• Brexit: Where Eagles Dare!


    Above, the opening sequence from the 1968 film, “Where Eagles Dare” starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. Unusually, the screenplay and the novel were written at the same time by the author, Alistair MacLean.

    It was a box office success because it had all the necessary ingredients. Fast paced plot of heroic men – and a woman (played by Mary Ure) – set what seemed an impossible task and facing almost certain death, beating the odds and being successful in their mission – which was extremely convoluted. The tension was racked up right throughout the story and we only discovered the entire plot-line at the end as the now anti-hero stepped out of the aircraft, sans parachute!

    All thrilling stuff.

    OK then; what has this to do with Brexit? We hear you ask Dear Reader.


    One’s enjoyment of the movie which can still be bough for a modest outlay (< £10) demands the viewer to suspend their critical faculties and to become temporarily credulous to the extent that the fictional events could have happened. Without this, the movie cannot be enjoyed. It cannot be enjoyed when you have a critical pedant watching in the same room regularly commenting such as ; “Well, that’s not right!” and “Impossible!” or “Ridiculous! They’d never get away with it” and, “That can’t happen!”

    Thus, whilst the black comedy/farce, “Brexit” has been playing at the Palace of Westminster, we have had such as Doctor Richard North repeatedly drawing the participant’s and observer’s attention to the many discrepancies between reality and fantasy.

    We did not however pick this particular movie just to make this one point, which of course, this organ has made many times before today.

    You see, one of the things that has often been overlooked is the different ways the people of each EU member state see themselves. This colours their attitude towards themselves and how they view their country.

    It is commonly accepted that Germany is the most important country in the EU. Of course every person is an individual and one cannot really generalise across an entire nation. But we do nevertheless! And when we do, we perceive the attitudes Germans have towards themselves and their country differ markedly from the way British people do. Central to this is the countries markedly different experiences during the two world wars of the twentieth century, in particular the second of these.

    As a boy born in 1955, WW2 was a significant factor in my childhood and growing up. There were comics, now described as “graphic novels”. There was also a series of publications that did indeed fit the description, “graphic novel” as they were a sort of cross between a comic and a paperback book. The subject matter were exploits during WW2 by the Royal Navy the British Army and the Royal Air Force. We (Brits) of course always won! In the end!
    I was 13 when “Where Eagles Dare” arrived at the cinema. I remember seeing it. And fancying Mary Ure. Many many years later I ran a business importing clocks and watches from Germany and in my conversations (outside business) with Germans I discovered that whereas my childhood had the things I described, their childhoods contained nothing similar.

    People will say that this has nothing to do with Brexit. Well it does! It colours our attitude to our country and what happens when we have difficulties. I do believe that abroad in the House of Fools there is a feeling that we will always muddle through. That disaster and revolutions are things that affect other countries. Not ours!

    For me the imbecility of our political class has been a revelation. I knew we had idiots in the political parties and Parliament, but I never thought there were so many of them!

    I claim the Kipper’s privilege of being racist (slightly) for a moment: I had previously thought that making a complete Horlicks of one’s country’s governance was strictly the preserve of the poor benighted cretins in places like Venezuela. But no! It seems we Anglo-Saxons are just as able to screw things up big time!

    So maybe we should all become a little less smug. Especially when we meet “Johnny Foreigner”!

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