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Dear Britain,

I have been thinking about us. Things have not been working out for us for a while now. We have been spending more and more time apart. I find I just can't understand you any more.

You seem embarked on a mission of self destruction. In particular I find it extraordinary that you keep flirting with wholly unsuitable men. A few years ago you fell for the public school charms of Tony Blair. "This time" you said "it is different. We can have a caring, Socialist government and still have a good economy". As we now both know, the reality was rather different. With his dubious friends, led by Peter Mandelson, he let you down. Bloodied and crying you now think of him with tearful rage "He's a war criminal!" you cry. "He led me into an illegal war". Meanwhile his hand picked successor is a humourless, vaguely paranoid figure with none of that dangerous, sexy charisma that first attracted you to Tony Blair. I could warn you about David Cameron, yet another public schoolboy with a veneer of glamour- I'll certainly say you've got a "type"- but as surely as day follows night, if you fall for the shallow charms of Mr Cameron you will come back crying- just like last time.

It is not just the company that you keep, Britain, that is cooling what we once had. I don't mean to be tactless about your addictions, but your house price dependency is now almost out of control. Even as the housing markets of the rest of the world have cooled, and in the US practically collapsed, you have continued to make property the centre of your world. I had hoped that the credit crunch would wean you off this poison, but I underestimated the hold that estate agents- your pushers- had over you. Even now, as mortgage offers return to 5x joint earnings, I see you sneaking out to catch a Grand Designs roadshow or an episode of Location, Location, Location- you know the harm it does to your children, but you just can't help yourself. From a Nation of Traders you have become a nation of Estate Agents- adding no value, with an inane vapidness masked by a large measure of bullshit. Worse, you have exported your addiction to other countries. Bulgaria complains that the real estate boom that you engendered has forced her children, either to stay living at home, while some guy from Bracknell buys a tourist house off-plan which, despite his hopes of instant wealth, has still not yet got electricity or water plumbed in, or to leave the country.

Which brings me to another matter of your behaviour. Bringing home the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, with their potty mouths and appalling manners is just not on. The Guardian's learning difficulties are notorious- it is so backward it cannot even spell. As for the other newspapers whose company you keep, from the Sun to the Times- well you know that they come from a broken home. Mr. Murdoch sold his Australian birthright in order to kow-tow to the thugs in China- you do not need to follow his example. You were educated to be fair minded and tolerant, you know that you yourself are responsible for much of the immigration that your "friends" complain about- you despoiled continents and ruled the waves- you cannot pretend that this is something you can just ignore when dealing with other countries or their people who want to visit you.

And yet of course you do pretend this, just as you pretend that actions do not have consequences, that bills do not have to be paid, that everyone should win prizes and eat jelly and ice cream and go to University. You pretend that you can afford to pay people to be unemployed, you pretend that the blizzard of blank cheques that you are writing for pensions and the public sector will never need to be cashed. Yet the Bank manager already has a gleam in his eye- your AAA credit rating will not survive 2010. The price of your politically correct blindness is beyond your means. I can not afford to stay living with you.

So I've been thinking.

I need to spend time apart. I will always love you, but I can not stand by and watch your willful slide into oblivion. You need a dose of tough love and I need to find out who I really am. I will come back for Christmas- for the sake of the kids- but after January I won't be around to watch the beautiful land with its kindly and decent people, fall prey to your addictions to fraudulent politics, poisonous money and disgusting attitudes.

I'm sorry, but unless you start to help yourself, I can not do it for you.

Cicero

Comments

Alix said…
I should have said this when you first posted it really, but just come across it again - thanks for such a great post.

I've never thought of myself as a patriotic person, but I slightly welled up at "I will always love you, but..." That's exactly how it feels.

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