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Fred Bassett

England, my England ..

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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

Let the world know - WE WANT OUR ENGLAND BACK !!!!


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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I know I know, the Union Jack is in fact the Union Flag and that it is not England's but Britain's, but nonetheless, there is a good point here.

 

How long before England no longer exists as an entity and is replaced by regions governed directly by Brussels? Don't blame me, I didn't vote for that lying pair of sh*ts Blair and Brown.

 

Fred


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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Excellent. That's going in my Christmas cards :D

 

M


________________________________________________________________

ALL unsolicited PMs and E-mails should be posted up - Not all on CAG are who they appear to be

 

 

My views are my own. If in doubt, seek professional advice. If I can help though, I will. CAG helped me!!

 

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I feel Edward Heath may have started something though, do you Fred?

 

He did and it was put to the vote - membership of a "Common Market", but this was the biggest political con job until '"we promise you a referendum on the European Treaty". Notwithstanding "Education, Education, Education", "24 hours to save the NHS", "We will not raise taxes" and "I'm a pretty straight kinda guy".

 

Regards.

 

Fred


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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Oh well, roll on the next lot then!

 

Well that remains to be seen. Will they be any better? I don't know. If they took the bold decision to pass an act of Parliament giving British law primacy over European law then maybe. I doubt they will though.

 

Fred


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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How about Agincourt, Hastings

When England lost hosts of her very brave sons.

 

The whole point of Agincourt is that England DIDN'T lose hosts of brave sons, thanks to mud and topography, the French did. As for Hastings, it is generally accepted by all but the most jingoist that it CREATED what would lead to today's England by fusing the Normans and the English.

 

Oh, and I know it's been a while since I taught, but last I checked, kids are still ploughing through Shakespeare, Bronte etc... But why let accuracy get in the way of a good rant hey? ;-)

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The whole point of Agincourt is that England DIDN'T lose hosts of brave sons, thanks to mud and topography, the French did. As for Hastings, it is generally accepted by all but the most jingoist that it CREATED what would lead to today's England by fusing the Normans and the English.

 

Oh, and I know it's been a while since I taught, but last I checked, kids are still ploughing through Shakespeare, Bronte etc... But why let accuracy get in the way of a good rant hey? ;-)

 

Ah, well I didn't write it Bookie, but I do know that my own Daughter went through the entire education system without getting near anything written by Shakespeare.

 

I think the point of it is to emphasise the gradual destruction of England as an entity and the selling of our country down the river by Blair, Brown etc. - something I feel strongly about as do others.

 

Regards.

 

Fred


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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Only if you choose to believe it, Fred, only if you choose to believe it. ;-)

 

One could also argue that the loss of insularity also long-term brings more tolerance towards other ways of life, diminution of that godawful "them and us" mentality, increases the exchange of fresh ideas, etc...

 

As you know I am French born. When I was 11 years old, as well as our own extensive programme of French literature (starting with Montaigne and 16th century writers in Year 8 all the way to 20th century authors such as Sartre in year 13), I was also taught about Shakespeare, Steinbeck, and other greats of English-speaking literature. By the time I was 15, I was expected to read the "Grapes of Wrath" in English. For my GCSEs (equivalent), I had to study articles from the British press and see how say the Daily Express compares with the Sun in thier bias, etc... How many 15 yr old in England can name the current president of France, or even the current PM of the UK?

 

If we were to look outwards more, maybe we wouldn't be getting fleeced the way we do here, debt collection practices such as the ones we see here are outlawed in most European countries. In France, the MAXIMUM APR which can be levied is under 22%... Imagine that, huh? Irresponsible lending is also forbidden... Do I go on?

 

Oh, I grant you it's far from all rosy and perfect elsewhere. But do we really have it so great here that we can afford to wrap ourselves in our insularity and look down on the rest of the world?

 

In my experience, countries which close themselves to outside influence are the ones which stagnate in their thinking and development, and fall behind the others.

 

On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to retain one's individuality whilst participating and sharing one's quirks with one another.

