Tag Archives: Stereotypes

We…The humans.

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L’image de la France: On n’est jamais ce qu’on pense être.

L’inquiétude règne parmi nos dirigeants, nos élites, les directeurs des grandes entreprises, des leaders des grandes « associations » des secteurs d’économie– ils n’aiment plus le terme syndicat. Mais ce n’est pas parce que le pouvoir d’achat de la population baisse, que son futur est noir donc qu’elle ne préfère garder son argent pour le strict minimum en attendant des jours meilleurs, ce qui, forcément paralyse la croissance. Ce n’est pas non plus parce que le gouvernement ne fait rien pour véritablement aider cette population si ce n’est d’augmenter son sentiment d’insécurité et de paralysie.

Non, l’inquiétude vient de l’image qu’on donne. Tel un gentilhomme des années 1950 qui s’inquiète de ce que les voisins vont penser quand ils ne verront pas sa femme à l’église ce dimanche, ni celui d’après, ou encore le suivant. « Quelle image son action irresponsable et égoïste va-t-elle donner de moi ? » Le fait que sa femme souffre, soit malheureuse, qu’elle fasse tous les sacrifices, qu’elle en ait marre de se conformer et d’obéir à ses préceptes sans bouger n’est pas le problème,  pourquoi ne continue-t-elle pas à faire semblant pour le bien de la famille – en un mot : lui ?

Cet homme s’est fabriqué toute une image autour de ce qu’il est, ce qu’il représente et une femme silencieuse, travailleuse et polie en fait partie. Il n’a pas la moindre idée de ce que pensent réellement ses voisins, ils parlent une autre langue, mais c’est comme ça qu’il explique son statut et maintenant, il est inquiet. Pas pour elle, mais pour lui, bien qu’ils parlent toujours au nom des deux.

Voilà le souci de nos élites politiques et économiques. Elles sont une minorité qui aime à parler au nom de la majorité et en notre nom, la France, elles disent qu’il est temps de mettre fin à tous ses enfantillages irresponsables, de retourner au travail gentiment et de les laisser gérer le pays sans qu’on se plaigne. Comme cette femme soumise, il est temps qu’on comprenne qu’ils savent ce qui est bon pour nous et qu’on se laisse couler, sans se soucier des conséquences puisqu’elles seront positives…même si elles n’auront pas l’air.

Le problème c’est que les voisins ne sont pas dupes mais vous en avez plusieurs et il est important de savoir à qui on veut plaire. Si, pour leur argent, il s’agit de plaire à des dictatures ou des semblants de démocraties comme la Chine, la Russie, la Turquie ou les despotes des pays pétroliers, effectivement les grévistes sont une nuisance. Face à ces pays dont la violence est institutionnelle, la France fait preuve de faiblesse. Il est grand temps que les élites utilisent les pleins pouvoirs de l’Etat qu’elles contrôlent contre les citoyens qui refusent de se laisser dominer. Il faut suivre leur logique et la logique est que l’Etat n’est là que pour servir ceux qui ont réussi à y entrer au dépend de la majorité.

Là, je suis d’accord, ces voisins voient la France d’un très mauvais œil. Mais d’un autre côté, il est bon de rappeler qu’un ministre chinois à accuser les journalistes canadiens d’arrogance et limite de racisme quand ils ont osé poser une question sur les droits de l’homme. L’art de jouer la victime pour sauver la face quand la réalité de qui vous êtes vous frappe de plein fouet.

S’il s’agit de plaire à ce type de personne, le représentant du tourisme en France a raison : les blocages, les grèves sont catastrophiques pour l’image de la France. Quel milliardaire saoudien viendra en France si on ne peut pas montrer qu’on contrôle les Sans-Costards aussi bien qu’il le fait ?

Maintenant, les autres pays, nos autres voisins, ne sont pas dupes car ils aussi sont des démocraties, ils ont des syndicats, des manifestations, des grèves, des gens en colère qui descendent dans les rues et agissent pour défendre leur gagne-pain, leur futur et celui de leurs enfants. Ils savent que ça fait partie de processus démocratique aussi douloureux que ce soit.

Pour ces gens-là, ces autres peuples démocratiques que des lois permettent de partir en vacances avec un salaire décent, la vision de la France va du stéréotype gentillet…

-Les français ne se lavent pas, c’est pour ça qu’on a inventé le parfum.
-Les hommes français sont des éjaculateurs précoces.
-Les femmes ne se rasent pas.
-On ne mange que du pain, des grenouilles, du cheval, le tout avec de l’ail.
-On porte des bérets et des colliers d’oignons.

