The British, well, the British government has gone bonkers. Apparently, they are trying to figure out the essence of Britain. A defining motto for Britain that somehow exemplifies British values. Yes, I know. How more un-British can you get? I mean, after telling the world for about 300 years that they play in a league of their own, now they are trying to play catch-up with the French and the Americans. Really.
So anyway, a few of my favorite readers' suggestions from the Times of London motto contest:
4. Once Mighty Empire, Slightly Used
3. No Motto Please, We are British
2. Yanks who missed the boat
1. Dipso, Fatso, Bingo, Asbo, Tesco
I like this short motto idea alright but do think that since this is Britain we are talking about, mottos have to be longer than six words. (Six words is for the Americans. Uh, maybe not. Three works.) After all, this is Sir Humphrey land. I would prefer something like:
All services on the Empire line are currently suspended due to critical staff shortage and an earlier emergency due to a person under the train. We apologize for the inconvenience and request passengers to make use of alternative routes while we rectify the fault with a little help from our Polish friends.
The good news is thanks to the British Civil Service, none of these mottos will ever get past Whitehall. I can so see Sir Humphrey type character telling Mr. Brown:
Well, it's clear that the committee has agreed that your new policy is a really excellent plan but in view of some of the doubts being expressed, may I propose that I recall that after careful consideration, the considered view of the committee was that while they considered that the proposal met with broad approval in principle, that some of the principles were sufficiently fundamental in principle and some of the considerations so complex and finely balanced in practice, that, in principle, it was proposed that the sensible and prudent practice would be to submit the proposal for more detailed consideration, laying stress on the essential continuity of the new proposal with existing principles, and the principle of the principle arguments which the proposal proposes and propounds for their approval, in principle.
Please feel free to add your mottos in the comments section.
Bill's contribution: The sun never rises on the British Empire. If it does, you are hallucinating. Please mind the gap between the train and the platform.