Today hasn't been the day of civil unrest in Great Britain. Oh no. It's been the third day. Or night, rather.
The thing with us British is that by day we are the type of citizens who will queue endlessly and even let another push into said queue with barely a murmur or sly look. We say sorry to the person who steps on our foot. We inform the spotty waiter who half-heartedly asks 'is everything ok' with our lukewarm rubbery meal (that, quite frankly, we could have microwaved better ourselves) that everything is indeed ok. In fact everything is delicious! So convincing are we in our pretence that all is well and content with internalising our discomfort that we, as a nation, are guilty of what any shrink worth his salt would say is a very bad idea: bottling it up. And so it comes as no great surprise that eventually something quite alarming happens...Great Britain snaps. And when she blows, oh does she blow.
Now, I'm not condemning anybody here; the mobs or the yobs (use your own judgement as to which term refers to the Government and which to the rioters, as ever there is little in it). The arson and violence in London and other cities is poor form and my heart goes out to those who have lost their homes and businesses. However, I expect when the powers that be jet back from their holidays (how nice of them to join us) they will all too easily dismiss the occurrences as acts of thuggery and by doing this they will skirt around the critical issue facing us all; that this is yet more evidence of the shift in national attitude. I sense that there is now a pandemic (forgive me, I know the news bulletins bat this term about like it's going out of fashion) of disillusionment beyond a point of containment. By day that stiff upper lip we pride ourselves on is turning into a grimace and by night Jekyll is fast becoming Hyde.