July 04, 2007
Today is the day, July 4th, that the descendents of the colonial rebels celebrate their temporary victory against the Hessian troops of His Late Majesty King George III.
Despite our long standing and rigid adherence to the Monarchy, and all that implies in the creation of a world that is right, just and proper, we have not been great admirers of the Hanoverians, so we cannot, deep in our hearts, blame such stout yeomen for what was, after all, a series of treacherous acts.
But now that Hanover is no more, and the course of time has moved us on to the House of
Saxe Coburg Gotha Windsor, perhaps it is time for a rethink on this matter?
There would be few problems involved, all that would be necessary would be the digging up of the corpses of the pre-eminent rebels of those days, as with that of Cromwell, and their posthumous execution: surely a small price to pay for those 300 million rude colonials to be welcomed back into the family of nations as loyal subjects of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, Head of the Commonwealth, Lord High Admiral, Supreme Governor of the Church of England (Defender of the Faith), Lord of Mann, and Paramount Chief of Fiji, Duke of Lancaster and Duke of Normandy.
As we say, a small price indeed for an end to this distressing interlude of some centuries and most certainly one worth paying.
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Let's be frank: it woz the Frogs wot won it.
Posted by: dearieme | Jul 4, 2007 12:17:03 PM
At this of all times, we should perhaps now all stand and sing Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory:
In one clip there's even someone waving the Swedish flag. We could include them too as honoraries, especially lacking good reason for excluding them due to the Viking invasions in the 9th century, as mentioned along with all the other invaders and settlers in Daniel Defoe's notion of :The True-Born Englishman (1701), written in celebration of the Glorius Revolution of 1688 and ascension of William and Mary to the throne at the invitation of Parliament - no more divine right of kings after that!!
We could appropriately follow with a hearty rendition of William Blake's Jerusalem, which has been voted our best alternative national anthem:
And then, of course:
There'll always be an England,
And England shall be free,
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.
With a quick read of avowed socialist George Orwell on: England, Your England (1941):
Posted by: Bob B | Jul 4, 2007 12:46:24 PM
Btw for those who might like to hear it again, this is Vera Lynn's rendition of: There'll Always Be An England:
Some from all around the world cared sufficiently to come here at the worst of times in that summer of 1940 to fly as fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain:
Australia (32 pilots)
Newfoundland (now a province of Canada) (1)
New Zealand (127)
South Africa (25)
Posted by: Bob B | Jul 4, 2007 1:54:47 PM
We'll all be singing at the tops of our lungs if our transatlantic brethren decide to return to the fold. Have you seen their public lavvy doors? They have great big 2 foot gaps at the bottom that show your knees while you're sat there.
These people may not be ten feet tall, but they design "comfort stations" for folk who are. We can well do without that sort of thing in England thanx.
Posted by: Monty | Jul 4, 2007 4:13:34 PM
Try Keith Olbermann of MSNBC on Tony Blair's friend, George W Bush, and the pardon for Libby:
Hat tip: Chicken Yoghurt
Posted by: Bob B | Jul 4, 2007 4:26:16 PM
I hadn't realised that Zimbabwe existed in 1940. "Well, well, well you live and learn. " I said to myself. But then I saw your source reference for this piece of information: our glorious and impartial tax-funded propaganda machine, the BBC. I suppose mentioning Rhodesia is not only verboten in Bush House and the White City, it's probably a sacking offence.
Posted by: Umbongo | Jul 4, 2007 4:31:23 PM
In Zimbabwe, Mugabi should be thrown out of office. Regime change in Zimbabwe is feasible. Our technology is always improving. Someday Mugabi's dictatorship will fall.
Posted by: Charles Holden | Jul 4, 2007 4:50:13 PM
Umbongo - My thought was that not too many nowadays might recall what and where Rhodesia was. That said, the BBC provided a valuable service in commemorating all those who came to Britain's aid in that summer of 1940 to fly as fighter pilots in the crucial Battle of Britain.
