Thats' ok paperclip. my response was probably a little edgy as well, (possibly for similar reasons, or possibly not..may best not to go there!..
I do understand what you mean paperclip, about the flag being symbolic. I guess it's a case of perspective really.
From British point of view we have a system that has served us well, almost unchanged, for literally hundreds of years. That being the case, changing
it seems like an unnecessary risk. There is little to gain, but absolutely everything to lose.
It's also also utterly different from the European way of doing this politically, which is one of the reasons the British tend to be skeptical of
European politics. From our point of view, each move towards more political unity is an undermining of our own perfectly good system.
This Olympics issue comes across to me yet another attempt to force EU policy on an unwilling UK public. In itself it may not be much, but bit by bit,
change by change, get a distinct feeling of being "assimilated" into what is still in imperfect, alien political system.
You're right, our own UK union is strong. It is indeed the oldest, most successful union of it's kind in the world, but in establishing it a lot of
blood was lost, a lot of hate was garnered, and in fact the killing is still going on, in Northern Ireland. Scottish and Welsh nationalism exists to
this day, though it is benign, and that's centuries after the Kingdom was united.
Maybe Europe will be united one day, as a single nation, but if done too quickly there is a very real chance of it breaking up again, like the USSR,
or of course Yugoslavia. I would hate so see Europe descend into a bitter civil war. if it did it could end up making WW2 look like a playground
fight, since it wouldn't be elected governments at war with each other, it would be extremist nationalist movements, unhindered by such issues as
international law or human rights.
I guess it's not so much the EU/ Olympic thing itself I have the problem with, but what it represents. to be fair I probably didn't make that s
clear as I might have.
[edit on 1/9/04 by muppet]