Poem – The Anglo Saxon Way

Broadcasting House programme, Radio 4, Sunday 4th June, 9 – 11am

The Anglo Saxon model is a sweet and bonny lass
And the victim of much calumny in France
They say she’s cruel and ruthless and her heart is made of glass
They say, they lie, she doesn’t change her pants
The rude deluded Frenchmen have the gall to blame our model
For the sufferings of four million on the dole
When the truth is the reverse ……

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Listen to programme here

49 thoughts on “Poem – The Anglo Saxon Way”

  1. Oppressed workers, peasants, and unwashed toiling intelligentsia of our great European Motherland!

    The European Union has finally risen over the virtual horizon like the red sun of the revolution, dispelling the right-wing darkness of the nation state! The constitution is set to finally be ‘ratified’ in the coming months following a number of recent minor ‘glitches’ stemming from a concerted pan-European corporate media disinformation campaign.

    This day shall be known as the dawn of Gulagosphere. It shall become an EU holiday, celebrated in centuries ahead by spontaneous street marches of correctly educated proletarians chanting Party-approved slogans, peacefully hurling bricks at occasional remnants of the bourgeoisie, and vigorously consuming quantities of inexpensive EU sugar beet vodka!

    It is now a matter of common knowledge that the path to a better future lies trough the creation of collectivist supra-national bureaucracies and commissions, acompanied by a gigantic number of progressive groups, fronts, initiatives, leagues, unions and publicly funded NGO’s (such as the newly created vegetarian lesbian outreach foundation recently advertised in the Guardian jobs section) at home. The current total is not nearly sufficient.

    Neil Kinnock gets it, Peter Mandelson gets it, Tony Blair gets it, even that right wing imperialist corporate running dog Chris Patten gets it! Boris Johnson DOES NOT get it.

    But finally the tide is turning against the sinister Johnsonian ‘liberal democratic’ vision towards the French statist vision. The French ‘oui’ and the Dutch ‘yah’ have dealt a crushing blow to the creeping tentacles of Anglo-Saxon, neo-liberal capitalist hegemony. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Johhno!

    Up the workers!

  2. Some lines for the Big Mac to fill in wih his wit and wisdom.

    ‘I once knew a bloke who drank to much Vodka,

    and therefore became a serial bonka.’

  3. Excellent! Why can’t we just leave the E.U. Please, Boris? Convince your party to get us out of it and spare us the French way of life.

  4. Aaron: there has seldom been an absolutely conflict free period between France & the UK. Whether outright economic war, or wars of principle , for example; in their not agreeing to our earlier entry into Europe; or, in their agricultural war concerning our superior, but cheaper sheep being exported to France, and even , on occasion to sheep meant for destinations on the far side of France
    A taste of only last week, in the French war on any produce not of French origine

    The French: it’s them again; still causing mayhem
    Burning Spanish melons by the tonne
    Are these the ones who want to manage Europe?
    What hallucinogenics are they on?
    It used to be our sheep that they were burning
    Now PC veg and fruit all the rage.
    So what happened with free trade and open borders?
    The Frenchman’s rulebook stops before that page.

  5. Controversial lines from Mac: *puts tin hat on*

    From the Burghers of Calais, to those in the south
    The people of Gaul are too big in the mouth.
    Their friendship compares to a glass of their wine,
    Exquisite when opened, but flat before nine.
    At first they refused us, “You can’t join our club.”
    Now I’m really sad we abandoned the pub.
    They don’t need a map on their way down to Hell
    They’ll find their own way; and I don’t wish them well.
    They hooked up with Schroeder, and look where that’s led
    Ten million workers now need to be fed.
    They want protection; less imports allowed
    The main thing for Giscard, to play to the crowd.

  6. Melissa,
    Oooh! Nasty! I gather from the poem that you don’t like the French. I dont have a choice, my mother was French and my daughter married a Frenchman.
    Vive la France! Vive la pomme de terre frite!

  7. Keith, I’m happy with the French but welcome alternative viewpoints – yours helps to restore the balance.

    THANKS

  8. You xenophobic little englander Melissa. Your ultra right wing views, and unrelenting faith in the primitive, tribalistic ‘nation state’ will surely lead us to intercontinental war, anarchy and rapine! Don’t you know that the European Union has single handedly prevented Luxemburg from invading France for the past 50 years?