…à la méconnaissance des réalités..

-On ne travaille jamais.
-On est toujours en vacances.

…jusqu’aux jugements sans appels qui font plus de mal que tous les grevistes réunis:

-On est volontiers racistes et homophobes (Merci la Manif pour Tous!)
-La classe politique et économique est dominée par des vieux sexistes qui harcèlent – voire violent – les femmes sans impunité.
-Les présidents sont entretenus à vie par les impôts des français, même quand ils ne sont plus en exercices, et la plupart sont corrompus mais une loi empêche qu’ils soient poursuivis.
-Le leader du parti d’opposition est un ancien criminel qui a piqué dans la caisse.
-Nos dirigeants donnent des leçons de conduite au monde entier (Valls en Israël et Palestine; Macron au Royaume-Uni) dans un cas classique de Faites ce que je dis mais ne faites pas ce que je fais.
-Quant aux français eux-mêmes, on est arrogants. On refuse de parler anglais, même dans les endroits les plus touristiques. On ignore volontiers les étrangers à qui on n’a pas demandé de venir et qui nous forcent à faire des heures de queue pour voir nos propres monuments.

Voilà ce que des amis allemands, espagnols, italiens, japonais, anglais, suédois, russes, iraniens, égyptiens, australiens, mexicains, argentins, et j’en passe, m’ont dit sur la vision que leur pays avaient de la France.

Les grèves ? Les manifestations ? Le peuple en colère ? Ils ont ça chez eux aussi et ils savent tous qui est responsable : la classe politique et économique dominante qui pousse pour toujours plus de pouvoir. Regardez les autres pays et vous y verrez des choses identiques, partout.

Comme je l’ai dit les gens ne sont pas dupes donc, contrairement aux propos alarmistes, ils ne vont pas tous annuler leurs vacances sur les plages de la Côte d’Azur juste parce que nos dirigeants peignent volontiers une image de chaos dont ils se disent victimes tant rassurant sur leur capacité à contrôler la populace.

Au-delà des stéréotypes, la vraie image de la France vue de l’étranger en ce moment est une totale incompréhension : comment a-t-on pu en arriver là ? En lisant, The Guardian, the Frankfurter Zeitung, El País et les autres journaux sérieux, vous y trouvez les mêmes réflexions sur la France.

On y parle pas d’actes irresponsables de syndicats mais on y voit une démocratie issue des Lumières, qui se sont dressées face au pouvoir absolu, une démocratie qui promeut le dialogue avant l’affrontement, le consensus et les Droits de l’Homme dont elle se fend être la créatrice. Une démocratie qui vit sous la banière de Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité mais où se succèdent des images de la police qui frappent des immigrés, des communautés, des grévistes, des travailleurs, des journalistes, des manifestants pacifistes, des passants et surtout des enfants de 15, 16, 17 ans. Ces images font le tour du monde, pas celles des piquets de grève.

Les pays voisins savent que ces mouvements ne sont pas d’hier et décidé sur un coup de tête. Ils admirent les nuits dans la rue de cette jeunesse qu’on présente volontiers comme apathique et je-m’en-foutiste mais qui se mobilise encore pour son futur. Ils savent que ça fait des mois qu’on veut négocier, discuter, qu’on n’est pas à 100% contre la loi du travail mais qu’on veut pouvoir en parler et l’améliorer. Ils savent que les Français voulaient et veulent qu’elle soit une véritable construction nationale pour le futur et non une imposition seulement appréciée des patrons qui rejettent l’Etat sauf quand il s’agit de défendre leurs intérêts et des économistes qui s’y connaissent tellement bien qu’aucun n’a vu la crise venir.

Ils savent très bien que le  gouvernement a toujours refusé de discuter. Dès le premier, ils savent qu’on nous a infantilisé: “C’est oui ou le 49:3 donc c’est oui ou..oui”. Ils ont vu et largement commenté chaque manifestation pacifiste qui s’est soldée par un « Non, on ne discutera de rien ! Mais voilà les CRS… ».

Nos voisins savent que le gouvernement était en minorité et que c’est pour ça qu’il a abusé de la constitution pour passer en force contre la Droite qui en voulait plus, la Gauche qui en voulait moins et la population qui n’avait pas élu ces gens pour ça.