 

So maybe that's what we should be concentrating on instead? Just a thought. ;-)

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...and not for the first time I find myself agreeing with Bookworm. Sure, she has some odd ideas about vegetarianism, and is a bit too foreign for my liking, but apart from that she's largely on the money.

 

I'm also increasingly aware of, and rather depressed by, this attitude of isolationist ignorance, which repeatedly seems to manifest in banner headlines of the gutter press, and in confused and ranting works such as the poem Fred quotes.

 

What this poem is alluding to is a desire to return to the 'good old days', without being entirely sure as to exactly what - or even when - they were.

What it fails to realise, is that part of human evolution is social, and our social groups have been getting consistently larger and more homogenous throughout human history.

 

What we're seeing now - especially in Europe - is a reduction of independence, and an increase of interdependence, and not only in terms of politics. In time, I suspect the very idea of nationalism itself may well cease to exist, with humanity becoming a single social and political entity. Of course there will continue to be divisions, but those splits will - I suspect - be based on ideology rather than administrative geography.

 

Fred laments the "the gradual destruction of England as an entity", but I'm not altogether convinced that he understands why this is happening, or, moreover, that this is really quite a good thing.

There will always be a certain degree of conservatism; a desire to return to - or at least retain - the 'good old days', but whether you like it or not our society, indeed our very idea of what constitutes society, is changing at an unprecedented rate, and trying to hold back that natural evolution is rather like Canute trying to hold back the tide.

 

A good example of this? Fred has posted this thread into a worldwide, interconnected system of human conciousness. It has no borders, and no divisions of nationality. Internet technology has utterly revolutionised the way we live and exist as human beings. Largely for the better, and without the need to cling to increasingly outdated ideas of national identity.

The way we physically live is fast following the same path, and anything which brings human beings closer together is arguably a good thing.

 

In the European state, there will continue to be corruption because humans are corrupt. There will continue to be mistakes because humans are imperfect. But ultimately, the benefits of a greater level of unification outweigh the flaws.

 

To finish on a slightly philosophical consideration, I'm wondering whether those who fiercly rant about 'Europe taking over' and the 'loss of Englande' aren't in fact just using nationialism as a synonym for identity, and that what they actually fear is that the loss of their country in their view will somehow equate to a loss of themselves...?

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I didn't write the poem, I just posted it, although I have to agree with the message it expounds, even if some of the details are historically wrong.

 

What I object to most about all of this is the undemocratic way in which it has been foisted upon us.

 

We have gradually found ourselves living in a situation where we can't vote for the people who make most of the rules that govern us. Is that democracy?

 

The French had a vote on the EU treaty, in fact they had 2 because they didn't vote the right way the first time. It was the same for the Irish and the Danes. Nobody would dare give the British people a vote because they knew full well what the answer would be. The majority of people in Britain don't want this treaty, so Blair and Brown lied to us by promising a vote then reneging on that promise. I am hardly alone in my thinking - in fact I'm part of the majority.

 

I don't dislike Europe or Europeans - just the anti-democratic EU. I agree that the education system in Europe and other social systems might well be better than here. Since 1997, the education system could hardly have got any worse could it? In the seventies, I had an education. In the noughties, my Daughter was taught how to pass exams.

 

For the record, I listen to all of the arguments and then make my own mind up. I am an avid reader of newspapers of all political persuasions, not just the Daily Mail.

 

I wish there could be a 'Put up or shut up' referendum on membership of the EU. At least then the matter would be settled once and for all whichever way it went.

 

Regards to all.

 

Fred


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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even if some of the details are historically wrong.

 

There are a great many details in there that are wrong, not just the hysterical- sorry, historical ones.

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There are a great many details in there that are wrong, not just the hysterical- sorry, historical ones.

 

 

So be it. It's nothing compared to the selling down the river of an entire nation by an unelected Prime Minister though.

 

Fred

 

ps: A Scottish Prime Minister too, allied with a Scottish Chancellor - both of whom can vote on matters connected with England whereas English MPs have no say whatsoever over matters pertaining to Scotland. Can't you see the injustice?

