Scottish Nationality (British History in Perspective)


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In the past it has gone through many renaissances, followed by even more impressive and longer-lasting collapses into inertia; but the present upsurge looks likely to last longer than others, at least, and to produce more of a mark on history. Seen from without—from London, or in the perspective of British politics—the change appears welcome for many reasons. Like the companion Nationalism of the Welsh, it brings an element of novelty into the hopelessness and corruption of the post-imperial political scene.

Obviously, fringe nationalisms will be good for the English, by forcing upon them a more painful reassessment of themselves than any they have yet undergone. In the slow, festering decay of British State and society, they are the most important forces of disintegration to have appeared yet: they prefigure the dismemberment of the united British society which built up the imperial system itself. They are at once a product of the collapse of the system, and the sharpest possible comment on the advanced state of this collapse.

The importance of the phenomenon demands that we should look at it less superficially, however. These also beg further questions: who actually counts as a migrant in Scotland? And will that change if Scotland votes for independence? This question has many answers.

Normally we might think of national identity as something that comes with citizenship. But this cannot be applied to Scotland as long as it remains part of the UK. Current law does not provide for Scottish citizenship. Rather, people in Scotland have access to British citizenship on the same terms as people in the rest of the UK, where eligibility is conferred either by birth or through various provisions for naturalisation.

British citizenship confers rights of residence in any part of the UK without fear of deportation and political rights — such as the right to vote in national elections — on the citizen. Survey research in the run-up to independence has shown that many people identify themselves as both Scottish and British.

The right to vote in the Scottish Independence referendum includes EU citizens resident in Scotland and some commonwealth citizens resident in Scotland too. For example, an international migrant can be defined as someone who was born in a different country from their country of residence, a person who is a foreign citizen, as someone who moves permanently from one country to another, or someone who moves temporarily.

Observing patterns helps with predictive powers. For all of us, the future is open and uncertain. But understanding the odds, and reading the game well, provides an edge. An edge can make all the difference. Before the referendum, I knew it could go either way. And still the outcome was completely unexpected. Not for the first time, the mind was way ahead of the heart.

For some time before the referendum, and certainly after it, there has been a seismic shift in our nation. A slipping of social and political tectonic plates. A sharpening of weapons. A hardening of attitudes. An alignment of wholly different philosophies across a fault line in the fabric of society. A temporary suspension of ancient hostilities between right and left. To make way for the birth of new and more intensive hostilities between Leavers and Remainers. A broken economic model, an ever growing inequality between the rich and the poor, those who are comfortable and those fighting the poverty line, have given impetus to protest.

And rightly and inevitably so. The problem now is that the common good has been lost in the pointless trading of abuse and insult. The trivialisation of matters of national and international importance lend a kind of surreal quality to what are real questions requiring real solutions. All the old certainties about Britain, its general pragmatism and tolerance, its inclusiveness and diversity, its compromise and common sense, are gone.

We are now engaged in a bitter civil war of ideology. Words and hearts and minds. The people who won are so angry, sometimes because they have been losing for so long, and they are very dismissive of the people who lost. Slowly, inexorably, the people who lost are striking back at the people who won. Be very clear: this is a war, the chaotic state of being that the European project was designed to prevent.

It is often said that the pitch of the battle is between the reason of the Remainers, and the emotion of the Leavers. After the referendum, like so many others, I was inconsolable. I grieved. And still I grieve. This is not the product of reason, but emotion. Remainers plead reason, but bleed emotion. The tragedy lies in shared values loved and lost, connections cherished and broken, good things cast aside, a whole way of life and internationalism rejected and discarded.

The Three Dreams of Scottish Nationalism

A project that has secured peace and prosperity for so many people, for so long. Something noble, intrinsically worthwhile, bringing nations together, despite their immense differences. A great vision never fully realised. Imperfect, but like democracy, so much better than all of the alternatives. It cannot remain as it is. It needs to find positive values, and build a better, more socially and economically just society. Right now, England is in the wilderness. I wish you health and happiness in your homeland.

