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Great Britain Is Messed Up

The Telegraph editorial today talks about how Britains are now working for the government instead of for themselves. This really caught my attention:
Not only is the public sector in the grip of the unions, with high rates of absenteeism (Tube staff were recently awarded 52 days a year holiday by Ken Livingstone), but incentives do not work in the way they do in the private sector. There is no profit motive injecting dynamism into the workplace and no proper accountability. As for humble taxpayers, they have no choice but to pay up and accept what they are given.
52 days vacation? What the bloody hell? I most definitely got into the wrong line of work.

The Telegraph also has this story about the divergent lifestyles between London and New York:
Then a mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, had the courage to endorse the idea and stake his political credibility on it. Then a tirelessly dedicated police chief put the idea into practice, even though it meant flying in the face of all the liberal received wisdom about softly-softly justice and not "criminalising" people who had committed minor offences, blah-blah-blah.

You will have noticed that this is precisely the opposite of what is happening here. Try ringing the police to tell them about an act of vandalism that is going on before your eyes and you will be treated with scarcely concealed ridicule: we've got more important things to worry about than some kids smashing up a building site. Never mind that the kids who have got away with that are likely to conclude that they can get away with pretty much anything.

Now New Yorkers have their city back and we are losing ours. And yesterday's horrific news showed the extent to which we are all in this together, from the derelict council estates in Tower Hamlets to millionaires' row in Chelsea. When I spoke to Bratton a couple of years ago, his proudest boast was that they had brought normal social life back to Harlem.

Most of the population used to stay in at night up there, he said. They just left the streets to the bad guys with their guns and their drug turf wars. But now, there were restaurants and night clubs and movie theatres where ordinary decent people went for a good time in the evening. They have been freed from fear all the way from the Battery to the top of Park Avenue. When is it our turn?
And Europeans have the nerve to say their cities are so much safer than American ones. Yeah right.

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