Travelling to Edinburgh in a nearly gale- NOT assuredly a hurricane- reveals Britain at almost its worst. I travel in a diesel train, but we are forced to adhere to a 50 MPH restriction imposed on electric trains, even though the train is already 15 minutes late, so there are no electric trains immediately ahead of us- it is just "the restriction- for your safety". No, it is a restriction for insurance or for operational reasons or for signalling reasons. It is not for the passengers, it is for the company. Yet, despite the large number of passengers missing connections, we are supposed to believe the health and safety spiel- no matter that it is not the truth.
This is where I find myself losing my temper.
Across almost all aspects of British life, we are not given the true information, but merely bluffed with customer service bullshit. It is as though the people here could not handle the truth, that everything must be sugar coated. I can see a gale outside, but it is not that serious: trees are not uprooted, rivers are not much flooding. We are, in short, making a crisis out of a drama.
It is self indulgent. It is infantile. It is destructive. It is pathetic.
Whatever happened to the stiff upper lip?
As for what I find in my old home of Edinburgh- this must await another, later blog, I am too sad, too angry, too sick to describe my immediate impressions. This is a third class, third rate, third world capital charging first world prices and then some. In my hotel I am paying not only more than I paid in London, but more than I paid for a much better hotel in Zurich a few months ago.
It smells of stale fish and is none too clean.
Beggars accost me on many corners. A parade of the obese, obviously sick already, lurk outside doorways, lighting cigarettes.
I am utterly shocked by the state of this place- I need to get my head around this. It is literally disgusting.