I do wish that I could pop up a post chock full of insightful and witty commentary on daily life in East London or regale you with some sort of amusing anecdote found whilst trawling through the reams of wills over enthusiastically photographed whilst in Zadar. Unfortunately, it's all quiet on the Western Front, so to speak. So it might just be the right time to voice a small twinge of concern about Britain today...
So, on Radio 4 last week, I could have sworn I heard a government spokesman talk about foreigners who come and exploit our generous benegits system to the detriment of the indigenous population.
Is anybody out there at all absolutely aghast at the rather potent combination of foreigner, exploitation of OUR generous benefits system and indigenous in a public pronouncement by a government spokesman? Does this not sound horribly redolent of the sort of vernacular adopted by the British National Party and other fascists?
It's when anthropological terms start getting used in a political sense - particularly when it comes to migration policy during a recession - that the alaraum bells start ringing. Indigenous?! For crying out loud, this a nation of mongrels and good couple of thousand years worth of immigration from all over Europe and then later the Empire. Deal with it. If you want to find the truly indigenous go and seek out a grumpy Welshman in Snowdonia whose family, around the time of the Vikings, or Saxons or whatever Scandinavian warrior race kicked the biggest arse, were bullied into that soggy corner and never emerged again.
Methinks the government, in a desperate bid to avoid a shallacking in next year's general election, are trying to seduce the apparently alienated group of white Brits who are ignorant enough to vote for bigoted, fascist meatheads like Nick Griffith. When mainstream political parties are trying to seduce this section of society with similar tactics to the BNP then this nation is screwed. To give the impression that a tsunami of Johnny Foreigners are coming over - not even taking our jobs but going straight for our benefits - is a dangerous, desperate and divisive step to take. I truly hope this madness will stop soon but I worry that such ill-thought and incendiary comments and ideas will become the norm for this, a government in its death throes. A Pandora's box is being opened, which shall not be closed again for a long while. Today, it's only words but I fear what tomorrow will bring...
Or maybe I just misheard an episode of the Archers whilst in the kitchen and in fact all is well with this nation and its astute and competent political class. Maybe, just maybe.