Edited by Fred Bassett

Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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....and not for the first time I find myself agreeing with Bookworm. Sure, she has some odd ideas about vegetarianism, (I hope you're not offended by that absolute statement of fact Bookie) and is a bit too foreign for my liking, but apart from that she's largely on the money.

I'm also increasingly aware of, and rather depressed by, this attitude of isolationist ignorance, which repeatedly seems to manifest in banner headlines of the gutter press, and in confused and ranting works such as the poem Fred quotes. What utter bloody arrogance. You remind me of the idiot who wrote a letter to my local newspaper who stated that the British people should not be allowed to vote on the European Treaty because 'they didn't understand the arguments' I suppose you do and that only your view counts. I presume that by 'gutter press' you mean any newspaper whose editorial slant you disagree with. See my earlier post regarding newspapers I read. I presume you are a Guardian reader Of the many papers I read, only the people who read the Guardian are so convinced of the righteousness of their own thinking.

 

What this poem is alluding to is a desire to return to the 'good old days', without being entirely sure as to exactly what - or even when - they were.

What it fails to realise, is that part of human evolution is social, and our social groups have been getting consistently larger and more homogenous throughout human history. We evolved into a democracy and now we are moving towards a situation where we can't vote for the people that make the majority of our laws. Hardly a step forward is it?

 

What we're seeing now - especially in Europe - is a reduction of independence, and an increase of interdependence, and not only in terms of politics. In time, I suspect the very idea of nationalism itself may well cease to exist - That's the point isn't it? Do away with national identity. You can't call it 'hysterical, gutter press ranting' on the one hand and then agree with it on the other., with humanity becoming a single social and political entity. Of course there will continue to be divisions, but those splits will - I suspect - be based on ideology rather than administrative geography. Divide and rule?

 

Fred laments the "the gradual destruction of England as an entity", but I'm not altogether convinced that he understands why this is happening, Good - so you agree that it's happening then. or, moreover, that this is really quite a good thing.

There will always be a certain degree of conservatism; a desire to return to - or at least retain - the 'good old days', but whether you like it or not our society, indeed our very idea of what constitutes society, is changing at an unprecedented rate, and trying to hold back that natural evolution is rather like Canute trying to hold back the tide.

 

A good example of this? Fred has posted this thread into a worldwide, interconnected system of human conciousness. It has no borders, and no divisions of nationality. Internet technology has utterly revolutionised the way we live and exist as human beings. Largely for the better, and without the need to cling to increasingly outdated ideas of national identity.

The way we physically live is fast following the same path, and anything which brings human beings closer together is arguably a good thing.

 

In the European state - There we go again - The European State - you really are a foaming-at-the-mouth rabid Europhile aren't you?, there will continue to be corruption because humans are corrupt. Well the EU is certainly corrupt. When was the last time the books passed an audit?. And you have the gall to pick up on some inaccuracies in a well-meant poem!!! There will continue to be mistakes because humans are imperfect. But ultimately, the benefits of a greater level of unification outweigh the flaws.

 

To finish on a slightly philosophical consideration, I'm wondering whether those who fiercly rant about 'Europe taking over' and the 'loss of Englande' aren't in fact just using nationialism as a synonym for identity, and that what they actually fear is that the loss of their country in their view will somehow equate to a loss of themselves...? Well that's just indiciperable garbage. Read the rest of your rantings and you will understand why.

 

Everything you write is dripping with sarcasm, even down to the spelling of 'Englande'. You're not Polly Toynbee by any chance are you?

Edited by Fred Bassett

Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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Fred, I've cleared touched a nerve, but when the only stance you have left is to resort to juvenile insults and sweeping generalisations ("You remind me of the idiot who wrote a letter to my local newspaper", "only the people who read the Guardian are so convinced of the righteousness of their own thinking", "you really are a foaming-at-the-mouth rabid Europhile" and "You're not Polly Toynbee by any chance are you?"), then you really have lost the debate.

 

Ad hominem only makes you look silly, so if there are any points of mine you disagree with then please try to address them sensibly, and I'll respond accordingly.

