Europe

Jun. 8th, 2009 10:50 am
mirrorshard: (Default)
[personal profile] mirrorshard
So, Labour have been beaten into third place by people who can't work out how to unfold their ballot paper, and who would have preferred us not to have been voting in that election at all.

I'm not holding any brief for Labour, but this is dismal.

The European Union is a fundamentally good thing. We're all Europeans together, and always have been. The UK's never been separate in any real sense - even after the sea levels rose and we weren't joined on any more, there's been constant economic & social traffic between island and continent. The whole island-race, silvery-sea thing is a propagandist delusion.

The English are a mongrel race (and not just the English - it's a British thing generally, though the Celtic peoples are a bit less so) and the Matter of Britain is based upon invasion and assimilation. Nobody evolved here; our many-times-great-grandparents trekked out of Africa, through the Middle East.

Then the Beaker Folk wandered over and settled in, and the Celts came calling, and then the Romans marched in with their army boots on, and brought people from all across their Empire, and all of these folk settled in and made British lives for themselves and interbred with everyone else. That brings us up to 1 CE, more or less - eighty generations ago. Which means that, to a fairly close approximation, everyone who had any ancestors from the British Isles at that period is descended from all of them. And this just keeps on going - the Anglo-Saxons turned up and settled down to farming, and after another few hundred years so did the Normans. (Well, the Normans mostly settled down to making the Anglo-Saxons do the work for them, but you get the idea.) It took quite a while for the Normans to become properly assimilated and stop trying to own large parts of France, and there's a reason we c ll it the Angevin Empire - it wasn't run from England. The Plantagenets battled back and forth across France, and occasionally across England (did you know Louis Capet controlled most of eastern England, after invading in 1216, and the King of Scotland did homage to him as King of England? For some reason, they don't teach that part in English schools...)

After Bosworth Field, the kings of England were Welsh, and after 1603 they were Scottish, and after the Civil War a lot of people spent a great deal of time and energy trying to put what were to all intents and purposes Frenchmen on the throne. Then in 1688 we got invaded again, in a more lastingly successful re-run of 1216 with a Dutch Stadtholder standing in for Louis Capet, and the Establishment have been spending most of the intervening time trying to pretend it was both legal (well, retroactively it was...) and bloodless (it really wasn't).

After William's sister-in-law Anne died, we started importing Germans, and haven't looked back since. Our trading fleets, and later our Empire, imported people from all over the world (and eventually, we stopped keeping some of them as slaves) and it took a long time for racism to develop. You don't hear much about BME people in the historical sources; that's at least as much because nobody cared as because they weren't there.

Then there was the Second World War, and the UK nearly got invaded, and we've been celebrating pushing it back since. We've got so many defeats in our history that we have to make the most of the two we did repel - Hitler and the Armada, and what did for the Armada was our weather not our Navy.

So now, after so many wars, we're doing it differently, and settling in with our friends and relations. There are some problems with the implementation (most of them stemming from not implementing it hard enough, or caring enough about it to join in properly) but the basic concept is a very, very good one.
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