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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
Les from Hull 19 Apr 01 - 12:45 PM
JudeL 19 Apr 01 - 12:49 PM
Ringer 19 Apr 01 - 01:10 PM
Songster Bob 19 Apr 01 - 01:56 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Apr 01 - 02:16 PM
gnu 19 Apr 01 - 02:21 PM
GUEST 19 Apr 01 - 03:11 PM
artbrooks 19 Apr 01 - 03:43 PM
gnu 19 Apr 01 - 03:56 PM
gnu 19 Apr 01 - 04:06 PM
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

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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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