Thursday, March 23, 2006

The pleasures and perils ...

... of London public transport. Maxine Clarke sends along The man on the all-night Clapham omnibus. I agee with Maxine that the last two paragraphs are wonderful:

To me, the night bus is a metaphor for so many useful public domains in Britain, from comprehensives and hospitals to swimming pools and parks, that are falling into terminal squalor because the middle classes have shrunk from them in horror, and decided to fund far more expensive private alternatives for their own exclusive use. The result is that Britain is increasingly two nations. I don’t like that. Which is why, as a token gesture you may consider ludicrous, I still use night buses.
Besides, there’s a good chance that, among the dishelleved revellers returning from the grungy dives of Camden Town, I will bump into my own children. And as sociologists are always telling us, no father should spurn the opportunity to spend quality time with his offspring. Even if it involves lurching through the mean streets of North London as dawn breaks over Kentish Town.

See, Maxine: For all their faults, the British newspapers still often have some classy writing on display.

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