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Khirad On May - 6 - 2010


from flickr - Some rights reserved - "Union Jack button - grunge" by ntr23

As, some of you know, my passion for politics extends ‘across the pond’ as they say. I didn’t think of writing anything until results started streaming in, and that for a subject I feel deserves more notice from us Yanks, my little O/T post was clearly not gonna cut it.

If you have absolutely no idea what this is all about (and even if you do), see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Britain’s Elections. For questions about parties and what they represent, this is a decent overview from Political Compass.

Any articles, updates, post wrap-up analyses – heck, anything British, can be added in the comments section.

A few indispensable resources:

BBC’s Results Map and Data

The Guardian‘s Results Map and Data [English]

The Herald‘s Results Map and Data [Scottish]

The Western Mail Map Results and Data [Welsh]

The Belfast Telegraph Updates [Northern Irish]

These sites with some redundant constituency information also double as helpful sources for a particular country’s local focus so that you may navigate from there.

For more news sites across Britain, or, if you would like more information on the tilt of those listed above, simply ask.

And, as you see the results, you may compare them with this aggregate poll of the albeit short (by American standards) campaign stretch to see how the projections panned out.

I’m not accustomed to doing short articles, but felt that posting my links would be less cumbersome under its own article than in the “Off Topic” section.

I do also hope, if only for the next couple days and the forming of the new government, that I can open up a few of you to the exciting world of British politics!

But do please keep it down with the harrumphs, boos and hisses; we don’t need it to be like Prime Minister’s Questions in here.

44 Responses so far.

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  1. Khirad says:

    Such a depressing day, I needed to relive some lighter moments:

    Brown and Cameron Sex Pistols mashup:


    😆 @ 0:48

    I’m waiting for a vid that has Clegg doing a nasty dance with Dave now…

  2. Khirad says:

    David Miliband is favourite to become new Labour leader

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/Gordon-Brown-resignation-David-Miliband.6285385.jp

    Miliband pitted against Miliband (and Balls) in leadership battle

    A “battle of the brothers” between the two sons of the late Marxist academic Ralph Miliband would add another twist to what already promises to be a fascinating contest. Supporters of David believe it is his “turn” and argue that Ed lacks the experience of a senior post such as the Foreign Office, saying his time will come.

    However, Ed has grown in stature in his climate change brief and attracted growing support on the Labour back benches. His backers argue that David lost support by failing to strike against Mr Brown during the three failed coups against him before the general election. “He has missed his chance,” one said.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/miliband-pitted-against-miliband-and-balls-in-leadership-battle-1970532.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Miliband

  3. Khirad says:

    Gordon Brown plays last card

  4. Khirad says:

    I found an article from a few days back which touches upon the Queen’s role and Constitutional questions -- and mentions the event in the 70’s that I referenced vaguely down the page:

    David Cameron risks Queen’s impartiality over hung parliament

    Amid signs that the Conservative leader might declare himself the winner of the election, even if Brown decides to remain in office to try to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, advisers to Whitehall say the Tories will need to tread with care. The Conservatives fear a repeat of February 1974, when Ted Heath remained in office for four days after losing the election as he tried to negotiate a deal with the Liberals.

    There is also this, from today:

    The Queen and a hung Parliament
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/8667820.stm

    On the final tally, Wikipedia’s page is fully updated:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_General_Election_2010#Results_breakdown

    You can play the arithmetic games too. With the Tories, it’s not so interesting, with Labour, quite. As with even a LibDem/Labour coalition, adding SDLP, Alliance and Green would give them 320, six short. Basically, Labour is phucked. But neither can the Conservatives merely pick up the Ulster Unionists -- that’s just 314.

    Two notable losses I forgot to mention were Jacqui Smith (predictable), but Nick Griffin (BNP leader) got whopped, finishing third in the Barking constituency (14.6% of the vote is still discomfiting, though). Also, First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson, lost his seat to the Alliance Party (which is great for them and embarrassing to him, I’m sure).

    I’m also noting that while Wales shifted a little blue (from three to eight -- still Labour only lost four of its thirty, one to Plaid) and Scotland stayed the same (with it’s one lonely Tory out of 59 seats 😆 ), the shift in Northern Ireland (map) over the last dozen years is striking, and UUP is all but a defunct party even under its new alliance with Tories under the cumbersome name of “Ulster Conservatives and Unionists

  5. Khirad says:

    Sinn Fein’s Gildernew wins in Fermanagh by four votes

    A legal challenge from unionists in the constituency can not be ruled out.

