The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state in northern Europe which includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is governed under a constitutional monarchy and a democratic parliamentary system made up of two houses; an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords. It has a population of more than 62 million and has the world's seventh-largest economy by nominal GDP. It is predominantly a Christian country, although successive waves of migration have contributed to the growth of other faiths. It is a member of the European Union as well as the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, G7, G8, G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization.
I REFER to Philip Knightley's piece headlined, ''The End of Great Britain'' (The Review, April 9).
While I would not describe the whole as a tissue of lies perhaps the following bears exposure.
I don't recall Britain in the 50s being such a delightful place.
Possibly Mr Knightley, being somewhat older than I, was in his prime and no matter where you are if you're in your 20s or thereabouts the world should appear to be full of optimism and opportunity. Heaven help you if it doesn't! Fleet Street in 1950 was indeed the Mecca for youthful reporters.
In those days Australia, in particular, was a remote land and one can imagine young Australians arriving for the first time into London could not fail to be impressed with virtually all they saw and heard.
The truth about Fleet Street was that it was the centre of the newspaper world but basically controlled by a few unions that had the owners by the throat. It was not until the 80s that this was all changed and Britain now has a much healthier newspaper industry and a wider, highly colourful, selection of dailies from which to choose. This, surely, is progress.
We all know the reason for increased police at Heathrow and elsewhere.
Although many countries of late have progressed more rapidly than Britain most have a long way to go to catch up.
Finally, I hope everybody appreciates the ''Great'' in Great Britain has nothing to do with being great in the sense of mighty, but refers to the land mass and islands comprising England, Scotland and Wales.
BRIAN HUGHES Sheung Wan