L’image de la France actuelle est un gouvernement qui a été élu sur des promesses, un programme et qui au milieu de son mandat, et sans rien dire à son électorat (le Premier Ministre l’a avoué lui-même), a complétement changé de politique sans en discuter.

C’est ça la France pour les étrangers : une impasse car un manque de dialogue qui vient d’un total mépris des élites pour ce que le peuple veut et dit. Un gouvernement qui appuie son pouvoir absolu sur les chiffres qu’il a obtenu aux dernières élections tout en trahissant les raisons mêmes qui ont justifié ces chiffres. Un gouvernement qui refuse le dialogue avec la société civile sous prétexte qu’elle s’exprime tous les cinq ans pour cinq ans et que c’est bien suffisant.

Pour tous les Européens du Nord, les plus riches, par exemple, c’est un concept aberrant : utiliser le choix du peuple contre le peuple. Quand le peuple a véritablement choisi ses élites…Aujourd’hui, le ministre de l’économie, qui dit à 65 millions de français comment les choses vont se passer, n’a jamais été élu par qui que ce soit. Il n’a jamais fait l’expérience d’une campagne, d’un programme à défendre et il n’a toujours pas à le faire, la machine de l’Etat lui permet d’imposer sa vision sans que le Parlement n’ait son mot à dire. Il n’a jamais dû répondre ou justifier de ses idées et la preuve en est : sa totale incapacité à considérer l’opinion des autres sans les rabaisser et les insulter.

Voilà la vision de la France vu de l’étranger. Des élites qui abusent de la démocratie, qui s’érigent en représentants d’un peuple entier sans avoir à considérer son avis, un système qui assure cette domination et la renforce. Le résultat : des gens qui veulent plus de démocratie sur lesquels on tape sans ménagement, une abstention massive aux élections parce qu’on sait que les choses ne seront jamais comme on nous les promet, et finalement une attirance vers les partis plus extrêmes qui nous mentent autant quand ils dénoncent l’establishment, mais qui n’ont jamais été au pouvoir donc qui sait ?

Messieurs Valls et Hollande peuvent prétendre ce qu’ils veulent, personne n’est dupe (bien qu’il y en ait qui font bien semblant) : l’image chaotique de la France vient de leur trahison que le peuple n’a pas accepté et nos voisins ne prennent pas à leur jeu de défenseurs de la modernité quand ils sont l’expression d’une démocratie archaïque.

Et honnêtement tout ça, les touristes s’en foutent ! On va bien en Chine malgré la dictature et bronzer dans les pays du Golfe malgré la sharia donc les grèves sont un moindre mal qui n’arrêtera que les imbéciles.

How to reach the Millennials?

Last week, I was at the regional assembly for Amnesty International and a decision was made to target the 18-35 year-olds, especially on the campaign regarding the treatment of the most vulnerable refuges. Cue the debate on how to reach us with all the usual clichés about us, the so-called Millennials. It is true to say that I was the only 30-something in a room full of late Baby-boomers and people in their early 50s.

First and foremost, no. We are not apathetic, uncaring and careless, heartless and utterly materialistic. We are a generation that has been told to shut up about our problems because “no one had ever had it so good”: the big bedroom with a queen’s bed just for us when our parents had to share, the game consoles, the mobile phones, the clothes, the shoes, the things, the more things, the even more things. We have choice and education.  We can make anything and achieving everything. We do not have a path to follow like our elders rather a path we can make for ourselves. We are just too lazy and accustomed to comfort to do it.

But rather than fight and work hard, we find excuses in ridiculous “diseases” like anxiety, depression…Fake ills that we pretend to be paralysed with when we should just strap-on a pair and get on with it. We are told we’re just good at shouting loud enough to get what we want. A generation raised to be more attuned with its emotions, our deepest turmoil have yet been deemed childish and irrelevant. “What are you complaining about again? We gave you the last Playstation, haven’t we? We bought you a car, haven’t you? Isn’t it what you wanted?”

Is it? Yes, it is but not because we truly believe it would make us happy but because we grew up and was raised by a generation that was in fact the one who genuinely had it good. Millennials are not the ones who think ownership is the key to happiness and true freedom because we don’t owe anything and yet manage to be happy in a way. Nothing I have is mine except for my two cheap laptops, my phone and a couple of plants.

