I don’t suppose any of our readers can have failed to notice the patina of despondency that has, of late, descended upon this corner of the blogland.
I am the usual and evergreen suspect. Optimism has always stood in stark contrast to my natural grain and my comrades have long-since stopped denouncing me for it and learned to live with my periodic predictions of impending doom. However, I am but Pollyanna herself compared to Paul Marks, the poster-boy of the Euthanasia Movement.
There was a time when our brooding presence was felt but nonetheless heavily diluted by the ebullient, thematic jolliness of the remaining Samizdatistas. But now Perry de Havilland seems to have stumbled into a pit of despair and even the stomach-churningly cheerful Brian Micklethwait has ‘fessed up to an onset of the highly contagious Carr-itis.
But why, I hear you inquire. Is this a neurological condition brought on by over-exposure to the internet? Is it because we are perenially-disappointed libertarians? No, it’s because we are British:
“People are growing increasingly pessimistic, with a majority believing that Britain is “grinding to a halt”, a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph has found.
The survey shows a country depressed by the prospect of falling pension values, failing hospitals, pot-holed roads, unspoken fears of terrorism and a possible war against Iraq.
Eighty five per cent of people worry that they can no longer rely on public services, while 53 per cent agree with foreign media reports that “nothing in Britain works”.
See, for all these years I was not being contrary, I was merely ahead of the curve and now that all my compatriots are conforming to national type, I can take nought but scant consolation in feeling vindicated.
All exhortations to cheery optimism are futile. It’s too late for therapy and prozac won’t work. We’re not depressed, we’re just British. Pity us.