I have never had an urge to visit Scotland. The landscape is unattractive, the weather is mostly bad, and the traditional food is unappealing (Deep-fried Mars bars!). There are too many places that are more-appealing and more-attractive for me to waste any of the short time I have on this earth.
Scotland is mentioned often in the news these days, especially on those channels emanating from the “United” Kingdom, of which Scotland is a (partly) unwilling member. The current “royal” family owns a lot of real estate, which their ancestors plundered from the local people, not unlike what Americans did to the original owners of the country. Native Americans seems to have been given less rights and powers than the folks in Scotland, who are being given the chance to decide their future with or without English overlords. It is surprising that two peoples that hate each so much have been able to live in relative harmony for so long. Many English are deluded in believing that members of the “royal” family looking silly in kilts and tartans have endeared them to their neighbours to the north.
If Scotland leaves the “United” Kingdom, how great will “Great” Britain be? Not that it ever was. Or, at least, not for a long time. Perhaps, the split will send signals to people in other countries. Will the Flemish and Walloons, who dislike each other more than the Scots dislike the English, finally kill Belgium…which no one would miss. Will Catalonia split from Spain? Or will Bavaria become an independent country? Bavarians already feel superior to other Germans and think that they can go it alone. The list is long and the future uncertain…
The mess that Bush created continues to rage in the Middle East. Citizens of the former Soviet Union continue to shoot at one another, despite a cease fire. People continue to die in Africa, because drug companies are not willing to invest in discovering medications that do not turn a profit. The Dutch continue to ignore the truth about who killed hundreds of their citizens with a surface-to-air missile, despite having the evidence in their hands. Scotland continues to hope of freedom from their English overlords, despite having lived peacefully with them for centuries. The United States Government continues to not function, despite the ability to talk ceaselessly. Humans continue to lose every battle with Nature, despite copious evidence proving that they should not try.
But, hallelujah, there is a bright spot in news. An untalented young woman, who married a privilege, untalented young man, who will inherited a huge plundered fortune, has been forced to stop working. In this case, "work" entails dressing up, smiling foolishly, and shaking one or two hands. But, hordes are rejoicing over the reason of her sloth: she is pregnant with a child, who will also be born with immense privileges and will someday inherit a large, unearned fortune. Along the way, he or she will, like his nearest relatives, become a tourist attraction and be drooled over by countless girls or boys, who all want to marry into that life of privilege. For anyone living in the Commonwealth, no other news is of any significance....
If you want to lose some money, London bookmakers will take bets on the child's sex and it's name.
Anyone with a love of intellectual humour will find two English sitcoms very entertaining. This is television writing and acting at its very best. I am not sure whether or not these are available outside the United Kingdom, but anyone with a brain and sense of humour should seek them. I am talking about Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. Although they are about the British political system, one can interpolate to any politics. This must be seen to be believed and appreciated.
The word of the day is Nazi, which could almost be the word of every day. I assume that translation is unnecessary.
What would politicians and “statesmen” do without Hitler or the Nazis? The guy is lucky he’s dead, because he would spend a lot of time in court suing people for misuse of his name and legacy.
Today, I read that the current British prime minister is trying to compare himself to Neville Chamberlin. Perhaps, he misread history and does not know that this man is considered a failure. And, I do not see the parallels in the Ukraine conflict with 1939. But, politician know that most people do not know history and learn most of what they think they know from television/film fantasy and exaggeration of events. They also know that there will be no backlash from the Nazis, because this lovely bunch of folks no longer exists.
I would like to see a bit more thought and creativity in statements by public officials, but truthfulness might not translate into votes, which is the only reason they open their mouths.
If you think that I am the only one to point out the ridiculousness of the British/English “royal” family, read this piece from one of the leading English newspapers. Of course, one will have to use a dictionary to understand some words, such as tuppence.
Take particular note of the photo: How ridiculous is that in this day and age? But, like at Disney World, the characters must dress to appeal to the crowd foolish enough to pay buy tickets.
Are the British the dumbest folk on this planet? (There are many competitors, and the jury is still out.) I noticed a news crawler announcing that the “royal” family costs taxpayers 36 million pounds. On top of that, they pay little or no taxes, making them some of the richest people in the country. How’s that for a good deal? Of course, their supporters claim that all tourist income is a direct result of this circus act. Have they not noticed that there are better reasons for visiting that country? Many countries have equal or greater tourist numbers without having a bunch of clowns ripping off tax-payers.
In case you haven’t noticed, there is a running word battle between “Great” Britain and other members of the European Union (or Europe for short, as used in British media).
I saw a headline today that said something like: They insult us all the time, why should we stay? These people must not read their own newspapers. I read each day disparaging comments about one European country or the other. Much of this has to do with the English superiority complex and failure to recognise the tides of history. Long-term memory seems to work better than short-term memory…which hardly exists.
As with everything, this is all about domestic politics. The Conservative prime minister must pander to conservative voters and more-conservative members of his party. Sound familiar? Because the prime minister does not have an unjustified war in which to pretend to be tough, he must flex is (lack of) muscles at countries across the “English” Channel. In the long run, England will suffer more than Europe.
Be happy you’re not a parent in England.
News reports claim that the government is planning to pass laws to punish “emotional abuse” of children. It will be interesting to see how broadly that is defined. Will a parent be arrested for not appeasing a screaming child, who has been refuse an armful of candy on display at a grocery store check-out? Children are masters of manipulating parents with screaming tantrums, when they do not get their way. This is often (always?) misinterpreted by the busy-body faction, which is large in England. I can imagine long-suffering parents being fingered by malicious neighbors and “concerned” citizens.
There is too much room for overreach by government in an area where teaching discipline can be seen as abuse. Children need to mind their parents and governments need to mind their own business, which is rife with abuse.
Although few would admit to such an opinion in public, most know that the first born son of the old lady living in Buckingham Palace in London is not the sharpest pike in the throne room. This guy has been known to open his mouth and reveal what little is computing upstairs.
He and his father are known for speaking before thinking...or just speaking.
Republicans (those are British folks that want to end the monarchy) are raging over the latest gaff by the leading freeloader. Not having learned much in history lessons, he has compare President Putin of Russia to Adolph Hitler. If he meant that both were elected by a majority of each country’s citizens, then he would be correct. But, he was not. He was confusing events in Crimea.
This is from a guy whose ancestors sent armies and navies around the world to plant their flag and plunder whatever country in which they set foot. He should know a thing or two about taking over a territory, but nothing about the will of the people. I wonder if, should Scotland decided to leave “Great” Britain, he will try to raise an army and march north...as his ancestors did.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.