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    Nice little provocation.

    Well, they are a little bit quirkily British and i like people with different habits. Personally i have the opinion that there are much advantages being European and consequently also part of the Union. But each nation has to learn that for itself. There is no sense to educate nations.

    As long as the Britains keep the habit to apply for the FIFA world championship with not less than four national teams (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland), it is fine for me. All their teams are so weakened, that they never will win a title. Even if we have with Bayern München one of the worlds leading teams, all Bavarians being very proud of that and for them being a kind of National self-confidence, my fellow countrymen would never have the idea to claim for a Bavarian national team. And if you don't learn to be a team player in sports, how should you learn it in real life?

    Do you need another example? Just read this essay in wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banknot...pound_sterling

    So i don't think they really have a problem with us as European neighbours. They have more a problem with giving up old habits and they are mixing up preserving individual thinking (which is fine) with hanging on with quirky attitudes (which is just funny, but not very practicable).

    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

    Comment


      Provocation??? By me?? NEVER!!!!

      Comment


      • yvneac
        yvneac commented
        Editing a comment
        Anyway living in the other side of the world you're protected against Ivy's machine gun!

      Anyway living in the other side of the world you're protected against Ivy's machine gun!
      Not at all. For I am sitting here laughing to myself at the remarks by Ombugge and Ralf. My main thought, when I can suppress the merriment, is on how little they know of what ordinary people think. Ask a young person today what they know about the British Empire and, unless their school had given them a good grounding in the subject, you'd probably get a blank look. Yes, they would know the term, but asked to name the countries involved, the look would no doubt become even blanker. And their views on the matter, once you had carefully instructed them, may surprise you.
      Ombugge, you once said to me (privately, soon after I joined CVF), "I am impressed with your interest in the geography of the Norwegian coast and the world in general, as shown in the What Place is This thread".
      I felt that was a rather condescending remark, still do actually. It implied that I, as a Brit, could not possibly be expected to know anything much about the world beyond my country's shores. I noted/still note that you used the word "interest" rather than "knowledge", again implying that despite, as a Brit, being completely ignorant of that world, I was keen to learn of its wonders.
      In 2011 the census showed that 13% of people in England and Wales were born outside the UK. Maybe, when they have succeeded in enlightening us, we will become more Europeanised? Except that the top group of non-UK-born declared that year came from India.
      Ivy

      "To thine own self be true.......
      Thou canst not then be false to any man."

      Comment


      • yvneac
        yvneac commented
        Editing a comment
        Ivy my remark was just a try of humour.I apologize if I shocked.
        As for me,if I am French I could have been Italian or Swedish with great pleasure.
        The Greatness of Nations is not my favorite topic.

      Originally posted by PoloUK View Post
      Incidentally I believe that Great Britain = England + Scotland + Wales; United Kingdom = England + Scotland + Wales + Northern Ireland; British Isles = UK + Ireland
      No doubt Kiki will also let us know how the Channel Islands fit into this - and the Isle of Man is different again.
      Mark showed here another view to that what i identified as problem. And i remember, that i had a dicussion with the Gaelsailors about Scotlands 2014 vote about independency and this showed, that there are a lot of complications and different opinions about this issue. Also the new Asterix (Asterix at the Picts= in Scotland!) is characterising this matter and made me laugh out loud: Simple things can get really complicated, as soon as a few people with different origin in GB are beginning to think about and start a discussion from their different view points.

      A big advantage, the tolerance and acceptance of different habits and opinions, which is outstanding in GB, might turn out as disadvantage, because it seems to be rather difficult to reach a broad consent!?
      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

      Comment


        I'll answer this point by point.
        Originally posted by wherrygirl View Post
        Not at all. For I am sitting here laughing to myself at the remarks by Ombugge and Ralf. My main thought, when I can suppress the merriment, is on how little they know of what ordinary people think.
        I must admit that I do not know in detail what "ordinary" people think, in the UK or anywhere else, but I do not think my knowledge is inferior to anybody else on this subject.
        I have traveled the world and worked with people of all kinds of nationalities and backgrounds for over 50 years, so I think I have as good grounding on that subject as anybody. (Who is "ordinary" anyway?)
        In this kind of discussions it is necessary to generalize and in general people's knowledge of anything beyond their near area, or special interest, is usually quite narrow.(With exceptions)

