Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Help required

I may have broached this before, but can someone give me a conclusive answer? It would take me a while to work it out via the net. I will print out and pin the most salient answer to my lavatory door, read it daily and remember it.

What is Great Britain?
What is United Kingdom?
Is England equal status to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
Is Ireland anywhere in the mix and at all connected?
What status does Gibraltar and those other funny outlying bits have? Do they belong to England, UK or GB?
What about the Isle of Mann and Isle of Wright? How do they fit in?

Brian or Pants, I am relying on you.

16 comments:

  1. "What is Great Britain?
    What is United Kingdom?
    Is England equal status to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
    Is Ireland anywhere in the mix and at all connected?
    What status does Gibraltar and those other funny outlying bits have? Do they belong to England, UK or GB?
    What about the Isle of Mann and Isle of Wright? How do they fit in?"

    Bloody 'ell, Andrew. That's what I call a multi-part question. However, I'm going to try and answer this in one fell swoop. Here goes:

    What is Great Britain...other than a dump? Great Britain, many centuries ago, was actually Greater Britain. The 'er' was dropped later because it was easier for the locals to say or something. Originally Britain consisted of Greater Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales) and Lesser Britain, which constituted soley of Ireland.
    Eventually Ireland was split into two. Eire, to the south, which became a republic, and Northern Ireland to the north...which didn't. Ireland (neither part of it) is part of Great Britain. It is, however, part of the UK, which, incidentally, stands for the United Kingdoms...of England, Scotland and Ireland...even though Ireland isn't a kingdom. Wales isn't a kingdom either, but is part of the UK by default. Wales is actually a principality...hence the Prince of Wales.
    England and Scotland are both kingdoms...originally ruled by seperate Monarchs but now governed by the same inbred, manky-toothed German we've all come to detest.
    Northern Ireland is just a mess.
    The actual country is, of course, Great Britain itself. There are no borders, other the ones erected at various stages in our history such as Offer's Dyke and Hardian's Wall...and they don't really count any more.
    The Isle of Man (spelt with just the one 'n') is a bit odd. It lies off the Lancashire coast (in fact we can see it from our house on a clear day...and so long as I'm sat on the chimney pot) but it has an independent parliament (something to do with the Norse one and a half thousand years ago) and a big wheel that doesn't work.
    The Isle of Wight (spelt without the 'r') I haven't got a clue about. There's somewhere in the region of two and a half thousand islands round the coast of Britain, all of which go to make up the British Isles. Jersey's my favourite, 'cos it's British and lies off the coast of France...almost as impressive as the Falklands, which are also British, are famous for the sheep and sod all else, and lie off the coast of Argentina.
    The Rock of Gibralta is British territory too. It's got the red telephone boxes and royal mail service to prove it...which is more than Britain has nowadays.
    The biggest problem with understanding how Britain fits together is trying to untangle the thousands of years of beurocratic nonsense that have created this mess. Even Billy Connelly when he did his 'Tour of Britain' got it wrong and went to Ireland.
    And you Australians wonder why we're all full of crap over here?

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  2. Wow!!!! I think I'm smarter.....

    I hope you're not going to ask us questions after this.

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  3. Well there's some stuff I never knew before.

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  4. Thank you Brian. Most indebted. Can you just clarify this for me?
    'Ireland (neither part of it) is part of Great Britain. It is, however, part of the UK'.

    Fortunately Bliss Hill, I know quite a lot about West Gippsland.

    Me too Jo. I doubt your average Brit would know all that.

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  5. interesting...tnxx Brian! :)

    Keshi.

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  6. Hi Andrew

    Well, Brian seems to have done the business here. I'm afraid I can't answer the Ireland question. I though Norther Ireland was part of GB.

    xxx

    Pants

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  7. Britain isn't a dump. It's a nice place.

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  8. Worth knowing hey Keshi.

    Clearly many do not understand what I did not understand Pants.

    I'll judge for myself come the middle of the year Reuben. But of course only from a tourist perspective.

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  9. Okay...just to clarify then, Ireland is not part of Great Britain. Great Britain consists only of England, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain itself, however, is part of the UK. Northern Ireland is also part of the UK but not part of Great Britain. Southern Ireland is completely independent. Great Britain, the UK and Southern Ireland are also all part of Europe, although you'd find it hard to believe if you heard the manner in which some people talk around our way.

    And you're right...most Brits (or indeed people from Northern Ireland) don't know how it all works. The number of times I've even heard reporters on the news refer to parts of Ireland as being in Britain, or talking about Scotland as a country etc. To be honest I don't blame 'em. It's ridiculously complicated and really we ought to just scrap the whole lot and start again. The 'United Bog Holes of Blighty' sounds like a good name to me.

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  10. Andrew, I'm not coming here again if you're going to give us homework.

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  11. Got it now Brian. Drop the Great Britain. Just call it all UK including Eire.

    Your homework Jah Teh is to write a bit about ovarian cancer.

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  12. Kudos to Brian for his detailed explanation.
    For those of us who like visual aides to help understand complex concepts - check out this wikipedia page - not only a timeline and colour coded maps, but a Euler diagram!
    British Isles (terminology)

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  13. But Ireland is on lesser Britain which makes up part of the British Isles right? (along with Great(er) Britain, Isle of Wight, Jersey and Gernsey etc)

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  14. Lesser Britain, as a term, no longer exists. We've got enough problems with Northern Ireland as it is, without insulting them further. The term 'British Isles', as far as I was aware until I read that Wikipedia article, has never actually covered Northern Ireland. I'm still not entirely convinced now that it does. The same goes for the article's constant use of the word 'countries' when referring to England, Scotland and Wales. The correct term would be 'Kingdoms' in the case of England and Scotland, and a 'Principality' in the case of Wales. The country is, simple, Great Britain, i.e. England, Scotland and Wales. Then again, the whole thing's so complicated I don't think anybody knows the exact truth any more. And I noticed that they didn't mention the Isle of Wight at all...can't say as I blame them.

    The Euler diagram's good though.

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  15. The diagram is great.

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  16. "Isle of Wight" is mentioned once - in a list of other Islands of Great Britain, in this section: Political distinctions -- The United Kingdom .

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