South by South West-bound

In a couple of weeks, in Austin, Texas, the South by South West Music Festival will kick off.

I plan on being there.

I have a commission from the Guardian.

I will be slutting myself around, trying to pick up additional commissions from other print, web, video and/or audio outlets…

And I will be there.

Just so you know.

The nationality debate, an alternative view

Happy St David’s Day.




Dewi Sant.



But instead of sitting proudly on the nest of Welshness (because who needs a special day to celebrate being a member of the greatest nationality on the planet?), I thought I’d have a quick look at being British.

I did the Channel 4 Nationality Quiz yesterday. I got 23 right, out of 24 possible answers. This is a pass. I feel slightly ashamed I got one question wrong.

But really, does passing this quiz make me British? Does knowing the correct answers to 23 out of 24 questions make me *suitable* to call myself British?

for full size: click on this, then click on the next picture



Of course it doesn’t.


This quiz is pathetic.




Knowing where the Welsh Assembly is located, for example, is nothing to do with whether I am fit to call myself British or not.

What a stupid fucking quiz.

Any child of reasonable intelligence should be able to pass this quiz; it’s a pop quiz, a randomised general knowledge, trivial pursuit-type questionnaire.

Where are the historical questions?

Where are the questions on law (civil, criminal and case)?

Where are the questions on culture and custom and context?

Where are the questions on literature and language? And art and poetry?

And also where’s the test on literacy? If you can’t structure and punctuate a simple sentence in at least one of the official languages of the country, you must, by logic, be an unsuitable candidate to call yourself British.

And really, just one question on Wales? And no questions at all on Northern Ireland?

How fucking pathetic.

So here’s my take.

Everyone who lives in the UK should be forced to take this test – no matter where they were born.

And the stupid people who were born here but who can’t pass the test should be exported to live in the Falkland Islands for the rest of their lives.

Firm but fair.

You can take the test here, but it really is ridiculously simple.

And the one I got wrong? That was Question 14:
How many elected members does the UK have in the European Parliament?

The answer of 73 disgusts me. Seventy three sets of ‘trotters in the trough’? Seventy three Euro MPs? As well as our 650 Westminster MPs?

That’s outrageous, and a total disgrace. Both numbers should be halved.