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A lesson of Iraq in 2014: the nation-state is the future

12 August 2014

12:45 PM

12 August 2014

12:45 PM

The collapse of some of the Sykes-Picot states in 2014 will spur people to ask which way the world is heading and what it all tells us, just as with the fall of Communism in 1989. After Communism we had at first Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History,which foresaw the triumph of western-style liberal democracy, and then the more prescient, although equally controversial, The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntingdon, which viewed the world as essentially consisting of power blocks centred around ancient civilizational, religious ties.

So what does 2014 mean? A clear lesson that the Yazidis and Christian Assyrians have learned is that without a patch of land for oneself, and soldiers to protect it, no people is safe.

Ten years ago, when the pogrom against Iraq’s Christians began with a number of church bombings and sectarian murders, Christian leaders in that country proposed an administrative area in the Nineveh Plains where Iraq’s minorities, including the Assyrians and Yazidis, and smaller but equally persecuted groups like the Shabak and Mandeans, would have political and military autonomy, with a police force composed of minorities to protect them.

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Iraq’s more powerful groups rejected the idea, and the Americans did nothing to help; the counter-argument was that Iraq’s minorities should be encouraged to remain part of a multi-denominational country, and that a safe haven would be a magnet for jihadis. The former argument is fine in theory, but the latter looks rather irrelevant now.

The lesson of history, especially Europe’s, is that without a homeland or safe area of its own, no minority is ever entirely safe. The Kurds learned this lesson under Saddam Hussein. After 1991 Iraqi Kurdistan gained de facto autonomy. Now it looks certain to emerge as a nation-state. While I cannot say what will happen in the battle between the Islamic State and the Peshmerga (Kurdish fighters), Kurdistan will certainly survive and will have even acquired a foundation myth, its status in the world elevated after a struggle against an evil enemy.

For a long time now there has been an idea among many western intellectuals that we had somehow outgrown the nation-state. No one told the Kurds, obviously. And while nationalism is discredited because of its associations with 1914-45, it can also act as a counter-balance to other forces, namely religious extremism. It may not be coincidence that Turkey, the one Islamic nation in the region with a very strong national identity, is the most resistant to Islamism; perhaps it is only a matter of time but second-generation Turks in Europe also seem far less prone to religious extremism than men whose families hail from weak states with multiple, competing identities, such as Pakistan. (I’m not suggesting this is the main reason — Pakistan is, after all, much more religious than Turkey.)

One Iraqi minority, of course, learned this lesson very, very painfully some time ago. Baghdad was one-third Jewish a century ago. Had Israel not come into existence, how might Iraq’s Jews have fared today? Not very well, I’d imagine.

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Show comments
  • John Gerard

    Quite right. For years, we have been heading back towards the nation state, not away from it. The collapse of the USSR was round one. Then we had Yugoslavia. Scotland will very likely vote “yes”. The Basque and Catalan regions will follow. Italy will break up – there are four serious movements there right now. Look what’s happening in Iraq and Syria. And there are about twenty secession movements in the US.

    But the big one I can’t wait for is the collapse of the EU. It could be as soon as ’20, but most likely later.

  • Augustus

    There is nothing wrong or outmoded in the concept of the nation-state. What is wrong, and unforgiveable, is when members of a ruling party abuses its power by opening the flood-gates of that nation-state to hordes from a primitive culture who, because of their beliefs, refuse to assimilate and create only disunity and cultural alienation at the expense of the indigenous majority. That is tantamount to criminal political mismanagement.

  • davidofkent

    2014 reminds us, not tells us, what a blight on humanity religion has always been. Personal faith is fine, but organised religion is merely another form of power used as a cloak to demand one person’s rights against another.

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    Fukuyama was both wrong and naive and Huntington’s thesis (not “don”), makes for a hilarious read now as it did when it was first published. I do hope you are right in your predictions for the future of the nation state. That will of course mean the end for the undemocratic and unwanted (except by global capital), European Union. We can also urge on not just the nascent Kurdish state but also the newly formed People’s Republic of Donetsk, currently under attack from fascist and war criminals as I write.

    • Simon_in_London

      I thought Huntington was pretty spot on. My only complaint would be that his call for the US to keep China contained was foolish and impractical.

  • global city

    “So what does 2014 mean? A clear lesson that the Yazidis and Christian Assyrians have learned is that without a patch of land for oneself, and soldiers to protect it, no people is safe.”

