Time to move on

Sunday May 4, 2008

So.  London has a new mayor.  The Labour Party is shaken to its roots.  The Conservative Party is shocked rigid with the realization that it’s rather liable to be back in power in a couple of years and will need to work out how it’s going to put our money where its mouth is. And, finally, we have a Prime Minister who’s tired and weary, over-stretched and out of ideas.  Even if he had some good ideas, no-one would believe him.

I’ll not bore you with the fiasco of the English and Welsh local elections that have run from last Thursday.  Anyone in Britain who doesn’t know the story already wouldn’t understand my version, and my friends in other countries have better things to do than worry about our politics, though I suspect they’d fully understand my feeling that the only good thing about our current state is that it’s shoved Obama and Clinton out of the headlines.  Makes a nice change, does that.

“Tell you what,” I said while we were driving home yesterday evening.

“What’s that, then?”

“I think the time may have come for us to emigrate.”

“Where?”

“Oh, you’ll have to choose that.  Just so long as it’s in the EU.”

“How’s about Holland?”

“Holland is cool.  Desperately difficult language to learn, though.”

“Ah.  I shall think on.”

Don’t take us too seriously.  Please don’t take us too seriously.  We’re not really likely to emigrate, not unless we win a Lottery Jackpot, that is.  We don’t have the nerve.  I wouldn’t mind betting that we’ll look back on this in five or so years and wish that we had, though.

Hey ho.  Graham’s home until tomorrow.  He’s not sure if he’ll be able to take another little break while the trannies are there so it might be Monday next week before he returns.  Dolly and I shall entertain ourselves best we can until then.

I picked up an old water-colour paint box, sighed, wrapped it up in its travel bag, and put it back in the cupboard.  You never know with me but although I seem to be heading for a painterly period, it’s on a slow train, with many hazards on the line.

 

My travelling paint box

 

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14 responses to “Time to move on

  1. hey, I havn’t been first, NUMERO UNO in awhile!
    Of couse, moving to Wales is another country, sort of, right?
    Paint on, John, paint on….

  2. I didn’t even notice the misspelling until you pointed it out, Gary! ha!

    Maybe I never paid attention in world history, but what exactly is it with Wales and England? Why the separation?

  3. Oh, lawks! Ok, here’s a brief explanation of the national setup here. At the top level, we have the ‘United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’, dating back to the union with Scotland brought about by the Scots King and modified when Ireland split itself into two, creating the Republic of Ireland–nothing to do with the UK–and the ‘six counties’ comprising the province of Northern Ireland, which elected to stay in the Union, causing much trouble in the process.

    Now.

    Scotland, a separate country within the United Kingdom, is a Kingdom in its own right, though its Crown is held by H.M. Queen Elizabeth. It has a devolved parliament but foreign and defence affairs are managed by the central UK government. Many laws and an entire legal system are purely Scots, some pre-dating the Act of Union. There is a degree of ambition towards independance from England and that may happen one day.

    Wales is a separate country but unlike Scotland, is not a Kingdom but a Principality, with Prince Charles its nominal head. In actuality he stays clear out of the way of HM, who rules the Principality outright. Wales has a devolved Assembly with some ambition to independant status–not really very likely at all. The Welsh legal system and most of its laws are embodied within the English system.

    Northern Ireland is a province with its own partly-devolved parliament. I have no real knowledge of the exact setup.

    All four elements of the United Kingdom are of course part of the European Union, as a single whole, headed up by the British Prime Minister and, ultimately by HM the Queen.

    So, yes, Wales and England are separate countries but form a currently indivisible legal entity–‘England and Wales’.

    The term ‘Great Britain’ still applies as a geographical reference but with the secession of the Irish Republic has fallen into disuse in political terms.

    There’s an awful lot more but you could turn the above into headings and write a reasonably balanced paper on the geo-polictical nature of the United Kingdom and the island within which it is contained.

    Errors and omission excepted…. 🙂

  4. Heh! I left out England! Well, I did say Errors and omissions excepted!

  5. John, thank you for that. As for the omission, I sort of took it as “and England is everything that’s left.”

  6. Thanks a lot, John. You were concise and very clear. My previous notions were a little fuzzy. I understand the UK a lot better now.

    Good luck with viewers this week!

    Hugs from the land of morning calm,
    ~ Sil

  7. Might we all pool our money into a pot and find an island somewhere away from politics? 🙂

  8. Thanks a lot, John. I can only repeat Sil in Corea’s words… You’re very clear, so things have become a lot clearer to me too! Thank you, thank you…. 🙂

  9. Thank you, Thank you! Very clear, concise, something I could wrap my brain around… 😉 I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who was a bit weak in the history area!

    Thanks for taking the time to write all that! 🙂

  10. John,

    Not to muddy the waters, but there are also the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands – Jersey, Guernsey, etc. To my limited understanding, they are semi self-governing. I always think it interesting that Jersey and Guernsey were occupied by Germany during WWII. I’d always thought that no English soil was under German jurisdiction until I discovered this info.

    Oh, and if anyone is into more esoteric geopolitical events, they can try to unscramble the “The Principality of Sealand, a micronation located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km (six miles) off the coast of Suffolk.”

    Wikipedia offers info on all of the above.

  11. I posted some info but it disappeared into the Mathmos.

    Not to belabor the subject, but there are also the Isle of Man and the Channel Island, each with its own semi self-government. Until I recently read about the Channel Islands, I was not aware that any English soil had been occupied by Germany during WWII.

    And if someone is into true esoterica, they can try reading about the Principality of Sealand, a micronation on an offshore facility off the coast of Suffolk. It’s an entity whose status is open to many an interpretation.

    Wikipedia has info on the above.

  12. Last night on American telly, a commentator remarked that, on average, Americans have been living in their houses for 9 years before moving. You and Graham have that beat by a klick or two.

  13. My son and his wife have lived in Holland for the past 4 years, I go to stay a couple of times a year and I love it. It’s so clean, and people are so well mannered, and I even cycled last time I went as it is so flat. Sadly they are moving back, but I am going out for a last visit in June. You, Graham and Dolly could do worse John!

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