How powerful is the UK?

How powerful is the UK?

  • life in the old lion yet -pass the port

    Votes: 32 62.7%
  • A small entrepot on the edge of Europe of little strategic importance

    Votes: 6 11.8%
  • As one with Nineveh and Tyre.

    Votes: 2 3.9%
  • Weak but culturally significant.Pass the laudanum

    Votes: 7 13.7%
  • Power is overrated - pass the Old Thumper

    Votes: 4 7.8%

  • Total voters
    51
  • Poll closed .

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
Occasionally, it can be QI to 'see oorsels as others see us'

As Rudyard Kipling the eternal outsider observed:
'what know ye of England -who only England know?'

From the amusing folk in Internetshire who gave us ' Is this the Confederate flag?'


for the good and benefit of Arrsers whatever their origin.

Enjoy
 
#2
Sounds about right - for all the honking about the country going to the dogs, UK is still the big cahoona militarily in Europe and much of the world. Second only to countries so vast that they can't really not be superpowers.

@earth - And whatever they say about who's got the biggest knack - I don't think UK has anything to fear from a few boatloads of Indians.

Hmm... has he gone? His name didn't autolink.
 
#5
Sounds about right - for all the honking about the country going to the dogs, UK is still the big cahoona militarily in Europe and much of the world. Second only to countries so vast that they can't really not be superpowers.

@earth - And whatever they say about who's got the biggest knack - I don't think UK has anything to fear from a few boatloads of Indians.

Hmm... has he gone? His name didn't autolink.
edit - so it did. Just not in my writing panel thing.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
I think that out little Mongrel nation still shows the way to many other countries
if it was rubbish why are so many people trying to get here ?
although the French are much like us only so much more stylish
if only they hadnt lopped their Royal Family
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#7
Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!


Source

[Stanza 3] Our pomp of yesterday Psalm 90,4: ‘for a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday’.

Nineveh city on the east bank of the Tigris near modern Mosul the capital of the Assyrian empire: this fell in 612 BCE and Nineveh, whose vast ruins are still extant, was razed to the ground. Nahum 3,7: ‘Nineveh is laid waste; who will bemoan her?’.

Tyre Phoenician capital, with colonies around the Mediterranean, notably Carthage. Rich from trade and famous for its purple dye, a strategically placed coastal site, it was taken and destroyed by Alexander in 332 BCE.


.....every day a College day

 
#8
Sounds about right - for all the honking about the country going to the dogs, UK is still the big cahoona militarily in Europe and much of the world. Second only to countries so vast that they can't really not be superpowers.

@earth - And whatever they say about who's got the biggest knack - I don't think UK has anything to fear from a few boatloads of Indians.

Hmm... has he gone? His name didn't autolink.
He flounced properly. Obviously saw RGJBloke's effort and found something else he could claim India is better at.
 
#9
Video completely misses the point about shedding of the empire.

Britain was planning to step away from the empire before WW2, it was for the most part economically unviable before WW1.
India was only kept in the 30s because war was coming and we needed the resources and market. The manpower itself was largely useless since to use it would be an unaffordable burden.
The rest of the empire it was planned to divest slowly by working it towards independence, what happened post Suez was a desire to not be seen as oppressors and so we ditched it fast if the natives demanded it.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#10
I was born the year the first African colony was granted independence; don't do post-colonial guilt.

You don't up sticks and bugout overnight- it takes time to organise a decent flag ceremony :-D

Interesting that for Tara and Co British decline began in 1940.

no mention of the devastating cost of the First Lot
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
I thought it quite telling that the West (the US) was hellbent on intervening in Syria, then the UK parliament declined to participate. The rest of the world promptly had second thoughts...
 
#12
Tyre Phoenician capital, with colonies around the Mediterranean, notably Carthage. Rich from trade and famous for its purple dye, a strategically placed coastal site, it was taken and destroyed by Alexander in 332 BCE.
Tyre's a good one. A fortress island, they wouldn't surrender to Alexander. So he built a bridge, 1 kilometer long, and took it
 
#13
On a pedantic note we didn't give Hong Kong its independence.
The lease expired.
Had we been strong enough to keep it the locals would have been happy.
But yes we still punch above our weight.
 
#14
I saw the 75th anniversary fly past for the BoB announcement last week; BBMF and four fast jets.

Somebody dug up the old info-graphic out of the Telegraph from the 1990 anniversary flypast;

BBMF and one hundred and sixty fast jets....
 
