In dire straits between a rock and a hard place
PRIME Minister David Cameron told us this week that he didn't go deer-stalking during his short break on the Scottish island of Jura because he has a "phenomenally bad back".
Judging by the Government's lack of any meaningful action over the Gibraltar issue, could the back problem be due to him not having a spine, perhaps?
What we have in Gibraltar is a diplomatic stand-off, requiring – what else? – a decidedly undiplomatic response. The Spanish government, in imposing unnecessary border checks on Gibraltarians leaving and re-entering the peninsula, are simply trying to distract the Spanish people from the economic woes made worse by their incompetent government.
So what should Mr Cameron do in response? Expel Spanish fishermen from British waters with immediate effect, for a start. That and perhaps erect a giant statue of Winston Churchill on the Rock, possibly with his fingers raised in a V-for-victory gesture – facing Spain, naturally.
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But our PM wouldn't dare do such a thing. It would be contrary to EU rules (the fishing ban, that is, not putting up a statue) and of course the one thing we Brits simply won't do is break the law. Simply not done, old chap. Never mind that other European countries are constantly reinterpreting EU directives to suit their own interests (notably the manipulation of fishing quotas, so taking away Spanish fishing rights might actually redress the imbalance a little).
No, we're British, and Britain plays by the book. We may huff and we may puff, but we never actually get tough. Well, it's time we did. Whenever there's a spot of bother abroad, simply raising the nation's security levels from "Slightly Annoyed" to "A Bit Cross" is no longer good enough. It's time for Mr Cameron and Mr Hague to get off their diplomatic knees and stand up to those tin-pot dictators who are forever taking advantage of our sense of fair play.
At one time Britain had an empire so large it was said the sun never set on it. Our navy ruled the waves as it patrolled a territory containing more than a billion people. Now we in turn are ruled by an unelected army of pen-pushers, our navy reduced to a tiny flotilla that would probably fit in my bath. We've gone from Ark Royal to Saucy Sue in just a few short years.
We don't even stand up to those whom we perceive to be our friends in the world. Rather than acting as a poodle to the US government, we might do better to face a simple truth – which is that America sees us only for whatever use we might be in a crisis. Perhaps we should treat them in similar fashion, and what better way than sending President Obama a card every July 4, reminding him that until 1776 we actually owned the place.
This is nothing to do with wishing to preserve some out-dated gung-ho mentality. I just that I want us to stop being an international doormat and start clawing back some self-respect. We might even make more friends that way. Better still, we might even start winning Eurovision again.
NEW research has emerged which suggests women will often subconsciously wear red in order to attract the opposite sex.
I've noticed that since I mentioned this to my Aunt Madge she seems to be spending a lot of time wandering the neighbourhood.
I rather regret buying her that scarlet onesie for Christmas now.
IT'S great news, though long overdue, that Frome's Palmer Street is to be cobbled, to match the surfaces in Stony Street and Catherine Hill.
Frome Town Council say it will make it easier for pedestrians and vehicles to share the space. Why stop there? I look forward to the day when the council bites the bullet and makes the area a totally traffic-free haven for shoppers.