this is part of as days pass by, by Stuart Langridge

See, England is becoming America.

I was watching a bit of telly earlier, and there was an advert break. And there were something like six or seven adverts. And every one, with the exception of one about visiting Scotland, was either for companies who promise to reduce your debts, or ambulance chaser lawyers who want to you sue anyone who might have ever caused you to have an accident, on a "no win no fee" basis.

Why is this happening? All of a sudden in the last year or so, these ambulance chasers have popped up out of the woodwork. This worries me. You see, this is one of the main things that I don't like about America, that it's the Land of Lawyers with everyone suing everyone else. That's probably bull, but it's certainly the perception. You hear all sorts of stories: apparently a lifeguard pulled a drowning old woman from a pool and gave her CPR, saving her life but breaking one of her ribs, and she sued (and won) for $2m. That could well be an urban myth. There are many nice things about America, I imagine, but I'm having severe difficulty thinking of one that I would trade for, say, a national health service. Ambulance chasers seem, to me, to be tied up with the whole notion of private health insurance, which is a horrifically bad idea and one I'm really opposed to.

If I wanted to live in America I'd move there. As it is, I don't want to be petrified the whole time that I might get sued by someone if I don't hold a door open for them, or if I do hold a door open for them, or something.

© Aquarius, June 2001