British Failure

I have a very close friend who has been exhausted by the NHS. One hospital killed her grandmother. Clear negligence and dirt did for her grandfather. She herself was more or less cut up after being abandoned in labour for four days, and her body was distended in horrible ways. The midwives clearly destroyed the paperwork.

I have another friend. She was misdiagnosed when she had a life threatening illness five times. She went to the private sector and was dispatched with no rehabilitation. A third friend has seen the police running away from criminals on more than one occasion. I saw two young men cheerily smash through the barriers at Putney Bridge tube station last night.

Northern Ireland has a school system which is selective. 29% of its students, who are state funded, go to Oxford and Cambridge. The system is being abolished.

In the past year, my mother has discovered post bags full of Royal Mail material thrown into lakes. My brother's birthday present was stolen. I have found out that now regularly accept that the Royal Mail thieves things. Three cards to myself have recently gone missing, and when my grandfather was alive I quickly learned not to send him any pipes--he liked a smoke--in the post, because they disappeared.

The tax burden in Britain is high. Prices are ludicrously high. For this, you get the vast indifference of bureaucracies, feral youths, a useless foreign office, a bloated over-regulating government staffed by political science hacks or worse on the make, and a consistent attempt to destroy any functioning, self-regulating institution. Oh, and a government with 22% of the electorate having voted for it and an unpleasant opposition full of nasties and chancers.

The hearsay rule, trial by jury, the right to silence, freedom from plea-bargains, and the interests of justice are constantly being compromised or restricted. There is no written constitution and parliamentary revolts are rare.

The tort courts won't keep this lot in line, as in the States, nor will any public revolt nor any republican feeling. Moaning and dealing with the debt and insecurity in which people are trapped after the pretence of an education are the rule of the day. The State Church is a sort of silly farce. The press are vicious and pathological in their cynicism, though in itself that's quite refreshing since they are open about it. Oh, and everyone, including myself, drinks like a fish.

Is it any wonder that hundreds of thousands of people, including those Poles serving their time as well as the natives, are leaving every year? The vitality and cynical cool of London pales very quickly when all this becomes apparent, and only lights a little again when the rest of the country is considered. That's no way to think about a country.

England may always have been like this, but for an interlude between the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth century. It is crazy though. Here's an attractive Australian anthem that, like gene Hackman's Lex Luthor in Superman II I find myself humming more and more. Before you ask, I do want to end up in Donegal but only when I'm old and have made my pile and only via New York. So there.


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