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The costs of wealth

Julian Le Grand says that Blair has left behind a golden age. He should try going out in Hull on Friday night

By Adam Thorpe   July 2007

The other day, my 14-year-old daughter was on the train to Montpellier when she was approached by four beer-toting English lads. “Scuse me, can you move across the aisle? We want to play poker.” She was put out, not by their unembarrassed use of their own tongue, or even their boozy bonhomie, but by the absence of any surprise at her replying in fluent English. Either they had forgotten they were in France, or some weird colonial throwback was operating.

This reminded me of something I was told by the owner of a local gîte: that the British are the…

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