Monday, March 27, 2006

Commonwealth Games

Good on Melbourne for hosting an exceptionally well run games.
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One question though (I know the answer and it's childish) - why does the United Kingdom get to send seven teams, whereas every other Commonwealth country sends one?
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I've had this argument with Brits - the United Kingdom is ONE country, the capital is London, only the UK can sign treaties with other countries, have diplomatic and trade relations, and sit in the UN and the EU. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (and the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) are all regions - with substantial autonomy, but still regions. No different in essence from Tasmania or Quebec.
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It's all very quaint for the English, Scots, Welsh, Ulsterites and the rest to feel some historic nationalism - but Wales hasn't been even nominally independent since 1284, Scotland since 1707 and Northern Ireland since 1800.
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Of course, if the other Commonwealth countries don't mind it, then fine. Korea can send a united team to the Olympics, and it comes from two states which are more different than any of the British nationalities - why can't Britain? Unless it is a privilege of Empire.

3 comments:

Rick said...

I think it shows that these regions have a national identity they're proud of. Tasy doesn't.

There's more to nationhood than it being a political unit or being politically independent.

Did England stop being a nation between 1066 and 1272? Of course not.

libertyscott said...

Quebec has nationality, Maori do, aborigines do, PNG has over 500 nationalities, Malaysia and Singapore each have at least 3, South Africa has more - Every other team is a political unit.

Rick said...

There's no such thing as a Maori nation, nor do I accept that there is an Aborigional one. Like PNG, we're talking about a collective term for many mere tribes.

The other examples fail to persuade me on account of my ignorance.