just to slip by without any fuss, and being protestant, I certainly wasn't even in a category that supported the terrorist activity on the mainland.

                On the note about the Irish being racist, that is absolutely true, as a general statement. We have lived in a very secluded island that most people were too scared to visit, so we have been underexposed to the variety of the world. However, I have found most of the time, the Irish are open enough to be hospitable until they get a guage of who they are meeting. the door is pretty open. The Welsh and Scottish are similarly open and hospitable. I found the Southern English to be cold and unfriendly, and I shared this experience with many friends from Wales, Scotland, US and Northern England. Again, I speak in generalizations and purely from my own experience
            • London isn't really any one community. Place to place, area to area, tubstop to tubestop it's very different.

              I think its a little misleading, if not silly, to say what's going on with the US is anew Empire for us, it is, but not for us. We're just playing tagalong.
              • Unsu...
                i am mexican, my wife is russian. my son is born in London and gets a British Passport, a Mexican one and and American one...but we live in he British?...I think he is in a small way but i want him to think of himself as a european before that and overall, a human being....

                the world is too small to have borders dividing us....and labels simplifying the beautiful complexity of the human spirit.
      • Sorry to be so jaded on this point
        Ha! I still find it interesting that at least people can vaguely identify their heritage by way of their birthplace. After all I can still remember when citizens here were called "Americans".

        Now everyone else just refers to people from the United States as "irritating".
      • <what qualities make 'British'.
        My passport frontispiece title starts : ' European Union ...United Kingdom &&' >

        If you immigrate to Britain and naturalise, to gain that passport you must first become a British citizen. And if you are not from a Commonwealth country (and as new members of the Scottish Parliament also found to their chagrin) you must also swear allegiance to the Crown.

        So if there is a 'Brit' in British maybe that is reinforced by 1st generation immigrants who naturalise. Whether their offspring become Welsh, Scottish or English or Northern Irish, depends in part on whether they marry into the host nations population or remain within their own ethnic grouping. But either way they are very definitely British if they are born here.

        Because there is the criteria of ethnicity and then there is the criteria of socialisation in defining ones 'national' identity. So while you might be ethnically Welsh, were you also socialised as Welsh, which is why the children of Welsh parents born in England are not 'proper' Welsh.

        We talk about British Asians, do we talk about Scottish Asians? Wales 'seems' to have the most concerted effort at assimilation due to language instruction in Welsh.

        Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom which is the short form of this Nation state. England, Scotland and Wales are countries within that State.
        • Unsu...
          You say British Asians, really? How funny cuz in the US it would be Asian American. Wonder if that means anything or nothing at all.
          • I hope everyone didn't feel like I was butting in and killing this thread, and I know there is a lot of concern about the new format, but I can't resist because I have thought of some things, which I think help make some sense of this for me.

            First of all, as far as the turn of phrase 'British Asian' goes, compared to Asian American, I am not sure how that came about, it may just be phonetics. On the other hand what is now termed Native American might once have been called an American Indian. So when did that morph?

            I did sort of want to mention that I had started a thread that touched on an aspect of this a couple of weeks back, but it was during the civil war period so it didn’t go down to well. Also it was an excerpt of an article, the source of which was a little unfortunate for the general culture of this tribe, in and of that it was by Joan Collins and written for the Daily Mail. However it was picked up Matt Drudge and went the rounds thereafter in the Blogosphere, where I did join one discussion to make some of the same points that I made in this thread and which others have also made. It is possible to be neither English, Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish (Irish or Scots Irish, Huguenot) and be British. So in this way the debate is wider than its original intent.

            But for all the discussion of Britishism versus all the other ishisms there are some historical facts. First of all the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a Scot and the individual credited with the institution of the National Health Service Aneurin Bevin was Welsh. Along these lines there are many examples Lloyd George for example who took Britain through the first World War as Prime Minister.

            We can put that down to inculcation, imperialism or take it at face value that there are individuals who have despite not being English seen their abilities utilised at the highest level of service.

            But the other part of the facts are that ethnically, these groupings are different. And since Europe has been brought up consistently in the thread lets start there. There are two main branches (before they further subdivide) of the Celtic language (Gaelic) which are sometimes known as P and Q Celtic. The one is spoken in Breton , in Cornwall and in Wales. The other is spoken in Ireland and in Scotland.

            However in Shetland until 1922 when the last native speaker died (and in 1909 a dictionary of that language was written) Norn was spoken which is a sister of Faeroese and Icelandic which are a part of the West Norwegian family of language (Nynorsk). I went to school in Denmark with a boy whose father was West Norwegian and whose Mother was from Larvik (A Scandinavian name meaning Lars’s inlet) Shetland. Last I heard the only place that still made ships in Britain was the wharf at Strathclyde, and that was a Norwegian owned concern from Stavanger. So it might be safe to say, that boat trip has been going on for a while. And also tells you a little bit about what Scots are in part.

