View Full Version : Is this really the beginning of the end of the union?

Duff beer
3rd Dec 2006, 20:30
With the topic being debated much in the national press, im surprised this hasn't been raised on here recently. Is the current upsurge in interest a passing phase or are we really close to splitting up.

The implications though are massive. The commonwealth of nations (the biggest group of free democratic nations on the face of the earth) are based around British principles. If the British nation ceases to exist then what happens to this organisation. What happens to the royal family; several of the senior family members see themselves as Scottish not English. What happens to Wales and Northern Ireland, what happens to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Gibraltar and all the other countries, territories and dependancies who have the Queen as head of state.

Is this the start of the end of the UK, or is this the start of the end of the commonwealth?

I personally as a Brit first then an Englishman hope we stay together.

3rd Dec 2006, 22:11
'Tother way round, I'm afraid.......English, then British...:D

3rd Dec 2006, 22:36
The dead hand of the EU will be behind that.

Still time to get out - might have to go to war over it though.

tony draper
3rd Dec 2006, 22:40
Oh buggah we'll have them hairy sods pouring over the border stealing our cattle all over again.

3rd Dec 2006, 23:11
In the terms of the original question, I fail to see the problem.

The Queen remains the head of the Commonwealth and, through judicious measures, the titular head of state of independent nations such as Australia, Canada etc. I fail to see why such measures would not suffice if Great Britain Inc was to fragment.

Nominal ownership is always an attractive disguise for the ugly politics and economics beneath...

3rd Dec 2006, 23:15
The implications though are massive. .

I have not followed this "separatist" topic in the context of the UK, but from what I do know it seems in sympathy with the recent resolution passed by a huge majority in the House of Commons here in recognition that the Quebeckers are a nation. There is already a thread here on this topic.

Said motion was approved by Government and Opposition, Bloc Quebecois included, alike. It is, as is stated repeatedly, of no constitutional effect (Heh! Heh!), save that it has reignited the "Quebec as Nation" discussion, and who can tell where it will lead?

One junior minister resigned office, though not the whip, over the point. He is, as it happens, of mixed racial origin, and he objects on the principle that the resolution recognises an "ethnic nation" to which he is opposed. I think his analysis is correct. Although no one can, just like "banks" in yet another thread, define this "nation" authoritatively, we all know perfectly well what it means. To pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous. In the context of the resolution it means les Quebecois, which, not to be evasive, means "French-Canadian" Quebecois. Not you, mate, and not me, even though I lived there for years.

When the "sovereignty-association" proposal was defeated very narrowly in the referendum a decade ago the Premier of Quebec attributed the loss (from his perspective) to the "ethnic" vote. For this he was denounced as a r*c*st. Whether it was r*c*st or not, I for one think he was correct in fact, just as I think was the analysis of the federal minister who has just resigned.

Those who say politicians have no principles should look to him, although I disagree with him. For the moment and perhaps forever he has sacrificed his political career to principle.

Nevertheless I also think that French Canada, and in particular Quebec, is a separate nation. That is what Lord Durham thought almost two centuries ago and that has not changed.

This thought is anathema to the multi-culturalists, but so many people, and therefore votes, who do share that view are so concentrated in one Province that the politicians cannot ignore that reality. That is, they cannot enforce the elite multi-cultural view on said "nation".

The Scots too are a nation. We, or you, as in regard to the Quebeckers, may agree or not, but enough of the Scots believe they are to establish the political fact.

I do follow the reversals on multi-culturalism of the government party lines in the UK, the Netherlands, France, and elsewhere. Is the movement here described in Scotland a new and effective manifestation of the resistance of "the people" to being told, without consultation, here's what you will get, like it or lump it? That is, the implications are even more massive than Duff suggests?

tony draper
3rd Dec 2006, 23:24
Yer but if we give them their freedom next thing demanded will be a independent West Yorkshistan.

3rd Dec 2006, 23:29
I have posted this before, but I do wonder if the rush to a united Europe, so emphatically rejected by votes in core nations such as France, has overlapped with the desire of the smaller segments of the member nations to gain their own freedom. It has echoes of the Peace of Westphalia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_Westphalia) - and the wars which succeeded it... :hmm:

tony draper
3rd Dec 2006, 23:37
No mystery, people like the idea of a local foot on their necks rather than a distant one.
The end result is the same though,it's still a foot.