    After the first count, Mr Connor was 10 votes ahead before his Sinn Fein rival took the lead in the subsequent recount.

    “The regressive attempt by the Orange Order to muster the combined forces of unionism against me and against the progressive politics I represent had to be confronted,” she said.

    Being a Sinn F

  6. PepeLepew says:

    Khirad, how does this compare to Canada, where the “ruling party” in 2008 got 37 percent of the vote because there’s five major parties?

    • Khirad says:

      Exactly Pepe, I too immediately thought of your homeland with talk of minority government. As with Canada, it looks like the left-centre parties will have gotten the majority of votes, but the right (Tories and Ulster Unionists) could, -- if they don’t get LibDems (which is looking more likely), essentially have a Harper gov’t.

      This sky-is-falling attitude I find quite silly. Even within Britain, the Scottish Parliament has been led by a Scottish National Party (they’re sorta like Bloc Qu

      • choicelady says:

        Becaue I did not grow up in Scotland, even though my paternal grandmother was a Scot, I’m somewhat at odds with Scottish nationalism. What IS the big deal in this day and age? Smacks of the Confederacy in some ways -- golden age, long gone. Hell -- the GOT the Stone of Scone back (I was one of the last tourists to see it under the coronation throne) so move on already.

        I actually support breaking up large and highly diverse nations and certainly the EU now that we’re watching the collapse and burning of a merely theoretical “union” that can bring everyone down when one falters. I am quite sure that my quandries about Scotland and Wales are based entirely on the fact -- I haven’t a clue what the issues are, and I don’t live there.

        But then, I’m prepared for Texas to seceed and actually rather hoping they do.

        Soon.

        • Khirad says:

          Indeed CL, and some Labour politicians have tried that accusation. I must admit there is a ring of Confederacy to it (it’s come across my mind as well -- especially with the Scots-Irish connections to the South), but I’m not sure if it’s fair to say just let it go anymore than it would have been to tell the Ukrainians to just let it go, the Soviets have got you now, or the Croats (a little hyperbole). Or, what if the Irish had just said, hey -- what does it matter? And unlike the IRA or ETA (of the Basques), they choose to do it with the ballot box (although, honestly, in other situations violence as last recourse is pursued because peaceful avenues aren’t available).

          Now, the subjugation of Ireland during the Irish Revolution was worse (and Scottish regiments complicit in Bloody Sunday), but Scotland shares some of the same experiences, and much later than Robert the Bruce and even after the Jacobite Rebellions and Highland Clearances. I mean, like 19th and 20th century type stuff. As for Wales, London flooded whole towns in the ’60s (typically strongholds of Welsh culture) to bring water to Liverpool -- the Welsh didn’t have a say -- although all Welsh MPs voted against it. This gave rise to the Plaid Cymru’s (the Welsh nationalists) power. Also, you may know, that for a long period, Welsh schoolchildren were forbidden from speaking Welsh, and faced corporal punishment and expulsion for being caught doing so. Scotland has its own tales, as well. While things may be better now, such a past cannot be easily forgotten, and while not all may support the nationalists, they are tapping into very real grievances that exist with London.

          The SNP’s main issues now (besides its core issue of Independence) are equitable money distribution being sent back from London (and that Scottish programs get cut, and the related issue of scrapping Trident to pay for it), North Seas gas; and if all they’re pushing for is a referendum (one which fizzled before -- and public opinion polls are all over the place), I don’t see the harm in gibing the people that choice for self-determination -- it’s not like they’re slaveholders or even racist. There’s ample debate over how it can work, but as the SNP said in their manifesto a couple years back -- if Montenegro can do it, why not us? And there’s many better examples of successful countries with similar populations. Some propositions call for an amicable split, staying within the Commonwealth, sort of like Canada. Others reject the monarchy altogether (though in none of these is there overt hostility, like they’re gonna march to London and burn it down or lay siege to York -- although, royal properties like Balmoral Castle would be interesting -- how that was handled, I mean). I’m a bit fuzzy on the details of this all, more so than I used to be. Let’s just say that there’s plenty of devils in those details. Perhaps among the simplest answers, are foregoing independence for more powers and further devolution to the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood. Polls do seem to favor that. But again, what exactly does that mean?

          In any case, we’ll see how the 2010 Referendum turns out.

