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These islands

Unlike Frenchness, Britishness never suppressed earlier identities. Will a Scots parliament come to its aid?

By John Lloyd   May 1999

Our own dear union

In the department of useless but fascinating projects, that of judging whether the Soviet Union could have evolved into a democracy ranks high. The endeavour might, nevertheless, shed some light on our own dear union.

“If the United Kingdom continues to unravel,” the late Raphael Samuel wrote in his Island Stories (1998), “the word Britain may become as obsolete as ‘Soviet’ in post-1989 Russia.” It is a forecast to heed, as the Scots prepare to vote for a new parliament on 6th May. Indeed, it was assumed by almost all democrats-Soviet and foreign alike-that the Soviet…

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