        Ask a young person today what they know about the British Empire and, unless their school had given them a good grounding in the subject, you'd probably get a blank look. Yes, they would know the term, but asked to name the countries involved, the look would no doubt become even blanker. And their views on the matter, once you had carefully instructed them, may surprise you.
        I have no contest with that statement and it is nothing special for the UK. The same applies everywhere. (Again, with exceptions)

        Ombugge, you once said to me (privately, soon after I joined CVF), "I am impressed with your interest in the geography of the Norwegian coast and the world in general, as shown in the What Place is This thread". I felt that was a rather condescending remark, still do actually. It implied that I, as a Brit, could not possibly be expected to know anything much about the world beyond my country's shores. I noted/still note that you used the word "interest" rather than "knowledge", again implying that despite, as a Brit, being completely ignorant of that world, I was keen to learn of its wonders.
        I'm sorry if it came through like that. It was not meant to be condescending, or imply that Brits were less knowledgeable or "interested" in the world than anybody else.
        I was, and still is, impressed that you have such an interest and knowledge of the Norwegian coast in particular. How many peoples are there outside Norway that know anything of Norway, except that it is cold and expensive? (Come to think of it, a lot of Norwegians don't know much about the West and North coast either. (Try asking somebody from Oslo)
        Your interest and knowledge of the world is also not that common, in my experience. Most people I meet is mostly occupied with their narrow area of interest. (With exceptions)

        In 2011 the census showed that 13% of people in England and Wales were born outside the UK. Maybe, when they have succeeded in enlightening us, we will become more Europeanised? Except that the top group of non-UK-born declared that year came from India.
        In Singapore we are aiming at 50% foreign born inhabitants by 2030, out of an estimated population at that time of 6.9 Mill. (At the moment it is abt. 33% out of 5.4 mill. and I am one of them)
        The developed countries has too low birth rate to maintain their population level and need fresh blood. Maybe some new ideas and initiative is for the good?
        Who is going to work and pay for an aging population, if the work force is shrinking?? (That is for another discussion though)

        Comment


          Ivy my remark was just a try of humour.I apologize if I shocked.
          As for me,if I am French I could have been Italian or Swedish with great pleasure.
          The Greatness of Nations is not my favorite topic.
          Dear Yves, no way did you shock. Why think that? I had to giggle to myself that I have such an image - frying pans and machine guns!!!
          Someone years ago called me a citizen of the world. Goodness knows why, I've long forgotten the context or who it was. But I think it's true. I have never been jingoistic and don't particularly see myself as English, British or what-have-you, except when I have to declare myself on a passport application form, as I must do soon as mine expires next March. Mind you, I confess to having that smart, hard, dark blue slip-on British Passport cover to hide the flimsy red European one. But then that's me being &^?$^#^!%!!! awkward, or being different, unconforming, compared to the rest of these Europeans.....
          I remember when I was about 5 or 6, a little Spanish boy came to my school, a refugee from the civil war in the 30's, and I badgered my mother to invite him to tea. He was not English, so I wanted to be friends. And I've been like that ever since, from penfriends through to CVF. Why else would I put up with Ralf, for example?

          A big advantage, the tolerance and acceptance of different habits and opinions, which is outstanding in GB,
          Ooh, don't be too sure about that, Ralf. Things are beginning to get very difficult in some areas of England due to the pressures of the increasing immigration. Resentment is growing in leaps and bounds on the part of those whose roots here go back many years, and who find themselves without work and with difficulty in finding somewhere to live. They perceive that immigrants are seemingly put higher up the priority list for both. The rights or wrongs of all this I do not pretend to know, but the problem is growing.
          Several generations ago, when the only minorities were the historic ones of Huguenots, Jews, Chinese etc. then yes, I suppose we were tolerant. They were small groups, not a threat, it was all OK. And after all the English are historically a mixed racial collection, anyway! Now, incomers are beginning to be resented, purely because of the sheer numbers. But I don't think that this country is alone in that problem.

          And Ombugge, I really don't know all that much about Norway, my only visits were one to the Sognefjord, unfortunately at a time when I was partly crippled as a result of some mystery arthritis but determined to go it alone, as usual, even with my bent knees. So I was limited in my explorations, but enjoyed it all anyway. The other was my Kong Olav trip. As to the rest of the world, CVF has taught me a great deal.
          Just let's carry on getting to know each other, and learning.
          Ivy

          "To thine own self be true.......
          Thou canst not then be false to any man."