Our prospects at the time didn't look at all good. Even Joseph P Kennedy, the American ambassador to Britain 1938-40, really believed that, "Democracy is finished in England"
"Kennedy rejected the warnings of Winston Churchill that compromise with Nazi Germany was impossible; instead he supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in order to stave off a second world war that would be a more horrible 'armageddon' than the first. Throughout 1938, as the Nazi persecution of Jews intensified, Kennedy attempted to obtain an audience with Adolf Hitler. Shortly before the Nazi aerial bombing of British cities began in September 1940, Kennedy sought a personal meeting with Hitler, again without State Department approval, 'to bring about a better understanding between the United States and Germany.'"
Fortunately, we survived despite Kennedy's forebodings - I was a small lad at the time, living in various places in inner London. In June 1944, shortly after the invasion of Normandy on 6 June, a V1 flying bomb landed down at one end of the road where I lived at the time and then a V2 ballistic rocket landed at the other in January 1945.
Posted by: Bob B | Jul 4, 2007 4:56:52 PM
"our glorious and impartial tax-funded propaganda machine, the BBC"
I've an open mind about the BBC. However, on the basis of history so far, I think it would be difficult to convict the BBC on the charge of being an uncritical, tax-funded vehicle for government propaganda.
The BBC has, in fact, a long tradition of dissent and sceptical regard of governments. Famously, Lord Reith came into conflict with Churchill, as Chancellor of the Exchquer, over the reporting in the radio news of the General Strike in 1926. Churchill believed that Britain's constitution was under challenge by the strikers - as it was, in a fashion - but Lord Reith took the stance that the views of the strikers and their actions should be reported objectively and impartially.
Despite that, the British Broadcasting Corporation was established by royal charter the following year:
Famously, the BBC also had a run in with Sir Anthony Eden's Conservative government in 1956 over what the PM regarded as unacceptable public criticism of the government's handling of the Suez Crisis.
In due course, Sir Anthony resigned on health grounds in 1957 and, with the hindsight of history, more now think the BBC was rather more balanced and correct on the issues at stake than the government had been.
Up early that morning in late April 2003, I actually heard the notorious (unscripted) interview of Andrew Gilligan by John Humphrys on the BBC Today programme shortly after 6am when Gilligan virtually implied that not only had Tony Blair's government lied in the claims it had made about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) but that the government had knowingly lied.
In due course, Andrew Gilligan was obliged to resign as BBC defence correspondent, as was Greg Dyke, the Director General of the BBC and the BBC chairman, Gavyn Davies:
As the news trickled out about the reservations of Dr Brian Jones - head of the branch in the Defence Intelligence Service tasked with assessing all incoming intelligence on WMD - about the government's claims, it seems that Andrew Gilligan had strayed very close to the truth of the matter:
But then, remember that in the 2005 election campaign, Tony Blair said he was going to serve almost a full third term in government.
In the event, he has recently stepped down - to do other things. Many MPs are now pressing for another inquiry into the Iraq war. If anything, the BBC's reputation for reporting and assessing the conduct of wars in the Middle East stands up rather better than does Tony Blair's reputation regarding the Iraq war.
Posted by: Bob B | Jul 4, 2007 10:18:56 PM
Not only are we not coming back, but so long as the UK languishes in the strangling folds of Tranzi tyranny, we wouldn't take you as a state.
Posted by: Tom Kratman | Jul 4, 2007 10:24:55 PM
"Say, Bud - do you Brits celebrate Thanskgiving?"
"Certainly we do, my man. On the 4th of July"
Posted by: old possum | Jul 4, 2007 11:48:50 PM
When I was a young'un in the American South, one of my uncles used to wax rhapsodic about the joys of a dish he called "possum and arsh taters" - principally because it represented a triumph of sorts: taking a loathesome, verminous creature that preyed on innocent barnyard fowl, whose only defense was feigning death when facing attack, and turning it into something actually useful.
Posted by: Rude Colonial | Jul 5, 2007 1:15:01 AM
Of course, the really curious might wonder why were are all writing, reading and speaking a language derived from that of a few thousand folk who came to settle in England in the 5th and 6th centuries from northern parts of mainland Europe and why our musings here are being posted and read on a medium devised by a guy who went to my old school in London (true):
Posted by: Bob B | Jul 5, 2007 2:06:19 AM
Grateful indeed we are to Mr. Berners-Lee, who was able to introduce an addition to a system devised by a rude colonial defense department (also true!) and extended to the civilian sphere.
