Not Saussure

April 4, 2007

Campaign for British Reparations: A Public Service Announcement

Filed under: Bloody Yanks, Books — notsaussure @ 8:23 pm

You know how Americans notoriously don’t do irony? After all, their most reasonable conservative is on record as thinking

Young people (and many adults) often don’t have the capacity to determine the difference between funny and unfunny so I think that we need to start teaching our youth about comedy in the schools. They need to learn that the number one rule of comedy is that a “joke” should be funny. They need to be taught the difference between laughing at and laughing with someone. And they should be taught to avoid satire, which only confuses people and saps the national will. I don’t think, however, that we should teach young people how to be funny, because I don’t think they are ready for that, so I propose that we fund Abstinence-Only comedy classes.

Well, some British bloggers, to whom I won’t link because I like most of them most of the time, have become rather upset about an American campaign,, which purports to be

a global network of citizens who have suffered injuries at the hands of the British Empire over the last five hundred years. We’ve banded together to ask the United Kingdom to compensate the world for all the damage they’ve done.

To further this end, this global network of citizens is circulating a petition containing the following modest proposal:

We, the undersigned citizens of the world, demand reparations payments of £31,960,000,000,000 from the British Monarchy and government of the United Kingdom. This money will compensate us for the profound injuries we have suffered over the last 500 years from British brutality, negligence, malevolence, crimes against humanity, and other heinous and atrocious forms of misrule. It is far from enough to make us whole, but a necessary first step in the long process of British coming to terms with its historical guilty and reconciling itself with global opinion and international law.

Should anyone require further and better particulars in support of this claim (amounting to about £4,600 for every living person on the planet), they are referred to a book, The Evil Empire — 101 Ways That England Ruined The World, of which number 99 is that we made Elton John a knight.

Should anyone require still further and still better particulars of the claim, they’re advised to read an interview with the book’s author, a Mr Steven A Grasse, that appears on the same site before taking it all too literally. Mr Grasse, by the way, is an advertising executive in his day job, and seems to know a thing or two about viral marketing, though being an American he’s obviously not very good at irony;

Like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

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  1. […] of the other pieces in your collection? I have all of the original albums and everything …Campaign for British Reparations: A Public Service Announcement … in support of this claim (amounting to about £4600 for every living person on the planet), […]

    Pingback by We Spam Alot » Elton John April 4, 2007 4:32 pm — April 4, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

  2. Just fab.

    Comment by Ms Melancholy — April 4, 2007 @ 10:05 pm

  3. This is BRILLIANT! Americans DO DO irony! Though someone should point out the saying about throwing stones in glass houses!

    I wonder if we can have other partitions, against the French, the Germans, the Russians, the Chinese etc. Does the average Britian get compensation as well, after all, we ahve been victims of the wolrds oldest contiunal monarchy…which is factually incorrect, the oldest being the Danish royal family.

    Anyway, given that we caused some much suffering and have to pay for it, can we claim money back for good stuff…like all those inventions and discovers that have been made on this evil little island for the last 500 years?
    Industry, medicine, jet engine, TV, the Beatlesm Shakespeare, the English langauge (maybe we can agree to give them money if they dont speak OUR evil langauge anymore)….all those things have got to be worth something.

    This is FAB…I am going to e-mail everyone and get them to sign!!!!!

    Comment by EvilEuropean — April 4, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

  4. Today, I’d like to heartily apologise for Ireland, porridge and Snow Patrol.

    Not to mention the Crusades and Jude Law.

    Comment by Flying Rodent — April 4, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

  5. Can I apologise to the poor peasant lady whose cakes Alfred burned?


    Comment by Surreptitious Evil — April 5, 2007 @ 8:41 am

  6. On a serious note I’m in the middle of studying our wonderful part in the slave trade (eye opening)

    But for smiles can I just apologise for the Proclaimers and deep fried mars bars?

    Comment by puddlejumper — April 5, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

  7. I think we should apologise for losing the American War of Independence. Had we won it, the Americans would be more like Canadians, and the world would doubtless be a far happier place. And, of course, slavery would have been abolished in the USA in 1833 rather than 1865 without the necessity of a civil war.

    Comment by notsaussure — April 5, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

  8. This bs!
    Britain has been the main country contributing to the poverty around these countries with red nose day and children in need. This year we we raised over 60 million. Now tell me what have America or maybe any other country done for abolishing this poverty?

    Comment by KillaSharK — May 13, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

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