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BS: No such thing as British...

Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 04:53 AM
IanC 19 Apr 01 - 05:18 AM
sledge 19 Apr 01 - 05:21 AM
IanC 19 Apr 01 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,John Hill 19 Apr 01 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 19 Apr 01 - 06:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 06:37 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 19 Apr 01 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Willie-O 19 Apr 01 - 08:09 AM
Firecat 19 Apr 01 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,John Hill 19 Apr 01 - 08:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 08:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Apr 01 - 08:45 AM
Irish sergeant 19 Apr 01 - 08:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Rana 19 Apr 01 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Rana 19 Apr 01 - 09:05 AM
Julie B 19 Apr 01 - 09:12 AM
Dave Wynn 19 Apr 01 - 09:16 AM
Gary T 19 Apr 01 - 09:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 09:38 AM
Gary T 19 Apr 01 - 09:40 AM
Gary T 19 Apr 01 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Karen 19 Apr 01 - 10:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 10:08 AM
Gary T 19 Apr 01 - 10:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,maggie 19 Apr 01 - 11:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 11:20 AM
catspaw49 19 Apr 01 - 11:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 11:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 11:51 AM
catspaw49 19 Apr 01 - 12:00 PM
Keith A of Hertford 19 Apr 01 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Mr Red somewhere in England. 19 Apr 01 - 12:17 PM
gnu 19 Apr 01 - 12:19 PM
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Peter K (Fionn) 19 Apr 01 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Oh what a silly thing to say! 19 Apr 01 - 05:01 PM
Snuffy 19 Apr 01 - 05:32 PM
mousethief 19 Apr 01 - 05:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Apr 01 - 05:53 PM
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Mr Red 19 Apr 01 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,may I meld - or is it mingle ? 19 Apr 01 - 08:24 PM
artbrooks 19 Apr 01 - 08:54 PM
Terry K 20 Apr 01 - 02:49 AM
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Keith A of Hertford 20 Apr 01 - 03:54 AM
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Dave the Gnome 20 Apr 01 - 04:39 AM
Les from Hull 20 Apr 01 - 08:05 AM
Les from Hull 20 Apr 01 - 08:18 AM
Brian Hoskin 20 Apr 01 - 09:07 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Apr 01 - 09:39 AM
Gary T 20 Apr 01 - 09:54 AM
Brian Hoskin 20 Apr 01 - 10:04 AM
Gary T 20 Apr 01 - 10:38 AM
Penny S. 20 Apr 01 - 11:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Apr 01 - 11:43 AM
Brian Hoskin 20 Apr 01 - 11:43 AM
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Gary T 20 Apr 01 - 11:54 AM
JudeL 20 Apr 01 - 11:56 AM
Don Firth 20 Apr 01 - 01:15 PM
Kim C 20 Apr 01 - 01:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Apr 01 - 02:41 PM
mousethief 20 Apr 01 - 03:00 PM
cait 20 Apr 01 - 06:05 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 20 Apr 01 - 07:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Apr 01 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,jayohjo in Russia 21 Apr 01 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,jayohjo in Russia 21 Apr 01 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,in room 325 of the Motel 6 21 Apr 01 - 12:23 PM
Caitrin 21 Apr 01 - 01:19 PM
Caitrin 21 Apr 01 - 01:23 PM
cait 21 Apr 01 - 01:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Apr 01 - 01:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Apr 01 - 02:44 PM
Dave Wynn 21 Apr 01 - 06:51 PM
Dave Wynn 21 Apr 01 - 06:54 PM
Brendy 21 Apr 01 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,Sadie 21 Apr 01 - 10:44 PM
Brendy 21 Apr 01 - 10:58 PM
Crazy Eddie 22 Apr 01 - 01:13 AM
lady penelope 22 Apr 01 - 05:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Apr 01 - 07:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Apr 01 - 08:25 AM
JudeL 22 Apr 01 - 09:43 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Apr 01 - 09:54 AM
cait 22 Apr 01 - 01:18 PM
Penny S. 22 Apr 01 - 01:23 PM
Penny S. 22 Apr 01 - 01:33 PM
artbrooks 22 Apr 01 - 02:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Apr 01 - 02:42 PM
Penny S. 22 Apr 01 - 02:46 PM
Brendy 22 Apr 01 - 02:52 PM
Melani 22 Apr 01 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,"British" It should not be allowed? 22 Apr 01 - 04:41 PM
cait 22 Apr 01 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Pete M at work 22 Apr 01 - 10:35 PM
Brendy 23 Apr 01 - 12:57 AM
Gervase 23 Apr 01 - 04:16 AM
Les from Hull 23 Apr 01 - 05:50 AM
JudeL 23 Apr 01 - 07:35 AM
JulieF 23 Apr 01 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,OOPz Dear JudeL 23 Apr 01 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Keith A at work 23 Apr 01 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,keith a at work 23 Apr 01 - 11:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Apr 01 - 06:36 PM
Brendy 24 Apr 01 - 12:51 AM
JulieF 24 Apr 01 - 04:53 AM
KitKat 24 Apr 01 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,McGinty 24 Apr 01 - 12:00 PM
Grab 24 Apr 01 - 12:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 01 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Brendy must be a little kid? 24 Apr 01 - 08:33 PM
Dave the Gnome 25 Apr 01 - 05:41 AM
Brendy 26 Apr 01 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,oK MrS BrEnDy 27 Apr 01 - 03:18 AM
Brendy 27 Apr 01 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,pOoR OuLd BrEnDy - 27 Apr 01 - 03:35 PM
Brendy 28 Apr 01 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,Brendy are you ok? 28 Apr 01 - 02:59 AM

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Subject: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 04:53 AM

I commented on this in the sensless questions thread but it is too rich to be denied from the general Mudcat audience:-)

Reported in this mornings papers.

"Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is due to make a speech saying the British are not a race and Britishness cannot be defined in terms of race or ethnic background."

We all know that Robin Cook is a Klingon (Well - just look at him...) but surely there are SOME British people about. If we just disappear who could the Irish write songs about? Who could Zimbabwe blame for all the past injustices? And, as I said on the census form thread, are all the people who tick "British" as being their ethnic background going to get prosecuted for supplying false informatiion?

Cheers

Dave the Russian, Polish, Welsh but not possibly British, Gnome.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: IanC
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:18 AM

Dave

I think Robin Cook was replying to the claims made in a speech by some Conservative MP that immigration spoiled our "Anglo-Saxon Homogeneity". As if we ever had one!!!

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: sledge
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:21 AM

I must be british, when away from home I dream of rain, roast beef and yorkshire pudding and loosing at cricket.

When at home I can enjoy the above and complain where relevant

I also believe Robin Cook to be a complete arse.

Sledge (who if denied his Britishness insists on being English)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: IanC
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:28 AM

I've got no axe to grind about Robin Cook, but before we go about shooting down straw men, here's the quote.

Mr Hague's suggestion that a second Labour term would turn Britain into "a foreign land" was among several remarks by leading Conservatives which gave succour to those with racist views, Mr Cook is due to suggest.

In a speech to the Centre for the Open Society in London, Mr Cook is due to condemn Mr Townend's comments, saying: "This narrow view of British identity, fed on myths about 'our island race', arises from a pitiful misreading of British history.

"The British are not a race, but a gathering of countless different races, the vast majority of which were not indigenous to these islands.

"The idea that Britain was a 'pure' Anglo-Saxon society before the arrival of communities from the Caribbean, Asia and Africa is a fantasy."

Cheers
Ian


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,John Hill
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 06:15 AM

What did Mr. Cook mean by indigenous?. Let us not forget that the Scots were a marauding tribe from Ireland. That the southern part of what is now Scotland to above Edinburgh was once part of the Kingdom of Northumberland and that the Celts were a tribe from Spain. As far as I know nothing is known about "The ancient Britons" that we read about in history books... i.e the people that were here before all we settlers/vikings/romans/spongers etc got here.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 06:26 AM

With a surname of Anglo-saxon origin, a first name of Norman origin, an Irish grandfather born in India, I'm a typical British mongrel so I've never understood the obsession with "pure" bloodline or tribalism of race or religion.
It's in-breeding that tends to cause problems for future generations, let's celebrate the diversity of humankind.
However, the statisticians are on a hiding to nothing as so many groups want (and deserve)equal treatment but some object to being identified by group which is the only way officialdom can monitor performance.
RtS (but then what do I know?!)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 06:37 AM

I have nothing in particular against Robin Cook either (apart from, as I said, his Klingon origins) but I think saying that British is not a race or ethnic background is a particularly stupid and inflamatory statement. And I never even mentioned Jack Straw...;-)

All of Europe was subjected to the same invasions, migrations and cultural exchanges as Britain so, by the same score, there is also no such thing as German, French, Spanish, Italian etc etc. Remember of course that there is also no such thing as American or Australian either...!

I believe the original comments by Mr Townsend and Mr Hague are at best misguided and at worst racist and I agree with Mr Cook in that respect. What I get realy narked about though is this attitude that national pride is now condemned as either racist or zenophobic (sp?) To use the term "The British are not a race, but a gathering of countless different races, the vast majority of which were not indigenous to these islands" is, to my mind, as racist as anything said by the opposition. And please don't say he didn't intend to use it in a defamatory way. In context it can be nothing else.

After all if we were to say the same of anyone else it would be considered a national slur. Imagine the uproar if a leading government minister was to say he no longer recognises the French as a nation because they are a mixture of Francs, Gauls, Romans, Vikings, Saxons etc? Or if she said there is no such thing as American people? Or Jamaican? Or anything?

All I am saying is we do not have to knock ourselves to stop racism. Take a pride in the fact that we are a mongrel nation, as I am definitely a mongrel person. Be happy to let that ethnic mixture continue to enhance our little Island. Embrace all cultures and welcome all races with open arms. But don't let that prevent us being British. Or let it deny our rich traditions and history of tollerance that the majority of British people hold dear.

Cheers

Dave the British Gnome (or is it Gnomish Brit???)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 07:45 AM

Dave, what the hell is racist about saying: "The British are not a race, but a gathering of countless different races, the vast majority of which were not indigenous to these islands"? Would it also be racist to say the same thing about Americans? Do you believe there is such a thing as an American race? And if you can read something defamatory into that quote, you must have switched your brain off.

John Hill, I'm not sure what point you're making, but it seems fair to recognise that there might have been indigenous people here in Britain (yes, even in what is now Scotland!) before the advent of sea travel. If so, it also seems reasonable to recognise those people's decendants have contributed in some tiny way to the mix of people and races that we now have in Britain. So what? And who said anyone was forgetting those population and boundary movements you mentioned? I don't think Cook was saying it had all happened after any particular date.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Willie-O
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:09 AM

Take note; the operative term in Mr Cook's statement is RACE. It's a perfectly valid point and one that apparently needs to be made again and again.

Since the British spent several centuries building and maintaining a worldwide empire, they can hardly be too shocked to see people who have had political ties with them for hundreds of years showing up in their midst. They're not planting flags and claiming ownership of your bloody island, just continuing an ancient association.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Firecat
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:11 AM

Well, If I'm not British, WHAT AM I??? I'm part English, part Scottish,tiny bit Norwegian and an even tinier bit Welsh!


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,John Hill
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:11 AM

I was only making the point that all of us has diverse origins.. none of us are pure-bred anything.. and who cares anyway. The differences between peoples are more in their minds than anything else. I despare at the tribal attitutes that many have in these islands.. and elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:39 AM

I did say in context, Fionn. There is nothing inherantly defamatory about it on its own. When you realise however that a labour polititian said it in answer to remarks from a conservative then I am afraid only the very naive would think the remark was made innocently.

In answer to the first point - yes it is racist. Anything said about race is racist. Not necessarily good or bad but racist all the same. If I had intended to say anyone did hold the view that one race was better or worse than another I would have said bigoted. However, we are not arguing semantics.

