Trying to say something without actually saying it...

>> Tuesday, 30 September 2014

This post has been simmering away on the edges of my blog-consciousness for a couple of weeks now.  I couldn't ignore it any more...

'Number 10 Downing Street was besieged today by middle class shoppers aggrieved at the lack of palatable fresh milk, green vegetables, and imported meat and dairy products available in supermarkets since the government imposed sanctions on products sourced from the other side of the English Channel.

Handbags and umbrellas were raised in the air as a sign of solidarity by ladies of a certain age protesting about the impossibility of obtaining basic staples such as green beans, broccoli, and bagged salads, and Marks & Spencers reported a rush of customers fighting in the aisles to buy up the last stocks of Parma ham.

In answer to the widespread criticism of the government bans, David Cameron was reported as saying "I know it's hard to work out what to feed your growing families, but I think all our citizens will agree that this is an important step in establishing our position as a proud and independent nation, and one that is unencumbered by the obligations placed upon us by untrammelled access to the decadent products sourced from Abroad.  Like, Danish bacon.  Or Finnish milk.  Or French cheese.  French cheese in particular is an evil that our pure and unsullied national consciousness can do without."

Looking stern and and composed in his bowler hat as he walked his British Bulldog to the park, he continued.  "Join me, Citizens, in embracing a return to Blitz Spirit and to our venerable history of a national cuisine of meat and two veg, and lumpy custard with apple crumble.  Let us shun the evil olive oil-led culinary revolution that resulted in our current indebtedness to those who criticise our annexation of the Dordogne - where after all, we are only trying to safeguard the livelihood of those Britons who have made their life there and who are being forced to speak French - FRENCH - whenever they need to carry out the smallest domestic task - and reject these continental fripperies that have made our once proud nation weak."

Leaders of the protest remain unimpressed by Mr Cameron's fighting talk, and vowed to continue their occupation of Whitehall until the aisles of the local Waitrose are once again fully stocked with artisan soft cheeses and French Golden Delicious...'

Clearly, the paragraphs above are entirely fabricated.  It would be totally ridiculous; no British government would do this to their voters; there would be uproar and their time in power would be numbered - probably in days, not weeks - because we, the all-powerful consumer, the engine that keeps the British economy moving, would not stand for it.

But I don't live in the UK.  I live in Russia.

And guess what's happening, right here, right now, today and for the foreseeable future?

The difference is, the local population just put up with it.  Blitz Spirit?  With all due respect - and I say this as patriotic British woman, proud of my roots and my country - Britain might talk about Blitz Spirit, but the Russians wrote the book on it.  Although, if I'm honest, it's less about pulling together, and more about keeping your head below the parapet, but that's a subject for another post (probably when I'm not living in this location).

The average Russian is stoic in the extreme; within living memory most family histories contain more hardship and terror than you or I could possibly imagine.  The current difficulties they are facing are as nothing compared to what gets talked about - or not talked about - around the table at family celebrations.  And it doesn't matter who is imposing the conditions that lead to these difficulties, whether it's foreign governments or their own administration; despite the hope of various other nations, at present they won't stand up and force change from within because, given the history - recent and otherwise - of what happens to those who have done so, no-one wants to single themself out.  And I don't blame them.  Would you?

And this, in my almost certainly less-than-objective opinion, is why this current face-off between the West and the East is not going to end well.  Someone has to step up, be the bigger person, and say 'enough of this.'  Enough sanctions, enough tit-for-tats, enough sabre-rattling; it's not working.

Please, let's be grown ups about this.  Somebody has to.


expatmum,  30 September 2014 at 14:32  

That guy's a total bully. Reminds me of someone else in the not too distant past. Can't end well but I have a feeling he's going to be the lower this time.

pottymummy,  30 September 2014 at 14:39  

Wish I could agree with you, Toni...

Nappyvalleygirl,  2 October 2014 at 12:12  

So I take it you're ploughing on with those school applications?

Alice Castle,  2 October 2014 at 12:24  

Have you read the book Dominion? It's imagining a world where Britain didn't win the 2nd World War and is a vassal state to Germany, while Germany is fighting an endless battle with Russia .... interesting!! I can't believe you've been over there for 5 years, is that really true? Definitely time to come home :)

MsCaroline,  6 October 2014 at 10:16  

Hmmm...just tried to post a comment and it disappeared into cyberspace. If it reappears, please accept my apologies for repeating myself, but I have been wondering how you were doing and appreciate the update. Had been imagining that your motto lately was 'discretion is the better part of valo(u)r' and see that I was, indeed, correct. I'm sure you're every bit as stoic as your Russian hosts, but I'm sorry you have to be. Hope you can look forward to a trip to the UK soon for a little R&R - and cheese shopping. ; )

pottymummy,  7 October 2014 at 13:17  

You take it correctly, NVG!

pottymummy,  7 October 2014 at 13:18  

I have read it Alice - and fairly recently too... As for it's being 5 years, I can't believe it myself.

pottymummy,  7 October 2014 at 13:19  

MsC, that motto is indeed how I've been living recently. And if I hadn't been, my, how much more interesting this blog would be!

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