The sub-prime crisis

British humour

One aspect of British culture is their dry sense of humour.  In terms of satire, for over a decade three people have held pole positions: Rory Bremner, John Bird and John Fortune.  WikiPedia has a very good summary.

Bird and Fortune have also recorded a series of ‘interviews’ focusing on some of the idiocies of life.

Here’s a classic about the sub-prime crisis.  Slightly dated but no less funny for that.

More from these incredibly, clever guys from time to time.

By Paul Handover

14 thoughts on “The sub-prime crisis

  1. I remember that there was a ruckus about insensitive description of blacks – was it this show? this particular episode?


    1. Hi Silke,

      Not this one and without doing some trawling not sure whether it was one of the Bird-Fortune dialogues or something from Monty Python, both series now on YouTube.

      Co-incidentally, I do have a Post coming out tomorrow at 09:00 MT (16:00 UTC) about an anti-Muslim video doing the rounds and I link it to the Rivers of Blood speech given by Enoch Powell, a British politician, in 1968.

      Regards, Paul


      1. Hi Paul,
        I’m subscribed to e-mail updates from your blog though being German I’m of course shocked by your love of German Shepherds
        this is not the one I’ve been looking for but just in case you know somebody who understands German
        to wet your appetite the dog in this video is claimed to be a decendant from the Uncle of Hitler’s Shepherd
        a here is the one I wanted – Blondi shows up the first time at 0:50 – but it is also a lot more German text than I remembered
        once on the Greek island of Kos I met a local guy with a beautiful German Shepherd which went by the name of Fifi which whould be adequate for women’s toy dogs but since he had heard Germans use it he baptized his poor German Shepherd that way

        but seriously I once took regular walks by a dog club for German Shepherd owners – they were all in their fifties with ugly little hats and high on testosterone – the typical underdogs getting bolstered by having a frightening dog obeying them


      2. Hi Silke, Wish I could understand German – not really able to make much of those videos. My mother, who is still a very fit 90 year-old, studied German at university and was in Germany right up to a few days before WW11 was started.
        Anyway, I think dog owners who need to bolster their own (aggressive) egos tend to go for other breeds rather than German Shepherds. Won’t name those other breeds but they are more the fighting type of dog. My Shepherd is strong but very well behaved and my experience of Shepherd dog owners in England is that they are normal people, whatever normal means!!
        Your account of a Shepherd dog being called Fifi made be laugh out loud.


      3. we have those people decorated with gold chains parading their dogs also – by the way I once spent an unforgettable evening play-wrestling with a Bullterrier who was a perfectly safe family dog
        my German Shepherd club people were the subdued grey little guy types – they would keep their dogs in cages with little windows for long times supposed to make them more attentive and obedient – they must have hijacked the club somehow

        Shouldn’t laugh about that poor Greek dog
        – that dog will have to live with the feeling of being ridiculous probably each and every summer when each and every German tourist hears him called and dan’t help giggling

        I tried my best to explain to the guy he should change the name of that dog (I speak modern Greek) he seemed doubtful and I had to leave as I was there only for a couple of hours – and yes I couldn’t help giggling also when I heard that dog called that name


      4. What’s the story behind you speaking Greek?

        well, in 1975 at the age of 33 I decided since I never went to university and thus never had summers travelling I had to take a kind of premature retirement – started out with the idea I would travel around the world (it was the time of the Hippy trail) realized I was the type who likes a home and when somebody told me it was impossible for a foreigner to make it through the winter on the island of Patmos – I decided to stay and had the time of my life – became evolved with the most decent man possible became his helper on the fishing boat in turn was invited into the house of his parents to have my meals there (very unusual they are usually not enthusiastic about their boys getting involved with foreigners) spent many many evenings talking to my so-called “mother-in-law” and so on and so on – changed a lot about how I view the world and made me allergic to any story paddling the Naturburschen (nature guys) narrative – the day we were in Kos we had been transporting trees with the big kaiki to Kos, forgot where we picked them up or did we take them back to Patmos – I went on lots and lots of those working trips, once loaded to the hilt with cows and goats – highly recommendable sabbatical for anybody –


      5. That’s a lovely story. Your admission of your age reveals a lot about your perspective on Germany. I, too, was born before the end of WW11, in 1944, and think that the first 10 years after the war ended greatly influenced my outlook thereafter. Was born in London.
        Spent 5 years cruising in the Med from 1986. Started in Corfu and had several wonderful summer seasons in the Ionian and the southern islands. Greek islanders are an amazingly interesting people.


      6. Paul – I find the Bavarian/Austrian and Berlin (?) accents hard going but the following will hopefully give you a rough idea of the contents.

        Gerhard Polt video: GP explains that his dog is the great grand nephew of Hitler’s dog. This pedigree GSD always recognizes a shady character when he sees one. The dog is not overly fond of children as they tend to tease him, although essentially he just ignores them. One child just wouldn’t stop pestering him so he attacked the child which ended up in hospital. But even the child’s parents had to admit that the child was to blame. The dog is loyal and can be relied upon 100 per cent. He never strays from the owner’s side, and there is total trust on both sides.

        Walter Moers video: Berlin, 30 April 1945. The world’s gone up in flames, Germany totally destroyed, and Japan too has seen better days.
        However, there’s this chap who will not be beaten.
        The light’s still on in the Fuehrer’s Bunker.
        There follows what appears to be some kind of cabaret sketch with Hitler complaining that you can’t rely on anybody anymore and, of course, it’s all Churchill’s fault. [Unable to get any more details.]


  2. Greek islanders are an amazingly interesting people.

    and so amazingly diverse – couldn’t stand those on Leros and Lipsos, loved those on Patmos and Archi (and a lot of others I had been to before while island-hopping for 4 weeks every summer)
    outright hated those on the western coast of the Peloponese felt great as a heterosexual on Mykonos every time I passed thru, got all turned on by Delos, couldn’t get exited about Crete and so on and so on – loved Delphi, found Olympia only interesting … but really sharing that kind of life, their financial worries their infights and everything else changed a lot for me having been born and raised an urban. Also the realization how powerful the Orthodox Church is – and now ex-KGB-Putin has a Confessor and Moscow is considered the legitimate heir of Byzantium as far as Orthodoxy goes – hope it doesn’t mean a revival – the Catholic aspirations to resurgence of supremacy are bad enough

    and the real sad thing is that you can’t sit anymore on the steps of the Parthenon on a full moon night while no other lights are on on the site and the marble turns all blue

    what do you mean by southern islands?


  3. (Corfu, Paxos, Anti-Paxos, etc.),

    never been in the Ionian – do they show/offer trips to any of the old battle sites of Marc Anthony and the Byzantines vs. the Sicilians for example? out of Corfu?
    I’ve been to Omaha Beach and you never say a bad word about soldiers after having stood there imagining them having had to cross that strip of sand to get out of the machine gun fire – not to mention the whole rest
    I missed out a lot for getting interested in military history only about 3 years ago


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