there's a reasonably famous saying, look you see, which says - as a saying would - that the only lesson we, the human race, ever learn from history is that we don't learn from history. an alternate to this is the saying "those who fail to learn from history are damned to repeat it". perhaps the proof of the truth of this is when i mentioned the saying to someone once, and their temper flared up, for they thought i was saying that all people, them specifically, were then stupid. go figure.
you, we and indeed i would like to think we live in more enlightened and learned times. surely we now live in a world where nations - in particular the theoretically civilised and decidedly First World ones of Western Europe, would neither threaten nor risk war for the sake of a land grab. and yet here we are, sowing those very seeds with the Spanish "suggesting" that they might take some, if not all, custodial ownership of the future fate of Gibraltar.
whilst there has not been a great deal of sabre waving about this, so there's no need to panic. this, however, is exactly how major armed conflicts have commenced in the past. too late it was to say "hang on" when motions and movements seemed not to be too threatening to the status quo. warning signs are an awful lot easier to dismiss or ignore than they are to respond to.
one would hope diplomacy would win this day. alas, no. diplomacy without common sense tends not to be diplomatic, thus destined if not quite doomed to fail. from our side we of course throw Boris Johnson at international relations. the problem with this not so much any number of elements you may have come to mind when you consider Boris Johnson, but that in effect he is the intellectual and political superior to the overwhelming majority of his counterparts in Europe and across the world. you would be entitled to feel as though you need time to let that sink in.
i would like to think that the EU, in its infinite wisdom relating to self-preservation, would block the Spanish from making any doomed to failure attempts to grab Gibraltar long before the nation disgraced itself on the battlefield against superior forces. this would be, from the EU, less about respecting the wishes of the people of Gibraltar to remain British and more so as not to suggest to certain Bavarian members that European land grabs are now something accepted. with our working knowledge of how the EU does things, however, we must be prepared for this form of check and balance being absent.
quite a few people would be concerned that war with Spain - no matter how brief - would once again see a threat to the supply of courgettes and variations of lettuce to our shelves again. the big concern for me, however, is whether or not my access to quality haircare products would be affected. i have done some provisional investigation, then.
shampoo was my first point of call, then. regular readers here will know that, despite some experimentation with brands that are offered cheap, for the most part i stick to the "Garnier Blends" ones, as they are more likely to have lemon in them. lemon is, of course, an ingredient to shampoo introduced by Jason Donovan in the 80s, and i have sworn by it since as a consequence.
although the Blends brand has always promoted itself as being "blended for Britain" it has never once declared that it was actually blended in Britain. cause for worry, then. but, no, for as you can see it is in fact made in Italy. that, to me, says we are good here. should the Spanish wish to embarrass themselves by pitting their military might against us, i cannot see the flow of shampoo from Italy to here being interrupted.
was i really worried that my shampoo might be Spanish? not really, but it is always far safer to check these things. just because the Spanish, historically, have never really been associated with quality hair (except for him, that singer, Julio something. and Seve the golfer) does not mean that they couldn't make products suitable for haircare. you can, after all, lead the horse to water, etc.
two potential grey areas in the above, then. whilst i don't believe a few hours of war to get Spain to understand they are punching well out of their weight will not do all that much damage to international supplies of haircare products, it is all the same quite worrying that neither of the above give any indication of where the products are made.
admittedly Lynx is less a haircare product and more of a pheromone thing which facilitates attraction for verminous, feral teenagers in heat, but i still like using it. i don't care if no one over the age of 16 is actually supposed to use the stuff, i simply have a preference for it rather than more grown up ones. and weirdly no, i do not tend to attract feral teenagers in heat, so maybe i am using it wrong. and will continue to use it wrong, just in case.
Schwarzkopf sounds a little German or perhaps Hebrew, and i think is the name of that smart American military leader during the first Gulf War. well, first Gulf War of recent history. what it doesn't sound is Spanish, which could be a very good thing in terms of getting it during the war ahead. not that i use this product much at all, if ever, as it is "hair glue". why do i have it? the tin is Australian Gold in colour.
in terms of securing my supply of haircare products during Britain's war with Spain over Gibraltar this tin of hairspray is a right f*****g mess, to be sure. i mean, just look at that - UK website, French street address, declaration of being German made.
we can, i trust, take for a given that the authorities will ensure that UK made products flow freely in the UK during the conflict with the Spanish. also, the French involvement and subsequent levels of success in aggressive land grab related conflicts across continental Europe is well documented and needs no further discussion. this just leaves us with our friends in Germany, then.
my understanding is that Germany knows little and cares less about Gibraltar, an area of Europe which they refer to as Berg der Masturbierenden Affen in passing. Germany on the whole quite likes us here in Britain, despite one or two minor disagreements in the past. i suspect that they find some of the peculiar quirks and ways of the Spanish just as entertaining as we do, and as a consequence will happily sit this one out but not hesitate to make sure we - i - get the right quality of hairspray shipped in during the battles.
finally, and thankfully, my penchant for supermarket own brand hair gel was investigated. boss, both of them are - each jar comes at a cost which is south of 50p, so i wish you could eat the stuff. both brands, despite different colours, are as you can sort of see made in the UK. my supply of hair gel is thus pretty decidedly safe during our time of war with the Spanish, no matter how many hours it takes us to conquer.
and yes, that is indeed a reflection of me in at least one jar, so as to give an air of authenticity to the fact that i, personally, carried out this research myself for you.
with regards to why Spain would want to risk political and military humiliation in making a grab for Gibraltar, this is quite easy to understand. in their coverage of the disagreement the BBC have show people attempting to smuggle thousands of packets of cigarettes from Gibraltar into Spain by shoving them in all possible parts of a car you can. should i have control of a country then i, too, would totally seek to invade and colonise a country where you could get cheap fags, if for some reason that was easier than wielding my political power to simply reduce the cost of them in the nation what i ruled.
so there we go. whilst i have every confidence that a combination of the diplomatic skill and prowess of Boris Johnson, a State visit by a low key member of the Royal Family and the harsh realities of inevitable failure being apparent to Spain will win the day, it seems that in a worst case i will still have no problem having access to my preferred haircare products.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!