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The English

Dicks, we’re good at being dicks

Footage has emerged purportedly showing England fans ignoring calls from German police not to sing ‘10 German Bombers’ at this summer’s European Championship.

A TikTok clip captioned ‘England fans in Dusseldorf #england #euros #euro2024 #fyp’ posted on the opening night of the tournament appears to feature Three Lions supporters performing the illicit song outside a Mexican restaurant in Dusseldorf.

The footage was uploaded barely a week after the chief of police of Gelsenkirchen – the nearby city where England play Serbia in their opening Euro 2024 match on Sunday – told any supporters thinking of singing the song while attending the Euros: “Don’t be a d—.”

As I’ve been known to say we’ll take the piss out of absolutely anything.

Weird detailed silliness

The former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown receives the highest award of companion of honour for his public service.

One of the little conventions is that a subsequent PM doesn’t decide upon which gong he wants until the previous one has done so. Not written down anywhere, just is.

So, with Brown not having picked up anything that meant Cameron could have the Earldom he so clearly gasps for. No, the Barony to get him to be Foreign Sec isn’t the same thing. This then also applies to Boris, May and Truss.

Now that Brown is accepting the CH this might then clear the way. So, I’d say Boris is odds on to want an Earldom. Anyone else?

Sigh

Bella Hoare: My family has run this bank since 1672 – I won’t apologise for being authentically posh
The scion of the famous financiers is also a gifted artist. She talks about nepotism, the responsibility of privilege and life after loss

Among the English to be a banker is not to be posh. Rather the opposite, it’s to be far too close to trade.

Now it is possible that over the generations enough daughters have been married off – with their dowries to pay for a new roof – into the aristocracy that one is indeed posh. But that’s what makes one so, not that one is related to bankers

You can say one thing for the British elite

In stark contrast to the harrowing experiences of the 155th Brigade, the Bars Kaskad unit represents a haven for Russia’s upper crust. Established by Dmitry Sablin, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma’s Defence Committee, the unit is comprised of members from the pro-Putin United Russia Party and sons of Kremlin high-ranking officials. These individuals are stationed far from the front lines, engaging in drone operations that keep them out of harm’s way.

Those sons weren’t protected, they lined up to be commissioned as 2nd Lts on the Western Front.

Just to advise about Bath property

City centre, Bath
The Netflix show Bridgerton may be a fantastical reimagining of Regency London, but much of it is filmed in Bath – due to its protected Georgian architecture and Unesco world heritage status. This two-bedroom penthouse sits on the third floor of a classic curved terrace on The Circus in the heart of the city. It is south-facing, and has a balcony and triple-aspect views. The Royal Crescent, which has featured in the series, is just around the corner, and over the River Avon is the Holburne Museum – used as Lady Danbury’s townhouse. £675,000.

The Guardian thinks this is lovely and aye, it’s not bad. The Circus is very grand houses indeed. This one, well, slightly, it’s on the corner with Gay St, so you’ve buses bridning up to the entrance to hte Circus often enough. But the real point is that “third floor” is actually the old servants quarters up beneath the eaves. High ceilings and big windows – the standard Georgian belief – it won’t be.

Idiot

There’s some debate about how closely connected, culturally or linguistically, the ancient Britons and ancient Gauls really were. But what is clear is that when a Gallic empire briefly broke away from Rome in the 3rd century, it included provinces on both sides of the Channel; later, both would be part of the same imperial “prefecture”. A short sea crossing was an inconvenience, sure – but hardly more so than many journeys over land.

Not true of Roman times, but before and after the 26 miles of the Channel were almost certainly easier than a 26 mile land journey…..

On that list of most British things ever

May 4th 1982: As HMS Sheffield is abandoned and the fire spreads towards the Sea Dart ammunition. The remaining crew gather on the foredeck singing “Always look on the bright side of life”.

…..

Tim Bromige
@Timbrom2

Singing led by the FC that we had loaned to them. One of our Sea Kings closed on the fo’c’sle to pick up wounded and saw them all swaying from side to side with their arms outstretched. I learned why when he got back.

Yes, I do know that second chappie there, have since before this all happened. And yes, he was there.

We’re a weird, weird, culture.

Ah, I’d missed this bit

I meet Steve near the station in the Wiltshire town of Bradford-on-Avon, from where we’re taking a nine-mile countryside walk to Bath Spa station.

