LONDON: No self-respecting American newspaperman can visit London without doing a "Is Britain going down the drain?" column. The English pound is being attacked, the miners are in revolt, the Labour government has lost control and the papers (when they are printed) scream "crisis," "shock," "strike," "protest." The real problem for me is that I have been visiting Britain for 26 years, and every time I come here it's "going down the drain." The headlines are always the same, and if you believe them the entire country will be under water in two months. An English friend of longstanding with whom I was sharing some strawberries at Wimbledon told me, "You know, we are going down the drain." "You told me that 20 years ago," I reminded him. "Oh, yes, but this time it's serious. We've lost the will to work, inflation is at an all-time high and there is going to be a very bad mango crop this year." "But the restaurants are crowded, the hotels are full of tourists, the streets are packed with cars. How do you explain that?"
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