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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

“Sorry” seems to be the hardest word

After five thousand years of civilisation, how did China forget its good manners?

One thing I have to remind myself each time I return to London—as soon as I hit the Underground from Heathrow—is that in this city, it’s essential to remember my manners. Having been back in China for a few years, I find that social etiquette and the words “please,” “sorry” and “thank you” that used to stream from my mouth with little effort don’t come so easily anymore. Good manners are easily forgotten. In an environment like modern China where everyday politeness towards strangers has a low currency rate, it seems to lose its viability. Just take pushing in, for example: when I was a teenager in Beijing, whoever stretched their hand out as close to the ticket officer got their ticket first, not those who waited in line.

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In Prospect’s April issue: Sam Tanenhaus profiles Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican Party Presidential nomination and asks if Trump makes it to the Oval Office, what would he do? Stephen Glover, examines what is happening at the Guardian as the newspaper looks to cut costs. Ferdinand Mount says Tony Blair transformed Britain but he should have cared more about the Labour Party. Also in this issue: Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI5, says that Brexit would not damage the UK’s security and Christopher de Bellaigue questions whether France’s clampdown on radicals is having the right effect. Plus Miranda France looks at the legacy of Don Quixote and the Duel asks: “Should the Church of England be disestablished”?