There’s fair and there’s idiot over reaction

England supporters who engage in sick chanting are finally facing serious action after the Football Association moved to ban those who brought more shame on the nation during their friendly against Germany.

The FA’s patience with the Three Lions fan base snapped following the singing that marred Wednesday night’s game in Dortmund, which took place hours after Britain suffered its worst terrorist attack in more than a decade.

Nine months after England were almost thrown out of the European Championship for rioting in Marseille,

What were they doing? Throttling Belgians? Pushing a wall over onto Italians?

Err, no, they sang a song:

supporters ignored repeated warnings to ditch the odious chanting for which they have also become notorious by performing the song ‘10 German bombers’ in front of what was a television audience of millions.

Wouldn’t say it’s a great song, the joke rapidly becomes repetitive and so on. But no, this is an outrage apparently.

There were 10 German bombers in the air,
There were 10 German bombers in the air,
There were 10 German bombers, 10 German bombers,
10 German bombers in the air.
And the RAF from England shot 1 down,
And the RAF from England shot 1 down,
And the RAF from England, RAF from England,
The RAF from England shot 1 down.

These verses are then repeated with one more bomber being shot down each time, the 10th verse becoming “There was one” and “shot it down”, until the number of bombers reaches zero. The last two verses of the song are:

There were no more German bombers in the air,
There were no more German bombers in the air,
There were no more German bombers, no more German bombers,
No more German bombers in the air.
‘Cos the RAF from England shot them down,
‘Cos the RAF from England shot them down,
‘Cos the RAF from England, RAF from England,
‘The RAF from England shot them down.

The FA should FO, nu?

And it’s even possible that the Telegraph should FO too:

“The chant, which mocks German casualties during the Second World War, “


This is all a bit difficult, this Swing Low, Sweet Chariot stuff really

It is a famous refrain and melody. For many in the United States, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” enjoys a hallowed status as one of the cherished of 19th-century African-American spirituals, its forlorn lyrics invoking the darkness of slavery and the sustained oppression of a race.

But here, across the Atlantic, the song has developed a parallel existence, unchanged in form but utterly different in function, as a boisterous drinking song turned sports anthem.


“Such cross-cultural appropriations of U.S. slave songs betray a total lack of understanding of the historical context in which those songs were created by the American slave,” she said.

Well, yes:

In the 1950s, at the same time that slave-era spirituals were having a reawakening as part of the American civil rights movement, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” was becoming a popular drinking song in the rugby clubs and pubs of Britain, where the lyrics were often accompanied by a series of bawdy gestures.

And yes:

But Williams laughed when asked if those pieces reflected a larger debate occurring in the rugby community. “The typical crowd that goes to watch the English national rugby team is not likely to be an audience that’s going to think hard about these types of questions or spend much time worrying about political correctness,” he said.

But here’s the thing you see. Aren’t we English entirely and solely responsible for the horrors of chattel slavery in the first place? So what culture are we appropriating if it isn’t our own?

How odd

A survey of nearly 2,000 people on behalf of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) found that despite 81% of respondents saying they liked literature because it promotes empathy, only 7% of the 400 writers they cited were from black, Asian or minority ethnic (Bame) backgrounds.

A largely non-BAME population reads largely non-BAME authors. You’d almost think there’s something called a culture, wouldn’t you?

Hmm, perhaps not quite the way it might be done

A British grandmother has bought the apartment in Portugal where Madeleine McCann vanished for half the asking price.

Kathleen Macguire-Cotton, who is in her sixties, is believed to have bought the apartment in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve for just £113,000.

Identical properties in the Ocean Complex have been on sale for £255,000.

Mrs Macguire-Cotton revealed she is often offered money by passersby to see inside the flat, but has always declined requests out of respect.

I could imagine a pretty penny to be made from organising such “looks”.

Actually, given the publicity, a living or two could be made I would have thought.

Doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

The Met Office is warning of significant disruption from gale-force winds and heavy rain in much of Britain as the balmy start to the week is due to be blown away by Storm Doris.

Doris? A storm called Doris?

Names are very strongly associated with fashion and thus the age and class of the person with that name. Commonly, a name will start out as a Royal one – or more recently very well known in some other manner – and then move down the classes over the years.

Yes, OK, Doris Day, Doris Lessing, but the current position of the name in the British iconography is about right for a great grandmother of no great status or position in life (other, of course, then being the matriarch). It’s just difficult to think of a Storm Doris, what, a storm of teacosies and chilblain plasters?

Yes, this does help

In short, it has proved a spectacular fall for a cheerful young Englishman who seemed to have been born with every advantage, although his mother insisted yesterday that reports her son had access to a £250m trust fund were “ridiculous, absolute rubbish”.

Cottrell was expelled from his boarding school, Malvern College in Worcestershire, and never went on to university, but he proved such a hit at Ukip headquarters in London that no one suspected he might be in trouble with the law.

His mother claimed her son, who will be sentenced in early March, was coping “surprisingly well” with prison life. “I think it’s the boarding school [experience],” she said.

Can’t recall where I first saw that joke though. Decline and Fall?

Lovely little piece

So we all know who is next in line to the throne. But who is last in line?

If a few thousand people would just disappear, Ms. Vogel would be leading a far more enchanting life. She would be the queen of England.

