Monday 10 October 2011

Immigrant Song

I was delighted to read that David Cameron is to be tougher on people wanting citizenship and illegal immigrants – his plan his twofold: (1) He wants me to go around the country looking for people I am suspicious of being an illegal immigrant and reporting it to him and (2) He is going to add some questions about the royal family to the quiz potential citizens have to win to get a passport.

Admittedly the way I have expressed the first point makes it sound like he is setting me up as a one man army on the people ” with silly religions and languages, stealing money out of babies’ purses and robbing pensions from the old and infirm” (his words – not mine, well that’s what he is implying: I know, you know it and I am pretty sure he doesn’t mind that we do). He hasn’t. And I wouldn’t do it if he did ask me. Even if he asked me really nicely, perhaps breaking down and crying mid proposal to say he only wants what’s best for everyone.

No, he isn’t saying I am a one man lynch squad. He is indirectly though: he wants you (he’s pointing at you when he says it, like that ‘Your Country Needs You’ poster), and again I don’t literally mean you alone – us, the people of Britain to report anyone we deem suspicious. Significantly he does NOT say he would be annoyed if people start persecuting people who they only suspect of being an illegal immigrant. Sometimes it is what someone doesn’t say that is as important as what they do say. Don’t be swayed by his figures of ‘over 12 people having been found to have come to England for a better life without due process’. Don’t fall for his (not published but likely claims) that if you don’t report anyone you suspect of being foreign (and that’s what he means) then you are effectively putting a shot gun in the mouth of a (white) child and pulling the trigger. Just ignore him.

As for the ‘Being English’ pub quiz machine he is launching for the pubs of Border patrol, then they just sound silly. Is he really saying that for £1 a terrorist can answer 11 questions about ‘Being English’ (with one pass and two ‘try again’s) and win a token that allows them to come and claim the dole, or worse still take the job a good, solid Englander? No. But again it is almost as pointless what he is saying, and the sarcastic rhetoric I added at the end about dole/job stealing is probably something he would say.

No. They are adding some history questions to the citizenship test (the one non-Oligarchs/any other multi-millionaires don’t have to take, or if they do they can get one of the Eggheads to do for them).

There’s a whole chapter in the citizenship handbook on British history but, incredibly, there is no question on British history in the actual test (D.Cameron, England)

Yes it is incredible isn’t it? It’s almost like knowing who Henry III’s niece was is irrelevant to someone wanting to be a citizen of this crumbling isle; It’s almost as if the history of England isn’t that well known by most of it’s ‘proper’ (my inverted commas) citizens (because History isn’t seen as an important subject because someone didn’t like it whose dad was Secretary for Education in 1982). “I’m sorry. I know you are a qualified doctor and your homeland is in the clasp of a Dictator killing people for being Doctors but you said Mary II was the brother of Henry VII when, of course, he was only her half-brother so you can’t come in.”

People already have to know the dates of the Saints days and the dates of the main Christian festivals on these tests. Why? And do they have to know the next Easter or the last Easter? Are they punished for referring to Pentecost rather than Whitsun?

I am not saying that history isn’t important and its study is irrelevant. I am not saying it’s good that the majority of people not knowing who William The Conqueror is, but they do know what days Eastenders is on. I’m not. In fact, it’s bad people don’t. But there are more important things. There has to be some kind of control on the borders, but thinking that knowing the royal lineage represents some knowledge of Englishness is crazy (yes, I know they’re all foreign – I was being witty, enjoy it). There is some good stuff on the test – there is definitely no harm in ensuring people know how democracy works here, for example (NB: the majority of the country votes for someone else, twat-man becomes Prime Minister, fleeces the people and pretends to wag his finger at the mega rich while slowly eroding insignificant things like The National Health Service. Praise be for democracy).


Inventory my dear Watson

Once upon a time someone thought that when they saw a chicken shitting, and this is what it would have looked like to an observer: shitting, an egg that they should take that shit/egg and see what it tasted like. Let’s place it in some boiling water for a few minutes and then eat it, they thought. Someone else – probably not on the same day – thought, I will crack that egg (I am guessing they were definitely calling it an egg by this stage) on to a piece of very hot metal and then eat it.

It’s not just eggs that amaze me. The process of making; bread, alcohol, chips and nine other things also amazes me. They were a clever bunch those guys, thinking I wonder if I mix this with that and boil it and then eat it, it might be nice.

And don’t get me started on milk (not literally, my mother’s lactating busom took care of that 33 years ago). Who was the first person to think – them tits that cows give their babies milk with are like the tits our adult females give our baby babies human milk with. Could this cow’s milk be something humans might drink? Logistics demand that adult women have to stop getting milk from their tits in to babies’ mouths: they can’t produce enough; teeth appearing make suckling a wholly more painful experience for the women; and it just starts to look a bit weird when the children reach a certain age, people realised – after thinking it through. [Though some didn’t. I watched a documentary a few years ago and there were kids in the documentary still having some at ten.]

I don’t know if it was the whim of one person or a think tank of the brightest minds of the day who thought of supplementing human drinks (tea, wine, water and early forerunner for Ribena) with the milk of the cows’ tits. Or someone just caught sucking one and thinking fast on his feet, pretending he had thought it through and that it would definitely be beneficial to his health to drink this cow milk.

Let’s not get bogged down in the wheres and whys though. Whether it a room full of boffins or a deranged wifeless farmer cessating a primeval urge, it bloody worked. The cows milk was great; full of calcium and other stuff. Admittedly centuries later people would skim it (a bit, halfway) and then completely to make it even more healthier (and less able to flavour tea or make it the right colour – unless you use loads of it) but still: it all stemmed from somewhere. And it’s bloody nice.

My point, I do kind of have one, is that we are pretty good as a race at inventing things. I do sometimes wonder did we just hit lucky with the urge to eat a chicken period or suck a cow’s tit? Surely there were less successful ideas that got buried under failures. Did we really only try all the magical things that worked successfully (putting hot water with coffee; using coconut butter to make skin nicer; or eating pigs)? Is there a history of people melting cats to see if it made people grow taller? Crushing librarians in a vice to see if their juice reversed ageing? Or, shaving the hair from a dog to boil it with the shit from a weasel to see if the mixture produced an antidote to the common cold.

Nope – turns out I didn’t have a point. Sorry.

*Sometimes the lesser of two evils is really good for being just that.

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