Mudcat Café message #827131 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53405   Message #827131
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
15-Nov-02 - 02:56 PM
Thread Name: BS: British Rule.The vote
Subject: RE: BS: British Rule.The vote
Sorry if by commenting on the use of the term "Ulster" I've helped divert this thread into a well-worn path that gets nowhere.

One point of clarification though - the six counties of Northern Ireland don't all have Protestant majorities today, and didn't back in the twenties. Some had (and some of those still have) Protestant majorities, the others had and still have sizeable Protestant minorities. Overall Northern Ireland has a Protestant majority, and that wouldn't have been the case if the other Ulster counties, with their Protestant minorities, had been included.

Gibraltar is a rather different sort of animal, more analogous in some ways with Guanatanamo Bay. Like Guantanamo Bay it was established as a base with military and economic importance. Unlike Guanatanamo, the circumstances have changed in a way that means that the government of the country in charge would like to get rid of it.

My own view is that historical oddities like this, tiny enclaves within or on the edge of foreign countries ought to be cherished, and the wishes of the people living there should be respected. And in fact it would be a good thing if we found ways of establishing many more, but in a way that would eliminate the sense of historical conflict and humiliation that gets in the way of, for example, the Spanish welcoming the existence of Gibraltar, or the Moroccans welcoming the existence of Ceuta and Melilla.

I wish all countries had a scattering of little bits of other countries within their own territory. Instead of embassies, villages.

Incidentally, am I right that there's never been any demand by Canada for the islands of St Pierre and Miquelon to be relinquished by the French? In which case, good for Canada.