English on English


Sometimes coining a witty riposte is no substitute for a punch on the nose

Depending on how you use it, the internet is a force for good or an evil invention. For my part, I’ve made good friends out of it, tested my political arguments to destruction, and got maligned by the malicious. You take the good with the bad and learn how to give a tongue lashing to trolls and sloganeers. The wise avoid social sites like the Tory party avoids reason; it just isn’t good for one’s reputation. I calculate ninety-five percent of Twitter and chat site chat is dross. Addicts like me wade in, restoring Scotland’s independence the ultimate goal, permanently wound up for a brutal, bloody boxing match.

Cars and politics

Some years back, writing on a fast disintegrating and degenerate website concerned with cars and car enthusiasts, the site infected by the new wave of UKip lovers who hate foreigners and think being English is a gift from God, I got frustrated by the constant, unwarranted attacks on the integrity of patriotic Scots.

In time the vitriol and infantile arguments from budding sociopaths became so repellent I was compelled to write to the site moderators to demand all my contributions be deleted. By then the ‘dedicated’ founder-owner had sold the site to Michael Heseltine’s car magazine empire for a bag of retirement cash and he disappeared.

I had had enough of fools and farts tearing into Scotland’s life and traditions, in particular beginning ungrammatical sentences with the pompous, arcane ‘methinks’. The moderators duly agreed to wipe all my work, a sheet cleaned and ironed flat included a 28 hour session without sleep calming readers after one of the well liked contributors committed suicide.

For that sacrifice I lost some of my best prose on the pursuit of happiness but I was happy UKippers wouldn’t benefit by it. I didn’t want my work left to rot like meat crawling with maggots on what had become a repository of naked bigotry. A few psychopaths tried to follow me to my new site but in time I shook them off, or maybe they got bored.

A pile of crap

What scunnered me was the car site had made the serious error of adding politics to its chat room categories. Naive about internet social sites back in the day, what I didn’t realise was the then owner of the site was increasing traffic so he could make more money out of advertisers.

Opening pages on British politics was a joy for the child-like UKippers and odious British National Party thugs. Soon, the worst of Unionist Rangers football fans joined in spewing hate at anything SNP or Scots independence. They waded in with all the fervour of bankers desperately trying to justify their fat bonuses.

I don’t think I wasted the time there, though I wasted too many hours answering pig ignorant assertion from brain dead amoral right-wingers keen to emulate Papa Doc Duval, or Goebbels. It was a good training ground for the Grouse Beater site.

Learning fast

For one thing it taught me that a lot of males with expensive cars are polishing queens. They don’t know how to drive them, and never take them near a race track. The cars are there to feed their narcissism. The worst of them were automotive illiterate in the same way the enemies of Scotland are proud of their ignorance.

My good friend, Ian Stewart, racing driver of Ecurie Ecosse fame, was the first to notice the hideously stupid comments appearing that proliferated what was once a chat site for car enthusiasts exchanging tips on car maintenance and car bargains.

At the point I decided to call it a day. I penned a final article, one to wreak revenge on my persistent, inane antagonists. It was not a site to post essays, so I posted the article in short paragraphs. Just as well, with few exceptions those on the site never read past a tabloid headline without getting a headache.

Provoking outrage

To provoke outrage I posted a number of attacks on English mores and attitudes, one after the other, in the form of phrases and epigrams. Soon as I received a UKipper expressing outrage, I posted another in response. I cannot remember them all, so here are only a few. I have numbered them for a good reason made obvious later.

