Regular readers will know I have no love for Boris Johnson, currently Mayor of London, but as car-crash politicians go, he is one of the most cringe-makingly deluded individuals that has been in the public eye for many years, and so it’s only fair to impugne him further.
It seems no ambition is too high for Johnson and no deception too low. It is rumoured that he will be angling for high office in government soon, and will be standing for parliament in the forthcoming 2015 general election.
Also, Johnson has just published a biography of Winston Churchill. I have no intention of reading it, but according to John Kampfner’s review in The Guardian, Johnson tries to spin Churchill’s relationship with Europe in order to promote his own anti-European prejudice. Bless.
The quotation normally misattributed to Churchill “The English and the Americans are two peoples divided by a common language” was actually written by George Bernard Shaw, but it embodies an enigmatic truth which gave me an idea for this week’s Buildaburger’s posts.
Churchill coined the phrase “special relationship” and I am sure in the period towards the end of the Second World War and immediately afterwards, the close political, diplomatic and military relationships would have been genuinely beneficial to the UK. These days it has taken on a much more invidious meaning.
I’ll come back to that in a moment.
Anyway, I must say that I feel sorry for the row of sociopaths currently populating the UK government front bench (possibly soon to be joined by Johnson). No doubt they yearn to be recorded by history as statesmen, but they are no more than mean-spirited bigots, abusing their positions to punish the undeserving poor and reward the deserving rich. It is such a shame for them that, despite doing their best to spin Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and Jihadi John into a decent enemy at the gates, there is not such an easily identified threat as Adolf Hitler and the Nazi horde to unite a nation against for their aspirational, Churchillian leadership. How they must wish for proper world war to really get their teeth into. All they have is the increasingly embarrassing legacy of dirty wars, mostly perpetrated by the US with the UK as lapdog.
Apart from the Falklands War, of course, and that was a glory all of our own.
In more recent years, the UK has had to be content with being Aircraft Carrier GB, aiding and abetting the US military-industrial complex to fuck with Arabs around the world, and maybe gain a little reflected glory in that “special relationship”.
Let me be clear. I do not have a problem with Americans. Actually, the British and American people have a common language and also a common enemy, the British and American governments.
You may already be aware of the disdain in which I hold frankfurter sausages (and you will too once you find out what’s in them), but as we say in Yorkshire, UK, you’ve got to eat some dirt before you die.
I realise that does not necessarily mean immediately before, but this week, to honour British Sausage Week and to acknowledge the “special relationship” between the US and UK, I decided to use the humble hot dog as a focal point for celebrating the common language that divides us, and explore some of the euphemisms that are used to describe otherwise unpalatable dishes.
Conceptually sound, if not nutritionally.
This was not an auspicious start.
I had the “brilliant” idea, to actually eat a hot dog (that most North American of fast foods) each day for the seven days of British Sausage Week and spin an indictment around each one about the delusional facade of the classic dog and how this somehow represents the United States governments’ thinly veiled programme of colonial theft and the homogenised view of the rest of the world, its peoples, its cultures and their political needs.
The United States is now the biggest threat to peace and stability in the entire world, and the UK is the jumping off point for them in Europe and the Middle-East.
So, to kick off day 1 of British Sausage Week 2014 I went for the generous Gregg’s Hot Dog in a classic configuration with both ketchup and mustard, but without the onions. I fumbled it before getting to the Instagram stage, hence its appropriate resemblance to a severed limb rather than a tasty snack meal.
Gregg’s classic hot dog has gone down well across the pond, although I cannot concur.
Whilst I am a fan of this budget takeway food chain, I cannot recommend the hot dog. Despite having a good snap, the contents are a too much of an approximation of food rather than genuine nutrition. Rather like the sullied “special relationship” which no longer has any credibility and which is now only an artificially coloured and flavoured bag of emulsified slop.
Despite my conceptual brief, and after the disappointment of day one, I think it only fair to my lower colon to absolve myself from the commitment of eating a hot dog each day for British Sausage Week.
Stay tuned as each day I will be exploring the United States government’s “special relationship” with the English language.
Anyway, here is a genuine quotation by Winston Churchill.
“The gift of a common tongue is a priceless inheritance and it may well some day become the foundation of a common citizenship.”