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Gary Younge
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Bet you won't be shouting for this lot on Sunday
Voicing anti-German sentiments may be the last "acceptable" prejudice. The confidence that Britons have, even in the company of strangers, to articulate their disdain for an entire nation without fear of contradiction or contempt is both staggering and intriguing. Otherwise liberal types, who would struggle over whether to call someone mixed-race, black or dual-heritage choose freely between the Hun, Boche or Kraut. Similarly, reactionary sorts, who insist "European civilisation" reigns supreme above all others, reserve a special place in their misanthropic souls to despise the nation that produced Goethe, Bach and Einstein.
Villagers and the damned
Along with the post box and the telephone box, the public noticeboard constitutes the full extent of the small village of Newton's local facilities. In this community of around 350,with neither a pub nor a corner shop, the posters on the board publicise the flower festival in nearby Shelford and the village show in East Bridgford, suggesting that even for the most modest diversions you must venture elsewhere. Nothing much ever happens in Newton. And that's the way they like it.
Brickbats and mortar
While his sanity may have been in question, the result of the ballot shortly afterwards was beyond doubt. Those, like Morrin, seeking to defend council housing, won the day by a massive two to one margin. The immediate impact of their victory was staggering enough - they have forced a thoroughgoing rethink of central government's housing strategy and given immense confidence to others in their campaign. But the ramifications of their triumph go way beyond the roofs over their heads.
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