    Most Jews finally came to understand that the Zionist campaign for a homeland for exactly the same reasons…. but this blindingly obvious fact is being undermined by the same loony ‘internationalist’ forces of the Left who have made a fetish out of Islamism.

    In truth, we must remember that the Left is a much greater danger to our safety than Islamism… as Leftist mindsets make it impassible to defend ourselves in any way at all.

    • Simon_in_London

      Yup. The Left, including a broad swathe of those who rule us, are a FAR greater danger to us than Islam can be.

  • Conway

    A clear lesson that the Yazidis and Christian Assyrians have learned is
    that without a patch of land for oneself, and soldiers to protect it, no
    people is safe.
    ” So you will be fighting tooth and nail to get us out of the EU, then, presumably, since written on the walls of the European parliament building is the statement that the nation state is “evil” and needs to be destroyed.

  • In2minds

    So Turkey is OK then? I don’t think so.

    • Makroon

      Ed West is laughably glib and shallow in his analysis, he should get a job with one of those grandiose-sounding US think tanks.
      I almost feel nostalgic about Dan Korski (late of this parish).

  • Meghan Nova

    For the sake of these people suffering lets stand for something honorable again. Destroy ISIS before it’s to late.
    http://www.sgoal.org/International-community-should-together-military-attack-and-destroy-ISIS

    • Barry Obongo

      This is a commendable initiative, but I fear the rush to join those (many of whom are as civilisationally-dangerous as IS) who wish to ‘do something’ is the wrong stand to take.

      • RaymondDance

        “the wrong stand to take”

        Can’t see the problem. It’s a win-win. We get peace, they get paradise.

    • lookout

      ISIS, Hezbollah,Hamas, there is no difference, only Israel is fighting terrorism, a few days ago you wanted the only state that flights back brought before the war crimes commission, are you making your mind up or do you float?

      • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

        To liken Hezbollah and Hamas to ISIS is both ignorant and childish. There seems to be a general consensus now across the civilised world that the Israeli government is guilty of the most horrendous war crimes. Hamas could be likened to the French resistance in world war 2.

        • Augustus

          The terrorist society that inhabits the Gaza strip teaches its children to hate and kill the Jew from birth. It is a culture of death and destruction that celebrates the concept of genocide and the massacre of innocents. Hamas, ISIS and the other Islamic terrorist groups are all cut from the same culture cloth of blind hatred, violence and murder.

          • Ibn Sina

            Here is a link of a member if the Israeli knesset calling for a genocide and other members calling for concentration camps and the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza.

            The biggest Terrorist threat in the middle-east is Israel and they have nukes. Funny how the middle-east wasn’t in all of this chaos prior to the criminal establishment of Israel.

            The member of Knesset who called for genocide — against the mothers of the ‘snakes’
            http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/knesset-genocide-against.html

            Israel want concentration camps.
            http://www.worldbulletin.net/world/141870/israeli-official-calls-for-concentration-camps-in-gaza

            No Hamas human shields.
            http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2014/07/jeremy-bowens-gaza-notebook-i-saw-no-evidence-hamas-using-palestinians-human

            Israel use Palestinians as human shields.
            http://www.ccun.org/Editorials/2007/October%20articles/palestinianhumanshield19o7imemc.jpg

            Expel Palestinians, populate Gaza with Jews, says Knesset deputy speaker.
            http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/expel-palestinians-populate-gaza-jews-says-knesset-deputy-speaker

            Blind hatred? Surly the people or refuges in the open air prison called the Gaza strip hate Israel because it’s an oppressive country that had no right taking away Palestinian land?

            • Augustus

              “No Hamas human shields.”

              Citing Jeremy Bowen who stated he “saw no evidence of Hamas using Palestinians as human shields”, is laughable. What about all the footage by honest reporting teams of Hamas shooting rockets next to crowded hotels, apartment complexes, and even right next to a UN flagged building?

              What you need to do, if you are a peaceful Muslim, is reject murder and terrorism in the name of Allah, and If you aren’t, then you should stop siding with fanatics who strap bombs onto innocent women and children and launch thousands of rockets at Israel. Left alone Israel would soon be at peace and harmony with its neighbours.

              • Ibn Sina

                What footage is this? Provide a link or don’t state something as fact. Every accusation of Hamas using human shields has been accompanied with no evidence.

                Yet there is plenty of evidence to prove the Israelis doing the same.

