If Britain becomes a member of the Community, it will be healthier for Britain, advantageous for Europe, and a gain for the whole world. I do not know of many economic or political problems in the world which will be easier to solve if Britain is outside rather than inside the Community.
'A Naval History of Britain' which begins in the 7th century has to explain what it means by Britain. My meaning is simply the British Isles as a whole, but not any particular nation or state or our own day... 'Britain' is not a perfect word for this purpose, but 'Britain and Ireland' would be both cumbersome and misleading, implying an equality of treatment which is not possible. Ireland and the Irish figure often in this book, but Irish naval history, in the sense of the history of Irish fleets, is largely a history of what might have been rather than what actually happened.
I enjoy worldbuilding very much. I generally start with an approximation. With 'Flesh and Spirit' and 'Breath and Bone,' because I was thinking of a world on the brink of a dark age, I began with the sense of Roman Britain. But I purposely set the geography to match something other than Britain - which has been overdone.
When the Industrial Revolution started, the amount of carbon sitting underneath Britain in the form of coal was as big as the amount of carbon sitting under Saudi Arabia in the form of oil, and this carbon powered the Industrial Revolution, it put the 'Great' in Great Britain, and led to Britain's temporary world domination.
David J. C. MacKay
The long-term integrity of the empire would not be assured by warm words alone. Britain"s own position in the empire had changed. Once, the country been the engine room of empire, the productive heart of the beast. But with Britain becoming more like a boardroom, investing money, taking decisions, but essentially living off the labor of others, and off the earnings of the past? At some point in the future, might even this role wither away, and might Britain become little more than a repository of British tradition, a common idealized land into which Britons abroad - in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or South Africa - could retreat, a collective memory of Greenfields and swooping glens?
Starting with the highest-risk countries, and focusing on the route to Britain that is widely abused, student visas, we will increase the number of interviews to considerably more than 100,000, starting next financial year. From there, we will extend the interviewing programme further across all routes to Britain, wherever the evidence takes us.
We have got this Damocles' sword of Standard and Poor's hanging over us, with the commitment they have made to review Britain's credit rating in the summer of 2010 after the general election. Everybody in Britain has a vital interest in ensuring that the triple A credit rating agency is maintained.
My first guiding principle is this: willing and active co-operation between independent sovereign states. Europe will be stronger precisely because it has France as France, Spain as Spain, Britain as Britain, each with its own customs, traditions and identity. It would be folly to try to fit them into some sort of identikit European personality.
The French army had crowned a campaign of extraordinary successes by defeating the Austrians at Jemappes and pressing on to occupy a large swathe of Belgium and threaten Holland. For Britain, this changed everything: a French republic that spread across the North Sea coast meant the entire coastline facing Britain would be in Republican hands.
Our first benchmark is to cut the deficit more quickly to safeguard Britain's credit rating. I know that we are taking a political gamble to set this up as a measure of success. Protecting the credit rating will not be easy The pace of fiscal consolidation will be co-ordinated with monetary policy. And we will protect Britain's credit rating and international reputation.
It is one of history's most mocking ironies that the German customs union, which set out to dominate Europe and conquer Britain in the form of Bismarckian or Hitlerian military force, has at last vanquished the victor by drawing Britain into a Zollverein which comprises Western Europe and aspires to comprise the Mediterranean as well. If the ghosts of the Hohenzollerns come back to haunt this planet, they must find a lot to laugh at.
During the 19th century, Britain fought two wars in unsuccessful attempts to subjugate the Afghans. When Britain finally drew a border between India and Afghanistan in 1893, Pashtun tribes in southern Afghanistan were cut off from related tribes across the border in what was then India and is now Pakistan.
(I)t is highly questionable whether when 'Europe speaks with one voice', as we are so often told it is doing, anyone is really listening. Europe's reputation as a serious player in international affairs is unenviable. It is a feeble giant who desperate attempts to be taken seriously are largely risible. It has a weak currency and a sluggish inflexible economy, still much reliant on hidden protectionism. It has a shrinking, ageing, population and, with the exception of Britain, rather unimpressive armed forces and, not excepting Britain, muddled diplomacy.
She was in big trouble now. "You stupid man, " she said to the body on the floor. "Why did you have to lunge at me like that? Why couldn't you have left well enough alone? I told your father I wasn't going to marry you. I told him I wouldn't marry you if you were the last idiot in Britain." She nearly stamped her foot in frustration. Why was it her words never came out quite the way she intended them to? "What I meant to say was that you are an idiot, " she said to Percy, who, not surprisingly, didn't respond, "and that I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man in Britain, and- Oh, blast. What am I doing talking to you, anyway? You're quite dead.
In virtually every Continental state at this time, aristocracies had to live with the risk that their property might be pillaged or confiscated. Only in Great Britain did it prove possible to float the idea that aristocratic property was in some magical and strictly intangible way the people's property also. The fact that hundreds of thousands of men and women today are willing to accept that privately owned country houses and their contents are part of Britain's national heritage is one more proof of how successfully the British elite reconstructed its cultural image in an age of revolution.
For all the chatter that Britain has moved beyond class, recent studies have found that it determines the life chances of British people more today than at any point since the Second World War... A child born into a rich family in Britain will almost certainly live and die rich, while a child born into a poor family will almost certainly live and die poor.
The Bretton Woods saga unfurled at a unique crossroads in modern history. An ascendant anticolonial superpower, the United States, used its economic leverage over an insolvent allied imperial power, Great Britain, to set the terms by which the latter would cede its dwindling dominion over the rules and norms of foreign trade and finance. Britain cooperated because the overriding aim of survival seemed to dictate the course. The monetary architecture that Harry White designed, and powered through an international gathering of dollar-starved allies, ultimately fell, its critics agree, of its own contradictions.
In contrast to what many people in Britain and the United States believe, the true figures on growth (as best one can judge from official national accounts data) show that Britain and the United States have not grown any more rapidly since 1980 than Germany, France, Japan, Denmark, or Sweden. In other words, the reduction of top marginal income tax rates and the rise of top incomes do not seem to have stimulated productivity (contrary to the predictions of supply-side theory) or at any rate did not stimulate productivity enough to be statistically detectable at the macro level.
Britain has squandered its windfall of natural resources from North Sea oil and gas. Instead of prudently investing the 'unearned income' from nature, to build a safe, clean and green energy supply for the nation, we face unnecessary shortages. But there is still a chance to put the proceeds from liquidating our fossil fuel assets to better and more appropriate use. Instead of oil companies profiteering from climate change and oil depletion, a windfall tax could establish an Oil Legacy Fund to pay for Britain's urgent transition to a sustainable, decentralised energy system