Snow business

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The Independent Online

There's nothing like a cold snap to get us Britons flustered. As a result of the snow this week, 600 schools have been forced to shut down. Roads have been closed. Flights out of Heathrow had to be cancelled.

There's nothing like a cold snap to get us Britons flustered. As a result of the snow this week, 600 schools have been forced to shut down. Roads have been closed. Flights out of Heathrow had to be cancelled.

An RAC patrolman was trapped for eight hours on the Yorkshire moors. He was eventually rescued by an RAF mountain rescue team. If even the rescuers are sending out an SOS, what hope for the rest of us?

And a kind of snowy madness seems to have taken hold too. A 13-year-old schoolboy in Co Durham was suspended for throwing a snowball. What's next? On-the-spot fines for unauthorised snowman building?

We need to learn from our Continental neighbours for whom cold weather is nothing to get hot under the collar about. Consider Skelleftea. The Swedish town, just south of the Arctic Circle presently has temperatures of minus 20C at night and the official snow depth measurement is 46cm. But latest reports suggest that public transport is running like clockwork. What we need over here is a little more ice in our veins.

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