                There is plenty of information out there included in the links that I have provided to suggest/prove that officials in Israel condone the killing of civilians including testimony of former IDF Soldiers.

                A only a lunatic state thinks it’s legitimate to throw people off of there land and then call them terrorists for resisting. Unbelievable.

                • Augustus

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O9AHzUKYk8

                  http://www.imageusa.com/archives/29980

                  http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/watch-ndtv-exclusive-how-hamas-assembles-and-fires-rockets/332910

                  1) Terrorists fire at IDF from within Wafa Hospital.

                  2) France 24 reveals Hamas launch pad near Gaza homes.

                  3) NDTV How Hamas assembles and fires rockets next to hotels and apartments.

                • Ibn Sina

                  Excellent so you have provided me with 3 links, neither of which actually show Hamas using human shields. NOTE: I have shown you a picture already of the IDF doing so.

                  The first link with the conversation (amazing how selective the IDF is about releasing these recordings) clearly states that the director of the hospital has confirmed that nobody is in the hospital i.e. doctors or injured people. This rules out human shields!
                  The images show a single person firing from the building. There are 18 resistance groups in Gaza. How do we know who this man is? For all we know he could even be a father or mother that has had there entire family blown up is firing on the IDF for that exact reason. Of course you will believe that it’s Hamas with out any question.
                  No rockets are being fired from the building just gun fire from a single window, which begs the question, why instead of bombing infrastructure that the civilians need did they not just send in troops to deal with the gun fire? Instead they blow up infrastructure, a hospital, which is illegal under international law.

                  The 2nd link shows a rocket out in the open not in a building, and the 3rd as the presenter puts it shows a POTENTIAL Hamas rocket so you can’t even be sure what those people were doing under the blue tent. Regardless it was out in the open and not in a building.

                  Both the 2nd and 3rd link accuse Hamas of using densly populated areas, what they forgot to mention is that ALL of the Gaza strip is densly populated because Israel shoved over a million people in a tiny 25 mile strip of land. And if any kind of resistance against the criminal IDF is to happen, the Palestinians have no choice but to do it in densely populated areas.
                  They do have a choice not use use buildings though whig both of your links prove.

                  This begs the question why the IDF are bombing buildings when they missiles that are inch perfect in precision? Surly they can aim them at the launchers in the open areas? No? I mean they seemed pretty accurate when they slaughtered 4 children playing football on the beach with nobody around them.

                  They also forgot to mention that 80% of which are refuges, expelled from there homes and farms in cities and villages surrounding Gaza. They still have deeds to the which is now occupied by Israeli’s but hey who cares about the law.

                • Augustus

                  Whether you like it or not, the physical state of Israel exists and is there to stay. Israel’s Arab neighbours can either choose to accept the reality of the situation and peacefully coexist with the Jewish state, or accept the inevitable tough consequences of waging war upon it.

                  Btw, “At least 160 children died digging Hamas’ tunnels”

                  http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/07/report-at-least-160-children-died-digging-hamas-tunnels.php

                • Ibn Sina

                  Well no I don’t like it and who know what the future holds for Israel. Power comes in cycles, there will be a day when Israel will pay for it’s crimes and a day when the people who own the deeds to the land in what is now the legitimate sate of Israel will return to there homes.

                  The homes there grandparents were thrown out of, the resistance will continue until then.

                  How many of those 160 children were digging those tunnels so they could food across the border? Plausible as the criminal state of Israel counts the amount of calories Palestinians are allowed to eat. Animals!!

              • Ibn Sina

                Oh and here is a reminder of how Israel was born…..

                http://www.bollyn.com/public/king-david-hotel-3.jpg

                • Augustus

                  “Oh and here is a reminder of how Israel was born…..”

                  I’m not condoning the King David Hotel bombing, but your statement is absurd. Churchill was a prominent and enthusiastic supporter of Zionism, and he criticized the attack. But, apparently there was a warning which, for reasons known only to those concerned at the time, was unheeded. As for how Israel was really born, that was due to having to fight off five Arab nations intent upon destroying it virtually the day after it declared independence. A week before the armies marched, Azzam Pasha, the Secretary General of the Arab League said: “It does not matter how many Jews there are. We will sweep them into the sea.” Well that wasn’t very successful, was it?

