England: Photo album of bizarre things from everyday life

Europe Found objects

Everyday life in England looks so bizarre

Our author was traveling in England. There some things that he saw surprised and amused him. His commented photo album paints a slightly different picture than a classic travel guide.

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British staring at puddles

The British are crazy. And that’s what we mean lovingly. In this video from Newcastle, passers-by try to cross a puddle. Under the attentive gaze of countless English Internet users.

Resistant sinks

WITHu The quirky traditions that even 46 years of EU membership have not been able to eradicate include the typical English sinks with separate taps: on the right, ice-cold water comes out of the tap, on the left, you scald your hands under the boiling hot jet. These sanitary relics are still in use in an alarming number of washrooms in restaurants and hotels.

Typical in England: wash basins with separate taps

Typically English: wash basin with separate taps

Source: Sönke Krüger

The discipline of the English

The Englishman shows true civilization and admirable discipline on the escalator – walk left, stand right. Works perfectly in London, nowhere in Germany.

Escalator in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

The Brexit debate strengthens national pride

Since the Brexit vote, a national surge in the English food industry has been observed, with the Union Jack emblazoned on more and more British supermarket packaging.

So also on these sugar bags, on which the flag says: “proudly grown in Britain” – somehow tragic that the national pride now even extends to sugar beet.

Sugar in a supermarket in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

Optical illusion in the supermarket

For those who find Brussels sprouts disgusting, the English have developed a splendid alternative – chocolate balls, wrapped in green foil, which perfectly imitates the appearance of the Brussels sprouts. Like real Brussels sprouts, the fake cabbage is delivered in the green network and is regularly sold in specialist shops in the run-up to Christmas.

Chocolate in a supermarket in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

England’s press does not shy away from taboo subjects

It’s always worth rummaging through English magazine shelves. There is something for every taste. Even taboo topics are illuminated in detail in glossy magazines.

Magazines in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

Puppet theater with Theresa May and Boris Johnson

For once, ex-Prime Minister Theresa May and her successor Boris Johnson can be seen in good harmony: as dogs’ dolls. One or the other Brexit opponent is likely to have obtained the material duo for their own use – either to vent political anger or to use them as a voodoo doll, because if Britain’s EU whereabouts cannot be achieved with arguments, then maybe with pinpricks.

England: Ex-Prime Minister Theresa May and her successor Boris Johnson as dog dolls

Source: Sönke Krüger

Hate or love – the spread divides

Marmite, invented in 1902, is made up of decomposed yeast cells and tastes like that too. The biting salty-spicy spread divides the nation, which the manufacturer (advertising slogan: “You love it or hate it!”) Deals with humorously.

One spot, for example, shows a nursing mother who gleefully bites into a toast with marmite, whereupon her baby vomits indignantly. Lovers can now find marmite-flavored nuts in the supermarket.

Marmite in a supermarket in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

Degenerate into royal junk

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, were considered the new popular figures in the after their wedding in 2018 Royal Family. Has your reputation been scratched in the meantime?

Duty free shelf at London Gatwick Airport

Source: Sönke Krüger

A look at the duty-free shelf at London Gatwick Airport reveals this. There the couple stayed to decorate the cookie jar and are being sold for a special price (two cans of 22 pounds). Even the motto “Best of British” is of no use anymore: The shine is lost.

This article was first published in October 2019.

The text comes from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from October 20, 2019

Source: WamS


UK Single Market Law: The EU stays tough

THEThe British government has brought its controversial Internal Market Bill over the next parliamentary hurdle without a major stir. In the shadow of the debate about the new Corona requirements, the House of Commons adopted a correction of the law late on Tuesday evening. Originally, Tory MPs wanted to push through the amendment against the government, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson reached an agreement with the rebels in good time and eventually took over their position.

