Travelling to distant lands often has the effect of changing your perspectives about your own country to some degree or other. After returning to Britain from my trip to the USA earlier this week, I was struck by how leaden and grey London appears in November compared to the pastel, azure balminess of the California coast.
But, that said, I was born here in Blighty and I have had a lifetime of getting used to its forbidding and dismal winter skies. Besides, there are other and newer characteristics that make me wonder exactly what type of country I have returned to. They are altogether more pernicious and have nothing to do with the climate:
In the aftermath of my experience, I started some purely anecdotal research on the type of behaviour and attitude displayed by the police towards me. In speaking to friends, acquaintances, tradesmen, cab drivers and people in the pub I rapidly came to realise that a quite staggering number of ordinary, law-abiding people had endured similar experiences.
To discover precisely what ‘experiences’ the author was forced to endure, you will need to read the entire article. I recommend it in particular to our non-British readers so that they can get some idea of what is happening to this country.
The account of the ordeal left me with a ball of cold mercury in the pit of my stomach. For what happened to him could just as easily happen to me or any number of my friends, relations or colleagues.
And this is merely a taste of things to come. The hors d’oeuvres before the main course. We will not enjoy this meal.