Posted by: Rude Colonial | Jul 5, 2007 2:37:49 AM
I never cease to marvel at the art and craftsmanship that went into the design and making of these Saxon artefacts of the 7th century:
The need for a Bill of Rights is in the news now, which is all very strange as we invented the notion with the Magna Carta back in 1215:
A few hundred metres (yard) from where I write is a bricked-up cave which, according the London Encyclopeadia, contained evidence of human habitation going back as least as far as the middle stone age:
A few years ago, they were digging out the foundations of a Roman Villa in the neighbourhood. The place name ends in -ton, as do most place names hereabouts, because these started as Saxon settlements and seven Saxon kings were crowned at Kingston, about five miles away, before the Norman conquest of 1066. In fact, the local parish church is part Norman and some local road names, like Demesne Road, The Ridgeway, Manor Road relate back to a feudal past. The river Wandle meanders through one of the neighbourhood park in which stands the local manor house with roof beams in its great hall going back to the 14th century. About fours miles away are the ruins of Nonsuch Palace, built by Henry VIII:
On the other hand, about a mile away, is what used to be the London Aerodrome before WW2 - Amy Johnson landed there after her solo flight around the world in 1931:
About a mile in the opposite direction is what was the first computer superstore in Britain.
It seems that we really cover virtually the whole span of human history in the neighbourhood, which can't be bad.
Posted by: Bob B | Jul 5, 2007 3:47:01 AM
You're welcome. Enjoy it.
Posted by: American Defense Umbrella | Jul 5, 2007 3:59:32 AM
Or, to put it another way, the words of the great P.J. O'Rourke:
"Back in London, I was having dinner in the Groucho Club -- this week's in-spot for what's left of Britain's lit gritz and nouveau rock riche -- when one person started in on the Stars And Stripes. Eventually he got, as the Europeans always do, to the part about "your country's never been invaded." (This fellow had been two during the Blitz, you see.) "You don't know the horror, the suffering. You think war is..."
"A John Wayne movie," I said. That's what you were going to say, wasn't it? We think war is a John Wayne movie. We think life is a John Wayne movie -- with good guys and bad guys, as simple as that. Well, you know something, Mister Limey Poofter? You're right. And let me tell you who those bad guys are. They're us. WE BE BAD.
We're the baddest-ass sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We're three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother's side. You take your Germany, France and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn't give us room to park our cars. We're the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap D'Antibes. And we've got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go.
"You say our country's never been invaded? You're right, little buddy. Because I'd like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who'd have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying 'Cheerio.' Hell can't hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I'd rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all you Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch."
Of course, the guy should have punched me. But this was Europe. He just smiled his shabby, superior European smile. (God, don't these people have dentists?)"
Posted by: Brother Jonathan | Jul 5, 2007 5:51:46 AM
Nuff said. I'm sure much clearer now on what was meant by these bullet points in the statement of princles of the Project for the New American Century as signed by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld an' all back on 3 June 1997.
• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.
One thing that puzzles me a bit, however.
How come that Keith Olbermann on MSNBC Countdown on Independence Day was calling on both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney to resign immediately?
It seems that even Republicans in Congress are now saying President Bush has no shred of remaining credibility:
Posted by: Bob B | Jul 5, 2007 9:37:35 AM
Bob - America isn't President Bush. Nor is it Keith Olbermann. Nor, for that matter, is it a cartoon conspiracy. Before engaging with the Continentals directly, try actually learning something about them first - that way you might avoid the mistake many of your compatriots made over two hundred years ago when they directed a very similar "shabby, superior European smile" at a people whom they knew far less well than they imagined.
Or, you could just get us a juice box - I assure you no one on this side of the pond is going to be too worried about it either way, but that way you could at least be useful.
Posted by: Brother Jonathan | Jul 5, 2007 11:17:31 AM
News flash from the colonies: Sod off, swampy.
Posted by: Chris | Jul 5, 2007 11:29:03 AM