    And what about the United States? As Jane Fonda so eloquently pointed out last night on question time, the world needs a counter-balancing power to the evil, imperialistic, genocidal, exploitative American Empire!

    But the Spectator is owned by a NORTH AMERICAN CORPORATION is it not? Ahhhh, now everything makes sense. You’re just one of Bushitlers lappies aren’t you? The Americans are terrified of a United Europe, and so they have sent a crack team of saboteurs to mess up the European project.

    But you are doomed to fail. The inevitable British yes vote will be a victory for hope. A victory for the politics of optimism over the politics of tribalistic prejudice. The KKKonservative Party’s shameful attempts to cultivate a climate of hatred and fear are doomed to fail. Your insidious attempts to divide people by race and religion will backfire to disastrous effect!

    If anything, the advance of the European project is indicative of mankind?s capacity to empathize with his fellow man. A great example of Rousseau’s social contract, where disparate groups have placed the ‘greater good’ ahead of their own narrow self-interests; choosing fraternity over tribalism.

    Europe is a wide church. Testament to the capacity of the common man to transcend his own narrow cultural matrix and become ‘socialist man’.

    Sorry ‘wide church’ and ‘testament’ are such ethnocentric terms aren’t they? Our political terminology (as pointed out by the great Chomsky) is yet another part of the insidious white male anglo saxon protestant power structure so ingeniously exposed by Marcuse and soon to be dismantled by the legislation of the enlightened ubermen of the EU commission.

    Melissa and other EU critics are clearly still living in the Dark Ages. Their Britain is like Royston Vases. All they care about are local issues and local people. Well quite frankly they are dinosaurs. Part of a dying breed, like people who know all of the words to God save the Queen.

    Incidentally the national anthem is yet another example of white male anglo saxon protestant cultural power structure. Ethnic minorities ought to be allowed to sing Allah save the queen. But that’s a battle for another day.

    Up the workers!!!

  9. Very passionate views Comrade.

    I admire your strength of opinion and go with your ‘Up the workers!’ call. I am with you there – an out and out worker to the core. However, the scrapping of the pound and more power for Brussels would drown the little worker voice in favour of the large monopolistic voice. Not fair for the worker who would sink in voiceless powerlessness in a sea of red tape.

    I am pro the EC as it was originally conceived – as nation states. The EU, the Constitution, the Euro … whatever next… is going too far.

    Comrade, would you sell us down that route in all good consciousness and let us all get swallowed up in the Euro swamp?

    Up the teensy-weensy workers voice !!

  10. Melissa,
    A nation state is also made up of many different groups and interests and what is good for one is not necessarily good for t’other. I am suspicious of those who hide behind the nation state. One of the problems with our beaurocratic and undemocratic Europe is that it has been seen as a group of nation states. Hence the council is not democratically elected but appointed by the governments of the countries. We need to have a proper democratic, elected, inter-national European body with distinct (and more limited) powers. But to do everything within our national umbrellas, as you seem to support, is actually what got us in this mess we currently have.

    Democracy for Europe – give it back to the voters.

  11. Macarnie – it’s a quote. 😉

    Melissa – excellent poem there. True in many ways, I’m sure.

    Comrade Smirnoff – ever thought about going into comedy? Your rants are a work of genius!

  12. Count@where…

    >the council is not democratically elected

    You’re right about the Council of Ministers

  13. God Save the Queen
    We mean it, man.
    Her fascist regime
    It made you a moron
    a potential H-Bomb.

    No future
    No fuchsia
    No future for you.

    And where there’s no future how can there be sin?
    We’re the flowers in your dustbin
    We’re the poison in your human machine
    We’re the future, your future.

    Don’t be told what you want
    And don’t be told what you need.

    God save the Queen.

    (c) Sex Pisstols

    God save the queen,
    her fascist regime
    It made you a moron

  14. Despite having their collective butts roundly kicked,Giscard , Chirac and Co.are still beating the anti Brit drum, whilst simultaneously arguing that they are still entitled to go on burying their snouts ever deeper in the trough of the CAP. Cobblers

    A Frog he would a-whining go.
    =============================

    A Froggie would argue that we’re out of line,
    Hey ho, says Giscard,
    A Froggie would argue what’s yours should be mine,
    We say France’s borders still end at the Rhine Chacun a son gout,but we’ll still keep our rebate,
    Hey ho, says Tony B. Liar.

