Bulldog spirit! Needed again for our childrens children?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by BoomShackerLacker, May 9, 2009.

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  1. Just thinking about Churchill's masterly use of visionary imagery to give the British people belief and hope in the dark days of 1940. The people did largely respond to his rallying cry. Do we have the same spirit? And what is the attitude we can foster now to 'build Britain'?

    Many of us with parents/grandparents who endured the austerity of the post-war recovery will have stories and sayings a plenty that rung out across the meal table, 'waste not want not', 'finish your greens', and the rest, driven by the experience of wartime hardship and the disgust with wasting scarce resources. Rationing in the UK didn't finish till 1954 and this experience shaped attitudues to spending and consumerism.

    1950s America was a very different world. The US economy, super-charged by WWII, became its golden era. This experience shaped American attitudes. It was the zenith of the American dream and the dream just went on and on. We went from the working classes to the consumer classes. Wealth/occupation became the designator of social standing as opposed to what accent you had and what class your parents were. To acquire was the mantra and path to success. It also confirmed the capitalist ethos as unassailable. These ideas worked, look everybody!

    The British working classes by contrast had suffered for over 150 years. Their capitalist 'ideals' had not rewarded the ordinary working family via the industrial revolution. These men then returned from two world wars and said enough of exploitation, 'if you can plan D-day you can plan a better country for its working people'. Hence Attlee's post-war Labour (Democrat) government eased to victory, ousting a bemused Tory (Republican) Churchill. And hence a unique brand of British Socialism provided a welfare state and national health service. A post-industrial landscape was a grim world for the first-industrialisers. It also confirmed the capitalist ethos was flawed. These ideas hadn't worked in the way they were meant to.

    I sense the children of both these 'journeys' developed a sense of 'entitlement'. We are owed something. The American post-post-war generation, I suggest, are looking at their 1950s 'highpoint' and saying 'we can't go backwards' and have any less than our 50s parents or grandparents? 'We are entitled'. Driven by a belief that we should have 'more than our parents' generation'. But failing to accept that in a complex society there are only marginal returns for our efforts. The pace of growth has to slow.

    If we're to move into a new future and avoid societal collapse we have to somehow shift from 'entitlement' to something else. But what? Is it our relationship with the US that drives our thinking and policies to such an extent that we should seriously consider distancing ourselves further from that partnership so we develop a British ethos afresh?
  2. Can't see the Leadership asking for sacrifices and anybody believing them.
    the media the net everybody having camera's not going to work.
    hypocrisy is the worse crime you can commit in public these days. :(

    Why should workers take pay cuts and freezes when there bosses and MP's don't ?
  3. That's not an argument. If the Chinese can save on their pittance pay then so can we.

    Debt as a way of life is the American model which we've bought wholesale, hence an idealogical barge pole between ourselves and the 'pure capitalist liberal' economy across the water is first step to restoring our social democracy.

    I hate to say it but Brown's comments on PMQs about investment strategy in answer to Cameron's bating of Blears was spot on. If you have a business and its sales are dropping you invest in your recovery, but long term we should establish our own geo-political position further away from American political influence. Probably a possibility under Bamma.
  4. I agree with your post BoomShackerLacker. We will evolve into a better society but I think the necessary changes will come about by force of circumstance rather than choice. Just my view, I guess we will have to wait and see. I believe that we have allowed a sense of grievance and entitlement to deep root itself within our societies. We will learn but I think it will be the hard way.

    Unfortunately our leaders, both moral and political, appear to have no more vision than the 'man on the No 9 bus'
  5. I think seeing members of the ZaNuLabour goverment being hanged from the lamposts outside the Palace of Westminster would do two things:

    a. Improve the morale of nation.

    b. Remind the survivors that they work for us and not the other way round.
  6. And that is the reason the UK has under-performed ever since 1914. The country learnt the wrong lesson – that if the state can mobilise the population and economy to fight and win two industrialised wars then it can do everything.

    This attitude was encapsulated by Douglas Jay in 1937 – “in the case of nutrition and health, just as in the case of education, the gentleman in Whitehall really does know better what is good for people than the people know themselves.”.

    That it is has been misquoted as “the man in Whitehall knows best” does not detract from the fact that the original comment was the height of political arrogance which we suffer from even today.

    Commerce and daily life is millions of people making decisions in their own self interests - otherwise known as capitalism.
  7. What we need is something to get behind..... and a hardship to overcome.

    That is what we had in the early part of this century.

    Now we have disaffected youths bumping in to the walls of life like an E'd up, drunken pin ball.

    A campaign to "make Great Britain Great once more" is what we need. Or a war on something....

    Theiving and corrupt MPs?
  8. Financial meltdown?

    Part of the problem is the English. We're apparently disinterested, not uninterested mind.

    Rabbi Sachs was offering up that the English are under-ritualised, a nation of the eclectic who share no common celebrations anymore.
  9. I'd buy into that.

    Bring in St Georges day, start bringing back enforced rest for the population on Bank Holidays and Sundays.