The correction stipulates that Parliament must vote again before the legislative passages to the Northern Ireland Protocol come into force. These are not only criticized in the EU and by American presidential candidate Joe Biden, but also by large parts of the British Parliament. The government itself had admitted that the passages violated the exit agreement with the EU and thus “violated international law in a very special and limited way”.

Among other things, the law transfers the qualification of customs and control-relevant goods to British ministers when the goods are exchanged between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, although these provisions are to be regulated jointly according to the treaty. Similar powers are given to the British government on the question of which state aid relevant for Northern Ireland it has to agree with Brussels.

Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street.

Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street.

Image: dpa

In the coming week the law will be discussed further in the lower house before it is referred to the upper house. There is considerable resistance there, even if the government does not expect the “Lords” to stop the law. It is a custom at Westminster that the unelected members of the House of Lords do not prevent laws by which the government redeems an election promise.

As the newspaper “Daily Telegraph” reports, Downing Street plans to have the law discussed in the House of Lords for many weeks in order to maintain flexibility in negotiations with the EU. Should a breakthrough occur, the government could remove the passages in Northern Ireland that Brussels has incriminated before the law has to be passed in December. The transition phase agreed in the exit agreement expires on December 31, and with it British membership in the EU internal market and in the customs union.

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From the point of view of the EU, the inserted parliamentary reservation does not dispel its concerns. She continues to demand that the law be withdrawn or significantly changed by the middle of next week. Otherwise, legal action threatened. According to British officials, too, these would result in heavy fines. Regardless of this, there has so far been no sign of the will in Brussels or London to break off negotiations on future relations. According to reports, the recent round in London was even more successful than many before.

If both sides were able to resolve their dispute over the interpretation of the exit agreement, only a few points in the trade agreement would have to be clarified. Independent experts like Charles Grant from the London Center for European Reform remain cautiously optimistic. He sees Johnson under “enormous pressure” to make a deal possible. Grant is not just “great nervousness” among British business leaders. Many Conservatives, including ministers, are particularly concerned about the situation in Scotland. The urge for independence could grow there if negotiations with Brussels fail.

Grant considers the remaining rifts in the trade talks to be “bridgeable”. There has already been cautious progress in the conflict over fisheries, but Grant also sees a common landing zone in the dispute over fair competitive conditions, particularly over state aid. What could help, he believes, is a one-on-one conversation at the highest level. Just as the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar found a compromise for Northern Ireland during a walk with Johnson last autumn and thus made the exit agreement possible, the French President should now take the initiative. Emmanuel Macron is “closer” to Johnson than Angela Merkel. Also, the “fact that France is one of the toughest of the 27 when it comes to fish and state aid” would most likely enable Macron to lead the EU into a compromise.

Negotiating experts expressed the expectation in front of MPs on Wednesday that a deal would only be reached shortly before closing time. The ratification could then be pushed into a further “implementation phase”. The expected frictions at the border should, however, remain unaffected. The government has just warned the freight forwarders in the kingdom that from January 1st, queues of up to 7,000 trucks and two-day delays could be expected at the canal border if they do not deal with the new border formalities in time. This does not only apply in the event of a negotiation failure, said Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove.


Corona management and Brexit dispute: Boris Johnson at the lowest point

“Where’s Boris?” Asks the “Spectator”, who usually always knows where the Prime Minister is and why he is being wrongly criticized. The traditional magazine was not only headed by Johnson for many years – it raved about Brexit early on and passionately promoted “Boris’” move to Downing Street. Now the editor-in-chief of the magazine is predicting an early end if he doesn’t get his position under control soon.

Johnson has undoubtedly hit rock bottom since taking one of the most triumphant electoral victories in Conservative history in December. In the polls, his lead over the battered Labor Party leader Keir Starmer has melted. For the first time in a long time, both parties are on par. No one can take away the full majority that Johnson has in parliament anytime soon, and his cabinet shows no cracks. But the grumbling in the party, especially among former admirers, is unmistakable. It can no longer be dismissed as the criticism folklore of frustrated “Remainers”. The balance sheet is finalized, and the Johnson loyalists insist, with good reason, that neither the corona pandemic nor the Brexit process have come to such an end. But so far, Johnson’s approach to these two major fronts cannot be described as otherwise than erratic and flawed. The man, who was chosen for his leadership and optimism, appears haphazard and erratic, some even say: broken.


