Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Angleterre: Mode d'emploi
This web blog is a sort of lay-by for foreign readers with more time than sense. Often they ask "No Good Boyo, yes we know what Wales is. But what is this England of which you write about?"
I have therefore taken some time out of my schedule as agitator and vivisectionist to compile a brief guide to England and those who live there:
ENGLAND; WHAT IT IS?
A network of motorways and military bases on a broad isthmus between Wales and Scotland, England is among the world's leading entrepôts for tobacco and drink smuggling.
Like many other Germanic and Scandanavian tribes, the English have been cowed by self-doubt in recent decades, and have turned from beserking empire-hurlers into a nation of social workers, drones and emigrants.
Despite brief periods of independence in 954-1066 and 1649-1660, England has largely weltered under Norman, Welsh, Scottish, Dutch, German, Belgian and again Scottish rule.
High taxation has kept the mass of the population impoverished, with potential leaders subsumed into the ruling elites through the enticement of civil service pensions. Anyone else with any sense has moved to a cottage in Wales.
All major parties are either run by Scots or soon will be. The Barnett Formula requires 2/3 of each cabinet to be made up of Scots of various types.
Welshmen were given their own country by the Here You Are Boys Act of 1998, but campaigns to let the English have one as well have been vetoed by the Labour government under the Parliament Act (Retention of Majority) of 2006.
Major English exports include all clever people and the Armed Forces. England has an extensive foreign investment programme, with franchises of drunk louts and plain, shouty women in the beach resorts of most Mediterranean countries. Imports include contraband toxins and child brides.
England has an extensive and influential European diaspora centred on the criminal community of Valencia, adulterous City commuters in Normandy and newspaper columnists in central Italy.
Britain transferred all rights to the English language over to the United States under the Lend-Lease Programme during the Second World War. This requires all English pop groups to sing with American accents with the exception of XTC, The Fall and other regional comedy acts.
English classical musicians are also required to have daft girly voices like Peter Pears or to look like dils (see Nigel Kennedy).
This has left the English with football and beer, both of which are consumed lukewarm according to the national taste.
In recent years cricket has been outsourced to South Asia, but rugby has acquired popularity among women who drive Range Rovers.
The replacement of lard and cigarettes with Scotch bonnet peppers and crack has made the English diet more vibrant and diverse. Life expectancy and general cheeriness nonetheless remain stubbornly high, but forthcoming budgets are expected to address this.