                • Ibn Sina

                  The statement is not absurd, it’s common knowledge that there were various Israeli terror groups that helped establish Israel. “Apparently there was a warning” Isn’t good enough you seem to be missing the point that these operations were happening during the inception of Israel.

                  You also seem to be missing the point that throwing people, families, generations of humans off of there land and out of there homes to accommodate another people is criminal. The part ion was criminal. The expulsion of Christian and Muslim arabs was criminal. Millions of people with deeds to there lands and homes and can never return to what is now called Israel is criminal.

                  Resistance is inevitable in these circumstances, if somebody expelled my family from there homes in london and killed them if they didn’t leave then I would promise to drive them into to the sea. And you condemn it, like these people have no right to protect there families and homes. YOU ARE LOST.

                  Apparently these people with blond hair and blue eyes have a right to return to the middle-east. There heritage blatantly being more European then anything else. Another fallacy, the right to return, wow.

                • Augustus

                  “Resistance is inevitable in these circumstances”

                  Who supported Hamas? The people who are being killed! They had a choice between Fatah or Hamas. They thought the give-away programmes Hamas was providing were good. Now they have to live and die with their past decisions. That is the fate of a people who fail to vet their proposed leaders. Look at the people who died during the fire bombing of Germany. Look at the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Look at Cambodia. Zimbabwe. History is filled with people who failed to vet their leaders and they suffered the consequences. They saw the shiny gifts that were flashed in front of them and they chose poorly.

                  “It’s common knowledge that there were various Israeli terror groups that helped establish Israel”.

                  Compare that to the enemies that Israel faces who have a long history of hostage taking, targeted killings of children, the slaughter of innocents for political purposes, airline and ship hijackings, machine gunning at airports, suicide bombings and civilian massacres. Their language of liberation and the struggle for a homeland, is always a thinly veiled crusade to slaughter Jews at every opportunity and orchestrate the destruction of the state of Israel.

        • lookout

          Only if your head is where the sun don’t shine

  • CraigStrachan

    According to Die Welt, 10% of ISIS fighters are Turks.

    • Wessex Man

      Whilst not disputing that, it means that 90% arn’t and given Die Welt’s er, dislike of most things Turkish, I’ll reserve my own judgement.

      • CraigStrachan

        Yes, I’m not sure I believe it myself. But it would be alarming if true.

        I wonder what % of ISIS fighters are British?

        • Tony_E

          That’s a more interesting question. I would also wonder how much of the ISIS leadership was educated in the West?

        • Conway

          Ask, rather, what percentage of IS fighters hold a British passport .

        • timmay

          Also alarming was the shameful comments by the Turkish Foreign Secretary that ISIS aren’t extremists and the Iraqi government is to blame for the situation in Northern Iraq.

  • The Masked Marvel

    “The nation state is the future.” Try telling that to the Europhiles.

  • goatmince

    The nation state is the future for those not capable of living in peace with their neighbours.
    The nation state is the past for those perfectly capable of living in peace not only with their neighbours but the world.

    • mattghg

      How do you feel about living at peace with the world, the way it is now?

      • goatmince

        … it requires tolerance, understanding the aspects of what constitutes diversity and of course the acceptance and acknowledgement of rules and ethics that go beyond what a nation state can offer. The world is the oyster of an ever-growning cosmopolitan plebiscite.

        • Pootles

          In other words, utopian impossibility.

          • goatmince

            My opening statement does not describe a utopia of any kind. It was an attempt to make a statement of simple fact.

            • Pootles

              I was commenting on this : ‘it requires tolerance, understanding the aspects of what constitutes diversity and of course the acceptance and acknowledgement of rules and ethics that go beyond what a nation state can offer.’

              • goatmince

                My second statement was not designed to describe a utopia, but an attempt to further elaborate on a statement of simple fact.

                • Pootles

                  Then your pompous style got in the way of your objective, neutral ‘simple statement of fact’, and I misunderstood. My apologies.

                • goatmince

                  pompous, [citation required]

                • girondas2

                  Your above posts are the citation that you seek.

                • goatmince

                  [citation required]

                  “The nation state is the future for those not capable of living in peace with their neighbours.
                  The nation state is the past for those perfectly capable of living in peace not only with their neighbours but the world.”

                • girondas2

                  Vacuous – again

                • goatmince

                  Vacuous trolling. You have no thought of your own other than being vacuous.

                • girondas2

                  Really?
                  People are dying en masse and you witter inanities.
                  Who’s the one trolling, goatmince?

