Monday, April 23, 2007

Billy Bragg spawns genetic and political debate

The Telegraph has just this minute brought the earlier "Your View" based on Bill Bragg (see my earlier post) to the top of the stack. This is because we are about to be given his answers to questions put to him in the older thread (though much diluted with folk, including myself, choosing to talk round issues instead of obediently posing questions to the Oracle).

This is an opportunity to archive here a difference of opinion between one Martin and myself re the differences between the English and Celts.

He espouses the received wisdom, that the English are for the most part descended from Anglo-Saxon invaders, arriving between the departure of the Romans, and the arrival of the Normans. I am more enamoured of the views of Oppenheimer that most folk inhabiting the British Isles are predominantly of the same racial stock, derived from earlier Basque settlers, and that the various invaders to our shores have left little genetic trace ( a maximum of 10% each) through failure to intermarry (Romans) or reluctance to slaughter and supplant the native population, the latter having learned through many millenia to "roll with the punches" where visitations from Continental Europe are concerned.

Later in the day, when I have a minute, I will copy and paste the entire exchange between Martin and myself.

Later, on Christopher Hope's Telegraph blog on Billy Brag, entitled "Debating Queen and Country" I confessed to not having heard of him until yesterday, which drew a snotty response from another contributor. A robust reply was called for, and duly delivered. Here's the latter exchange, as far as 16:00 today French time.

Billy Who ?

One hesitates to be a wet blanket but this post seems a tad provocative for all the wrong reasons.I'm trying to think of anyone, celebrity or otherwise, whose opinion I value so much that I would queue up to put questions to them on a public forum. Don't take this personally, Billy Bragg, but you are not one of them. Maybe life has passed me by, but until seeing your name on yesterday's "Your View", I had never even heard of you.Now if Christopher Hope had invited another Billy, whose observation and wit re all things British is unerringly right on the nail, then I might have a question or two to put. I refer to the priceless Bill Bryson. Incidentally, why has that national treasure not been knighted yet ? If they can do it for an Irish Boomtown Rat, they can do it for the Des Moines Thunderbolt Kid.
Colin Berry at 22 Apr 2007 17:20

Politics and personality

Not sure someone who doesn't know who Billy Bragg is should be commenting on British politics (see above). What interests me is Bragg's liking for the questions the Telegraph has taken to asking. I have a sense that the Telegraph is one of the few papers that still has a sense of history, and Bragg's interest in radical history is well known. So, question for Mr Bragg, how far do you feel the problems now facing us result from our refusal to take history seriously?

JonCG at 23 Apr 2007 02:58

Willing to foot the bill

I warmly applaud Mr Berry's suggestion that Mr Bryson be knighted .Mr Bryson may then be made to shut up .
Cymbeline at 23 Apr 2007 04:23

Trumpet voluntary

"Not sure someone who doesn't know who Billy Bragg is should be commenting on British politics"

That's a somewhat fatuous remark, JohnCG, and one that's probably best ignored.

But I see from Wikipedia that Billy Bragg was born in 1957. This political naïf, born 13 years earlier, cannot resist the temptation to point out that when in October 1964, Billy Bragg was just 6, I, as News Features editor on behalf of my University newspaper, was interviewing Michael Stewart, the new Labour Minister of Education and Science, at his Curzon Steet headquarters.

Why do commentators on blogs so often attempt to put down their fellow contributors, knowing nothing whatsoever about their background ?

Colin Berry at 23 Apr 2007 09:19

Soyons clair

Speak for yourself , Mr Berry .

Cymbeline at 23 Apr 2007 09:54

We're getting blogged down here, methinks

"Speak for yourself, Mr. Berry ."

There's another fatuous remark. Who else would you expect me to speak for, Cymbeline ? Come to think of it, who do you speak for, if it's not Cymbeline ? Why bother with blogs at all, if all we read are comments from people trying to say what they think others might wish to hear ? Does the term "populist rhetoric" mean anything to you, Cymebeline ?

Er, where do we go to post our own viewpoints ?PS What gives with the Mr ?

Colin Berry at 23 Apr 2007 11:19