3 September 2013

Dear Vinnie: a postcard from England

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Retired Wimbledon footballer Vinnie Jones, star of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, has spoken out today about England being “past its sell-by date.” In a Radio Times interview, Vinnie says that he would not return to Britain from his current home in Los Angeles as immigration has made the country “unrecognisable”. Steve Ballinger sends him the following postcard from England:

England sabreurs with flag. Photo: Plashing Vole

Dear Vinnie,

What a shame you’ve put the boot into England from the poolside in LA.

I know the place doesn’t look the same as it did back in the 80s, but that was 30 years ago and we’ve all changed. Who’d have thought you’d turn into a film star? And yes, the weather’s not as good as California, but then it never was.

We know there are some real challenges here: we need more decent jobs; more and better housing; and more places for our kids in decent schools. So stay around and help us sort them out. Don’t give up on England.

You may have quit but we haven’t. People here are still willing to work hard, pay their taxes and be a part of their community, irrespective of whether they or their parents moved here from overseas. Yes we need to ensure that people who come here learn English and integrate. The answer is staying around, having the debate and finding the solution, rather than giving up and moving abroad.

So come back Vinnie. Most of us here still think it’s a pretty great place to live. What about the Olympics? The Diamond Jubilee? What about Andy Murray, another winner at Wimbledon? Even if you can buy-in your Monster Munch, surely there isn’t a decent pub round your way?

Though we still cherish the English value of fair play, we’ll have you back all the same. It sounds like you miss us really.

Weather is lovely(ish). Wish you were here!


Steve Ballinger is the director of communications at British Future.

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