Stuff & Nonsense #1035

-> Heard it on the radio
-> Saw it on the news today
-> Heard the lonely people say
-> There’s a great big crack in the union jack
Heard it on the radio

“Few reached the same conclusions as me, and everyone I knew, which was strange, because they seemed so very obvious: Britain would never grow up. Britain, with its stiff upper lip gone slack, was now a blubbering baby. Britain had missed what may have been its last chance to change. The 90s were a turning point, possibilites spread like a fan of cards… and Britain came out of it dumber, more pliant, more boastfully backward than ever.

The flag-waving’s for real now. And it’s what it always is – a sign of insecurity – but within that is a terrible kind of strength. In the confusion of austerity a brand new Britishness is afoot, like the old one but fractionally closer to fascism. More than apolitical – actively hostile to radical thought. More than dismissive of class-consciousness – angry at the slightest suggestion that anyone’s problem might not be a problem with them, but a problem with Britain. It’s everywhere. And every single chance it gets, it guts that “other” Britishness, the kind pop music once personified, the kind that’s all about irreverence, vitality and wit. Not just in the present, but retrospectively – watch now, as history slowly changes; watch the life and meaning being sucked from everything good that ever emerged from this island, starting with Britpop pin-up boys like The Beatles, The Smiths, the Sex Pistols… all that love and scorn wiped from the past, and therefore from the future.”

Saw it on the news today

“The product being served up by BBC Scotland in terms of coverage of the referendum is dire. There’s no imaginative programming and virtually no attempt at exploring in mature fashion the key issues.

Debates are reduced to puerile shouting matches with the same questions featuring again and again and the same scripted answers. The same talking heads turn up saying the same thing over and over on the limited current affairs programmes available.

Daytime radio offers us Morning Call. A programme designed to allow poorly informed people to display their own ignorance and in some cases their political prejudices, to the world.

The truth is the BBC in Scotland has blown the referendum. The CBI episode merely reinforces the extent of the arrogant blundering that has placed political agenda in front of honest journalism.

Iain McMillan has announced he is to step down as head of the CBI in Scotland. In truth a move already planned, but spun nonetheless in an attempt to take the heat from his superiors in London who so miscalculated the political mood in Scotland.”

Heard the lonely people say

WASHINGTON—Citing a series of fatal malfunctions dating back to 1777, flag manufacturer Annin & Company announced Monday that it would be recalling all makes and models of its popular American flag from both foreign and domestic markets.

Representatives from the nation’s leading flag producer claimed that as many as 143 million deaths in the past two centuries can be attributed directly to the faulty U.S. models, which have been utilized extensively since the 18th century in sectors as diverse as government, the military, and public education.

“It has come to our attention that, due to the inherent risks and hazards it poses, the American flag is simply unfit for general use,” said Annin & Company president Ronald Burman, who confirmed that the number of flag-related deaths had noticeably spiked since 2003. “I would like to strongly urge all U.S. citizens: If you have an American flag hanging in your home or place of business, please discontinue using it immediately.”

Added Burman, “The last thing we would want is for more innocent men and women around the world to die because of our product.”

There’s a great big crack in the union jack

“In Scotland, where I now live, there is both a perceived national identity but also regional identities too. The west of Scotland has always seemed like a different country to the Highlands. Edinburgh, where I live, is more like an independent state and one of the few places you can pay £5 for a pint and be expected to feel privileged to do so.”


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