Corona UK – Johnson’s volatility – Politics

The prime minister is tightening the corona rules to prevent a second lockdown. That’s right. The real problem is: Because of Johnson’s zigzag course, many Brits don’t take the regulations seriously.

Boris Johnson is right. The British prime minister is tightening the corona rules to prevent a second lockdown. Anything else would be negligent, the situation is too serious for that. Most recently, the number of new infections rose by at least 6,000 within 24 hours; more and more people need hospitalization; Corona tests are running out in many places. Johnson cannot afford to wait because his corona balance so far is simply devastating: Great Britain has one of the highest number of deaths in Europe.

But as correct as the government’s measures are – one problem remains: Johnson’s constant U-turns. For example, he urged the British to return to their jobs in August to stimulate the economy. Now the rule is: work from home again immediately. Johnson’s statements when it came to wearing a protective mask were similarly contradictory. At first it was said that it was useless – at some point there was an extensive mask requirement.

Johnson’s zigzag course has unsettled the population. The consequences of the numerous U-turns are fatal: Many citizens do not take the regulations seriously because they keep changing. The volatile nature of the premier is a threat to the country.


Boris Johnson’s internal market law takes another hurdle

Despite all warnings, Boris Johnson’s plans to change the EU Brexit deal continue to run through parliament. Not all critics are enthusiastic. But there is no longer any talk of rebellion.

The rebellion did not materialize: the controversial internal market law of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cleared another hurdle in parliament. Johnson wants to use the law to partially nullify the current, laboriously negotiated Brexit deal with the EU. A majority of MPs approved a compromise between the prime minister and his critics in London on Tuesday, so that there was no longer a formal vote on their request.

Several Conservative MPs who had previously spoken out against Johnson’s plans also agreed to this. The head of government had previously taken a step towards the dissenters and had assured them a further vote in parliament in the event that the measures provided for in the law for an emergency should actually be used – in essence, what the rebels had asked for.

However, the compromise does not mean that there is now unity in the House of Commons. “I cannot support this law,” ex-Prime Minister Theresa May said in the House of Commons on Monday. The government is jeopardizing “the integrity of the United Kingdom” without considering the consequences for the country’s reputation in the world. The opposition railed against the government on Tuesday as “legislative hooligans”.

That’s what the law is about

The law is about special rules for the British Northern Ireland, which should prevent a hard border with the EU state Ireland and new hostilities there. Johnson wants to use the new single market law to undo several key provisions in the Brexit treaty on Northern Ireland. It is about the suspension of customs regulations in the trade in goods for Northern Ireland and of requirements on state aid for British companies.

For the EU, Johnson’s move is a breach of the law. Brussels therefore asked London to give in by the end of September.

After the MPs in the House of Commons had already voted in favor of the law last week and the compromise has now been approved, the final decision is still pending: In the coming week, the law will turn another round in the House of Commons then the House of Lords will debate it. If amendments come from there, it could even end up in the House of Commons again – a ping-pong game that could take weeks.

Critics fear that the planned law could be the fatal blow for the desired trade agreement between the EU and Great Britain, which is to regulate future economic relations. After the end of the Brexit transition phase, there is a risk of a hard break with tariffs and high trade barriers without a contract.


Great Britain fears 50,000 corona cases a day in October

VMany felt reminded of the days before the first corona wave, when the two chief scientific advisors to the British government appeared on Downing Street on Monday and made depressing reports: The number of infections is doubling every seven days, explained Patrick Vallance. Unless the trend is stopped and “we change our course”, the country faced 50,000 infections in the middle of next month and 200 deaths a day from November onwards. “The message is simple,” said Vallance. “As the disease spreads across all ages, we will see more hospitalizations, which in turn will lead to an increase in deaths.” His colleague Chris Whitty pointed out that the virus has by no means become more harmless and that the death rate is “considerably higher” than with ordinary flu.