Duff beer
3rd Dec 2006, 23:46
interesting post davaar.

How would a seperate Quebec effect the nation of Canada? Would the Anglo-Canada become stronger and more united not having to support a minority or would a Anglo-Canada be worse off for the loss of the Franco personality that makes Canada that little bit different and special.

With regards to the UK i'd like to know where it will end though. We have been together for so long the lines are now very fuzzy. 20% of all Scotsman live and work in England. 60 odd % of all Engllishman support Scotland. I think when it comes to the final vote we will do what we've done for the last 300 yrs; stand together!

4th Dec 2006, 00:07
You can keep yer cattle Drapes, now as for your hubcaps, well that's a different matter :E

Don't fret so Duff. If it does happen, I doubt very much if there would be any great change in the institutional make up of the United Kingdom of England & Northern Ireland, as it would become. (Wales is already included as part of the former). The only Westminster department I can think of which would cease to exist would be the Scotland Office. The rest would continue for the most part unaltered. Major changes would in the main fall to Holyrood departments.

The dividing of armed forces, national debt, state pension, social security and other departmental budgets would probably be done on the basis of % of population of the former UK of GB & NI. Some 'arrangement' would no doubt also be made over natural resources, perhaps in exchange for a reduced allocation of UK National Debt apportioned to the Kingdom of Scotland. (The resources being finite would make such a deal relatively straightforward).

The status of the Monarch would remain unchanged, Queen Elizabeth II of England would I'm sure remain Elizabeth, Queen of Scots, until such time as the House of Windsor or the people of Scotland decided otherwise. (The Monarchy, since James I & VI, has been a law unto itself as to how it styled itself in terms of titles - James styled himself "King of Great Britain" before such a thing came into existence as anything other than geographic terminology, therefore I guess the present and future Monarchs could style themselves how they saw fit). The Commonwealth would remain unchanged, with Scotland continuing its membership in its own right, other than merely at sporting occasions as it presently does.

Did the world fall apart in England when the Irish Free State came into being? Allow me to answer: no. (In fact for a time the IFS even continued as a Commonwealth Country with the Monarch as the Head of State).

For whatever reason, and there are many, ranging from strategic issues to those of self interest, certain elements of the British political establishment and other major British institutions have over a number of years sought to talk up the supposedly horrifying aspects of any dissolution of the 1707 Act/Articles of Union.

Witness today's epic from a certain Scottish Minister:


Some will argue that this sort of thing is scaremongering and a sign of desperation on the part of a Labour MP scared of being forced off the Westminster gravy train. Others will determine that what is being said is true and should be a matter of grave concern to everyone. Each to their own interpretation I say. Sadly however, history, with a little help from the Freedom of Information Act, has shown that not every British Government has told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but, when it comes to matters Scottish:



As for Independence, I feel relaxed about it: my English friends and relatives would remain my friends and relatives and my kids would remain half English, as I regard them now, post any Scottish Independence. But people take differing views and I'm sure the next person living in Scotland to post here will no doubt have a different angle on things.

4th Dec 2006, 00:28
Why not introduce propotional representation as opposed to "One man One vote" in Britain? the current system allows (in theory) for 49% of the population to vote yet not have anyone elected...

As for an independent Scotland, Toss off the shackles of Colonialism I say, sell your oil to England & Wales... :E

Duff beer
4th Dec 2006, 01:46
So what your saying Rab is that nothing really that much will change.

Therefore the obvious question springs to mind. "Why change it?"
The current state of affairs has a political system dominated by Scots whose rule and regulation affects only the English, whose 50'000'000 population seem docile and happy to be dictated to.

BUT....If there was a break you cannot help but see 200 years into the future.

"I Queen Susan the first of Scotland, Queen Susan the third of England, do become Queen Suzy the first of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

and so the cycle begins.

4th Dec 2006, 02:48
I Queen Susan the first of Scotland...DEATH's adopted daughter Susan muses that there has never been a Queen Susan. She was right, it doesn't have quite the proper ring to it.

