Friday, 12 October 2012

What Is A Nation?

Throughout the summer, during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Olympics and now in the round of irritatingly dull party conferences, one word more than any other, has dripped off the lips of the desperate unionist politicians and that is 'nation'.  Its use is an effort to show that the UK is 'the brand', but of course it's not.

I've always believed that Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Island are the four countries which make up the politically named Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom - take your pick. Scotland is not a sovereign state (as defined per Wiki) but, since devolution, it has a centralised government, so does that make it a semi-state?
na·tion  (nshn)
a. A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.
b. The territory occupied by such a group of people: All across the nation, people are voting their representatives out.
2. The government of a sovereign state.
3. A people who share common customs, origins, history, and frequently language; a nationality:"Historically the Ukrainians are an ancient nation which has persisted and survived through terrible calamity" (Robert Conquest).
a. A federation or tribe, especially one composed of Native Americans.
b. The territory occupied by such a federation or tribe.

What's more confusing than ever is that there is the Six Nations rugby competition, a Scottish NHS which is taking a very different direction to England's and the National Museum of Scotland - to name but three of the many uses of the word nation.

The ambiguity of the use of nation is a tactical move from the unionists, so perhaps those in favour of independence should begin to call Scotland 'The country of Scotland'.  Just to remind London we are different in many ways, just as Wales and Northern Ireland are too.

Not even the BBC - the bastion of unionism - can decide the definition of nation as you can see from the image.


JRB said...

I was interested to see Mr Cameron at the Imperial War Museum yesterday launching plans for a ‘national’ centenary commemoration for the start of WWI

But why are we commemorating the start of a war?

Cameron said it was our ‘national’ responsibility "to honour those who served; to remember those who died; and to ensure that the lessons learned live with us for ever". Surely then the appropriate thing is to commemorate the ending of such a war.

But, for me, Mr Cameron’s gesture comes over as a cheap ploy to cynically engender what he calls a ‘national’ spirit.
I just wonder if his desire for a ‘national’ commemoration in 2014 rather than 2018 is in fact a political move, more to do with deflecting interest in, or sympathy for, the Scottish independence vote.

subrosa said...

Auch JRB, you've just rewritten my Monday post but much more succinctly. :) I say exactly that and am also concerned at involving children to such a degree.

subrosa said...

But I'll still post it on Monday. :)

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

JRB - spot on. Rank hypocrisy to celebrate when the fodder was sent to the cannon.

banned said...

United Kingdom = multi-nation State?

subrosa said...

I'd agree with that banned. Pity the definition isn't clear though.

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