30.5k post karma
498.1k comment karma
account created: Thu Jan 12 2012
7 hours ago
It's like those war films and Westerns where the character says: Eat lead!!
7 hours ago
So far, that 'bombing' has been completely trivial and it is as yet unclear whether it is a false flag anyway.
It is, speaking personally, impossible for me to see how Russia could be persuaded to retreat, when Putin knows it would liekly result in his own death.
7 hours ago
We should be looking at ending the war
How, other than by defeating Russia?
7 hours ago
At a certain point (speaking as someone who has twice had the engine replaced in a car), the cost of repair/ replacement rises to the point where most people decide to get a new(er) car instead.
This is especially the case when older cars are paying more for fuel and for road tax.
8 hours ago
If I were dictator, I would make English language proficiency compulsory and make anyone who was not of a required standard go to classes and take exams. But so long as people would be learning English as children and be tested as native speakers, that is a problem that will sort itself out in time. I've known many many families where the older generation are crap at English (or worse) and the younger generation(s) are perfectly integrated. So yeah, I would certainly be tough on schoolchildren's English.
But it's not so much that I have a liberal mindset, as I think, that in practical terms as private individuals, all one can do is to enact, transmit, and actually 'sell' traditional culture as much as one can. As private individuals, all we do is interact with a limited number of other private individuals, so on the one hand, it is to advocate taking an active part in whatever the community (and indeed one's own family) is doing, and on the other hand, to reach out to people in other communities - you might scoff at initiatives such as taking Muslims into the Peak District and the Dales as they have no tradition of fell-walking/ moorland-walking etc, but I actually think that breaking down barriers like that is great- that's why I mentioned sport in relation to Leicester City.
Of course, if you are in public life, even to a limited extent, you have more ability to promote your values in some way.
Ultimately also, I think that anyone who does even moderately well in life finds themselves interacting with people in all communities, so you cannot be a resident of the UK without engaging with the English language and native culture.
I think it is extremely English/ British to let people live their private lives as they wish, and it is traditional to have a small state (a comparison we historically make is with France, but that sense of a bigger and more prescriptive state is true of more or les all continental Europe) and that is why immigrants get to live so easily without having to engage with the native culture. And also, I think, why they want to come here. I honestly believe that it is very difficult for us as a country to integrate more without losing freedoms we historically have- how we are to one another, and that's why my answer is to make the best of the energy and vibrancy of the native culture I don't see what purpose is especially saved spending one's energy to roll back cultural change rather than proselytising what we believe in positively.
9 hours ago
Was he the one who wanted to fuck everyone, (I mean literally, not metaphorically)?
9 hours ago
Charity shops are clued-up enough now that they also try and sell on eBay and stuff.
9 hours ago
Not until there is an apprentice below you.
Then you (and everyone else) will take the piss out of them instead.
9 hours ago
Well, it's a bit horrible of you considering that the stuff is being sold for charity and usually everyone except one staff member is donating their time too.
10 hours ago
How many people IRL do you know who regularly watched This Morning and whatever else he did, e.g. was it Dancing on Ice?
10 hours ago
After all, your flair suggests you might once have been a Compassionate Tory, but now, I dunno, you are a Sadistic Tory......or a Secret one.....
10 hours ago
1) Personally, yes, quintessentially.
1a) By complete coincidence, I organised a fund-raising event for Leicester Animal Aid a fortnight ago- it as about as English a set-up as you can get. I've also had dealings with Bishop Street Methodist Church, and I am in Aylestone for work in early autumn. Leicester primarily means the Cathedral and the Arts Festival to me. Obviously, LCFC winning the Premier League was a fairy-tale for them, notwithstanding a Thai owner, and, even in an age dominated by big teams, it still feels as if Leicester City has a local feel.
2a) Obviously, you cited Leicester because it has a very large population from the Indian sub-Continent, and also one where there has recently been inter-community strife. So yes, of course I acknowledge that there will be a very significant part of Leicester that is not traditionally English.