Please re-read my post. I said it was stupid - pointing out the obvious always is. I said it was inflamatory. It is. All those national front members will be inflamed by the remark and wondering how best to make mileage from it. I said it was as racist as anything said by the opposition. I think any politician should realise that anything said about race will be construed as racist by some others.

Not once did I claim it to be a racist comment or accuse Mr Cook of being a bigot. Far from it. So why accuse me of doing so and then take the opportunity to defame my name further still by saying I had not switched on my brain?

The original post is far more about the polititians, all of whom I dislike equaly, and their favourite disease, foot IN mouth (?) than about racism or party politics.

Please give me credit with some sense and afford me a little respect. That is all I ask and I promise I will do the same for you. Even if you do dislike my sense of humour why try to read any bad intentions into it. Better just say you don't know me.

After all, I don't want to accuse you of being a humourist do I?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:45 AM

Of course there isn't a British race. There isn't even an English race. The only people who seriously think nationalities are "races" are racists.

Actually the whole concept of "races" is a pretty daft idea. We don't use the word in relation to any other species do we? People vary genetically around the world, but it just isn't sensible to slice the human race into a few neat subdivisions, we overlap too much. There's probably as much genetic variation among "white" people and "black" people" as there is between them.

And watch it, being rude about Klingons...


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:47 AM

Dave: It's nice to know that we Americans aren't the only ones with politicians that are total wankers. It sounds like the one universal is to quote you, "Foot in Mouth disease" Kindest reguards, Neil


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:00 AM

Why not be rude about Klingons? Us Ferengi can say what we like about them after they didn't pay us for that delivery of trilithium.....

Dave the Ferengi (and you thought I was a Gnome1)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Rana
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:03 AM

"Nationality?"

"Aargh, you've got nothing to worry about there. It's blood you're thinking about, isn't it? British, British undiluted for 12 generations. 100% Anglo-Saxon with perhaps just a dash of Viking. But nothing else has crept in. No, anybody gets any of this will have nothing to complain about. There's aristocracy in there you know! You want to watch who you're giving it to, like motor oil, it doesn't mix, if you get my meaning."

"Mr. Hancock, when a blood transfusion is being the family background is of no consequence."

"Oh come now, surely you don't expect me to believe that, after all East is East …"

"And blood is blood, Mr. Hancock, the world over. It is classified by groups and not by accidents of birth!"

"I did not come here for a lecture on communism, young lady!"

"I happen to be a conservative!"

"Well kindly behave like one, Madam!"

From "The Blood Donor" - Tony Hancock

Cheers

Rana


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Rana
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:05 AM

insert "given" after "is being" - third paragraph.

Rana


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Julie B
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:12 AM

According to the dictionary, one definition of race is:

"A group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution"

Is there such a thing as a 'Mudcatter'? Should there be? Many previously 'non-Mudcat' people arrive here every day. Surely they then, by default, become part of the Mudcat community, as they start to share a common history? Is the term 'Mudcatter' a useful shorthand to indicate a shared common history, or is it just a rather meaningless term, likely to cause offence when used in non-Mudcat circles?


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:16 AM

I'm British.........It's a think thing not a genetics thing. It can also be an activity thing..Like watching a 5 day cricket match and and taking the blame for every single bad thing that happened to every other country and nationality in the world....It's just something we do.

Makes one proud I tell you...Proud.

Spot the (Bull)dog.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Gary T
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:26 AM

McGrath made the key point here. The British are a nationality, not a race. Race exists as a biological classification, and it is applied to species other than humans. We don't hear about it much in other species as it tends to be of interest only to certain scientists, and rather boring to the general public. Humans, however, have a keen interest in their own kind and have long noted, and seldom let go of, any number of differences between their "own" group and those other folks over there. These differences include, but are not limited to, race, religion, nationality, location, and which hand one uses to hold a butter knife.

The statement "The British are not a race" is true. It is not a racist statement, it is a correction of someone's misuse of the term "race" (a definitionist statement?).


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:38 AM

Ah - but we have had this discussion before. Just because something is true doesn't make it not racist! As it happens I do agree with this interpretation but I still think that in this case Mr Cook is just as guilty of 'playing the race card' as was Mr Townsend - but this time doing it more cynicaly. And as a part time garden ornament I think I must be one of the few who can be truly racist on this site. Spot the dog is another but I guess the rest of you all belong to the human race?

Is it a race I can have a bet on BTW? I'd go for 50 quid each way that no-one will win....

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Gary T
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:40 AM

Somehow I overlooked Julie B's post, which is correct. "Race" used thusly is a rather informal term, for which there are alternatives. Still, in that sense one could properly speak of a British race.

From the context of the original quote under discussion, it's clear that the speaker was not using "race" in this rather loose sense, but more in line with the narrower biological term (for which there is no alternative). It also seems clear that the intent was to decry racist attitudes that had previously been expressed.

It gets a little murky using the term "race" unless everyone's using the same definition at the same time. Fooled me, obviously.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Gary T
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:46 AM

I'm going to have to disagree, Dave. Simply discussing race is not racism. Racism is rooted in the concept of one race being superior to another, which I do not see purported at all in the quote under discussion.

This time I got smarter, and checked the dictionary first.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:00 AM

When I took a cultural anthropology class many, many years ago I believe "race" was divided into three categories: Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid. As for what to call yourself ethnically, it really just depends on how far back you want to start counting. I'm American and so are my parents and their parents. Our ancestry covers Scottish, Irish, English, French, German and Swedish. If I went farther back in time I'm sure I could find other ethnic groups to include in my list. As for what to call yourself culturally, it depends on which group you feel you best associate with and who you pay your taxes to. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:08 AM

Doesn't the fact that Mr Cook is saying the British are not a race signify that the British race doesn't exist? If they do not exist they are therefore nothing. Conversely, any other race that does exist is therefore something. On the basis that something is better than nothing the British race is therefore inferior. Could this not be construed as racist by any definition?

I can't say often enough though that I don't think he is a racist, or more correctly racist bigot. He is just, as I said before, cynically bringing up the racist issue for politcal gain.

Good job us Gnomes are always right and not restricted by faulty human logic...;-)

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Gary T
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:22 AM

"Good job us Gnomes are always right and not restricted by faulty human logic...;-)"

Can't dispute that last part...;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:45 AM

Damn!!! If someone is agreeing with me I must be getting more human...

Quick - someone sign me up for the Anne Robinson how to win friends and influence people course. (See antichrist thread)

LOL

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,maggie
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:06 AM

If not 'British then what am I and my children ?


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:20 AM

Can't answer you for sure, Maggie, but I am going to change my census form from "British" to "Other" and put "a gathering of countless different races, the vast majority of which were not indigenous to these islands."

If its good enough for the Foreign Secretary it should be good enough for the Census!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:29 AM

Hi Guys...........Dumbass yank here with no culture or breeding but a bit of curiosity. Apologies in advance for being such a boob.

I have noticed a lot of folks are very adamant around here in their use of the term "British." Not just in this thread, but it's come up several times and as it is common usage by many of us lacking in good sense here in the States. Can someone give me a hand here? Is the term derogatory to some, but not others or only in certain circumstances or among certain groups? I know this seemsstupid, but I see it used by folks on both sides of issues and opposed by others on opposite sides..........like, is there some rule here or something?

Just wondering and not wanting to insult anyone. (except on purpose)

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:35 AM

Quick update - latest from the Guardian (which I have only just got round to reading) is that Mr Cook has also proclaimed that our national dish is chicken tika masala. Judging by his name I guess he should know but it's going to make life very difficult for the French. I mean, Rosbifs is easy but shickentikamasal's???

I'd have gone for a vegatable or lamb balti with a side dish of tripe and onions myself but there's no accounting for taste....

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 11:51 AM

Hi Spaw. Brit or British is fine by most of us. There does seem to be the faction who will either jump down your throat for using the term as a derogatory one or those that will tell you they are not British but Scotish/Welsh/English. I have only left Irish out so as not to be get involved in the whole Irish/British controversy btw.

I guess if the term is used in a derogatory or threatening manner (f!"£ing brit... british b!"£!"d.. etc) it should be deemed offensive but it is not the word itself that is then offensive but the verb modifier.

As to the whole Scotish/Welsh/English thing we can forgive you for lumping us together. After all most of us can't tell a New Yorker from a Californian from a Texan - and those places are a bloody site further apart than the distances involved across this little island of ours.

The other thing you need to be aware of is the way the National Front and other extreme right wing or even neo-nazi organisations have taken the terms British and English along with the Union flag and the flag of St George and used them as icons for the racialist bigotry they espouse as policy. It is due to this that the outside world may see the terms used with caution here. It is also partly due to these extemists that people in the UK tend to be over cautious with their patriotism nowadays.

Quick lesson in British politics over - I'm sure someone will correct me whether I am right or wrong but that's the beauty of the Mudcat! :-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:00 PM

Exactly what I was looking for Dave.....Thanks.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:05 PM

If we are not a race, I think we do have a unique culture (for want of a better word to describe it). E.g. yes we did have a huge empire but not at all a militarist people- no militaristic songs really. In 39-40 we surprised everyone by standing alone against Hitler (the USA wouldn't even lend us some WW1 destroyers so sure were they we were a lost cause) and we didn't even wait until we were attacked, only Poland. Sailors of what other navy would sing "Always look on the bright side of life" as the huddled on the prow of a burning sinking frigate off the Falklands?
Most of our old empire has remained friendly to us, and most of the world are presently trying to come and live here. We must be doing something right.
Keith


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Mr Red somewhere in England.
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:17 PM

Why are we speaking (sic) English
I vote we call the language Britische to distinguish it from Ozpeak, Kiwinglish, or Americano.
have a nice day.
If we have to be really pedantic (and contentious) --- isn't Ireland, geographically speaking, one of the british isles? (no-caps intended)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: gnu
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:19 PM

No such thing as British !!!??? Then, who rules the waves ?


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Les from Hull
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:45 PM

To further support Dave the Gnome's explanation, the main problem comes from people saying English when they mean British, which is common from people from the USA. Most people who are Welsh or Scottish don't mind being called British but don't want to be called English - 'cos they're not.

I suppose the equivalent of British people calling everyone in the USA 'Yank', as some of my fellow-countrypersons are wont to do.

I don't even like to use the term American to refer to citizens of the USA are that precludes other people on and adjacent to Senor Vespucci's continent!

Les


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: JudeL
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 12:49 PM

Catspaw: According to my passport my contry of origin is Wales and my nationality is British,I don't see a problem or a contradiction in being both Welsh and British, as each in their context is correct. Mr Red: last time I looked in an atlas geographically Ireland is part of the British Isles, politically that's a whole different question.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Ringer
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 01:10 PM

I may be wrong (wouldn't be the first time), but wasn't William Hague's original comment about Britain becoming a foreign land if Labour got a second term said in the context of Labour's attitude to Europe? I.e. not in the context of race or immigration.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Songster Bob
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 01:56 PM

"The British and Americans are two peoples divided by a common language." -- John F. Kennedy (at least he's the one I've seen credited with that witticism). Or perhaps it was "England and America ..." since not all Brits speak English as a first language (Cornwall comes to mind).

The point about "British" not being a race, even if somewhat disengenuous when coming from a politician's mouth, is nonetheless a valid point. Similarly, "American" doesn't mean WASP, or even US citizen/resident, since both Mexico and Canada are part of the North American continent, and citizens of both are bona fide "Americans," no matter their culture, nationality, color (or "colour," for those of the Brit persuasion), or religion. Even if the original intent of the Conservative Party spokesman was to decry the tendency toward Europeanization of the British economy, Mr. Cook's response of "'British' is not a racial designation" is accurate, if not actually a response to the original point. Yes, Cook's playing the "race card," but part of the underlying understanding of some of the opposition is that preserving "Britishness" means turning away immigrants of other colors, so the "race card" was already in play, if not actually on the table.