Everyone knows that should 85-year-old Queen Elizabeth II die, her son Charles, if living, would succeed her. Second in line is Charles’s son Prince William, whose wedding to Kate Middleton Friday will be a global media event. William’s little brother, Prince Harry, is No. 3.

Ms. Vogel, 38, holds a different distinction: By the account of some genealogists, she is the last person in line to the throne.

And she’s rather got one English bit down pat, understatement:

“I can lean back and relax,” she said in an interview, pleased at the very remote prospect of having to preside over 16 sovereign states anytime soon. “It is really very comforting that one doesn’t have to worry about Great Britain.”

Can have that effect on me too

His second cousin was Ann Romney, whose husband, Mitt, was the Republican nominee in 2012. When the US TV show 60 Minutes came to the valleys to examine the roots of the Romney family, they visited Llangynoed Church, where several of Ann Romney’s antecedents are buried, and found that Evans had laid on a full Welsh choir whose singing left Ann in tears.

Not the good sort of tears though. Welsh choirs, too loud, too often and flat.


Finally forgiven!

He is joined on the list by other famous names including Ken Dodd, who is knighted at the age of 89.

He’d have had it 15 years ago if it weren’t for that tax thing.

The point of his act is that this goes on for 3 and 4 hours. There’s no one great joke anywhere. But just this stream for hour upon hour.

The advice is not to drink anything for a couple of hours before the show…

And I’m sure there’s a better clip out there than this if anyone would care to find it.

Sir Ken said: “I’m very proud, I’m very, very happy and full of plumptiousness. I feel highly tickled.”

This is a seriously terrible idea

Every public office-holder may have to swear an oath of allegiance to British values, Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, has signalled.

The loyalty pledge would be expected to cover elected officials, civil servants, and council workers.

Bugger off matey.

We’re British, we don’t do that. We don’t salute the flag, have a pledge of allegiance, all those things more insecure foreigners do.

This just in from Britain’s space program

A meat and potato pie has been sent “into space” attached to a weather balloon.
The pioneering delicacy was launched from Roby Mill, Wigan, at about 11:30 GMT ahead of the World Pie Eating Championship next week.
The aim is to see if its journey up to 100,000ft (30km) changes the molecular structure of the pie making it quicker to eat.

Yes, quite:

Bill Kenyon of Ultimate Purveyors from St Helens, who were commissioned to make the pie, said: “This is the first step to enable mankind to consume pies with more elegance and comfort.
“Neither the sky, nor the pie, should be the limit.”
He added: “This pie will be tested to the extreme. It’s structural integrity will be tested against the potential rigours of being served by a grumpy pie lady from Wigan or being transported for delivery in a pie van that hits a pothole in Hindley.”
It is thought the pie will freeze on its ascent and will be cooked as it reaches “massive speeds” on re-entry.

There really is only one appropriate reaction to this stirring news, isn’t there? Makes you proud to be British.

Via Matt L

Not that I’m a fan of Louise Casey but

Muslim communities remain isolated even after decades in the UK because men keep marrying foreign wives, a Government adviser has warned.

Dame Louise Casey said that there is a “first generation in every generation” phenomenon in Muslim communities which is acting as a “bar” to integration.

The review also accuses Labour and local authorities of having “ignored or even condoned” harmful cultural traditions for fear of being branded “racist or Islamaphobic”.

That all seems fairly sensible.

And we’d probably not really say “Muslim” but more Pakistani and possibly Bangladeshi, no? First cousin marriages and all that?

Local community spirit spotted – and God Knows Calne needs something

Faced with the annual headache of explaining to a class of eager pupils – and their even more eager parents – that there can only be one Mary and one Joseph, many teachers take a few liberties with the other roles, often casting a small army of angels, shepherds, wise men.

But now one town has taken that unofficial British tradition to a whole new level, inviting the entire population to join in – and earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records in the process.

Previously perhaps the best claim to fame of the town of Calne, near Chippenham in Wiltshire, was the fact that the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once lived there.

But now it can legitimately claim to rival lapland as the world’s Christmas capital, after persuading a record breaking 1,254 people, all of them residents of the town to dress up in traditional nativity play costumes as either wise men – or women – shepherds or angels.

While most of those taking part made their own costumes, preparations created a town-wide shortage of bed sheets.

The local launderette, Laundromagic, stepped in providing dozens of sheets, while a sewing group sprang up in the local pub, the White Hart, making costumes for weeks in advance.

But with less than an hour to go until the record attempt, organisers realised they were still around 100 sheets short, prompting a desperate dash around houses on the town’s Green asking residents to rifle through their laundry cupboards to meet the shortage.

To radically increase the numbers from here the trick would be to have three thousand wise men. Not something you’re going to find in Calne of course but Bath could rustle up that to travel from the East, from say Sydney Gardens to the Abbey Churchyard where the scene itself is played out.

One advantage of that route being that there aren’t too many pubs along it, meaning it would still be the Christmas spirit motivating.

So the ghastly little oiks need protecting from their betters, do they?

Working class students at an Oxford University college are to get a ‘class liberation officer’ to protect them from bullying and patronising comments.
Last week students at St Hilda’s College voted to create the new post, backing a motion that said working class students suffered from ‘microaggressions and classism at university’ and needed more support.