“But I’m from England, NOT BRITAIN!”
“All right. All right. I give up” and I slowly backed away.
Usually I have the fight the other way around. You know…..I’m Welsh, but I’m not British. Or the more staunchly anti-England…the Scots.
“We’re Scottish NOT English.”
But there I was in a bar in Pai, Thailand (a northern town filled with hippies and overgrown with green-filled hills) trying to speak sense to an English man.
Well there are many reasons why that was never going to work. For one: I was in a bar. For two: I was speaking to a man. Sorry, but it’s true.
The thing is the United Kingdom, Britain, & England can all be quite confusing affairs. Even for those who are born in one of them, apparently.
I am the first to admit my mistakes. So maybe in my recent Rock Fever column I should have said Bermuda has a parliamentary government like the United Kingdom and not like England, but it was an honest mistake.
And technically I wasn’t wrong. I just could have been more correct…right?
Well and this is why it gets so confusing. The United Kingdom of Great Britain (aka United Kingdom or UK) is small and nit picks even smaller pieces of land.
Do you know what it’s made-up of? Ok well to start the United Kingdom is a sovereign state is made of England, Scotland, England and Wales and….a Northeastern chunk of Ireland.
The United Kingdom is governed by a parliamentary government in London.
But this is the confusing part: there are three devolved national administrations with varying powers in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh (capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland).
So when we hear about Scotland releasing the Lockerbie bomber it’s confusing. What did London have to say? How much responsibility does Scotland get?
It looks like they’re still trying to figure that out! Even here in this video the BBC refers to the London Government….so who is that?
But then again, perhaps being from an island that remains one of United Kingdom’s Overseas Territories, I shouldn’t be confused.
How often do I have to explain what Bermuda’s role is to the world? i.e. little and a territory for the UK which means some of our responsibilities are governed by the them.
And even the Queen is our head! And we’re not alone. So the Government’s aside we haven’t even tackled the monarchy.
Queen Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch for 16 independent sovereign states which are the Commonwealth the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica,Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
That doesn’t even touch the 14 Overseas Territories, which she is the Head of State, but are not included in the United Kingdom package. These are: Bermuda (my home), Anguilla, British Antarctic Territory, the Falklands, British Indian Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Cyprus), and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
And that doesn’t even include the three Crown Dependencies: Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man!
So needless to say there are just a few things you might not have know about the United Kingdom!
Categories : London, Uncategorized, United Kingdom