A Whiff of Something Ugly

There's a nice pub I know on an Essex village green, just northeast of London — the sort of place where you're never quite sure if the guy with the cigar is a businessman or a retired gangster. The evening before the British election, I stopped in for a pint and eavesdropped. The conversations ranged from golf to cars to that night's football game between England and Greece. But never once did it touch on the great pageant of democracy that was supposed to unfold the next day.

So I was prepared for a low turnout of voters...

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