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  #21  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2022, 9:32 PM
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Yeah, French was the language of global academia until at least the 1940s, maybe into the 1950s.
German was very strong in academia too till the 1930's.
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  #22  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2022, 10:35 PM
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I think the article writer needs to look at recent British history -he's made quite some assumptions there. Not EVERYTHING has to do with the US.

For starters the UK is painfully aware of it's loss of empire, and fragility of being just another small island on the edge of a continent -that defined the postwar era and the modern state for almost an entire Century. It's not for nothing that one third of London was blitzed, British industry collapsed and Austerity continued for decades after peace, till the country became known as the 'Sick Man of Europe'. Begging Germany of all people to get into the EEC but having France say non each time, and even after still a drain on its resources. The ultimate disgrace coming in 1992 when the UK was kicked out of the European Rate Mechanism (ERM) as the £ plummeted.

However, EU membership has absolutely saved the nation -the economy boomed with the European labour and $200 billion in trade, and dirty old London found itself in a starring role for the first time in a lifetime, not just for Europe but beyond -it became the de facto economic heart and gateway to the continent, plus Commonwealth links, while being square centre of World Mean Time -by luck able to trade with all continents round the clock. So thus in many ways the centre of the world in terms of finance, tourism and some abstract idea in people from all over the spinner. It became the world's most visited destination for decades, had the highest rated and most international finance centre, the world's biggest air hub, banking HQ, centre for global art and real estate, and most diverse city, while the country's soft power went sky high -by the noughties its creative industries were the world's largest.

Hence why the vote for Brexit (that only 26% of the population voted for, utterly out of touch and waylaid by populist propaganda) was seen as the absolute End of Days by everyone else -all that was now in jeopardy. The government's plans to replace the trade deals with ones from the rest of the world were utterly scoffed at in the press and public. It's also pretty damning that all the Prime Minister's -even Boris -who heralded Britain's way forward into a hard Brexit, were each former Remainers against.

Tbh the doomsayers predicting the country would collapse didn't happen quite so suddenly, but it was widely reported it would take about 5 years for Brexit to start hurting. The capital has slowly lost out financially to Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam -even English-speaking Dublin where many European HQs have decamped to, with the Irish now enjoying being the richest non city state in the world. The skilled labour has dried up (not even Ukrainian refugees want to come here -a local joke Ive heard is "UK or death? Death"), the brain drain from the 80s may start up again, and ever since the Pandemic the economy's been in a tailspin its borrowed heavily to come out of. The war in Russia fuelling the Cost of Living Crisis -with Truss in power still doling out tax breaks for the rich -is a death knell. Time and time again, there's no such thing as 'trickle-down'.

In short UK is well aware - as it was throughout the 20th century, and is well aware again -acutely since 2016.

I'm kind of just wondering when the hell we reapply to join the EU again. Before Scotland makes a break for it and takes the oil with her.

Brexit > Closing border with Ireland = resurgence of The Troubles /civil war + resurgence of Scottish nationhood (who voted against Brexit) + loss of EU trade, people and open travel.

+Pandemic + Ukraine War > Energy Crisis > Cost of Living Crisis = Fragmentation of the Union -Scottish Independence? Irish union? Welsh independence?

Last edited by muppet; Oct 1, 2022 at 5:25 AM.
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2022, 10:58 PM
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I mean, whatever. Let’s halfway annex England and Wales and grandfather in the City of London and their sausage factory with their shit.

Republic of Irelands gets the whole board and Scotland can fart around however it wants. Sorry Wales.
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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 2:04 AM
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Originally Posted by muppet View Post
...

Brexit > Closing border with Ireland = resurgence of The Troubles /civil war + resurgence of Scottish nationhood (who voted against Brexit) + loss of EU trade, people and open travel.
Pandemic > Ukraine War > Energy Crisis > Cost of Living Crisis = Fragmentation of the Union -Scottish Independence? Irish union? Welsh independence?
I'll tell you a little not-so-secret secret bubbling around Southeastern New England right now: that hard Irish border issue is being watched like a hawk. Like a hawk. Noraid never went away, it's just been dormant...


