Budget airlines are great aren’t they? These days a person can, for example, read a book and, if sufficiently intrigued by the place that they are being shown, simply jump on a plane and experience it. And all for less than the cost of the hardback that inspired them. That’s a good thing isn’t it, integration? Opening up Europe to one and all and removing the financial borders that had until now limited access to those with the correct visa (or mastercard for that matter)? Well in principle it is, yes, but somewhere along the line things have got really screwed up. The planes that trawl western Europe, moving people indiscriminately between Liverpool, Gerone, Perpignan and Riga aren’t filled with underprivileged, decent people with a thirst for travel and knowledge. They are instead filled with undereducated scum bags with a thirst for beer and cheap fags. Offended? Well I guess you must know who you are then. You’re the cropped haired thug demanding a seventh vodka from the busy air hostess only minutes after take off. You’re the bleached blond divorcee screaming abuse at your kid in the middle of Prague as you drag him round in search of an English breakfast. You’re the stag party pissing up ancient monuments in the centre of Rome. You are a disgrace. Think I’m exaggerating here? Well try telling that to the MP from Riga who found himself with no option but to write to the city of Liverpool and plead with its leaders to stop their hooligans from trashing his city. And Liverpool’s response? Not our problem pal.
For me, the sooner oil prices drive these people back into the pubs and slums of their home towns the better because frankly, travelling in Europe these days with an English passport makes you about as welcome as bird flu.