    The Froggie screams,” Over your rebate we’ve qualms”
    Hey ho, says Chirac,
    When the Frog cedes his share of the subsidy (farms)
    Perhaps we’d stop fighting: surrender our arms
    With a Rowley Powley, Maggie’s best handbag
    Get stuffed , says Tony, for Britain.

  15. Oi, stop picking on the French! It’s not their fault they’re so bitter…especially to us.

    After all, they’ve never successfully invaded us, but we beat them up lots! And, at least, they’re not Belgian*!

    (*=is it any wonder Brussels is so troublesome?)

  16. Hello again Ps. Been on holiday?

    The news at 6.30: Jack straw waxing hard
    Thank goodness it’s him ; not that barrel of lard
    The peasants in Paris want money for farms
    They don’t give a toss who this subsidy harms
    They need no excuse to block off their roads
    Against free trade and fairness, they’re not frogs; they are toads.
    I don’t make the news.

  17. Macarnie

    It occurs to me that your views – turned out in beautiful verse – are entirely forgiveable and winning.

    No match for our efforts at inadequate prose.

  18. Hmm . . I haven’t been posting much recently as I have been calculating my carbon emissions . . .

    There seems to be a lot of crowing around here about the rejection of the European constitution. Perhaps to put this all in context, I might ask the assembled company two questions:

    1. Which was the best decade for Britain during the past 100 years? The ‘belle epoque’ 1900s? The giddy 20s? The glamorous 30s? Perhaps the swinging 60s? The cool 70s? The Maggie 80s?

    2. Which was the best period for Europe during the same time period?

  19. Simon: I believe you will agree, at least in principal; never mind the starter for ten; that there would be a distinct difference between the status quo of friends and neighbours, if ,due to a not so subtle change in the relationship were introduced. Especially if that change by the assumption of moral or legal ascendancy on the part of some of those friends and neighbours were introduced without your agreement. Thus;if, without your consent, such events led to changing of the rules, then you; possibly or even probably; would in effect, be demoted to the role of a mere piggy bank for their unfettered profligacy. Our own National tax burdens are witness to the problem. We signed up for a free trade area: a close knit community of sovereign Nations, not the US of E.

  20. Macarnie: Where in the constitution does it refer to or imply a US of E? It’s worth noting that the French rejected the treaty because it was too Anglo-Saxon, too economic, too oriented towards free trade.

    Is it possible that the British Eurosceptics are out on a limb on this one?

  21. Furstly , I should like to congratulate Jack Straw on playing a blinder , up to now.
    Then Simon; it’s not what is in the treaty , rather what is not, as it was primarily written, which was a purely , in concept, a meeting of minds on economic grounds, allowing those members to transfer goods; services and money across their common borders , without let or hindrance. There was to be a centralised talking shop, with no real parliamentary powers, other that to regulate the interstate trade. Along comes Delors,,with his, ‘Delorsions of grandeur’, and the whole ball game was changed. The goalposts were widened , the referee was given a French rule book, and the apple cart tipped onto the playing surface. The ineffiencies of the farming methods in France , and elsewhere, were to be given more control of the ball: 43 % if my information is still up to date. The French players were allowed to foul, in respect of not keeping to the communal rule book, preferring their own ad hoc version. If others were seen to be making a throw in , using sheep as an example, the sheep were not allowed in the field of play. Mouton, however was allowed to play on,
    Similarly , of late, Spanish produce has evoked a French protectionist reaction. The only way the French would accept the normal international rules, is by the remainder of the players conceding to the French demands that their self-serving socialist, anti modernist ( read Anglo-Saxon)methods in farming is rewarded, at the expense of other items on the agenda . Most of the newly accepted members of the community have in recent times, had first hand experience in neo socialistic methods, and are pro the so called Anglo Saxon influence. We are given a fete accompli in our by now familiar ‘Human rights’ Treaty. As far as I am aware this has taken away more rights from more people , than it has given rights to. This is now being used , to great effect, to undermine what have been our native rights since 1215. The next “logical” Gaullic step is to outlaw all Anglo Saxon influence in Europe by forging an amalgamation of European States,whether this has been mooted or not: united against all good economic practice, milking those states which have followed reasonably prudent trade practices. What we are about to experience is the biggest pot-au-feu in European history( in its sense of boiled beef with vegetables)where we are the boiled beef, rather than rosbif.The vegetables will not of course be imported.(Metaphors mixed while you wait). One small question as an addendum: why were the French former colonies allowed to partake of the largesse of the European Cornucupia, whilst ours were not? I don’t really wish to know.

