Travelling back by Tube from a pleasant afternoon out by the river, I had the questionable privilege of sharing a carriage with a bunch of inebriate football fans. Their initial off-key and only slightly aggressive rendition of Sweet Caroline being received in good part by all, they began to up the ante with each of several subsequent ditties, passing through murder ballad payloads and tribal war-chants until the session at last devolved, as they seemingly all must, into the traditional abyss of Get Yer Tits Out For The Lads. Fortunately this was scrupulously undirected, and most of the female passengers had in any event detrained for some reason before then; but by the living Jingo, this is worse boot-scrapings than I have seen in quite some time.
I was further embarrassed by the presence among the lads’ war-chants of Keep Me English Till The Day I Die. This was not a proud moment for me, nor for Margarita my English dragon. But she has since been hissing a happy thought into my ear, which I hope has something to offer everybody.
A cause dear to the hearts of all such clamorous patriots is, famously, the maintenance of the United Kingdom’s long-standing quarrel with the Republic of Argentina’s imaginative pretensions to the British South Atlantic dependencies. The Falklands are sufficiently and tenaciously inhabited, by folk who incline firmly to the UK’s side of the question. But since the days of whaling fled beyond recall, the standing population of South Georgia has declined from 2,000 to approximately 4.753, and that is counting the dodgy penguin in the tutti fruitti hat.
This dereliction must now cease. We need permanent settlers who will burnish our possession beyond its former glory - bold, hardy, manly men who will laugh in the teeth of the Antarctic gale, snap their fingers at being two-thousand-and-spare-change-miles from the silken snares of womankind, and not be too nice to get their living farming the unique carnivorous ducks that feast on rotting seal carcasses.
And I think I’ve spotted just the boys for the job.