Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Britishness Explored

Panorama the BBC's once great current affairs program, which has in recent times been reduced to a populist load of old tosh hosted by Jeremy Vine, whom I suspect spends some time (probably hours) in front of the mirror but can't do a tie up, last night posed the question what is Britishness, followed by the suggestion that maybe one day we'll all have to pass a Britishness test.

Now already I will have lost, many of those whose attitude to being British, is either hostile, or so sensitive to such discussion, that for them, the mere mention of British anything, indicates neo nazi tendency's. Still with or without prompting I was about bring up the subject for another reason.

A few weeks ago I received a misdirected email from author Iain Aitch (who grow up in Margate), I wont go into detail, since its too tedious, however the correspondence was such, that at the end, I thought shall I try and blag a copy of his new book "WE'RE BRITISH, Innit", I did and it worked, a copy arrived a day later! I have since justified my request, on the basis that I churn this stuff out for free so why not, and proper writers probably leave this site feeling er competent.

This book is as the cover informs an irreverent A-Z of all things British, which is a correct summation of its contents, subjects covered include things like, Net Curtains, Understatement, Leaving the Country, all of which made me laugh as did most topics. Surprisingly for such a funny book given the subject, I doubt it would offend the most sensitive of the politically correct.

This book concludes with the real citizenship test which unlike Norman Tebbits, would offend few but would be as good as any official test. That's enough , still this book evokes many of the things that make us British, it cant and doesn't set out to define what a Brit is, which neither could anyone, not even BBC's, shallow half hour Panorama programme.

Anyway this book is published on 1st of September, if you'd like a flavour click here for Ian Aitchs own blog site We're British, Innit. Which I noticed has picked up on the Panorama thing as well.

PS I'm just thinking that asking authors, for a copy of their latest book could be a lucrative sideline, well it could certainly cut down on Christmas shopping, oops, its still August.