Does any of this make sense? I mean, my explanation, not the political situation; it, by definition, does not make sense -- dollars, but not sense. Whatever, this is the way I see it.

As far as races go, I remember a rhetorical question from a class I took in Black Studies (and a very interesting class it was). The question was "Is any culture which has 'races' inherently racist?" Now THERE's food for thought.

Bob C.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 02:16 PM

*sigh*

When are we gonna start thinking globally... and stop pissing out our meaningless little borders and point fingers and saying "we're right and you're wrong"...

Nations are for shit... and as I've said before, there is only 1 race of upright walking, tool using, environment wrecking, homonid on the planet right now (unless we can prove that bigfoot exists, and isn't just Elvis in a furry suit)... The term 'racist' is wrong... And probably only caught on because it's easier to say than ethnist...

It's gotta be a global community if we're gonna stand half a chance at surviving long enought to get off this rock... And it's gotta be a global community headed by NOT A SINGLE ONE of the current power structures!


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: gnu
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 02:21 PM

I didn't start the thread creep, so don't call me the creep of this thread, but... I find it odd, and very disturbing, that "race" is so easily used to separate us when we are all of the human race. I am pround of my heritage and the culture which defines it. However, I deplore the fact that those in power, the rich, if you will, use these wonderful diversities to subjugate the poor. The poorest of the world suffer the most.

Child slavery, religeous violence, etcetera, ad infinitum. It's not a question of "race". It's all about power... it's all about money.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:11 PM

dave; like you I'm a mongrel, and proud to be so, though strangely others sometimes take offence at my definition of myself!
It seems to be OK to identify yourself as Scottish or Welsh but somehow xenophobic (sp. Dave) to use the term English; the whole issue is a very contentious one.
If the 'origins of mankind' theories are true then surely the only indigenous people were those in the place mankind moved out from: Africa?


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: artbrooks
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:43 PM

Keith A: where DID you think those WWI destroyers came from?


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: gnu
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:56 PM

From the Lusitania ( sp ? ) after the Brits sank it covertly with the help of the US government.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: gnu
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 04:06 PM

Ooops. Silly me, the question was about how the Brits had to drag the US into the SECOND WW. Perhaps someone else with more historical knowledge can field this one. The last time I got involved in one of these, I made an ass of myself and have regretted it ever since. A little historical knowledge is a dangerous thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 04:26 PM

1 "The British and Americans are two peoples divided by a common language." If Kennedy said that, Bob, he was quoting George Bernard Shaw.

Firecat and Maggie, you could start by reading what Cook said (as set out in IanC's post). Where is there any suggestion that you can't be British?

Dave, I know you said you didn't want an argument about semantics, but that's what you're going to get if you claim Cook's remarks were "racist." You seem to think it's possible to be "racist" in good ways as well as bad, but I've never heard the term used that way. Surely racism means disciminating by race, and how can that be good? Racism is what that Tory MP (Townend) was flirting with, and it's a million miles from anything in Cook's speech. We'll have to see what, if anything, William Hague does about Townend, Forth and some other MP who have refused to sign the cross=party pledge to keep the race card out of the election cmpaigning.

Spaw, part of the diffiuclty with "British" arises from historical anomalies - not least that in the days of our former glorious empire and of the British Commonwealth that followed it, people in the British dominions and colonies were deemed British. (There was a disgusting phase in the none-too-distant phase, when those so-called British people could emigrate freely to Britain, provided only that they were not black!)

So that was one source of confusion. Another is that there is no "Britain" (or even "Great Britain") in international law. And England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are formally recognised only by some sports authorities etc. Our nation, as recognised by the UN, is the United Kingdom of Great Britain (ie England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland. So strictly speaking we are all United Kingdomers, or would be if it wasn't such a mouthful. Many Aussie, Kiwi etc object to being called British these days, and rightly so. And some who are British object to the term Brit, partly because it is sometimes used derogatively by, for instance, Irish people who (usually with good reason) are hostile to the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Oh what a silly thing to say!
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:01 PM

The origin of the name Britian ain't gonna answer the question but it explains to me at least what it is all about.

The word began as 'Pritani' - which I am certain some kind scholar of Cornish, Welsh or Britanish would further explain. The point is that people from the region including Ireland were so described long ever before any political union was formed. So being British is not something one chooses, rather it is how others may see one.

Dave the Gnome displays the peculiarity of a typical inhabitant, both his taste for exotic foods and ability to navigate the minefield of local national twaddle points. In terms of what realy counts 'The Triple Crown' who would or could not be excited when their side wins?

But then in the Islands you'll quickly notice there is no guarantee that for example in Ireland everyone supports Ireland and the same for Wales etc. It seems to be a local habit to pick a side one likes early on and stick to that till win or loose the season ends. I used support an unlikely side since if I bet early on the odds were great and if they won, a Fiver bet would get me 100 quid.

A race or not a race, naw I don't buy that one! The more remote places maybe, but as one approaches the cities the diversity increases so that in the end there is no easy rule. Every part of the world seems to have left it's mark there.

Chip butties and Newcastle Brown Ale, why? Well you cruch the butties and quaff the ale, strange mystical auras then descend from Britania ( really is Bo Delicious the ancient liberator ) which makes one laugh untill subdued with copious douses of water.

On the other hand one can observe the bug on the bottom right leg of the Wicket off side Fielder for hours at a time while sipping small drips of real Limade, this is an art and takes a long time to cultivate. I never did manage to get Cricket off that well so I am as confused as the next person. I do know that if all the Batsmen from the same team are LBW then that side has nearly lost the match.

Note LBW means Leg Before Wicket. This sin is worse in terms of the peace of the Nation than driving the wrong way around a roundabout. This is but the surface of a very complicated matter for when one veers north of the Border into Caber country everything changes - here we are throwing tree trunks around, which is a sport - ahem If that's not enough confusion theres also Hurling and Shinti which is almost impossible to describe.

One's genetic code, for me this is extremely tiresome since I have a little of all but not enough of any to actualy be anything! Can I be me please?

Thank You.

One of the weirdest things about ariving in Blighty is the Tea at travel plazas, it is terrible! I once bought a guest a cup having spent some time praising Tea on the Trip, this was before I clued up. There I was with my two Paper Cups of this horrid stuff feeling so foolish and embarrased! even British Rail cups would've saved my dented pride. They cost me 2 pound as well. Now if you think that a change of venue is going to help think again - on my next trip I headed for Shannon thinking aha - land in Ireland and things must get better, wrong. The only difference was I got a real Cup like the good old BR cups.

For me the islands will always be Britian.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:32 PM

There is no such thing as the British race, but there is a British nation, and it's got nothing to do with bloodlines.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:47 PM

"Britain" is the name of an island. Seems like a simple concept to me.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:53 PM

When I took a cultural anthropology class many, many years ago I believe "race" was divided into three categories: Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid.

Precisely - and it was total nonsense, based on a pseudo-scientific theory invented by racists, and promulgated by racists.

Any suggestion that there is such a thing as a British "race", which is to be distinguished from a British nationality is, in effect saying that there are some people who have British nationality, but who are not British by race. And that is rubbish and it is racist rubbish. And there are people who think and say that kind of thing. I doubt very much if any of the people who have contributed to this thread actually believe in that sort of stuff.

You don't have to be "a race" in order to have a common loyalty and identity. Obviously there are a lot of people for whom the sense of being British is enormously important. But being British doesn't mean belonging to a British race, any more than being Catholic means you belong to a Catholic race, or being a Mudcatter means belonging to a Mudcat race.

As for Ferengi - they should leave the racism to the hew-mons. There's no profit in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Jenny the T
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM

This discussion is moving in all kinds of directions, but I'll give it a go:

"British" (as in "British Isles") is the adjectival form of the name "Briton." The Britons, who controlled the big island prior to the Saxon invasion (Hengist and Horsa and all that), were a collection of tribes with shifting alliances who constantly warred among themselves.

Although they succeeded in having their name stick to the locale, they were by no means the original inhabitants, as their ancestors were themselves invaders, chasing out the even earlier Bronze Age inhabitants.

When the Saxons came into the picture--first as mercenary allies of one of the minor tribal kingdoms, then as colonists, then as conquerors--the Britons either assimilated into Saxon ways or retreated into defensible wild places.

It's my understanding that Wales and Cornwall contained the last concentrations of Britons, and that the people native to these regions are the closes thing to "original" Brits.

But so what? There ain't no sucha thing as a "racially pure" bloodline. There have been studies showing that the entire human race can be genetically traced to a single ancestor who lived around 4,000 years ago.

Everyone's related, you know?

That's all for me. My brain is now empty (except for the voices, of course)

J-t-T


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 06:38 PM

Artbrooks, in1940 German U boats were drowning hundreds of British sailors every day. Churchill said it was the only thing that frightened him in WW2. We asked to loan old US WW1 mothballed destroyers to help protect the convoys. The US goverment refused.
Sorry everyone else but he did ask.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 06:51 PM

Egg and spoon, sack, 100 metres, relay...Now those are real races.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 06:53 PM

3-legged is my favorite. Love to see those husband-wife teams do it, especially. Shows what kind of teamwork they really have going for them.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 06:56 PM

Where does all this leave Berwick on Tweed?
the Union was originally declared between England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Berwick on Tweed (which was yet to decide if it was in England or Scotland). Wasn't the Crimean war declared thereafter?
after Berwick had chosen, peace was declared in the name of the Union which did not name Berwick.
so hostilities are still raging between Russia and Berwick.
Oh the joys of being BRITISH
or was my brother-in-law wrong on this?


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,may I meld - or is it mingle ?
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:24 PM

Think the ancient Britons simply changed clothes learned a bit o Saxon and stayed put. Yup some did retreat into the hinter lands but only if they did not want to 'mingle?' Oh those eccentric Britons how could they not be what I wanted them to be?

Well the Romans who had married there and started families did not all leave, why would they? The rain and the Ale and of course Cricket. It was such fun, and besides it they did not have to Bow to the referee.

Angles and Saxons - omg - well King Arthur was eating some honey and drinking his revolutionary Nonneee Nohhhh Whey one day and figured out if he really wanted to take over the world he need some good iron workers so he set a trap in the form of the gorgeous Gwendolynn of Gwennyyyddd. Any way after she went on her rowboat all the way to Norway they thought her crazy and sent her for some serious therapy in far Germany with Herr Frued. There the good Doctor could find nothing wrong and let her go. By this time she had forgotten what she was to do and simply married a local blacksmith called Fred.

Now Fred yearly made a trip into the country to his mother and it was there that Gwyn decided she wanted to live. So Fred and Gwynn moved back to thier home land, Angliasaxland. Soon ther were little Gwynns and Freds all over the place, anyway many years later there was a big fight with King Grotty the Rotten, whereupon the people decided to leave. After consulting the wise ones it was decided they would seek Gwynn home land where there were lots of beautifull babes.

And so on one very wet and rainy morning in the year of the five legged pig there arrived a bedraggled and hungry bunch of sea sore traders to the coast of Broadlands where they were quickly dried out and fed and hugged nearly to death by the locals who after resting their guests and feeding them copious butties and hog burgers commenced a story contest. After many years of butties and stories they all lived happy and the land became Anglia.

Meanwhile King Brick the Happy was pointing his Barn and saw in the distance a fellow riding a broom approach his castle, 'I say' cried the King ' wot you think you are doing riding that thing in to my kingdom without and indicator lights?' To which the traveller replied 'Why good King I am Oggy of Anglia and my broom is malfunctioning I do apologise and offer a reward for your kind hospitality of this fair Damsel' which he quickly produced from his cloak. 'Jolly good' said the King taking the Damsel and setting her to tend his large garden 'Next time do be carefull at borders with your Broom'


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: artbrooks
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 08:54 PM

Keith A: yes, you are correct. The 50 Towne class destroyers that were transferred to the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy by the Lend Lease Agreement of September 1940 required modernization and did not actually enter active service until 1941. My error.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:49 AM

There are many rights and wrongs and many in-betweens. The only absolute I can claim in this thread is that it's only people who know BUGGER ALL about cricket that make facile and supercilious remarks about the English cricket team losing. We are currently rated third in the world (that's the WHOLE world incidentally), in real cricket and it's about time someone applauded our successes. I'm fed up with reading inanely smug comments which clearly come from within a protective veil of ignorance.

