Magazine article The Spectator

Welcome to the Greater Europe of Porn, the Mafia and Britscum

Magazine article The Spectator

Welcome to the Greater Europe of Porn, the Mafia and Britscum

Article excerpt

'I must have vomited,' said my youngish taxi-driver, narrowing his eyes and making a mental calculation as he overtook a Sainsbury's lorry at 80 mph on the winding death run of the A36, 'in at least 20 bars. Maybe 30. Brilliant time. Just 48 hours, non-stop.'

He was talking about the stag weekend in Prague from which he'd just returned. He knew it was Prague because it said Prague on the plane ticket, but of course he had no idea that it was in the Czech Republic. Nor that it was probably Wenceslas Square in which he copiously relieved himself, alerting the attentions of the local police. 'I was pissing for Britain,' he laughed. And I didn't get a chance to quiz him much more about his sojourn because the ride was over all too quickly. But you can guess most of it. 'Come on, Svetlana, get your fuckin' tits out. Beer, beer, we want more beer; all the lads are cheerin', get the fuckin' beer in ... '

Prague has been, for some time now, the destination of choice for British chavs out for a good time, making the Czechs - once one of the few people in Europe with an affection for Britain - despise us almost as much as the Spanish now do. Luckily for the Czechs, though, the companies that cater for these ghastly weekend binges are looking further afield. Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius are next on the list, with Bratislava and beautiful Krakow to follow. Soon enough, from Szczezcin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic there will flow an endless river of British piss and vomit, a chunky, noisome Vistula full of British filth. As invasions go, it will be less spiteful and physically destructive than the ones these lovely countries have been more used to experiencing from their Western neighbours, or indeed their Eastern neighbours. But they will come to loathe it - and us - all the same, even as they deposit their bulging wads of euros as a result. Oh, why did you vote to join us? Didn't you know what would happen?

This is one reason why I can't get too worked up about a handful of Slovakian pikeys loitering with intent at the bottom of my garden. We are, after all, giving the Slovaks far worse in return. Along with pornography, the mafia, Coca-Cola, Britney Spears, McDonald's and EastEnders, Britscum on booze cruises are an inevitable consequence of firstly the free market and secondly the European Union. And it will continue until the whole eastern sector, from the graceful Hanseatic seaports of the north to the far-flung outposts of the old AustroHungarian empire in the south, is one homogenised, Bruxelloise morass.

Believe me, I have no romantic hankering for the somewhat dirigiste excesses of the old Soviet empire. When I was young I went by train to Moscow with a bunch of people from the Communist party of Great Britain, and I can still remember the ravenous speed at which they tore into the West Berlin branch of McDonald's on the way home, having endured two weeks of Marxist food: meat like wet rope from the gulags, the occasional bowl of buckwheat and no fresh vegetables. But in a slightly limp-wristed manner, one rather wishes there was a middle way that allowed just a little dignity to be kept intact.

And nowhere more so than in the agricultural industry or, as they tend to call it out east, farming. It is bad enough that we will wreck their cities, but just wait until market forces and the EU agricultural policy get hold of their land. …

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