Friday, 7 May 2010

UNBEARABLE OUTCOMES

On this gray morning when, after enduring weeks of electioneering, we find ourselves stuck with a hung parliament, there is much media talk about alliances and coalitions which is likely to prove pretty uncertain territory in the realm of politics since - like leopards changing spots and old dogs learning new tricks - it does not fit within the average British politician's comfort-zone.

However, the most surprising changes can occasionally take occur. For example - to lighten the mood and pick up on yesterday's reference to a certain savoury spread - I'd like to ask who would have thought that a particularly celebrated sandwich-fancier would have ever switched his allegiance from MARMALADE to MARMITE?



The next thing we'll hear is that Winnie-the-Pooh's given up honey!


12 comments:

Chuck Munson said...

I have to ask, in my American ignorance, is marmite akin to that Australian delicacy, vegemite?

In reference to the election, what little I know about coalition government is that usually no one is happy with it and it lasts only until one party thinks it can win a general election outright. So regardless of Mr. Clegg being a supposed kingmaker, all I can say to the LibDems is enjoy it while you've got it because it probably won't last.

Matt said...

Wikipedia says. I say, hmmm, sounds...interesting. I think I would much prefer marmalade.

SharonM said...

Now that would be going too far - switching both Padddington and Pooh to Marmite!

Brian Sibley said...

CHUCK MUNSON - Well, it is (as MATT's link reveals) similar; but true devotees (and detractors) would probably say that was an inadequate comparison! :)

MATT - Thanks for the link, especially as that Wikipedia entry gives a clear explanation of the name and the logo on the bottle.

SHARON M - You are right! Paddington my change his spread-of-choice, but Pooh is made of sterner stuff!

Chuck Munson said...

Well, my friend Matt pointed out an explanation source that I should have checked first! I have to say that I am curious about the NZ version that adds - what was it? - sugar and caramel. So Matt, what say you (marmelade notwithstanding) - if we can find it here, would you be game to try some the next time our families get together? If we can follow through I will report the unscientific results on American tastebuds more atune to such things as peanut butter and also Nutella.

Bill Field said...

Paddington really brings a flood of memories and revelations, I suppose, the origins of which go back to my childhood in Hawaii. My Mom was 6 years older than my Dad, and she was 40 when she had me, her 2nd and last child. She and I would always have about a half hour at the end of the night to read our latest bookstore find. The Paddington books, and E.B. White's two childhood classics were the highlights of those years which led to my Dad and I reading Fleming's Bond books... totally Dad/Son bonding, but not as entertaining as my Mom's lively reading style.I intend to expand a bit further, but my "Paddington" Boffo, the Jack Russell is demanding a walk at the park. What next, Boffo? Marmalade, or, gasp, Marmite?

Suzanne said...

Now that is just blasphemy!
As to a hung parliamant or coalition, or whatever, we in Belgium are quite used to that - all we ever get is coalition. So here's a definition for Chuck Munson, Matt, and any others: a wishy washy group of people calling themselves a government who can only agree to disagree (& even that doesn't work). Our government has collapsed over a false problem which is presented to us as absolutely vital so that we forget about the important stuff such as the economy!

Brian Sibley said...

CHUCK MUNSON - In your experiments, make sure you try peanut butter and Marmite! Well, you never know...


BILL FIELD - Thanks for the recollections. I think the books that read to us in childhood tend to live for ever in our memories. I encountered Paddington when I was grown up (but not too grown up to still be able to enjoy their broad slapstick situations while, with an adult eye, enjoying their gentle, yet slightly ironic, wit) and, for many years, I knew author Michael Bond as a friend.

E B White I discovered long after (according to St Paul) I should have "put away childish things" and I loved Stuart Little and, especially, the utterly brilliant Charlotte's Web. Did you, by the way, ever read Michael Bond's books about a mouse called Thursday?


SUZANNE - I know this is the common-or-garden experience of most European countries and it may become the future pattern for British politics, but what I hate is the way in which these politicians rubbish each other's policies and promises before the election and then start cozying up to their former enemies when they need support. I'm reminded of the old adage: "While the storm lasted the thieves were friends."

Suzanne said...

I am SO with you Brian! You know what gets me too? The way, after an election, nobody wants to admit defeat, despite the figures. ALL of them claim "no, we didn't really lose" - which planet are they on?

Brian Sibley said...

Bravo! Well said! But do they, honestly, think we're so stupid that we don't see through that bulls**t?

James said...

Here's a surprisingly unsettling photo of a smashed jar of Marmite:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-sjc1/hs506.snc3/26591_412357365405_746880405_5571116_8369175_n.jpg

Who knew it looked so viscous..?

Brian Sibley said...

A truly ghastly image, JAMES! To think that's what's waiting to escape from every jar...