Is "Great Britain" now a inapt word?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by ALVIN, Jul 7, 2010.

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  1. As much as i love my country and without sounding unpatriotic,
    There was a time that Britain was undoubtedly truly and rightfully called "great" for many important reasons, power, invention, engineering achievements of great importance, family values that not only pioneered and set a leading standard to the rest of the world, but literally shaped today's modern world.
    Today's Great Britain is a very different place, we seem to have lost this proud dominance to other countries of the world who not only have caught up with us but are now way ahead of us in many disciplines.
    Now that we have been "naturally relegated" in world dominance (for want of a better phrase) Is the word "Great" Britain starting to sound outdated and dare i say it somewhat embarrassing ?
  2. "Great Britain" differentiates us from "Lesser Britain", better known as Brittany. It's a geographic name, not one recording historic achievement. Perhaps it's the decline in British educational standards that lets you ask such a bone question?
  3. I knew that! -------- My thread is indeed about Britain's general decline in world dominance .... and i am not referring to our recent football world cup efforts :)
  4. Obviously quite correctly pointed out O1W, purely geographical.

    That said, I see Alvin's point to a degree. With that in mind, take a look back in history Alvin. To use a modern term, Britain has appeared to have really "sucked" numerous times in the past 1000 years and bounced back quite nicely. It can happen again if people get their arrses in gear.

    Civil and moral breakdown. Economic and military difficulties and deficiencies? They've all happened before in the history of Great Britain. Any other old fart that served up until the late seventies, (and on into the 80's in my case), will recall how dire things were and then the 80's brought things back on track to a degree. Economic turnaround, the Falklands War, Iranian Embassy seige and IRA hunger strikers being given the homour of winning "Slimmer of the Year" awards because we didn't give in to terrorists anymore.

    It's a roller coaster Alvin old mate. Highs and lows, so chin up and soldier on, although I have to admit that things are a tad subterranean right now... :(
  5. Now you're going to start the "others" off again... :( Well done... you twit! ;)
  6. It's been United Kingdom since Northen Ireland separated from ROI! Britain hasn't been Great in the respect of political superpower since America took over as world superpower in the 40's but before then WW1 was when the seeds of the demise were planted.
  7. Wonders will never cease - I agree entirely with 'llech'.

    Cymru Am Byth
  8. No, which ever way you look at it, it is definitely two words.....
  9. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Being a bit pedantic, is Great Britain actually a country? Is it not more a collection of four?
  10. Oh lordy, is that a good or a bad sign Isquared?:)
  11. To be honest, "Great Britain" is two words, as previously stated.

    Also if a single word was inapt,it would have been "an" inapt word, not "a" inapt word.

    Therefore you are incorrect on both counts.
  12. I disagree wholeheartedly with the notion that Britain is no longer 'Great' (taking it in the intended meaning that Britain is now, as is often claimed, to be a second rate [or, even, an hysterical THIRD rate power!!1!]).

    Yes, we have diminished from the unasailible position we held during the days of empire, but I can't really see how we have become a second rate power, unless by that you mean the only first rate power in the world is the USA. Even then, we are still 'Great' in several areas even compared to the US.

    Let's start with what everyone is here for: Militarty strength. Iraq and Afghanistan have rocked our confidence, but you look at recent history and we are still more than capable of reaching out and decisively acting if we so wish. Falklands was decisive, and look at the interventions during the 90s, mostly successful. Sierra Leone was a resounding success. Infact our armed forces are comparitively alot better than they were during the 19th century. Back then we were constantly paranoid about France and later Germany, and they both came close to invading GB etc. Who can honestly say that the UK is at current risk of invasion now?
    If you look at the statistics, we have the 3rd largest military spending in the world, behind the US and China. More than Russia. More than France. More than India etc. How exactly can we be seen as a second rate power when we can still plough that much into our armed forces, unless the US and China are in classes of their own (which defeats the whole idea of classes), we are still a first rate military power.
    I don't want to go on a populist rant about how we have the most professional soldiers in the world, but overseas we are held in very high regard.

