This summer of travel chaos illustrates a sense of malaise in Britain

How’s your great British summer of chaos coming along? Me? It’s going fantastically, in terms of chaos, disruption, dysfunction and general frustration. I’m not sure it’s even worth planning a trip to Asda, such is the state of the nation. I might make it to the end of my very small back garden, I guess. At least it’s been quite sunny there recently.

First, and by far the most significant contributor to my personal frustration, is the fact that I still haven’t got a passport. I applied in late February to have it renewed, and received an acknowledgement. So the application arrived OK. Obviously sympathetic to the post-pandemic, post-Brexit pressures on passport-office” data-ylk=”slk:HM Passport Office” class=”link “HM Passport Office, I left it for a few weeks. Then another few weeks. Then I looked around on the website, and it said not to bother contacting them because it will just make matters worse. So I left it again.

By last month, I had found a way to ask if they could look into the delay. After another week, they said that my case would be passed on to an examinations team to be “expedited”. Three weeks on and I’m still waiting for my new Brexit blue passport – made in, I believe, Poland – to materialise. I’ve been without a passport (also handy for proving ID) for five months now.

I don’t think my experience is unusual.

And it stands in stark contrast to the statement made by Boris Johnson to the House of Commons on 25 May: “To the best of my knowledge, everybody’s getting their passport within four to six weeks.”

It’s also at odds with what the Welsh secretary, Simon Hart, told MPs on 6 July: “Passport applications from Wales may be handled

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