If Greece weren't so beautiful – if we had a different climate and lived in a different environment without our nature, light and sea – this country would be a very depressing place. Instead, here in Aigio people wake up, take in the sun and somehow feel they can keep going.Well, I don't think that one will work here. Shall we go back to the cheese? No, let's just be nasty to scroungers (and make sure they can't fight back). Nothing like a bit of malicious moral superiority to perk up middle England over its marmalade in the morning.
Mind you, we are still locked in the phony war; who knows whether we will be fighting them in the dole queues or lining up to collaborate in abject surrender when the cuts start to fall. What I am sure is happening is that the right in Britain, and this includes Orange Book Liberal Democrats and not a few New Labour Third Wayers, are part of a political realignment currently taking place. Austerity may be a European fashion statement, but social policy bears an American stamp. At the same time, Labour is unsure of its direction. Does it take to the hills to mount an outright social democratic resistance or find convenient sophistries to cosy up to a consensus that it see as its only chance of winning power once more?
Much will depend on the impact of the cuts to come. Tim Horton of the Fabian Society is with the resistance.
Horton argues that if the idea of the UK coalition government is to pare down services and the role of the state too much in the name of the big society, then it will not work. The British, he says, will not accept it.
"The Tories have long looked to the US Republicans for their inspiration. But they will struggle to import the same kind of politics to the UK. Britain was not founded on a tax revolt, and Brits are highly attached to their public services. That's why David Cameron spent the election campaign promising to protect frontline services."
I'm not too sure. If the coalition hangs together - ambition and power make a pretty strong super glue - it might just deliver the anti-Labour majority in the electorate to the ballot boxes. I suppose it all depends on whether the anti-Tory majority can mobilise itself. And tonight it looks as if the Greek government may have survived its first electoral test. What will emerge from the economic test is another question altogether.