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Sleepwalking into a linguistic hamster wheel

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When did we all start ‘sleepwalking’?

You can hardly open a paper lately without learning that Britain is ‘sleepwalking’ into another crisis.

In yesterday’s Telegraph Philip Johnston quoted Rosamund McDougall as saying ‘The UK is sleepwalking into a population and environmental nightmare’. While later on in the same paper Anthony Seldon worried that ‘One of the jewels of British national life is sleepwalking into potential disaster’ (talking about independent schools).

On Monday the Daily Mail, discussing migration, suggested that ‘Britain has been sleepwalking into a social revolution’ for the last 10 years. And two days before that Rachel Williams in the Guardian issued the government’s warning that ‘modern life has Britain sleepwalking towards an obesity crisis’.

We are also, apparently, sleepwalking into a world of surveillance (Mail on Sunday), sleepwalking into segregation (Sunday Telegraph) and sleepwalking into a pensions nightmare (Sunday Times).

Perhaps it’s true, perhaps we are all so distracted by the media and our private lives to worry about the big things – but even if we are, couldn’t we find a few other analogies to describe it?

Written by Martin Moore

October 25th, 2007 at 12:14 pm

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