          Then there’s admittedly trivial stuff, but the fact that most people mix up Britain and England (as if the Scots were English too), would rankle me too (and in fact does, even though I can only claim part-heritage). Can we imagine an Ireland with no tricolor? With more of its culture lost? Governed from London?

          The Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru (the “Nats” or “Celtic bloc”) are also more attractive to me, as they’ve stayed to the left, when Labour has moved right. The SNP has attracted many former Labour supporters not so much even interested in Scotland’s former glory, but on policy (I was being a little tongue-in-cheek with the ‘former glory’ part, too -- I’ve read too much Scottish history! 😆 ).

          There are more recent books, I’m sure, but this is one that I read in the mid-90’s (before devolution). From Amazon:

          “The Battle for Scotland” by Andrew Marr (1995).

          This is an account of the distinctive story of Scottish politics, from the collapse of Liberalism, the rise of radical Labour and of the Scottish National Party, to more recent Tory rule and the complexities of contemporary nationalism. The Scottish question is unlikely to go away, whether it is a clamour for devolution or independence. This book aims to answer a number of questions -- could Scotland survive economically without England?; where does the fervour for Scottish home rule come from?; and what would a Scottish parliament mean for the Scot in the street?

          I myself have softened with a decade of devolution, but I tell you, before devolution, it was a disgrace some of the decisions that London had over Scotland. Just imagine states not having their own legislatures, or, Massachusetts telling California what was best for it. While I am not a big states’ rights person (and the baggage it carries in the US), it does serve a function, and there’s a fine balance to be struck between local, regional and federal levels.

          In any case, the SNP’s primary talking point is that it fights for Scotland’s interests in England (I wouldn’t necessarily call Scottish Labour “London’s poodles” like Salmond, though). Not that Scottish Labour or LibDems are un-Scottish (an Americanism) and don’t serve their constituencies either. I know some are very fine, and urban strongholds such as Glasgow have a long tradition of Labour. But there’s a point to this, as hyperbolic as Salmond is (I have mixed feelings about his personality and his rhetoric, though I appreciate his bluntness in interviews). While Scottish Labour is its own administrative subsection of Labour, they effectively answer to the same party leadership in the end.

          Independence is still the raison d’

  7. dildenusa says:

    Here in the US the mainstream media likes to say “politics makes strange bed fellows.” I’ll assume it’s like that in the UK also.

    Here in Arizona there is a special election on may 18 to raise the state sales tax a penny to 6.5 cents. And many cities are already allowed to add to that. So I pay around 7.5 cents sales tax now on every dollar I spend but not for food. So if the sales tax increase passes I will pay around 8.5 cents sales tax on every dollar. I have already decided I will vote Yes.

    What the legislature should really be doing is changing the sales tax laws to lower the sales tax but tax services like auto repair, hair and beauty salons, etc. which are not taxed now under the sales tax laws. The Chamber of Commerce doesn’t like taxing services. So the most conservative business organization is all for using consumers as a cash cow.

    Notice at the bottom of the Yes on 100 web site that major funding was from the state Chamber of Commerce.

    http://www.yeson100.com/

    • Khirad says:

      Ugh dildenusa, I was at my community Democratic club yesterday and we spent some time talking about this.

      I already voted yes, but I hate bailing out the Republicans with a proposition they don’t even like to call a tax. Especially when they’ll find some way to blame Democrats for it.

      Yes, Chamber of Commerce, cuts -- and a sales tax is going to solve it?

      Hey, why not property tax, so that snowbirds have to pay too?

      They kinda piss me off. They don’t vote here, can always go back half or most of the year, and leave us with worst education and Mississippi redux.

      I’m sorry if you are one, and I must admit, Snowbirds make me a little jealous, too. It’s envy speaking.

      And WTF? The Five C’s? Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus and Climate.

      Well, what do we have left? Oh yeah, tourism. Hey, I know! Let’s close down rest stops, parks, and profile brown people!

      Yay!

      And, we’ve just about lowered tax incentives as much as they’ll go. And it’s not the climate or lack of spas and golf courses… hmm, what’s missing that could attract business? I dunno, culture and transportation? A better downtown? (Phoenix is improving, Tucson is still a whole lot of nothing). Truth is, that does have me a little stumped.

      I swear to god Republicans in this state piss me off to know end.

  8. Questinia says:

    Thanks, Khirad! The Political Compass link was particularly helpful as a primer.

