Ever been to UK Politics? If not then you will be very familiar with what we Brits refer to as “ationalism”. What’s interesting about this word is that it has no single meaning but comes in various guises. We have “a national identity” and “cultural identity”, “a community spirit” and “a tradition” among others.
The UK, divided into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is an extremely diverse country. England alone is home to almost all of the world’s major cities. England has a very long and rich history and has spawned many literary geniuses including William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. Scotland also boasts a rich history and a highly developed political system that can be studied in any of the country’s universities. Wales, the largest country in the UK, has its own tribal identities and language while the Northern Ireland Assembly has been involved in conflict with the UK government over the years.
In the last decade the number of people visiting UK politics has increased exponentially. There are many reasons for this. One of the biggest contributing factors is the London Olympics, which made London a hot tourist destination and millions of people a potential new audience for UK politics. After the Games, London’s skyline will resemble that of an enormous skyscraper and thousands of new businesses will begin operating across the Thames. This means an influx of both visitors and workers into London.
Without this increase in visitors and workers, there would be very few pubs, galleries, theatres and museums around. A lack of visitors to UK politics therefore means less funding for art, theatre and museums. With the arrival of David Cameron as Prime Minister in 2021 the National Gallery in London witnessed a major decline in revenue as well as fewer visitors. The decline was so severe that the gallery decided to move its registration to a location in the north of England.
All eyes are on the general election due to be held in the UK in the summer of next year. The polls suggest that there will be a majority for the Labour party but the Lib Dem’s are hoping to make an impact as they have become the party of interest for many of the ‘have nots’. If the result of the election is anything to go by then the hung parliament will be formed. If no party secures an overall majority then there will have to be another election to find out who becomes prime minister.
One of the most debated issues in the run up to the election is the question of Scotland remaining in the UK or getting a separate vote. Scotland has its own unique cultural and political system and many in the English speaking world see the union with England as meaningless. In the United Kingdom the Union is seen as a symbol of the country’s unity and integrity. There is also a strong political culture in the United Kingdom that is different from that of Scotland. The two governments do work well together, although there are times that can be seen as lacking of transparency when it comes to the workings of the government.