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Fred, I've cleared touched a nerve, but when the only stance you have left is to resort to juvenile insults and sweeping generalisations ("You remind me of the idiot who wrote a letter to my local newspaper", "only the people who read the Guardian are so convinced of the righteousness of their own thinking", "you really are a foaming-at-the-mouth rabid Europhile" and "You're not Polly Toynbee by any chance are you?"), then you really have lost the debate.

 

Ad hominem only makes you look silly, so if there are any points of mine you disagree with then please try to address them sensibly, and I'll respond accordingly.

 

"I'm also increasingly aware of, and rather depressed by, this attitude of isolationist ignorance, which repeatedly seems to manifest in banner headlines of the gutter press, and in confused and ranting works such as the poem Fred quotes ..."

 

That's what touched a nerve.

 

So how would you describe that statement?

 

I absolutely loathe that attitude, which is why I responded in the way that I did.

 

I disagree with everything you say about this. Doubtless you feel the same about my thoughts. Let's just leave it at that. Frankly, I've got better things to do.

 

Regards.

 

Fred


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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I didn't write the poem, I just posted it, although I have to agree with the message it expounds, even if some of the details are historically wrong.

Fred, no one is objecting to the poem but the question arising from the last part is whether it is about ENGLAND or BRITAIN since red, white and blue encapsulated Britain more than England which would be red and white(the flag of England).

What I object to most about all of this is the undemocratic way in which it has been foisted upon us.

What exactly has been foisted upon you?

We have gradually found ourselves living in a situation where we can't vote for the people who make most of the rules that govern us. Is that democracy?

The Liberal Democrats have long argued that less than 50% of people support the governing party so there are similarities with our own kind of democracy.

The French had a vote on the EU treaty, in fact they had 2 because they didn't vote the right way the first time. It was the same for the Irish and the Danes. Nobody would dare give the British people a vote because they knew full well what the answer would be. The majority of people in Britain don't want this treaty, so Blair and Brown lied to us by promising a vote then reneging on that promise. I am hardly alone in my thinking - in fact I'm part of the majority.

Maastricht 1992 had a bigger impact on us all so I suspect your qualms are perhaps with Margaret Thatcher than with Nu Labour. The majority of us may not have read the treaty preferring to stick to the media interpretation of the treaty. Have you read the treaty in full?(confession here that I haven't).

I don't dislike Europe or Europeans - just the anti-democratic EU. I agree that the education system in Europe and other social systems might well be better than here. Since 1997, the education system could hardly have got any worse could it? In the seventies, I had an education. In the noughties, my Daughter was taught how to pass exams.

When I did every single exam I was told they were easy and this is the early 1990's and we continue to do so. I was taught Shakespeare(12th night--great play), Henry VIII and Tudor history.

For the record, I listen to all of the arguments and then make my own mind up. I am an avid reader of newspapers of all political persuasions, not just the Daily Mail.

I read the newspapers merely as a guide to what they are talking about and then look up the original source if I can find it because newspapers do pander to their readership's political views.

I wish there could be a 'Put up or shut up' referendum on membership of the EU. At least then the matter would be settled once and for all whichever way it went.

I wish there was balanced journalism but I agree with Bookworm(don't feint bookie) on what she has said. I do not agree with an isolationist policy whatsoever.

Regards to all.

 

Fred

 

See above Fred. I do understand your view even if I disagree with you. The question I have is twofold; what are you scared of?

and how has the EU affected you personally directly?

 

 

For many people here, UTCCR 1999 is an EC Directive which has had a big effect on their lives ;)


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"I'm also increasingly aware of, and rather depressed by, this attitude of isolationist ignorance, which repeatedly seems to manifest in banner headlines of the gutter press, and in confused and ranting works such as the poem Fred quotes ..."

 

So how would you describe that statement?

 

Evidently pretty accurate.

 

Yourbank (see above) raises to very good points, which underline a great deal of my lack of patience, not with anti-Europe attitudes, but with any attitude that is alarmist, jingoistic, or has little - if any - foundation in fact.