  9. Khirad says:

    As it stands now (May 7, 12:00 pm GMT)

    326 are needed to win. [it is officially a hung parliament]

    Political Party / Seats / Change

    Conservative
    301 +94
    Labour
    255 -88
    Liberal Democrat
    54 -5
    Scottish National Party
    6 0
    Plaid Cymru
    3 +1
    Others
    18 -2

    Now this is just sad. And not as an insult, it is actually sad.

    From a LibDem blog:

    Right now, I may be exhausted but I’m more optimistic and fired up than ever. It’s a GOOD THING we didn’t get those 120+ seats we expected and wanted. It highlights the iniquity of the system just beautifully. And it means nobody can look to us for some phony ‘progressive coalition’ with a Labour party who turned its back on the rule of law and respect for human rights many years ago. Off the hook nicely there, then: it’s not possible so we don’t even have to fall out with each other about it.

    Ahaha we haven’t lost. Far far from it. We’re just about to start winning. Victory! Amber revolution!

    http://diblemming.blogspot.com/2010/05/resounding-lib-dem-victory.html

    Also this, posted by Kalima in Morning Blog:

    As it stands, Brown Central is cooking up an offer to Nick Clegg that includes dumping Gordon Brown

    • Mightywoof says:

      I so dislike Proportional Representation. It might sound so nice and such a democratic thing to do, who could argue against it? But then I look at those countries that have PR, or some form of it, and I despair -- does anybody really want to follow the example of Israel or Italy? Total governing stalemate with chaos thrown into the mix for good measure.

      First Past the Post may be considered unrepresentative and can sometimes produce hung parliaments (called minority parliaments in Canada), but they are very legislatively efficient (gosh -- that makes me sound like a tyrant-lover!) when they work well and they aren’t hi-jacked by extreme positions from either the right or the left.

      • Marion says:

        It’ll never work in the UK. It’s designed to bring the LibDems into power, and some of their policies are just not popular with the run-of-the-mill population -- like immigration amnesty or going into the euro. Immigration, legal and illegal, is tied up with the economic crisis and so is entry into the euro. Were the UK in the euro zone, they’d be getting touched up for a major share of bailing the Greeks out.

        • Khirad says:

          That’s the thing about PR, Marion and Mightywoof.

          I think it’s less about principle (which may play some part), but more about reality. It’s the only way LibDems can have a real shot. And that’s what they’re really interested in (and also why Labour and the Tories are cool to it). As always, there’s the philosophical debate, and the political dimension, both. I think the former is dictated more by the latter, though, by all parties concerned.

          I think that first-past-the-post is exactly what makes the parliamentary system work. How often do we complain in the US about no room for third parties? Of course, the stricter finance and advertising restrictions also play a part.

          There are pros and cons to both, of course, but I think the rosy ‘progressive’ spin on PR is misguided and shortsighted.

          Nevertheless, here’s what The Guardian said when it was the main reason for them endorsing Clegg:

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/30/the-liberal-moment-has-come

        • Mightywoof says:

          I hear you on that Marion! There’s a lot of talk, here in Canada, about the Greece crisis (soon to be followed by the rest of PIIGS) will probably bring about the end of the Eurozone. Is there any kind of discussion about that over there?

  10. Khirad says:

    Polling stations chaos: queues, shutouts and protests

    The Electoral Commission has launched a review into the chaos at several polling stations last night, saying it wants to hear from voters who were turned away after the 10pm deadline. So do we.

    National turnout was 65%, up from 61.4% in 2005, but nothing like 1992 when it was 77.7%.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/may/07/polling-stations-chaos-queues-shutouts

    Well now, this will be interesting.

    Salmond: MPs must dance to our jig

    SNP leader Alex Salmond has said he wants to make Westminster “dance to a Scottish jig”.

    But while the Scottish First Minister stated he hopes to win concessions in a hung Parliament, he firmly ruled out the possibility of entering into a coalition with any of the three main UK parties.

    Devolution has already given the Nationalists more than a decade of experience of how parliaments work when no one party has a majority of seats.

    The SNP was in opposition for eight years, when a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition governed at Holyrood. After the 2007 Holyrood election, Mr Salmond formed a minority administration, working with other parties to get legislation through the Scottish Parliament.

    http://breakingnews.heraldscotland.com/breaking-news/?mode=article&site=hs&id=N0172451273217199005A

    Although, as I just saw, questioned by Jeremy Paxman, Salmond was not forthcoming if or if not talks were happening (though he snorted about talking to the Tories). He may be a bit smarmy, and his personality is not really my principle draw to the SNP, but I do appreciate how he told him that he wouldn’t tell them if he were having talks, as they wouldn’t talk to him again. Posturing? I don’t know. Considering the speculation over SDLP and Alliance below. SNP and Plaid would be a real pain in the ass for Labour though.

