It is 2011. Look at that frightening number.
Welcome back to Britain. I never left it, but I left you, dear Reader, this long.
My God, I thought Britain was bad in the Noughties. Now three years after we've had the 2007/8 Global Financial Crisis, things seem to be sufficiently worse that I really wish I weren't here.
This country has been floundering in a cultural depression for 3 years now. People are coping, but not happy, and not hopeful, and not even interesting. They drive to the supermarket, they shop, they eat, they watch TV. They live through life's struggles, and they go to work if they still have a job, but they all know that the country hasn't done well, and can't afford to go on living beyond its means. Yet imports still keep rising, and exports barely are holding.
It feels as if one cannot dare to dream any more in Britain, yet in theory, that is all the British can now afford to do. I say in theory, because in practice, they still drive around in cars that are too big, and they still use them constantly while they themselves get fat and useless. Cars are empty, trains are running empty, planes still fly everywhere. The cutbacks on waste have yet to become ubiquitous, yet cutbacks in the public sector are all you hear about on the news, or when chatting.
THIS COUNTRY HAS BECOME BORING AND USELESS? Yes, it really feels that way.
It was of course the fault of the three Labour Governments, that presided over the shift to Banking and the wholesale submission to Global Economics, which finally created a credit and property and finance boom that collapsed in 2008. Yet only in 2010 did that government finally get thrown out.
Since then, the new Government has barely made a mark, yet every move they make is loudly protested and entirely opposed.
How can things improve, and how can things get better, when we have a people who have been spoilt by wasteful Labour Governments, and a new government who can no longer afford to spoil them?
I despair, and it's no fun being here. And we've had another cold winter (so much for global warming) so I wish I were on a beach far away from here.
I want to dream. Love is like a shrunken dried up apple in my soul, because there never was much love in Britain, and now there is nowhere to dream.
What can I do?