    And so to the economy, 'man on the street' wisdom is that the UK is very much an economic irrelevence now. Hopelessly out competed by foreiners on the manufacturing front, the technological front, the banking front etc etc. This is bollocks. While we are sailing close to the wind with our deficit, the size of the economy is still world class. We have the 6th greatest GDP in the world. That is considerable when the size of our population is taken into account. It hardly puts us in the second division. London is a world class financial center, certainly the most important in Europe, and it is up there with NY and Tokyo. Such financial sector types may not be the most popular caste at the moment, but the fact remains they generate a gigantic amount of wealth for the UK. And we aren't even totally out classed on the manufacturing front either. I defy anyone to watch that BBC programme on Rolls Royce engines and not be proud in British engineering. Our arms industry apart from anything else is still substantial and world beating. Look at the Type 45, Challenger 2, L118 etc. There are very few countries in our days that can boast that they still build and design most of their kit, still less that can claim said kit is actually very good.

    On the educational front, either way you look at it, more kids are taking education seriously, getting decent results and going on to uni. This may be seen as dumbing down, and I would agree that 50% of the population don't need to go to uni, but the reams of students doesn't negate from the fact that our elite Universities are literally the best in the world. Oxbridge is a given, but factor in certain colleges from the University of London, some scottish universities, certain english red bricks, and you are looking at the greatest concentration of first class higher education anywhere in the world, and then consider our population.
    And just look at the evidence. The internet, DNA, jet engines and computers are just some of the recent British contributions to science.

    'Culturally', we still contribute hugely. Look at British music and we are riding high. Very occasionally, a song will come in from europe that gets played here. Yet songs by british artists are played constantly abroad. We are only overshadowed by American artists and even then not by much. Some british artists are more famous across the pond than they are here. Art isn't something I am very into. But the constant stream of british contemporary artists selling their work for world record amounts must say something, Think Damien Hurst. Not that I would be particularly upset if the rest of the world overtook us at modern art.

    And finally, to Sport. I know many people won't accept this, but we are actually quite good at it. We compete at world level in Rugby, Cricket, Football, Tennis and many other less high profile sports. Considering our population size we punch well above our weight, when you consider the bredth of sport we compete in. We won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, we consider it a failiure when we get to the last 16 in football, we just beat Australia at cricket in 1 days series and look likely to retain the ashes again. Just look at the medal table for the Bejing Olympics. 4th! Losing to China, the US and russia. The smallest of those countries has twice our population. If that's not punching above your weight I don't know what is.

    I don't know why it is fasionable to say that the Great Britain holds no weight in the world anymore and that we are hopelessly behind the rest of the world. It's always been a preseve of the left wing to attack pride in britain, but it seems that everyone has decided to listen to them. It's just not true. We are very comfortable in our seat at the G8 table. We are certainly noy viewed as an insignificant nation abroad, infact in most countries the national conciousness is very wary of Britian. One might be able to pick holes in the above, but you couldn't do a point-by-point rebuttal, the general trend is that we remain in the first division. I just don't understand why everyone is so ready to roll their eyes and say that the UK can't do that and isn't important enough for this, what happened? Does Britain have to rule over an empire that emcompasses a quarter of the worlds population and land mass to be considered a first rate power in these people's eyes?
    Seriously, I am asking now, where, under the headings above, does Britain fall short of the other 'first rate' powers to the extent that we are now 'second rate or even third rate'? What piffle.
  13. What he said.
  14. Nicely put CrownImperial. Britain is one of the most important countries on the planet.
  15. No, it is a collection of 3. Great, as in greater or bigger, Britain. The big island is Great Britain including England, Wales and Scotland. Adding in NI makes it the United Kingdom (have a look in your passport, it says the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). All the other bits (Scottish Islands, Anglesey, Isle of White etc) and the big island make it the British Isles.