As to whether separation would make a difference, there would most certainly be a major change. A separate Scotland implies a huge reduction in support for the Labour Party.
Oh, if only we could send the likes of Bliar and Brown back whence they came. Sigh!

Mr Lexx
4th Dec 2006, 08:50
Why not introduce propotional representation as opposed to "One man One vote" in Britain? the current system allows (in theory) for 49% of the population to vote yet not have anyone elected...

i agree completely.......

The result:

Labour 355 MP's Down 57 seats
Conservatives 197 MP's Up 31 seats
Liberal Democrats 62 MP's Up 10 seats
Others 32 MP's

The result gave Labour a Parliamentary majority of 66. It also produced some interesting statistics:

Labour's percentage of votes - at 36% (down by 5% from 2001) - is the lowest any winning party has ever achieved.

More people voted for the Conservatives in England than for Labour - but the Conservatives won 92 seats less than Labour within England (285 to 193). The Conservatives received 60,000 more votes than Labour in England.

There was an overall turnout of 61% - up 2% from 2001. But this still means that 1/3rd of those registered to vote did not do so. More people opted not to vote (38.7%) than voted for Labour (36%).

Labour's share of the total possible electorate was 22%.

Labour got 55% of the seats but 36% of the votes cast

The Conservatives got 30% of the seats but 33% of the votes cast

The Liberal Democrats got 10% of the seats but 22% of the votes cast.

Both the Electoral Reform Society and 'Make Votes Count' expressed their concern that democracy within the UK was being severely diluted by the continued use of the 'first-past-the-post' system.

There is something wrong with democracy in this country, you have to love all of the boundry changes that have been enacted recently.....

Mr Lexx
4th Dec 2006, 12:24
Yer but if we give them their freedom next thing demanded will be a independent West Yorkshistan.

Michael Parkinson, the famous journalist, chat-show host and Yorkshireman, would welcome Scottish independence. He says: "Let them have it, and I think that Yorkshire should be independent too. It's bigger than Scotland and has produced more heroes."

Comment from a BBC article about this very subject

tony draper
4th Dec 2006, 12:30
One is a tad worried about how us half castes will be tret. :rolleyes:

Tricky Woo
4th Dec 2006, 13:12
Being a nearly jock yerself.


tony draper
4th Dec 2006, 13:28
Yer that is what one was hinting at,what about us half Munro half Drapers,we are liable to be shunned by both.

Mr Lexx
4th Dec 2006, 13:43
you can have Rockall

4th Dec 2006, 13:45
Come, come, Mr D, you can help reform the Reevers. Wild raids across the border, smuggling 'n all that.....

4th Dec 2006, 14:20
I'm afraid that one has to be 'of the blood' to partake in reiving:- http://www.hexham-courant.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?c=304&id=440795

4th Dec 2006, 14:37
The Northern Ireland Assembley has been a roaring success. It's like letting a classroom of five year olds run a school.
'We shall not talk with IRA/Sinn Fein.'
'We are not IRA, we are Sinn Fein.'
Yes you are, no we're not, yes you are, no we're not

Will someone tell me if my bloody rates are going to treble, and what about this paying for water, what's that about. Stop this nonsense or you'll get slapped on the back of the legs.

And they paid even if they don't turn up.

4th Dec 2006, 14:53
One is a tad worried about how us half castes will be tret. :rolleyes:

This has not escaped alert eyes. They -- I almost made a slip and wrote "We" -- have already established an Office of Draper Disinformation ("ODD"), to undermine your authority with the Southern Rabble. You will be operating undercover for the North. Detailed instruction will follow.

Tricky Woo
4th Dec 2006, 14:54
Rockall is sovereign Argentinian soil, Mr Lexx.


Mr Lexx
4th Dec 2006, 15:03
And there was me thinking it belonged to the Faroe Islanders. Apparently, the commute can be a bit difficult.

Tricky Woo
4th Dec 2006, 15:25
I'm all ferrit.

A neat way of getting rid of the Welsh, methinks. And Cardiff's hardly wot yer might call a proper capital city, so it's only fair that we donate the fair city of Liverpool for the fledgling country's credibility. Yer most welcome.

And the People's Republic of Yorkshire's already been mentioned. Would need an iron curtain betwix it and England though. Tell 'em it's to keep the English out. Yeah, that's it.