          Comment


            Originally posted by wherrygirl View Post
            I have such an image - frying pans and machine guns!!!
            Not at all Ivy.It's pure (and funny) self-mockery (in french:autodérision)

            Just let's carry on getting to know each other, and learning.
            Absolutely.
            PS. I agree,the European passport is awful.They could sack the designer

            Comment


              Ivy, you are right, the problem with immigrants is at every place, where there are much of them. And the arguments are the same, worldwide,

              But now, since everyone made the own statement to show the own open mind, back to Ombugges question:
              Why are the people in GB so distanced to Europe?
              Any other suggestions?
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

              Comment


              • ombugge
                ombugge commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes indeed, why is it the so many Brits refer to Europe as if where some foreign place??
                I am not talking about the European Union but about Europe as a continent. You are part of it, no matter what??
                That is really what I asked in the first place.

              Originally posted by Ralf__ View Post
              So i don't think they really have a problem with us as European neighbours.]
              I think neighbours is the operative word here, Ralf. Neighbours are outside your own little domain, they don't live in the same building. What problems do you think we might have then, Ralf?
              Why are the people in GB so distanced to Europe?
              Maybe it is due to two basic geographic/historic facts? We are an island. And we once had an empire.
              Being an island immediately draws a strong dividing line. Even today I find it very difficult to imagine living in one plot of land which is joined on to other plots of land, each plot being inhabited by a group of people with a different language, government, habits and customs, etc. Yet if you live near the border you can jump in the car, and half an hour later you're "next door." Look at you, Ralf, visiting the Czech Republic as part of your work, no problem - not as far as getting there is concerned. When you came to the Netherlands you just got in the car and drove. I had to get a taxi, then hang about for ages waiting to board the plane, touch down in Schiphol and then another train to reach my destination. Or I could have got the bus to Diss, then the train to Harwich,(changing partway), on to the ferry, off at the Hook, etc. etc. then a train. All part of the fun of travelling as far as I'm concerned, but requiring much more organisation and emphasising the fact that you are going somewhere else. Similarly there is Thijs zooming off to Germany every so often in his Highway Cruiser. The Dutch road he is on suddenly changes to a German one (yes, I know I'm over-simplifying) but the ground on which the track is laid remains the same. The primroses were in bloom by the roadside back in Holland and so they are a few yards into Germany, too. And that blackbird is following me still.
              We have water between us and the rest of you. All this certainly makes Europe very "other". You are all "over there", not "down the road."
              In the past when people could not afford foreign travel except those well-to-do who did their world tour, Europe might just as well have been on another planet. The pony and trap would not have got them there.
              Then historically we have been looking to the empire, far-flung but "ours". We took those lands over by fair means and foul, governed them directly or at least had an overlord position, traded with them, even went out and lived there. Empire came before Europe, we were more involved with the former. When we first considered joining what was then just the Common Market (and how it has changed since those days) our final decision meant jettisoning the trade we had with what by then was our Commonwealth. The latter then promptly went its own way, which it had been gradually doing for a long time, anyway, and is now a loose collection of nations with our queen as a titular head. But that won't last for ever. Either way we have more or less turned our backs on it.
              But we have not replaced it by joining Europe.
              Somehow we seem to retain a kind of folk memory of an island nation and remain unconvinced of the benefits of being European. We are not part of the same land mass, Ombugge, even if we are called part of the European continent in geographical terms. So it seems an almost arbitrary choice.

              They have more a problem with giving up old habits and they are mixing up preserving individual thinking (which is fine) with hanging on with quirky attitudes (which is just funny, but not very practicable).
              What are the old habits and quirky attitudes you spoke of, Ralf?

              And what of Norway? Not even part of the EU?

              Yes indeed, why is it the so many Brits refer to Europe as if where some foreign place??
              My dictionary defines foreign as belonging to another country, Ombugge. That's all.
              Ivy

              "To thine own self be true.......
              Thou canst not then be false to any man."

              Comment


                By the way,
                Originally posted by ombugge View Post
                The days of "Rule Britannia" and "The sun never sets on the British Empire" is long gone. Accept it and start to behave like what you are, a medium size European country at the fringes of the continent.
                Err-rr-rr.... what period are you in, Ombugge? Update, man!
                Ivy

                "To thine own self be true.......
                Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                Comment


                • ombugge
                  ombugge commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I live in a period where there is only one Superpower, and it isn't Britain.
                  Another Superpower in the making is gearing up to take on a bigger role in the world, and that is China.
                  You may have to get used to being a part of the European family and accept that the days of Empire is long gone.
                  I have lived in a former British Colony for most of my life and seen the changes that has occurred since self-government and later independence. Here in Singapore there is no attempt of erasing the colonial past, but the influence of Britain also not that great.