One of many Southie murals from the 80s I grew up seeing.
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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 2:15 AM
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Catholics in Northern Ireland now outnumber Protestants. That essentially invalidates the claimed logic for Northern Ireland.
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  #26  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 11:44 AM
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Catholics in Northern Ireland now outnumber Protestants. That essentially invalidates the claimed logic for Northern Ireland.
Logic in Northern Ireland is more economic than religious these days. It's heavily subsidized by London and Dublin is not big enough to step in to cover it. That's not said out loud, but the ROI might not be that eager to annex it (nor that Great Britain excited to keep it).

Today, Ireland is world's big tax haven; Northern Ireland is Rust Belt. A hot potato no ones wants to hold.
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  #27  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 11:54 AM
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Today, Ireland is world's big tax haven; Northern Ireland is Rust Belt. A hot potato no ones wants to hold.
Making sense of a United Ireland

Many people, at least in the US, believe the time is now for Ireland to unite as one.
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  #28  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 12:22 PM
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Many Irish, on both sides, believe the same. It'll eventually happen.
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  #29  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 12:38 PM
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Making sense of a United Ireland

Many people, at least in the US, believe the time is now for Ireland to unite as one.
I'm not talking about emotional issues, but real ones. As emotional issues are easing now (thanks God, terrorism, nativism are horrible), politicians start to pay attention on practicalities. Great Britain is a 66 million people entity subsidising a 1.9 million people territory. It barely notices. Ireland would be a 5.1 million one having to step in.

Great Britain is a secular society for decades. Recently, Ireland, both south and north, moved on a lot on the past 10 years as well. If those things out of the way, it's really hard to envision people wanting to rock the boat.

And regarding Catholic vs Protestant balance, we should keep in mind both groups have their proportion reduced. Protestant only fell harder.
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
I'm not talking about emotional issues, but real ones. As emotional issues are easing now (thanks God, terrorism, nativism are horrible), politicians start to pay attention on practicalities. Great Britain is a 66 million people entity subsidising a 1.9 million people territory. It barely notices. Ireland would be a 5.1 million one having to step in.

Great Britain is a secular society for decades. Recently, Ireland, both south and north, moved on a lot on the past 10 years as well. If those things out of the way, it's really hard to envision people wanting to rock the boat.

And regarding Catholic vs Protestant balance, we should keep in mind both groups have their proportion reduced. Protestant only fell harder.
Well if the last few years have taught me anything, don't ever under estimate the power of human emotion lol. But yes, I understand that economic integration would be a complex issue. I would say the increased secularization actually lends to people not caring as much about the old religious battles and more open to reuniting.
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  #31  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 12:55 PM
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Well if the last few years have taught me anything, don't ever under estimate the power of human emotion lol. But yes, I understand that economic integration would be a complex issue. I would say the increased secularization actually lends to people not caring as much about the old religious battles and more open to reuniting.
Not necessarily, because it works both ways: Unionists are not so adamant to be part of Britain and for Nationalists (pro-Ireland) it's not intolerable. In fact, there has been a very long growing trend of Catholics wanting the status quo, hence Reunification has not been a hot topic like Scottish Independence, for instance.

