the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 
- what a mouthful to have for a name for a country!
the cross of Saint George, who slew the dragon, 
the English flag
the Scottish flag
Scotland and St. Andrew, who was crucified on a diagonal cross
the cross of Saint Patrick
the cross of Saint Patrick

Well that is what it says on my passport. Does anybody really know what it means ? Now the common market membership is really quite nice and simple. Nobody likes it because the interpretation of its many rules is left to the discretion of the individual members. So that a British common market is still British and not so liberal or common sense as say a Dutch, German or French common market. Does anybody really care ? Unless of course the label happens to apply to you. Let us go through this title word by word.

  • United

    It is not a very united place. Many of the Northern Irish want to be part of Ireland. The Scottish, the last of whom were crushed at  the battle of Culloden , who were independent until the Act of Union of 1705, definitely want to be independent and now have their own parliament. The Welsh, who were independent until 1500, also want to be independent and now also have their own parliament.

  • .
  • Kingdom

    At the moment it has a queen, yet since the days of Oliver Cromwell, all of her powers are vested in the prime minister, who is the most powerful person on the planet. Unlike the president of the United States he or she cannot be impeached whatever the excess or abuse of power. There is no system of checks and balances.

  • Great

    Certainly violent but called great to distinguish itself from Brittany a county in north France. No other country in the world gets away with calling itself great.

  • Britain

    The name was invented by Queen Elizabeth I to account for the variety of territories which the entity was at the time. In those days France, Ireland and England.

  • Northern

    As in not Ireland. It is simply not possible to have two separate countries within a small island where one part is much larger than the other. The larger has always coveted and eventually possessed the smaller.

  • Ireland

    Ireland is since 1935 an independent country now part of Europe. It has become very rich in consequence. It is a model for the rest of the territory

The author would not recommend anybody to live there. There is money but the quality of life is very low. Many immigrants from countries such as India work only to save up enough money for a ticket home. Materialistic societies from the third world such as Thailand love Britain and the British. As long as you can disregard everything but money Britain is for you. Never mind the cold climate and the cold people. Of course you will very soon start to miss your own home cooking and the sense of warmth created by the extended family and the warm smiles. The cost of living in Britain is probably the highest in the world. There is no manufacturing industry. Most goods are imported, mostly from China, with a substantial mark-up. Most jobs are service jobs. There is an argument that added value is created by thinkers and innovators. There was an abundance of such people in Britain, like Newton and Faraday, yet now such people would be put down as mere crazies. Non conformist thinking which made Britain Great has now been effectively suppressed.

Despite its rich history which the American tourists love so much it is now very close to a police state in which the rank of superintendent can be likened to that of a colonel in a junta. There can be no end to this process for as long as extreme poverty exists side by side with extreme wealth. About ten per cent of the gross domestic product is spent on social security payments. About sixty per cent of the gross domestic product is derived from service industries and ten per cent from government service, in other words the same money goes around and around with no real value added. This results in some of the highest prices for goods and services on the planet. Most domestic products are imported from China and labeled CE.

The money in England comes 65% from the manufacture of armaments and 35% from financial services in the city of London. British Aerospace or BA is a mostly government owned holding company which owns most of the arms making factories. There is a big exhibition at Farnborough every year supposedly for aircraft sales but in fact a cover for armaments sales available to almost anybody including some rather shady para military organisations in third world countries. Torture instruments are included.

The city of London and the pound Stirling represent one of the most loved and trusted financial markets in the world. Everybody trusts it. You will not be cheated. Better to store your millions in Switzerland but if you want to do something, do it in London.

This means that in effect the country does nothing very useful; almost no manufacturing of consumer goods and only overpriced services.

The civil service and Whitehall are designed to rule an empire which no longer exists. The empire was created by the British East India company which grew Opium in Patna India, shipped it to China, where it was exchanged for Chinese tea - hence the Cutty Sark tea clipper on display in Greenwich. With this opium Britain purchased Singapore and Hong Kong. It was only stopped in about 1870 after the Chinese complained that their people were being abused.

The repression of the people, an inevitable consequence of the poverty, results in a lack of essential human rights. The system depended on administration by reasonable people. It was based on trust and honor, qualities which no longer exist.

There are regular complaints to the European Court of Human Rights and always the country loses. In order to pre-empt such embarrassing complaints a watered down version of the European rights was made into an Act of Parliament. Hence that route has now been shut out.

Everybody knows what is wrong with the country and Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, his public relations man, wrote an excellent manifesto about all what they were going to do and so everybody voted for them. But after 3 years of power the rot remains the same. Like all politicians they promise everything but when they are elected they do nothing. The country was going to become a free port like Singapore.

It is very difficult to change anything since the massive faceless bureaucrats who hold the real power continue to act in complete secrecy and not in the best interests of the public they pretend to serve. The Official Secrets Act was passed during the First World War nearly 90 years ago and is still in force. Unlike the United States there is no Freedom of Information Act.

