The UK

Oh dear.

It’s the Scottish Parliament. The Welsh have an Assembly. And it hasn’t “recently been given more power” - the thing only came into existence this year. (After a nearly 300 year hiatus, that is.)

Also, there are six counties in Northern Ireland, not eight.


I’d like to apologise to Americans for our rather complicated political arrangements!

Now you are ready for sport…

We know there are two countries, the UK and Eire (southern Ireland). So there are two soccer teams?

No, there are 5. England, Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland and Eire.

OK, so sports governing bodies allow the UK to divide itself into 4 parts. That means there are 5 rugby union teams?

No, there are 4. England, Scotland, Wales, and (all) Ireland.

OK, there are inconsistencies between sports. But at least each sport is consistent?

No, there are many chess teams (5 as per soccer, plus at least Jersey and Guernsey). But in chess problem-solving, the UK pops up again.

I should stress the above is from memory, and apologise for any mistakes. My defence is that it is a bit complicated!

In the bathtub of history, the truth is harder to hold than the soap… (Pratchett)

I’m afraid there are a few more errors in the original, apart from the fact that the Scottish Parliament is brand-new. (The older Scottish Parliament voted itself out of existence when the United Kingdom was formed.)

The channel islands, the Isle of Man, etc., are not part of the United Kingdom, although they do belong to the British Monarch.

The original question asked about Great Britain. Great Britain is the name of the island, not a country. It is called Great Britain to distinguish it from Britain the Lesser, or Britany, a peninsula in France that was settled by British refugees during the Anglo-Saxon invasions of the Dark Ages. (The other refugees went west, and eventually became the Cornish and Welsh. The Welsh and Breton languages are still mutually intelligible; the Cornish language died out in the 18th century, but attempts are being made today to revive it.)

Wales was not part of the United Kingdom deal because it had already been flat-out conquered by the English. Scotland and England were joined because for 100 years they had had, by dynastic accident, the same monarch, and the powers that be wanted to ensure that the situation remained stable.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams


I admire enormously your mastery of sports admin in the UK…

but our political arrangements don’t require your apologies, either to the world, or to the US…

Sense of humour? don’t make me laugh!

Ok, then.

So which entities have separate representation at the U.N?

And more importantly, at the Olympics?

sorry to be a pedant, but …
Northern Ireland has six counties, not eight. The island of Ireland has been divided since time immemorial into four ‘provinces’; Leinster, Connaught, Munster and Ulster, each with eight counties. Ulster had a very large Protestand population since about the 17th century, who strongly resisted any cessation from Britain. Thus in 1921 the new Irish government agreed to a partition of the island of Ireland into the Republic (26 counties) and Northern Ireland (6 of the 8 Ulster counties, the other two being part of the Republic). And they all lived angrily ever after.

What about Berwick?

Didn’t it have some special status until about 100 years ago, and they were technically still at war with Russia over the Crimea until a few years ago (possibly UL)?

Adding a little detail to John W. Kennedy’s correction regarding the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands: The head of state of the Isle of Man is the Lord of Man, who as it happens, is also the king or queen of England. The Isle has a great deal of autonomy with respect to internal matters – for instance, IIRC, unlike the U.K. it has the death penalty. Its legislation is made by the Tynwald, a parliament which is now something over a thousand years.

(Most of this information is from, the government of the Isle of Man’s web site)

That would be

jimgleeson writes:

> The island of Ireland has been divided
> since time immemorial into four
> ‘provinces’; Leinster, Connaught, Munster > and Ulster, each with eight counties.
Leinster has 12 counties. Connaught has 5 counties. Munster has 6 counties. Ulster has 9 counties. Antrim, Down, Armagh, Londonderry, Tyrone, and Fermanagh are the Ulster counties that are in Northern Ireland. Monaghan, Cavan, and Donegal are the ones in Eire.


oh, err, lumme! Actually I am rather disappointed at the complexity of my country’s administration, especially since my taxes pay for it.

I hope your sig line doesn’t apply for real, since I was also trying to be charming and witty…


I am really sorry - it never occurred to me until now that it might be taken as a dig at somebody else. I meant only that if I was showing a lack of humour myself, I regretted it. You are of course an ornament to the board!

All I had in mind was a small mutter along the lines of not washing dirty linen in public…

…and your “Phaedrus” thing is wonderful :slight_smile: (that may or may not be a smilie thing - I don’t often do them)


Well spoken, sir! No offence was taken, and I accept your point about laundry (especially when discussing a different country to the one the message board is in).

I’m also dead chuffed about the responses to my Phaedrus parody - I’m not usually that skilled…

In the bathtub of history, the truth is harder to hold than the soap… (Pratchett)


…and your “Phaedrus” thing is wonderful (that may or may not be a smilie thing - I don’t often do them) [/Quote]

And Glee,

Not being one that sits around and reads Plato, and I doubt I would know what it meant anyway, and after a little digging, I cannot seem to come up with a descent definition or explanation of the Phaedrus thing/parody as it relates to what Glee said. What part of what Glee said is a Phaedrus thing.


My apologies. You are understandably confused, (especially as I don’t know who the original Phaedrus is anyway!).

It is almost as complicated as this thread.

  1. In Great Debates, on the thread ‘The Earth is flat, I read in the paper’, a poster called Phaedrus claimed ‘evolution was crumbling’.

This thread is now up to 550+ posts, and I doubt Phaedrus has even agreed a definition of evolution yet, let alone given any facts. So he got criticised for not backing up his claim.

  1. Phaedrus then started a thread in the BBQ Pit called ‘Blast Phaedrus, 10c a throw’.

I took the liberty of posting a parody of Phaedrus’ style, which is what Durnovarianous was referring to. Unfortunately, to decide if it’s funny, you have to wade thru most of ‘The Earth is flat, I read in the paper’. The thread itself is certainly NOT amusing!

Thanks, glee.
So it didn’t have anything to do with Phedrus interpretation of Aesops fable, nor Plato story of the Phaedrus/Socrates discussion, nor the your post about and the style you used. Isn’t it great how many catchy things you can come up with on the web especially when you are wandering around aimlessly in the wrong direction. I’ll take your advise and not read thru the other thread.

Ireland was divided since time immemorial into five provinces - the ones mentioned plus Meath, which is now just two counties (Meath and Westmeath).

There is a “splinter group” that wants to separate Scotland from the UK, in the same way that there’s a “splinter group” in American politics that uses a donkey as its emblem. The Scottish National Party, which has independence for Scotland as its avowed aim, commands around 35% of the vote, depending.

No-one calls Ireland “Eire” when speaking in English. And adding “London” to “Derry” was really just done out of spite. Whatever one’s sentiments.

At the UN, the UK is the only entity with representation. (Ireland being a separate matter altogether here). However, that is complicated in the Olympics, which has GB entrants. Northern Irish folk can go either way, so to speak.

This is also a reason why the UK does not play Association Football at the Olympics. Doing so would compel the formation of a GB or UK team, something to which the Football Associations of England, Scotland and Wales are very much opposed.


Hmmmmm as usual, a member of the Advisory Board manages to screw up a relatively simple answer (all you have to do is go look the answers up) and does so after taking a patronizing tone with the questioner making asking the question the equivalent of having skipped something like 6 grades in school.

I wish that the Staff would stop the condescending approach to answering questions that seem easy. It doesn’t really mimic Cecil well, and when the answer is then wrong, well, frankly it makes the person who asked the question justifiably upset.