Happy New Year Borgen – Literally

150131 HAPPY NEW YEARThe Season To Be Jolly over, say hello to The Season To Be Happy. “Happy New Year!!!” We squeal dementedly at anyone, every day, all month. But, be honest, thinking back over the years, how often did it really turn out that way?

To Borgen, where it does turn out exactly that way. Every year. Or at least for as long as anyone’s been counting that sort of stuff. Linguistic quirk: The Danes don’t actually say ‘Happy New Year’, they say Godt Nytår – Good New-year, so a slightly less Jazz Hands augmented outpouring.

So what’s their secret? The magic ingredient? The weather is cold and wet, it’s dark for much of the year, there’s no great imperial past, little pomp – even less circumstance. Could it be the Lego?  Or a daily Danish ?(which they, by the way, call Vienna Bread)?

Just for a laugh, let’s spell our way through some likely determinants of Borgen’s happiness phenomenon: Continue reading

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Seven British Values or Borgen’s Jante Law? You decide

140627 MAGNA CARTAA bunch of schools in Birmingham and Bradford have been accused of failing to teach students ‘British values’. The upshot has been every Tom, Dick and Harry (definitely British) loftily expounding what exactly they each perceive as passing muster as a “British value”.

As the rhetoric rolls out, it has become clear that what constitutes such a value depends entirely on who’s talking.

 

 

140627CHARLIE BROOKERLearning, for example, that Call-me-Dave favours celebrating the Magna Carta, Charlie Brooker sets the tone of contention: No wonder Cameron wants to celebrate the Magna Carta – back then plebs had the same human rights as a parsnip. According to Brooker, Dave has responded to this crisis by declaring that we need to celebrate “Britishness” with more enthusiasm. “More enthusiasm? More?“, demands Charlie, “We’ve been celebrating Britishness with the strained determination of a man desperately trying to shit a cricket ball for the past five years.” Half a decade of drenched Diamond Jubilee flotillas, Olympic/Paralympic flag waving and First World War/D-Day commemorations have clearly taken their toll on poor Charlie.

And so we shift seamlessly into the shouty cut and thrust of the tub-thumping, mouth-frothing, lip-snarling style of pugilistic debate so beloved of Prime Minister’s Question Time (definitely British). Continue reading