01 March 2012 12:00 AM
Are we divided by the same language? There is no doubt that the British Isles – that is, Britain and Ireland combined – constitute a geographical entity. We have the same climate (temperate, moist, and 10 degrees Celsius warmer than it should be, because of the Gulf Stream), the same topography of low mountains, small lakes and relatively short rivers, and the same wildlife. But so ingrained are the social and political differences between the two countries that they are rarely considered together (the Lions rugby team being a rare exception).