  1. All the ‘best people’ from the gentlemen’s clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoisie to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of securing the nation’s wealth and power. 
  2. The English share an unconscious patriotism and an inability to think logically.
  3. English patriotism is thick-headed and proudly insular – the bulldog is an animal noted for its obstinacy, ugliness and stupidity: Englishman of working-class origin considers it effeminate to pronounce a foreign word correctly.
  4. English takes pride in celebrating defeats and retreats, like Corunna, Gallipoli and Dunkirk. The most stirring battle-poem in English is about a brigade of cavalry which charged in the wrong direction.
  5. England’s homicidal lunatics are well employed in killing each other, but sensible Englishmen keep out of their way while they are doing it.
  6. Englishmen know good port when they taste it but have not the breeding to put it in the right glass.
  7. An Englishman that overvalues himself will undervalue others. If he undervalues others he will oppress them.
  8. Paradise Lost is a book that once put down, is very hard to lift up again.
  9. England is the most class ridden country. It is a land of snobbery and privilege.
  10. The English have always been wary of foreigners and intellectuals.
  11. English moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
  12. The Turks repel their enemies, Arabs of the Soudan break the British squares, and the rising on the Indian frontier spreads far and wide. In each case civilisation is confronted with militant Mohammedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. 
  13. There are people who believe their opportunities to live a fulfilled life are hampered by the number of Asians in England, by the existence of a royal family, by the volume of traffic that passed by their house, by the malice of trade unions, by the power of callous employers, by the refusal of the health service to take their condition seriously, by communism, by capitalism, by atheism, by anything, in fact, but their own futile, weak-minded failure to get a fucking grip.
  14. English do not expect happiness. I had the impression, all the time that I lived there, that they do not want to be happy; they want to be right.
  15. The British nation is unique in this respect: they are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.
  16. It is sometimes said that butlers only truly exist in England. Other countries, whatever title is actually used, have only manservants. It is for this reason that when you think of a butler, he is bound, almost by definition, to be an Englishman.
  17. Statistics show that the nature of English crime is reverting to its oldest habits. In a country where so many desire status and wealth, petty annoyances can spark disproportionately violent behaviour. Envy and bitterness drive a new breed of lawbreakers, replacing the old motives of poverty and the need for escape.
  18. The Great Potato Famine came to an end. Thousands of Irish died because of it, but it ended. And how was this wonderful thing accomplished? Why, in the simplest way imaginable. The famine was legislated out of existence. It had to be. England’s Whigs were facing a General Election.
  19. English people living in the USA should keep a low profile on Independence Day. 
  20. The English have always been madly overambitious, and from one angle it can seem like bravery, but from another it looks suspiciously like a lack of foresight.

Anger and fury

Readers can imagine the tsunami of vituperation flung in my direction, the outrage those remarks triggered. Bile flowed onto my computer screen like wasps falling upon a rancid Apple. How dare I insult English sensibility so wilfully and so vilely? I was deemed a racist incarnate, a foul chauvinist, a sweaty Jock.

It was exactly the reaction I planned. I let the righteous, riotous mob bray and scream for almost a day enjoying every minute of their discomfort.

The truth

In truth the statements published were not mine, not mine at all. To trick my assailants I had omitted quotation marks on all I had written. They were written by Englishmen of Englishmen. With glee I admitted my sleight of hand pro tem, and posted this:

“Every statement I posted was coined by Englishmen of the English. Here is the list to check for yourselves. Goodbye and bad luck, suckers.”

1: English editor of ‘Marxism Today’. 2: George Orwell. 3: George Orwell. 4: George Orwell. 5: Bertrand Russell. 6: Prime Minister Gladstone. 7: Samuel Johnson. 8: Samuel Johnson. 9: George Orwell. 10: George Orwell. 11: H.G.Wells. 12: Winston Churchill. 13: Stephen Fry. 14: Quentin Crisp. 15: Winston Churchill. 16: Kazuo Ishiguru. 17: Christopher Fowler. 18: Edward Rutherfurd. 19: Stephen Magee. 20: Ben Aaronovitch.

Revenge is sweet when provided free of charge by your dumbass tormentors.


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15 Responses to English on English

  1. Lorraine Fannin says:

    Gareth, I laughed my head off at this, and loved the ending that these were all quotes. Brilliant. Lorraine

    Sent from my iPad


  2. angusskye says:

    Methinks I love this essay. That is the last time – ever – I will use that word.

  3. Excellent. English bating can be such fun. During some summer unrest in the English inner cities a few years ago, I once opined, entirely ironically, on a bit of the Facebook, that communal summer violence was as archetypically English as Cricket, warm beer, and suppressed homosexuality. Some people got the humour. But I am afraid one or two of my English friends got a little upset. Never mind.

  4. Neil Anderson says:

    This has to rank amongst your best GB. I always enjoy reading your political essays and film reviews. Not being a driver, I don’t always read your car news. Sorry!
    But this is hilarious, I admire your ingenuity immensely. As a certain type of Englishman would splutter; “Well played, that man!”

  5. I am actually laughing out loud, what a brilliant way to get your self proclaimed enemies to execute themselves.

  6. Matthew Vallance says:

    Great list there. I would, however, to a degree argue with Kazuo Ishiguru, author of quote 16. I would argue that, if we take Jeeves as history’s Number One Butler, then Number Two on the list has to be Hudson, from Upstairs, Downstairs, who was of course Scottish.

  7. Grouse Beater says:

    That’s correct, Matthew. Hudson was the House Jock. 🙂

  8. diabloandco says:

    That really cheered me up – thank you!

  9. peeliewallie says:

    Totally on form!

  10. Grouse Beater says:


  11. Hackalumpoff says:

    By George, I salute your indefatigability Grousey.

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    Sleight of hand and eye to exploit their prejudices. 🙂

  13. peakcrew says:

    I’ve just come across this one – bravo GB!! As I’ve said before, I originally come from that benighted land, and some of my family fit the type you describe. I’m so pleased to be here in Scotland, where there is hope of building a better place.

  14. Grouse Beater says:

    You’re welcome. 🙂

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