Why is Surrey so loathsome?

Perhaps not so much Surrey, as the people who choose to live there. First there was the furore in July over the purchase by an Armed Forces charity of a house close to the Headley Court Military Rehabilitation Centre, near Ashstead in Surrey. Now, if Boris Johnson is to be believed (The Spectator,15 – 29 December), a woman swimming at a public pool in Leatherhead berated 15 wounded soldiers and their trainers, because part of the pool had been roped off for them. This apparently prevented her from doing her daily laps. “I pay to come here, ” she is reported as shouting at them, “and you lot don’t”. Although one hopes that her problem was that she hadn’t engaged her brain before opening her mouth, I wouldn’t have money on it. There seems to be a deep current of hostility to the military, possibly because many people seem unable to separate their opposition to the war that the Blessed Tony took us into, and the men and women whose job it is to fight it for us. Thankfully the Surrey woman’s reaction contrasts vividly with the recent TV reports of the public lining the streets of Cardiff and other UK cities and towns, to welcome home returning troops.

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