Oh and perhaps a little more on-topic - there really are only three races. Note that Caucasian not only includes we "British" but also includes (inter alia) the whole of the Indian sub-continent, North America and all the Arab nations. The "race card" is however played by all sides all the time and is officially allowed to continue via the Race Relations Board. There was a case recently where some Scottish person claimed that he had been racially discriminated against by the English. I recall it was something about the Scottish national diet being so bad - apparently some survey implied they like everything to be "20% fat free".

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:54 AM

The idea of "race" is a bit of a red herring--it's differences in culture that people get worked up about. How do you eat your Cadbury's egg? people have been attacked for less!

Steve

P.S. Mousethief, the three-legged race is native to the Isle of Man, I believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:54 AM

Artbrooks, in 1940 the US government did not believe that Britain would still exist as a nation by 1941. Making them wait while they "modernised" the vessels was a cynical ploy. Britain was losing the war against the U Boat . The whole might of the Luftwaffe was directed at our airfields (my parents were in the RAF at this time) and again we seemed to be losing. The whole of Europe had fallen. An invasion fleet was being formed in the Channel ports. Britain asked for help , and none there came.
By 1941 the crises had passed but the cost to Britain was grievous. Our cities in ruins and thousands of sailors and airmen dead. Many thousand ordiary families wiped out in the Blitz.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:35 AM

the three-legged race is native to the Isle of Man, I believe.

LOL!

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:39 AM

Thanks all for an excelent debate - didn't check last night so it was nice to see all the overnight (GMT that is, or should I now say BST) respose.

In summary of my own opinions can I first re-iterate that my original posting is not about racism, or racial bigotry for the more pedantic. It is about a polititian making a stupid comment. If there is no such thing as British why has the self same government (albeit a different department) allowed the check box "British" on the national census form?

There have been many points well made here. We are one world. We are one race. It is however nice to have a background, a history and a culture to relate to. Differences in these things are what makes it more interesting to travel. Provided that we never ever ever believe that one culture is better or worse than another, just different, we should enjoy those differences.

I believe that Britain exists. It is a melting pot for many old and many new races. It will accept many other cultures and adapt its own to accomodate them. It is this mixture that makes Britain and makes me, a child of that melting pot myself, proud to be British.

Polititians think they know better than anyone else and actualy believe that they have the right to rule the lives of millions of people. No one who is mentaly unstable enough to believe that has the right to deny that history, culture and attitude for the sake of winning a few points off another polititian who is equaly barmy!

Back to my original point. Forget the racist issues. Forget the semantics. Forget which party said what. Polititians should just keep their mouths shut. We have to have them, apparantly, why should we be forced to listen to their insane drivel as well?

Love to all (even the Klingons I suppose...)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Les from Hull
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 08:05 AM

About those lend-lease destroyers. The way I understand it was that this was something concocted by Churchill, without advice from the Admiralty. Roosevelt had readily agreed to transfer 50 old destroyers (dating from about 1919) to the RN and RCN. There was some reticence generally in the USA about getting involved in another European war (as it was seen at the time), but not on the part of their President.

Unfortunately, Chuchill did not understand that mothballed antique fleet destroyers do not make good long-range convoy escorts. Torpedo tubes are not wanted here, neither is speed. What is needed is endurance, good sea-keeping qualities and anti-submarine weapons, which is what these boats did not have. And it took a long time to convert them, not necessarily the fault of the USA.

Les


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Les from Hull
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 08:18 AM

Mr Red - Berwick upon Tweed has been at peace with Russia since 1966 (a Soviet goodwill visit). Stop trying to dig up old quarrels. **BG**

Les


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 09:07 AM

I'm with McGrath on this one.

'Race' is NOT a biological classification it is a political and social construction.

The notion of 'race' falsely assumes that humanity is divided into unchanging, natural types, that can be recognised by their physical features, which are transmitted 'through the blood'.

This false biological notion of race then allows for the ascribing of particular mental and moral characteristics to racial origin.

This, in turn, allows for the establishment of hierarchical classification systems based on apparent racial origins - i.e. the superiority of the 'white race'.

This has, of course, provided a useful justification for the exertion of imperial and colonial power and all that goes with that from slavery and apartheid to ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Viewed in this way it is possible to see that 'racism' is not the product of the concept of 'race', but the very reason for its existence.

To underline this point it is useful for people to realise that there is considerably more genetic variation within apparently black or white 'races', as between them.

If anyone would like a reading list on this that goes beyond a dictionary definition I would be happy to supply one.

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 09:39 AM

Very well put, Brian. Race is not a biological classification. In terms of what I was trying to get across this is exactly it. The British are a true 'race' in these terms - ie a political and social construction. I wish I had thought of putting it that way earlier and saved a lot of discussion!

As Mr Cook himself put it - "a gathering of countless different 'races'" I think he is mixing the meanings of race and biological or perhaps geographic background. Do you think we can drop a note to his spin doctors and point out the error of their ways?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Gary T
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 09:54 AM

Brian, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and while it is socially enlightened, it is scientifically incorrect.

'Race' is NOT a biological classification it is a political and social construction.
Sorry, but it is indeed a biological classification. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of definition. Any good biology textbook can elaborate.

The notion of 'race' falsely assumes that humanity is divided into unchanging, natural types, that can be recognised by their physical features, which are transmitted 'through the blood'.
"Unchanging" is not part of the definition, and in fact is contrary to biological principle. "Physical characteristics" is more accurate than "physical features." Transmission is technically through the genes, often popularly referred to as "through the blood."

This false biological notion of race then allows for the ascribing of particular mental and moral characteristics to racial origin.
Take out "This false biological notion of race" (which is is a contradiction in terms) and substitute "Racism" ("racialism" in the UK?) and this would then be an accurate statement, as any good dictionary should confirm.

This, in turn, allows for the establishment of hierarchical classification systems based on apparent racial origins - i.e. the superiority of the 'white race'.

This has, of course, provided a useful justification for the exertion of imperial and colonial power and all that goes with that from slavery and apartheid to ethnic cleansing and genocide.
The above two sentences are examples of racism.

Viewed in this way it is possible to see that 'racism' is not the product of the concept of 'race', but the very reason for its existence.
The cart is before the horse here. The concept of race exists due to our system of classifying knowledge. Racism is the product of the dark side of human nature inappropriately applying race to areas where it does not belong.

To underline this point it is useful for people to realise that there is considerably more genetic variation within apparently black or white 'races', as between them.
I don't know about more, but certainly there are plenty of differences within races. By definition, race addresses only some characteristics. It is a somewhat arbitrary category, and your point here is well taken.

I applaud your and McGrath's disdain of racism, and I understand the feeling that there is no social merit to the concept of race. I just wish you didn't express this by denying that race exists as a biological category, because in fact it does exist. It may not be of much use to the average Joe, but it is useful to biologists. The fact that some misuse the concept of race does not negate its value in certain contexts, nor mean it is evil or wrong. One could just as well (and just as stupidly) base moral and character judgments on hair color or height or any other chosen physical characteristic. It's not the categorizing of physical characteristics that's the problem, but rather tying those characteristics in with other values. Race is inherently neutral and benign, racism is a scourge of humanity.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:04 AM

Gary,

Clearly our understandings of the concept of 'race' are somewhat different. Your critique of my opinions is largely based on your assertion that 'race' is a biological classification, as I don't have a biology textbook handy perhaps you could give me your scientific definition of 'race'.

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Gary T
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:38 AM

Here you go:

race Biology. an interbreeding subgroup of a species whose individuals are geographically, physiologically, or chromosomally distinct from other members of the species.

The above is what I had in mind (I was a biology major). I did not study anthropology, but the following is perhaps more germane to the topic at hand.

Anthropology. 1. a geographical variation in the human population, identified by a range of genetic characteristics such as hair and skin color, eye color and shape, facial features, body build, and blood group; now a disputed term that is not regarded as technically precise. 2. any of three such population groups into which humans have traditionally been classified; i.e., Caucasoid, Mongoloid, or Negroid.

I note that it is now a disputed term; it is not, however, an abandoned term.

More discussion of the term, addressing both of our perspectives, can be found at this site.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 11:00 AM

Britain is a geographical term, not one derived from its inhabitants. Yes, it is related to the Pretani, and also to the Cruithne (sp?) in the other Celtic pronounciation, which shows its relationship to the Latin creta, chalk, as seen in the Cretaceous Period of geological time. It refers, apparently, to the White Cliffs of Dover as seen from the White Cliffs of Boulogne. I wonder if it originally only applied to the South East.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 11:43 AM

I can see exactly where Gary is coming from and if I majored in biology I would probably find the same definition. As my studies were more inclined to English and Economics I think I could find a different definition. No Economics books to hand, just a plain dictionary.

Race n. group of persons or animals or plants connected by common descent, posterity of (person); house, family, tribe, or nation regarded as common stock. (The Caucasian race); genus or species or breed or variety of animals or plants, any great division of living creatures (the human race); descent, kindred,; class of persons etc with some common feature (the race of poets, dandies etc)

That is the full definition available to me at the moment. I could have just picked out the 'connected by posterity', 'kindred', 'race of poets' and so on but I did not want to make the same mistake and latch on to just one definition.

As you can see both Gary and Brian are right. Let us just say that race is a very large word with multiple meanings.

Can I try to steer this back on course once again by saying the thread, started by me, was about a comment made by a polititian. Forget what race means. Forget the semantics of it all. Go right to the start of the thread and read it carefuly.

Robin Cook said "The British are not a race". I disagree. Simple. Look at the above definition. They may not be a race in biological or global terms but they are a race belonging to the same house or tribe. What is more the Government itself has just sent out a form to every household in Britain giving "British" as an answer to the question about cultural or ethnic, and by the same definition, racial, background.

Who do we believe? The home office (Census) or the foreign office (Robin Cook). Well, you know what us British say. Never trust a foreigner;-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome. Trying to keep my thread on course but fighting a loosing battle.....


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 11:43 AM

Gary,

Certainly the notion of 'race' as a biological concept has not been entirely abandoned (neither has slavery, as we have recently seen), but it has been discredited.

I maintain my assertion that biological notions of 'race' have generally been used to offer pseudo-scientific justifications for social and political constructions. I have not put 'the cart before the horse', the concept of 'race' as a classificatory system stemmed from racist society, not the other way around.

Thanks for the link to the interesting and informative website.

For the current view of the American Anthropological Association click here to view a statement on the matter published on their website.

Having said this I want to make clear, what I'm sure Gary T recognises, that I intend my comments as part of an academic discussion not a personal feud. Gary and I clearly agree on the most crucial issue here, that racism is abhorrent.

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 11:45 AM

Sorry Dave, I was writing my contribution whilst you were posting yours.

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Gary T
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 11:54 AM

Having said this I want to make clear, what I'm sure Gary T recognises, that I intend my comments as part of an academic discussion not a personal feud. Gary and I clearly agree on the most crucial issue here, that racism is abhorrent.

Correct on all counts.

Regards, Gary


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: JudeL
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 11:56 AM

To the guest who didn't identify themself, who said there appeared to be a xenophobic response to calling oneself English - but not to identifying oneself as Welsh or Scotish. I would disagree with that, I don't think that people object to being called English if that is what they are, but I do think they ( and quite reasonably) object if the term English is misused to describe someone from Scotland, Ireland or Wales.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 01:15 PM

I have some pretty vivid recollections of World War II. I was ten years old when Pearl Harbor was atacked, but I remember before that the Lend-Lease programs and the "Bundles for Britain" campaigns. Most Americans were anything but indifferent to what was going on in Europe, particularly England (Britain?). A fact or two.