I live at my mother’s, I drive one of her cars, I eat the cheese she buys, I tend to the house and garden she owns, have Sunday naps on her couch. I only managed to buy my very first bed last year. I was 31, what an achievement! And yet, the mattress was the one my mother bought years ago.

I am 32 and like many of peers, I haven’t got anything. Nor have my cousins. Our parents do. My grand-parents do. Hence the double standard of constantly showering your children and grand-children with things they do really want or actually need, to jump on your wallet at their every whim and then label them spoilt and ungrateful. Maybe because we have discovered that there was more to life than counting your blessings. The older generations raised us in their world of endless plenty, we abode by their model of endless consumption until the day we became “too old for this” and suddenly the world fell on our shoulder.

There is a sense of betrayal. Not because I don’t have as many gifts as I used to but because I did everything I was told and yet, I still don’t fit in and I am not the only. I studied, got two Masters, went abroad for ten years, worked terrible jobs, made myself completely exploitable to managers and shop-owners because I was told it was the way it has to be to gain experience. Now, I am 32, stuck in an endless roller-coaster of temporary contracts, never knowing what I will earn the next three months or if I will actually still have a job that helps me scrap a little of money to put aside to leave doomed France again.

We work like dogs for jobs that don’t pay, for managers in their 50s who use and abuse their power to get the best out of us for the least money, all the while telling us that they would be forced to let us go if we went all the way with our claim for better working conditions.

No, we are not unreachable, lazy and expecting everything to be given to us. We just don’t belong to the world as the Baby Boomers and the 1960s-born people have built and are fighting tooth and nail to keep the way they want. We don’t recognise ourselves in the box they have put us in, in the path they have still managed to back might for us. We are rebelling as we refuse to abide by their definition of what we are and what we should be. This is not tantrum, this is just doing what they did in the late 1960s and the 1970s: becoming our own self as a generation.

And it takes time. It took time for women to realise they were not alone in their misery, to organise, to talk about it and finally to claim.  It will take time for us all to realise what we are all experiencing: living under the rules of States that were built to only cater for the needs of our elders and policed to protect their privileges.

In this black picture, there is positivity in that we are all looking for alternatives we can call our own, for something to do in this world so despite the ignorant jibes, we are actually way more accessible than the previous generation. It just takes a bit of finding out how to communicate with a generation that highly flexible, skilled and adaptable.

First, stop with the labelling of ‘right’ and ‘left’ or any extremes when it comes to politics. It’s not that we are not interested in politics as such. Look the French youths besieging the squares of Paris, fighting for their future. We are interested in politics, we do talk about it but there is nothing out there that offers the flexibility we need. How can you interest young, educated, informed people with an  ever-increasing Manichean message from people who are constantly condescending towards us?

I mean, just consider the people we have to choose from: our parliaments plagued with a majority of men wearing black suits, even in blistering summer, using big words to hide the tree in the forest, and bluntly telling us we are “fools for believing their promises” and we should have known better – Thank you, Nick Clegg! Why can it never be straightforward? Why I am “childish” for asking? That’s the problem: not only have we been deceived too many times but mostly these people don’t speak to us and when they do it’s from their ivory tower.

When the President or the Premier blabber endless speeches on the age of retirement and the security in old age, they don’t speak to us who can’t even find a job to begin with. Politicians have become like the adverts we have grown with: it’s noise in the background for things we are given by our parents but do not actually need. They are akin to commercials selling us insurance when we have no house, no car, no job, no children…

Secondly, stop trying to use traditional media. TV is for little kids who have no control over what they watch, and our parents and grand-parents. I don’t watch TV and actually don’t understand the point of it. It is anything but flexible and open for a generation that multi-tasks easily and like the pick-and-mix of everything, from food to sources of information. TV and radio are nothing but tight-scheduling of things one can never double-check, having to sit there doing nothing, not having any control over what we are fed. You have to be at one place at one time or you’ll miss it. What on Earth is that in a world with Internet on the tip of your fingers and its everyday pick and mix? You read, watch, play, listen to any time, any place.

Instead of labelling us as scattered, undecided, disorganised and not knowing what we want, use our flexibility, our desire to see more, our craving for change for the great and good because it makes us open-minded, more tolerant and willing to find our place in the world. A place that has not been pre-determined by anything: place of birth, money, skin complexion, gender…We have been raised to believe it is possible and the way forward, and we still believe it. We want to believe it.