                  As for Norway, it is even more on the fringe of Europe and, with a small population of only 5 mill., has no delusion of greatness based on neither historical past nor of a major say so in the European Union, if it should become a full member on day.

                I live in a period where there is only one Superpower, and it isn't Britain.
                Another Superpower in the making is gearing up to take on a bigger role in the world, and that is China.
                Ombugge, you keep on about us having to accept that the days of Empire are long gone. I can just about remember them, and it is only because of your insistent references that I have struggled to recall them, but young as I was then they are very hazy memories. But younger generations? And note that that includes people of quite mature age. They may find references to them in the history books, but it means little to them. Sincerely, I do not understand your frequently voiced implication that we are a nation of little Colonel Blimps thinking that we rule the world - or ought to. Of course the influence of Britain is not great in Singapore, why on earth should it be after all this time? I could go further and say that probably it is non-existent, but then I do not live there so do not presume to pronounce on the matter. Were I to come and live there for a year or two, get to know people in the street, in the cafes, shopping, strolling in the park, get to chat with them, then, and only then might I begin to get an idea of what they think about this, that, and t'other.
                From where do you get this obviously strong belief that we, i.e. the man/woman in the street, have these delusions that we are a super-power? If you believe the strutting actions of our politicians as representing what the rest of us think, then you surprise me. If you believe that the strident proclamations in the newspapers voice our feelings, then you surprise me. Whenever we have a new Prime Minister, their haste to get over to the USA and make obeisance to whoever is the President, shouting loudly that they uphold this "special relationship", embarasses me. We cling to their coat-tails, at least the politicians do, no sign of Empire there! But an acknowledgement that the USA is the superpower and has been for a long time, yes, that is there all right. And our politicians clamour to be "best friend", not top dog.
                When were you last here? I do not mean flying in, jumping on to a helicopter, out to the rig, then back again to Singapore. I mean recently living here with time to familiarise yourself with what today's natives are thinking?
                On what do you base your views?
                Ivy

                "To thine own self be true.......
                Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                Comment


                  "What are the old habits and quirky attitudes you spoke of, Ralf?"

                  Oh, this could become an own thread! This requires many answers.

                  I mentioned the money, so i will point that out first. You can find banknotes of:
                  The Bank of England, The Bank of Scotland, The Royal Bank of Scotland, The Clydesdale Bank, The Bank of Ireland, The First Trust Bank, The Danske Bank (The Northern Bank), The Ulster Bank, The Manx Pound, The Jersey Pound and the Guernsey Pound - and these are only the GB notes (without Gibraltar, St.Helena and Falkland.

                  These notes look different, have different material, safety marks and have even different size. No wonder, that not all of them are accepted everywhere in the country. This can cause uncomfortable situations for tourists, i can tell you. How can they ever accept a Euro then with identic design, material and safety marks???
                  Did we tell them that we have the right to make different coins with country specific design and that this is a wonderful compromise and a paradise for coin collectors?

                  A legenday French author published this essay, which i will try to translate. It describes the situation in the 60ies, and that was much more complicated. So the things are really improving, i must say. But the essay is so good, i must put it in here. And Ivy will remember these times well.

                  "It is often said, the English currency sytem is difficult, complicated, inconvenient and so on. Blabla, all rubbish. To say the truth, is is quite simple, yes even easy-peasy!
                  Pay attention and you will see, how easy all is: The Pound Sterling - or just pound - is the English currency. A pound contains 20 shillings and each shilling has 12 pence. But 1 pence is called a penny, because penny is the singular of pence - but that doesn't mean the singular of dance is Danny. The penny, which is shortened called "d", is therefore worth 1/12 shilling, that means 1/240 of a pound or 1/252 of a guinee. Oh, we forgot to mention the guinee, which by the way doen't exist as currency, but is worth a pound and a shilling or a pound + 12 pence. One penny also is equivalent to 1/60 of a crown (1 crown = 5 shilling = 1/4 pound). Two penny are as much as one pence, or better two pence, for if it would have been just one pence, you'd have to say penny and to be honest, two penny can not be worth as much as one. Further you have to notice that four farthings give a shilling and it will then not cause any stress, that three >> heipens << are written halfpence, while the according coins are called >> heipniz >> = halfpennies; and naturally three >> heipens << are worth as much as 1 1/2 d. Crystal clear is also, that half a crown is worth two shilling and six pence.
                  You see - no problem at all. As tip you just have to add 12 percent to each tab you receive. You can do this now in your head, right?"


