Welcome to this second report from Cairnland! For those of you who are new to what is going on here, we should explain that this new nation is Cairn’s response to the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Cairn Research is fully committed to staying in the EU, and accordingly the 70 acre farm on which we are based has decided to leave the UK in order to do that. For us it is going to be CRexit from the UK rather than being part of Brexit from the EU! Of course, this may sound very farfetched, and indeed it has to be admitted that not everything in either this report or its predecessor is entirely true, but on the other hand something seems to be going very wrong with reality itself, so who knows what actually is true any more? Why do we find ourselves even having to think along these lines? And can it really be true that a full six months after that idiotic vote, nobody in British authority seems able to give, or perhaps even to have, any idea as to what it means? Is it going to be a “soft Brexit”, a “hard Brexit”, or (the latest contender) a “red white and blue Brexit” or perhaps will it be what we in Cairn (thanks to a wonderful Steve Bell cartoon in the Guardian newspaper) call a “toilet paper” Brexit, because in the words of a well-known British TV advert for that particular product, it will turn out to be “soft, strong, and surprisingly long”?
Only by distancing ourselves from this ludicrous state of affairs, in at least an emotional sense, can we at Cairn make any sensible plans for the future, hence the Cairnland concept which is allowing us to do just that. So now, without further ado, we are going over live to the Presidential Farmhouse, to hear the 2017 New Year’s address from its recently renamed senior occupant, Dr Martin von O’Thomas!
(President waits for ecstatic applause to finally cease, while those who stopped too early are quietly led away.)
Greetings, fellow citizens of Cairnland! The establishment of our glorious Republic was one of the few good things to happen in the world in 2016, so let’s all hope for a better 2017. To that end we also hope that the world’s remaining democracies will follow our lead in cancelling all future elections. Better to stay with the incompetents you currently have, rather than the lunatics who would follow (and who would no doubt cancel them themselves anyway). I realise of course that this now makes my own position unassailable, but we must all make sacrifices!
I also realise, however, that my decision to change my name from Thomas to O’Thomas has been the subject of some disquiet. Until such time as the EU formally approves Cairnland’s membership, it is surely desirable that as many Cairnland citizens as possible should take advantage of any accidents of ancestry (in my case an Irish grandmother, this bit is true!) to apply for a passport for any other country that will be remaining in the EU, as right now we don’t even know if the UK will be remain part of the Customs Union, let alone the Single Market. It will clearly be to our collective advantage for as many of us as possible to move freely within the EU in the future. This is emphatically NOT an attempt by me to secure a safe haven in the event of yet another attempted coup, so let’s hear no more of such talk! In fact, my Irish roots have always run very deep, as demonstrated by unerring ability to find the nearest Irish pub, wherever in the world I may currently be, and from which I know many of you have personally benefitted during our travels together. I trust this makes the situation absolutely clear.
And as for changing my middle V initial to “von”, this is to help emphasise Cairnland’s increasing friendship towards Germany, where our business has been growing nicely in recent years. With due respect to the other 26 EU countries, the pending departure of the UK means that in practice Germany is going to be left running the continent, which is ironic indeed considering how much effort was expended in the last century to stop that happening then. However, both countries have changed a great deal since those times, and we in Cairnland want to ally ourselves with the new winners! Germany is therefore likely to be the country of choice for any future physical presence that we may need to establish in order for EU customers to continue trade with just as easily they do now. Cairn wird “Kern”, sozusagen? (this is another true bit).
While on international matters, our North American arrangements will continue as before, for at least as long as civilisation continues following that election. In fact the result posed a particular diplomatic problem for Cairnland! That phone conversation with Taiwan shortly after his election seriously ruffled Chinese feathers, so in the interests of just quietly getting on with things here, we didn’t want to unnecessarily attract the opprobrium of the UK authorities if he decided to phone us too. So what to do? Should I refuse the call? Should I pretend to be out? Or perhaps I should just leave the phone off the hook? But that last possibility made me realise I was worrying unnecessarily! Everyone in Cairnland is on the phone all the time, even if it’s just to the office next door (oops, another true bit!), so he couldn’t have got through if he’d tried. It’s amazing how such potentially complex issues can sometimes be resolved so simply! I wonder if he did try, though. In this increasingly crazy world, you can never tell!
Now on to some more local issues. As many of you may already know, the runup to Christmas was marred by the tragic disappearance of a group of carol singers, last seen walking towards Cairnland in spite of the clearly placed warning notices that such people were distinctly unwelcome here. Unfortunately our local neighbours were suspecting that we had something to do with it, especially because of the previously mentioned suspicions concerning the entirely coincidental timings of the disappearance of people shortly before our widely enjoyed spit roasts at our summer barbecues. So as a gesture of goodwill we threw open our borders one evening to help demonstrate our innocence, aided by copious seasonal supplies of mulled wine and mince pies. The wine was particularly enjoyed for its richness, although its tendency to congeal if not drunk quickly was nevertheless noted by some. The mince pies complemented it perfectly, being found very toothsome, in fact quite literally so when they were discovered to contain real teeth. Initial consternation at that discovery was rapidly replaced by a mad scramble for the remaining pies when some of the teeth were found to contain gold fillings, so overall the evening was a great success, with all agreeing that the fate of those poor singers would forever remain a mystery.
Other Christmas activities, namely the “lunch” and the dinner” as described in our previous report took place as usual. Unfortunately the dinner was not so well attended this year, with many people feigning illness in spite of my promise to shorten my speech by several hours this time. So next year I may well really have to do that. The lunch also passed off well, marred only by the inebriated confession by one of us that he had actually voted for Brexit. We were unable to recover sufficient body parts to justify any sort of funeral, but a memorial service will be held for him in the spring, as apart from that one dreadful lapse he was a pretty good sort really.
Unlike Christmas, your President feels no particular attachment to New Year celebrations, and in particular the expectation that “next year” is going to be “better” somehow. What happened in 2016 should have put paid to that one! Still, if you start every New Year with a hangover, which we are all pretty much obliged to do, then at least you can be reasonably sure that January 2 will be better than January 1. So, there have been no specific Cairnland celebrations apart from this broadcast, and our ban on bagpipes has remained strictly in force. However, we start the New Year with the prospects for Cairnland looking pretty good (gosh another true bit), and this in any case is an appropriate occasion to wish you all the best for 2017, or as we say in our local Cairnish dialect “Far kits Jan you rear gane”!
POSTSCRIPT – A CAIRNISH PHRASE BOOK
Several people have (very unwisely) asked to know more about Cairnish, which is the greatly simplified local dialect that we use amongst ourselves for day-to-day communication purposes, although even we often struggle to know what we are talking about. This is a strictly oral language, and is best understood (to the extent that it is at all) on the basis of various set phrases rather than as grammatically ordered arrangements of individual words. What follows is therefore a more-or-less phonetic rendering of some of the more commonly uttered sound sequences.
Nice to meet you!
War choo look natt?
How can we help you?
Far koff mayt weir bizi
This multiwavelength laser illuminator appears to have stopped working.
Lite doan kum orn no moor
Our prices are very reasonable
Wee sore ewe kum inn
I told the customer it will be sent out today
Gaiv you shul lye
This has been a most interesting article!
Hoo rites zis krap?