Stated Empire Building!

Andrew Macdonald

26 January 2004 19:58

"I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."

I was just about to send you a stiffly worded electric letter pointing out that the author of the above was not someone who appears to have been named after an eye testing chart, but was in fact Chief Joseph. But just before I do, I thought, I'll do a quick check with Google, and bugger me if they aren't one and the same person.  I guess he very sensibly changed his name when he realised that it was a lot easier to write Joseph than Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt.  You can see his point, can't you?
Something may be stirring down Winwaloe way.  It's just possible that he's shaken the bastard mackerel, those blighted spawn of a night of star washed, Sharps soaked lust at The Tinners (is there any other sort?), out of his cassock and started to crank up his masterplan.  (I've just had a thought - if the bastard mackerel got themselves a good lawyer, I reckon they could get their fins not just on Dunmanifestin and the rest of the saintly acres, but the hiden millions in Swiss bank accounts as well.)
On reflection I saw the first signs in Brighton last summer, then I found there's one on Liverpool Street Station, and now there's one slap bang in the middle of Norwich - The West Cornwall Pasty Company.  Is it a plot to keep all the ems out by poisonning them before they get down there?  Preferable, I suppose, to them getting down there, having a pasty and then spending the next fortnight throwing up everywhere.
Anyway, we have the right to know.  And they've got sun-dried tomato and peccorino ones.  And seared tuna nestling on  a bed of crushed Desiree potatoes infused with thyme and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar and shallot jus ones.  And kumquat and snot ones.
Right, time to go and prise the top off a bottle of Mr Chimbley's India Pale Ale.

Vile Jelly

27 January 2004 09:32

Well, that was the whole point. Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt was just this bloke who happened to like the nice valley that he and his family had lived in for generations. Unfortunately for him, some people from out of the area decided that they liked the valley too and as they had far more money they'd have it. The point of the quirtation being that the words spoked thistly were at the end of his futile attempt to get justice/freedom/his home back. Of course, the yanks gave him none of these but did rename him Chief Joseph, which obviously made up for the inconvenience. Thenceforth, the whole sordid incident was enshrined in the american constitution as the Right to Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of the Extinction of the Indigenous Population.
No idea where all these pasties up north are coming from. Swindon probably. [Of course, as you are in East Angular, almost the whole of the UK could be defined as the West Country from your point of view!]. You had better check the small print on the label although I doubt that Cornish pasties are likely to fall under the EU AOC rules. They are unlikely to be coming from this far west as everything is being shut down. So, far this year (all 4 weeks of it) Redruth Brewery and Furniss Foods, two of the biggest employers in Redruth/Camborne, have gone into receivership.
One begins to suspect that the Cornish 'economic miracle' is not so miraculous as the creative skills of the statisticians who claim that business is booming thanks to the increase in tourism.
PS. Talking of Winwaloe, he seems the sort of toff who'd go to the ballet/opera/whatever so maybe he has spotted the Cornish Bakehouse Pastyrie which is supposed to have been set up in Covent Garden. He'd better check his portfolio of West End properties as it looks like the Symons Clan have run out of things to own in St. Ives and are now making their move on the hamlet of London!

Andrew Macdonald

28 January 2004 12:10

How very unlike our own dear British Empire.
I have absolutely no plans to get close enough to one to read the small print.  It says West Cornwall, so obviously there's a pasty mine somewhere with hitherto unexplored seams which they are exploiting.  Those green marks on the zawns ain't copper, they're the pasty fillings.  Probably kumquat and snot.                 
Or else he's flooging The Big Issue in Covent Garden.  However we shall await an incisive, trenchant, and thoruoghly top-drawer review from the saintly savant in due course.
Are the Symons heading staight for the Great Wen, or are they going to buy their way across England as they go?  Anyway, we're probably safe here - they'd never get across Essex in one piece.  And have they put a bid in for the Tate?
Always sad to see one go (except possibly St Ostle), but what was Redruth Brewery like?