                  ...the author is René Goscinny, the famous texter of Asterix, Lucky Luke and Isnogud. Unfortunately he passed away in 1977, but it is prooved that that was not under influence of the Secret Service.
                  Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                  Comment


                  • yvneac
                    yvneac commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks' Ralf for this good laugh.I do like Goscinny's wit.Allways funny never nasty.

                  Don't know if English people feels as European or not and don't think it is the real question.
                  Have a look at the 2013 PIB (GDP) ranking and you'll see why SEPARATELY Germany,UK and France are political dwarfs.
                  We had our hours of glory,egoistic and bloody so as a result we are watching American TV series on Chinese screens.
                  So, yes, I am definitely European because my culture depends on Europe good health.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by yvneac View Post
                    Don't know if English people feels as European or not and don't think it is the real question.
                    I couldn't agree more, Yves.
                    Ombugge asked the question, but not for the first time, and I am curious to see on what facts he bases his statements.
                    And Ralf -
                    I mentioned the money, so i will point that out first.
                    OK, next?
                    This discussion is quite amicable, certainly it is on my part. Don't worry, Ralf, no desperation involved.
                    Ivy

                    "To thine own self be true.......
                    Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                    Comment


                      Ivy, you are describing so well the feeling out in the sea on a remote island and that is cetainly a deep reason for all this. During my whole life for me it was always a special feeling to be on an island, and it was a nice one. If it had been in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Greece, the Netherlands or elsewhere. And, although the British Islands are huge, it was similar. The big world is outside, far away and it is more easy to concentrate on the own things. Ombugges suggestions about the old B.E. behaviour is far back for sure, but as Ives wrote, also France, Germany, Holland, Spain and some others (Norway?!) have a period of colonialism or world "trade" organsiations back in history and there still is an influence in nowadays brains. Globalisation requires different thinking, while regionalisation (think local) is growing at the same time. World moving questions. And why English people don't feel European is not THE question. But they also know Ives' remark about the ranking in a global world and they feel they should cooperate with the folks on the far European mainland.

                      But why is that so difficult? O.K. we had the money first.

                      Second we have the system of measurement. It was recognized early as quite uncomfortabe to have a complete different system, so 1973 it was decided to replace the imperial system by the metric system. A lot of protests followed and the metric system is not really accepted until today. In the year 2000 two market traders, Neil Herron and Steve Thoburn were ordered by the city of Sunderland to remove their weights of ounces and pounds. They refused and then the city authorities confiscated the weights. They went to law, but lost also the last trial in 2004 at the European court for human rights. In 2007 the temporary arrangement for the parallel system, which was terminated until 2010, was prolonged for undetermined time. And so we have to know that:

                      Lenght units are as follows.

                      one inch has 0.0254m
                      one foot has 0.3048m
                      one yard has 0,9144m
                      one mile has 1,6093440m
                      12 inches are one foot, 3 feet are one yard and 1.760 yards are a mile.

                      Plane crashes, satellite failures and various damages all caused by a wrong conversion of lenght units did not convince the British people to change the system.
                      But as Prince Charles says: "Most architects think by the inch, talk by the yard, and should be kicked by the foot."

                      Fluid units are as follows.

                      one drop is 1/20 scruple or 0,000059193883880 l
                      one sruple is 1/3 dram or 0,001183877677603 l
                      one dram is 1/8 ounce or 0,003551633032809 l
                      one ounce is 1/5 gill or 0,028413 l
                      one glass is 1/2 gill or 0,071033 l
                      one gill is 1/4 pint or 0,142065 l
                      one pint is 1/2 quart or 0,56826 l
                      one quart is 1/4 gallon or 1,13652 l
                      one gallon is 277,42 inch3 or 4,54609 l
                      one barrel is 35 gallons or 159,113 l

                      If you fill up your car on a fuel station, you do it and pay in liter. The consuption of the car however is calculated in miles per gallon.
                      If you by beer in the store you get with 0,33l, 0,44l, 0,5l (metric) bottles as well as pints (imperial).
                      Water and soft drinks are filled in metric bottles.
                      Ordinary milk is filled in imperial packs or bottles, special products like soya milk in metric ones...

                      Is there any advantage in the imperial system than old habits?
                      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                      Comment

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