THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Hammond Meets Moss
Scraping the tax barrel

Blood, soil and soccer

Half of Britons have German blood - Telegraph.
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The linked article is hardly news, surely? Most Anglo-Saxons have only a hazy idea of where the Angles came from (Angeln in Schleswig-Holstein) but surely all of us know the Saxons came from Saxony? We are known by the hyphenated names of two German places, for goodness' sake - as if it matters. Englishness is not, and has never been, a matter of blood and soil.

What is surprising and disapppointing is that Der Spiegel thinks the English are;

"...the nation which most dislikes the Germans..."

Really?! I am afraid your editorial team needs to get out more. Having worked in various countries in Europe over many years, I can assure you that this is a fiercely-contested title. The English are not even in contention for a place on the podium. If we ever feel animosity* towards the Germans it is usually in the context of football, which is rather a compliment given that it's our national game. Being feared on the soccer field is surely better than being laughed at?

Who buys more of your cars than us? We even take BMWs (described by my father years ago as "German Cortinas") seriously, which rather suggests a partiality in your favour. Have you forgotten that Audi sales in Britain increased when the company adopted its "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan (market research having shown we didn't know Audis were German cars)? We rate your kitchens and kitchen equipment highly too, as well as other furniture. My house in England is furnished almost entirely from Germany, because I showed the interior designer the cockpit of the AMG car I then owned and said "make it like this."

Of course we don't drink your wine or eat your food, but that's because God gave us the French as our neighbours. Unlike you, we weren't so bloody-mindedly nationalistic as to cling to a foul cuisine when something better was on offer.

All this waving whole nations over one's head stuff is nonsense of course. A Jew, a German and two Poles are among the ten best people I have ever met. There are two Jews, three Germans and a Pole among the ten worst. From this, admittedly anecdotal, evidence I have concluded that peoples of all nations, tribes and religions come in all ethical flavours.That's why racism is so stupid as to be not worth worrying about. People who have no better criteria than ethnicity for ranking themselves against the rest of humanity are cretins. As are people who are attribute any importance to them - like the editorial staff of Der Spiegel.

*OK, the way they impose their unique scheme of queuing with inanimate objects outside their jurisdiction is also annoying.