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67 -IIIhate —and hope  Any kiddie in school can love like a fool, But hating, my boy, is an art. —Ogden Nash, quoted in Amartya Sen, Identity and Violence, 2006 Drawing inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe. . . . Convinced that, while remaining proud of their own national identities and history, the peoples of Europe are determined to transcend their former divisions and, united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny, Convinced that, thus “United in diversity,” Europe offers them the best chance of pursuing . . . the great venture which makes of it a special area of human hope. —From the preamble of the proposed European Constitutional Treaty, 2004 Lying on my desk in front of me as I type is my passport . Its cover is an elegant confection of maroon and gold. “European Union,” proclaims the first line, in golden capital letters. Beneath, slightly larger golden capital letters add the words: “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland .” Beneath that, also in gold, are the arms of her Britannic Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, complete with the legendary lion and unicorn. On the first facing page inside, the words “European Union” are repeated. Below them are two lines, translating that term into the two Celtic languages of Great Britain, Welsh and Gaelic. Then come the words “United 68 CHAPTER 3 Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”; and below them come, once again, their Welsh and Gaelic equivalents. On the penultimate inside page of the passport, alongside a somewhat unflattering photograph and below my full name, are the portentous words “British Citizen.” The message is subtly, I almost said slyly, postmodern. It is also remarkably European. I am, my passport tells me, a British citizen. But that is not all I am. I am also a citizen of the European Union, with certain rights over and above those inherent in British citizenship. Among other things, I am represented in the directly elected European Parliament, as well as in the British House of Commons. And British citizenship itself is a far more complicated matter than it used to be. The three non-English political communities of the United Kingdom—Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales— all have their own parliamentary assemblies, with separate executives responsible to them, and substantial powers. As it happens I live in England, so the only British parliament in which I am represented is the United Kingdom Parliament in Westminster. But if I and my family lived in Wales, where I was born, I would also be represented in the Senedd (Assembly) in Cardiff, and the Welsh Assembly government would be accountable for the quality of my health care and of my grandchildren’s education. If I lived in Northern Ireland , I would be governed, not just by the United Kingdom government in London, but by a “power-sharing” executive, made up of representatives from both of the Northern Irish confessional communities, the Protestant majority and the Catholic minority. And though Northern Ireland is part of the territory of the sovereign British state, the government of another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland, also has a role in its governance. 69 HATE—AND HOPE If this sounds complicated, it is. (As we shall see, these complexities are typical of modern Europe.) They are also recent. For most of its history, the British state has been resolutely unitary; for most of the postwar period, it has been highly centralized. Until the 1970s, only marginalized romantics thought the Scots and Welsh were different enough from the English to justify separate elected assemblies of their own. In Northern Ireland, the Unionist (and Protestant) majority had enjoyed unbroken hegemony since the province acquired a degree of local autonomy following southern Ireland‘s secession from the United Kingdom in 1921. The Welsh Senedd or Assembly and the Scottish Parliament were brought into existence by statutes of the London Parliament, ratified by popular referendums in Wales and Scotland (but not in England) only a little more than ten years ago. The settlement in Northern Ireland was embodied in the famous “Good Friday Agreement” of 1998, now twelve years old. The whole package has procured a drastic reconstruction of the British state, with incalculable implications for the future . It is not impossible (though it is still unlikely) that Scotland will secede from the Union altogether in the foreseeable future. In Wales, devolution has fostered the emergence of a self-conscious Welsh nation, with its own comprehensive identity—something that Wales (unlike Scotland...


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