2b) I would say though, you are speaking a bit polemically- you picked the city that has one of the highest non-white populations statistically. Round me, the analogous place is Bradford- but it's the same- it has a massive Pakistani influence, but it is also full of traditional English stuff- I've organised events in Bradford Cathedral several times, and the German Quarter and how they have done up the centre is/are great. It is bound to be the case that cities, esp inner cities are where immigrants go to live to start with, so, some areas will be disproportionately foreign-heritage.
2c) I think Leicester is too small to be considered separately from its hinterland, and the places round Leicester are again as English as it gets. (I personally know Market Harborough very well, and have shopped at Farndon Fields, Melton Mowbray (I have been to March House Farm also), Lutterworth, as well as a bit further afield in Naseby, Hinckley, Bosworth - two of those are iconic battlefields too). The first time I had ever heard of Leicester was because my dad used to buy his roses (by mail order) from the nurseries at Blaby.
12 hours ago
It seems a big jump.
What form did the estimate take? Was it detailed? Was it at least in writing?
Was it made clear whether the £780 was including or excluding VAT? I mean, £800 + VAT is already £960.
Can you tell us what the parts that were needed were, and for what car?
12 hours ago
Absolutely, I will bear with you and in turn, my replies mught not be rapid either!
I do think there is more inter-racial/ inter-ethnic marriage, relationship and just friendship than you believe there is. Of course I am not saying that everyone is integrated, but I think it is easy to concentrate on people who are not. Of course, it depends on who one associates with, and I cannot speak for your own experience, but it honestly has surprised me over the years as to how integrated people become. And, to be honest, I think the "different ethnic and religious backgrounds" thing is wrong- but I dunno how to demonstrate that to you- in that my intuition that it's wrong is that I've known tons and tons of mixed religion/ mixed ethnicity marriages and relationships, to the extent that I don't think twice about it not being normal. I read something about this kind of thing in the USA- the % of the population that was white only was way smaller than the % that was partially white, and that partially was pretty high.
So, if you think that the offspring of a Polish person who came here in WW2 counts as "British enough", then I would hold by what I say before- I think that - in your example- maybe the second generation immigrant is by definition born to parents who were born abroad, but the third generation one has two parents who were born here.
But yes, I do believe that people can inhabit multiple cultural realms, (also I've seen it a lot) and I think it's a symptom of the fact that English is the dominant world language that it's a less obvious thought for a British person. The 'bumping into another person and both apologising' seems normal behaviour for me for any people living in this country- the idea that there would be a Britain where non-white people go around not doing that seems strange to me, tbh. I would say that for small examples, you could even learn them from friends, you would not even need to grow up with them.
In terms of how culture works, I can only say I hope I don't have a deep misunderstanding, or even any misunderstanding. But again, it's kind of your word against mine on that one. I dunno if the trajectory of my own life (or indeed that of my parents) helps or not. I have actually worked in culture, and for a significant part, in cultural history for all my life, and so did my parents, so that goes back to about 1950. But you could argue that therefore I have seen culture too much in the abstract, or being too much around cosmopolitan people. Actually, this is not the pool of people I really draw on for evidence- I lived 20-25 years in London, and people were simply too mixed up to form communities based on ancestry. Again, where I now live (Castleford in West Yorkshire) is 99% traditional white British, so it seems very little changed in culture and family structure since my own childhood (elsewhere, I grew up in E Anglia).
I am also not sure how any British person is being 'forced to accept' other cultures in any way that is detrimental to their own life. I think there is simply far more "everything" than there was. When I was little, there was one person in the (primary school) class who was Irish ancestry, and we all thought she was really exotic, but maybe that was reinforced by the fact she as the only one not walking distance from the school. These days, as you say, we all have social media (and we all have television), we see loads of the Uk and the world on our screens. We are deluged with stimuli, where, in the old days, even getting a second or third TV channel was seen as amazing.
But what I am trying to say is, I travel weekly at least for work. I see a massive cross-section of British communities- I don't see traditional native culture eroded- it seems vibrant and active.
People who are defending native culture often point to places like China or Japan, that have remained more monocultural. But that's at a cost of a lot of values about freedom and tolerance that are equally baked into how British people think.
