2003, Elton John No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Are You Ready For Love.’ The song was recorded in 1977 and released in 1979, when it reached No.42. It was used by Sky TV for their Premiership football ads..
The weather was not too hot and we started the day with a mid morning swim followed by a chat by the side of the pool about the Winter ahead . After another dismal Liverpool performance over the weekend I am still having to defend my position that the manager needs changing. He might well be a very nice man but we need an absolute winner and losing 3-0 at home to West Ham was a battering. Cutiño certainly should not have been dismissed. The first yellow card was innocuous and the second was ridiculous. The opposing player ran into him so how could he be blamed? The same with the Nolan sending off later for West Ham. This nonsense has to be addressed as it’s making a mockery of the sport.
This day in 1997 was the day Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed died. I have a suspicion there is still lots more to be revealed regarding this tragic event and it is interesting to see how it is still bubbling in the Spanish press. Sadly, there is always more to most events than meets the eye.
There has been a discussion on TV as to whether too much immigration is spoiling Britishness and it is easy to spot from a distance that people don’t really know what Being British means. One panellist, quite rightly, said that people are being bullied by the PC Brigade to accept everything and to be afraid of criticizing.
The fact of the matter is that we, especially the English, have become a mongrel nation and this process has been ongoing for many years. Margaret Thatcher’s Government had implemented a policy copying that of Governor Reagan in California to embrace multiculturism. This was embraced by the Labour Governments and, via the European Union, has become socialism by the back door. Others will give their version whereas, as a mature student, I had to sit through lectures about what would happen and I have subsequently seen what has happened and is still happening.
I am now convinced that Enoch Powell was more realist than racist. I remember when I’d be about 22 that I travelled up to Blackburn and was amazed by the amount of people from other ethnic areas living there. Most of this settlement would have been as a result of the Lancashire Cotton Industry. I remember going down to London around the same time and being amazed in Brixton at the difference between Merseyside and Brixton. Later came the Toxteth riots and, having been a DJ around the city, I could see the various factions had racial entities with Chinese and Black communities well to the fore even in Reece’s Ballroom in Clayton Square where I had been working.
After the Toxteth Riots we made our decision to move to Cornwall. This was a very fringe community with some quite extreme separatist points of view. Racist comments were not uncommon and very few black people were living in Cornwall in 1982.
In recent years, when we visited th UK we have been very surprised at the intensity of the developments of different communities in Birmingham. The drive from the airport to our lodgings showed us that there were many areas where we would be in the minority. All these thoughts were flooding through my mind as I tried to define what being British meant.
Having been elated during the London Olympic Games then feeling the same elation when watching Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farrah winning their medals I know I am not racist. Each has excelled and I feel as proud as the next British person when I see them draping the Union Flag around their torso to take their lap of honour. It’s a similar pride that I feel when watching the Ghurkas showing their allegiance to the flag. I still feel the Queen is immensely appropriate and I still feel proud of my Merseyside heritage. However, the PC Brigade are making things very contrived and Britain is vastly different to the Britain we left in 2002.
The current wave of immigration will also filter the last vestiges of feeling British. At least the common language helps but I think the English have an identity crisis. I felt this as I tried to organise the British component of the International Day in La Nucia. I think I can understand being Irish, Welsh or Scottish. In line with today’s discussion on being British I dug out the following poem I had been sent. It isn’t new and has been doing the rounds on the Internet. However, as an expat, it does give a perspective of how we feel.
Farewell to England
Goodbye to my England , So long my old friend
Your days are numbered, being brought to an end
To be Scottish, Irish or Welsh that’s fine
But don’t say you’re English, that’s way out of line.
The French and the Germans may call themselves such
So may Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch
You can say you are Russian or maybe a Dane
But don’t say you’re English ever again.
At Broadcasting House the word is taboo
In Brussels it’s scrapped, in Parliament too
Even schools are affected. Staff do as they’re told
They must not teach children about England of old.
