Standing on Ipswich station this morning, a long curving platform, I looked up towards the tunnel end, from coach B (Quiet) to J (First), just as Giles occasionally did for his commuter cartoons. However, there are today no bowlers, no pepper-and-salt trousers, no waistcoats, no watch chains, hardly an umbrella, never mind a properly furled one, and for every briefcase a mass of backpacks (mine included). Yet one thing has stayed constant, or rather has been recently reborn. Black is the colour, in all its tedious shades of grey. The British provincial middle-classes are now almost uniformly dressing in monochrome, males and females alike, and those who don't do so, stand out, in their modest blues, like peacocks amongst a murder of crows. The London young, as always, are a bit different, with their light, tight suits and tan shoes (lively, yes, but Brummel it is not), and the explosively striking and infinitely variable self-expression of young women continues as before. – But in respectable suburban and extra-urban England the lights have gone out. Why? If I were Prime Minister I might be rather worried. These people are fitting in with the background, a background that no healthy country should wish to have.