Eva Tanner October 7, at Timothy B October 7, at I have some sympathy with your argument - and share your broad position on Brexit, which I think the worst public decision of my lifetime I am 71 but I wonder whether the changes in national attitudes that you point to are so recent - or perhaps whether the past that current attitudes are contrasted with is as mythical as the never-never land of the Brexiters' imagination.

I used to think that the England that I grew up in I cannot speak for Scotland was balanced, commonsensical, even-handed, tolerant etc, and I have for some time lamented what seems to be the disappearance of these qualities. But if things changed, they certainly didn't change in June last year, and I increasingly wonder whether it was something of a myth that this was the national character anyway.

Perhaps all that happened is that the vote has legitimised the expression of feelings of superiority, xenophobia and ignorant isolationism that were always there but suppressed. I have never been a nationalist, and if forced to choose a label would choose European above anything else, but never before have I felt quite so uncomfortable with being British. Timorous Beastie October 8, at Sad to say I agree with everything you say. I believe the seeds of what England and to a lesser extent Britain has become were sown in the Thatcher years when the dominant themes were greed is good,no such thing as society and maximise your own wealth now by ensuring you participate in your own wealth creation by buying national assets at prices discounted so far you can't fail to then sell shortly thereafter at a huge personal profit.

As a Scottish resident things are not so bad here but as witnessed by the recent strong rise in support for the Conservative party in Scotland already visibly wilting we mustn't be complacent. Hopefuul we can find a way to stay in. Pieter Brussels October 9, at Thank you for sharing your intellectually superior ideas through these eloquently expressed feelings. WS October 10, at Far too much hate in this article. Loathe is a very strong word. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic its primary legislative body the Commission isn't elected and it's parliament is structured around patronage and public funding for selected groupings designed to concentrate power at the centre of the spectrum.

The EU has sought to concentrate power for itself and weaken the nation states first by taking over trade policy, then external borders using Shengen and latterly monetary and fiscal policy. In his State of the Union speech Junker indicated more powers will be centralised, with veteos and opt outs being further diminished. It's also worth remembering that the real influence in the media is the liberal elite, the billionaires who through political patronage and control over technology exert vastly more influence on politics than the Newspaper barons.

The only mistake the UK made was getting so snared in the tentacles of the EU there is now a piece of work to free ourselves. Don't expect the EU to act for the people or economies of Europe it needs to punish the UK before she proves a simple trade relationship is far superior to EU membership. Ben Patterson October 12, at This is a wonderful example of how the Leave vote rested on complete ignorance of how the EU actually works. The Commission is not the EU's main legislative body. In fact it is not a legislative body at all! Just like most modern systems, the EU legislature consists of two chambers: the directly-elected European Parliament and the indirectly-elected Council, representing the Member States.

Primary legislation needs to be voted through by both.

Scottish Nationality

Andthe European Parliament, elected by broadly proportional systems, is arguably more representative of the EU electorate than the House of Commons is of the British. As for the House of Lords Tyblings October 15, at Thank you so much for writing this comment. You have encapsulated, perfectly, how I feel about the present situation. LindaW November 11, at Totally agree. An illuminating article but at its core a huge misunderstanding of British values.

Our society is in need of adjustment and is in the process of re-finding our positive values to build a better, more socially and economically just society - the values we lost by becoming entwined with the EU. We were head of the Commonwealth, promoted free trade around the World, influenced development in Countries and cities around the World.

We were a happier nation when we were connected to people with whom we shared values and language - Canada, Australia, New Zealand. In the EU we lost our voice and our confidence and became subservient as has Greece, Italy and Spain. Brexit is nothing to do with class, age, money or education it is a fight against disrespect and repression and for self-determination and if we succeed others will follow. James ODonnell October 7, at I would trace it back to the Danish No to Maastricht when the UK lead the counterDelors resistance on the "do more with less" notion which meant EU-enforced regulation but with none of the protective tools that were needed to balance it a smaller budget with greater needs than !