Brexit, Scottish Independence are more emotional issues and one of them actually happened, but it doesn't mean they'll keep going on. Governments in the region, for instance, seemed to become more cautious.
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  #32  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 2:05 PM
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Interesting that if unification took place, Belfast and Derry would respectively be the 2nd and 4th largest cities of the enlarged Republic of Ireland.
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  #33  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 5:13 PM
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Just don't call it Londonderry.
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  #34  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 5:40 PM
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I didn't realize the UK was in such a precarious position. Has there been any talk of another Brexit vote? It seems crazy that one vote in 2016 could just upend the trajectory of the country for the foreseeable future, and everyone is just accepts it as a done deal. I also don't understand why Scotland thinks it could survive, much less thrive, as an independent nation. I guess it's worked OK for Ireland, but it seems like a non united UK just makes each of the individual countries (England, Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales) weaker. At least England has London, which is a bonafide world city with a strong economy. What does Scotland have?
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 5:45 PM
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Originally Posted by edale View Post
I didn't realize the UK was in such a precarious position. Has there been any talk of another Brexit vote? It seems crazy that one vote in 2016 could just upend the trajectory of the country for the foreseeable future, and everyone is just accepts it as a done deal. I also don't understand why Scotland thinks it could survive, much less thrive, as an independent nation. I guess it's worked OK for Ireland, but it seems like a non united UK just makes each of the individual countries (England, Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales) weaker. At least England has London, which is a bonafide world city with a strong economy. What does Scotland have?
Scotland could rejoin the EU if it left the UK.
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 5:46 PM
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Scotland has oil, natural resources, good universities, tourism and fairly high HDI. I don't see why it wouldn't thrive if part of the EU. Lots of EU countries are small, with limited assets.
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  #37  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 5:57 PM
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Originally Posted by edale View Post
I didn't realize the UK was in such a precarious position. Has there been any talk of another Brexit vote? It seems crazy that one vote in 2016 could just upend the trajectory of the country for the foreseeable future, and everyone is just accepts it as a done deal. I also don't understand why Scotland thinks it could survive, much less thrive, as an independent nation. I guess it's worked OK for Ireland, but it seems like a non united UK just makes each of the individual countries (England, Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales) weaker. At least England has London, which is a bonafide world city with a strong economy. What does Scotland have?
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Scotland could rejoin the EU if it left the UK.
Scotland economy is incredibly tied with the rest of the island's economy. Brexit would be nothing compared to the mess such separation would cause. The level of intra-island economic integration is absolute.

For the remaning of the UK, it would make no difference. England population is the only one that has been growing for ages. Scotland is already shrinking. Today Scotland represents only 7% of population and economy.
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  #38  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 6:07 PM
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Scotland economy is incredibly tied with the rest of the island's economy. Brexit would be nothing compared to the mess such separation would cause. The level of economic integration is absolute.
The divorce would be incredibly messy. It would be like a state trying to leave the U.S. I don't know if the UK serves Scotland better than the EU, though. It seems like UK politics are mostly driven by England's interests.
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  #39  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 6:27 PM
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The divorce would be incredibly messy. It would be like a state trying to leave the U.S. I don't know if the UK serves Scotland better than the EU, though. It seems like UK politics are mostly driven by England's interests.
England got too big and as Britain is a representative democracy, UK and England are pretty much the same thing these days.

The good thing about Britain is how they're very cool about their separatism movements: no bitterness whatsoever, and we'll probably have another one referendum in the future. When we compare to other countries, it's legally and politically impossible for such movements. Support for Scotland separatism is probably slightly bigger in England than in Scotland itself.

But sure, regardless how peaceful and orderly this separation occurs, it will be a massive nightmare. Imagine the bureaucracy, political issues, the economic shift Scotland should be under, specially if they want to join EU. A massive waste of time and energy.

I don't like provincialism, I believe bigger states/organizations work better, providing more opportunities for overall population, so I prefer Britain to remain united. But that's up with people living in those places.
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  #40  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2022, 6:33 PM
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England got too big and as Britain is a representative democracy, UK and England are pretty much the same thing these days.

The good thing about Britain is how they're very cool about their separatism movements: no bitterness whatsoever, and we'll probably have another one referendum in the future. When we compare to other countries, it's legally and politically impossible for such movements. Support for Scotland separatism is probably slightly bigger in England than in Scotland itself.

But sure, regardless how peaceful and orderly this separation occurs, it will be a massive nightmare. Imagine the bureaucracy, political issues, the economic shift Scotland should be under, specially if they want to join EU. A massive waste of time and energy.

I don't like provincialism, I believe bigger states/organizations work better, providing more opportunities for overall population, so I prefer Britain to remain united. But that's up with people living in those places.
I don't know... The last Scottish independence referendum was pre-Brexit, so the stakes were lower for the UK. I wouldn't take it for granted that a vote to break up the UK now would be accepted in the same way they were ready to accept it before.
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