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The Solway Coast
The following was Andrew Slade's contribution from the floor at the Bruges Group Meeting on 15 May 2008 in the International Press Club, Carlton House Gardens, London. It was published originally in the June 2008 issue of Sovereignty.

The Eurofanatics like to claim that Great Britain is "a small island off the coast of Europe", as if to imply it is like Heligoland or Gozo! They rely on the geographical illiteracy deliberately imposed on our population by the dumbing down of geography teaching.

In fact, we are, the third largest island in the world by population and the eighth by area -- out of over a hundred thousand!

Only Java (about 130 million people) and Honshu (the principal island of the Japanese archipelago, with about 100 million) are bigger than Great Britain by population.

Only seven other islands in the world are bigger by area and none of them is of any political significance: In order: Greenland, New Guinea, Borneo, Madagascar (one of the poorest countries on the planet), Baffin Island, Sumatra, and Honshu.

All the Mediterranean islands put together amount to about one sixth of our population (mostly in Sicily) and barely a half of our area.

The Caribbean islands are all relatively poor and politically insignificant.

The only other interestingly large islands are Taiwan, which is about two fifths of our population and under a fifth of our area, and Sri Lanka, which is a third of our population and under a third of the area of Great Britain. Neither are politically significant nor as resource rich as we are.

Eurofanatics used to assert that we had few natural resources.

That could hardly be further from the truth: we were the first with an Industrial Revolution, precisely because of the density and wealth of our resources: wool, coal, oil, gas, iron, copper, gold, silver, tin, fish, lead, agriculture, timber etc. etc.; most of which have been neglected by successive regimes over the last century or given away free to foreigners.

Of all the other large islands, only Java and Sumatra have proven resources of similar wealth. Honshu is notoriously resource poor.

Then there is our very distinctive British civilization, which the Eurofanatics deny, claiming that we are just generically 'Europeans', 'Westerners', 'Anglo-Saxons' etc. But of all the other 100,000 islands in the whole, wide world, it can be argued that fewer than ten have their own wholly distinctive language, culture, civilisation and people. I'm thinking of Japan, Java, Cyprus, Ireland, Sicily, Malta, Sri Lanka, Crete and Sardinia.

Again Japan and Java are the touchstones for comparison: both robustly independent and economically prosperous. The other, smaller, historically distinctively civilised islands have varying histories which include been conquered by their neighbours or split into warring factions!

So who is the Shakespeare of Madagascar, the Christopher Wren of Greenland or the Isaac Newton of Hispaniola? These islands' glories, if any, have yet to come.

For us, we must have the courage to be ourselves and worthy of Our Ancestors' Island Story.

Research islands at:

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