Sure there are risks for all with Brexit but for the EU, at least there's now a possibility. Will H October 7, at It's a great article. But there are a couple of generalisations. Firstly not all English I hate calling myself that now Remain supporters think that the UK should have concessions, opt outs, or a veto. The UK should have the same rules as everyone else. You can't have a club where one member has special terms. Secondly I'm aware from a lot of street level campaigning that many EU citizens in Britain support Brexit, sometimes passionately so.

In some cases they are nationalists themselves, other times they do think that the EU is better off shot of the spoilt, belligerent British English. That the EU27 can now move on is possibly the one good thing to come out of Brexit. The English have too many hang ups, empire fantasies, a mixture of both inferiority and superiority complexes how they love it when they sometimes beat the Germans at football, although never in the really important games, excepted.

There is this reality disconnect that we can do better out of the EU, because we're bold and British. It is a screwed up country, with problems on so many levels, including wealth unbalances. I feel sorry for young Brits, but perhaps in years to come, and with a different mind set, Britain could rejoin the EU. David Paterson October 7, at It is a fascinating and a little ironic to see a piece written by a Dutchman that spells out - almost word-for-word - what could easily be the content of a textbook or course on intercultural communication and understanding and specifically the chapter that highlights the key differences between the culture of the Netherlands and England.

How I learnt to loathe England | Prospect Magazine

For example his description of Dutch "low context" communication style and the underlying cultural values "Echoing the Calvinist As is the contrast between the adversarial and competitive nature of much of English culture and the compromise and cooperative nature of Dutch. These are very well known differences in that field. The other thing that is very well known is that such differences especially in cultures that are otherwise quite similar tend to become jarring and hard to deal with mainly in circumstances of stress where they become more obvious and more polarised e.

The slight irony is that the Dutch have been disproportionately influential in this field of study and practice for many years Hofstede, Trompenaars and it is a little surprising that a well educated Dutch journalist seems completely unaware of the subject and surprised to find that he wasn't quite as similar to the English as he thought. If he had read the Dutch original version of Geert Hofstede's "Software of the Mind" before he left NL he might have understood it better. Gi October 9, at Well said David Patterson, the Dutch are always full of double Dutch.

I live in the Netherlands and I crave my fellow British on a daily basis. They are actually not friendly and very bitchy, not educated properly with a huge chip on their shoulder about the public schools of the UK. Tom November 6, at So, directness and saying what you mean instead of 'wooly talk' is rude? Perhaps it is perceived as rude - but what is worse - a gentle and sweetened lie, or a harsh truth?

And, if you miss the British or English so much - are you looking enough for them? There are a lot of British people living in The Netherlands the BritSoc being a group for them that I know of - so you may not be looking for them as much as you pretend to. Jeroen wie October 10, at Maybe the writer, who has a degree in cultural anthropology, exaggerated his 'surprise' regarding the cultural differences between the Netherlands and Brittain as a rethoric trick.

There are deep pathologies within England but these are nothing to do with the EU debate. We are leaving the EU because it is undemocratic - that is the EU pathology which is stoking far-right populism across the continent. It is also saddled with a doomsday currency created by its technocrats. Well good luck to the EU. As Theresa May said in her Florence speech, we want the EU to succeed and we want to have a good trading relationship with it. Is that so difficult for the EU to swallow? We are a trading nation and from March we will be free to strike trade deals around the globe.

The EU will want to trade with us. David M October 7, at Are you Liam Fox? The EU is undemocratic how, exactly? I'd love specifics, if possible. Then I'll tell you how you're wrong. Far-right populism is stoked by racists and bigots and morons. It isn't the EU's doing. Oh, sure, far-right leaders like Farage will work their supporters into a real lather over the "undemocratic" EU, but it's all just cover. The EU doesn't need to get over anything. The EU has been nothing but transparent and incredibly clear since we triggered A It's hardly their fault that, despite all the talk of how the EU referendum would finally put Tory EU divisions to bed, it's done nothing but drive that wedge even deeper.

