Picasso sketch 1964
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention to describe just how bloody wonderful it is to be an Englishman living in these joyous times.
Firstly we celebrated 90 glorious years of divine monarchy dedicating a lifetime of hollow crown duty by waving a lot and having to endure the permanent smell of fresh paint. Then we commemorated our holy English values as epitomised by our noble patron Saint George. As with most versions of English history, George`s origins and ethnicity are a little vague. He might have been born in Cappadocia which would make him a Turk or he might have been born in the Roman province of Syria Palaestina which roughly translates as either Syria or Palestine. What is certain is that he was not born within the concrete O of the M25, he did not speak English and his dragon slaying activities took place far away from Albion in a place called Beirut. Crying God for Harry, England and Agios Georgios might make you sound… well… a bit foreign. (more…)
The tradition of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest pre-dates the Pilgrim Fathers of Plymouth Rock, all organised religions and probably even the invention of recognisable clothing. After successfully hunter-gathering the roots, berries and mammoth steaks, what better way to celebrate than pulling on the Sunday best and eating until physical activity is rendered impossible.
Fleeing from intolerance, religious oppression, imprisonment and summary execution, England Dissenters migrated first to Holland and then undertook a perilous voyage across treacherous seas to reach a new world offering a land of the free and a home for the brave. Many died in that first harsh winter but, according to legend, the colony managed to survive due to its endurance, toil and by the grace of God. Another version suggests that the local Native Americans took pity and shared their food only to be rewarded with the European gift of smallpox. (more…)
The absolute joy of existing in an infinite and expanding universe is the certainty that the space-time continuum will continue to throw up some astonishing surprises. Who on earth could ever have imagined that FIFA actually has an actual ethics committee or that Michael Gove would actually do something useful by reversing the barking mad decisions made by failing Grayling at the Ministry of Justice. Pensioners in the House of Lords might pay good money for being put to the lash but a pensioner in a Saudi prison might be bad for business. With friends like Saudi Arabia, who needs extraterrestrial aliens with vaporising death rays? Obviously the government will engage in a “dialogue” with the bug-eyed silicone based life-forms from somewhere beyond Alpha Centauri in the hope of flogging them some lovely weaponry. (more…)
Playing the man
Within the occult dark arts coven of British politics, it is evidentially clear that former MP and novelist Chris Mullin is a witch and should be immediately conveyed to the nearest village pond to be dunked in order to ascertain if he floats or sinks. In the early years of the first Thatcher government, the then Labour MP for Sunderland South and shameless supporter of the late Tony Benn concocted a fanciful yet amusing piece of fiction entitled “A Very British Coup”. The plot of this far-fetched political fantasy involves a left-wing working class Labour MP by the name of Harry Perkins unexpectedly becoming a British Prime Minister. (more…)
Philip Larkin was only partially correct in suggesting that we project our own faults onto our children; he forgot the bits about bequeathed neuroses and anxiety. The dead poet and librarian might have held some unpleasant opinions but he took his own advice and by having no children of his own avoided the gathering apprehension of an offspring’s A Level results day. Thursday was always going to be a tense morning. (more…)