The English

One of the Johnny Foreigner differences

The video showed a deserted street during the night, along with the voices of men and women singing Canto della Verbena (And While Siena Sleeps) – a popular patriotic folk song.

No, not some cliche about Italians bursting into song while selling you an ice cream, or failing to die until they’ve sung that aria. Rather, the language being used in the description.

Those Ooop North – Liverpool, say, Newcastle perhaps, any of those places north of Watford Gap, no matter, they’re all the same right – might let go with a few verses of On Ilkley Moor B’aht ‘At. Or a Cumbrian might celebrate with a bit of Ferry Cross The Mersey. Or perhaps Monkton Farleigh might ring with the celebration of A New Combine Harvester.

Or, even, Rule Britannia and You’ll Never Walk Alone. But because it’s English people doing these things we’d not describe them as “patriotic” songs. Even if they were we wouldn’t. Just because that’s not our own mental image of what we do. Even those WWI songs (Tipperary, Kitbag and so on) wouldn’t be described as such.

Of course, we don’t have to be patriotic because we’ve already won by being English but still. The very language being used here in the description is emphasising that them and us distinction. Only Johnny Foreigner would ever be described as singing “patriotic” songs. It’s all they’ve got poor loves, but still.

Obvious nonsense

Northerners complain more about energy, telecommunications and travel than Southerners, according to new research, which experts have said shows the true scale of the “levelling up challenge”.

Analysis of more than half a million complaints showed people in the North of England and in Scotland reported significantly larger numbers of issues with debt and billing, connectivity and customer services for essential infrastructure sectors.

This is just one of those cultural differences. It’s not that Northerners are less happy, more oppressed or face a worse world – well, other than being from the North of course. It’s that the culture is different. Daddy’s little princess parades in her prom dress and gets an “Aye, not bad” where the Southern shandy drinker will have exclaimed “How gorgeous!”. Grumbling about t’tmill is the way of life.

To miss this, to try to do the comparison across the cultural line is rather silly. As if you’d gone to measure what workers have for lunch and concluded that those with a snap box were paying cards instead.

Idiot foreigners

Sifton is on a quest to bring Sunday suppers to America. And in the era of Trump, the call to gather around the table with family and friends seems all the more relevant. The British have a rich tradition of Sunday suppers, with dinner often being built around a big roast. But we don’t have an equivalent in America.

We British don’t have a tradition of Sunday suppers at all. We have a tradition of Sunday Lunch.

Which is, y’kno, different.

We might even call it Sunday dinner at times but that’s because we’ve a class based different in what we call the meal in the middle of the day. Poshos – well, just plain civilised – call it lunch, the proles call it dinner. But even that doesn’t excuse calling it supper now, does it?


For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent. What can be done to break this toxic cycle?

We English had a solution to this. Then the morons killed them off with smoking bans and they’re restaurants now, not the same thing at all.

Ex-Army Captain looking for job

And, well, anyone know how good an actress she is?

As with Worstall’s Law of Acting, if they’re fugly they can. She ain’t, so the question has to be asked, can she? For if she can’t then there’s a natural end to the career path.

So, what jobs do we think they might get?

Quite so, quite so

The old order has shifted during the past 10 years with Exeter among those growing in stature while France faded

Could be considered a little odd to compare a British club side to a foreign national one. But of course the county town of Devon is vastly more important than there mere country of France. The second is forrin after all.

Well, yes, OK

Put our colonial history on the curriculum – then we’ll understand who we really are
Maya Goodfellow

Sure, why not?

My mum came to the UK from India in 1973, after a chunk of time spent in Uganda, when she was only 13.

Oh, you mean we should learn your colonial history. Why?

Like what?

Cultural appropriation is the claimed act of taking from another race, nationality or identity group’s hallmarks and heritage, and the exploitation of these features by those outside the given group.

The English language? Only Hindu can use zero? Europe’s got to go back to IV and VIII or can only Italians use those? Those not descended from celts must stop wearing trousers? Everyone not from Stroud must stop using power machine made cloth?

Well, yes, there is another English meaning

New Zealanders have expressed disappointment at the decision to fine England for their v-shaped formation for the All Blacks haka in their Rugby World Cup semi-final, with many fans praising them for their dignity and dramatic flair.

On Saturday night, England delighted fans in both camps when players arranged themselves to face the All Blacks. The V – which many inside New Zealand took to stand for “victory” –

But the underlying point. The haka isn’t some cultural wibble like haspirating hs or not. It’s a challenge to battle.

To which there should be a response other than milling around then kicking a ball at them.

War with France it is then

A tiny British island was “invaded” in the name of a French ‘king’ with the group raising the Patagonian flag and painting a toilet block in their national colours.

The intruders approached The Minquiers, a group of rocks nine miles south of Jersey, in an eight metre boat at “low light” just after 5pm on Wednesday in order to carry out their mission undetected.

They used a double extension ladder to hoist up the blue, white and green colours of Patagonia, according to local hut owners Paul Ostroumoff and Julian Mallinson, who arrived as the boat was leaving the shore.

This isn’t the first time either. Time to send in the gunboats.

Paris is on a river, right?

Should be said though that the island in question is not part of the UK, but is part of the Crown as a section of the Duchy of Normandy. Thus it’s the Queen’s rather than British, navy which needs to go do this. But since the British one is the Queen’s we’re OK there too.

Alternatively Ritchie might be so desperate for vermine that’s he’ll undertake the job single handed.

Modern travel

From B in Swindon:

You probably have more chance of a different culture driving to the middle of Wiltshire than flying thousands of miles to another city.

Especially Wiltshire says this Bathonian. Monkton Farleigh’s a strange, strange, place. As for Midford…..

Howdahs are to be illegal?


Elephant riding holidays abroad offered by British travel companies could become illegal under plans being considered by Defra.

Senior sources at the department said they were seeking the best legislative route to banning the “appalling” holidays, with plans to hold a consultation into banning it.

British holiday companies currently offer experiences abroad in countries including Sri Lanka, Thailand and India, where travelers can ride elephants or watch them perform “tricks”.

However, animal rights campaigners argue that these practices are cruel, as elephants are frequently “broken in” by being beaten with steel hooks so they become compliant.

They are also often not kept in appropriate enclosures…

The best description of this is the reappearance of colonialism. Darkie foreigners must do as the British middle classes demand.

This is about Americans don’t forget

Social class can be determined within just seven words, and it could have major implications in job interviews, researchers from Yale University believe.

In a new study, 274 people with hiring experience were asked to listen to audio recordings, or read transcripts, from the pre-interview discussions of people who applied for a lab manager position at the university.

The hiring managers were asked to assess the candidate’s professional qualities, starting salary, signing on bonus and social class, without reading CVs.

The findings showed that within the first seven words, hirers had made snap judgements of the candidates, based on class, which were later reflected in decisions to hire, as well as salary and bonus levels.

Accent is rather less important over there than it is over here. Hmm, maybe not quite right, perhaps less variable is better? In England, certainly, you can spot someone to within 5 miles by their accent. Unless it’s RP of course and American doesn’t quite have that. In Germany the varied accents/dialects aren’t mutually intelligible across Lander lines. Italian isn’t even a real language, what we think is is just the Florentine version of it.

And of course class and geography mix in all cases.

Whether that will translate to different wages in quite the same way is interesting. For the old days in the City the lads with the fast working class accents (Cockneys, obviously) were usually very much better paid than the poshos. Generally speaking that is – the Cockneys were there as the traders, on talent, the poshos on connections and to man the front desks, take people to lunch. Pay reflected who was making the money. As our own bordello manager will be able to tell us…..

That social divide

One of the two activists who climbed on top of a train at Canning town can exclusively be revealed as Mark Ovland, who had already been arrested and released “several times” this week.

The 36-year-old has been identified as the man chased along a train roof before being pulled down onto the platform.

He describes himself as a full-time Extinction Rebellion protestor who gave up his Buddhist studies to devote himself to climate change action.

Can’t think of any grants available for Buddhist studies. So, a man of private means then.

Telling people in Canning Town they can’t get to work.

Yep, that’ll work well.

One advantage to Imperial units

A sense of scale.

It’s terribly easy to get lost among strings of zeroes. As we endlessly see with the papers confusing billion for million etc.

But we’re measuring something in ounces, it’s small. In tonnes it’s large. Pints is easy to envisage, we’ve all actually seen someone holding one.

Decalitres? Sure, we can work it out but it’s not immediate in the same sense. And the number who get confused between deca and hecto litres…..

And sure it’s just an oldie casting back to something in childhood. Yet it is still an advantage in that we never do talk about one thousandth of a pound – a grain (not, actually, the same amount) gives a better mental image.