            When the Saxons pushed the Jutes and the Angles ahead of them over to East Anglia from Jutland, Helgoland they followed them over and thrashed anything Celtic in sight, mercilessly. Want to know why the Pictish people hate the Anglish? Wonder know more. The only place left for the Celts were the Highlands, the Mountains and Valleys (How green was it?) of Wales, the mud runs of Devon but mostly Cornwall, and a few holdouts up in the peak district. Oh and Ireland.

            When the Danes came (the people of the Viks ,inlets, fjords), they landed further down the coast from the Norvegius. But they also settled Dublin and don’t forget not to confuse matters further but geographically the island of Ireland is part of the British Isles, which includes the Channel islands and the Isle of Man, until someone comes up with another designation.

            By this time in Britain and for that matter in the British Isles you had 2 versions of Nordic language, 2 versions of Gaelic, and Angle Saxon spoken. Some people mastered several of these tongues and were purported to have several wives in different harbours. The English had opportunity to also claim victim hood, (not to be outdone by the other indigenous wandering mongrels) when second generation Norsemen (Normans) (Frogs) who had settled in France and now spoke French moved over to Britain, they apparently also liked the women. (A roving I’ll go). It was then 200 years before anyone who spoke what we would recognise as something like English was crowned King. Oh yeah and in the meantime we were in the Kalmar Union which was Sweden, Danemark and Angle Terre (Norway was swapped back and forth between Sweden and Denmark over cards and Mead), from this we still have the 3 lions on the Royal Standard (All rise).

            So just to sort of wrap it up, because I did sort of throw in Huguenot up there with the Ulstermen (Scotch Irish to all you Hillbillies) but any time you see a Dutch or a French deeply embedded in British cultural history there is a good chance as in the case of for example Molyneaux for example it is a Huguenot name.
            European Protestants fleeing Catholic persecution. Adding another dimension to the issue of Northern Ireland.

            Another little interesting factoid to do with tracing the study of Hebrew in Britain, was that the beginning of the conquest of Iberia led to the flight of scholars from El Andalus and the initiation of teaching, not only at Oxford and Cambridge, but also the Sorbonne, and date to that time namely the 1200’s. There was more but it escapes me at this moment.

            Ah yes subtitles so by the time of the Norman French and the rest of the troubadour neer do well minstrels and strumpets showed up, not only did you have 2 versions of ; Gaelic and Norse each alongside Angle Saxon and now Norman French, but also Latin by the haircut 100 crew namely the churchmen. All of these languages were spoken and some people knew several of them, not hard to imagine if you were a priest who wanted the ear of the King and to speak to your constituency that you might know more than 2. (trilingual? Tri anything) ;} The smashing and bashing of these languages together produced through what is known as ‘the great vowel shift’ middle English. That that was not adopted as a uniform standard is still apparent when you travel ten miles outside of Birmingham let alone to Glasgow. And would furthermore depend on what preexisting combination was in place in terms of intelligibility to itinerant outsiders and which dialects were mastered by outsiders for them to equally make themselves understood. I have no problem understanding people from Newcastle, Grimsby, Harwich, even Dundee and Aberdeen I am quite familiar with Scandinavian languages but Black country which is a heavily Angle Saxon laden dialect is virtually impenetrable for me. As Glaswegian is heavily laden with the words and rhythm of the original Scots gaelic.
            • Unsu...
              Very informative! I remember a PBS series that came out, oh, at least 15 years ago (?) on the History of English and I think it covered a lot of that as well. Also gives one hope I think. Cuz if all those tribes cobbled out a way to exist together on a small scale, then maybe all the current tribes can do the same on a grander scale. Maybe. One can only hope.
            • <two main branches (before they further subdivide) of the Celtic language (Gaelic) which are sometimes known as P and Q Celtic. The one is spoken in Breton, in Cornwall and in Wales.>

              And just to clarify for the record in case anyone was still reading: Breton is actually known as Brittany in English and is part of modern day France.
  • Unsu...
    The Englishman's wife steps up to the tee and, as she bends over to place her ball, a gust of wind blows her skirt up and reveals her lack of underwear. "Good God, woman! Why aren't you wearing any knickers?" her husband demanded. "Well, you don't give me enough housekeeping money
    to afford any." The Englishman immediately reaches into his pocket and says, "For the sake of decency, here's $50. Go and buy yourself some underwear."

    Next, the Irishman's wife bends over to set her ball on the tee. Her skirt also blows up to show that she is wearing no undies. "Blessed Virgin Mary, woman! You've no knickers. Why not?" She replies, "I can't afford any on the money you give me." He reaches into his pocket and says, "For
    the sake of decency, here's $20. Go and buy yourself some underwear!"

    Lastly, the Scotsman's wife bends over. The wind also takes her skirt over her head to reveal that she, too, is naked under it. "Sweet mudder of Jesus, Aggie! Where the frig are yer drawers?" She too explains, "You dinna give me enough money ta be able ta affarrd any." The Scotsman reaches into his pocket and says, "Well, fer the love 'o Jasus, 'n the sake of decency, here's a comb. Tidy yerself up a bit."
    • <Re: British vs. English, Scottish, Wlesh, etc.
      The Englishman's wife >

      I glanced at this joke very briefly. I thought that it was placed by another member of the tribe, someone not on my friendlist. Not so. This person is at the time of this posting on my friendlist.

