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Re: [Fsfe-uk] What needs to be done.

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] What needs to be done.
Date: 31 Aug 2001 12:29:57 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.0803 (Gnus v5.8.3) XEmacs/21.1 (Capitol Reef)

Marc Eberhard <address@hidden> writes:

> Why British instead of UK? I have to admit, that the usage of "England",
> "Great Britain", "United Kingdom" and "British" is sometime a bit confusing
> to me. As far as I understand it, "England" is only a part of the UK,
> because it leaves out Wales, Scotland, North Ireland and whatever else I
> forgot, so that's not an option. However, what is the difference between GB
> and UK. [...]

Right, here goes an attempt at our convoluted history:

England -- that bit that occupies a large chunk of the south-east of
the main island in the UK.  English refers to this.  It has no
national government of its own.  I'm still not sure why not.

Great Britain -- the largest group of islands, including what is
usually called "the mainland" of Wales, England and Scotland, together
with the Western Isles, Orkneys, Shetlands, Isle of Wight, Ynys Mon,
etc.  British refers to this.  It has no government of its own as a
whole.  (Notice that it is Grande Bretagne, while Bretagne is
elsewhere ;-) )

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland -- what is
usually seen as "the country", being the political state linking GB,
Northern Ireland (which should normally have its own government and
prime minister), Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and probably a few
other dependencies.  There is no adjective that I'm aware of for this.
It has a government (UKG or HMG depending if you're a royalist) which
can (and frequently does) overrule the governments of its parts where
they exist.  (For example, I believe the Isle of Man still has the
death penalty, while the UK does not, so death penalties issued by the
Manx state are commuted to life imprisonment by the UKG.)

Culturally, you see the GB as a superset of the countries (although
some English think that England is a superset of the GB ;-)   Using
English and British interchangeably will piss a lot of people off.).

Politically, UK is a superset of the constituent parts.  I don't think
it's really used otherwise.

Legislatively, England and Wales (these laws being made by the UKG),
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands are all
separate, although there are a number of acts which link them.

Now, I *think* that's right.  While the FSFE will need to follow the
legislative boundaries, or might be able to use the links to cover the
whole UK, the association is probably better off representing a
cultural unit such as the GB.  My Opinion Only.

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