Now it's hard-Brexit proponents vs soft-Brexit proponents, with the only sane members of that doomed party left out in the cold. You've got Theresa May - a Remainer, remember - so desperate to prove her Brexiteer credentials that she's willing to tank our economy and reduce us even more to a tiny island nation with barely any industry and nothing to offer the world except delusions of grandeur. My man, enjoy your 'free' United Kingdom.

For as long as it stays United. How much pull on the world stage do you think this shitty little island is going to have once Scotland goes its own way and then - inevitably - Ireland becomes one? Neil October 9, at Here's your proof. It is a set-up designed to preclude any sovereignty traceable back to the people of Europe. Simon C October 10, at I'd be very wary of taking any utterances by Yanis as proof of anything. He has his own agenda, and seeks to excuse and justify his own abject failure when in government.

Giannis L. October 11, at Instead of attacking the person try to answer the points he is making,or maybe cause you cant counter them you attack the person? Oliver Clark October 18, at The group has 19 members. It exercises political control over the currency and related aspects of the EU's monetary union such as the Stability and Growth Pact.


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Its current president is former Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. They communicate their decisions via press and document releases. This group is related to the Council of the European Union only Eurogroup states vote on issues relating to the euro in Ecofin and was formalised under the Lisbon Treaty. For a start they don't make decisions, they recommend them to an elected body. For another, they are made up of elected finance ministers from the 19 eurozone countries.

Lastly, they release their decisions via press and publically available document releases. Sounds democratic and open to me. RobH October 8, at So, for a refreshing change, what are your comments in response to those written in the piece above? Joyce Newton October 9, at How democratic is your 'first past the post system', where politicians can win with a minority vote?

How democratic is it to buy the votes of the DUP for 1 billion pounds? How democratic is it that the DUP, with only Yao Anthony October 9, at How democratic is the second house of parliament in UK the so-called house of lords? Many in this house sit there not by merit but because the great or great, great, great, grand parents were land or slave owners during the days of colonial plunder.

Gerard October 9, at There are few things more hilarious than Brits, with their House of Lords, calling the EU institutions undemocratic. England as seen from London through the eyes of a not very perceptive, rather self-obsessed, somewhat smug observer, and, as a result, really not worth the over-long read or an over-long response. Joris, we have no intention of getting on our knees and begging to be 'let back in'. We'll leave it to our continental neighbours to beg in the face of despotism - ask your mother.

You might also want to remind yourself that our 'long and guilty' history of slavery was nowhere near as long as yours. We ended the trade into our colonies in and then set about making the rest of the world give it up. The Dutch stuck with slavery until Prospect - I'm a free speech person so am happy with you giving space to a bigot who 'loathes' an entire country. I sense, however, you would not be quite so welcoming of a piece where the author professes to loath some other country - let's say India or Nigeria.

Jan C October 10, at As a Dutchman of long UK residence in the s , I just want to thank you for this debunking. Dear Joris is terribly well-known here in the Netherlands for his bank-bashing ideology which, alas, has made him a great deal of money with the sales of his book on the City. Selective analysis, bad anthropology, tendentious, rabble-rousing stuff.

The fact that he seems in fact to have hated the Brits makes it all rather clearer. And even less credible. Alan M. October 7, at The writer probably hates England, tabloids and 'press barons' more because he has the predictable political views of a person who writes for the Guardian than because he is a Dutchman Love this bit "Why would you allow a handful of billionaires to poison your national conversation with disinformation—either directly through the tabloids they own, or indirectly, by using those newspapers to intimidate the public broadcaster?

Poor BBC. Such impertinent criticism should never be allowed! Possibly from the writer's tone of surprise and moderate - he wrote for the Guardian outrage he is unaccustomed to press criticism of a public broadcaster. Presumably in the Netherlands the tabloids know their place. Michael October 7, at There are several unsubstantiated accusations and borderline conspiracy theories in this opinion piece.

