“British rule!” The waves belong to Britain! Britons will never, ever, ever be slaves.” Thomson, James
The majestic words of James Thomson’s famous hymn and war anthem, part of which I have quoted above, represent the glory, pride, strength, and might of the former British Empire and the island nation that was previously known as “Great Britain” and is now known as the “United Kingdom.”
For those unfamiliar, the United Kingdom is made up of four historically diverse “tribe zones” and ethnic groups that are all ruled by a single monarch with limited constitutional powers.
The first are the English, who are descended from two tribes known as Anglo-Saxons and Normans, and who live in the Southern and Midland zones of the British Isles, with London as their capital, and who are the union’s traditional and original lords, masters, rulers, and owners.
The second are the Scots, who are descended from two Pictish and Gaelic Celt tribes who live in the far north of the British Isles, with Edinburgh as their capital, and who have unsuccessfully fought hundreds of years of warfare and struggle to gain independence from the English.
The Welsh, who are Brionic Celts who live in the west of the British Isles and whose capital is Cardiff, have historically proven to be more loyal to the English Crown than any other tribe or ethnic nationality in the Union.
Nothing, I may add, better exemplifies the warrior spirit of the Welsh and Welsh independence than the classic marching song “Men of Harlech,” penned in 1862.
The fourth are the Northern Irish, who are Gaelic and Brionic Celts who live on a small portion of a large island off the west coast of the British Isles, whose capital is Belfast, and who were once part of the Irish Free State (a separate and distinct nation that fought for and won independence from the British in 1922 and later became known as ‘Eire’ or the ‘Republic of Ireland’ with its capital in Dublin).
The United Kingdom is built on the four tribal, historical, racial, and geographical pillars of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The Union will be in jeopardy if one of these pillars is removed. If two are gone, the Union is doomed and, like Humpty Dumpty, will fall.
In this light, we must analyze what has happened in Northern Ireland during the previous few days.
For the first time in history, the Sinn Fein (meaning “we ourselves”) political party has won elections in that region.
Given that its members were recently labeled as terrorists and state enemies by the British government, and that many of them were hounded, terrorized, incarcerated, tortured, and killed simply for exercising their right to self-determination, this is a truly remarkable and extraordinary achievement. Sounds familiar, right?
This is a party that originally represented itself as the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and is adamant about Northern Ireland’s secession from the United Kingdom and reunification with the Republic of Ireland.
And, given their electoral win, it’s only a matter of time before they realize both of these goals.
Sinn Fein was founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffiths and
Gerry Adams and the late Ian McGuiness, the two men who guided it to glory in the 1980s, 1990s, and until recently, have finally triumphed and been justified.
Their bitter rivals and antagonists, exemplified by the late fire-spitting Protestant priest Rev. Ian Paisley, one of the most famous leaders of the pro-British DUP in Northern Ireland and the inspirational voice and rallying point of the entire Unionist movement, must be turning in their graves.
The largest loser in all of this is the United Kingdom, which for over a century has waged a vicious, unrelenting, and extremely murderous war against Sinn Fein’s military branch, terrorizing the Catholic, pro-Republican, and pro-independence populace in that province!
Despite their legendary ruthlessness, vicious suppression, and unprecedented brutality against Northern Ireland’s Catholics, the British were forced to negotiate and sign the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998, forcing them to make numerous previously unthinkable concessions to the Republicans and allowing Sinn Fein to participate in the political process. The IRA surrendered its weapons at that point, and democracy took hold.
The loyalist, Unionist, and Protestant political partners and allies of the British have been thoroughly defeated in the polls 24 years after that agreement was struck, and Sinn Fein has finally prevailed.
This is a major setback for British pride and a potentially disastrous development for the UK’s future and cohesion.
To put it in perspective, it’s equivalent to IPOB winning elections and seizing control of Nigeria’s Eastern zone, or the OPC doing the same in the West.
That would pose a serious threat to Nigerian unity and send shivers down many Nigerians’ spines.
However, the United Kingdom’s woes appear to be just beginning.
When the current situation in Northern Ireland is combined with the fact that a second referendum in Scotland will take place in a few years to determine whether the Scots want to stay in the Union or leave, it is clear that within the next few years, this proud and noble island of incredibly tough and resilient people who have contributed so much to the world in terms of culture, civilisation, education, religion, commerce, the arts, language, and so on, will be divided.
This is a tragic and pitiful state of affairs for a country that was once the pride and envy of the civilised world, possessing the world’s greatest, biggest, wealthiest, most diverse, most powerful empire.
I suppose “Brittania” no longer “rules the waters,” and I worry she is approaching a period in which she will be little more than a shadow of her former self.
The former British Empire (which comprised India, North America, Canada, the West Indies, sections of China, the Middle East, Indo-China, Asia Minor, Africa, and much more) spanned the globe, and it was stated that “the sun could never set” on its coasts.
However, with Northern Ireland and Scotland certain to leave in the next years, this once great and strong country that colonized and subjugated almost the whole world may be left with only England and Wales, two ethnic minorities, within her borders!
It is an irony of fate that those who colonized us and formed our country Nigeria into one nation with the merger of the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914 are now crumbling apart (just over 100 years later).
“How are the mighty fallen and the weapons of war lost,” King David exclaimed when he learned of King Saul’s death.
Former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode wrote from Abuja.