Here is a detailed description of the battle of the North Atlantic and the part American destroyers took in it, even before the U. S. officially went to war. It's long, but it makes pretty interesting reading (about halfway down, the sinking of theReuben James is mentioned).

There are some pretty good links posted here on the idea of race. As far as I am concerned, the sooner that divisive concept in all its permutations gets flushed down the toilet, the better off the whole world will be.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 01:19 PM

Maybe Robin Cook is the antichrist? Nobody mentioned him on that thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:41 PM

class of persons etc with some common feature (the race of poets, dandies etc)

Well that's a definition of race which is quite fun, but doesn't bear much relationship to the other definitions, which aren't. Race of folk-singers, race of darts-players, race of men or race of women...Feels a bit strange really.

But the core of the sickness is that preposterous notion of the three great races of humanity, Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid, which is and always has been absolute balderdash. Basically it's on a par with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and was promulgated by pseudo-scientists with very much the same kind of mind-set as the people who concocted that evil document. You'll still find it in dictionaries, the same way you'll find definitions of the expression "to jew down" and so forth. Good dictionaries have to include all the meanings which a word has been loaded with at various times.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:00 PM

Forgive me coming into the discussion in the 11th hour.

What *I* object to is the notion that discarding the word "race" and taking "racial" questions off our censuses (censi?) will somehow make racism -- that is, prejudice against persons of differing ethnic or national or bloodline* backgrounds from one's self -- go away.

It won't. We shall have to work harder than that. Creating a "color-blind" society will just be creating a society officially blind to the discrimination within it.

*well, you take away "race" and I need something else to use. Someone whose ancestors are (say) all Eskimos is different in some way -- which could use an adjective -- than someone whose ancestors are all from Western Europe. And people do, and have, and will continue to, discriminate against persons on this sort of basis, which is neither ethnic nor national, as both of these persons may be Americans of rather white-bread upbringing with no particular ethnic heritage other than "middle American" in their upbringing.

Now because somebody WILL misunderstand me, let me say quite explicitly that I think all these forms of discrimination and prejudice are WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Alex


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Subject: no scientific basis for the concept of race...
From: cait
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 06:05 PM

we are separated from mice by about 200 genomes, with about twice as many as amoebae...and from each other by none. when i say 'bloody brits', i generally mean the english, of course, the most politically incorrect group of 'civilized' (not to say 'civil') members of the human race on the planet. who else invented all those clever ethnic epithets? so there.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 07:12 PM

Keith, I don't think I'm at risk in this community of being labelled pro-American, but I think I can safely question the tone of your post alleging American cynicism re those WW1 destoyers. Someone else cleared up the facts, but what perplexes me is an assumption often encountered here in Britain that America was bound to come to our aid.

There's nothing wrong with arguing that America should have got in sooner, but I don't see that Britain had any entitlement to support. It was Britain that got itself into the scrap, it was Britain that chose to delay going in until Germany had got itself well and truly into fighting trim, and it was Britain that did next to nothing to prepare itself for the conflict.

As for Dave, I despair. Having tied himself in knots on the race thing, he keeps trying to turn it back on Cook's stupidity, as though slagging a politician will somehow make the peculiar line he is taking seem OK. The trouble is, that there was not a word of stupidity in anything Cook said. He did not say we British don't exist, so he is not in any sort of conflict with the census form, nor in conflict with anyone here, except Dave. He just said we are a collection of races, which we patently are. As far as I have seen, his speech seems to have been generally well received.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 09:15 PM

I've managed to avoid posting to this thread so far, though I've been reading it with interest.  However, I am half English, and as a consequence object very strongly to remarks like "Bloody Brits".  Cait doesn't make it clear where she is from, but it would appear that it was somewhere where courtesy was not, while she was growing up, considered very important.  Perhaps she is American, in which case she should understand that, if there is a nationality more unpopular in the world than "The Brits", it is "The Yanks".  I am not aware of a nation on earth which has not behaved badly toward others when it had the chance, nor of any "race" which does not have racist attitudes.  These things are built in, and it is our duty as human beings to accept that, and ensure as best we can that we behave decently towards each other, no matter what prejudices we may inherit.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,jayohjo in Russia
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 06:34 AM

My two penn'orth... As someone who's away from her 'own land' (dispute as you will) and working as an English assistant (that's the language, not the nationality) it's been made even more obvious to me that it's important to be careful about what words you use (re British-English), ie the students and teachers find it difficult to distinguish between the concepts of British and English, no matter how much I explain it. As for a 'British race' - I'd agree that I've always understood 'race' to be a biological rather than sociological term, to take the two extremes. If this is the definition of race, then therefore there can be no such thing as a British race, and much as I hate to say it I'll have to agree with Robin Cook (eek!). However, there are undeniably similarities between people (whether black, white, brown, green, purple etc) who have been brought up in or have spent a long time in the United Kingdom. With regard to first- and second-generation immigrants, for example, this must be due to socialization into a particular society or social group, rather than any inherent characteristics. Example of socialization rather than inherent biological differences - when I first arrived in Russia, all the Russian students told me that I didn't look Russian at all, and this wasn't just due to my clothes but that they could see it in my face. However, I bought a big Russian coat and boots, got used to the procedures of where I was living, went about looking stroppy, and I'm now told that I look very Russian. Socialization, to a very minor extent. So in my opinion (though this may be due to having studied Sociology and Psychology rather than Biology and Anthropology) there are a number of characteristics which can be found in many of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom. However, this does not mean that they are biologically inherent; if we had all been born in, say, Russia, we (though possibly having similar personal characters, but that's a different debate) would probably all behave a bit differently. Therefore, the question of whether a British race exists depends solely on whether you accept the term as solely biological, or as having other interpretations. I see it as biological, and therefore consider that a 'British race' cannot exist. However, this doesn't mean that I don't miss Marmite, Eastenders, football, and people in shops occasionally smiling! ;) Jayohjo in Russia XXX


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,jayohjo in Russia
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 06:35 AM

gaaaah! Why did it all come out like that? Sorreee!


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,in room 325 of the Motel 6
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 12:23 PM

It's quite the laugh seeing Alex/Mousethief commenting on colorblind society, fighting prejudice, etc.

After all, this is a guy who, in the first sentence of his profile in the Mudcat Resources, stresses that he is a "white male." As if we couldn't tell from the picture right above the statement


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Caitrin
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 01:19 PM

I'm American (but most definitely not a Yankee! *grins*), so please forgive me if I end up saying something utterly foolish in my ignorance of British politics.
It seems to me that Mr. Cook was trying to make the point that Britain has a long history of immigration and will not be led to ruin by it now. He doesn't say that there is no such thing as "British", merely that "British" is not a race. It's not, nor are American, French, Italian, or Greek.
"Race" in a biological sense is meaningless. We're all the same species--"Negroid" and "Caucasoid" make no more difference to anything than "blue-eyed people" or "redheads" do to a biologist. Race is merely another physical characteristic.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Caitrin
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 01:23 PM

And just on a side note...
Dave, we Bajorans think you ought to concentrate more on the Prophets than the profits.


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Subject: oh yes, malcolm...
From: cait
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 01:29 PM

i learned to be polite growing up, it took association with brits to understand racism within caucasian ehtnicity. with a firmly entrenched class system and the words 'frog', 'yank', 'wog' and such like emerging with frequency from britain's national publications and from the other side of your mouth (when not being bloody indignant) to show me the shades of racism that 'civilized' brits are capable of. your 'civility' is something of a farce, worn with indignation in face of criticism from without.

don't go on.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 01:53 PM

Fionn says -

"As for Dave, I despair. Having tied himself in knots on the race thing, he keeps trying to turn it back on Cook's stupidity, as though slagging a politician will somehow make the peculiar line he is taking seem OK. The trouble is, that there was not a word of stupidity in anything Cook said. He did not say we British don't exist, so he is not in any sort of conflict with the census form, nor in conflict with anyone here, except Dave. He just said we are a collection of races, which we patently are. As far as I have seen, his speech seems to have been generally well received."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I laugh at your feeble attempt at argument. I have seen better attempts at logic from the illogical logistiands of Illogistia. Slagging off a polititian is ok. That is what they are paid for. If I cause any offence. Tough. It was my thread. Stop reading it if you don't like it. (ner-ner-ne-ne-ner...)

Love and kisses

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 02:44 PM

Nothing wrong with slagging off politicians, but preferably not when for once in a while they actually say something true, as in this case.

And cait, I hope "caucasian ethnicity" is used ironically, and that you aren't actually suggesting that there is such a thing as "Caucasian ethnicity", except maybe in the Caucasus (where most Caucasians would probably object to the term anyway, since it suggests similarity, whereas there are about half a dozen smouldering wars going on between the different peoples living there.

And I wish racism was an English preserve, but it's not. Currently England appears to be rated as one of the less racist societies in Europe...Which from one point of view is profoundly depressing, because it's bad enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 06:51 PM

Cook....say something of his own.....grow up team....he is a limited IQ socialist poitician...Told (and speech vetted) what to say at all times. He is given sound bites just like the rest of the "slow" old Labour politicians. This is what he is....please don't be fooled by the current New Labour dimwits...they are fooling the labour vote quite well......

I hope it continues...we have a better form of conservatism now....I am making a packet on the obvious share market......

Spot (the Tory) dog


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 06:54 PM

Just a pity they haven't the bottle to bring back capital punishment.....It would make them the perfect party for me!!!!!.

Spot (the hangdog)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brendy
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 10:24 PM

Why?

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Sadie
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 10:44 PM

How is it possible to have such a far-ranging discussion and not use the term "ethnic"?
How is it alright to refer insultingly to an Australian as an "Aussie" and to a Frenchman as a "Frog" and an Irishman as a "Paddy" and get away with it, yet to refer to a Pakistani as a "Paki" is deemed a criminal offense almost?
Something is wrong somewhere.
Sadie


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brendy
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 10:58 PM

"and an Irishman as a "Paddy" and get away with it.."

You wouldn't get away with it, with me!!

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Crazy Eddie
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 01:13 AM

To:
Mr. Red, Jude L, & Jenny the T
The terms "British Isles" & "british isles" are reserved for islands which are BRITISH. These would include the mainland of Britian, Isle of Wight, Isle of Skye, etc. but NOT the mainland of Ireland or other Irish Islands such as the Blaskett Islands, Tory Island etc.
Pretty logical really.
If you want to refer to both mainlands, and their associated smaller islands, as a group, may I suggest the term "Celtic-Anglo Archipelligo!" You never know, it might catch on!


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: lady penelope
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 05:05 AM

Talk about arguing in circles! Admit it, what people really don't like is politicians. I think we should classify politicians as as "race" seperate from the rest of humanity and just turn all our vitriole onto them.

TTFN M'Lady P.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 07:41 AM

Yus, my lady. Good idea.

Parker, writing on behalf of Dave the Gnome who is on a course until Wednesday and therefore unavailable.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:25 AM

BTW Brendy - before I go of on my course - In case you did not know what guest Sadie was on about with "and an Irishman as a "Paddy" and get away with it" I think she may have been refering to the news item where the 'who wants to be a millionaire' quiz show had complaints about a particular question - something like "Which people are referred to as 'Paddy'". The complaints commision ruled they were not being racist in this case as it was also some sort of term of endearment!

For the record I don't think they should have got away with it and they wouldn't have got away with it with me either (Even though I'm not Irish). It is annoying, as Sadie said, that some terms cannot be used, and quite rightly so, yet some seem to be acceptable. The difference is beyond my limited reasoning I'm afraid!

