British Values

The Government’s master plan to combat the recruitment of terrorists in these islands is to stress “British Values”, by which they mean tolerance, democracy and other desirable ways of thinking and behaving. Of course these are not British values. Britain has no monopoly of these qualities although they do exist to some extent in the majority of the inhabitants of modern Britain but did not so exist in the not so recent past of Britain. Continue reading

Our Not so Extraordinary Nation

2012 in the United Kingdom was a year of celebration for the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the Olympic Games so we saw a great deal of the royal family on television. Usually the royal personages (people is not a grand enough name for them) were shown meeting an ordinary person and I guess that the conversation went something like this: Continue reading

Why are we talking about the weather?

What do people from Mexico City, Norway, Central Slovakia, Northern China, and South Australia all now have in common with the British? It is talking about the weather. One time the weather was a subject that I only really heard the British talk about. We would be famous for going on about it, sometimes in minute detail, perhaps that was how we partly overcame our reserve. Nowadays everyone is talking about the weather.

Polite conversation would regularly take place; “it is rather cold/warm/wet today”. Perhaps “We are having a fine/bad/typical summer”. Our official weather forecasters even describe weather sometimes as “changeable” a reading that is honoured on some barometers. The reason for this is that the British Islands are Continue reading