#15
.
India was only kept in the 30s because war was coming and we needed the resources and market. The manpower itself was largely useless since to use it would be an unaffordable burden.
.
I think it was in 1938 that there was a conference in London about the future of India, and Nev Chamberlain laid out a sort of "routemap to independence" , moving slowly step by step, that envisaged full independence sometime in the 1980s.

Other events got in the way of that .

My, how the stories of the old and bold on Arrse today would be different had that unfolded ... No nostalgia about BAOR the Cold War, German beer and bratties...
Instead it would be the Bazaars, the NW frontier and exotic curries ( and diseases).
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#16
I was born the year the first African colony was granted independence; don't do post-colonial guilt.

You don't up sticks and bugout overnight- it takes time to organise a decent flag ceremony :-D

Interesting that for Tara and Co British decline began in 1940.

no mention of the devastating cost of the First Lot
You were born in 1910? Jeeze I thought I was old! :p


1910 South Africa became a dominion
1961 a republic
 
#17
Video completely misses the point about shedding of the empire.

Britain was planning to step away from the empire before WW2, it was for the most part economically unviable before WW1.
India was only kept in the 30s because war was coming and we needed the resources and market. The manpower itself was largely useless since to use it would be an unaffordable burden.
The rest of the empire it was planned to divest slowly by working it towards independence, what happened post Suez was a desire to not be seen as oppressors and so we ditched it fast if the natives demanded it.
I'd be interested in your source for these assumptions. 'Grown-up', ie white parts of the Empire became self-governing, roughly, at the turn of the century; meanwhile post-WWI, Britian gained more Empire -call them mandates if you wish - that stretched the full length of Africa, as well as gaining teritory in the Pacific that had been under German control (PNG and Western Samoa, respectively administered by Australia and NZ). Of course, it lost southern Ireland.

However, it was clear after WWI that the UK was broke and the cost of maintaining garisons in overseas possessions was crippling. Moreso after WWII, where US financial aid was explicitly linked to decolonisation; one of the reasons the UK fought so hard to retain Malaya agaisnt the communist insurgents was the dollar earnings from the rubber and tin exports.
 
#18
Video seems about right to me. We still have far more influence than our geographical and population statistics would suggest, and there are enough places around the world (despite low level disagreements) that have a 'British' way of doing things, and, indeed, many still look to Britain as the Motherland - thinking former colonies mostly, but even grown up countries like Canada and Australia seem to stick to their own version of Britishness. And Nigeria and others still aspire to the British education and legal systems.

So overall, still a major power in the world, just having a bit of a rest after all that effort of making most of it what it now is. :)
 
#19
You were born in 1910? Jeeze I thought I was old! :p


1910 South Africa became a dominion
1961 a republic
To nit pick a bit, "dominion" status wasn't the same thing as independence. It was a somewhat squishy status which allowed for local self-government but stopped somewhere short of complete independence. To pick an example close to your 1910 date I will quote from the book "At the Sharp End" (a history of Canada's involvement in WWI).
As a dominion within the British Empire, Canada had no control over its own foreign policy. When Britain was at war, Canada was at war. (...)

Canada was a country of vast spaces, but the geography of empire tied it together, with British culture, the All Red Line of linked telegraphs, the Union Jack, and the monarchy and everything it represented standing as symbols of liberal progress. Most Canadians saw themselves as proud members of the Empire.
It can be a bit difficult to explain to people today, since there aren't any modern analogues. Using the EU as an analogy doesn't really work, since there's no common EU history, culture, tradition, or feelings of loyalty and belonging.

Something that video really misses out on is the subtleties of the relationships within the Empire. Different parts had different statuses and different degrees of standing. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa began acting more independently because the stresses of WWI, WWII, and the Cold War forced them to. India wanted out due to Indian pride and the internal Hindu/Moslem rivalries. The African colonies were something many Britains were glad to get shot of paying for. I suppose you can't compress all that into 20 or 30 seconds in a video though.

On the other hand, that video would seem to give a pretty good idea of how Americans see the UK. I think it's probably a good example of how little they actually understand about it (or most other countries for that matter). Like most Americans, they tend to view the rest of the world through an American lens. I just had a look at their video on "How Powerful is Canada" and they focused on the things which Americans care about, and even there they made some very amusing major errors. Given that, I'll will take what they say about other countries with a very large grain of salt.
 

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