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Littler England

A long term cure for Englishness
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The culture of the English which is celebrated by the UK’s political class as Britishness – is narrow-minded, class-ridden, fearful, smug and ill-informed. This is not a good basis for culture, or for getting on in the world. It is the sort of culture that permits the rise of UKIP and the parallel descent of the remainder of the political class into something akin to a bucket filled almost but not quite to the brim with etiolated newts, whole newt dynasties bred, rising and falling, in this bucket, knowing only the bucket, climbing and slithering over and under and over one another until they die, sink and turn to mulch.

For the good of England, this needs to be fixed. Fixing this is not easy but there is a way.

I subscribe, somewhere between whole- and half-heartedly, to the theory that a culture is in part shaped by the physical geography in which the culture arises. I subscribe to the parallel notion that where the physical geography of an area is generally conducive to comfortable living that the culture in that area is more greatly influenced by political geography. The case in point is the culture of the English, which comes from and is supported by (a) a long and proud history of being not physically joined to the landmass containing her political rivals and (b) being large and fertile and generally quite hospitable terrain. To fix the English, we must fix England. We must fix her by making her smaller, by sinking everything outside of the M25 into the sea. This will allow London and its immediate surrounds to continue as a kind of European Singapore, financially important but politically irrelevant. This approach has the advantage that people in London will not notice.

What this will do is complete the alignment of London’s self-interest with England’s self-interest, which is politically already in train, while increasing London-England’s dependence on other countries for everything other than waterfront property. England, then, in a few generations, will become as Hong Kong, a bastion of capitalist co-operation with its neighbours and / or suppliers. A necessarily more tolerant and open-minded culture will flourish.

The alternative plan would be to sink London into the ground, which would have a more positive effect on English culture but the markets are for some reason skittish about this.

calum, Apr 09 2015

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       // narrow-minded, class-ridden, fearful, smug and ill-informed. //   

       We'll vote for that. Like we always have done' dontcherknow.   

       // This is not a good basis for culture, or for getting on in the world. //   

       It worked perfectly well between 1550 and 1950. Had a nice little Empire, then the socialists gave it away ...   

       // It is the sort of culture that permits the rise of UKIP //   

       You say that like it's somehow a bad thing ...   

       // and the parallel descent of the remainder of the political class into something akin to a bucket filled almost but not quite to the brim with etiolated newts, whole newt dynasties bred, rising and falling, in this bucket, knowing only the bucket, climbing and slithering over and under and over one another until they die, sink and turn to mulch.//   

       ^ THIS COMMENT IS PEJORATIVE, SPECIESIST, AND DISRESPECTS NEWTS.   

       // For the good of England, //   

       And, by inference, the rest of the planet ...   

       // this needs to be fixed. Fixing this is not easy but there is a way.//   

       <hopeful>   

       Ahhh, [calum] has seen the light. OK, your job is to kneel on the right of the Vickers gun, and feed the belts in ...   

       <hopeful>   

       // The alternative plan would be to sink London into the ground, //   

       You seem to have become confused. That IS Plan "A". There is no Plan "B".   

       // which would have a more positive effect on English culture //   

       No, because there is no "English" culture in London ( or indeed culture of any sort, except plague bacteria), nor has there been for some considerable time.   

       // but the markets are for some reason skittish about this. //   

       They'll get over it.
8th of 7, Apr 09 2015
  

       This is very odd. We were planning quite the reverse.   

       It turns out that Wales has lots of hills. By levelling these off and moving the spoil to the eastern side of England, we can not only make Wales habitable (or at least largely horizontal), but we can also fill in most of that shallow water to the east, thereby creating extra space for a conservatory.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 09 2015
  

       The Doggerland conservatory could be opened by Shirley Hughes if she's still capable.
bs0u0155, Apr 09 2015
  

       [bs0u0155] - very clever
hippo, Apr 09 2015
  

       Indeed; a rather less ugly image than we had feared, given the context.   

       // spoil //   

       What an ironically appropriate word for something that originates in wales ...
8th of 7, Apr 09 2015
  

       Litter England = Drop your trash anywhere you like.
popbottle, Apr 11 2015
  

       I think the main issue here is the deeply non vocal nature of much of what is "Englishness". Unfortunately this means that while Jeremy Clarkson and other oafish types bound about having opinions for money, lots of real Englishness remains ensconced behind closed doors.   

       If I had one amendment to put to the idea as posted, it would be to make available some form of floatation platform/device that could be government-issued to each Englishman's shed, allowing it to be lifted clear of the coming floodwaters and carry afloat the last dying remnants of English pipe-smoking, Grandad trouser- wearing, wood and metal working "touche-à-tout" boat people - These folk might form the stock for a new diaspora - and plant new little seeds of England around the world in a long overdue resurgence of culture-in- practice that has since become overlooked.
zen_tom, Apr 13 2015
  

       Meanwhile, is it settled which new political division of England will be handling the geopolitical relations now? You've been curiously absent from quite a number of recent international vexations, even going so far as to letting the French take the lead in dealings with Russia as of late, with predictable results. Have you gone all Neville Chamberlain on us?
RayfordSteele, Apr 13 2015
  

       Englishness as experienced in English is yes deeply non-vocal (primarily because it is flags). Englishness as export is necessarily vocal. Intra-shire Englishness is AOK with me - it affects only English people and people who by and large have chosen to come to England - extra-national Englishness is the problem, and Clarkson is part of it: the English as experienced by people outside of England is in broad terms, horrible and petty and it is only through a literal flooding of the non-capital hinterland that a more internationally-palatable Englisness can come to pass.   

       I am, however, on board with the idea of the displaced peoples of non-London-England forming an allotment armada, bobbing in the currents, washing up in the Azores at first, then across the Atlantic to have a second, less militarily inclined crack at the Caribbean, the English this time in the role of huddled masses, seeing now how they like being yanked from the warm sea and thrown into makeshift detention centres.   

       There is a parallel here with what Rupe Murdoch did with the News of the World: this is a public relations exercise, a notional destruction of a cancerous organ, replaced after a less than seemly period with a rough equivalent. Englishness gets a rebrand without any underlying change or improvement.
calum, Apr 13 2015
  

       ahem ahem
pashute, Jun 26 2016
  

       I know, right! Of the many things I got wrong, the biggest was not realising that it would be the non-capital hinterland that'd pre-emptively scuttle the ship like the pirates who spotted Asterix & Obelix off the port bow.
calum, Jun 27 2016
  

       touché (or at least it would have been if it had come after the other) ;D
Skewed, Jun 27 2016
  

       // Englishness gets a rebrand without any ... improvement. //   

       Tautology - Englishness cannot be improved.
8th of 7, Jun 27 2016
  

       // pre-emptively scuttle the ship like the pirates who spotted Asterix & Obelix off the port bow //   

       a nice analogy & actually quite complimentary in a way to the English (surprising that), in doing so they only got wet instead of receiving yet another beating & then getting wet so it was the intelligent move ;D   

       was this a deliberate yet subtle compliment [calum] or didn't you see it that way?
Skewed, Jun 27 2016
  

       //Englishness cannot be improved.//   

       Oh? That's sad. Try the new turd-polisher 3000!
RayfordSteele, Jun 27 2016
  

       // Englishness simply cannot be improved. //   

       Though it is currently being strengthened with the removal of Euroness.
whatrock, Jun 27 2016
  

       // Try the new turd-polisher 3000! //   

       Thanks for the offer, but it looks like the Democrats have pre-ordered the entire production - until November, anyway.
8th of 7, Jun 27 2016
  
      
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