Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Top Ten Tuesday - The English

They ain't so bad really... I came across this interesting post, courtesy of The Green Ribbon, from the CEP site (Campaign for English Parliament) and it concerned this article in the Irish Examiner by Dr Gerald Morgan who asks the Irish to forgive the English and blame the Scots and Etonians:

"I would appeal to my Irish friends to ponder deeply on these matters. The English are your friends, not your enemies.

"The English did not settle in Ulster but in Munster and in Leinster. The English did not oppose Home Rule but attempted to introduce it.

"The English working class soldiers were shot at dawn in the Great War in exactly the same way as their Irish comrades.

"Do not believe that Old Etonians are either English or representative of the English.

"Above all, do not confuse the English with the British. It is the British who are in Iraq and the British who at the moment are governing Northern Ireland.

"You can surely see for yourselves that there are few Englishmen in commanding positions of power among the British political elite.

"It is surely time for the English and the Irish to wake up to the truth and begin to set aside ancient and destructive myths."

Dr Morgan makes some intriguing comments for sure but I was more interested in the comments from English people on the CEP site towards the article and they were overwhelmingly positive:

"I like that. There are an awful lot of people with Irish ancestry in England who will be pleased to read that" - Dee

"Yes . I have always felt that the spirit of England ( ie culture , attitudes , instinctive feelings , humour etc ) is - despite history - much more in tune with that of Ireland than with either Wales or Scotland .

"The English and Irish tend to see amusement in the same things - I am not sure that the English and Scots do ."
- J Hutchings

"We do have a shared sense of humour. Thats why people such as Spike, Dave Allen etc are so popular in England.

"I think with Scotland ,it could depend on which region of Scotland they come from, but I don't think they have the same comedy genius as the Irish or the English.."
- Derek

"The Irish are moving on. I was treated wonderfully in Ireland. Its a shame the Scots and Welsh have started to behave like the IRA. Their "history of oppression" is completely fabricated though, unlike that of the Irish. He is perfectly correct in blaming the "English" aristocracy as opposed to the English themselves. The aristos are the same Normans who invaded and oppressed us first" - Expat

God bless 'em! This put me in a very good mood and made me realise that the English tend to get quite a raw deal in this country. Therefore I decided to give Anglo-Irish relations a nice boost by devoting this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday to...the English! So without further ado, I give you the top ten things about the English:

1. Sense of humour - The English are a funny bunch and have made us laugh over the years. Norman Wisdom, Morecambe and Wise, Dad's Army, Frank Spencer, Only Fools and Horses and even Ricky Gervais. They have a great sense of humour!

2. Football - They're the nation which gave us football and some of their football clubs are very popular in Ireland, particularly Manchester United and Liverpool (boo).

3. They seem to like Ireland - Obviously you like those who like you and the English seem to be fond of the Irish. Terry Wogan and Graham Norton are just two of the Irish presenters who are regulars on British TV, also we can't forget that gay chap Brian Dowling who won Big Brother. They even seem fond of Dara O'Briain for some inexplicable reason. As well as that, to their credit, they tend to be quite supportive of Ireland when we are involved in the World Cup.

4. They're a tough sort - I like to think that, in general, the Irish people and the English people are a tough breed unlike alot of our continental friends. We've both faced adversity historically yet we're still here.

5. They're friendly - The English are generally speaking a friendly nation. I personally have not encountered any difficult English people here in Dublin. On the contrary, I have found them down to earth and easy to talk to.

6. There are strong ties between Ireland and England - There are millions of English people who are of Irish descent. There are alot of Irish in London and one has only to think of The Beatles to be reminded of the strong Irish connection with Liverpool!

7. Fairly objective towards Ireland's north - The English seem fairly apathetic towards the North these days and when the North is brought up, they tend to approach things with an open mind. In fact, according to recent polls, the English actually favour a United Ireland at this point.

8. Great TV stations - RTE is OK I guess but can you imagine life without the BBC, ITV and Channel 4? Think about that and appreciate these stations!

9. English Language - While its success has contributed to the demise of Irish, the English language is still the number one language in the world and the fact that we use it here in Ireland gives us a good advantage over many of our European neighbours. Irishmen and Irishwomen have also managed to create great literary pieces with the language.

10. James Bond - Hey they gave us James Bond. Who doesn't like James Bond?

So there you have it. The top ten things about the English. Feel free to comment on my choices or to come up with some of your own.


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