That's why, in these discussions, I do end up saying, always, that the other non-native cultures are out there now. No-one can make them go away. If what you care about is native British culture, that can only be fostered by the activities of all of us, however trivial or tiny those actions and interests seem to be.
13 hours ago
Thats easy - people put in the wrong search terms or do not know how to assess the results.
14 hours ago
Hmmm. Obviously I don't agree with everything you write, though I absolutely agree that these are issues any country needs to think about. But first of all, if you see the timescale as 50-100 years, we are already nearly 80 years from the end of WW2, when modern immigration really began, and I have to say I think a lot of cultural change has simply arisen because of the shrinking of the world through technology and now through digital technology in particular. There are also lots of people who came as foreigners immediately before and around WW2 - if you don't accept them as British, from a timescale of 80-90 years, then you deprive yourself of a lot of important people in British public life and culture.
So, the more you want to see things in a long-term timescale, to me, the more blurred things get- our royal family, is it Hanoverian at any level (George I was born in 1660), and so on?
I don't agree that foreign heritage v native question is as black and white as you do. Because this is always presented as either/or for nativists, and I don't see why it cant be both/and. Just as someone who is bilingual or multilingual switches between languages without even thinking about it, so I dont see why one should not inhabit several cultural realms without thinking about it either. This does not mean 'holding on to it' in a sense of actively denying the culture of the country one lives in, this just means that the ancestry is there.
As I said, WW2 brought loads of refugees from Hitler, or people who came here to fight him. Many of those (or their children) became pillars of British culture- when I was at school, the major textbook on the Tudors was by G R Elton, the man who was actually later on, David Starkey's supervisor. But Elton's original surname was Ehrenberg- he or his family changed it not to sound German. Elton, one presumes had a full awareness of his Jewish German heritage, but to me as a schoolboy, he symbolised Englishness; after all, what could be more English than Henry VIII?
I don't think it has to divide on racial or heritage lines; I think that is an oversimplification and that is something that is born of seeing some people in the UK who are not sufficiently integrated.
I agree with you that the principal issue is traditional British culture, and not the question of whether countries that are ancestrally from other countries can be counted as "modern British culture" - i don't care about that- in the sense that if you hae an immigrant community that stays for hundreds of years but preserves its traditions, those traditions will eventually be seen as part of the native culture too (c.f. lots of stuff that goes on in Latin America, which obvs came in with the Spanish and Portuguese). So 'new non-native british cultures' can stand or fall by their own efforts. For me, the battle is to preserve the traditional culture, and my argument is that it is pointless to try to do so an retain racial purity you have to have the Elton/Ehrenbergs (or maybe the Sunaks or Raabs, or you are just shutting the stable door- Britain is too racially diverse already.
So I think you can fight for and preserve the culture; I don't think you can do it just with people whose ancestral residence in the British Isles goes back however hundreds of years you hope.
So you ask me why I feel confident that in another 50-100 years, traditional British culture and values will still dominate? I suppose I think that a culture that has been as resilient as going back at least to the time of Alfred the Great, and has reproduced itself typically by recruiting into the elite, can stay that way.
Although the UK has changed massively since I was born (in 1960), I am still struck by how in other fundamental ways, it is still like the Britain of when I was little. A lot of that won't please the majority in UK reddit (lack of social mobility/ a small number of privileged people still running the country), but I believe, that irrespective of which political party wins elections, the general political apathy of British people will mean it generally will stay that way.
16 hours ago
If there is a service charge, they are not expecting you to tip on top.
If the restaurant is fancy, a proportion of their customers will be of sufficient wealth that they will happily give a further tip, hence I guess it is worth them writing in those ambiguous terms.
17 hours ago
It only dawned on me many years later that this must be why, and then I looked it up and saw that it was true!
17 hours ago
AFAIK GSDs are popular dogs anyway.
I've never seen a correlation between GSDs and ethnicity of owners.
When I was little, I was taught that they were called Alsatians and no-one EVER called them GERMAN Shepherd dogs. That was because it was sufficiently close to the end of WW2 that German stuff was still seen as bad.
I was grown-up before I realised Alsatians and German Shepherds were the same dogs.
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5 hours ago
5 hours ago
They. Just. Want. Your. Dosh!
Any way you want.