In the summer edition of City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple has penned a long and insightful essay on the many travails of (post)modern Britain after encountering a particularly pleasant and polite Polish receptionist working at a London hotel.

Worse still, the gracelessness of modern British culture is not merely spontaneous but has an ideological edge to it, such that many come to regard any refinement of speech or manners as artificial, a manifestation of social injustice. The more vulgar the conduct, therefore, the more authentic and politically virtuous; a downward spiral. A service economy with a labor force that thinks like this is a service economy without service.

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