Writers like Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw
The pupils don’t learn about them anymore
How about Agincourt, Hastings , Arnhem or Mons ?
When England lost hosts of her very brave sons.
We are not Europeans, how can we be?
Europe is miles away, over the sea
We’re the English from England , let’s all be proud
Stand up and be counted – Shout it out loud!
Let’s tell our Government, and Brussels too
We’re proud of our heritage and the Red, White and Blue
Fly the flag of Saint George or the Union Jack too
Prince Charles is visiting an Edinburgh hospital. He enters a ward full of Patients with no obvious sign of injury or illness and greets one.
The patient replies: “Fair fa your honest sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin race, Aboon them a ye tak yer place, Painch, tripe or thairm, As langs ma airm.”
Charles is confused, so he just grins and moves on to the next patient.
The Patient responds: “Some hae meat an canna eat, And some wad eat that want it, But we hae meat an we can eat, So let the Lord be thankit.”
Even more confused, and his grin now rictus-like, the Prince moves on to the Next patient, who immediately begins to chant: “Wee sleekit, courin, timrous beasty, O whit a panic’s in thy breasty, Tha needna start awa sae hastie, Wi bickerin’ brattle.”
Now seriously troubled, Charles turns to the accompanying doctor and asks “Is this a psychiatric ward?” No,” replies the doctor, “this is the serious Burns unit.” ———————————————————————
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”
The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels . The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be all right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the Barbie this weekend!” and “The Barbie is canceled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level. – John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall person
World Events 31st August
1823 – Ferdinand VII was restored to the throne of Spain when invited French forces entered Cadiz. The event is known as the Battle of Trocadero.
1881 – The first tennis championships in the U.S. were played. They’re still going today
1887 – The kinetoscope was patented by Thomas Edison. The device was used to produce moving pictures. Clever stuff
1888 – Mary Ann “Polly” Nicholls was found murdered in London. The murder is generally accepted as the first “Jack the Ripper” crime.
1940 – Lawrence Olivier and Vivian Leigh were married. Classic
1962 – The Caribbean nations Tobago and Trinidad became independent within the British Commonwealth. We lost our best sprinters
1964 – California officially became the most populated state in America.
1969 – The boxer Rocky Marciano died in an airplane crash in Iowa. A legend
1980 – Poland’s Solidarity labour movement was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk that ended a 17-day strike.
1986 – The Admiral Nakhimov, a Soviet passenger ship, collided with a merchant vessel in the Black Sea. 448 people were killed when both ships sank. Dreadful
1988 – A Delta Boeing 727 crashed during takeoff at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas. Fourteen people were killed in the accident that was later blamed on the crew’s failure to set the wing flaps in their proper position.
1989 – Great Britain’s Princess Anne and Mark Phillips announced that they were separating. The marriage was 16 years old. Pity
1990 – U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar met with the Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz to try and negotiate a solution to the crisis in the Persian Gulf. They were not serious about negotiating in Iraq
1990 – East and West Germany signed a treaty that meant the harmonizing of political and legal systems.
1991 – Uzbekistan and Kirghiziz declared their independence from the Soviet Union. They were the 9th and 10th republics to announce their plans to secede.
1994 – A cease-fire was declared by the Irish Republican Army after 25 years of bloodshed in Northern Ireland. Thank God
1994 – Russia officially ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the Baltics after a half-century.
1997 – Princess Diana of Wales died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and their chauffeur were also killed.We still miss her
1998 – A ballistic missile was fired over Japan by North Korea. The missile landed in stages in the waters around Japan. There was no known target. Does not augur well for the future
1998 – U.S. embassies in Ghana and Togo were closed indefinitely because of security threats.
1998 – “Titanic” became the first movie in North America to earn more than $600 million.
1999 – At least 69 people were killed when a Boeing 737 crashed just after take off in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Horrible
1956, The top 10 songs in the UK singles chart were all by American artists including Elvis Presley, The Platters, Doris Day, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers and Gogi Grant.Who?