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: JudeL
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 09:43 AM

crazie eddy; before telling us that Ireland isn't part of the British Isles I suggest you check your atlas. Whilst Eire is politically not a part of the United Kingdom, geographically it is part of the British Isles.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 09:54 AM

Oh - just another couple of other points and then I REALY must go....:-(

He did not say we British don't exist

Quote from the speech - "The British are not a race" Not a race seems to be a pretty clear statement to me.

nor in conflict with anyone here, except Dave. ..... As far as I have seen, his speech seems to have been generally well received.

Quote from the Manchester Evening News "Postbag Debate"

We asked if you thought Robin Cook was right. The response was overwhelming; more than 9 ot of ten callers said no. Yes: 7% No 93%

Perhaps the "Well received and Not in conflict" statements should read well received by everyone except ignorant Mancunians who don't count anyway...?

Ah well - you know what they say. There are lies, damned lies, statistics and political speeches...;-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: mcgrath...
From: cait
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 01:18 PM

maybe 'caucasian' isn't correct...i was trying to avoid using the term 'white'...i mean that the brits have instituted shades of prejudice within its own 'causasian' ethnicity, as well as towards causasian ehtnicities outside its borders (all the 'pink bits'). i'm not addressing british prejudices towards people of other 'color', 'race', 'ethnicity' or whatever politically correct term is fashionable or least offensive to those people, not at this time.

of course racism is not a british preserve, but it makes me larf to hear how 'polite' the brits are. they're hardly civil to one another within their own country, let alone to others living or visiting there. that's why i replied to malcolm.

being 'reserved' hardly equals 'civil', it's closer to 'retentive'.

i've been informed (by polite brits) that no american could possibly be equal in social standing (whatever that is) to any brit by dint of being a yank in the first place...this belief, whether politely withheld or openly expressed, is hardly the basis of truly polite regard. it's the basis of haughtiness and arrogance. being oh so civil while holding the deep belief that one's class, 'race' or culture is ultimately superior isn't, either.

i suggest that tolerance of difference is the basis of the only truly polite behavior towards others. when the brits achieve this, i'll be the first to say they are the most advanced people on earth.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 01:23 PM

Unfortunately, the British Isles moniker was allocated when the British government was crayoning (note oblique creta/preta reference) in pink all over the map. There was a book recently called "The Isles" which tried to avoid the problem this has led to. It's rather difficult to think of a suitable name to encompass the geological/geographical grouping of rocky chunks without conflating it with a political non-reality.

And, cait, the issue of racism is primarily about not attributing characteristics to large groups of people which may or may not be derived from members of that group, and then insulting all members of that group as though those characteristics apply to all of them. If you accuse all the British, or English, of being the most non-PC nationality, what does that make you? Even if you have met some unpleasant representatives of this island, you don't know all of us. As I don't know what nationality you belong to, I can only judge you on your own characteristics, which is as it should be.

I've come across some extremely unpleasant and selfish Americans, and had to read a lot of racist slurs - it does seem that it is not only not racist to slag us off, but also politically correct to do so to some people - but the Americans here will testify that I've never applied the attitude I could have got from that to them. (I've met far more decent ones, anyway).

I agree that we have some dire press, but check out The Independent (www.independent.co.uk) and The Guardian (www,guardianunlimited.co.uk) for something a bit better.

Penny, who won't be told not to go on


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 01:33 PM

And from your last post, you've met some real horrors, who I would find it hard to be courteous to. The upper class, and those who aspire to it tend to use manners and "politeness" as territorial markers and a way of identifying their tribe. When I come across I remember quietly to myself that they are operating on a very basic hardwired level which they share with dogs and even lower parts of the animal creation. (It's probably because they know that they are endangered, and are behaving defensively.) Then I amuse myself by watching them showing everyone else how incapable they are of rising above the brainstem level. But I gather it's not just in this country - America has class, too, doesn't it, or so I gather from some of the remarks made by the new regime about Clinton's bunch.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: artbrooks
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:02 PM

In the States, saying that you "have class" is normally considered to be a compliment. However, I doubt that any comment made by any politician about any other politician (regardless of ilk) has any value whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:42 PM

The term British Isles can be a bit irritating - but not so much if you think of it as just meaning the bunch of islands of which the island Great Britain (so called to distinguish it from Brittany across the channel) is the largest.

In fact there is not any political entity called Britain. There's an island called Great Britain, a political entity called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, made up of the nations of England, Scotland and Wales and a portion of the Irish province of Ulster.

So as well as the UK, the British Isles includes, the rest of Ireland and also the Isle of Man. But not the Channel Islands, which aren't part of the UK either Confusing...

But how Dave the gnome, and 93% of callers to the Mancghester Evening News can evidently persuade themselves that "The British are not a race" is "a pretty clear statement" that "the British don't exist" - I find that even more confusing.

If the man had said had said that a hippopotamus was not a carrot, that would not be to deny the existence of either hippopotami or carrots, hard though that may be to believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:46 PM

Actually, I, and anyone who ever saw me on Sports Day, find the idea of me and race belonging in the same sentence very unlikely.....

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brendy
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for that, Dave.

So, the question remains...what are the British?

English people with a superiority complex?

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Melani
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 03:46 PM

I personally have been quite delighted to be listening to the radio and hear some guy with a totally Arabic or Pakistani name speaking with a totally British accent. As a resident of extremely multicultural California, I am used to all kinds of racial and ethnic types as American citizens. I would assume "British" to be a political designation in the same way. After all, we probably all started out in the northern part of Africa.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,"British" It should not be allowed?
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 04:41 PM

Edie, seriously you can't be thinking right? Are you drunk?

The term is Cultural/Social/ Geographical even - though it used be Political.

cait - ok ok - I think I know where you are comming from but I would love to get the opportunity to take you on a tour of the Islands :) I grew up in postwar Britain and at the time we all pretty much 'hung together' we had to! It is not unuasual these days for cousins to be from Galway Ire and Oldham Lancs UK for example.

Then as if that is not complicated enough we have a heritage of swapping British identity for as long as historical records were kept! So in a way Mr Cook is not so much wrong as misinformed, perhaps he is trying to placate the ever growing influence of Asian money in the Islands? Now that I could understand.

Paddy etc etc, well if I did not already know there also are 'pet' names for the other parts of Britain I would be complaining. Fact there is, Pom English, Taff Welsh, Jock Socttish, now some regional examples Culchie used in Dublin for a country person, Geordy used in England for a person from Newcastle, Scouse person from Liverpool. Sheesh are we seriosly thinking the use of these words makes even the smallest impact? My negative reaction, if I had one, to being called 'Paddy' would worry me a lot more than the new label. You can call me Taig, or Taffy what ever you like to call me but do not then call me by phone and ask for money lol.

I cannot imagine why anyone does not want to keep the British Isles as a catch all name for the region, since it does not claim ownership by any Political entity. There are but two centers of Administration at this time that I know about, perhaps there may be more as time goes on, they are London UK and Dublin ROI. These have nothing to do with the cultural issue, in fact I would be very surpised if they did. It is a common language area, the language is English and I bet if the native laguages were better they would still be there, no offence intended to my friends in Welsh Wales or the Gaelteachts. This is precicely the point! Our ancestors had the good sense to adapt whatever they found better and adapt they did! So whether it was in Wessex or Wexford or wherever they knew what they were about.


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Subject: to penny,
From: cait
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:36 PM

i at no point said that i was upholding myself as the pinnacle of polite perfection, dear lady, and i believe i was addressing malcom when i prayed he not go on.

you've held me to be objective and subjective in opposite order to actuality.

that's quite all right, as we hardly know each other, how could you tell?

at any rate, the issue within this thread is about what national traits do constitute 'britishness', isn't it? *or something like* it's not been suggested that it's about MY nationality...has it?

hardly the point, then.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Pete M at work
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 10:35 PM

Sadie, The various definitions of 'race' in the context of a descriptor for a sub group of a species is clearly open to discussion depending on one's acedemic background. These however seem concrete and immovable when compared to the concept of 'ethnicity'. I have had to work with information systems which use ethnicity as a descriptor for some time now, as a means of monitoring how well policies serve one group of people as opposed to another, and I have to say that it is in the context of its everyday use, a completey meaningless attribute and the data collected under its banner worthless. It may be a valid and useful construct in say social anthropology, but has been hijacked to point where it is a Chesire cat word, it means what ever whoever is using it at the time wants it to mean. By the way, I would question your assumption that Aussie, Kiwi, Jock etc are derogatory by definition - unless its a Kiwi refereing to an Aussie of course ;-)

As almost everyone has agreed, despite any difference we may have on the definition of 'race' the ascribing of moral, ethical, behavioural or physical/mental attribute to a group based on a spurious and non correlated attribute ie eye colour or normal place of residence IS racist and that is exactly what Cait is guilty of.

On the subject of the four stackers, if memory serves me correctly these were obtained not under lend lease but in exchange for a long term lease to the USN of naval bases in Bermuda. Les is correct in his definition of the qualities required for convoy escorts, and the unsuitablity of these vessels, although their range and depth charge capacity was improved by removal of a boiler. Nonetheless they provided a stopgap.

The 'unofficial' contribution of the USN and US coastguard to convoy escorts prior to the entry of the US into the war is well recognised by anyone who is interested in naval affairs. The great shame (in both senses of the word) is that once war was declared by the US, the USN hierarchy forgot or ignored everything learned in the previous years and refused to institute convoys or enforce a black out on coastal towns as "it would affect business" and thousands of merchant seamen survived the crossing of the Atlantic only to die within sight of the US ports.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brendy
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 12:57 AM

From the Guardian newspaper

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Gervase
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 04:16 AM

Far be it from me to cast a slur on the good folk of Manchester, but they must be a bit daft in the head to believe a survey in the Manchester Evening News - most such surveys are self-selecting garbage "compiled" by urging readers to ring in - "honk if you're a honky" if you like.
As such, it's only use would be with regular perforations and hung in the khazi.
As for the main thrust of the thread, I think Cook was absolutely right, and made one of the more intelligent and coherent speeches I've heard in a while. However, just because there may be no British "race", it doesn't mean to say that there isn't a group of people who like to think of themselves as "British". To speak of a British race is as absurd as some liberals who speak reverently of "the gay community". You might as well speak of the red-headed community or the community allergic to bananas. However, you can be gay, red-headed or allergic to bananas.
As for me, I love bananas and am a complete mongrel - part Paddy, part Brit, part Frog and wholly incoherent much of the time.
And I'd still rather be a citizen than a subject - but maybe its bes to let than one lie fallow for a bit...


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Les from Hull
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 05:50 AM

Pete M - acually Germany declared war on the USA (in support of their Japanese allies).


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: JudeL
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 07:35 AM

"if native languages were better they'd still be there" - were you being intentionally offensive or just plain ignorant in both senses of the word? Welsh is still spoken not just as a curiosity but as a first language, despite a certain English School Inspectors Policy which attempted to stop it being spoken a couple of centuries ago. If you don't know what I'm talking about then go and learn before making any more fatuous remarks.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: JulieF
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 07:48 AM

Personally, I will always clasify myself as a Scot first and then British. I have never had any problem with either classification but will take exception to being called English. The main problem is the way that some people have used the term British in the past in which what they are describing is a white, English grouping - example the waving or the Union Jack at English Sports events. This is largely improving and I would not be unhappy to see people being proud of being English and then British. In the same way that I believe that it was a mistake not to include an English Parliament in devolution.

On the Census form I will write Scottish in the other category as the cenus officer has indicated that this is OK but I would not be upset as putting my Ethnicity as British. Tim will put Irish and our daughter Cat has decided that, as she can put down that she was born in Scotland she will also classify her ethnicity as Irish. There is something liberating in being able to classify yourself as you feel.

All the best

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,OOPz Dear JudeL
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 10:12 AM

Well if the language survived, then it must have something to recommend it to it's users.