In the US, we call this "fake news". There is substantial coverage available around the people behind the major Leave campaigns. It's all pretty shady stuff. You may not believe that those people, or their intentions, were shady - perhaps they're just proud, British patriots who genuinely believe the UK as a whole will be better off outside the EU. But it's hardly fake news. In the US, you guys calls lots of stuff fake news - I believe the Orange Dotard popularised the term recently. Generally, it appears that news you don't like gets called fake. Not healthy. Stuart October 7, at I think you miss the point.

Our national discourse and attitude towards the rest of the world has been poisoned by the tabloids - especially Mail, Express, Sun. If you haven't noticed I suspect it's because you haven't been paying attention. David B. Everything that has happened since the vote culturally, politically and economically points to the country needing a major reboot. England The UK has always differed from the collective European and always will. Our 'Britishness' is what makes or breaks us and started way before Brexit.. You should read Orwell 's essay England Your England. It is written 'during The Blitz of as bombers of Nazi Germany flew overhead.

It is his attempt to define British culture and the British people for the rest of the world as he fears that it might soon be wiped from earth by the Nazi armies' Wikipedia " A Scotsman, for instance, does not thank you if you call him an Englishman. You can see the hesitation we feel on this point by the fact that we call our islands by no less than six different names, England, Britain, Great Britain, the British Isles, the United Kingdom and, in very exalted moments, Albion. Even the differences between north and south England loom large in our own eyes.

But somehow these differences fade away the moment that any two Britons are confronted by a European. It is very rare to meet a foreigner, other than an American, who can distinguish between English and Scots or even English and Irish. Dear Fred, could you please define what it means to be British, or explain Britishness? I think there is a bit of a problem here, its called an identity crisis. Gegenbeispiel October 12, at A rebbot at this point in time would be dangerous - the English rightists the so-called "centre" post-Thatcher would likely use it to destroy the British welfare state, human rights and workers rights in the name of patriotism.

It is very interesting to see how commenters manage to confuse concern with contempt. For one person the writer must be wrong because the abolishment of slavery in England seems to have been earlier than that of the Netherlands forgetting that England transported 10 times more slaves in a shorter period of time and the hidden slavery in UK colonies that had to fight for their freedom still in the sixties.

It just indicates how difficult it is to see daylight when blinding headlights are focussed on your face day-in day-out. Predictions usually do not outlast reality after all! JimmyMack October 7, at Loath' isn't concern. It IS contempt. On the slavery question, the Dutch carried on the trade half a century after enlightened opinion throughout the civilised world had accepted it as an abomination.

It is historically illiterate for the author to lump the English and the Dutch together on this matter. Iain October 8, at H October 8, at And what about the rather rampant exploitation of Indonesians which began under the cultuurstelsel by Johannes van den Bosch. And the policy of not inclusing people in these foreign countries from economie hain by shutting them out of any language learning, which was quite different from the French and English which are by no means guilt free. The Dutch being as money-minded as they are really know how to exploit a colony.

Why not ask them about the politionele acties too? Howstrange October 8, at Yes, because the Brits were complete saints in ALL of their colonies after the act in , right? Come on, the author is not out to compare who was worse! He just mentioned that both Britain and The Netherlands benefited from colonial times by the rather grim act of exploiting other countries. You provide an excellent example of 'British Exceptionalism' thinking that has fuelled the desire to leave the EU. I think it's a shame for the UK's future generations that this diminishing, nonsensical thought had the slight majority in Rutger October 10, at Funny how the discussion here had changed from Brexit to who abolshished slavery first.

Yes, Britain abolished it first. Then they and the rest of the Anglo - Saxon world introduced a new system, Segregation the Brits even went so far as to use a Dutch word when doing so, Apartheid. Read Joris' comments on this British school system and how it's designed or mis- used to keep a class system in place. Spot on. So, until the 's and even in some ways, the British are still in this in this system of upper an lower classes.

And the upper classes still feel they have some God-given right to all sorts of exceptions. Hence Britain was never to succeed as a part of the EU, despite Churchill's dreams and efforts. Since the Thatcher years Britain has been frustrating the EU. Good riddance, I say. The EU now has at least some chance of succeeding.