  22. BTW; the fait accompli was indeed a fete : of French double standards. However ‘consensus facit legem’ (Agreement makes the law) and of the Constitution,’de mortuis nil nisi bonum’ , (one should only speak good of the dead.)

  23. I’m begining to wonder if I live on the same planet as some of the commentees on this site!!

    (Now THERE’S a new word for the english language!)

  24. Macarnie: Thank you for the long and detailed explanation which I have read with attention.

    Would it be possible to answer my two questions (above)?

    At the risk of it sounding like a Paxman-style demand, I think your answers might help to close the gap between our positions on this subject.

  25. Simon:- It is , I fear, impossible for anyone to choose the “best” decade in any given period, since everyone has a slightly different standpoint on the matter; different ,very personal memories of whenever ‘their’ best day; week , year or decade was. Most certainly, if the French and Netherlands dismissal of the referendum is anything to go by; it certainly will not be the present decade which gets the bouquet. The fact remains, that some politicians, not just in any one country, have striven for personal, and indeed national goals , then ,having ahieved them, have been roundly condemned for their achievements. I give just one example, Herr Kanzler Helmut Kohl: driven by a desire to achieve re-unification, was, post completion, roundly criticized from both sides of the erstwhile wall. Rancour still lingers, to this day. My relatives and friends in Germany and Holland are constantly complaining of the unsatisfactory outcome, as are particularly the ex Ost Deutschen.

    In the former East Germany neo Nazism is on the rise, whilst some, contrariwise, even wish for the return of the relatively ordered life of communism: strange as that may sound,
    Normally ,my rants are somewhat tongue in cheek, but the answer to your question must be , in all seriousness; different strokes for different folks. I have seen the decline of traditional British industries, e.g . fishing, and would ask you ,as a Scot. to comment on behalf of those in Aberdeen and other former relatively rich fishing centres, what they think was the best time for being in Europe: their answer would probably be unprintable. Ask the Spanish and other Nations with a fishing industry the same question… ( musketeers codex–one for all , and all for me)
    Macarnie:Planet Zog .

  26. Psimon writes: After all, they’ve never successfully invaded us.

    Except for 1066 and all that?

  27. Oh, that’s where you are Count!

    In answer to Simon’s questions: 1) the last ten 2) 30 – 40 years ago. Just my own emotional standpoint.

    I like your planet Zog thoughts Mac though my mind is too simple to take them all in. You must have a phd in political and philisophical thinking.

    You are a great commentee Kevin, we need more like you.

  28. Macarnie: “would ask you . . . to comment on behalf of those in Aberdeen and other former relatively rich fishing centres, what they think was the best time for being in Europe”

    My question was “best for Europe” not “best for being in Europe”. but let me respond to this first.

    The fishing problem is difficult because it relates both to climate change (with fish stocks going north) and over-fishing. It’s also a question which has been neglected by London governments. However it’s not something that can’t be solved unilaterally, either politically or in terms of the science.

  29. To return to my two questions which were:

    1. Which was the best decade for Britain during the past 100 years? . . .
    2. Which was the best period for Europe during the same time period?

    To which Melissa kindly responded: “1) the last ten 2) 30 – 40 years ago. Just my own emotional standpoint.”

    I suggest that our answers to Question 1 will vary because we do not have many objective indicators to call one decade better than another. Our responses are subjective. Melissa – in the full flower of her youth and beauty etc. – opts for the last ten years. Why not?

    If we look at the big picture – Europe as whole from the Atlantic to the Urals – and we have to agree that Europe is a better place NOW than it has been for hundreds of years. We have 25 nations united in upholding democratic values and the rule of law, coexisting under secure borders. Virtually all the remaining countries of Europe that lie outside the EU are queuing up to join, and we are in the process of solving the last remaining international problems left over from the Second World War (in the Balkans etc.).

    Macarnie, Melissa and other esteemed Little Englander friends: This is a magnificent achievement, isn’t it?

    Melissa: The most important date in European history “30 or 40 years ago” was 20 August 1968. On that day 5,000 Soviet tanks and 200,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers invaded Czechoslovakia putting an end to the ‘Prague Spring’. You wouldn’t want to return to those days, would you?

