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High life

Broken society

Taki lives the High Life

5 March 2008

12:00 AM

5 March 2008

12:00 AM

Who the hell does David Cameron think he is to tell Benji Mancroft to think more before opening his mouth? Did Cameron think when he asked us to hug a hoodlum? I’ve been lucky and never had to go to a hospital in the UK but, unless I was bleeding to death and needed emergency help, the last place I’d choose to be treated would be here. Mancroft was right in what he said about the nurses and the sloppy work they do, but, instead of being congratulated by the Tory leader, he’s told to hold back. Like a true-blue phoney politician, Cameron bends over backwards for the soundbite ignoring that what was said might have needed saying. No Lady Thatcher this Cameron fellow. He wants to be popular with the very people who have made British society the most dysfunctional in Europe. In fact it is a broken society, like that nice Archbishop of York said. How can it not be with people like Cameron always taking the soft option and playing nice? What Britain needs is another, tougher Thatcher and Dave boy ain’t it.

I last saw Mancroft 30 years ago, when he was working on becoming an expert on drug addiction, but I took out two of his sisters, failed with a third, and hardly knew the fourth. Benji was strange — he was always on smack, which is not much fun — but he got his act together and even managed to stay in the Lords on the basis of the research he had done on drug addiction. From what I hear, hospitals in the UK are grubby and slipshod, the staff lazy and drunk at times, and what he didn’t say is how many doctors simply kill their patients through incompetence. But that’s not the point of this tirade. If the Brits are dumb enough to pay exorbitant taxes in order to get slaughtered in their hospitals that’s their problem, not mine. Which brings me to the non-doms.

Does anyone in their right mind think that non-doms will not flee the moment the envious ones put the screws on them? Why did they come to England in the first place? For the weather? For its healthcare? Or for its state schools, in reality prep schools for muggings, robberies and drug addiction? I first moved here because I wished to write in English rather than French, and also for the women. As hard as it might be for some to believe, it was much easier than in France. Also I was a gambler and wished to gamble with Aspinall and his friends. But back then England was still a country which had respect for tradition, one could walk the streets freely without the knuckledusters I now carry with me, and it was a homogenous society like the one I came from. Multiculturalism had not as yet been invented by the conmen who invented it, and that jerk Edward Heath had just canned the great Enoch over the speech the Speccie wrote about last week.

Those were the good old days, all right, but already the you-know-what was about to hit the fan. Only five years later we had the three-day week, and five years after that we had the winter of discontent. Old England really unravelled rather quickly. Imagine what the place would be like today if it hadn’t been for the Iron Lady. Better yet, imagine what it would be like ‘sans’ ten years of the greatest conman ever to live at No. 10? No wonder young Harry doesn’t like England that much. How could he? Pursued by the vile paparazzi everywhere, obliged to read the horrors that an Egyptian conman spews out about his family, having nothing to look forward to than more of the same, he’d be doing himself a favour to live away from it all. Africa, of course, is not the answer. If England is a broken society, Africa is a wrecked continent beyond help or redemption. African leaders’ greed and the cowardice of Westerners (as well as that of the Chinese) who continue to deal with the criminals will have managed to wreck the place by the time global warming makes it uninhabitable.

Mind you, I seem to be a bit pessimistic, but it’s probably the hangover. I have been railing against the nouveaux-riches  Russians invading the Alps, and some locals of Gstaad who have been selling goodies to the slobs have turned against the poor little Greek boy. But a nice letter from Michael Hall, a British diplomat based in France, cheered me up. Do not despair, he wrote, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the trouble is we will have to wait another century. Michael Hall then recounts how he sat next to Princess Tatiana von Metternich, whom he described correctly as a cosmopolitan, amusing and wise old lady. She died 18 months ago. Talking about modern Russia, the princess, a Russian, said to the diplomat, ‘Of course the toads are in control …toads always dominate in times of chaos, but in time toads will become less toad-like…. They will marry beautiful women, send their children to expensive schools in England, and they will buy expensive pictures at Christie’s…’ In other words, in two generations they will be gentlemen. 

I thank Michael Hall for his kind words and the amusing articles he enclosed, especially the one about the desperate efforts of diplomats to land a knighthood before they retire in order to enjoy the perks that come to those with a K, but I think the toads are here to stay. Once upon a time the toads aped their betters. Now their betters ape the toads. Just look at what’s happening in England.

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