If you crave yet another clue as to the level of plot-loss we humans have achieved, dare to consider the recent trumpeting of an upcoming British baby boom.

Go forth, my subjects, and procreate! Photo: AFP

And confuse yourselves not – this has nothing to do with the fruitful joining of loins between Kate and Wills, although there is, as often is the case, a royal angle.

Rises in birth rates are not new; historically they arrived during periods of plenty, times when one’s tribe was not being overrun by another tribe or when pickings were slim on telly during a long winter in the cave. However, this next one in the old country is being credited to the unlikely collision of two events – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the success of the nation’s go at running the Olympics.

Strap yourself in before examining the logic of this – it’s a hairy ride. It reminds one of the joke about how marriage occurs when one person turns to another and says: “Darling, our love is so wonderful that we really should get the government in on it.”

So imagine one lover saying to another: “Darling, you’ll have noticed our unelected monarch, a doughty woman who is the latest in a line of overpampered fools thumbing their noses at democracy for centuries, has held that job for the time it takes the Earth to go around the Sun 60 times. To honour this, we now must procreate, splicing our genes into one being, one which will demand all our energy and many thousands of pounds to rear.”

No, no, no ... even in a world which makes big news of Justin Bieber smoking a marijuana cigarette, this is just too plain bonkers. Surely this next scenario will make more sense:

Imagine one lover saying to another: “Darling, you’ll have noticed that a small number of people whose athletic gifts are greater than average have excelled in competition, and several earned the right to garner their necks with medals of gold. As they are from the same mudheap as us, we now must procreate, splicing our genes into one being, etc ...”

This is either the last laugh of the great British eccentricity or the coining of a new phrase along the lines of “Lots of sex, please – we’re British”.

Possibly the real source of black humour here is how that nation’s mercilessly slashed health service is going to deal with more slippery deliveries than even the England bowling attack can muster.

Possibly the real surprise to some beyond these twisted connections is that the British are somewhat happy about their lot at the moment.

It could be so; having lost more than a million jobs since 2008, the country has staggered back into something which could be regarded (by government spin doctors, presumably) as a recovery.

Hosting the Olympics was credited with giving the UK economy a 0.9 per cent fillip between July and September, although the Bank of England has admitted that progress in the past four years had been “zig-zag”.

Still, mustn’t grumble, which is something of a curious catchphrase in Britain as it is often the cue to grumble loudly and frequently. 

Maybe it’s the rich and celebrated vein of comedy the green and pleasant land can provide. Yes, we are miserable bastards, they’ll say, but at least we grin oddly as we moan.

To hear someone with a Manchester accent – or even better, a Birmingham one – say “looks like rain again” as they turn a sodden collar to the elements is to know that British humour is a (sort of) happy cohabitation of surrender and stoicism.

It makes sense that the likes of Morrissey, a largely misunderstood lyricist and constant thorn in the side of the royal family, are hero and anti-hero at the same time.

But be not surprised that the Poms have a sense of humour – including the Queen. Just look at one’s husband.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

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23 comments

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    • sunny says:

      07:45am | 15/01/13

      Was The Queen’s hat made out of a Chrysaora colorata or a Chrysaora fuscescens?

    • nihonin says:

      08:27am | 15/01/13

      Dunnowhat material was used sunny, but I see it has flowers on it. wink

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      08:26am | 15/01/13

      “Do you think the Queen ever pulld the doona up to her neck and says, ‘Look, Phillip, I’m a stamp!’” - Russell Howard

    • Lorraine says:

      03:20pm | 15/01/13

      I’ll bet she did!

    • mickey says:

      08:43am | 15/01/13

      Such wit. Such initiative. Such tenacity.

      Like a very wet lettuce leaf Kelly takes to the Queen and the Poms.

      Get over it sweets.

    • Gregg says:

      09:18am | 15/01/13

      I reckon you might have missed the flying foxy guy with the unhair do.

      Like, all of England loves Boris so much that they not just want to have him ordained as Chief Lord Justice or whatever other rank they can bestow, maybe even having him in line for the throne somewhere, they also want little Borises to become bigger Borises running amuck forever more.

      Can you imagine the tourists at wherever those guards have to wear their large furry helmets no more and have in place a Borisy shock of hair and even wearing mankinis the tourists would still be drawn, wanting of course to have engaging photgraphic memories too.

      The guy might even want to come to Australia too to save us!

    • Colin says:

      10:44am | 15/01/13

      Oh yes, that’s exactly what the world needs; more people.

    • DocBud says:

      11:23am | 15/01/13

      You can never have too many Brits, unless they’re Welsh or from Essex.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      10:44am | 15/01/13

      “Just look at one’s husband.”  So what’s wrong with being married to a war hero?

    • Colin says:

      11:30am | 15/01/13

      @ Steve of QBN

      “...a war hero.”

      A government-sanctioned killer of other human-beings, you mean?

      How wonderfully heroic.

    • DocBud says:

      12:00pm | 15/01/13

      @ Colin. Those other human beings being people fighting for fascist Italy which was invading Greece at the time. Do you feel the same about all those who fought to free the world from brutal totalitarian regimes during the Second World War?

    • Colin says:

      12:31pm | 15/01/13

      @ DocBud

      “Do you feel the same about all those who fought to free the world (!)...?

      Yep. Idem res.

