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Forget The Great In Britain

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Newsweek pees all over Britannia...

http://www.newsweek.com/id/209953?from=rss

Even in the decades after it lost its empire, Britain strode the world like a pocket superpower. Its economic strength and cultural heft, its nuclear-backed military might, its extraordinary relationship with America—all these things helped this small island nation to punch well above its weight class. Now all that is changing as the bills come due on Britain's role in last year's financial meltdown, the rescue of the banks, and the ensuing recession. Suddenly, the sun that once never set on the British Empire is casting long shadows over what's left of Britain's imperial ambitions, and the country is having to rethink its role in the world—perhaps as Little Britain, certainly as a lesser Britain.

This is a watershed moment for the United Kingdom. The country's public debt is soaring, possibly doubling to a record high of 100 percent of GDP over the next five years, according to the International Monetary Fund. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research forecasts that it will take six years for per capita income to reach early-2008 levels again. The effects will cascade across government. Budgets will be slashed at the Ministry of Defense and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, affecting Britain's ability to project power, hard and soft. And there's little that can be done to reverse the trend, either by Prime Minister Gordon Brown or by the incoming government of David Cameron's Conservatives, assuming they win a general election that must be held within the next 10 months. As William Hague, Cameron's deputy and shadow foreign secretary, said in a recent speech: "It will become more difficult over time for Britain to exert on world affairs the influence which we are used to."

History has been closing in on Britain for some time. The rise of giant emerging economies like China and India always meant that Britain would have a smaller seat at the increasingly crowded top table of nations. It also meant that the United States would recalibrate the so-called special relationship as it sought new partners and alliances, inevitably shrinking the disproportionate role Britain has long played in world affairs. Brown's predecessor, Tony Blair, made a final stab at greatness with what amounted to a 51st-state strategy: by locking Britain into America's wars—on terror, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq—London achieved an importance it hadn't had since Churchill and the war. But whatever advantage Britain gained in the short term was wiped out by the political damage Blair's strategy caused at home. Ordinary Britons and even members of the British establishment grew increasingly critical of what they saw as London's subservient relationship with Washington. Blair's authority was diminished, his political agenda at home suffered as a result, and it became clear that Britain's geopolitical default setting would no longer be to automatically follow America's lead. In fact, Blair may merely have postponed the inevitable: a lesser Britain is a consequence of world events, not unlike the slow relative decline of the United States, which finds itself today where Britain was at its apogee.

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Guest Parry aka GOD

Bump, because this is exactly what I said to sister-in-law the other day who thinks her future is in the UK.

End of Empire.

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Guest KingCharles1st
Bump, because this is exactly what I said to sister-in-law the other day who thinks her future is in the UK.

End of Empire.

Ahhh Great celestial Keeper Of Us All- how's it hangin'?

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Bump, because this is exactly what I said to sister-in-law the other day who thinks her future is in the UK.

End of Empire.

Mr Parry good to see you back. People keep sending out MIA notes regarding your good self, but I suspect its just because of your ability to morph your display name and avatar at the drop of a hat.

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Guest Parry aka GOD
Ahhh Great celestial Keeper Of Us All- how's it hangin'?

Feckin' ill!

Malaria or Dengue Fever. One or the other. Bloody mosquitos. Got a site meeting in Bermuda in a couple of weeks which I can't miss and this i do not need.

Other than that, yeah it's all good in hood, wood!

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Bzzt. The Great isn't something that changes with our fortunes as an island. It's a geographic fact.

You may wish to refuse the translation that expands the sense of the first word of Grand Bretagne, or to propose an alternative translation, but I doubt you'll get much support.

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Guest Parry aka GOD
Mr Parry good to see you back. People keep sending out MIA notes regarding your good self, but I suspect its just because of your ability to morph your display name and avatar at the drop of a hat.

Sorry Mikey, been busy of late.

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Guest Parry aka GOD
But it's ok because house prices are rising.

I mean . . . HOW?

My crews have NOTHING in the UK, now or anything really coming through the door. All work is overseas now.

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I mean . . . HOW?

My crews have NOTHING in the UK, now or anything really coming through the door. All work is overseas now.

Personally I think much of it is down to 'savvy' investors 'bagging a bargain' whilst they can. I would love to see a breakdown of sales recently in cash - compared to the average. I imagine it is way higher than usual.

As you say jobs are going, contracts are going, bonuses are going, overtime is going. Yet people are going to pay more for a place to stay. It is all a little mental IMO.

