Letter: The Blairs at play

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I was more than a little amused by Anne McElvoy's piece "Our freeloading leaders" (Review, 12 August).

But rather than taking aim at the easy targets of the Blairs and the royals she should have examined what is a curiously British disease.

Having lived abroad (mostly in Asia) for 17 of the last 20 years, I was shocked on my return at the reluctance of the locals to put their hand in their pockets by way of paying their share.The other trick was a marked slowness in reaching for their wallet in the first place. All this is in sharp contrast to many of the countries I have lived in or visited, where I have seen groups almost come to blows over a bill.

So I suggest that our so-called leaders have no monopoly on freeloading but are simply carrying on an age-old and venerable British tradition.


London W14