  30. Keith: How’s that for immediate recognition? Your new noun,’commentee’ is now officially accepted by no less a person than Melissa, as being perfectly good currency.( it was in use on Zog, but fell into disrepute, since the cha wallah thought he was being insulted.)

    Simon: agree with your point about global warming, but that does not confront the overfishing question. Fishing fleets are not confined to a specific latitude; that is to say , when a fishing fleet is extant. The Icelandic fishermen are still harvesting the fruits of their waters,from which not only we were excluded. The cavalier attitude of some EU member states , with regard to policing the laid down mesh sizes and allowed weight of catches has a not inconsiderable effect on diminishing stocks. We abide by the rules: result? We are now importing our fish suppers from goodness knows where, and cod is more expensive than salmon.. Morue et pommes frites , anyone?

  31. Simon:- fully concur with your sentiment about engagement. This , however should not necessarily end in a marriage without love: a marriage of inconvenience.

    At the inception of a European common market, I was an ardent fan of the idea, then ; after our entry; I was an even more ardent advocate, because , what we had previously had, as members of EFTA, was certainly not going very far; the member States were limited in trading possibilities, and there was no apparent will to expand its remit. It became , at least to my eyes ,as the local ” Tame Englaender”,( I lived in a rural community in Germany at the time )that the EEC was being used purely to ensure that the farmers, with whom I spoke every evening , around the Stammtisch, or regular’s table, were only enthusiastic because it gave them, inefficient as they were, a heretofore unseen high standard of living, without any need to change working methods. Not for them the far sighted view of free trade, lowered barriers and ease of movement between member states.

    The Benelux countries had enjoyed the benefits of free trade for some time, and their integration into the EEC was seamless.The basic fault of the later EU,as opposed to the earlier Common Market, if fault there is , can be seen by the continuation of the CAP, long after it has outlived its original function.Farming methods; on the whole , have not progressed in much of Europe. Britain on the other hand, in the main, moved on from small unprofitable farms, and thereby had no hand outs. Hence our rebate, to compensate for the inequity involved.
    You asked about mention of the US of E ; Whilst this was not specifically mentioned; no less an expert than Dr. Otmar Issing, the Chief Economist of the European Central bank has said, “There is no example in history, of a monetary union that was not linked to one State”. I contend that this should never be the U S of E ; under whichever alias it might swagger.

  32. I hope I am not committing the unpardonable faux pas in saying that Boris ,( sorry Melissa), about whom these pages are supposed to be, has his first (41)birthday on Sunday 19th June. May his postbox be full of prezzies, and the following days not too strenuous , so he may recover from the bubbly.

    To the tune of British Grenadiers

    Some call him Alexander; some think he’s Hercules
    But we’ll still call him Boris: to us he’s all of these
    He celebrates his birthday; one and forty fruitful years,
    So raise your glass to Boris! Skol; Sante: Prost and Cheers .

  33. Macarnie: Once again I am pleased to read all your points and basically agree with most of them, but still feel the context is lacking, the big picture missing. Dare I suggest you resemble (blogwise) a melancoly beer drinker looking into your three-quarters full glass, and then announcing that it is ‘almost empty’?

    With regard to your Issing quote: “There is no example in history, of a monetary union that was not linked to one State”. Was he implying that two states never use the same money without being unified? Surely not! There must be hundreds of instances of shared money all the way back to cowrie shells. In our own times, US dollars have been widely used as hard currency in many Asian countries. Currency is just a commodity. We all use gold, don’t we?

    Melissa: Happy birthday to Boris! The day after the wonderful Aung San Suu Kyi!

    P.S. My CO2 emissions/Free Planting Pledge Campaign is still open at the Pledge Bank. 52 places taken in 2 days! Only 47 left! Hurry, hurry!

    http://www.pledgebank.com/treeplanting

  34. Mel

    Chip On Shoulder Alert. It was Keith the Kommentee, not Kevin. Fine names both and easily confused, I know, petal. I’ll try not to get Prolier Than Thou.

    Cheers!

