Introduction. Preface and Warning
The (Currently) United Kingdom has got itself into a muddle over Europe and might well end up re-titled as The Fractious Atlantic Isles with Ireland adding a new element to its national identity as Nothing To Do With Us.
In these parlous circumstances it is therefore vital that as a writer I heroically transcribe a complete history which will explain how we reached this juncture. There will be no skimping on detail, and in the spirit of other great works of history there will be controversy in the form of opinions, conclusions, interpretations and unavoidable lessons. It should be pointed out that no one group will be spared examination and only those romantic overtones which suit the tenor of the episode under discussion will be included. Quotes in other languages will only be included if they are out of context and thus unintentionally funny.
There will be no bibliography as that is just plain showing off.
Nor will there be foot-notes because such titchy print can be tough on the eyes.
Questions of Good Taste will naturally not be considered; this is history.
BC and AD will be used ‘cause I know it will annoy the socks of some folk on certain apparently religious forums.
Readers have my permission to copy, plagiarise or quote as much as they like ‘cuz if this spreads throughout the cyber world it will be bound to annoy those who have become insufferably pompous, self-righteous, dogmatically boring, ridiculously prejudiced or smugly blinkered in their own opinions, which suits the author fine.
Part 1 Pre-History
This can be divided as follows:
A. Like A Really Very, Very, Very Long Time Ago
During sometime like about 800,000 to 500,000 BC the what we would consider today as a collection of islands off the west coast of Europe, were simply another bumpy bit of whatever Europe would turn out to be.
B. Just A Very, Very Long Time Ago
Sometimes about 350,000 BC islands were experimented with but didn’t seem to attract much interest in the hunter-gathering communities, even with convenient land bridges for those who wanted to change their minds. Neanderthal folk may have arrived but obviously weren’t too impressed as they didn’t even hang around to leave uncomplimentary cave graffiti.
C. A Quite Very Long Time in Terms of Our History Ago
About 44,000-40,000 BC some rather self-important folk who liked to think of themselves as Early Modern Humans turned up, little is knowing about them, other than that one who for a hundred years was known as The Red Lady of Paviland turned out to be a man, which proves anyone can make a mistake. Anyhow they wouldn’t have suited as true natives because it seems about 25,000 BC they were driven out by such a footling thing as the weather, when everyone knows there is nothing so much the folk of these isles like to complain about as the weather.
D. A Very Long Time, But Not So Much If You Are A Palaeontologist Ago
Another group turned up about 13,000 BC, but only hung around a measly 2,000 years before moping back to the Mainland. Though this does prove that despite the recent referendum those who live hereabouts have an affinity for Europe- Ipso Facto (classy quote 1)
E. A Well, It Seems A Long Time To Us, But Pretty Recent To Folk Who Deal With This Stuff Ago
About 8000 BC folk came along who were not going to be put off, never mind bad weather or possibly vanishing land bridges, no sir! In fact they were so enthusiastic that by 4,500 BC they’d invented farming, and they could settle down to some real serious complaining about the weather. In addition to farming they manufactured so many cups they became known as the Beaker People,
No! Stop sniggering at the back!!
You know very well this is what I mean!!
whether this was through a drive to domestic stability, an early form of tourist industry, or something else to do in the long winter nights remains a question of debate amongst folk who make a living at questions of debate. Most importantly though these people obviously invented the first form of socialism by engaging in the massive public work known as Stonehenge. It must be concluded they wished to ensure there was an air of the enigmatic for future civilisations to ponder on as they left no record of why or how they built it; no doubt once a year many Beaker People who gathered at Stonehenge would laugh and clash beakers together with the ceremonial toast ‘This is gonna annoy ‘em!!’
But all good things must come to an end.
And pre-history ended with the coming of The Celts….
The Celts and the implications of The Celts will be dealt with in next week’s seminar.