Letter: The truth about English tourists

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Sir: As someone who spends every summer working in a craft gallery and a souvenir shop in the New Forest and who therefore has as much reason as Melissa Rapp to loathe the roving Brit, let me give her some advice. Speak your mind. Return his rudeness.

I readily confess I have a foul temper, and it works wonders. The whining Brit backs down very readily when he realises you won't put up with his pedantry and boredom and miserliness. And after a little bit of a rumpus, he usually turns out to be not quite as awful as he had initially promised. Shout back in his face. Don't just smile and then write letters to foreign newspapers. As a nation that voted itself its present shambles of a government, we have no right to demand any respect from anyone.

However, American tourists are a bit of a problem, I find. Behind their charm and politeness and geniality and those wonderfully orthodontic smiles, I sometimes wonder whether they can really be quite so sincere about our tacky little country. Trouble is, it is impossible to be rude to them.

Yours faithfully,




17 January