    Hung parliament: What happens next?

    Although the Conservatives have won the most seats, the largest party does not automatically have the right to try to form an administration.

    As the incumbent prime minister, that right is Gordon Brown’s. Indeed, it is his duty to stay in office until it becomes clear which party or combination of parties can command the most support in the new parliament.

    The BBC’s Political Editor Nick Robinson says one possible bloc that could emerge would be Labour, the Liberal Democrats and two Northern Ireland parties -- the SDLP and Alliance.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8659878.stm

    Earlier there was word that Clegg was not hot on a Conservative alliance. Likely dubious, as he says that Conservatives won the most votes, and should prove they can rule (get first shot at forming a gov’t). Predictably, Cameron says that Labour have lost their mandate to rule. If only he were wrong about this… (except that he still got outvoted by the two left-centre parties combined).

    Both Labour and Conservative parties are hinting at electoral reform concessions though.

    What the three main parties are saying in the wake of a hung parliament consensus:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8667193.stm

    *Update -- Labour has picked up George Galloway’s old seat of Bethnal Green and Bow. Respect’s candidate, Abjol Miah, finished 10th -- ahead of the Pirate Party, but behind the BNP.

    I declare Respect officially dead (as if it were anything besides George Galloway and a loose, poorly organized association).

    **Update: Argyll and Bute is a LibDem hold, as I predicted last night. SNP is left with 6.

    • Mightywoof says:

      Predictably, Cameron says that Labour have lost their mandate to rule

      This is a small bleat and totally O/T so I apologise in advance but language use is important ………… politicians/governments don’t rule; they govern. Monarchs rule but, for the most part, don’t govern.

      I know using the word ‘rule’ with respect to governance has become standard recently -- even up here on the usually impeccable CBC -- so maybe I’m a dinosaur on this.

      You’re doing an excellent job on coverage Khirad -- well done!!

      • Khirad says:

        Point well taken, Mighty Woof. I am paying close attention to their carefully chosen words, but yes, this is more about a shifted usage and was my error, not Cameron’s (I got tired of writing ‘govern’ words).

        Cameron said:

        “Nationally we have to wait for the full results to come out, but I believe it is already clear that the Labour government has lost its mandate to govern our country”

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8666737.stm

        As long as we’re talking semantics though, the usage of ‘country’ in Britain is confusing to me. Scotland, England, Wales and NI are countries (well, I have my own ideas on the last one); but Great Britain and Northern Ireland as a whole is also a country. I suppose it’s a generic term, and is easily discerned given context, but it bugs me that the whole isn’t referred to as ‘nation’ or something.

        My biggest pet peeve is in America though, when England and Britain or UK are used interchangeably. Aargh! they’re not the same thing! England is not the UK!!! (rant over)

        Eh, that’s just my own hangup.

        But as a non-Briton, I won’t presume to understand it; and appreciate your compliment all the more (if I were a Briton I’d have had more an immediate consciousness over the relation of monarch and rule, I imagine!). :-)

        OT -- oooh Simon Schama on the Beeb now. I love him. He just said we might have a “poker game as the house burns down” -- I love those kind of expressions.

        *Speak of the devil, Cameron is speaking now.

        Just about begged LibDem’s to join him.

        Not only are the two parties trying to court a bride, but that that prize is paradoxically more precious, because the LibDem’s failed to to register at the polls.

        • Marion says:

          Tony Blair allowed devolution. This means that the Parliament at Westminster is the parliament for the country, which is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

          However, devolution means that the Scots get their own parliament as well, so do the Welsh and so do the Ulstermen. Yet, they still have representation in Westminster. For example, Alex Salmond is a Scottish MP, but also serves in Westminster. Peter Robinson, who was First Minister in Northern Ireland, was (until last night) a serving Ulster Unionist MP in Westminster. It’s the ENGLISH, who effectively have no English Parliament.

          The situation exists with Labour that, were they to coalesce with the LibDems, they’d still not have a solid majority. They are also looking to coalesce with the Scottish National Party, as well as Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Nationals. The English aren’t best pleased with a Scottish PM and Chancellor; they’d be even less pleased with the Scottish Nationals having a say in purely national dealings. As surprising as it may seem, there are still deep nationalistic feelings amongst the three countries -- many Welsh, English and Scots hate each others’ countries.