4th Dec 2006, 15:29
The Cornish will be up for independance but we must make sure there is a Pasty treaty written in somewhere.

tony draper
4th Dec 2006, 15:30
Always maintained that York should be the new Capital of England,that polyglot cesspit on the Thames is well past its sell by date and is peopled by nought but men of low character barrow boys and spivs.

4th Dec 2006, 16:10
you can have Rockall

Rhyming slang, Mr L? :)

Mr Lexx
4th Dec 2006, 16:15
The Cornish will be up for independance but we must make sure there is a Pasty treaty written in somewhere.

And anyone who has ever taken a caravan past the end of the M5, has to return their caravan to the other side of the Tamar and stay there permanently.

Hmmmm we need a big wall a la USvMexico border.

tony draper
4th Dec 2006, 16:29
We would of course invoke the law of Hot Trod, we are allowed to persue cattle thieves North across the border and demand all law abiding citizens either side of the border to join the posse, without let or hindrance as long as a man leads the troop carrying a lighted brand,we shall also invoke the law of Brook and Bow,we shall have the right to summarily drown or hang any apprehended by said posse in our own drowning pool or hang them from a tree on our own land.
You have been warned.

Tricky Woo
4th Dec 2006, 16:38
No trees in Geordie Land, Herr D. Just a few stunted bushes scrabbling for a root hold in the godforsaken landscape. Will suffice for the short-arsed cattle thieves, but the taller ones'll laugh in yer face.

Hmm, hang on. Plenty of diggin' experience up there. Yer can dig a 6 foot ditch beneath said bush and then plenty of lynching head room. The laugh's on the clans, methinks.

Funny how yer can solve seemingly intractable problems just by talking them over.


4th Dec 2006, 16:53
So what your saying Rab is that nothing really that much will change.

The point I was trying to make in terms of Scotland becoming Independent, (with the exception of Scottish MPs at Westminster and the Scotland Office at Whitehall), was that nothing that much would change - in England.

However, in reading the most recent posts I'm not so sure. It would appear that once we've buggered off you'll all be at each other's throats - it'll be the Wars of the Roses all over again, and then some;

A Scouse/Welsh combined force will march on York to sack the City of shell-suits
The Geordies will join with an elite force of Maccams and invade the Lancastrian stronghold of Blackpool in order to seize control of the sugar mines which supply the local confectionary industry
The Cornish will declare war upon the Cockneys - convoys of caravans will bring chaos to London's transport infrastructure and the River Thames will congeal with the fillings of a million pastiesPerhaps we'd better stay on a while, just to ensure you behave :E

tony draper
4th Dec 2006, 16:53
Lookit here's one of the hairy feckers! its ok Mr Woo ,yer quite safe halfway up yer Alp.:uhoh:

4th Dec 2006, 17:07
Good grief! Hardly a match I'd say for the well honed battle skills of the Anglo-Saxon Samurai warrior class, now is he?


I can hear our battle cries already: "All ye with hayfever - RETREAT, RETREAT!"

Tricky Woo
4th Dec 2006, 17:08
Yikes! A terrifying creature indeed. A woman below the waist, a gorilla above, and a metal penis for a head. Awful to behold. Is it wearing the traditional jock reeboks? I think it is! And what's in that handbag? Hmm, best not to get close enough to find out, eh. A hairdryer?

And his girlfriend doesn't look much better. No wonder they keep rustling geordie cattle. Wouldn't want a stolen cow back after a hairy jock's had his way with it. Best if the poor creature dies first. Bit like that girl stolen by Indians in The Searchers. John Wayne rumbled her when she blinked them baby blue eyes at him, but it still worked out for the best when she pegged it. Still, bet she could have rustled up a cracking curry after 20 years living with them Indians.

Jolly good thread this. One of the best ever.


Curious Pax
4th Dec 2006, 17:32
Labour Government 1997-2006 not having a majority of seats in England: English up in arms, end of civilization (or at least the Union) as we know it.

Tory Government 1979-1997 not having majority of seats in Scotland/Wales (for at least part of that time, possibly all as I haven't had time to research it): English tell Scots/Welsh tough, it's part of the privilege of being in the Union.

Funny old world.....

