25 NOVEMBER 1955, Page 7

I HAVE just been reading in an American magazine an

article about the deplorable state of affairs in Britain by one of the young men, Mr. Kenneth Tynan, who wrote that letter to the Daily Express and who have been taken to task by Mr. Fairlie. The letter was bad enough, but it was just a faint echo of this massive indictment. Things are very much worse than I had imagined. Britain is 'culturally out of touch, somehow shrunken and inhibited, desperately behind the times. . . . Bewildered, dispossessed and deeply unsure of herself. . . . The here and now of British life is frankly not fun enough for literature to be made out of it. . . . Colloquial speech is moribund in Britain. . . . Steadily increasing zenophobia. . Terrifyingly ignorant of its neighbours. . . . No wonder, therefore, that intelligent youth feels a nagging desire to remove itself to a country of less fogged vision. . . . Yet one stays; many of us stay, though we are oVen amazed at the traditional phlegm which enables us to do it.' And many of us are amazed at the traditional phlegm which enables .us to tolerate this sort of nonsense.