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George Brown stated that the UK would be ‘a federal state within two years, with Holyrood and other regions of the UK handed ‘equal status to Westminster. That’s a promise we will keep..’ Twitter post 18th September 2022, Gordon Brown, the Scotsman August 2014
The United Kingdom has fallen. There has been a right wing coup in this country … and nobody noticed. We did not notice because it was years in the making. We did not notice because when it came, it came in a blonde wig and a mask of buffoonery. Miriam Margolyes
The idea of two nations in Ireland is revolting and hateful. The idea of our agreeing to the partition of our nation is unthinkable. John Redmond, Nationalist leader 11th April 1912
No man has a right to fix the boundary of the march of a nation; no man has a right to say to his country – thus far shalt thou go and no further. Charles Stewart Parnell, speech Cork 21st January 1885
In January 1919 Sinn Fein declared Ireland’s independence and formed its own parliament, the Doyle. This was an assault on the Empire as well as the United Kingdom. Michael Collins set up an elite team of IRA assassins known as the 12 Apostles. They efficiently targeted British troops and collaborators. The British responded with a MI5 team of British agents, known as the Cairo Gang. In November 1919 Collins set out to destroy them. At 8 one Sunday morning the 12 Apostles burst into eight houses and shot fourteen British agents dead ... Now the violence spread in all directions. Sinn Fein and the Doyle were outlawed. British forces stormed through Ireland. After 18 months of terror Eamon de Valera and Lloyd George agreed to a truce. Talks began in October 1921. De Valera stayed at home and ordered Collins to join the Irish delegation in London. If he came back with less than Sinn Fein’s full demands, Collins knew he’d be the scapegoat. As the negotiations began, he said to a fellow Republican, ‘You might say the trap is sprung.’ The talks moved towards a compromise: with Ireland self-governing but still inside the British Empire, and with the six predominantly Protestant northern counties free to choose to remain within the United Kingdom. After nearly two months the Irish delegation was still agonising over the deal. With a theatrical flourish Lloyd George arrived brandishing two envelopes: one contained the agreements and the other the refusal to come to terms. ‘If I send this letter,’ he said, ‘it’s war. And war within three days. Will you give peace or war to your country? We must have your answer by ten p.m. tonight.’ One by one the Irish representatives signed the agreements. Michael Collins believed he was giving Ireland something it had wanted for seven hundred years. But that night in his lodgings he wrote, ‘This morning I have signed my death warrant’. Andrew Marr, The Making of Modern Britain, BBC 2009
Britain was confronted by the single most violent act on British soil since the war. After the arrival of British troops in Northern Ireland in 1969 there had been increasing violence in the province. When Edward Heath introduced Internment without trial for suspected terrorists tension reached boiling point. On the 30th January 1972 a protest march was planned by the nationalist Catholic community of Londonderry or Derry ... From behind the barricades the orders went out to the Paras, Go and get ’em, and good luck ... And then it started: in barely thirty minutes thirteen civilians were dead ... Five of them were shot in the back ... The events around Bloody Sunday remain hotly disputed territory ... Before Bloody Sunday the IRA was comparatively puny and after it the violence spread in all directions. Within months an IRA bombing campaign was terrorising the mainland. ibid.
This is the most dramatic and important democratic decision ever taken by the British people. But it leaves our country deeply divided. Andrew Marr, The Andrew Marr Show 26 June 2016
This has been the rebellion of the diminished against the cocky, the ignored against the shapers of modern times, and the struggling against the strutting. ibid.
This is the story of a secret British army unit set up to deal with enemies of the state on the streets of the United Kingdom. Britain’s Secret Terror Force, BBC 2013
The Unit carried out round the clock patrols of West Belfast. ibid.
The United Kingdom is a corporation: now up to February last year it was The United Kingdom PLC. In February it was dissolved, and they’ve never published their accounts ... They are now registered the United Kingdom Limited. John Harris, lecture Lawful Rebellion
The UK is currently the only European nation to have suspended Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights which prevents such detention ... Consider the cases of the following terrorists: Walter Wolfgang, the 82-year-old pensioner removed from the Labour Party Conference in September 2005 for heckling Jack Straw, and then after he tried to gain re-entry, detained under the Terrorism Act; 8-year-old John Catt stopped by police for wearing a T-shirt suggesting that Bush and Blair be tried for war crimes – searched under the Terrorism Act; Sally Cameron arrested and held for 4 hours for walking on a cycle path in Dundee – under the Terrorism Act; Isabelle Ellis-Cockcroft stopped and searched under the Terrorism Act despite being 11 years old. Ludicrous Diversion: 7/7 Bombings
Ironically, it’s not the terrorists attacking our way of life but our own government. Through the expansion of police powers and stringent anti-terrorist measures being imposed upon Britain, they are using our fear for our safety to restrict our liberty and they are using their false promises of security to erode our privacy. This is happening now. And it’s happening to every person in the UK. ibid.
If you hear Anarchy in the UK today your hair stands on end. It gives you the shivers. Vivienne Westwood
The thing about the UK is we don’t really make that many great movies. Jason Statham
As Edward VIII he reigned for just three hundred and twenty six days before abdicating in disgrace. Best known for his affair and subsequent marriage to Wallis Simpson. Edward VIII: The Traitor King, Channel 4 1995
Evidence has now emerged that he passed national secrets to foreign governments. And of his complicity with Adolf Hitler. And of his financial dealings. ibid.
Edward had an abiding love for all things German. ibid.
And frequently dodged his duties to have affairs usually with married women. ibid.
He soon gathered a new breed of courtier around him. ibid.
Increasingly, Edward was seen as a security risk. ibid.
Not one word of his affair had been reported to the British press. ibid.
In October 1936 the Simpson divorce came through. ibid.
She was to be the public excuse. ibid.
The truth is that Edward’s unacceptable political beliefs and wilful actions were the key reasons for his removal. ibid.
The Duke and Duchess finally set off to meet their host Adolf Hitler at his mountain retreat. ibid.
His treachery is proved by a detailed inspection of the German foreign policy documents of the Second World War. ibid.
They were warmly welcomed by Franco and his government. ibid.
Edward was still convinced that appeasing Hitler was the answer, and the war was a mistake. ibid.
Edward died in 1972 with most of his secrets intact. ibid.
There is another story: seventy years ago King Edward VIII was pushed off the throne. It was a coup engineered by a powerful conspiracy of court, church and government. Abdication: A Very British Coup, BBC 2006
Many members in the government fear Edward’s mass appeal and apparent disregard for the established order. ibid.
Edward was as popular as ever with his subjects. ibid.
The future Queen Mother detested everything about Wallis Simpson. ibid.
The King had played straight into Baldwin’s hands. ibid.
Four days later Baldwin drove to Fort Belvedere and told the King that the Empire was unanimous in its opposition to the Morganatic marriage. But he was not telling the full truth. ibid.
Not a word of the crisis had yet appeared in the British press. ibid.
‘The storm is best; the fat is now properly in the fire.’ ibid. Henry Chips Channon
Parliament and country were divided over the crisis … a groundswell of popular support. ibid.
Baldwin was delighted and relieved. ibid.
He had been king for 326 days. ibid.
In 1937 the Queen’s father, George VI, was crowned in Westminster Abbey. George did not expect to become king. His older brother Edward inherited the crown. But within a year at the centre of a scandal that rocked the nation Edward had abdicated. Edward VIII: The Plot to Topple a King, Channel 4 2012
George VI became King to be followed by our Queen because of ... the Most Reverend Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury. ibid.
Lang turned his back on a young king in crisis. ibid.