The Totally Forgotten Invasion of Britain in 1988!
(Er, I hereby claim citizenship of Australia) – read on to learn about the invasion of Britain!
England doesn’t often get invaded. William the Conqueror achieved the feat, in 1066, of course. And, in the old history of the Dark Ages, Saxon mercenaries deceived High-King Vortigern with a silly trick, involving a beautiful woman, a cow’s hide, and several hectares of community property! But that wasn’t really an invasion, proper. And, in any case, that’s quite a different story!
So, are the British, or should I say, the English, such fearsome warriors that no-one dares to tackle them? Well, during the same week in which William of Normandy set sail, the Vikings did so, too. They landed near Stamford Bridge, and got such a fearsome pasting, at the hands of Harold’s Saxon Houscarls, that they probably wished they hadn’t bothered! But, as we all know, it was the battle at Battle, known as Hastings, in folklore, which erroneously immortalised, Stamford Bridge’s victorious-Viking-vanquisher, King Harold, as a hopeless loser! When, in reality, he was one of the most accomplished soldiers of his time! But then, no-one ever argued that history was fair!
Now, we’ll completely ignore Napoleon and Hitler’s barges, because they never set sail. And Philip’s armada gets cut out, because it fell foul of a gale! Caesar lied, for propaganda purposes, about the extent of his achievements. And Claudius, well, Claudius made a proper job of his invasion, in AD 43. But, the Romans had already had lots of practice of invasions by that stage!
You’ll be surprised when I tell you this: But Claudius and William weren’t the only mighty warriors to capture Britain’s golden shores! Oh, no! Less than twenty years ago, in 1988, Britain was declared the property of the Aboriginal Tribes of Australia! A barefoot tribesman called Burnum Burnum, raised the Aboriginal standard at Dover, on England’s southern coast, two hundred years after Captain Arthur Philip, and the First Fleet, had done the same at Botany Bay!
Now, according to my reckoning, even though I was born in London, and I’ve never set foot in the Antipodes, not in Botany Bay, or anywhere else, Burnum Burnum’s heroic act makes me an Australian citizen!
“Er, g’-day! Strewth, the blowies ‘n mozzies are buzzin!”
So, I guess that makes Kylie Minogue my Neighbour. And, as we know, everybody needs those!
So, before I conclude this short piece of twittery, please let me suggest that every Englander, and perhaps every native Australian too, on the 28th of January, of each and every year, raise a glass in celebration of the achievements of Barnum the Conqueror, who captured England single-handedly, and claimed it for Australia!
Patrick Mackeown, July 2006
Are you affected by the invasion of Britain?
Perhaps you were even lucky enough to witness the British invasion by Burnum Burnum? Please let me know.
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