    Kev

  35. Simon : you dare say whatever you really think. I was , and indeed still am, under the impression that the whole idea of blogging is to get things off your chest, as they occur. WSC’s jaw -jaw is better than war -war concept still applies.
    I think that what the esteemed German gentleman was implying , was that one can’t join a club without complete compliance with the rules thereof, and subservience to a common leader, or perhaps less assertive: chairman.In other words , a state.It took seventy odd years for the Soviet bloc to become , as it were unblocked, but the blockage , under the rouble , was eventually cleared. At present, champing at the bit, to make at least an effort, to remove themselves from the open maw of the Euro, are Italy and possibly The Netherlands. The Germans , who have not been offered a chance to voice an opinion, are not happy that their beloved Deutsche Mark has been consigned to the waste bin of history either, and would , in extremely large numbers, welcome their currency back . Believe me , this is direct from those concerned.

  36. Count…1066 and all that? The NORMAN invasion? Nor-men..norse men? Normandy didn’t become part of France until 1238. So, as I said, the FRENCH have never successfully invaded us!

    Don’t they teach history any more?

    (hehehe…i love it when people fall in my ickle trap!)

    ;o)

  37. Next week: Why the British invented Belgium as a place to fight the French and the Germans (a tradition we follow to this day!)

  38. Macarnie: When in northern Germany recently, i discovered they still use the deutschmark…local shops are running a “black” economy with old currency. How very Anglo-Saxon of them!

    ;o)

  39. Ke – Kevin – sorry you are right!

    Mac and Simon H – I love you both and please keep going strong. You are right Mac in saying that we must get things off our chests and Simon you are right in listening so carefully to the points made. I welcome you both very warmly – you help balance the argument very cogently.

  40. Melissa: Thank you as always for your kindness. I enjoy this discussion about Europe as it reverses our usual roles. Instead of being the radical, I end up in the centre!

    Macarnie: Popular resistance to the euro is much the same as that to metric money in Britain in 1971, isn’t it?

    When you go abroad do you want to use a mixture of zlotys, shillings, lire, drachma etc. all making a hole in your pocket, or would you prefer just to have euro?

    When you buy things on eBay do you want to spend all your time working out currency rates or would you prefer just to be using pounds, dollars and euro?

    Commerce depends on convenience. If buying gets too complicated we don’t bother.

  41. Simon:When I go abroad , it is likely, as per Captain Oates, that I may be some time. Apart from funerals , the last time was for 23 years plus. The question of pocketsful of diverse shrapnel has never been a problem . My problem with the Euro is , one ended up paying more than pre Euro prices when the countries, in which I lived, changed to the Ecu. Prices , as they did in the decimalisation fit up , increased. I believe , as a large number of citizens in Europe that if the thing ain’t broke: don’t fix it. Should we be foolish enough to behave like a sheep and join , just to mollify some unelected jobsworth in Brussels, we would be worse off. Wewould have no power to alter interest rates to suit our economy, and no power on earth can persuade me that every country’s economic needs are the same. Our economy , thanks originally to the good husbandry of the last Conservative Government;’ and even more thankfully , that Prudence has prevailed in keeping us on an even keel. Our economy is reasonably healthy: is there any sense , merely for homogenisation purposes? Germany has something approaching 7 million unemployed;about the same number as when Hitler came to power, ring a bell? France has about 4 million unemployed , and rising. I know our unemployment figures are somewhat massaged, but they are still manageable. If we were not able to change our method of controlling money flow , and thereby having a hand on the economy’s tiller , so to speak ; we risk the same fate as theirs.If having a handful of DMarks; Francs ;Lira, or Guilders in their pockets was to be measured against the throttling of individuality in trading practices by the imposition of centralization: give me the small, but valued , change any time.I know that all over Europe , there is a swell against the Euro. They look toward Britain, Denmark et al, and see that we are doing better with our own money than they are with the Euro.

    Now you see why I prefer to give replies in rhyme , they are shorter, more to the point, and don’t induce sleep quite so quickly as this long drawn out rubbish. I almost forgot what the subject, at the beginning of this blog was.

  42. It’s good to see someone doing something for the problem of storing carbon dioxide, and hopefully to the benefit of the environment.Since coming back to the place of my ill spent youth, I have planted my garden; to superfluity; with trees and shrubs. The idea was to attract wild life, in all sorts of forms. Result was the fox cub in my utility / ironing room. I have, together with my neighbours, had to have tree surgeons to trim, / lop, some of the bordering trees, because they were blocking the light to such an extent that one part of the garden was in permanent twilight after the leaves were out.I am virtually surrounded by trees, and think I am lucky. Keep up the crusade Simon, but please not all conifers. There is , in the Trossachs, whence presumably my family originally hails, a wonderful diversity of trees: brilliant.

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