The joint appearance – the first in a long time – was perceived as a prelude to further restrictions. This Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to convene the crisis cabinet (with representatives from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), then appear in front of the House of Commons and then address the British with a speech to make them aware of the seriousness of the situation and the applicable distance – and to remember hygiene rules. Rumors made the rounds on Monday that Johnson could impose a two-week “mini-lockdown” on the whole country, which this time should not affect schools or jobs.

It had already happened in rapid succession in the past week. First the government introduced the “Rule of Six”, according to which – with a few exceptions – no more than six people are allowed to meet. Thereafter, the opening times of pubs and restaurants were limited in more and more regions in the northern part of the island and the “mixing of households” was prohibited. From Thursday, pubs and restaurants across the country should close by 10 p.m. at the latest. In addition, only table service will be allowed.

At the weekend, the government announced draconian fines for those infected or possibly infected who oppose the requirement of self-isolation: the equivalent of 1,100 euros for the first disregard, 11,000 euros in the event of a repeat The government increased the police presence in particularly affected areas and began to recruit special supervisors (“Covid Marshals”).

Corona app not in use until today

The Labor Party attributes the tense situation primarily to government failures. This did not use the comparatively calm summer to prepare for the second wave. The criticism of the “Test and Trace” system, which Johnson had full-bodied announced as “the world’s best”, goes beyond the opposition banks. Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin suggested over the weekend that the army be used to get a grip on the patchy contact tracing.

People walking in the British capital, London

People walking in the British capital, London

Image: Reuters

The government boasts of its efforts and explains the difficult situation in the country with a global trend. Vallance and Whitty based themselves on statistical curves from Spain and France on Monday and derived the developments in Great Britain from them. Nevertheless, Johnson is finding it increasingly difficult to counter the charge of “incompetence”. The Corona app presented with Aplomb is still not in use today, and the test offer proves to be inadequate.

The government succeeded in increasing capacities from 1,000 to 230,000 a day since March, but demand is now one million a day. Many Brits are referred to test centers hundreds of kilometers away. Only half of all those tested receive the results in the promised 48 hours; many wait longer than a week.

“Brits cannot be treated like children”

Not only the new measures, but above all the means of their implementation, arouse displeasure. Brits do not allow themselves to be “treated like children,” it says on the Tory benches. Johnson himself affirmed that he did not want a “Petz Society”, but his ministers, most notably Priti Patel (Home Affairs) and Matt Hancock (Health), encourage citizens to report violations to the police. Many MPs now regret their decision to have given the government authority to fight the disease.

An attempt to reintroduce parliamentary scrutiny is expected this week, at least to impose another lockdown. In the lower house, influential backbencher Graham Brady campaigns for it. In the House of Lords, the revolt is fueled by two former constitutional court presidents. Lord Jonathan Sumption has been presenting himself as a fundamental critic of government protection measures for months – now Baroness Brenda Hale is also calling for a return to a “properly functioning constitution”.


Brexit: EU presidency in London, ‘stop playing’ – Ultima Ora

(ANSA) – BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 22 – “Please friends of London, stop playing, time is running out and we need a realistic basis on which to negotiate”. This is the appeal launched to the British government by the German European Affairs Minister Michael Roth representing the EU presidency at the meeting of the General Affairs Council which is also taking stock of the Brexit negotiations.

“We are very disappointed and concerned” by Boris Johnson’s bill because, Roth said, it violates the principles of the Withdrawal Agreement and is totally unacceptable to us. On Monday 28 September, the EU-GB joint committee that deals with the technical aspects of the negotiation will meet again. (HANDLE).