The move from Amnesty International is the right one because they are not right or left, Christian or Muslims, high or low, men or women. They are all of it and much more. They are everything and anything we, the Millennials, want them to be: a place to find and fight our way. As political parties rot under their own contradictions and need to please the ones with money and power (anyone but us), Amnesty International is the opportunity for us to be someone, beyond our name and our job.

All they have to understand is that we are not children, but adults. Adults who need be addressed like adults, not irresponsible tantrum-throwing brats.  Adults who want to build the future they were promised but that has never materialised because it turns out we have become a threat to the privileges of older generations. Adults who are looking for new ways to exist, have a voice and express it. Adults willing to be something and do something for the world. Adults who are just one click or one finger-tap away from them.

They see Nazis everywhere.

There is a quite interesting study showing that when an argument breaks up between two people who don’t know each other (well), there is about 70% chance one party will bring up Hitler to justify the validity of their argument against the other. Something on the lines of “Hitler thought the same as you so that proves you are wrong”. Usually, it tends to close the argument. For all the wrong reasons, obviously.

Interesting but I went to check on that years ago. I wish I had kept all the links of my research but that was not something I was doing at the time, unlike today. So I went to check this research and it turned out, when the researchers tried to broaden their findings into population whose first language was not English, the percentage of probability that Hitler pops up decreased dramatically. There is something there.

Back in 2008, when living in Blackpool, I was browsing Youtube for a good rendition of “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen” of the Queen of the Night and came accross the Tölzer Knachenbor. It’s a Bavarian choir of boys who sing famous opera pieces. This year, for instance, they performed for FC Bayern München at their Christmas dinner. One of their most famous boys is Robin Schlotz who was singing that Mozart aria. He was also singing Stimme des Waldvögels, a short aria in one of Wagner’s operas. I love that little interlude so I copied the lyrics and posted them on Facebook. Sigfried is mentioned in the lyrics so almost all my English friends told me I was “having a little Nazi nostalgia.”

I played dumb and I asked why they were saying such a thing. They replied that “it’s because Hitler was a friend of Wagner” – he wasn’t. Wagner’s operas are the essence of German romantism that came with the birth of Germany as a nation and the need they felt to find common roots after centuries of fratricidal wars and struggles. They, and Wagner too, went to find them in Germano-Scandivanian mythology along with Odin, Thor, the Valkyries and Sigfried as the half-god hero, a tracing paper-made Germanic Hercules.

The issue is that Hitler followed the same movement and the Nazism rely heavily on this symbolism of German romantism, therefore the mythology. The swatiska cross is the symbol of Thor, after all, whose nickname was Barbarossa (ginger beard), which was also the code name of the invasion of the USSR. So today, in England, any mention of these symbols or Wagner or any author, composer, writer, musician that inspired Hitler will make you more or less a Nazi. There is something there. Certainly no common sense.

Still looking for classical pieces on Youtube, I came across, in Mars this year, a rendition of Schubert’s Ave Maria sang by Maria Callas. The comments were littered with accusations and insults directed towards her: she was a Nazi, a Nazi-sympathiser, she was glorifying the Nazism…The name attached to these comments were all English-based. Mostly English names the likes of Sean, Billy, Bob, Britany, John…Once again, the fact that she was singing in German meant that she “was a Nazi”, she “was advertising Nazism” by speaking the language regardless of the fact that it’s a religious, catholic hymn to the Holy Virgin. They could not see behind the German language and, for them, everyone living in Germany before 1945 is a Nazi. Schubert, Göthe, Schiller, Beethoven, all of them. There is something there.

Last August, I found a picture of the European monarchs together at Queen Victoria’s funerals and I posted the pictures on Tumblr. I really liked the picture, some of them, like the King of Belgium, were bloody handsome. Yum! And as a tag I made the mistake of saying what I thought: “Loving the boots!” For the rest of the week, it was a torrent of abuse from various anons accusing me of being a Nazi. For some, you see the bad English but mainly the endless diatribes accusing of wanting Jews to be killed were in very good English. Same kind of reaction from some friends when I asked them if one could find such horsemen boots nowadays and all, expect one, of my English friends told me: “Yes, in a Nazi shop.”  There are boots worn by European kings of all nationalities at the beginning of the 20th century because they rode horses! What the fuck does it have to do with the Nazis? “They wore the same kind of boots”. Yeah, they also were all wearing military outfits, does that mean that all soldiers are Nazis?