 

If there are well thought out and realistic arguments for why the United Kingdom properly joining Europe is a bad thing then please let us know them and we'll discuss accordingly.

 

To echo yourbank, Fred, how exactly has the United Kingdom's embrace of Europe thus far impacted negatively on your personal life, and how do you think it might in the future?

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See above Fred. I do understand your view even if I disagree with you. The question I have is twofold; what are you scared of?

and how has the EU affected you personally directly?

 

 

For many people here, UTCCR 1999 is an EC Directive which has had a big effect on their lives ;)

 

Yourbank,

 

I don't have the time to answer that in detail at the moment, but I will when I can.

 

Just tell me this - what do you see as the benefits and disadvantages of belonging to the EU? and do these benefits outweigh the disadvantages in your view?

 

As I see it, one of the problems in this entire debate is the lack of honesty from politicians of all sides. Nobody ever tells us, with with a passion, what they think are the benefits. All we get is scare stories about pulling out of the EU from one side and scare stories about staying in the EU from the other. I do know that I have never once heard an argument that convinced me of the benefits of EU membership.

 

Regards.

 

Fred


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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Jeez, it makes ya proud to be British!!

 

YouTube - A blast from Bloom!

 

 

..but a little humbled when it comes back to bite ya on the bum. :(

 

Where's Nelson when you need him?? Was Drake's drum just a Primary school story after all??

 

How many posts to Isandlwhana??

 

 

 

I'll get me coat.....


HOIST BY THEIR OWN PETARD.

 

Blimey it works....:-)

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Yourbank,

 

I don't have the time to answer that in detail at the moment, but I will when I can.

 

Just tell me this - what do you see as the benefits and disadvantages of belonging to the EU? and do these benefits outweigh the disadvantages in your view?

 

As I see it, one of the problems in this entire debate is the lack of honesty from politicians of all sides. Nobody ever tells us, with with a passion, what they think are the benefits. All we get is scare stories about pulling out of the EU from one side and scare stories about staying in the EU from the other. I do know that I have never once heard an argument that convinced me of the benefits of EU membership.

 

Regards.

 

Fred

 

Benefits to me personally: I benefited when I did my degree in European Studies in the 1990's from the ERASMUS program with cash to help me to live on in my year abroad in Spain.

 

I don't have any disadvantages personally.

 

 

Apologies that my arguments are not that particularly spectacular but these are my personal benefits and disadvantages. I could state as the advantages that membership of the EC stabilised the young democracy in Spain(not england so not necessarily relevant).

Or I could say that the Common Agricultural Policy is a negative but I don't really understand those arguments.

I haven't really thought about the whole topic. Isolationism politically has never really worked. North Korea are doing really well from it as a really bad example of it in action.


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Benefits to me personally: I benefited when I did my degree in European Studies in the 1990's from the ERASMUS program with cash to help me to live on in my year abroad in Spain.

 

I don't have any disadvantages personally.

 

 

Apologies that my arguments are not that particularly spectacular but these are my personal benefits and disadvantages. I could state as the advantages that membership of the EC stabilised the young democracy in Spain(not england so not necessarily relevant).

Or I could say that the Common Agricultural Policy is a negative but I don't really understand those arguments.

I haven't really thought about the whole topic. Isolationism politically has never really worked. North Korea are doing really well from it as a really bad example of it in action.

 

Yourbank, I can see the obvious benefits of stablising democracies anywhere, but find it ironic that the end product of this process is a non-democratic "state" that nobody voted for and nobody can get rid of. I'm trying to find somebody, somewhere, who can convince me that membership of the EU is a good thing for this country - somehow I don't think that your year in Spain is likely to do the trick, but I hope you enjoyed it!

 

North Korea is obviously a bit of a basket case, but Switzerland appears to be doing perfectly well without the benefits or otherwise of EU membership.

 

Regards.

 

Fred


Before you criticise another man you should first walk a mile in his shoes. Then, when you criticise him, you'll be a mile away and he won't have any shoes on.

 

Don't get me confused with somebody knowledgeable by all those green blobs. I got most of them by making people laugh.

 

I am not European, I am English.

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