That’s, actually, a cracking, cracking, walk. Recommend it to anyone.

They’ve done it a bit weirdly. You can just follow the canal (Kennet and Avon) and go around the hill (Combe and Claverton Downs) and come into Bath through Sydney Buildings and Sydney Gardens. Or you can go canal, then the old Somerset and Dorset line – they’re reopened the twin tunnels which take you under Combe Down and bring you out some 100 yards from where both Simon Gardiner and I grew up (SG is also Bloke in Bilbao, one of life’s oddities is that while we don’t in fact know each other, being of sufficiently different ages that we wouldn’t, we grew up in the houses next door to each other – we’ve met purely through this site). But they’ve gone along the canal and then up over Combe Down to then come down through the National Trust land above Widcombe-ish, below Rainbow Woods, round by Prior Park etc. A grand view down into Bath that way, but getting up Combe Down is a slog – yes, I have done it.

We pass through pretty limestone villages with old-world names – Avoncliff, Limpley Stoke, Monkton Combe

Avoncliff has stopping station – you put your hand out to get the Weymouth (??) to Bath train to stop for you. Conveniently there’s a pub with a garden with a long enough view down the valley that you can sink the last of the pint and get to the platform when you see the train acomin’. That’s for if the walk is getting a bit too much for you. Or, that route through the tunnel takes you by Midford and a small jaunt from there to Combe Hay – that little stretch being, in my view, one of the truly gorgeous little encapsulations of what we all dream the English countryside should be like.

There’s also a little spot along there. Where you can, just about and with a tad of squinting, see the transport history of humanity. Way over there’s Solsbury Hill and the motorway link road – very modern that. Closers is the GWR line to London. Below you in the little valley the Weymouth line. The local roads are very rural, definitely cart tracks now paved. And there’s the KandA canal, going all the way to London. And the Avon, of course. But also that much more local Somerset Coal Canal, rounding out pretty much that entire history of transport. All visible from that one spot. Even, just by there, the aqueduct taking the canal over the river valley, which is itself crosed by the viaduct taking the old S&D line over the canal…..if I’m not inventing things by now….

Well of course. Obviously

Oxford University college scraps St George’s Day event but will host Eid dinner
Banquet to mark end of Ramadan replaces formal celebration of England’s patron saint which ‘stretched back decades’

We English haven’t made much of St George’s Day for centuries. No need to, we’re top dog and that’s that. Also, we’re polite – famously so – meaning that we’ll not pressure lesser unfortunates by rubbing their noses in it in a celebratory manner.

Which entirely leaves time and space free for those less secure in their beliefs and identity to bolster their sorry lot.

Two, eh?

He has an excuse. In an interview with Elle in 2009, Grant told his interviewer: “I’m grumpy. My mother had a theory about Englishmen: They are permanently all two gin and tonics under par. They need two gin and tonics to become human.”

Only two?

So, erm, abject stupidity then?

Radical pay-what-you-can restaurant faces eviction from mill it refurbished
The Long Table says it took thousands of hours of work to turn derelict site into a community space, but landlord has now sold it

Erm?

Tom Herbert, the co-founder of The Long Table, said the community had ploughed in thousands of hours of work and as much as £300,000 in cash over three years in order to transform Brimscombe Mill from a derelict site into a bustling social centre.

“It had been derelict for 30 years, roof falling in, no services, no electricity, no water,” Herbert said.

“It had been used as a place for local kids to hang out and play their music. There were people sleeping rough in it, it had human excrement in it. The place was a shithole basically, that no one else wanted.”

OK:

Faced with security problems that made the site a liability, the landlord gave The Long Table and its partner businesses a five-year lease, with a break clause at years three and four, at a near peppercorn rent of £15,000 a year. “The community rolled up their sleeves, people put in cash … it was just amazing,” said Herbert.

“We spent several hundred thousand [pounds] on making the building habitable, fixing up the roof, fixing up the flooring, which had big puddles in it and great big holes, painting the whole thing white so it looks clean, and then a lot of electrics and putting in a kitchen and things like that.”

The work was done in good faith, said Herbert, and on the hope that there would be the opportunity to extend the lease, or to be given the option to buy it if the landlord chose to sell.

Ah, yes, abject stupidity then. Capital investment on hte hope, not the nailed down contract.