And why is Word forcing me to put a bloody capital letter to that dreadful n-word?!

The only way I can explain this obsession with finding, seeing Nazis everywhere is, what I mentioned earlier, the fact that they still cannot get over their victory over them 69 years ago.

In the UK, and especially England, “the War” is mentioned constantly to such an extent that even the German ambassador got fed up with it. Only to be called a “sore loser” and a “kill-joy”. That’s English international diplomacy for you.

Every year, “the War” is the first thing the boys in the school I used to teach use to taunt the German students when we went to German and when they came to England. Boys who were as young 11, 12 years old were stopping what they were doing, purposely going to see German students in the playground to ask them “How does it feels to lose the War?”. In present tense. Not in the past. It’s still happening right now.

You have to go more than three generations in their family for anyone to have actually experienced WWII but still the kids in the playgrounds of England find nothing better to do that asking young Germans about their country’s defeat in 1945. The same kids who asked me what USSR was.

The second question is: How many people are Nazis in your family? (present tense again!)

The third: How many Jews did you kill?

And parents never understood why we never managed to convince German parents to do an exchange with our grammar school. The school had to satisfy with a visit. It’s a common problem with boys all over England.

In the media, if you mention Germany to say they are in some way “worst” than the UK, everything will be fine because in their minds, this is how it should be. The winner takes it all and the loser has to forever suffer. Where it cracks is that the reality is different and it annoys the English. When Germany reinvented itself, made amends, has been fighting its demons for 70 years which allowed the Germans to move on, to find the confidence to be strong again, to use their qualities for the good, the English have not. There are still stuck in 1946. Stuck in a world where they set the tone.

It looks impossible for them to move on because this victory is everything. It finally lead England, its lesser partners in the UK, its former colonies, its colonies and dominions to be the ones who were going to rule the world. Before London and Washington were just another player along with Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Tokyo but with France and the Netherlands humiliated and irrelevant, Germany and Japan in smoking ruins, and Canberra raising from the ashes of Indonesia, they took the reins on what would become the Western World. The world order we are living in today is the one of Yalta where “the winners of the war” decided on what would become of the future. And the winners were solely London, Washington and Moscow. With Moscow “defeated” in 1991, today’s crackling world is what English-speaking London and Washington created between 1945 and 1960 politically, economically, sociologically. Moving on from 1945 would mean moving on from this order, moving on from their dominance towards a fairer leadership.

In England, Churchill is still everywhere.  Politicians of all beliefs are using and abusing his spirits. He doesn’t matter how much he drank, how many cigars he smoked, how horrendously sexist and cheap as a man he was, he’s the victor. He’s the man every mean should aspire to, every woman should want to serve and marry. When Scotland was about to vote on independence, one of Westminster’s main arguments was “We defeated the Germans together, we can’t let our little differences tear us apart”. The victory still serves as a gathering call for the English and the like-spoken world.

When it comes to the Germans, the English have this schizophrenic attitude towards them. They admire them, they envy them, their work ethic, the stability of their political system. They envy their comfort, their way of life, and German high-skilled manufactured products are a sign of wealth in a country that advertised de-industrialisation as a way forward. For the upper middle-class whose imperative is to show its status, buying a German car is the door to acceptance: they are expensive, they are stylish, they are luxury cars the poor cannot afford but they don’t have this old-fashioned, old farty geezer or cheap footballer feeling about them like Jaguar or Aston Martin. And they remain affordable for them, unlike Rolls Royce, which is owned by BMW anyway.

The English also try to relate to them by all means now that they are the powerful. Every week, you will hear that their monarchy is German because they are descending from the House of Hannover. They are as German as the Tudors were French but they share something. When it turned out Angela Merkel was nothing like the “silly minger” the English tabloids were depicting her as, the English jumped to remind the world that they too had a “strong woman Prime Minister who changed their country and the world for the better”. Oh dear…

Now, try talking about how well Germany is doing right now and you will see the discussion end quite quickly with an annoyed: “Yeah, we kicked their arse and we will do it again if we have to!” or “Hey, they lost and we won so…”

So what?

“Well, we got Hitler at the end.”

There we are…

The bottom line is that next year, it will be 70 years since WWII – or the War. People who can talk about the realities of “the War” will have to have been born in the early 1920’s so that about…no one. And still, mentioning German culture makes you a Nazi in the UK.

“Without freedom from the past, things can only get worse.”