Letter: Dull Britannia

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Living here in the depths of rural France with calves gambolling in the fields around us (rather than in the crates that the animal "rights" people would have you believe), I am struck by the regimentation and control of people that obtains in England.

On the odd occasions when I listen to Radio 4 and find that it is not dominated by cricket or Americans, there always seems to be someone pressing for someone else's activities to be banned or "frowning upon" them. Nanny Cunningham has decided that people are too stupid to choose for themselves whether they eat beef on the bone, and Nanny Rooker has decided the same thing about unpasteurised milk (which is freely available in supermarkets here).

Furthermore, life in England appears to be one long, continuous battle - there is the fight against crime, the fight against drugs, the fight against smoking, the fight against being happy.... You name it and there is a "fight" against it.

Is it any wonder that when people cross the Channel and find that there is no one "frowning upon" them, they kick over the traces and behave as they did in Marseille recently or as they frequently do in Calais and other French Channel ports? This must be why it is that the people who barely speak above a whisper in restaurants in England (if they can afford them, that is) are the loudest and most raucous customers in restaurants across the Channel. It must be this rather than a surfeit of alcohol which makes a lot of the English abroad behave in such an uncouth and obnoxious manner.

ADRIAN CROFTON

Cunlhat, France

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