There’s a reason us Bathonians think the Stroud people aren’t all that birght. Over and above their being too close to Slad.

Cruel, cruel, comment of the day

Jacinda Ardern’s wedding night video.

Brings a whole new meaning to “Give a dog a bone”.

John Galt

A small note for non-English/British readers. We make jokes about, take the piss out of, insult, absolutely everything. It’s the defining feature of our culture. It may indeed be that this specific individual is not greatly enamoured of the fragrant Ms. Ardern’s looks. It’s even possible that you are or are not.

But that’s not the point. It’s a witty, if insulting, joke. At which point it’s a good joke to be shared because it’s witty, however insulting.

It’s also, to be honest, nothing about the fragrant Ms. Ardern. Hmm, OK, very little.

‘N’ if you don’t like that then you can fuck off ‘n’ all, right?

Then honours then

Madsen Pirie, OBE.

Shirley Bassey CH, which is pretty tip top

Bill Beaumont GBE, which is about as high as a non-political knighthood is going to go (for non-Brits, there are some 21 different types of knighthood it is possible to get and yes, they’re ranked).

Michael Eavis KB – Glastonbury is now obviously entirely establishment.

Tim Martin KB, which we already knew about.

Gerald Ronson KB. Clearly, that little difficulty (what was it with? Guinness?) is now past tense.

Anyone seen anything else interesting?

Erm, Yes

Liz Truss has rewarded Brexiteers and those personally loyal to her with peerages and other awards in her long-awaited resignation honours list.

That’s what a resignation honours list is for. To reward personal loyalty.

Shrug.

Do so love a toff

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg has been crowned the most popular Conservative backbencher in an annual survey by a leading Tory publication.

The former business secretary pipped Miriam Cates, a rising star from the 2019 intake, and Suella Braverman in the contest.

He won the most votes from readers of Conservative Home, which is often described as the Tory grassroots bible.

The fun thing is that Jacob’s not really a toff. Plays one very well indeed of course, but it is rather a play. Pops was a very bright lad on the make and did very well indeed at it. But it takes a few generations to create a proper toff in the English class system.

Get the blame in early, eh?

London violence ‘direct result’ of Braverman’s words, says Khan

Just think if it’s true though (it ain’t, but….). We’ve now a Home Secretary willing to call out the English mob. Which is going to be interesting as that English mob has been enough to turn matters more than once in the past.

Umm, yes

A British woman who murdered her husband while on holiday in India had plotted to get hold of his £1 million fortune and life insurance, it is claimed.

Ramandeep Kaur Mann faces death by hanging after being found guilty of the love-triangle murder of her husband, Sukhjit Singh, in 2016.

The 38-year-old, from Derby, now faces the death penalty with Gurpreet Singh, her lover and accomplice.

Interesting how British the crime was really. If only one of the three had been a vicar as well it would have been a perfect pre-war News of the Worlder.

Well, yes, obviously

One in three of the richest people identify as working-class, a survey has revealed.

The latest British Social Attitudes survey by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) revealed that in 2022, 32 per cent of Britons in the top quarter of household incomes – those earning more than £40,000 – identified as working-class.

However, 48 per cent of those from the poorest households – those earning less than £19,000 – said they felt middle-class or had no class identity.

As anyone with even a passing knowledge of Britain – or perhaps even England – knows class is not a matter of money in this country. Aristocrats can be penniless and still upper class, others rich as muck and still working class.

A recent Earl Nelosn (I think it was) was a detective sergeant in the police, another recent hereditary was a bus conductor. Aristos the both of them by English standards. Alan Sugar, rich as Croesus, life peer, is not an aristo. Never will be either. Partly that having been in trade thing. His grandchildren probably will be, his great grandchildren almost certainly. Money and class simply are not directly related in this country.

Linked, correlated, sure, but not the same thing at all.

Jeez

Melvyn Bragg says his Northern accent was beaten out of him at grammar school in order that he “talk proper.”

What did he sound like before?

The television presenter, who has celebrated the richness and diversity of the English language in a series of books, said he grew up in the 1950s effectively speaking two languages – standard English and his local Cumbrian dialect.

“When you went to grammar school, they were determined to beat that out of you. So you didn’t talk like that anymore; you talked proper,” Bragg told the BBC’s This Cultural Life.

“We kept it subversive between ourselves,” he added.

Oh. So standard code switching then. Sigh.