Leading article: The virtues of a raincoat

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The Independent Online

"Normally I distrust everything the Government says," said a West Country hotelier at the weekend. "But this time I've got to thank them. They've got the weather forecast completely wrong and it has given me a bumper year."

"Staycations" are apparently all the vogue in 2009. You can quarrel with whether the word means staying at home or remaining in the country. You can certainly agree that it must be one of the ugliest names ever invented. But what can't be disputed is that the British love nothing better than a good moan about the weather.

We don't want a balmy Mediterranean clime, although we may wish for the viniculture. Nor do we really enjoy suburned noses and red arms by the sea. What we really desire is to wear baggy shorts and ill-coloured T-shirts under a ragged raincoat in the worst of weathers and complain about it as we do. If the Met Office really wants to keep domestic tourism thriving next year, it should predict the worst.

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