The English

The Third Viscount Stansgate

I’ve long wondered about this. Indeed, I’m in print, somewhere or other, wondering about this before Tony Benn’s death. Now we have our answer:

Tomorrow, Stephen Benn, 69, a lobbyist for the biosciences industry and the eldest of Benn’s four children, will be announced as the successful candidate in a contest to take a lifelong hereditary seat in the Lords. In so doing, the 3rd Viscount Stansgate will assume the right to make and amend laws, and claim hundreds of pounds in tax-free allowances for attending the chamber. He will also take his seat without a democratic or even a customary internal vote.

If only we could bottle Nick Timothy

The essence of him that is:

For the English do have traits and tendencies, just like any other nationality.

Bottle it so as to pour it down the drain.

The entire essence of Englishness is to deny – correctly – that we have traits and or tendencies precisely because we are not like any other – or even a – nationality. We are the archetype from which Johnny Foreigner diverges in amusing or possibly disastrous ways.

England is the mother of parliaments. It is the land of Shakespeare and Dickens, Elgar and Holst, the Beatles and Stones, the Cotswolds and Cumbrian hills, London and Liverpool, Oxford and Cambridge. It is Stonehenge and St Paul’s, football and cricket, the local church and village pub, Isaac Newton and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

It is cream teas and Cheddar cheese, a pint of bitter and a cup of tea, farms and factories, honest coppers and straight judges. It is the Wars of the Roses and the Reformation, Roundheads and Cavaliers, rebellions and strikes, Industrial Revolution and a Glorious Revolution. It is the home of Magna Carta, Locke and Burke, Churchill and Attlee, and long lines of kings and queens.

And, of course, it is about so much more.

Sigh.

The list is promulgated to insist that there should be an English Parliament, another layer of phartstains to rule over us.

Chesterton was closer to the truth. Those rulers never have and never will listen to us. So let’s keep their number and power to a minimum.

The essence of Englishness isn’t in cheese or history. It’s in the entirely wise insistence that politics can go to fuck.

Now, this truly is excellent news

Fully jabbed Scots may be allowed on holiday with no isolation
Nicola Sturgeon hopeful that vaccination success will soon open up international travel

Apparently they’ve created a vaccine against being Scottish. Or perhaps it’s against displaying typically Scots behaviour. But welcome all the same. For who would want to have to confront a porridge wog if they’d not been vaccinated?

But we know this can’t be true

But not all is as it seems with the self-styled Lord Alexander Jackson Maier, 11th Marquis of Annaville. In truth he is neither a Lord nor a Marquess.

He is in fact Alexander Jackson Maier, a 22-year-old African-American student raised in the city of New Rochelle, in New York State.

Because Lord Alexander Jackson Maier isn’t the correct mode of address for a Marquis.

Lord first name(s) surname is the correct form of address for the younger son of a Duke (possibly Marquess, maybe even Earl, not sure) but not for a Marquess in his own right.

We know it’s bollix because the guy doesn’t know his own name.

Sure, there might be all sorts of Irish titles floating around out there – I know, or knew, someone who claimed one himself. Claimed please note. But this bloke doesn’t have one of them.

He told The Telegraph: “There is no title in the peerage related to me whatsoever. I do apologize greatly to those institutions involved with a mechanism like this, many of which I’m obviously not familiar with.”

Quite.

Tsk, missing a trick here

Let Scots in whole of UK vote on independence, Boris Johnson is urged

Instead, let the whole of the UK vote on Scottish independence.

Given that the porridge wogs never do restrict themselves to pissing out how many actually want to keep them inside the tent?

Datum

The £70.7bn drug maker was the world leader in vaccines and, importantly for the Government, it was British.

But, when Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, made the call to his former colleague and GSK boss, Dame Emma Walmsley, he was turned down.

Now, more than a year later, Dame Emma may be regretting that decision.

Bird who refused to make a vaccine is a Dame. Bird who led world beating performance – for free – to make a vaccine is a Dame.

We demand action – Countess Bingham of Wuhan at the very least, if not Marchioness in her own right.

This will piss certain people off

Boris Johnson warns green list could be culled as Portugal faces axe
Ministers meet on Thursday to decide whether popular holiday destination should now be rated amber

New and expensively redone bar just opened for the first time across the road yesterday…..

….and yes, listening to the accents while wandering down the street a lot of the trade is British…..

The old methods of child rearing

Edwin Apps was born in Wingham, Kent, in 1931, the son of Molly and Bertram Apps, a land agent and auctioneer to whom his nanny would take him for a 15-minute conversation before the six o’clock news.

Don’t forget, we conquered a third of the world with people raised this way. A point which you can use to argue either way about child centered parenting……

Technology and Somerset

An all star live-streamed virtual Glastonbury festival rapidly turned into an online disaster on Saturday night when audiences were thousands of people were unable to watch the pay-per-view event.

Coldplay, Haim, Damon Albarn, Wolf Alice and Michael Kiwanuka and members of Radiohead were all billed to play, but a technical problem meant most viewers could not log on to the website.