JudeL, if you'd look at modern English threre are many words and concept gleaned from Cwmru not the least of which is the very nature of it's construction, course that can be easily explained when as you must surely know this or Cornish was the primary laguage from Kent to Merrioneth at one time. Now as to keeping the language I too feel that it is a good thing, but trying to change the entire Country from Angelsey to Cardiff would be a terrible mistake, look at Ireland where they tried to revert to Gaelic in the 40's - 60's. The people very soon took that where it belongs. I grant you though, that Manx, Welsh, Gaelic do contribute to the richness of the Culture of Britain and would not want to see them gone, in case you are wondering.

Borredah - please forgive my Welsh it is nearly 30 years since I lived in Welsh Wales.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Keith A at work
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 11:13 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,keith a at work
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 11:19 AM

Ffion , I just started by saying it was a feature of Brit culture that we stand up for the right causes . We "got ourselves into the scrap" yes to stand up for Poland and against the rounding up of certain minorities. We asked for help as we faced defeat by a loathsome racist regime. . Sorry if I understated the part played by USA before they entered the war.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 06:36 PM

as she can put down that she was born in Scotland

There's nowhere on our census form allowing you to say where you were born - it used to be included, and was quite a valuable question for people working-out population shifts and so forth over the last 100 years, but they dropped it last time round.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brendy
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 12:51 AM

"...look at Ireland where they tried to revert to Gaelic in the 40's - 60's..."

Don't talk twaddle, dear Guest.
I'm sure you know that it was a crime to utter any word of the Mother Tongue, a crime punishable by death, I might add

The 'British' almost did a damned good job at wiping out indigeneous languages, in the Celtic Isles.

The fact that they do not survive today, like they should have been always allowed to exist, is not our fault. We should not have had to 're-learn' our languages.
So much time wasted, trying to undo what 'civilisation' bequeathed to us. The Irish did not feel the need to change all the place-names to something a little more Anglicised. We were never that arrogant

Like I mean...who the fuck, in their right mind, would want to call a place Belfast, when the original Béal Feirste was perfect the way it was?

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: JulieF
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 04:53 AM

McGrath, I could have sworn there was a country of Birth question when I looked through the form - I'ld check when I get home.

All the best

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: KitKat
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 11:39 AM

I just think that Robin Cook is a worthy successor to the title formerly held by Neil Kinnock: 'Little Ginger Nuts'.

Let's face it: if he had any integrity to start with, he's had enough years in politics to make him as corrupt and self-seeking as the rest.

I diskard him (with apologies to Nigel Molesworth)

KitKat


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,McGinty
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 12:00 PM

Course there isn't... There's only us Scots, & all you other bastards, who'd like to be Scots!


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Grab
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 12:20 PM

I'm not sure what the argument is with what Cook's said. Let's consider if he'd said the opposite - "yes, the British are a race" or something like that.

Possible interpretations of this:-

(1) The British are a distinct race, classified by recent ancestors being white and coming from areas in Britain. This then means that there can be NO SUCH GROUP as "British blacks", for instance! These ppl would simply be "blacks living in Britain" and denied any place in British society, with the implication that they don't belong and can be shipped back to their country of origin at the whim of the government - some countries actually do have this approach with their immigrant populations.

(2) The British are a distinct race, classified by recent ancestors coming from areas in Britain (whether white or other). This then means that there can be NO SUCH GROUP as "British blacks", for instance! These ppl would be simply "British" and could by definition have no separate culture.

I honestly can't find any way in which he could have answered the question without effectively saying either that ppl of immigrant origin don't belong in Britain, or that ppl of immigrant origin can't preserve their cultures. If anyone else can, please let me know - I've seen lots of heat on the notes above, but very little light! This seems more an issue of "look what the newspapers can drum up when there's not much news" than anything else, with ppl spouting predigested opinions provided by the papers.

Graham.

PS. Kudos to McGrath for the hippos and carrots line! nearly fell off my chair! :)


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 07:45 PM

Sorry JulieF - I had another squint at the form, and the question about country of birth is there after all. (The thing that got me confused is that they used to invite a more specific answer, which would have indicated county rather than just country.)

As for Cook's speech - of course like any politician in the run-up to an election, he's into scoring points and drumming up support. That's what they do for a living. The interesting thing is though that he clearly thinks that, this time round, the winning card to play is the anti-racist one - traditionally the boot is on the other foot. I find that quite encouraging.

Of course, it distracts attention from the fact that in a lot of ways the Labour government is every bit as racist as the Tories - in an ostensibly anti-racist law that permits and encourages racist discrimination by immigration officers.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Brendy must be a little kid?
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 08:33 PM

If you'd attended a National School when they walloped the idealistic Gaelic twaddle of De Valera etc into poor underfed children you'd have a right to cuss, especially when you would know that many of these children ended up on the Boat, if you know what that meant. I suppose the Parents got the Leaving Certificate = A ONE WAY TICKET TO LONDON E_N_G_L_A_N_D. Then when in this new country what did the school teachers think of the little Gaelic scholar? Hey they did not even ask. It was and it remains a minority language TG - I shudder to think what young emigrant woul've had to edure if they were Gaelic Speakers as you idealists want them to be. It was a waste of time in most cases and a crime against those thousands of emigrants who had to endure it.

But then perhaps you are just a flame fisher -

It is much the same misery that I beg modern Plaid Cymru to avoid, sure lets try to revive it BUT NOT BY MAKING IT THE BARRIER TO GETTING AN EDUCATION CERT or JOB! That kind of stupidity leads to a resentment.

I learned more Gaelic in one day with a native speaker on a building site in England than all the freakin junk I did in NS. At least he could speak it properly unlike the Teacher who could not! Now there is another beef I have and darnit I am mad about it too, why send a 'certified' teacher who was not a native into a class in the first place? Ireland, land of exams and paper! BS - fill your values here LOL.

The idea of some hoss of a woman bearing down on a little kid with 'cunas ' at max volume still gives me nightmares geeez.

I am for Britain because it makes sense - and besides I love all the different things there, like Newcastle Brown Ale, Soda Bread etc etc. To seperate it up into little fiefdoms of different languages, where will that end? The O'Grumpies on one side of a river throwing rocks at the LaGrotties on the other, while they have not even one shared word to work out their problems?


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 05:41 AM

Hey - nice to see you all still here after my slight break. Some good points still being made. My brain is still in meltdown after listening for 2 days about how a new tape drive works but I will try to get it back in gear:-)

I agree with you about surveys Gervase - not because of the survey taker 'urges readers to ring in' but because the only people who do ring in are the people who care enough to do so. Either way they can be misrepresentative but I did try to make the point with the 'lies, damn lies, statistics' comment. The main point that came across for me was not so much whether the readership agreed or not but that it showed there was more than one way to interpret his statement. And a number of people did interpret the statement, rightly or wrongly, in the same way as me. I was accused of being the only one out of step and wanted to put the record straight. I do know that I can still be wrong and however many people agree with me they can be wrong as well. I thought it a little unfair to say that it was only me and the survey provided a me a vehicle with which to prove the statement could be (mis?)interpreted by others as well.

Hippopottomii (sp???) and carots. Hmmm - had a bit more difficulty here. Very nice point, well made and I will remember to use it myself in the right circumtances (with permission of course Kevin!!!). Not sure how it fits in to this debate though. Using the same logic, if I say "French is not a cuisine" I am not denying the existance of either the French peoples or the existance of food. The statement is also true in some respects but I would not say it in a restaurant in Paris and expect to get away scot free! Im very unlikely to offend either a hippo or the carot but substitute either of the terms with any group of people and any type of ethno/racial definition and some people may, rightly of wrongly, get hurt. A politician in the run up to an election cannot afford to alienate anyone. I still think he's a Klingon btw - is that why you are defending him Kevin and is there something you are not telling us? *BG*.

If a politician makes a similarly ambiguous statement he should expect some critisism unless of course it is to totaly like minded people. But that could never be because the differences in the way people think are all part of this (sometimes) wonderful world we live in.

Cheers.

Dave the Gnome

BTW - if this is to continue does anyone want to do a part II, or have I had enough yet?


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brendy
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 05:18 AM

Look, my Man/Woman.

You talk of the era of De Valera, and you're trying to use it as some sort of a stick; to pour scorn on how a young 'nation' was desperately trying to regain it's sense of identity.

Inside the six counties no such compulsion was required to learn the Irish Language, or at least to (God forbid) sit a GCE in it.
It was a ploy that may have backfired, as those who did want to learn it...did, and this saved us from a lot of disgruntled and bitter people, who like you, had no choice in the matter.

Personally, I wouldn't have made the learning of Irish compulsory. But hindsight is both a great educator, and bringer of understanding.

We are, though, talking about 'curative' measures, here. After having had our culture almost destroyed; where starving people were given a bowl of thin soup in return for re-canting their religion and identity, you complain about the cleaning up the mess. Or at least seem unwilling to forgive the methods they employed.
I am familiar with Myles na gCopaleen's imagery of 'na Gaeligorí', and the An t Áthair Pheadar Úi Leirigh's of this world, as they tried to standardise the form of the language.

They were rough times, I know. But as you well know, the abolition of corporal punishment is a relatively recent concept, and I (as a pupil of the Christian Brothers) was not spared any of the rod, just because I didn't have to..but did, choose to learn Irish.

But are we going to sit here and share horror stories from our childhood? You don't have a chip on your shoulder, Guest...you have the Amazon Rain Forest sitting right there, and it's emitting large doses of Carbon Dioxide, to boot.

Fair enough, you ran away from the country with enough resentment to fill pint glasses with.
That is sad, for a lot of people, as you rightly point out, left dis-illusioned. I hear very few exiles, though condemn their homeland in the terms that you do.

"...I am for Britain because it makes sense - and besides I love all the different things there, like Newcastle Brown Ale, Soda Bread etc etc. To seperate it up into little fiefdoms of different languages, where will that end? The O'Grumpies on one side of a river throwing rocks at the LaGrotties on the other, while they have not even one shared word to work out their problems?..."

Prefer Britain if you like (although I don't remember anybody asking you to make a choice in the matter), but Newcastle Brown and Soda Bread are easily available at home, and I don't think there was ever any plan to seperate Ireland up 'into little fiefdoms of different languages'. If you left for those reasons, you were both unobservant and subject to not a little degree of paranoia.

You were educated in the 26 counties, and you had it tough. I was educated in the 6 counties and I had it tough.
But the difference between You and me is that I came to terms with it...and moved on. If I never held it against my parents for giving me the odd 'clip around the back of the ear', I can certainly use the same reasoning to forgive those at whose hands I suffered a hell of a lot worse.

But that's your choice. And I know that sometimes it feels better to acquiesce in the bitternesses of the past; it certainly can give a person that extra reason to hate. But that choice is also yours.

I see no 'argument' in your post, but I sensed the intelligence of it by the 'handle' you gave yourself.

Be bitter if you want to be, and don't face up to your demons. But until you sort that trip out, you and I will be communicating on two different levels.

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,oK MrS BrEnDy
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 03:18 AM

Pull up a stool and have a large glass of Whiskey on me, you will need it!

So you want one the nose, then here it is. Collins made a perfectly fair and sensible arrangement with London, but De Val BS etc and his equally stupid idealistic eejits started a civil war over what? They wanted to MAKE the majority of the North come in with them BY FORCE! I am not surprised the NI majority refused.

Ancient and less ancient history, well the best thing about the soup for conversion is this, you would soon learn that the religion they shoved down yer throat was and IS a bunch of twaddle as well, written by sheepherder nomads in the deserts of North Africa drawing upon the state religions of Sumeria, Egypt and laterly Greece. A society where polygamy was rife as well as syphilis and with that the insanity of old men covering young women - barely out of childhood. No wonder there are so many inherited diseases in that nation. Read it and see for yourself Brendy.

The whole Book from start to end is one massacre after another - no wonder Ireland is at war with itself. Do yer selves a favor, burn the book and all the other religico brain washing piffle that goes with it and start over with some local supernatural thing, hey what about leprechauns?

Ireland and the Irish, Brendy there are lots of people in Ireland with Scottish names, Welsh names and English names, so whose identity will they have? In the rest of Britain the same applies. So what you have is a fact of life Brendy - Russells in Clare and Murphys in Manchester. Britain, Brendy, IS A FACT.

I was not educated in the 26 counties - but lived there long enough to know what was going on. Move on to what? From what? I never gave it a second thought as I did the Irish Classes - they were stupid and hence ignored.

There is a Net Person called Sir Random in Ireland, real name Morris, he is proud that his grandfather was in the Rah, and shot and killed people, funny thing Brendy, the name Morris is to England what Murphy is to Ireland, a very local name, and know what English folk dance is called Morris Dancing. I think the point is slowly getting through, so I will irritate ya some more. Padrig Pearce had ENGLISH - English born parents, Clark was very nearly the same thing but a few generation along the shibeen lane, and Collins was an acient Irish name NOT. For heavens sake WAKEN UP. And last the straw that will help you to reality, Bobby Sands family WAS ENGLISH Brendy, Adams is a descendant of a Planter family - are ya mad yet or are ya givin in. Easier to face the truth when ya leave the lil green islands one day and move out in the big world where you'd give a weeks wages just to sit and talk Football with any European let alone British person. Like I already said WAKEN UP.

My ancestors were Gallowglass and know what the locals where ma da lived called him a Scot after 400 freakin years in the same parish! Ireland if not British is nothing because it ends up with - like I said before-the O'Rowdies on one hill fighting with the McDumbos on the next.

In fact if the English did not bring some centralised rule there it would still be Clans murdering and thieving from one another. The English and later the British forced the Irish into unity. But as history shows, in doing so it also made the people BRITISH by blood. I have English heritage from IRELAND Brendy and I bet if you look at your family so have you.

Conaught, Leingster, Munster and Ulster. How would you like it if the Kerry people sued for indipendance, as well they may one day? I leave it in your capable Gaelic hands to keep the Island in one piece, but last time I looked it was not going anywhere.

Bar man set them up again I am off to make a bet. Cya.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brendy
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 06:58 AM

On the nose? You're not even at the same football game, for Christ's sake!

First of all, I'm not a 'Mrs' (I'm not even a 'Miss' or 'Ms'), secondly, everybody of substance around this forum knows that I don't touch the stuff, and according to you England is the saviour of the world.
Two wrongs don't make a right.

"..I was not educated in the 26 counties...I never gave it a second thought as I did the Irish Classes"
Do you often contradict yourself in the space of one sentence?
What's all this nonsense about the 'nightmares, geez.', then?

"Ireland and the Irish, Brendy there are lots of people in Ireland with Scottish names, Welsh names and English names, so whose identity will they have?"

Irish of course. Heritage is one thing - nationality is another. Isn't that what the jist of this thread has been about, anyway?

...The English and later the British forced the Irish into unity"

Forced is one word...unity is quite another one entirely.
It has always been a great wonder of mine...how statements like "If the British hadn't done this..", or "If the British hadn't done that..." don't get pondered on quite enough by independent minded people. It says a lot about the psyche of a people, for me, anyway, to doubt their sense of objectivity and their perceived place in the overall scheme of things.

Which is, again, what the subject of this thread embraces.

To talk of people's blood lines and deny that the inhabitants of four so closely situated countries will inter marry, inter breed, etc., is a non starter, as far as I'm concerned.
Of course they're going to...trade is going to take care of that, anyway. Children who are born in a country automatically become it's citizens. Their anscestors may come from Fiji, but they themselves are (for the purposes of this 'argument') Irish.....until he moves to...Poland, where he marries a Polish girl (gets the opportunity to change his own citizenship, by doing so), and have children, who will automatically become Polish...blah, blah, blah.

It's where the child sees itself is what ultimately counts, here. Not necessarily how it arrived there. You see yourself as 'British'. Fair enough (well not 'fair enough' actually, but we'll get back to that one). But does that mean that the nationality of every past inhabitant of 'your' island should be served upon the inhabitants of mine. Given an ordinary trade relationship, that would never happen - nor would any Court of Human Rights have stood idly by while they witnessed it.

The fact is that one of those countries - England - saw itself as the stronger one. But rather than being the benevolent neighbour, it became the bully of the schoolyard.
Once Offa's Dyke and Hadrian's Wall no longer proved an obstacle to their version of 'Centralised Government', this Subdued/United Kingdom marched forward and took everything they could set their 'Men O' Wars' sail to.

Where people see themselves is fundemental to their sense of identity, and it is not the sole preserve of the 'British'
The Orange Order, for example, vow allegiange to the Queen, yet have refused to obey any reigning monarch's 'order' since 1780. Too much of that kind of thing can can muck up your own sense of reality, IMO.

It was also interesting to note, however, the Reverend Doctor's (Ian Paisley, to the un-initiated) reaction to the recommendation that the cattle in the North of Ireland be on the list of banned meat, way, way back at the start of the BSE crisis.
Apparently 'we' were British....but our cows weren't.

I hope you didn't lose all your money in the bookies.... and that you didn't forget to give the wife a few bob, first.

Can't detain you any longer in the pub, I'm afraid. It wouldn't be fair on herself.
And, besides, I've got a gig to do.
Oh, sorry, didn't tell you, did I?
I'm a musician.

Told you we were talking on two different levels.

Don't get too pissed.

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,pOoR OuLd BrEnDy -
Date: 27 Apr 01 - 03:35 PM

Bar man give Mr Brendy whatever he likes, rosin, strings or a new Tune Book, Song Book. Me I would like a large glass of Brown Ale,

Ain't it funny how the vanquished always cry foul at each and every little thing? King Nial the Stupid of Leinster invited the English to help him kill his own country men, that Mr Brendy was how the first English forces arrived in Ireland. Strong Bow, gave his name to that fine poor mans wine easlily found in any OffLic storer in your town, Cider.

Ballygobackwards

Like I keep reminding you as soon as the unifying British leave the eeejits begin. Look at the civil war, it's foul stench still hanging around today. You may think it bad to be a minority in the North, what about the minority in the South? Seems to me that in either case we are going backwards not forwards. Have you ever talked to any of these great 'new' Irish? What amazes me is their haste to emotion, bigoted attitudes and may God help the person who gets in their way.

The Very Reverend Ian.

Last I heard he had become so Irish he could easily oust the O'Realythickos by simply announcing he had taken over, didn't some community in the south offer him a crown for their fledgling Clan revival?

The Orange Order, well darn it Brendy am I not completely absent minded? They defended the Planters from the recently dispossesed Irish. Or so the history books tell us. They now claim to be the defenders of Democracy an new twist on an old tale. They too have been Irishified complete with drunk eeejits jumping around on July 12th all over the North.

The problem with modern Ireland is it's inability to admit it was invaded, planted, and civilised by the English , I suspect if it did there would be no Northern Ireland but one Democratic country.

On the local level the disease is selfsupporting, there are folks there who never left their own little town making decisions that reach out all over the world to the Irish Diaspora. They celebrate their OWN clan, they get jobs fixed for their OWN relatives, they bend the rules toward their OWN clan. They discriminate against anyone not of their own clan, they have a pecking order of who will be next in line for all the perks that influence brings. As a result any person not born to the right parent in Ireland will never have a life unless, like my family did, they leave. Not only that the long and evil reach of the McFixits reaches out over the globe and the eeejits continue to steal from their own people!

How they took over. After they let Collins win the war against the English, they - eeeejits - shot him dead. So not only are they eeejits they are backshooting cowards as well.

Nowadays their chief claim to fame is the 'Mericanization of Ireland'. Brendy they destroyed Collins' Ireland one morning in a Hotel in Florida, or was it Washington, in 1982 or was it 83, when the let the Mercans have the Republic for a few million dollars. They sold us down the river. Other countries acquired by the same means are - Indonesia, Korea, and lately Argentina, and soon the UK itself.

The English and Bullying. I do not argue that point, it is part of being invaded and planted. Do you think the Irish or should I say the Scoti were kissyface and huggyletsmake friends to the natives of the Highlands? No Sir the invaded by the sword and shoved Gaelic down the throats of those unfortunate people. The Victor takes all, but as YOU know the English were not half as nasty as the Scoti! The Scoti never bullied they simply chooped yer head off if you disobeyed them. Swift and instant assimilation lol.

The facts now make the entire island of Ireland by race and language British but some of the people there do not accept it, they are deluding themselves, they are mad Brendy, the Irish disease -False Identity Syndrome. Does Mr Paisley say he is Scottish? GAWD HELP BONNIE SCOTLAND There are folk in the North who call themseves ScotIrish. They are mongrel British dawgs drunk on clean Irish air and Bushmills and/or Guinness.

Maybe you should apply that critical mind to Logic and Information Technology instead of contributing to the rape of Erin by the cultural eeejits who have turned into an international 24 hour 365 days a year session? Now that I am really mad about it I hasten to add the new masters are not fiddling as Ireland goes down the tubes AGAIN but busy buying up the real estate and working to totally enslave ALL the people including you.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: Brendy
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 01:17 AM

I had thought, purely for reasons aesthetic, mind you, to let your last posting hang in mid-air, so to speak, for as one eminent Mudcatter so elegantly put it in one of his songs (though I wouldn't presume to suggest that he had you in mind when he wrote it)..."A Monkey fart should smell like a banana."

We have a saying in my neck of the woods also. It goes something like..You can take the man out of Maryland, but you can't take Maryland out of the man.
Odd saying, but there you go!

The question, though, that I have to ask myself now is.. is whether I should detain you here any longer, for if you can't be trusted to go home at a civilised time, I wouldn't sleep at night at the thought of being responsible for you wasting your 'substance' in that curious practice of yours...the act of Cyber Masturbation.

Basically your above post goes as follows:

Phut...Phut..Phut...oh yes.yes.yes....Brendy...Fuck Him....yes..just there.....down a bi...oooohhh....yeah..hang on...hang on..yes...yess YES...Diaspora....Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhh.....Phut Phut Phut phut...here it goes yes yes YEs.....FUCK!!!..the bullying...I have to give him that...ah no..no....no... please don't go down NOW...No...Good...here it comes again....Yes...yes YES...YES...ENSLAAAAAAAAAAAVE...........Christ....that was a great word....Anybody got a cigarette?

Imagine the nightmares I would have, geez.

No, I'm afraid. I mean where would it all end?
Next thing we know you'll be wanting to talk about buckets of water and all sorts of shite like that.

Ohhhh No - as Mr. P would say.

Though I'm sure you could find some public toilet, where I have heard that the 3d version of your particular fetish is all the rage.

Your Old World is falling apart, my dear chap. All that will be left of your other curious affliction - Unionism by Proxy - will be your precious record of how it once was when we were in the driving seat. You are like the 'fluffer' in a porn movie film crew...useful for a while, but the first one to get the sack. Especially if you don't come up with any interesting ideas.

"I'm sick of watching them break up,
every time some bird-brain puts us down.
Makin' jokes on the radio...
Guess it helps them all drown out the sound
of the crumbling foundations.
Any fool can see the writing's on the wall.
But they just don't believe that it's happening."

Paul Brady © Rondor Music

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: No such thing as British...
From: GUEST,Brendy are you ok?
Date: 28 Apr 01 - 02:59 AM

Tut tut tut, is this a phreak out of what?

Have a Penguin Brendy you are boiling over.

I used subscribe to a newsgroup where there was a lot of soul searching and strong talk. But that was about the North. One person used drive me off the wall, always the same thing 'I am a this (fill in your value here)' and could not nor would not admit to being Irish, British ok but not Irish. Funny thing is Irish IS British just like it is European, it is a label applied by the Europeans a long time ago.

The End

This Production Brought To Your Screen By Gnome Productions UK.

Director Mudcat >===>:-


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Mudcat time: 6 May 6:50 AM EDT

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