Friday, April 08, 2005


Words Fail Me

I am very happy to be living in the greatest country in the world. It's always the immigrants who are the most patriotic and to anybody who criticises the US, I would point to the long lines outside US embassies and consulates around the globe, people knocking on the door, trying to negotiate the unbelievably tricky and complicated immigration system with the objective of securing a green card.

My former home, the UK, used to be a pretty good place too. But since Margaret Thatcher was unceremoniously ousted in November 1990 for not being sufficiently keen on having Britain's affairs run from Brussels, I have each year been astounded by the bizarre antics in that country. Each time you think you've heard the most ridiculous thing ever, they will come along and top that with something even more likely to make you think the place is run by lunatics.

Here's the latest. Britain has a huge and thriving underclass of what are called NEETs: Not in Education, Employment of Training. They lead lives fully subsidised by the taxpayer, and their pursuits include binge-drinking, drug-taking, having kids, and petty crime.

Here is a tale of a 25 year old NEET, a heroin addict and mother of three, who in January 2003 set off on a shoplifting expedition with her sister, brother and another man. She ended up being arrested for attempted burglary and released the same day. The police drove her within five miles of her (state provided) home. She ended up freezing to death in a field.

The bizarre part? The three police officers involved, one a former Marine, who have more than fifty years service between them, are now being tried on charges of manslaughter by gross negligence.

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