It’s not really Glastonbury, that Worthy Farm, it’s Shepton Mallet. And, well, you know, that’s rural. No, really, rural. Get too far south of Bath and there’s that certain step back into the past.

Quite why anyone thought a 21st century technology would work well in the 15th century is anyone’s guess but there we are. More than three teeth in the head and less than a half gallon of scrumpy in the belly marks you out as insufferably posh down there.

As we all know they do

Bristol does things differently

It’s a perennial observation down there in the South West.

Along with the comment that different doesn’t mean better……after all, what would one normally expect from mixing the Forest of Dean with the maritime influences of Deptford? Even that doesn’t quite describe the place sufficiently……

As has been pointed out

By Matt Kilcoyne among others.

It is a symbol of national pride that has endured for eight centuries, as well as 55 years of hurt. But a decision to change England’s Three Lions crest to promote diversity in football has failed to rouse roars of approval from fans.

Bosses at the Football Association announced on Thursday that the traditional Three Lions would be replaced on a brand new logo by a lion cub, a lion and a lioness.

The FA said the move would give the medieval crest a “fresh purpose” that would symbolise “inclusivity at all levels of football”.

“A cub, lion and lioness unite to form the new England Football crest with no boundaries; representing everyone at every level of football across the country,” a spokesman explained.

The three lions are in fact the Duchies of Normandy and Aquitaine plus the Kingdom of England. So, under the new dispensation who is the lion, who the babbie and who the pussy?

We can also ponder – there would be significant support in both Duchies for a war of freedom against Paris’ foul embrace….

How blindingly excellent!

Jersey fishing row: French threats ‘pretty close to act of war’

So we all get to hate Frenchmen again, as we would the very devil!

Or, since the sentiment hasn’t changed over the centuries, we get to do something about it. French cruise ships might want to avoid Aboukir Bay, Cape St Vincent’s just over the horizon for me so I’ll keep you in touch with any sightings of big bangs and flashes out there, when does the land war start and we take Bourdeaux?

This is interesting

In Scotland, the three parties that favour independence (the SNP, the Greens and Alba) are on course between them to win a clear majority this week. If Westminster permits a second referendum, and allows it to be conducted fairly, the likely result is the end of the union.

Until a few years ago, Welsh independence looked like an eccentric hobby; those in favour tended to peak at about 10%. But a poll in March showed that, of those who expressed an opinion, 39% of Welsh people said they would vote to leave the union. Plaid Cymru and perhaps the Greens, both of which favour independence, should make some gains tomorrow.

Northern Ireland’s centenary this week is almost certain to be its last. Reunification is likely to happen slowly: it could be disastrous if rushed. But, prompted by the chaos of Brexit and a customs border in the Irish Sea, it has begun to look inexorable. A poll last week showed that a small majority of those with an opinion in Northern Ireland believe reunification will happen in their lifetimes. That creaking sound? It’s the ship of state starting to break apart.

That two parts of this main island should break free and independent is assumed to be both likely and a good thing. But that the unification of the two parts of the other main island would also be a good thing.

Logically we could run either way. That people who share an island but have different societies, cultures, should be allowed to rule themselves as they wish. Or, the other way, an island is an island and should be united.

Yes, I know, at least a century of insistence that Ireland must be united and all that. It is different. Politically it is different that is.

But still that breach in the insistences is interesting, isn’t it? No one at all thinks that the 6 counties could or should go independent. But also that Wales and Scotland could or should. It’s an interesting difference.

The – bare – majority in the 6 counties is arguably more different from the other 26 than Wales is from England. Certainly more different than Glamorgan is – say. Hawick is more like Otterburn than it is Glasgow. Even got the same landowner, Buccleuch owns it all in both doesn’t he?

Even I can think of reasons why they’re not in fact the same situations. But why is it that the general assumption is so different? Why is Welsh independence a good thing and Ulster independence so ridiculous as to not even be considered?

Seems fair enough

The pandemic has seeded the idea of a prime minister “who speaks for England alone” as relations between the four nations of the UK deteriorate amid “deep-rooted complacency”, a senior former civil servant has warned.

Given that the other three do have someone to speak for them why shouldn’t England?

After all, we did conquer them…..

You what?

Apart from the odd dog-walker, Bath’s much-loved Walcot Street

Much loved? It’s a pit of iniquity.

True, it does have a proper hat shop – one specialist enough to know the difference between a trilby and a fedora – but other than that the area is ancient hippies and their offspring.

Bah, humbug!

The Times has gone mad

This is from a list of he best places to live in the UK:

Stroud
Our overall winner

Stroud? Dear God, we’re trying to have the industrial suburb of the Forest of Dean hailed as a decent place to live? Where those too stupid for Twerton get allocated their council housing?

Bit late this, isn’t it?

Going through the motions: the rise and rise of stool-gazing
Locked down and worrying about our wellbeing, more and more of us have been looking for clues in what we leave in the toilet. Are we wasting our time?

We’ve already left. This is no time to start becoming all more German.