Today countries are largely irrelevant. Wealth is generated by multinational companies who the consumer can choose to support or not by purchasing their products. The United States has learned to leave well alone and so prosper.

Today there is a policy of enforcement and crack downs. It is not so much what is illegal but what you can get away with. The criminals know the system very well and have strong bond with the police. The general public are frightened of the police. The police do not carry guns but carry just about everything else including CS gas and the notorious high tech side handled baton which was used to beat Rodney King nearly to death in the United States.

The householder is particularly vulnerable. Because he has an address he can be easily found and arrested. The criminal usually can not be found. In the event of a complaint against a criminal, the criminal will know that the best defence is to complain about his victim.

The police are all result orientated. It is a job and they want to achieve promotion and increased pay. So they will target anybody for anything, especially the soft targets like the householder. The householder tends not to know the rules.

There are whole rafts of enforcement officers of all descriptions. An officer is no longer a respected army rank, everybody is an officer.

The householder is subject to three main sets of enforcement officers who play off one against another. There is environmental health who pervert their discretionary powers designed by Professor Crow to ensure good standards of fire safety and living standards for their own cynical amusement. There is building control staffed mostly by Irish bricklayers with an inferiority complex about the English. Then there is planning. Fortunately they can be bribed. About 3000 pounds for approval to build a small house on farming land is normal.

Then there is customs. Even the police are frightened of them. The best course of action is straight abuse. They are not responsive to any of the norms of human interaction.

Then there is MI5. Do read David Shaylers excellent account of his experiences when he refused to obey an order to assassinate Colonel Gadalfi. They are military intelligence but since the army has been at war with the people of Northern Ireland for the last 20 years they have a taste for police work. Nowadays MI5 are a secret society who read all mail intercept all telephone calls and all Emails.

There is GCHQ Cheltenham. During the war they were located at Bletchley Park and broke the code of the German Enigma machine. That was a good military action. What they have done since cannot be good. The excuse is always that interception is used to catch criminals and drug smugglers. In fact everybody is at risk. There is no privacy.

Then there are the video cameras. There are 12 times as many video cameras per head of population as in the United States. The police have a policy of inviting the householder to visit the control room and of having scheduled visits by special groups to verify that nothing malicious is happening. If the operation was really as good as they pretend the police should install video cameras inside the control room with a monitor underneath every camera so that the public can see who is watching them. Even George Orwell in his book 1984 never imagined a system quite as bad as now.

Britain is a green and pleasant land. There is nowhere on the planet quite as beautiful as England in summer except possibly Ireland. It is the political system which makes it so ugly. There is a lot of fuss about illegal immigrants seeking a better life by hiding in lorries coming off the ferries into Dover, yet more people want to leave the country then want to enter and the population is fairly stable. Most young people given the chance would like to emigrate to Australia or the United States.

Here is one typical problem from an American who wished to write me a letter:-
We have some questions about the address though.
You wrote: "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"
How are we supposed to address this? It is the UK of Great Britain...?
Why is Northern Ireland part of the address, wouldn't that confuse the post?
I forget what address she finally used but the postman was able to work it out.

Many visitors have been complaining that this web page gives a negative view.
As webmaster I am not particularly concerned about content but rather about the technical aspects.
Many visitors have been invited to rewrite the text but only one has done so. Here it is.

Your reply is interesting and echoes much of what I have heard from UK Citizens who came to work in my Laboratory here in Canada. I am 69 years old now and was born and educated in Scotland, residing there from 1939 to 1965 at which time I came to Canada to work. My reason for leaving was that I could not find a job as a Geologist in UK at that time. So my memories of UK are of a different time and after 43 years in Canada (except for 4 years in Australia) I disqualify myself from pronouncing on the state of the UK as it is now.

My younger brother still resides on the farm in Scotland which I refer to as "Home" but the south end of the farm was swallowed up by a Motorway many years ago, a new housing development is proposed for the land to the north of the farm and one tower of a new high-voltage transmission line is slated for his back-yard. He is close to his 61st birthday and is deciding whether to retire to Portugal or Switzerland because "Home" is no longer what it was.

I have remained a British Citizen because I believe that my growing up and education in Britain defines me as British and taking out Canadian Citizenship would simply be an expedient gesture to me with no deep meaning. Canada allows dual citizenship and I am sickened to see "Canadians" marching in the streets waving foreign flags. Palestinian, Lebanese and Croatian have been the most recent. I believe I have seen on television similar actions in London. One survey showed that about half of people with dual Canadian/Lebanese citizenship reside and work in Lebanon. Canada paid to transport those "Canadian Citizens" back "home" to Canada during the latest violence there. I find it quite disgusting!

Well, that's my rant for now. I set up my website because, like you, I was intereted in finding out how to do it and I did have some content that I thought would be interesting to inquisitive people. Making the flags into animated gifs was one of the enjoyable tasks, very satisfying when I got them to look right. That explains too how it was I noticed your upside-down Union Jack! - further explanation - British Empire - Battle of hastings 1066 and all that - for further information - freedom in england

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