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Guest Parry aka GOD
Personally I think much of it is down to 'savvy' investors 'bagging a bargain' whilst they can. I would love to see a breakdown of sales recently in cash - compared to the average. I imagine it is way higher than usual.

As you say jobs are going, contracts are going, bonuses are going, overtime is going. Yet people are going to pay more for a place to stay. It is all a little mental IMO.

Volume? How are these 'increases' calculated?

I don't believe ANYTHING that comes out of the UK now.

The calls I've had recently from that island paint the bleakest of pictures. I suspect you guys will have the real crash very soon.

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Volume? How are these 'increases' calculated?

I don't believe ANYTHING that comes out of the UK now.

The calls I've had recently from that island paint the bleakest of pictures. I suspect you guys will have the real crash very soon.

I would concur. Once the depressing darkness of the autumn appears - is when I think reality will hit.

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Guest Parry aka GOD
I would concur. Once the depressing darkness of the autumn appears - is when I think reality will hit.

I guess there are two main sources of money for this now, if it is true, which a doubt.

1. Residual, yet quite large savings of UK residents looking to tie up cash as they suspect inflation

2. Foreign 'investors' taking advantage of a weak Pound.

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I guess there are two main sources of money for this now, if it is true, which a doubt.

1. Residual, yet quite large savings of UK residents looking to tie up cash as they suspect inflation

2. Foreign 'investors' taking advantage of a weak Pound.

I think number one would be my choice. Lots of people in this country have made a lot of money in the last 10 years. People who work in contracting for example. Many will have six figures just lying around. Once that is gone though ? Market will truly collapse.

The FTB market is practically non existant.

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Guest Parry aka GOD
I think number one would be my choice. Lots of people in this country have made a lot of money in the last 10 years. People who work in contracting for example. Many will have six figures just lying around. Once that is gone though ? Market will truly collapse.

The FTB market is practically non existant.

Yes, my thoughts too. But it runs out sometime soon.

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Bzzt. The Great isn't something that changes with our fortunes as an island. It's a geographic fact.

You may wish to refuse the translation that expands the sense of the first word of Grand Bretagne, or to propose an alternative translation, but I doubt you'll get much support.

It narks me as well.

Of course, if we had a half-decent education system then children would be taught this sort of fact in history.

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Good news someone finally gets it. I disagree with the reading some have made of it though. Our chances of being a happy and prosperous nation are greater the less we try to play the role of tin-pot superpower. Its all a ridiculous waste of blood and treasure and for what? The colonial age is over. The imperial age is over. The rewards just aren't there anyway for that kind of behaviour.

Edited by Cogs

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Guest KingCharles1st
I would concur. Once the depressing darkness of the autumn appears - is when I think reality will hit.

Yep- it's going to be like your Granny dragging you back to the kitchen table again to continue the epic "Snakes and Ladders" Marathon- except the board has no ladders..

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Our chances of being a happy and prosperous nation are greater the less we try to play the role of tin-pot superpower. Its all a ridiculous waste of blood and treasure and for what? The colonial age is over. The imperial age is over. The rewards just aren't there anyway for that kind of behaviour.

I agree. Much as I respect the soldiers, I really can't see why so many UK troops should be out in Afghanistan. We have about 1% of the world's population, so let's offer to make up 1% of the force sent there!

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Guest Parry aka GOD
Good news someone finally gets it. I disagree with the reading some have made of it though. Our chances of being a happy and prosperous nation are greater the less we try to play the role of tin-pot superpower. Its all a ridiculous waste of blood and treasure and for what? The colonial age is over. The imperial age is over. The rewards just aren't there anyway for that kind of behaviour.

Yes.

Imagine a UK that simply concentrated on itself. Wonderful place. Sooner all this is over the better.

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The 'Great' in GB does not, and never did mean the opposite of 'rubbish'.

It's Great in a similar sense to 'Greater London', or 'Greater Manchester'.

I've had to explain this to sneering foreigners - depressing to have to explain it to anyone home-grown.

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End of empire?

Old old news.

I was actually giving serious consideration the other day to a new flag for Britain. It's going to be a new nation, so why not a new flag? Let's face it, the old empire flag has become a hollow joke.

wdw_mickey_british_flag_120506.jpg

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The 'Great' in GB does not, and never did mean the opposite of 'rubbish'.

It's Great in a similar sense to 'Greater London', or 'Greater Manchester'.

I've had to explain this to sneering foreigners - depressing to have to explain it to anyone home-grown.

Its the title of the article, pillwad.

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