1957, Elvis Presley appeared at the Empire Stadium in Vancouver, Canada. This was only the third time ever Presley had performed outside of the U.S. and for Elvis it would be the last.
1963, the girl trio Angels started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’. I loved this song
1963, The Ronettes first entered the US singles chart with ‘Be My Baby’ the girl group’s only top 10 hit. I loved this as well 1965, Sonny & Cher arrived in the UK for their first promotional visit. He was strange
1968, The Move, The Pretty Things, The Crazy World Of Aurthur Brown, Orange Bicycle, Jefferson Airplane, Fairport Convention and Tyrannosaurus Rex all appeared at the first Isle Of Wight Festival held over two days. Tickets, 25 shillings. Good value
1971, The Rolling Stones plus the father of Brian Jones, filed a high court writ against ex managers Oldham and Easton. Claiming they made a secret deal with Decca Records in 1963 to deprive the group of royalties. There were dodgy deals about 1974, Rolling Stone Keith Richards was quoted as saying; ‘I gave up drugs when the doctor told me I had six months to live.’ Good advice to take
1974, Traffic made their last live performance at the annual UK Reading Festival. Other acts appearing included; Alex Harvey, 10cc, Focus, Steve Harley and Procol Harum. £5.50 for a weekend ticket. I’m a Stevie Winwood fan
1976, George Harrison was found guilty of ‘subconscious plagiarism’ of the Ronnie Mack song ‘He’s So Fine’ when writing ‘My Sweet Lord’. I never really understood this
1985, ‘Brothers In Arms’ by Dire Straits started a nine-week run at No.1 on the US album charts. Brilliant album
1985, UB40 with guest vocals from Chrissie Hynde had the UK No.1 single with their version of the Sonny Bono song ‘I Got You Babe’ a hit for Sonny & Cher in 1965. Nice cover
1986, After living together for 10 years Bob Geldof married TV presenter Paula Yates in Las Vegas with Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon as the best man. Yates died of a drug overdose on 17th September 2000. Strange event
1987, The largest pre-order of albums in the history of CBS Records occurred as 2.25 million copies of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ album were shipped to record stores in the US. 1990, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder sang ‘Amazing Grace’ at a memorial service held for guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan who had been killed in a helicopter crash 4 days earlier. Nice
1991, Jason Donovan and the original London cast from the show, ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat went to No.1 on the UK album chart. OK 1997, Oasis went to No.1 on the UK album chart with their third album ‘Be Here Now.’ The album had sold over a million copies on the first day of release. On a roll
2003, Elton John No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Are You Ready For Love.’ The song was recorded in 1977 and released in 1979, when it reached No.42. It was used by Sky TV for their Premiership football ads,Great track
2004, Carl Wayne the singer with The Move died from cancer. Sad 2004, UK medical magazine Thorax issued a warning to music fans saying that listening to loud music in the car can give you a collapsed lung. One 19 year-old had been treated in Bristol after his left lung collapsed as his 1,000-watt bass box boomed out in his Fiat Panda.
2006, The Times ran a story on the demands of rock stars when on tour. Ozzy Osbourne insists on an eye, ear, nose and throat doctor at each venue. The Beach Boys require a licensed masseur, Meat Loaf a mask and one small tank of oxygen. David Bowie requests that the dressing room temperature is between 14c and 18c and Paul McCartney must have a large arrangement of white Casablanca lilies in his dressing room. Mick Jagger must have an onstage autocue with the lyrics to all the songs, it would also tell him the name of the city in which they were performing. All good stuff
1939, Jerry Allison, drums, The Crickets 1940, Wilton Felder, The Crusaders 1944, Roger Dean, English artist. Designed album covers for Yes, Atomic Rooster, Uriah Heep, Gentle Giant, Greenslade, Steve Howe, Asia. 1945, Van Morrison, singer, songwriter, Them, 1955, Anthony Thistlethwaite, The Waterboys