And yes, a hard Brexit should be the only course. But hey, we will survive that and in the long run find new partners. Scotland and Northern Ireland, I hope they join seperaat Ely and prosper. The only thing that concerns me is the tariffs on Whisky. As Oscar Wilde once said: 'work is the curse of the drinking classes'.

Michael Walker October 7, at Whether this is a cause or a consequence of the adversarial culture that Mr Luyendijk describes, the effect is that the UK in the main elects a series of parliamentary dictatorships in which a group supported by less than half the electorate gets to impose its policies and choices for the period of the government more-or-less unimpeded. This means that the notions of compromise which as the writer correctly states, has an aura of 'fudge' or 'cop-out' about it in present-day Britain and cross-party consensus are fundamentally alien to the vast majority of UK politicians, making them inherently unable to understand the mechanisms that operate in continental European politics.

Brexiters frequently accuse the EU of a lack of democracy but it is one, albeit flawed, like all human enterprises. It's just a democracy where a sizeable minority like the UK can't get its own way if the rest disagree; Brexiters are complaining here about the same thing that they accuse Remainers of - not wanting to respect the result of a democratic vote.

Until UK politicians understand that the EU model is based on seeking negotiated agreement between groups with different priorities and ideological inclinations rather than magnifying a small percentage advantage of the largest minority into the unchallengeable 'will of the people', they will always be at odds. My second point is that the influence of the right-wing media - on the population, if not yet on the government - is waning.

The general election demonstrated that despite Jeremy Corbyn being portrayed in the tabloids as the next Stalin or Pol Pot, and undermined even by the BBC, Labour was able to significantly improve its position to the point that the Conservatives have had to indulge in precisely the kind of 'shady backroom dealing' with the DUP that critics of proportional representation claim is a virtue of FPTP. Neither of my children 19 and 21 read any newspapers or their websites. But it does look like the grip of media barons will wither over time so at least one of the UK's ongoing problems with democracy may be addressed.

Horses and Barrels October 9, at While agreeing entirely I would add that for the Tories and their billionaire nondom tax avoiding backers, a rapidly dwindling membership and ageing voter base represents a looming existential crisis. Once the next general election is lost as seems now almost certain , they will be out of power for a generation, possibly for good. Whatever the original reasons for holding a referendum, Brexit has now afforded the Tories a spurious 'will of the people' rationale for a number of profoundly undemocratic measures whose sole purpose is to consolidate power in their hands before damaging effects are too palpable to be denied and the public mood swings against.

Brexit is, in other words, a coup. Neil Davidson October 7, at An interesting article that makes worthwhile points, though its central argument - that the leave vote was driven almost solely by English working class and pensioners' pathologies and actually had nothing to do with Europe - is hardly novel, as advertised, but rather seems to be the position cherished by most of those who were deeply disappointed with the referendum result. Perhaps the novelty is to learn that a European is pleased to see us go?

Having lived in South America for years, I do not know whether this does actually come as a surprise to most readers in the UK, but it strikes me as entirely natural. Britain, or at least England, has always been a poor fit in the EU, for the reasons the author mentions and others, and there is no reason to suppose that Europeans are too blind to see this.

Foreigners often dislike England once they get to know it, as Orwell also pointed out. English society does grate, and the question is whether we should look in the mirror and try to change, for example by moving away from our pathological competitiveness which does not even make us good at football towards something more cooperative and humane. I think not. First, because it is who we are, and I doubt we can change. Second, because continental Europe, with its moderation and intelligence and savoir vivre, frightens me, and even before the recent upsurge of the likes of Front National and AfD I could not believe there was not something awkward stirring under the surface.

The political change has obviously been hastened by non-European immigration, but the effort - of which the EU is part - to suppress normal patriotism and rebrand it as right-wing nationalism was pushing things in that direction anyway. Human nature cannot be suppressed indefinitely. I keep finding an image rising in my mind from a book I read as a child, which I identify with the EU: Professor Branestawm's non-spilling mug, which worked as advertised, thanks to its enormous incurving lip, but which was also impossible to drink from. The result of these methods is that you end up going mad with thirst and smashing the mug.