      Though you probably believe the old lie, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”, hey..?

    • DocBud says:

      02:04pm | 15/01/13

      It’s rather pathetic, Colin, to make assumptions about people just so you can show off that you know some Latin. I’m under no illusion as to the horrors and brutality of war and every death of a young person is a tragedy, but I believe there are times when war is unavoidable. How would you have dealt with the wars waged by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Japanese Empire, and the brutality of their occupation of invaded countries?

    • Colin says:

      03:08pm | 15/01/13

      @ DocBud

      1) Latin has been the Lingua Franca for intellectual discourse for many centuries. It is not, “...Showing off…” to use it in the correct context.

      2) “How would you have dealt with…”? Well I certainly wouldn’t have forced post WW ONE Germany into crippling reparation payments and then refuse to relent so that they were all impoverished and starving and ripe for a “Saviour” to come along…It just wouldn’t have happened.

      3) It is interesting that you so often quote the WW2 context when, today, we all seem to be happy to ignore dictatorships (such as North Korea) where they imprison, torture, and execute their people en masse, and we never lift a finger (id est; “Go to war”) to help them…

    • St. Michael says:

      04:06pm | 15/01/13

      “Latin has been the Lingua Franca for intellectual discourse for many centuries. It is not, “...Showing off…” to use it in the correct context.”

      Nah, I’m afraid it is showing off, Trolin.  Wittgenstein, Russell, Godel, Whitehead, and Hilbert, indeed pretty well every modern philosopher (being the definition of intellectual discourse) wrote in English—not Latin.

      Just because judges or doctors sometimes use it for the odd phrase here or there doesn’t make it any less an act of showing off, particularly given the full context for the given phrases has usually been lost to the depths of history.  It just means the doctor or judge in question is trying to make some use of his otherwise useless Latin classes he was put through as a boy in secondary school.

      The correct historical context for Latin as the common language for intellectual discourse would be roughly 300 AD on the Italian peninsula.  Ironically, it survived mainly due to Christianity having adopted it for church rituals, not because it was the tongue of rational intellectual discourse.  Wilfred Owen, who you plagiarised, used the phrase ‘dulcie et decorum est pro patria mori’ to illustrate the hypocrisy of the upper classes using a religious phrase to justify death on a battlefield.

    • Colin says:

      04:26pm | 15/01/13

      @ St.Michael

      1) Wittgenstein didn’t use Latin?!? Really? So what language was the title of his book, “Tractatus Logicus-Philosophicus” then..? Japanese?!?

      2) Interesting that you say I ‘Plagiarised’ Wilfred Owen; you obviously Googled the phrase and came up with Owen because he used it in a poem…Little known to you that it was already a well-used phrase for centuries before that…

      You really are talking through your hat, despite the fact that you wish to sound erudite grin

    • DocBud says:

      05:00pm | 15/01/13

      Colin, I think the archangel has done a good job with your ridiculous assertion that Latin has been the “Lingua Franca for intellectual discourse for many centuries”. Your use of it is not in context because you had to make an incorrect assumption about me to justify its use.

      I refer to WW2 because that is the war the Duke of Edinburgh fought in.

      I don’t believe the international community should invade sovereign nations whatever the nature of the regime, it all gets rather messy like Iraq and Libya. All that can be really done is to treat them like pariahs, but if they invade another country, it is appropriate to go to the aid of the victims and expel them.

    • Colin says:

      05:18pm | 15/01/13

      @ DocBud

      “Colin, I think the archangel has done a good job with your ridiculous assertion that Latin…”

      Really? So you didn’t see my reply about his silly assertion that Wittgenstein didn’t use Latin..?

      I also note that you didn’t reply to my point about the allies forcing Germany to reparation well beyond what they were capable of paying, thus fomenting tension leading to WW2..?

    • DocBud says:

      06:07pm | 15/01/13

      You quote one modern philosopher using Latin for the title of one piece of work and that makes Latin the Lingua Franca for intellectual discourse for many centuries. You embarrass yourself with your faux intellectualism, nobody falls for it.

      I was trying to be kind by not mentioning your reference to the Treaty of Versailles. In case you hadn’t noticed, this came at the end of WW1. How would you have stopped that war? It also only affected Germany, not Italy and Japan. All up, it really does not help explain how you’d respond when one country invades another.

    • St. Michael says:

      06:14pm | 15/01/13

      “Wittgenstein didn’t use Latin?!? Really? So what language was the title of his book, “Tractatus Logicus-Philosophicus” then..? Japanese?!?”

      If you read more than the title of the book, Trolin, you’d discover that’s the only part that was in Latin.  What’s next, you’re going to say “Life of Pi” was written in Greek?

      “I also note that you didn’t reply to my point about the allies forcing Germany to reparation well beyond what they were capable of paying”

      Trolin, until you actually start responding to all the points people make against your silly posting, this really is pot calling the kettle black.  You’ve had a habit ever since you’ve been here of ignoring body blows to your silly theories and trying to amp up other points, so grow up.

      And yes, you did plagiarise Wilfred Owen.  In keeping with your policy of poetry plagiarism on here, no doubt

    • Philosopher says:

      06:44pm | 15/01/13

      Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori: Horace?

    • Bruce says:

      01:35pm | 15/01/13

      She may be the Poms’ unelected monarch. But we voted for her fair and square, Oi oi oi!

 

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