Deborah Ross: I go away for two weeks and Britain's broken

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, or were to ask me, how I feel about you right now, I'd have to ask you to go to your room and not come down for a good while. I am that furious. I thought I could trust you. You said I could trust you. You said: "You go away and everything will be fine here." You even called out after me from the doorstep: "Enjoy your holiday... don't worry about a thing." So I went away for a couple of weeks – my only holiday of the year – and what do I now find on my return? That Britain's all broken. Great. Cheers. Thanks a lot.

A lamp, I could forgive. Who hasn't ever broken a lamp? Or a mug? But a broken Britain? With its "broken" society and "broken" families and "broken" morals? Do you have any idea what it feels like to come home and find it all broken in this way? Do you think Uhu is going to put it all back together again? Do you?

It's not your fault, you say. Take a chill pill, you add. Take a chill pill! This isn't yet another of your coats left on the bus, although even then being told "it wasn't my fault" and to "take a chill pill" was immensely infuriating. You've broken Britain! The Britain that, previously, was a place of adoring nuclear families who had so many "traditional values" they were forced to shove up at night, to allow a few more into the bed. I've read Melanie Phillips; I know.

And although no one has yet specified the heyday of pre-broken Britain, or even properly defined "traditional" – traditional to whom and when?– even if it turns out to be the "traditional Victorian family", who is to say working-class boy children ever minded going up chimneys? Or working-class girl children minded becoming prostitutes? Or a wife minded being beaten by her husband? (If he used a stick thicker than his thumb then, obviously, yes, but otherwise, perfectly acceptable, probably deserved and well within his statutory rights). And as for denying women any kind of equality, covering up piano legs, and helping the unwed parlour-maid strangle her bastard baby at birth as single-parenthood could only mean poverty, social exclusion and, eventually, being tipped into the Thames, at least no-one was smashing up Foot Locker! Or taking what they wanted from Argos!

And now? Now it's all broken. And I blame you. I should never have trusted you. I should never have left you in charge. Go to your room and don't come down for a good while. I'm furious.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Liberal Left should stop feeling guilty about flying the flag of St George and have no qualms about celebrating Englishness, one of Ed Miliband’s closest advisers said  

Don't sneer at the white van driving flag waving man

Stefano Hatfield
A customer holds his new iPhone  

How magazine websites for young women are filling a gap in the market

Ian Burrell
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin