It has been an enlightening few days for me, after returning to the UK for ten days to celebrate my birthday and revisit the country that used to hold a special place in my heart for so many years.
Having spent the last year living in Thailand and immersing myself in a new vibrant, inspiring culture — it came as quite a shock to the system to suddenly find myself back ‘home’ and instantly reminded of the very reasons why I left in the first place.
As I walked through the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport, it was as if I had walked into a morgue. The atmosphere felt palpably tense, and the dreary sky and predictable ‘drizzle’ I was welcomed with as I disembarked the plane, matched the hopelessly joyless surroundings around me.
The only noticeable ‘colours’ that could be seen, were from the hundreds of health and safety signs warning me of any potential dangers and the airport securities high visibility jackets that were in a disproportionate abundance. I genuinely felt on edge as I walked through the airport, worried I may find myself contravening one of many rules and regulations that were controlling my every move.
The warm smiles of the Thai nationals were now a distant memory and was instead replaced with grumpy, badly aged, eye-bagged ‘brits’ — who clearly has no interest in welcoming new visitors to their country. Even more depressingly, I struggled to find anything distinctly ‘British’ anywhere — aside from the odd British Airways plane that was taxiing on the runway or a horrendously overpriced cup of ‘English Breakfast Tea’ in Costa coffee…
Walking into Thailand you immediately sense the pride they have for their country: Pictures of the King proudly hang on every wall, incense sticks with offerings to their Buddha can be found outside every business, cheerful Thai music plays around every corner and women wear the traditional dress.
I would have hoped that as a country we would have shared similar pride in our own culture and heritage, but sadly this could not be further from the truth…
Another observation which was obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes, was just how ‘multicultural’ Britain has become over the last year. Mass immigration has turned London into a city that is no longer English — at least from my observations, it appears that the hijab is now part of the British ‘uniform’ and firmly cemented in the UK’s revamped ‘multicultural’ identity. But my despair didn’t end there…
Riding the tube into Victoria Station, I began browsing the Daily Mail website to pass the time, and came across the story of 87 year old Mary Appleton, who was forcibly evicted from her home of 61 years by bailiffs who took a sledgehammer to her front door — after her collection of prized memorabilia was deemed a ‘fire hazard’ by her local council.
Despite the fact that her home had been without a single fire related incident during the course of her tenure, the council still refused to take the ‘risk’ and decided it was far safer to leave her homeless on the streets of Cheshire. These types of stories frankly disgust me, but upon further inspection are sadly not uncommon in the ‘land of hope and glory’ these days.
The more I read the news websites, the more I found myself feeling disgusted at just how backward and heartless the British legal system has now become. In Thailand, when we see the odd disabled chap, playing the flute for some small change on the pavement — they are treated with respect and dignity. Yet here we are in 2016 in modern Britain, which is supposed to ‘typify’ the very definition of ‘gentlemanly’ conduct and yet we are still treating our fellow humans like shit.
Another story which I found deeply worrying, was the case of Matthew Doyle, who was arrested for posting an ‘inflammatory’ tweet — in which he questioned a Muslim woman about the recent Brussels attacks. Whilst the tweet was badly timed, and the context clumsily expressed — to be locked up in 21st-century Britain for asking a Muslim a ‘rude’ question demonstrates just how much Britain has degenerated.
I am not the only one who shares these unfortunate feelings about the demise of what was once a great country. I have had numerous conversations with taxi drivers during my trip who, like me, were once proud Brits. And now find themselves totally disillusioned, disgruntled and disengaged with current British political policies that are working against the best interest of the British people.
Fortunately, I have removed myself from the situation and have no plans to ever return living in the UK, but I can’t help but worry just what the future generations of “Great” Britain will be walking into — especially if it continues on the path it is clearly already on…