          • Khirad says:

            Heh, Marion, no, you were preaching to the choir on all that. :-)

            It never hurts though, in case I hadn’t known. I’ve been following -- and supportive of the SNP since before devolution (even giving them a little money -- before that was probably rightfully outlawed). 1707 was a sham, and returning the Stone of Scone just the start.

            Yes, there’s also the irony that with all the talk of it not being fair for Scotland being represented in both Holyrood AND Westminster and with the English National Party (read: Tories) sucking it in the Celtic lands (even Cornwall), it would benefit them in Westminster to push for independence. Of course, this would never happen, and would have too many precedents (like making the Ulster Unionists quite squeamish). No, Tories are Unionists to the core. No odd bedfellows on this. I just delight in irony.

            I was also referring to the fact that they are historic countries, which “joined” Great Britain (as if they had a choice in the matter!).

            The main point I was trying to get across was that I think it is conceit of any Westminster leader to refer to the whole of Britain as a country in this regard -- as they already existed individually.

            But then again, it is a generic term, and I accept that. I’m really being quite irreverent with this, actually.

            Also, if there is criticism of my nationalist sympathies (Plaid/SNP), that is fine. I know it isn’t ideal and independence is not without its many problems; but I do also believe fervently that they have very real grievances with London.

        • Mightywoof says:

          Oh gosh Khirad -- I suspect most Brits/English don’t know the difference between the usage of United Kingdom vs Great Britain vs England. Having just looked it up on Wikipedia, I’ve realised that my understanding was completely goofy!

          Great Britain is the large island containing the territories of England, Scotland and Wales. United Kingdom refers to Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So one is both English/Scottish/Welsh and British. I don’t know what the Northern Irish are called -- they are a unique people!

          • Khirad says:

            Well, I guess, United Kingdom and Great Britain are actually pretty synonymous, but the origin of the name United Kingdom was the Treaty of Union, which combined the Kingdom of Scotland with the Kingdom of England (and this gave us the Union Jack). Of course, this was not to be an equal union. After all, it is the St. George’s Cross over the St. Andrew’s Cross, and not the other way around! But the official name became the United Kingdom of Great Britain at this time, so, yeah, those two are like the same thing. I still think of the UK as Scotland and England proper for some reason, though. That’s my goof.

            This is for everyone who is not as nerdy about flags as me:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Union_Jack_evolution

            Of course, in time, with Wales already conquered by England in the late 13th century, the red dragon got no place in the flag and with the near complete subjugation and addition of Ireland in the late 18th century, the St. Patrick’s cross was added, -- the flag we see today (St. Patrick’s cross ostensibly representing Northern Ireland now, I suppose -- though an Ulster Flag variant would be more appropriate).

            Don’t get me started on Northern Ireland. Politically and culturally, it can seem to me like the Alabama of Great Britain. My theory is that all the reasonable Scots-Irish immigrated to North America (though, considering Appalachia and the Confederacy, this can be debatable). As such, though my ancestry in a strictly denominational sense would have me a Protestant, I’ve no affinity for the Orange Lodge, and am decidedly a Republican when it comes to the issue of NI. Of course, the issue is a thorny and incredibly complex one, too much so to go into just now -- and my thoughts on the sectarian, political and cultural matters aren’t quite as clear-cut as Republican v. Unionist and Irish v. Ulster Scot, either (another historical irony is that the Scots came from Ulster in the first place, after invading the Dalriada coast and absorbing and intermarrying with the Picts).

            By the way, with this talk of history I was reminded of the mailbox thing. This from Time in 1960, I’m not sure many are aware of:

            Which Elizabeth? Wendy Wood’s protest, delivered on the anniversary of Wallace’s beheading in London in 1305, was a sharp reminder that despite 2

  11. Khirad says:

    Northern Ireland results in 2010 General Election declared -- List of winners with links to stories on the individual races.

    Unionist parties urged to make pact

    (Belfast Telegraph is a Unionist paper, so I found this interesting)

    Another interesting story:

    Unionists helped Gerry Adams to his landslide victory in West Belfast, the Sinn Fein leader claimed today.

    He was returned with a thumping majority which represented a 71% share of the vote in a constituency which has been more or less his since his first victory back in 1983.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/election/stream-of-unionists-help-gerry-adams-to-victory-in-west-belfast-14796809.html#ixzz0nERFpj6V


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