For those of you familiar with the phrase ‘tongue in cheek’, you will all undoubtedly understand the context and self-mockery of the English within the following article. But for any of you that are not familiar with the expression ‘tongue in cheek’, please accept that the article below is just a bit of fun.
As I’m sure you already know, all pilots, irrespective of their nationality must, by international law, always speak English over the airwaves. This is very practical as English is obviously the most sensible language in the world, for the simple reason that it has not been cluttered up with all that masculine, feminine and neuter nonsense. I ask you, how can a table be feminine and a chair be masculine? Perhaps it was thought a table and chair will get together overnight, when nobody is looking, and create a baby stool, which will over the years grow into a chair and eventually mature into a sofa? That is totally crazy as tables and chairs are just inanimate lumps of wood, metal or plastic.
I wondered how this incredibly sensible decision of making English the language of the air was initially reached, and the only possible conclusion I could come up with was that the nations of the world were so incredibly jealous of our obviously enviable Englishness, that all other countries, apart from the French of course, all wanted to sound like the English themselves.
Surely it is only logical, therefore, for the greatest nation in the world to now offer this Englishness to everyone who, through no fault of their own, were born into one of the other nations. I humbly suggest that, in order to carry this logic through to its obvious conclusion, the rest of the world should be encouraged to speak properly pronounced and properly spelt English.
In order to achieve the objective of teaching other nations how to become truly English, the world should be forced to watch nightly re-runs of “Emmerdale” and “Coronation Street”.
The Englishman’s generosity in being prepared to share his good fortune in being born English should also extend to educating the world into the joys of listening to traditional English music. This could easily be achieved by encouraging the children of the world’s other nations to join in a daily sing-along to Max Bygraves’ heart-rending rendition of that old traditional English musical favourite ‘Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellenbogen by the Sea’.
Yet another area in which the English excel is something the English simply take for granted, and that is, of course, the delight of eating truly English food.
Surely it is only right that the rest of the world should be educated about genuine English food instead of constantly being told that dreadful French stuff they call ‘cuisine’ is the best. I ask you, how on earth can a nation that prefers eating frog’s legs and snails to roast beef and Yorkshire pudding think they have anything whatsoever to teach the world about good food?
I have mentioned the wonders of traditional English music, but please bear in mind England not only gave the world Max Bygraves. The English also introduced the world to other great recordings by musical giants such as Benny Hill’s ‘Ernie, the fastest milkman in the West’, Charlie Drakes ‘My boomerang won’t come back’, Tommy Steel’s ‘Flash, bang, wallop, what a picture’ and, of course, Lonnie Donegan’s tragic ode to his beloved father ‘My old man’s a dustman’.
We also mustn’t forget the wonders of English literature as expressed through England’s truly outstanding writers and poets. I’m not, of course, referring to our lesser writers and poets like William Shakespeare, Lord Byron and William Wordsworth, but the real literary giants of England who are two amazing female writers.
Who can ever forget the magic of ‘Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth’ by Pam Ayres, or Victoria Woods’ classic ‘Tony Blair pinned up two poems in a bus shelter and called it a university’. This is the sort of real Englishness and amazing literary excellence the rest of the world truly envies.
We must not forget the one and only truly English establishment that is now regarded as one of the seven new wonders of the world. A real beacon of how things should be done as a nation’s independent and neutral broadcaster – the BBC. Indeed, the world is now becoming fully aware that the BBC itself has, over the last 25 years, offered a real insight into how hard-working and honest journalists of a national broadcaster should or shouldn’t behave. Surely there is a lesson there for all journalists everywhere?
Of course, the reason England is considered the greatest nation in the world and why all other nations wish they were English is our incredible history. The English have always been generous to other European nations, but this generosity has sadly not always been reciprocated. The French for example have never forgiven the English for Agincourt, Nelson for giving that Napoleon chap a bloody nose at the battle of the Nile, and the Duke of Wellington finally putting him in his place at Waterloo. However, as any and all Europeans will honestly confess if asked, the most important victory over other nations, and the one that definitely hurts the most was obviously ‘Bucks Fizz’ winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
It is exactly the same with other nations, and not just the Europeans. I’m sure most Indian citizens now look back longingly at the joyous days of the Raj as being the best and most glorious time in their long history. We English have given India so much over the years. We have taught them how to play cricket and polo, we have educated their gardeners into how to create and manicure a proper croquet lawn, and, of course, we taught them how to speak the Queen’s English. Although far less important, the English also excelled in far more trivial matters, such as how to overthrow the rule of the Maharajas.
