LETTER: Great Britain is beoming a ‘banana republic’

I READ with compassionate understanding about the proposed March for Jobs, Growth, Justice: for Saturday, March 26th. But, lamentably futile.

Decades ago Prince Philip warned our little island was becoming a “banana republic” (he presumably intended “state”, not “republic”). Anyway! Now it is one. Without the charm of bananas.

I recall my letters to your columns on my return to this country in the early ‘80s about the distressingly obvious poverty and filth. So obvious our visitors over the years have expressed dismay.

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And the arrogance, and the insular ignorance of the mentality of people, especially UKIP. For prosperity and jobs you need a healthy balance of trade – compare China plus £480 billion, and Germany plus £280 billion. And in the UK, minus £180 billion.

I went on a coach trip recently, all the other six coaches on the park were Mercedes. I noticed on the TV news all the ambulances are Mercedes, as are now many of our vans. And Ford and Vauxhall, vans and cars, their investment, or lack of it, is directed from the US.

Once upon a time we had Raleigh bikes and Triumph and Norton motorbikes. And now our building societies are Spanish, Santander. Aren’t our airports, too controlled by Spain? And icons of our past, the Minis are VW: Land Rover and Jaguar, India controlled. And Corus once renowned British steel, Thai owned. Is Rolls still English?

One thing we can be sure of, our poverty. We don’t seem to be able to do anything about that. Our filth, at least, we should be able to do something about. But do we care?

But we always have our humour, and our native island resilience. And our perennial bad weather to talk about.


St Chad’s Avenue,