Love from London: Tensions between Britons and Russians continue

Let’s face it. the relations between Britons and Russian have always been complicated to say the least. Olga Freer’s new book is apparently not helping.

Freer, the 23-year-old Russian author, who lives in London, has published a book called The UK for Beginners. Among other things, she describes Britons as a bunch of people who scratch their bottoms in public, don’t iron their clothes and are obsessed with television shows about buying and selling houses.

In an article entitled: From Russia with bile – you British are drunken oafs, the Sunday Times called the book the latest outbreak of Russian hostility. Freer apparently declares the Buckingham Palace “uninteresting”, British women fat yet confident enough to wear short skirts, and the conversations generally shallow. In Russia, even taxi drivers apparently talk about literature; in the UK here all people talk about is football.

It is the last point that particularly struck me. Isn’t it a little sad that all those educated (or at least well-read) people can hope to achieve in Russia is driving a cab?