Of course, such historical matters do not apply or have any relevance to one of England’s lesser colonies, which now calls itself the United States of America. Having no real history of its own, and through their own silliness in deciding they wanted to cease being an English colony, they have unsuccessfully tried to run the country themselves, and a right glorified mess they’ve made of it.
America, of course, now has its own 25 letter alphabet as opposed to the usual English 26 letter alphabet the rest of the world uses. You will, I’m sure, have realised that America has removed and no longer uses the letter ‘u’ in the American alphabet. They spell colour ‘color’, they spell favourite ‘favorite’ etc, etc.
This is, of course, a reflection on the USA’s lack of understanding of what all other nations in the world treasure so highly – the Queen’s English.
Of course, in mentioning the Queen, one is reminded of the one thing all other nations truly envy. Standing head and shoulders above the world is the amazing English Royal Family, who all hail from that far flung traditional English colony of ‘Saxe Coburg Gotha’.
The various younger members of the English Royal Family have, for many years, been going out of their way to lead the rest of the world by example in how to behave. They have taught us really important life lessons and values such as ‘how to create and maintain family peace and harmony’, ‘how to make the sanctity of marriage truly work’, ‘how to talk to plants, flowers and vegetables’ and ‘how to tastefully wear incredibly fancy uniforms and a chest full of medals you’ve never actually won’.
The English are surely the most generous and inventive of all nations, and that has been evident through the world’s obvious envy of England’s car industry. Some other European countries such as Italy and Germany have tried to manufacture quality cars to compete with the English, but sadly all they could come up with was Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, BMW, Audi etc, but they can’t compare with the unbelievable vehicles produced when English car manufacturing was at its height. Who can forget the superb contours of the mighty Morris Marina, the amazing elegance and reliability of the Austin Allegro, and the incomparable design of the bright yellow three wheeled Reliant Robin?
One of England’s greatest achievements is, of course, its wonderful House of Commons and the truly intellectual giants who daily grace its mighty halls, the incredible and awe inspiring members of its great parliament. Who can forget the amazing and deeply emotional intellectual discussions that took place across those green benches in the lead up to the final EU Brexit vote?
Talking of Brexit, the European Union has not taken kindly to the English vote. Yes, it was the Englishman’s vote that finally won the day, and the English try not to mention that unpatriotic lot of kilt-wearing foreigners that all speak in a strange and weird accent that nobody else can understand. It is a real mystery to everyone, and totally incomprehensible to all right-thinking people as to why this strange race of foreigners do not appreciate their own good fortune in being politically linked to the mighty and most generous England, but there it is!
Not content with having the truly brilliant House of Commons, England also created the House of Lords. This incredibly English institution is packed to capacity with untold numbers of elderly, and mostly doddery old people, and rows of even more doddery old people known as Church of England Bishops. These elderly folk are all highly adept at wearing very fancy ermine robes, sleeping soundly during the day, and getting paid vast sums of money for signing a book to say that they have attended parliament, even if it was only long enough for them to collect their daily attendance fee.
I ask you, what nation other than the brilliant English could have come up with such a clever scheme to keep all these undesirables off the streets and out of the public limelight, by putting them on a TV channel nobody has ever watched?
So there you have it, a brief list of perfectly logical reasons as to why the English are the envy of the world, and why everyone else from all the other nations of the world are desperate to become as English as possible. However, because of England’s world renowned sense of modesty and humility, we do understand that these other nations will not wish to openly express their obvious embarrassment in not being English enough.
By Trevor Holman
Trevor Holman has lived in the Algarve for 20 years. An ex-session musician, advertising director and Justice of the Peace, Trevor has written four stage musicals, over 100 songs and has had eight of his novels published to date, including the highly successful ‘Algarve Crime Thriller’ series.