Vile Jelly

28 January 2004 15:04

Yes, but at least we were honest and upfront about it. We called it an empire and didn't insult the rest of the planet's intelligence by pretending that the whole process was in any way for the good of all (or, in deed, anyone but us). What's the yanks' and aussies' excuse for how they behaved (and continue to behave)? Did you ever see the two documentaries the brothers what done the classic american civil war prog did? I presume that they must have had a 'creative differences' incident thereafter as they both separately produced a docu-series about the american conquest. One was called The Wild West and the other just The West. Anyway, they were both dead good and there is a bit in one of them where they are interviewing a talking head historian called Michael Her Many Horses, who was/is a Sioux. They've been talking about all the punch-ups as the yanks tried to expand into the plains and they get to the Little Bighorn and he looks at the camera and says, with just a frisson or two of feeling!, something along the lines of 'I would have loved to be there when they smashed the smug white arrogance off their faces. That little half hour it took to do them all in '. An admirable man and clearly one with a worthwhile agenda!
I also liked the comment (from another native american historian) elsewhere about the Little Bighorn. As they put it, Custer had followed this mass of tracks, his native scouts had reported back that they had seen the largest encampment they'd ever seen on the plains. Custer went charging in with a couple of hundred men and said 'Bugger we're surrounded by thousands of indians, everyone leg it'.  Which tended to confirm the locals view that the whites were mentally defective!
PS. The spoor of the symonses is hard to track. The best way to find out if they are operating in your area is to check on various establishments and see if the quality has gone down and the prices have gone up.
PPS. Redruth brewery not officially defunct yet. It's in administration or receivership or it has been received by administrators or some such. You're an affluent businessman, you'll understand these concepts. I haven't seen a hostelry of theirs down here but then Redruth is in the midlands so maybe they have pubs up north. They do bottles and cans 'cos I've seen them in the local shops.

Andrew Macdonald

28 January 2004 15:51

I think "honest" and "upfront" in this context are possibly over-egging the custard, or over-buttering the parsnips, or worse, upsexing the dossier.  Think "the white man's burden" and the smokescreen of bringing religion, civilisation and trousers to people all over Africa, India, Canada and all points of the compass who already had perfectly good working examples of all three anyway, simply to disguise the activities of Clive, Rhodes, and all the other rogues, charlatans, snake oil salesmen, whisky drummers and derelicts who helped paint the globe pink.
Sadly, I missed a lot of the civil war prog, and keep thinking of getting it on video or dvd or something, and the other two seem to have passed me by altogether. Probably never got shown this far east.
I'm always a bit suspicious of breweries who put beer in cans, but good luck to them anyway and I'm sure that now the receptionist is in charge, everything will be all right.

Vile Jelly

29 January 2004 10:02

Yes, but we didn't bother to disguise the fact that this was what we were doing. You'll remember the good old late 19th century atlases of the world (or hadn't they been published yet when you were at skool?) which came in two glorious colours; pinkish red for THE BRITISH EMPIRE and some other non-descript shade for the bits of the planet we didn't want or weren't worth bothering about. None of that 'spheres of influence', 'mutual defence agreements' and 'economic alliances' cobblers. It was ours and we weren't embarrassed to advertise the fact. Compare and contrast with the feeble attempts in the 20th century of the Americans to pretend that they don't do 'empires' and they just happen to be in Korea/Chile/Guatemala/Vietnam/Grenada/Iraq/etc. because the military were visiting their sick maiden aunt when a punch-up broke out!
PS. They do it (or did) in bottles as well. I suppose now that the accountants have sunk their claws in they will have to change the name to Redruthlessjobcuts Brewery.

Andrew Macdonald

30 January 2004 10:11

Be that as it may, you have to admit that our lot didn't achieve their targets in the knights in shining armour league tables.
Yes, somewhere I have still got my old skool atlas complete with pink bits (or was that some other publication in the bottom of my desk?) complete with Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and all the rest, and a splendid thing it is too.  Phillip's School Atlas, I think.
Hutton.  There, that's my entry for your latest competition to find a new synonym for whitewash.

Vile Jelly

30 January 2004 17:04

But that's my whole point, we were being Shites in Nining Armour and didn't bother trying to insult anyone's intelligence by pretending otherwise. The British Empire; it was an empire and it belonged to the British. QED. What irks me is the holier-than-thou attitude of the likes of the yanks and aussies who sneer at brutal british imperialism as if they haven't done it themselves. Oh no, sirree bob, they're enlightened democrats. Any member of the relative indigenous population will tell you that!
F'r instance, did you know that the Union General Philip Sheridan evicted the women & sprogs and torched the properties of the civilians in the Shenandoah Valley and the Confederates presided over the deaths by disease and starvation of over 13,000 POWs at Andersonville camp in Georgia nearly 40 years before Kitchener came up with his 'cunning plan' for ending Boer resistance in South Africa. When the commandant of Andersonville was hanged after the end of the civil war he protested his innocence on the grounds that 'he was only acting under orders'. So, that means the americans beat the Nazis to Nuremberg by 80 years!
PS. Why didn't you have your own skool atlas and doesn't Phillip want his back?
PPS. I don't know why people are getting so uptight about the Hutton report. What were they expecting from someone who is 'a lord' and who has made his fame and fortune in that famously egalitarian industry 'the law'. Besides if there has ever been any form of government in this country that's told the truth it's news to me. Even the great Winston Churchill spin-doctored, suppressed and lied through his teeth on occasion during WW2. And I'm sure we all remember Maggie's 'The Belgrano was heading on an intercept course for the Task Force' statement to the Commons.

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