4th Dec 2006, 18:01
No trees in Geordie Land, Herr D. Just a few stunted bushes scrabbling for a root hold in the godforsaken landscape.

Kielder Forest is a large forestry plantation in Northumberland. It is the largest forest in the UK, and is planted mainly (80%) with Sitka Spruce, with smaller plantings of Norway Spruce, Lodgepole Pine, Scots Pine, Douglas-fir and other trees.

Kielder is the largest forest in England and one of the largest man-made forests in Europe.

Funny old World!

Suppers Ready
4th Dec 2006, 18:29
More trees for the sassenachs to hide behind ;)

4th Dec 2006, 19:46
Unionist say we really really really want Stormont opened again.
We really miss it.
No. 10, look you made a bit of a horlix of last time, but alright.
Millions of pounds spent refurbishing it, millions.
Then the Unionists just say, nah, we're not going in, don't like it anymore. But we demand our right to have it.
Republicans then say they don't want to go in either. We have to to Washington to talk to the President, we're busy. But we demand the right to attend to fufill our mandate.
No. 10 just say 'They are mental over there. You can't please them. Bring them over for tea and talks, and this is the thanks you get.'
Then they hang up the phone.

So my devolved governmet is usually the rabbits running around the grounds of an empty Stormont.
It actually as empty as the heads of the rapidly changing Secretaries of State (Northern Ireland). 'This IRA thing, give me a clue. No, we'll meet tomorrow because I'm also the Secretary of State for Wales, I have to go.'
At least Stormont is a nice wee park.

4th Dec 2006, 20:13
Methinks Mo Mowlem would've treated things (and folk) differently.

4th Dec 2006, 22:28
And that was me being light hearted.
Try and write it properly and you just get a headache.
As for Mo Mowlam, she seemed to be on the ball. But Sinn Fein liked her, so by default the DUP didn't, so it was the merry-go-round all over again.

People who have been in charge as Secretary of State.
William Whitelaw (March 24, 1972 - December 2, 1973)
Francis Pym (December 2, 1973 - March 4, 1974)
Merlyn Rees (March 5, 1974 - September 10, 1976)
Roy Mason (September 10, 1976 - May 4, 1979)
Humphrey Atkins (May 5, 1979 - September 14, 1981)
James Prior (September 14, 1981 - September 11, 1984)
Douglas Hurd (September 11, 1984 - September 3, 1985)
Tom King (September 3, 1985 - July 24, 1989)
Peter Brooke (July 24, 1989 - April 10, 1992)
Sir Patrick Mayhew (April 10, 1992 - May 2, 1997)
Mo Mowlam (May 3, 1997 - October 11, 1999)
Peter Mandelson (October 11, 1999 - January 24, 2001) (Resigned)
John Reid (January 25, 2001 - October 24, 2002)
Paul Murphy (October 24, 2002 - May 6, 2005)
Peter Hain (May 6, 2005 - )

One, two, three years in office each. Probably only just found the toilet by then.
They even sent Mandy over here. And John Reid, God help us.
Thank you No.10.

tony draper
4th Dec 2006, 23:17
As I understand it all those chaps at Stormont or rather not at Stormont are still on full pay and allowances,so why should they why spoil a good thing?.
100 grand a year plus for sitting on one's duff,nice work if you can get it.

5th Dec 2006, 03:14
Ah, they're on reduced pay, but I know what you're saying.
I did research on this before years back, and if Stormont isn't running, what do I have power of. The binman and the dogcatcher. That's it. Oh, and burials, as long as it isn't too crowded at the graveyard.
The police have the Police Authority, the Army are run by their team, Town planning is a joke. Gas is getting privatised.
But at least I can ask to get my bin taken out. Maybe. On the right day.
We've now got privatised traffic wardens, what Stormont muppet thought that one up.
I'm tired, grumpy and can't sleep.
God help who I run into the morning.

On a lighter note, I'm staying at my folks overnight because DB is away. Father goes to put the Idiot out to the loo and it refuses to move and starts shaking quite a lot.
Father: 'That dog is pathetic, dog, here, you're stupid. That dog's rubbish.'
'I know that, I know.'
Fosanyway, back to politics, sorry for thread creep, I'm tired