Internationally Speaking

Just visited the McAfee website and on one of the forms encountered a, shall we say, anomaly presented itself. I am a patriotic kind of guy, and I’m not in any way anti-American (I’m well aware that the percentage of idiots over there matches the numbers we have here), and when you actually consider what I’m about to tell you isn’t really about patriotism, jingoism or somesuch. Rather it’s a wonderful piece of bad programming that I’ve seen before, centred around the fact that (at least for the purposes of this discussion) the country I am identified with is known as both the United Kingdom (UK) and Great Britain (GB). I’m Scottish, and my country is part of Great Britain …

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Currently..

What a lovely start to the day. Stepped out of the station onto a pavement strewn with litter, foodstuffs, bottles, wrappers, newpapers all trampled and matted underfoot. Very much like the aftermath of a big concert which, as it happens, was apt because the rubbish had been generated by a large queue of people all of whom I presume are desperate to get their hands on tickets for this years T in the Park. They could’ve used the bins though. Young people today. *tut tut* Apparently some of them had been queueing since 8pm last night. I didn’t realise The Who were that popular (you’d better you bet!). Back at work today, having spent the last couple of days at …

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CountriesI live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (of which Scotland forms a part). This is also known as the United Kingdom, or the UK. * Yet I was under the impression that the ‘United Kingdom’ was not a country. I’m not sure why, possibly I picked up something erroneous at school, or I’ve just formed that view in my own head. So let’s just clarify things: United (verb): to put together to form a single unit, to link by a legal or moral bond.Kingdom (noun): a politically organized community or major territorial unit having a monarchical form of government headed by a king or queen. “The United Kingdom includes: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland & …

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The Monarchy

With the Queen’s Golden Jubilee imminent, the press has been focusing on all things royal. As usual this includes discussions and commentary about the role the monarchy play as part of British society. One particular piece on this morning’s BBC Breakfast News suggested that the only thing that needs to change is moving the monarchy from a constitutional basis to a figurative one. Retaining the monarchy as a symbol and recognised figure of the United Kingdom, performing ceremonial duties, and moving any authority and legislative duties to parliament. This seems to be an ‘ideal’ solution. I see no reason, and no way of just abandoning the monarchy, whether you agree with the principles they are part of our history, and …

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China

The Chinese president is visiting the United Kingdom (well England anyway). The government is hailing it as an excellent opportunity to bolster trade links with China, and with figures of £2.2 billion being bandied about, it certainly seems to be important. Money is the big issue. Hidden behind ‘trade links’, ‘increased profitability through working ventures’ and various other spin phrases, money is the driving force behind the wooing of Jiang Zemin. So far Tony Blair and his assortment of cronies have managed to appease the general public, and haven’t really screwed up too badly – until now. I watched scenes on the television of policemen tearing down banners, physically restraining, and arresting those people who chose to demonstrate against Zemin’s …

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