The Plastic Hippo

February 3, 2014

Home again

Filed under: Birmingham,History,Politics,Transport,Walsall,World — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
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Via the plastic hippo

Via the plastic hippo

Sometimes, if time and money allow, it is extraordinarily therapeutic to burst out of the parochial bubble to catch some face time with the rest of the world and when opportunity presented a visit to a place on something called a bucket list, it was a case of bye-bye Walsall, see you later. The chance to walk on the same marble pavements that once experienced the sandals of Heraclitus, Alexander the Great, Saint Paul and Saint John proved too great a temptation so, without a second thought, bye-bye England.

When Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen wrote “Oh it`s so nice to go travelling”, they clearly did not have to endure the ghastly shopping centre with a runway attached that calls itself Birmingham International Airport or have to change trains at a ghastly shopping centre with platforms known as the new “improved” New Street Station. A city the size of Birmingham and a region as important as the West Midlands really should have transport hubs that work. It was definitely not so much nicer to come home.

Oddly, if I were to believe British politicians and the British press, I thought that I was returning from a country with a basket-case economy, a corrupt and oppressive government and a population of thieves, cut-throats, vagabonds, ne`er-do-wells and beggars. Unfortunately for the Daily Fail and the BBC Conservative press office, I experienced clean towns and cities, efficient public services, transport that worked, friendly people who spoke perfect English and a nation keen to preserve and display its proud culture and history. The only hint of aggression came from a shop keeper when I declined his offer of a glass of apple tea to accompany the expected bartering over trinkets to bring back for the children. I capitulated and accepted the tea and smiled as the plausible rogue fleeced me out of my remaining local coin. How strange to return to the UK to find a country with a basket-case economy, a corrupt and oppressive government and a population of thieves, cut-throats, vagabonds, ne`er-do-wells and beggars. The train from New Street to Walsall was filthy and stank of urine.

It is always depressing when returning from an enjoyable trip abroad and it is obviously not the fault of Birmingham or Walsall for rain and cold and the idiocy of apes sub-contracted by the UK Border Agency to give a first impression of Britain guaranteed to make you regret ever coming back or, if a visitor, ever coming here in the first place. Late one night, travelling in an antique land, I tuned my trusty radio to the BBC World Service. Via the miracle of long wave, a government minister called Mark Harper told me that “citizenship is a privilege, not a right”. As a British subject, my uneasiness with subjugation is being replaced with a genuine fear that we are heading to a state where governments can render anyone that disagrees with their madness as persona non grata, stateless and, therefore, disappeared. This all seems horribly familiar.

With this corrupt and oppressive government, UK citizenship is neither a privilege nor a right. Until we get rid of this dreadful crooked coalition, citizenship of the UK is a burden.

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