There is a joke, a very puerile one, which can be easily adapted for any Prime Minister, and almost certainly will be in the next few days if not hours. It goes like this:
When we were a Kingdom, we were ruled by a King. Then we were an Empire, and ruled by an Emperor. Now were a Country, we're ruled by Gordon Brown. David Cameron. Nick Clegg.
Whatever. More of similar whatever happens. Europe appear to be in control, demanding money with menaces to prop up Greek early-retirees, so the populace can justify storming their government offices with molatoff cocktails.
But I'm confused. I'm confused about where we, as a Nation, stand. Or as a Country. A State.
According to that oracle, that fount of all knowledge, the Encylopaedia Brittanica of the noughties, Wikipedia, we are a country. We being England. We being Britain. We being Great Britain. We being England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as an addendum. And probably the Isle of Man and a couple of crofts somewhere betwixt the Isle of Wight and Eyafjalljokull and no, I can't be bothered to look up how to spell that, let alone say it.
If you look at a political map of the UK (all those places together) you will see that the southerly bit is blue, the northerly bit is read, there is a scattering of yellow bits all over the place and anywhere else (such as Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) are purple with spots of various other colours interspersed within.
These places are, apparently, all countries. And the whole thing is a country. And a Nation. And a State. And it is part of Europe, which is a Continent (or was when I went to school). And a Nation, a State, a Corporate Conglomerate. A Can of Worms.
I'm English. That means that I'm European, and British, and Very, Very Confused. My identity seems to have been absorbed over the last 300 years, and I am now a member of Great Britain, the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Northish Europe, Oceania and I'm losing the plot.
I am English. I intend to remain English. I was born in the Southwest of ENGLAND, in the County of Devon, and I am English. I do not really think of myself as British, Scotland is somewhere I like but it's bloody cold most of the time, the Welsh are bonkers and waste MY money on stupid roadsigns to prop up a ridiculous language that about three people speak, I've never been to Ireland so I can't comment (but apparently they do Guinness), and Europe is a place you go to eat pate de foie gras, drink Rioja and buy decent dark chocolate. And drive on the right.
I didn't ask for any of this. I can't cope with Great Britain. I don't want to be part of anything bigger. The bigger it gets the worse it gets, the more stupid it gets. Devolve the bloody lot, I say. Let Scotland have the oil. Let Wales have the coal. Let Ireland have the Guinness, the shamrock or whatever else turns them on.
I'm staying in England.
THIS is how strongly I feel, and both my readers will understand why this hurts:
If ConDemNation involves getting any closer to Europe or the Euro, I would RATHER HAVE GORDON BROWN AS PRIME MINISTER.