                • goatmince

                  People are always dying en masse. Is that what you want?

                • girondas2

                  Did you actually read the article?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  They die en masse whenever socialists create “utopias”.

                  You are still trying and still failing.

                • goatmince

                  I was not creating utopias, socialist or otherwise.
                  Curiously, I was merely pointing out the precise instance when one thing applies and appears right, and another scenario in which another thing applies as that appears right in that (different) instance. What you then did was create the scenario that I was somehow creating utopias.

                  In fact the diametrical opposite is true. Not one size fits all, is the underlying message. Not one, there are many right solutions at any given time in different scenarios.
                  You not noting that makes you what?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “You not noting that makes you what?”

                  I don’t know. You tell me. You are the people with the pigeon holes and labels.

                • goatmince

                  I shall label you a self-appointed labeler of supposed utopians, entirely unfounded of course. Where would the basis be for such a label, given my opening statement.

                  I explained it above, if you needed to go over that again …

                • girondas2

                  Your comments make no sense.
                  .

            • girondas2

              “It was an attempt to make a statement of simple fact.”

              It was also vacuous

        • girondas2

          “To paraphrase Pistol to Falstaff: the world is the oyster of an ever-growning cosmopolitan plebiscite.”

          Go tell the people dying on a mountainside in Iraq

          • goatmince

            Go tell? Go tell the world that people are dying on a mountainside in Iraq.

            “The nation state is the future for those not capable of living in peace with their neighbours.
            The nation state is the past for those perfectly capable of living in peace not only with their neighbours but the world.”

            • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

              that was rubbish the other times you wrote it too.

              • goatmince

                change it to make more sense then. Go on … we are waiting.

            • Colonel Mustard

              You can’t even live in peace with people here without shoving your left wing bollox down their throats. Peace to communiks like you means compliance, obedience and group think. A coerced utopia, whatever you say, because I’ve been listening to the same tripe for six or more decades.

              • goatmince

                More ‘you think’ gambit bollox. Lurvly!

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No. Wrong again.

        • Colonel Mustard

          What bollox. To you it means imposing your idea of tolerance, your idea of what constitutes diversity and your rules and ethics which are probably rooted in the same old comintern/socialist baloney.

          • goatmince

            Of course, ‘my idea of’ tolerance really means intolerance. Diversity means mono-culture. Rules and ethics means making it up as you go along. Is that it?

            • Colonel Mustard

              It doesn’t matter. The fact that it is your subjectivity predicated on the notion that it must be right and that everyone should accept it because you say so is the crux. Your diversity is as big a crock as everything else you peddle. Diversity as long as we conform. Preposterous.

              • goatmince

                You are making things up. Is it fun?

                ‘Diversity to conform’ – pah, you are the Orwell scholar, not me.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No, “diversity as long as we conform” and sadly I am not making it up at all. But typically as soon as someone dares to dissent from your arrant bollox you go into sneer mode.

                  “The nation state is the future for those not capable of living in peace with their neighbours.”

                  What tripe. You think the people of Scotland voting to become an independent nation state contemplate war? Christ if anyone thought the comintern was dead in the water there is goatmince peddling the same old tedious nonsense from the 1920s.

                • goatmince

                  Ah, the ‘you think’ gambit! Lovely!

                  That was me reciting YOUR line (!)

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No it wasn’t.

                • Wessex Man

                  You are a pompous fool!

    • Barry Obongo

      Okay, but what happens when an aggressive horde of Koran-thumpers decides that their interpretation of ‘living in peace’ is the sole interpretation acceptable?

      • goatmince

        But you know that that would not constitute that.
        How do you know?

        • Barry Obongo

          But you know that that would not constitute that.

          Quite the contrary, quite the contrary. If you have access to JSTOR, I recommend Koos Ummak’s articles or you might wish to try Aha Inta bin Jamoosa who’s also an expert in that field.

          • goatmince

            Are they? I would kindly ask you to summarise their thoughts if you could. And, if you could, clarify to what extent you agree with those thoughts.

            • Barry Obongo

              That’s very kind of you, a7a.

        • saffrin

          Didn’t do Tibet any good and they didn’t even have a vote.
          The reality is of course the only way to live in peace with your neighbour’s is to give them a good hard slap whenever they try to push you around.

          • goatmince

            Ok, you are aware of the second line delivered by Pistol to Falstaff.

    • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

      And who decides which bit of Utopia can be inhabited by whom, and how many? Imagine no nation states but all of Africa decides it wants to live on the small island bit just beyond France…who says when enough is enough?

    • Jambo25

      That’ll be why the number of nation states has soared since 1945 and still seems to be increasing. Everybody’s out of step bar our goqatmince.

      • goatmince

        it’s curious isn’t it – now think it through. What happens when every valley and every plain you see across the globe ends up being it’s own ‘nation state’ in its own right.

        Is the notion of a nation state strengthened or is it devalued by losing all meaning?

        • Jambo25

          I think there’s a couple of reasons for the explosion in the number of nation states. Firstly and most importantly we had the death of Empires after WWs 1&2. Living under some kind of imperial domination was probably near the norm for vast numbers of people throughout history. We had the first wave of ‘liberations’ from imperialism post 1918 with the establishment of independent East European states after the collapse of the German, Habsburg and Tsarist empires. WW2 then fatally weakened the main imperial powers and led to the sudden explosion of non-European states from the old imperial possessions. When I was young it seemed there was one new state a month from the wreckage of the old British, French, Dutch etc empires. The last Empire collapsed post 1989 and the imperial ‘possessions’ of the old USSR came blinking into the light to be finally followed by Yugoslavia. I think these states emerged largely due to the collapse of old power centres.
          Something else which is rather odd is happening now in Europe. Apparently stable nation states are in danger of coming apart at the seams. I refer, of course to the UK, Spain and Belgium. The point here is that these were never real nation states but multi-national conglomerations where older national/regional identities always existed alongside the formal British, Spanish or Belgian identities. I think in the case of these prosperous, sophisticated European states a number of things are pushing their dissolution. 1) They are too small to fulfil many of the functions of the traditional European nation state. External security, internal law and order, the maintenance of a large enough home market, economic regulation, environmental protection are all carried out now at higher levels than the states. The EU, NATO and many other international agencies have joined or supplanted national authority. 2) These endangered states cannot fulfil another function which is to provide a sense of identity and belonging. British identity has been weakening for 50 years or more and very large numbers of Scots and English simply no longer see Britishness as their main national identities. So they cannot fulfil their traditional tasks and these states are likely to fragment in future.
          One last point. We’re now starting to se the post imperial states of Africa and Asia coming under strain as well. Neat territorial units drawn up by British, French etc colonial administrators are now starting to break up, 50 or more years after their independence aas their religiously, tribally and ethnically disparate populations demand their own ‘homes’. Look at what’s happening in the Mid-East.

          • goatmince

            A very reasoned response.

  • fundamentallyflawed

    Is this not what Scottish independence and Welsh devolution is about? Minus the prerequisite threat of genocide of course

    • Barry Obongo

      Is this not what Scottish independence and Welsh devolution is about?

      I might be cynical, but I’m guessing independence from the UK, but not from the EU, or devolution of powers currently exercised by the UK Govt., though, again, not powers *acquired* by the EU suggests that the ultimate goal is not strong, confident & independent nation states, but rather the weakening of England on the gradualist/Fabian road to serfdom in a London-riots version of the Earth in Blomkamp’s Elysium.

      • Wessex Man

        No no no, let’s have ‘freedom’ ‘independence ‘ for the Scots and Welsh, let’s allow them to keep British membership of the European Union and wish both countries well.

        As England follows Churchill’s advice and choses the Seas!

        • Barry Obongo

          I fully endorse Scotland’s, Wales’, indeed anyone’s right to self-determination, but I would prefer we remained a United Kingdom.

          • Wessex Man

            How about England’s right to self determination?

            • Barry Obongo

              How about England’s right to self determination?

              See: “I fully endorse…anyone’s right to self-determination”

    • Tony_E

      No- strangely, Scottish independence is not truly about independence – but the right to become more entangled with a more socialist and progressive block in the EU and eventually the Eurozone contingent who will become one country.

      England will not be part of that. Scotland, by and large, I believe wishes to be.

  • Barry Obongo

    I agree, Ed, but how do you maintain a nation state for posterity, such as the UK, say, when, faced with the manifestly discernible consequences of successive governments’ Bantu-isation policies in Birmingham, the best the education commissars can come up with is the promotion of a nebulous set of ‘British values’ that amount to ‘tolerance and respect of all faiths and cultures’?

  • Rossspeak

    Don’t tell them in Brussels !

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