      I personally don't like this kind of joke, examples of which I try to ignore.

      I generally don't read them precisely because of all the criticisms that have been levelled at this joke in particular, which I obviously don't need to repeat.

      For that reason as far as I am concerned it can stay as a relevant aspect of the discussion, for those who wish to understand the thoughts and feelings of people who may feel themselves unwanted recipients of such humour.

      If there are others who feel differently and that it should be removed please let me know.
      • All the talk about that joke and it's cultural commentary and reliance on national stereotypes is hardly the point.

        It just simply isn't funny. Neither was it funny when I first heard it, when I was 10 years old.

        Now Karen's comments......they were funny.
      • Unsu...
        My whole take on it is that I am Scottish, Swedish, French, and Austrian Jew and I also have ties to the Macy's who came over on the Mayflower. I just married a woman who is of Mexican descent whose grandfather was a Muslim from Palestine. There are lots of jokes I could take offense at, but I'd rather try and take the negative energy from them and make them a positive.

        Ever hear Robin Williams riff off of golf? Speaking with that horrible perversion of a Scottish accent? Should I be offended by that? Probably. But it is FUNNY.

        I just think that everyone is getting a little too sensitive and its time for people to lighten up a little.
        • <everyone is getting a little too sensitive and its time for people to lighten up a little.>

          Well if you read the material, I think what you will find is that a tremendous amount of information was exchanged and while I appreciate your point of view. As moderator of this tribe and an active participant on this thread, that's actually my job to determine. What has happened in this instance in a debate of a political nature from which you are drawing cultural and ethnic inferences from, relevant or otherwise, I for one have had my ability to participate in an ongoing debate derailed by the accusation on political lines that I am supporting a politically reactionary and socially unevolved point of view. For this I do not thank you and I would appreciate in the future that if you felt this way about a discussion on a thread in this tribe where you saw me as an active participant, you might take all of the above into consideration.
          • Unsu...
            Then you may delete either the thread or my posts. You do have the ability to do that as a moderator. Obviously a group of members were amused by the post, however. I apologize if I am off-topic, but seriously the post was not meant to offend, but to lighten up a rather heated discussion (in my eyes anyway).
            • <delete either the thread or my posts>

              Yes. But i am opposed on principle to deleting posts or threads or for that matter booting people from the tribe. I don't mean for this to reflect a passive ineffective stance as moderator, I prefer to leave it up to a group conscience if tribe members find something truly off base. In the past during the civil war era of this tribe's evolution, I received emails from people saying they were sorry but they were leaving the tribe (some of them gifted, talented people whom i regretted to see leave), I was also asked to weigh in during a period when an impasse had been reached and the tribe membership count was plummeting daily. Currently we are number one and still climbing although I thought there was a slight drop in numbers last week, however members will always come and go.

              I do not believe we had reached an impasse, I believe the tribe is in one sense down to fighting weight and in the main those who wish to engage are skilled enough debaters sure enough of their own convictions to make points on principle. Sure it can get heated, but there was no actual flaming, I don't see where calling someone a Blairite is a crime yet. ;]

              In Britain we have a television show called Question Time that comes on weekly where you can see the likes of Peter Hitchens or Ken Clarke stacked up next to George Galloway or Martin McGuiness for example, in front of a live audience, who participate in the program. A version of this show is also on radio 4 available streaming on the internet. I don't believe you have this kind of event in the United States, but in Britain we are used to this kind of format and I think in fact demand it.

              Sure I agree a group of members were amused by the joke and thats as it may be, fair enough. However I have been associated with the joke by default, from the perspective of it somehow being part of a collusion on my part. Where one member of the tribe praises a piece I posted about history of language and peoples of the British Isles without actually referencing anything I have posted, almost indicating that I am spewing PBS documentaries verbatim, and then turns around to praise the joke you posted, then it's not exactly as if we have reached great intellectual heights here, nor is it impossible to rule out the accusation.

              However that was not the case. I am not a California raised product of parents who emigrated to North America in the 1950's and we have had more than one of those join this tribe. I am a Commonwealth born British citizen (for those who would insist we are merely subjects) UK resident of mixed British Isles (First fleet and later voluntary emigration) and South Pacific Polynesian ethnic heritage.

              Nor did I collude with anyone to organise a group harassment of another member of the tribe's politcal and cultural stance.

              What I did do as a single member of this tribe (aside from being it's moderator) was participate in a debate on a thread started by another member of this tribe. I found myself very quickly involved in a three way discussion that continued on from points other members of the tribe had brought up.

              Discussion was heated and if I for one have a tough debating style and any single individual has felt put upon for that I will apologise but it has taken a long time to transition this tribe from BBC America viewers and resident expatriate Americans into a tribe of people who actually do live in the UK or have lived here, or who travel regularly in and out of the UK and have a vested interest in the political and cultural future of Britain, either by virtue of it being their field of work, academic study or some other combination of life experience and outlook, close to their hearts.

              And that was the debate you were witnessing.