Britain's capacity for being unfriendly to foreigners may turn out to the unlikely saviour of the economy as hordes of Muslims and Indians travel to the UK for the holidays to experience the thrill of being treated shabbily and insulted in the street, a visceral experience that they just don't get at home.
Said one Muslim tourist, "Back in Saudi Arabia, theological debates are a bit lacklustre. Try attending a Religious Studies lecture in Riyadh. "I believe in Allah!" "I do too!" And then you get your degree. The harmony is quite boring. It's a bit of a laugh to travel to a place where by contrast Mohammed will be casually referred to as a camel fucking pedophile, on a good day."
In hotel lobbies in Bradford and Oldham, Arabs regale each other with amusing tales of being called dirty Pakis, while turban wearing Sikhs shake with mirth at being told to "go back to Taliban". They show their scars from beatings and compare inflated bills, though it is suspected some self inflict wounds or ask for higher charges in order to have the most impressie stories. Outside the hotels each morning, crowds of local touts gather hoping for custom, each trying to outvie the others in terms of the unjustified abuse they offer. Here one boasts of being able to knock a turban off a head in a single blow, while another says he can yank off a full burqa and have it in a fire in under ten seconds. One local, Bob Forth, has gained quite a reputation for the way he tells Muslims to "eat some fucking bacon" and he may feature in an upcoming TV campaign for racism tourism.
Some locals are confused though. "There was this Indian woman who came into the shop and I served her all politely" said dairy owner Will Daniels, "and after we were done she seemed kind of forlorn and was hanging around the shop picking things up and putting them down and eventually she left. Then she comes back with her husband who seems quite angry and he says "Call my wife a dirty paki." And I said what? And he said "We came here to experience authentic British racism. Now call my wife a dirty paki. I insist. And then say something about her vagina." The whole thing was quite distressing."