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August 18, 2006



Someone from the office (I work in Budapest) came back from London the other day and, in accordance with office tradition, sent email around the office - 'English cookies in the kitchen' .

I was rather intrigued at what 'English cookies' might be so wandered around the have a look. Scottish shortbread in a tartan box with 'made in Scotland' printed all over it. On behalf of all my Scottish friends I took offence for a good half second before getting stuck in. They were good - made me proud to be English.

Martin McCallion

Hey Dave: Happily _partnered_: not married. But thanks.

And Molasses: I can only smile wryly at that.

Dave Hill

Forgive me, Martin. I can only think it's because, having just returned from a brorhter-in-law's wedding, I had marriage on the brain. And, yes, Molasses's story is a beauty.

Political Umpire

Anyone who doesn't like cricket doesn't understand it and anyone who doesn't understand it is thick. So there.

Interesting comment about the "English army". A friend interested in military history has lent me a book by Sir John French, disgraced commander of the British forces in WWI from 1914-1915. He wrote the book in 1919, and refers throughout to the day on which "England" declared war, and several times the "English" army, though he singles out Indian troops for praise at one point.

On the other hand, as an antipodean, I can confirm the importance of the symbolism of ANZAC day, which refers to the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign (French is keen to show he opposed the campaign). ANZACs regard the day as the point at which they realised that blindly following Mother England was a bad idea. In the definitive film version, by Peter Weir (made about 1981) all the stereotypes are on display: the honest Aussie diggers charge forward to certain death whilst the handlebar moustaches set up tea trays on the beachfront. I was quite shocked to discover subsequently that 75% of the troops involved in the action were actually British, so for them it was a greater tragedy (you might also add that for all the blunders of the campaign and might-have-beens, the lessons learnt were put to very good use during D-Day - though not by the Americans, who hadn't been involved in WWI at the time of Gallipoli). I'm way off the topic so I'll quit whilst behind ...


John Lennon's use of the term English here is quite deliberate and is used sarcastically. He knows it isn't true, but the film he saw presents it as the truth. That's the point of the whole song: what you see in the media isn't really life.

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