Add to this the fact that no-one has yet apologised for the euro, and indeed Juncker continues to trumpet it as a colossal achievement, when it or the political and economic fantasies required to create it has produced an entire lost generation in southern Europe; and that Juncker is now working hard for a European army which can never be used, since people who are not prepared to sacrifice wealth for each other are not going to sacrifice blood; and on the whole I think the English tradition of eschewing consensus and getting shitfaced on cheap booze before writing moronic articles for the popular press is preferable, as there is just a chance that some truth will come out and fantasies be exploded.

But there is no such thing as a free lunch, and instead it has become a machine for generating nationalisms, or a blanket of fantasy under which they fester, and on balance and despite its manifold benefits - say by a margin of 52 to 48 - we are better off out. Andrea October 8, at Take it from a southern-european: it was not the Euro that caused trouble down there, it was the companies and small-minded entrepreneurs that a sought more and more excuses to not pay taxes, and b sought more and more ways of not employing people long-term, or not paying them decent enough wages, thus creating a perpetual state of insecurity, from which many of my fellow citizens — myself included — fled.

After five years in England, having much contributed to its development and GDP, I am getting ready to leave, not because I think the UK will not weather brexit reasonably, but because the air around here started to smell badly. Gerry Q. October 10, at In referring to the EU as 'a machine for generating nationalisms' you're overlooking the fact that quite a few of the nation states are very young: Germany and Italy have existed in something akin to their current form for about years; others for even shorter periods.

Most of the larger states are themselves under pressure from regional and ethnic secessionists. Catalonia is a case in point. It is equally arguable that many nation states have, with varying degrees of coercion, suppressed their own regional and ethnic groups and that the EU, by creating a level of governance, a voice of authority and a court of justice above the nation state, has in fact supported and encouraged such groups to express their identity against the nation state.

It seems clear that whatever authority is in place for any large group of people, some will wish to duck that authority. If the EU had never existed, Catalonia would still want to break from Spain; many Scots from the UK; many northern Italians from Italy; and if Germany were not a Federation, the Bavarians would almost certainly want to have some special arrangement for their Freistaat rather than submit to Prussian hegemony.

Pretty much every country in Europe has internal tensions and secessionists of one sort or another. The EU is not to blame for these, but it gets blamed for a lot of things for which it is not actually responsible. Scurrilous politicians use it to deflect blame from themselves when they enact policies entirely of their own making. Scurrilous activists use it as a whipping boy for all their complaints. It is such a convenient target, especially for populists and nationalists: we are the victims - it's all the fault of the EU check Poland, Hungary, UK.

Tha nation states evolved from the regional and city states that preceded them, mostly for one very good reason: the ability of the larger entities to mobilise huge resources and enrich and protect their citizens. It's essentially about power. The evolution of human organisation from wandering groups of hunter gatherers to the vast nation states of today is simply not going to stop. The EU is a manifestation of that process.

In a world that is rapidly moving to being dominated by four major blocs the USA, the EU, China, India by mid-century, Britain's unwillingness to participate in the EU is severing it from power. That cannot and therefore will not be to its advantage. HSK in Spain October 7, at Brilliant and it is so important for people to see how they look to other people rather than continue to believe they are what their imagination tells them. I hate the class system in the UK, I left the country partly due to that as a working-class female who just happens to be cleverer than the average male from a public school is something the City of London failed to comprehend.

I have never been able to explain to other nationalities why the Uk keeps the system, feeds the system makes it stronger whilst at the same time denies it exists. The rest of Europe, in fact, wherever I have worked are moving to a merit-based society. If you can do the job have been properly qualified have experience then you get interviewed, not rejected because your parents didn't send you to a private school. Yes the UK should not be a member of the EU club and no-one else understands what the UK is, it makes no sense once you have the chance to look at the society from a distance.

The article tells us much more about Mynheer Joris and his personal political views than it does about England.

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