The Olympic Games are not two days old, and already the Brits are showing a totally bloody typical defeatist attitude:

BBC: Olympics venues stuffed - Lord Coe

Granted, we're having one or two problems with the Olympic venues, but that doesn't mean they're totally stuffed, does it, Lord Coe? Where's your sense of proportion? Where's your Blitz Spirit?

Imagine if Churchill had said we were stuffed two days after Dunkirk. Old Adolf would have been foxtrotting goose-stepping down the Mall and having us singing La Marseillaise within a week.

We are Team GB! Hear us roar!

Let's go!


I'll tell you what's wrong with this country: I'll tell you one thing that's wrong with this country: people in Britain are allowed to own guns just for fun.

On the whole, I'm all for people being allowed to do whatever the hell they like, provided they don't inconvenience anyone else. But that's the problem with guns you see: being shot by some legal gun owner who's thrown a wobbler is definitely inconvenient. I want to be protected from people like that. And the most practical way to protect me from people like that is not to allow them to own guns in the first place. Guns don't kill people; homicidal nutters with guns kill people.

Which brings me to hydrocortisone cream. Hydrocortisone is a steroid used to treat skin inflammation. I use it occasionally for the mild eczema I get behind my knees and in my elbow joints during hot weather. It works wonders. Along comes the hot weather, along comes the irritating itchiness, on goes the hydrocortisone cream, away goes the ichiness, on goes my life. Fantastic.

Last weekend, I was getting low on hydrocortisone cream, so I went to the chemist to buy some more. No problem: they had plenty. Then, as an afterthought, I made the mistake of asking for a second tube of the stuff to keep at work…

The chemist looked at me as if I'd asked to shag his wife. What sort of psychopath would want to buy two tubes of hydrocortisone cream? He explained that selling me two tubes of hydrocortisone cream was against Sharia law, the Hippocratic Oath, and three of the Ten Commandments. A definite no-no. I told him that I was 45 years old, and asked what on earth he thought I was going to do with the stuff. The chemist wasn't interested in providing an answer; he was too busy trying to repel me from his shop with a homeopathic dilution of wolf's bane. So I said I'd see him next week and left, solitary tube of hydrocortisone cream in hand.

Which brings me back to one of the things that's wrong with this country: I want to be protected from homicidal, gun-wielding nutters; I don't want to be protected from myself.

Gets me right there

I'm not a particularly patriotic chap. I like England to win at the rugby (best not mention yesterday), I think it's great that Charles Darwin was one of ours, and, as far as I'm concerned, I live on the most beautiful island on the planet. But I also happen to think that the union flag is pretty damn tacky, I couldn't give a flying toss about how crap our overpaid soccer team is doing yet again, and I cringe with embarrassment every time I hear the opening chords of the national anthem—it's the Twenty-First Century, for Christ's sake!

My mate Fitz rightly points out that it would be ridiculous for me to feel proud of being English/British. I didn't have any say in the matter; I just happened to be born where I was. I also happen to have been born with two legs, but I don't feel particularly proud of them. Actually, that's a bad example, as I have a particularly fine pair of legs, but you catch my general drift.

But every now and again, I come across something which gets me right there. Something which tugs at my latent patriotic heart-strings. Something which makes me cry out, "YES, THAT IS US! WE ARE BRITISH. WE ARE BETTER THAN YOU, AND I AM PROUD OF IT!"

Something like this:

Portrait of a young woman dressed as Boadecia or Mother England

Portrait of a young woman dressed as Boadecia or Mother England.


National motto

Occasionally, visitors to this site accidentally click the wrong link and leave a comment against the wrong item. Usually, if I realise their mistake, I simply move the misplaced comment over to the intended item.

Earlier this week, on the Guardian newspaper's Comment is Free website, some poor soul made a similar mistake. In an item about the ludicrous suggestion that Britain should have a national motto (politicians, huh?), a person calling themself Bleedingheart accidentally posted a comment saying:

They are the Falkland Islands, twit, and they were British long before America seized Texas, California, the rest of the "Southwest" and all the oil and minerals they contained.

They immediately realised their mistake and added a second comment:

Yikes, sorry about that, wrong thread. Ignore! Ignore!

… But it was too late: the other commenters were on to Bleedingheart.

It turns out that They are the Falkland Islands, twit would make an extremely popular national motto amongst the Guardian-reading intelligentsia.

It's worth reading the article and its comments: they made me laugh out loud at least twice. (But it should be said that I was pretty tired at the time.)

A union of two halves

Erm… Does nobody see the irony in this?

BBC: Scotland exempt from UK flag plan

Proposals to fly the Union flag every day on public buildings are set not to apply to Scotland.

It's a bloody crap flag anyway. We should invent a new one. No design consultants. No children's competitions. No symbollix. Just get someone to come up with a half-decent flag.

One with a biscuit on it perhaps.

Everyone likes biscuits.